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Vienna Holidays

Drink in the imperial splendour

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It means plenty to us

From the imperial majesty of its palaces to the refinement of its coffee houses, Vienna offers a tranche of sophisticated attractions to enjoy. Watch the elegant riders at the Spanish Riding School put their impressive Lipizzaners through their paces to a stirring classical soundtrack, then call in at Mozarthaus Vienna to learn more about the life and work of the musical genius at his only surviving residence in the capital.

Culture fiends will love MuseumsQuartier, the vast museum complex featuring everything from applied arts to natural history. Elsewhere, ride the big wheel in the Volksprater, then sample an authentic wiener schnitzel at Figlmuller restaurant.

Admire Gustav Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze in the ornate Secession building. Take in central Vienna’s varied architectural styles, from baroque and neoclassical to art nouveau, then browse Naschmarkt's colourful stalls. Discover imperial history and impressive gardens at the Schonbrunn Palace and try the famous Sachertorte at Hotel Sacher. Later, take a Danube cruise or sip a nightcap in arty Neubau. To explore all this and more, book your flights to Vienna now.



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Best hotels in Vienna for all types of traveller

The InterContinental Vienna, opposite Stadtpark, offers prime views from its top floor, or choose to stay at The Ritz-Carlton Vienna – there’s an ice rink in winter and an urban beach in summer adjacent to both hotels. Meanwhile, 5-star Guesthouse Vienna on Albertinaplatz offers Conran-styled interiors and a popular on-site bakery. Every room has a wine cooler with four bottles of wine, while rooms facing the Opera House have window seats. Hotel Kaiserhof Wien is a family-run, classic styled property in a quiet area. The art deco Hilton Vienna Plaza is on the famous Ringstrasse, close to the Imperial Palace and the Opera House. Enjoy vintage champagne in its 1920s-inspired bar.

Prefer something more modern? The hip Daniel Vienna, near the main train station and Belvedere Palace, has a rooftop aviary, hammocks in some rooms, and a buzzing bakery. Set in an elegantly modernised former palace of Emperor Franz Joseph, the K+K Palais Hotel overlooks a tranquil park. Le Meridien Vienna is a swish design hotel in the heart of Vienna with a swimming pool, sauna and steam bath.

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Vienna Christmas markets

Was: 11 November – 26 December 2023

2024 Christmas market dates: TBC

Discover the traditions of Vienna’s Christmas markets. Revel in the aromas of roasting chestnuts, wander through the Christmas village of Belvedere Palace and ice skate through City Hall Park.

Find Vienna Christmas market breaks

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Make the most of your Vienna holiday

The city’s coffee houses function as public living rooms, and countless writers and composers have made them their spiritual homes. Vienna is one of few cities with a thriving viticulture within its city limits, so you owe it to yourself to quaff some fine Austrian wines in vaulted cellar bars known as Vinotheks or in more rustic taverns called Heurigen.

What are the best things to do in Vienna?

1. Listen to the Vienna Philharmonic. Vienna’s musical credentials are long established with the likes of Mozart, Schubert, Haydn and Brahms all having close associations with the city, and its resident orchestra is unquestionably one of the world’s finest. Catch them at the Musikverein, one of the more striking buildings on the Ringstrasse.

2. Watch the Vienna State Opera. Based in the stately crystal and gold adorned Opera House, the Vienna State Opera runs a diverse programme of over 50 operas and 20 ballets per year. It’s the largest repertoire in the world, and performances are enhanced by subtitles in eight different languages.

3. Go to a ball. Every winter the city bursts into life during Vienna’s ball season. Hundreds of balls take place across many of the city’s prestige venues, and there’s a strict dress code and etiquette to follow. The balls frequently start after 9pm and carry on until the wee small hours, so pack a pair of smart but comfy shoes.

4. Vienna’s Golden Quarter is stuffed full of designer shops: you’ll be able to spot Chanel nestled opposite Louis Vuitton on a cobbled street. Nearby, take in the eye-catching facade of jewellers Schullin, while J&L Lobmeyr sells fine glassware. For a modern boutique with street fashion – and the odd catwalk show – visit Park.

5. In Vienna’s stylish spas, the lap of luxury comes with fluffy towels. The Park Hyatt’s decadent Arany Spa, set in a former bank vault, has more gold in it than Klimt could fit on a canvas. The Kempinski’s sumptuous spa is decked out in the rich colours of the Ottoman Empire. The Ritz Carlton’s pool even has underwater speakers.

6. Enjoy the cosy ambience of Vienna’s traditional Christmas markets. These vary from a few food vendors to the hundreds of stalls at the famous Christkindlmarkt on Rathausplatz. Some of the best ones include Belvedere with its art exhibitions, Schonbrunn with its imperial splendour, Stephansplatz with its horse-drawn carriages and the Altwiener Christkindlmarkt with its organic farmers’ market.

Where are the best places to visit in Vienna?

Every building seems more elegant than the last when you walk along the Ringstrasse, the grand ring road that loops round the city centre. Alongside the Rauthaus (town hall), the Hofburg Palace, the embassies and the grand old museums sit some lovely hotels.

Vienna’s first district (Innere Stadt) encompasses the UNESCO-listed historic centre, and is home to St Stephen’s Cathedral and the Imperial Palace, among many other beautiful buildings. Drop by the Albertina, home to a huge collection of graphic art and part of the fascinating MuseumsQuartier.

In summer, Vienna can get very hot, but locals know that a trip to the beautiful blue Danube, just north-east of the city centre, is the perfect antidote. Danube Island has a 250-metre family beach for bathing and relaxing – come here after a morning in the museums.

Vienna’s second district, Leopoldstadt, lies between the Danube and Danube Canal. It’s home to the Volksprater, an amusement park known for the giant Ferris wheel towering above all the other rides. It’s just five minutes from the centre of town on the metro.

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