Wien - Stadt
Welcome to Vienna!
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 163 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.
A trip around Vienna‘s magnificent Ringstrasse boulevard is always a special sightseeing experience whether you are on foot or taking a ride in a traditional fiacre. The magnificent boulevard is lined with parks and breathtaking buildings. If the Viennese say that they are going to the Burg then they mean the Burgtheater and not the adjacent Hofburg. For more than 600 years the complex was the official residence of the Habsburg emperors. Today the impressive buildings contain important museums and important state rooms. But Vienna wouldn’t be Vienna if the horse-drawn fiacres didn’t park directly in front of the offices of the Austrian President, or the National Library wasn’t home to one of the most impressive Baroque rooms anywhere in the world. Visitors to the Burgkapelle can listen to performances by the Vienna Boys’ Choir on Sundays, or watch the graceful movements of the Lipizzaner horses in the Spanish Riding School. The horsemanship of the Spanish Riding School has also been on UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage since December 2015.The Sisi Museum provides you with an insight into the private life of perhaps the most famous monarch. Just a few tram stops away the Belvedere Palace – the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy – sits on an elevated site. It is home to the world’s largest collection of Klimt paintings including his most famous work, The Kiss. The Baroque winter palace of the field marshal in the first district also serves as an exhibition venue.
Lovers of imperial art are also drawn to Vienna’s best-known palace. At Schönbrunn the imperial family had 1,441 rooms to choose from, many of which are open to visitors. The Schlosspark contains a number of architectural masterpieces such as the Palm House and the zoo, which has already been crowned Europe’s best four times. It is hardly surprising when you consider that the visitors now stand in the old lion cages while the animals themselves live in their modern enclosures – the essence of the original Baroque design has been skillfully preserved with characteristic Viennese charm.
The oldest zoo in the world, which is particularly successful at breeding elephants and pandas, was built in 1752 by Maria Theresia’s husband, Emperor Franz I. Stephan of Lorraine. The two of them were so devoted to each other that they even chose to share their final resting place. Their impressive double tomb can be seen at the Habsburg burial crypt in the Kapuzinergruft.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral is at the religious and geographical heart of the city and the giant Pummerin bell features on television as it rings in the New Year. There are also celebrations throughout the ball season – the words "Alles Walzer" signal to the assembled guests that it is time to join the dance at the Redoutensaal of the Hofburg or one of the countless palaces. The Viennese also uphold the good old days in their daily lives, enjoying a breakfast fit for an Emperor complete with delicious Kaisersemmel bread rolls, or treating themselves to a Kaiserschmarrn dessert.
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 electronic sound pioneered by local musicians and leading DJs enjoys worldwide popularity.
Vienna is the world capital of music: The New Year's Concert by the Wiener Philharmoniker thrills millions of TV viewers in over 90 countries each year. The Vienna Boys' Choir, which has its own concert hall called "MuTh" in the Augarten, celebrates its success on every continent. And the Wiener Symphoniker causes a sensation. Vienna has two world class concert halls, the Musikverein and the Konzerthaus. The city is also the ideal setting for a high-caliber range of festivals covering everything from ancient music at Resonanzen or contemporary compositions at Wien Modern. OsterKlang, the Vienna Festival, the Vienna Jazz Festival and the Summer Nights concert by the Vienna Philharmonic are among the other program highlights.
The Vienna State Opera is prized for its exceptional acoustics. There are performances almost 300 nights a year and a different billing virtually every day. The Theater an der Wien has established a name for itself as “the other” venue for opera. New premieres each month – from baroque to contemporary – are a hit among opera-goers. The Volksoper presents classic operas, lively operettas and countless musicals in German.
In addition, fans of musicals are entertained by “Ich war noch niemals in New York” at the Raimund Theater and by “Evita” at the Ronacher. And on Rathausplatz, you can enjoy musical films every evening after a UEFA European Championship public viewing as well as a diverse culinary offering.
Such creative musical surroundings make Vienna a hotbed for contemporary musicians. Clubs such as Flex, Fluc, Rhiz and Grelle Forelle play the electronic sound of local musicians who also cause a sensation around the world, ever since the duo Kruder & Dorfmeister conquered the world with their downbeat in the early 1990s. The next generation has long since established itself with Wanda and Co. – and the musical styles are more diverse than ever.
