Best of the best
Facts and information about Vienna
Vienna is the capital of Austria and part of the European Union. It is well connected with both western and eastern Europe and has good national and international transport connections.
Vienna: Now or Never! Vienna: Muse, Kiss and Avant-garde The world’s largest Bruegel collection and the prettiest kiss immortalized by Jugendstil genius Gustav Klimt in his world famous painting can only be found in Vienna. The cultural capital is also a place where you can discover a rich diversity of styles and eras. Baroque opulence and cool avant-garde coexist in an exciting creative environment. Pieces by talented young designers now hang in the ornate staterooms and are just as impressive as the old masters found in Vienna’s modern museums. http://www.wien.info/en/sightseeing/museums-exhibitions Copyright: Kunst_31199: ©WienTourismus/Popp & Hackner Imperial Vienna – Timeless Elegance A stroll around Vienna can be like a journey back in time to the days of the empire — it comes as no surprise that the historic city center is a UNESCO world cultural heritage site. Vienna boasts 27 palaces and more than 150 other residences - examples of the city’s illustrious history await on virtually every street corner and the capital’s coffee houses are the perfect places to dream of imperial days of yore. And if you are interested in shopping you can visit one of the former purveyors to the imperial court. http://www.wien.info/en/sightseeing/sights Copyright: Imperial_1564: ©WienTourismus/MAXUM Vienna: Mozart, Strauss and DJ Sounds Every night in Vienna around 10,000 music fans are treated to live classical music, something that is simply unheard of in any other city in the world. Each year the Vienna concert schedule includes more than 15,000 events of various sizes and genres. No other city has been home to so many composers — Mozart, Mahler, Haydn, Beethoven and Johann Strauss, the king of the Viennese waltz, all worked in the city. The Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna Boys’ Choir set the international tone, while the State Opera House and the Golden Hall at the Musikverein are among the world’s leading venues. Traditional strengths endure to this day — the Vienna sound pioneered by local DJs enjoys worldwide popularity. http://www.wien.info/en/music-stage-shows Copyright: Musik_31708: ©WienTourismus/Lois Lammerhuber Viennese Taste: Enjoying Food and Drink to the Fullest Viennese cuisine is the only type of cooking in the world that is named after a city. Vienna is also the only metropolis in the world that grows enough wine within city limits to be worth mentioning. The Viennese coffee house is known around the globe for its informal pleasantness, as an oasis of gemütlichkeit. No wonder that the bistro, wine tavern and cafe are the foundational pillars of Vienna’s culture of food pleasures in all its enticing variety. http://www.wien.info/en/shopping-wining-dining Copyright: Genuss_31982: ©WienTourismus/Karl Thomas Vienna – Enjoy Quality Of Life Life is good in Vienna. What the Viennese have always known is now official — the 2010 Mercer study ranked Vienna again first in a survey of the best places to live. Why? The city has more green space than virtually any other. It is a place where you can relax — there are even parks in the heart of the city — or enjoy sport. The Austrian capital also has excellent infrastructure and is one of the safest major cities on earth.. http://www.wien.info/en/sightseeing/green-vienna Copyright: Grün_31008: ©WienTourismus/Popp & Hackner
German though you can get by pretty easily with English.
Vienna uses the Euro (€). There are many banks and most credit/debit cards will be accepted.
Best travel time
Vienna has cold winters and warm summers. In January average temperatures are around -2 - 2°C though it can be much colder and in July the average temperatures are 16 - 26 °C but again it can often hit the 30s.
Vienna is a modern city with excellent telephone and mobile connections.
Good to know
It is helpful to learn a couple of German phrases though English is widely understood, also stick to the right hand side of the escalators otherwise you may get shouted at. Don't take it personally and just move out the way.
Country and People
Traditions and Culture
The people of Vienna The Viennese are a very friendly people though Vienna is notorious for pretty rude customer service. It sometimes seems that it is part of the job description of some of the waiters in the posh coffee houses to be haughty, however there are plenty of alternative friendly restaurants with smiling staff too. There are no strict customs or religion which govern dress though you may have to dress smartly to enter some establishments, for example the famous opera and concert buildings and some of the more upper class coffee houses and restaurants. The Viennese are very cultured people and most of them know classical music, have learned to dance and know how to eat well. Living surrounded by such grand buildings inspires a grandness of culture even if it's been a century since the monarchy ruled. Now there is an alternative culture spreading through the city. There are many hip festivals and young exhibitions. The city is full of old and new energy and the lifestyle is pretty comfortable. In 2005 a study from the EIU ranked Vienna as the city with the best quality of life out of 127 world cities. The coffee culture is still there though with coffee houses being the chosen meeting place in many occasions.
Vienna is very well connected with an underground service, over ground rail service, buses, and the beloved trams. Public transport is relatively cheap to say it's a capital city and it is usually pretty reliable too.
Vienna International Airport (IATA: VIE) connects Vienna to the rest of the world. If you are looking to get a cheap flight within Europe to the capital you are better off flying to Bratislava which is just an hour from Vienna and has direct, cheap and regular coach connections to Vienna city center. Vienna is a capital city and so there is a wide choice of car rental firs. You can either book them online or at the airport when you arrive.
There are plenty of taxis around and the infrastructure is top class. Cars are not allowed into the city center so if you want to take a tour of the historic center you are best off walking, renting bikes from the Vienna bikes stands which are dotted about the city (1st hour is free - great service) or hire a horse and cart for an hour or so.
Discover and Enjoy
Vienna is brimming with sights including many palaces like Schönbrunn Palace, Hofburg and the Belevedere. Other famous sights include the Reisenrad Ferris wheel in the Prater amusement park, the view from the Donauturm TV tower and other cultural sights like the Burgtheater, Wiener Staatsoper opera, the Vienna Boys' Choir and the Lipizzaner horses at the spanische Hofreitschule.
There are many different events taking place in Vienna all year round including open air concerts, exhibitions, water sport competitions, festivals and lots more. There is almost always something going on. Visit Vienna's official tourist information website to see what's going on when you visit: http://www.wien.info/en
The Viennese are good cooks. Viennese cuisine is the only cuisine in the world to be named after a city. Specialties include: Weiner Schnitzel - traditionally it is boneless veal thinned with a hammer and then covered in breadcrumbs and fried. Apfelstrudel - Apple filled light pastry Palatschinken - Viennese pancakesSachertorte - Rich chocolate cake with apricot jam Buchteln - Fluffy buttery bread with apricot jam Liptauer - a spicy sheep's milk cheese