Vienna at a glance
Vienna's history as a capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire has ensured a legacy of grand architecture, majestic palaces and cultural maturity that is almost unsurpassed. Artistry and regal romance continue to reign in the city today, making it a popular short break destination for those seeking to enjoy a heightened atmosphere of culture and the arts.
Situated on the Danube River, Vienna’s early history has close ties to both the river and the Celtic peoples. By the 15th century Vienna had become home to the Habsburg dynasty as well as a cultural centre for the arts. Growing in influence, the city built upon its reputation as a leader in architecture, music and science, laying claim to a host of innovators and trend setters including Sigmund Frued, Franz Shubert, and Marie Antoinette.
With a longstanding tradition and love of opera and classical music, Vienna undoubtedly lives up to its nickname ‘City of Music’. From the time of Viennese Classicism through to the early part of the 20th century famous composers made Vienna a hive of musical activity. Mozart, Brahms, Strauss and Beethoven all worked in Vienna and today their music can still be heard floating out of concert halls around the city.
Aside from the many museums in the city, much of Vienna’s past can be enjoyed while exploring the city’s grand palaces and elaborate gardens of Hofburg and Schönbrunn. Captured within the royal residences is a true sense of history building upon itself from one era to the next, with new additions continually added as each new successor took the throne. From early beginnings dating back to the 13th century to modern restoration efforts, the palaces continue to play an important role in the city’s regal charm.
A cultural haven with a wealth of historical sights, Vienna is a lavish city break treat, indulging visitors with a taste of tradition and a high regard for the art of life. From concert halls to palaces to cafés, Vienna is an art form to be experienced.
Perfect if you’re looking for:
- Art and culture
- Stunning architecture
- Historical attractions
Vienna has a large and well organized public transport system made up of the S-Bahn (suburban railway), the U-Bahn (underground railway) and the Wiener Linien (Vienna Lines) that operate bus and tram routes throughout the city.
One ticket covers all modes of transportation and can be purchased to cover various lengths of time.
Dining in Vienna
Food is a way to many hearts, and there is no exception in Vienna. The Naschmarkt is a food lovers paradise, there are many stalls selling a wide selection of local produce but inside there are also food stalls to sample. There are also a hive of wonderful restaurants in the city.
Café culture is a biggie here, as cafés have long been an integral part of Vienna’s history and the coffee house culture has earned a unique place on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Drinking a cup of coffee is an all-day affair and locals linger over cups of steaming brew while engaging in hours of conversation, card games and the enjoyment of pastries and tarts.
Must-try local dishes:
- Wiener Schnitzel – A thin cutlet of veal breaded and pan-fried in butter or oil.
- Sachertorte – A dense, chocolate sponge cake, created with thin layers of apricot jam and encased in firm chocolate icing.
- Austrian Goulash – Beef stew seasoned with tomatoes, onion and paprika, this hearty dish pairs well with a beer.
Shopping in Vienna
Visitors can shop to their heart’s content in Vienna as there are a number of shopping hotspots. The Goldenes Quartier is home to international brands and luxury shopping, the Kohlmarkt is the pedestrianised street of fine Viennese jewellers and fashion, the Tiffany & Co and Cartier boutiques are also based in the Kohlmarkt. For something contemporary, the Graben is the street where there is a mix of luxury well-known brands and independent shops. Lastly, the most popular Karntner Strasse is the main high street in Vienna and there is a wealth of luxury brands and high street fashion brands such as Zara and H&M.
Osprey Holidays top tips
It can be very difficult to get tickets for a performance by The Spanish Riding School; an easier way to see the beautiful Lipizzaner horses in action is to buy a ticket for their morning exercise which takes place in the Stallburg on Josefplatz from 9.40am Tuesday to Saturday.
Get your tailor-made city break itinerary
Osprey Holidays can create a fabulous short break to Vienna designed completely around your needs. We can arrange whatever you need, including:
- All travel and transfers on days of your choice
- Accommodation from our handpicked range of Vienna hotels, to suit your budget and requirements
Our award-winning team can provide expert advice and recommendations, from general questions to tiny details. Contact us now for your tailor-made itinerary.
- Important information
Population 1,975,271 Languages German Currency Euro Visa Information No visa required for UK citizens
- Average temperatures
(monthly highs °C)
- Interesting facts
Visit the Prater Park with its huge funfair full of stalls, ghost trains, merry-go-rounds and a Ferris Wheel.
- Featured accommodation
- Distance from airports
Vienna International 18 km
- Railway stations