The sound:frame festival provides a platform for performances by avant-garde visual artists. The pop festival brings the newest trends in Austrian music to the stage on Karlsplatz. The soundtrack for the Gürtel Nightwalk is laid down by bands at the vanguard of the indie and electronic scene. The Danube Island Festival – Europe’s largest open-air party – pulls in some three million visitors each year, with acts from a host of genres on the billing. Danube Island is also the place for harder sounds at Rock in Vienna. Vienna's club festival Waves Vienna presents over 100 live acts between Alternative, Electronic and Rock on four days.
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.
The Albertina, a venerable palace, houses one of the most important art collections in the world. "Major" exhibitions take place here, and the museum's own collection is spectacular, with names such as Matisse, Renoir and Miro. The Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna on the Ringstrasse is devoted to Old Masters. Art treasures from all the key eras are on display here, in particular examples from the Renaissance and Baroque periods by Rubens, Titian, Rembrandt and Raphael. The museum also holds the world’s largest collection of works by Bruegel. Some visitors even return to Vienna just to relive the experience of being a guest at Bruegel’s Peasant Wedding. The Kunstkammer is one of the most important in the world: More than 2,100 objects, collected over centuries by the Habsburgs, are on show.
The picturesque Belvedere Palace is home to the biggest collection of Klimts in the world, including The Kiss. The Secession Building, which was used as an exhibition space by Klimt‘s secessionist group of artists, awaits with its ornate gold leaf dome at Karlsplatz.
Renowned 20th century artists are represented at the MuseumsQuartier. Built by Baroque architect Fischer von Erlach, the former court stables now host a whole new district. The courtyard is once again brimming with life thanks to the Leopold Museum — the Schiele collection is world-renowned — the Museum Moderner Kunst (mumok), Kunsthalle Wien, Architekturzentrum, Designforum, and various shops, cafés and restaurants. The 21er Haus near the Upper Belvedere, built in 1958 for the World Expo, has been renovated and shows Austrian art of the 20th and 21st centuries. Numerous galleries, especially in the 1st and 4th districts, also offer contemporary art and impress with small, but mighty exhibitions on their premises. In the Baroque Augarten, Francesca Habsburg has created a space for current works of art with her TBA21. And a historic bread factory in the 10th district is now home to more than ten institutions of contemporary art, including Galerie OstLicht, which together with WestLicht has dedicated itself entirely to photography.
Photographic art can also be marveled at in the Kunst Haus Wien, which was designed by the Viennese artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser – together with the nearby Hundertwasserhaus – in his very own style.
Young artists also create a buzz about themselves every year in the autumn at the viennacontemporary art fair and in November at Vienna Art Week, and local creative types show their works during Vienna Design Week. Rising stars on the Austrian and international art scene can always be found at the mumok and the Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Arts, or MAK for short.
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.
The Viennese like things simple and pleasant. So Viennese bistros are nice and comfortable. As long as we can remember, these restaurants have been serving up solid, tasty home cooking from schnitzels to goulash, liver with herbs in butter to Kaiserschmarren, a kind of shredded pancakes. This consistency has led to a renaissance of the bistro culture that has recently been celebrated in familiar restaurants such as the Ubl, Gasthaus Wolf and Glacis Beisl as well as the renowned Wirten am Eck'.
The enjoyment of a good drop of wine crafted from the 700 hectares of Viennese vineyards is not limited to these places. The most exclusive local restaurants have long featured Viennese Riesling and Pinot Blanc (Weissburgunder). And the Wiener Gemischter Satz. This specialty, which was even awarded the DAC seal of quality recently, involves growing the grapes of at least three different white wine varieties and pressing them together. Especially the guests at the heurige enjoy young and old Viennese wines along with the hearty delicacies from the buffet. These romantic and cozy taverns can be found by the dozen in the wine villages at the edge of the city such as Grinzing and Nussdorf.
The Viennese coffee house has been an oasis of gemütlichkeit for ages. And since 2011, the traditional Viennese coffee house has even belonged to the intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO. Traditional cafés such as the Central, Griensteidl, Landtmann, Museum and Demel entice with a wide variety of coffee drinks, international newspapers and pastry creations. Modern representatives of the genre such as the Leopold or Drechsler enrich the tradition with stylish flair. A close relative of the café is the pastry shop. Their specialty, pies and cakes, are the icing on Vienna's dolce vita in the form of Bundt cake and sachertorte. In a recent addition to the scene, chocolatiers such as the Xocolat, Fruth and Blühendes Konfekt offer sweet temptation.
In Vienna too, gourmet temples are at one end of the pleasure scale – such as the Silvio Nickol Gourmet Restaurant, the restaurant of Konstantin Filippou or Steirereck im Stadtpark, which ranks 15th in the "World's 50 Best". And at the other end, you can find... fast food! However, with a special Viennese twist: A trip to the wurst stand, especially after visiting the ball, and sometimes after a concert or the opera, is quite the custom.
