Ah, Vienna. Old-world magnificence meets a thriving modern melee in Austria’s capital which was voted the most liveable city in the world earlier on this year.
Even if residency is beyond your reach, now is the time to visit this fascinating travel destination rich in heritage, beauty, art, and music – and delicious culinary offerings. A long weekend is enough for a taste of the city’s delights, but if you have longer for your holiday consider taking a river cruise along the Danube to see Vienna from the water and visit the other beautiful cities that line the riverbank such as neighbouring Budapest.
Easily accessible from countries across Europe by boat, plane, train, or automobile, Vienna should top your bucket list in 2023 – and here’s why.
You cannot avoid beauty in Vienna. It is everywhere you look, from the elaborate buildings lining the wide boulevards to the majestic palaces. Visit the expansive Schönbrunn Palace, the summer residence of the Habsburg rulers that boasts glorious gardens and a façade that earned it the nickname Viennese Versailles.
Don’t miss the Stephanskirche either, a 12th-century Gothic-style cathedral that attracts almost three million tourists every year. Modern monuments sit alongside these older relics in glorious juxtaposition, bold and breathtaking in a way of their own.
One of the best ways to view Vienna’s astonishing architecture is to stroll along the Ringstrasse between the Karlsplatz and Schottentor: you will be treated to a vista that features the State Opera House, Hofburg Palace, national museums, and parliament buildings – to name just a few!
Art lovers rejoice! Vienna is one of the best places in the world to see contemporary art. Head to the MuseumsQuartier, commonly called MQ, to find the world’s finest collection of Egon Schiele artwork housed in the Leopold Museum.
Here you will also find works by Gustav Klimt, although his natural treasures are displayed in the Upper Belvedere Palace, including ‘The Kiss’ which was created using gold, silver, and platinum flakes. This Baroque palace is in itself a work of art, and its well-worth exploring the other paintings on show here as well as the pretty gardens that surround the complex.
Vienna was a setting that inspired some of our most treasured artists across all fields including philosophy and music, such as the prolific composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Last but not least, dining is a joy in Vienna. Quite apart from the exceptional culinary offerings, the cafés and restaurants themselves make for a spectacular dining experience – high ceilings, marble furnishings, and old-world charm prevail, from humble coffeehouses to high-end restaurants.
Being Austria’s capital, it is unsurprising that there is a wide range of international cuisine here, so you will find something to suit all preferences and palettes.
Be sure, however, to sample the traditional dishes as well – sweet treats are a highlight, including warm strudel pastries with apple or apricot and the layered sachertorte.
For more information about Vienna, see our post.