Discover Vienna: Austria’s magnificent capital. Once the heart of the formidable Habsburg empire, this stunning city is home to massive palaces, famous waltzes, glittering Klimt canvases and, come winter, twinkling Christmas markets.
For aspiring artists and keen composers, Vienna is a cultural touchstone. The Secessionist movement brought exciting art to the city: the maximalist canvases of Gustav Klimt among them, whilst Biedermeyer design means that every antique shop is a treasure trove. Johann Strauss wrote his famous dance music here, and even today dancers waltz their way around the palaces to his music – at the annual winter balls. Away from the sights, normal life continues for ‘Wien’s’ inhabitants: and it’s almost as compelling to chill out in a café as it is to meander through a museum. Traditional coffee houses rustle with newspapers as locals take their morning Viennese Melange. In the evenings, bars overflow with spritz-drinkers and inexpensive local wines. Book your flight now: magical holidays in Vienna await.
Every building seems more elegant than the one before when you walk along the Ringstraße, the grand ringroad that loops round the centre of the city. Alongside the Rauthaus (town hall), the Hofburg Palace, the embassies and the grand old museums sit a number of lovely hotels. This is a great area to base yourself if you’re looking for a touch of grandeur in your city break. The Hotel Imperial is set in a former palace – and still treats its guests like royalty. Stay here to walk in the footsteps of Mahler, Brahms and Wagner, who all visited in their day.
Vienna’s first district is the heart of the city, and encompasses the UNESCO-listed centre of Vienna, St Stephan’s Cathedral, the Imperial Palace and hundreds of beautiful buildings. Stay here to be near all the best sights. The chic, modern rooms of The Guesthouse Vienna look out over the Albertina, one of the lovely museums in the inner stadt’s famous MuseumsQuartier: art lovers couldn’t be in a better location than this.
In the summer, Vienna can get very hot – but locals know that a trip to the beautiful blue Danube is the perfect antidote. The Danube is just north-east of the city centre, and Danube Island has a 250m family beach where families can bathe and relax – come here and you can sun with the locals after a morning in the museums. Right on its banks, the Hilton Vienna Danube Waterfront is perfectly positioned for enjoying river views – and even has an outdoor pool of its own.
Vienna’s ‘second district’ lies in the north east of the city centre, between the Danube and the Danube Canal. It’s famously home to the Volksprater, an amusement park known for the giant Wiener Riesenrad Ferris Wheel standing tall above all the other rides. If you want a hotel in the second district, book a room at Das Capri which serves a traditional Viennese breakfast. You’re still just five minutes from the centre of town on the underground.