The city serves up a cornucopia of different taste experiences, from hearty to organic and ethnic. Offerings that are often ideally combined with a surprising ambience: Whether you are dining in the slowly revolving restaurant on the Danube Tower with its breathtaking view, or in the Motto am Fluss on the Danube Canal, or are having a drink in the American Bar designed by Art Nouveau architect Adolf Loos: the visual and taste experience go hand-in-hand. This also holds true for the trendy restaurants on the new campus of the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, which is an architectural highlight.
You’ll find epicurean delights in every corner of the city on the Danube. Nevertheless, some quarters are especially tempting to gourmets by offering an enormous variety in a small area. Such is the case with the Naschmarkt. This highly fascinating Viennese market serves up exotic offerings from around the world and boasts of a number of must-visit gastronomical establishments in the market and surrounding streets, from the ON Market to the Amacord. Trendy pubs, such as "Wetter" and "An-Do" entice at the Brunnen and Yppen markets, while round the corner at the Karmeliter market, the "Engel" and "Pizza Mari" have been the topic of conversation for quite a while. Rewarding culinary experiences can also be had in the pub districts of Spittleberg, Margaretenplatz and in the Freihausviertel.
A host of culinary events – from the Genussfestival in the Stadtpark to the Vienna Wine Hiking Day to the Snail Festival and special restaurant weeks – add further gustatory pleasures to the mix of delicacies.
Vienna – Enjoy Quality Of Life
Life is good in Vienna. What the Viennese have long known to be true is also officially confirmed: In 2016, the Mercer Study voted Vienna the world's most livable city for the seventh year in a row. According to the "Smart Cities Index" of US climate strategist Boyd Cohen, Vienna is currently in third place in Europe and therefore near the top of the list of the most innovative, environmentally friendly and sustainable cities. The ranking also attests to the city's pioneering roll in matters of urban development.
The reason for this outstanding quality of life? Vienna 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.
Form decorative flowerbeds to unspoiled nature – there is plenty to discover in green Vienna. It comes as no surprise that the Vienna Woods on the city’s western fringes are referred to as the lungs of the city. This 1,350 square kilometer UNESCO biosphere reserve provides a unique habitat for countless plant and animal species. When taking a stroll in the Lainz Game Reserve you shouldn‘t be surprised if a wild boar crosses your path. At Schönbrunn Zoo you will also encounter more exotic animals, and a treetop trail gives excellent views of the enclosures. A forest adventure trail here also make the many facets of the forest an exciting and varied experience. There are countless vantage points elsewhere in the city including the Danube Tower, Kahlenberg and Cobenzl, all of which can be easily reached using public transportation.
Mountain bikers, cyclists, ramblers and cross country skiers love the range of signposted routes. The paths take in all kinds of terrain including steep hills and flat stretches along the Danube. For anyone with more time and energy there is the Rundumadum footpath (120km) which circles the city. You can also get a different perspective from the water. The „beautiful, blue” Danube is complemented by the New Danube with its outdoor recreation areas and skaters’ paradise on Danube Island. The Old Danube is the ideal place to swim and sail in summer and ice skate in winter. The Danube Canal cuts through the center of the city and is transformed into a stretch of bars and restaurants each summer. If you continue along the banks of the canal you will come to the Prater, a green space covering six million square meters, which was given to the Viennese by Emperor Joseph II. and today (according to the magazine "Focus") is one of the ten most beautiful city parks in the world. Highlights include the 4.5km long Hauptallee and the famous Wurstelprater amusement park. Vienna’s trademark Giant Ferris Wheel is also impossible to miss. Farther east is the Lobau, a wetland wilderness in the Donau-Auen National Park.
The cityscape is also shaped by vineyards, which can best be discovered on numerous hiking trails. Vienna’s vineyards are prized for their internationally acclaimed wine. No trip to the capital would be complete without a trip to a wine tavern where you can sit and leave your cares behind you while enjoying a drop of fine wine. Viennese drinking water has a particularly crisp and refreshing taste. This healthy spring water is yet another reason why Vienna is the world’s true number one when it comes to quality of life. The Watertower water playground – the biggest in Europe – offers fun and interesting information on Viennese water!
Leisure tips Wien - Stadt
Contact Wien - Stadt
Albertinaplatz / Maysedergasse, AT-1010 Wien
Contact Mountain railways
PHAT MTB & MORE GmbH
Mauerbachstraße 174, AT 1140 Wien