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Things to do in Vienna

Discover the hidden crypt of the Vergilius Chapel

Why there’s a church room below Vienna’s streets remains a mystery, but the incredibly well preserved, subterranean chapel of St. Virgil shouldn’t be missed. Dating from around 1250, the chapel was only discovered when contractors were digging for the Metro in 1973. With gothic interiors and an interesting exhibition documenting the history of Medieval Vienna, many will find themselves lost in the city’s fascinating past. Visit the museum website (www.wienmuseum.at/en) for tours.

Marvel at the beautiful Secession Gallery

The Secession Gallery (tel: +43 1587 5307; www.secession.at) near Karlsplatz is surely one of the world's most beautiful art space. Designed by Joseph Maria Olbrich in 1897/98, it is a fine example of Art Nouveau architecture, boasting white walls and golden adornment that remain stylish to this day. Highlights include Klimt's Beethoven Frieze and changing exhibitions throughout the year.

Spot fish living in a WWII bunker at Haus Des Meeres

There’s something fishy about the Vienna Haus Des Meeres (tel: +43 1 587 1417; www.haus-des-meeres.at/en/Home.htm), and it’s not the thousands of different species of marine life on show. In a public park, this aquarium was a former World War II flak tower used to try and shoot down RAF bombers.

Visit another country without leaving the city at the UN Complex

Well, sort of. The United Nations complex (tel: +43 126060 3325; www.unvienna.org) in Vienna exercises extraterritoriality, which means it’s international territory. Several UN agencies allow fascinating hour-long tours of their offices and give visitors the chance to see exhibitions about the UN’s work, enjoy artworks at the Vienna Visitor Centre, see a real moonrock and experience 1970s architecture.

Visit the strange Church of the Most Holy Trinity

In rolling woodland outside Vienna lies the Church of the Most Holy Trinity (www.georgenberg.at), a place of worship that looks like a giant stack of Jenga blocks. Opened in 1976, the so-called Wotruba Church is a brutalist masterpiece designed by the artist Fritz Wotruba.

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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.

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.