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Vienna Travel Guide

About Vienna

Vienna will surprise you: the strains of Mozart and hip hop music co-exist, while stylish cutting-edge bars and cafés sit a stone's throw from the grand dames and their miniature dogs in traditional coffee houses.

The city today is a beguiling mix of old and new, perhaps best illustrated by the innovative MuseumsQuartier cultural district. Here the courtyard of the old Spanish riding stables, featuring Vienna’s largest baroque facade, is now home to contemporary museum architecture.

For most, Vienna is classical music, imperial history and monumental architecture, for others it is forever linked with The Third Man and its haunting Harry Lime Theme.

This is a city of art and thought. It's where Klimt crafted The Kiss and where The Secession Gallery marked a new age of painting. It’s the place where Hitler and Marx and Freud sat sipping coffee at the centre of the then-unbeatable Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Ideas were forged here in a white hot crucible of modernity; culture was transformed in an age of reason and thought. Vienna speaks with a grand voice, its greatest buildings sing like an overweight soprano at the Staatsoper.

But the city is not just about these ‘classic experiences’. Visitors to Vienna today will notice that something really big and really important is happening in the Austrian capital: it’s alive. New buildings are everywhere: Zaha Hadid’s Wiener Wirtschaftuniversitat Library is a stunning new sight on the skyline, as is the brand new DC Tower (Austria’s tallest building) which has a the luxury Melia Hotel halfway up it.

Vienna is cool right now and - whisper it - it’s even challenging Berlin. Visit Vienna Design Week or Waves Festival, both in October, and you will no longer think Vienna is fuddy duddy. Hip bands, fashion designers and architects are flooding the city. Grungy bars where artists and students hang out energise. This is a city that has a rich past, but it’s one that’s going places too.

Key facts

Population:
1,680,000 (2008)
Latitude:
48.211156
Longitude:
16.369126

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Featured Hotels

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Pension Pertschy

In the heart of town, this 4-star pension was formerly the Palais Cavriana (1734). It boasts 55 spacious grand and well-equipped rooms. There is a free Internet terminal in the hall. Enjoy the start to the day with the extensive Viennese breakfast buffet.

Nosseck Pension

The 30-room Nosseck Pension is about as central as you can get, opening directly onto the pedestrianised Graben. This is an extremely attractive accommodation for its price and location, with large and elegantly furnished en-suite rooms. No credit cards.

Hotel Haydn

Just a 15-minute walk from Westbahnhof station, HotelHaydn is an affordable hotel in the heart of Vienna. This family-friendly hotel isn’t far from popular tourist sites such as the Naschmarkt and the House of the Sea as well as shopping centres and a variety of restaurants.

Palais Coburg

Once a royal residence, this glorious palace in the heart of the city has been transformed into a hotel that is the epitome of luxury and modern convenience. Its 35 suites are individually decorated and come with plenty of add-ons, such as a full kitchen, flat-screen TV, and high-speed Internet access. The Coburg also holds nine function rooms of palatial quality, a health spa, an enormous wine cellar, and one of Vienna's finest restaurants.

Hotel Das Tyrol

Hotel Das Tyrol is a charming and friendly small hotel, on Vienna's longest shopping street and right next to the MuseumsQuartier. Enjoy a tasty and healthy start to the day in the attractive dining area decorated with contemporary art.

Le Méridien

Set on the Ringstrasse, a short stroll from the Vienna State Opera and the Hofburg Palace, this modern addition to the city's list of top-end hotels combines history and contemporary style, with 294 "Art +Tech" rooms equipped with all mod cons, an excellent fitness suite with spa, and the ultra-trendy Shambala Bar.