Vienna

Vienna - Austria

Vienna is Austria’s capital city and is known as one of Europe’s great tourist destinations. Grand architecture and exceptional museums provide a stunning backdrop for a vibrant cultural life.

With a population of about 1.7 million, Vienna is by far the largest city in Austria and the country’s cultural, economic, and political hub.

The city was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001 and consistently ranks highly in “desirable cities to live” studies.

Vienna is located in north-eastern Austria, away from the stunning mountains that typify much of Austria’s landscape. It is just 80km from Bratislava, capital city of Slovakia.

 

Music, Theatre & Opera

The Viennese pride themselves on their city’s cultural heritage.

Opera, theatre, classical music and fine arts are all well represented and form the cultural backbone of the city. The Burgtheater is one of the German-speaking world’s great theatres, as is its sister theatre, the Akademietheater.

The city is home to a selection of great opera houses, with famous names including the Theater an der Wien, the Staatsoper and the Volksoper (which is dedicated to the typical Viennese operetta). The Wiener Musikverein, home of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Wiener Konzerthaus play host to regular classical concerts. Famous Austrians Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Johann Strauss are naturally popular in Vienna.

In recent years, the Theater an der Wien has developed a reputation for hosting premieres of musicals, although it has more recently devoted its program to opera again.
One quirky twist to the classical Viennese tradition is the Viennese Vegetable Orchestra.


Museums

The Schatzkammer (treasury) is located on the Hofberg and holds the Imperial jewels of the Habsburg dynasty. The Sisi Museum (devoted to Empress Elisabeth Amalie Eugenie of Austria) is also a popular attraction where tourists can see the royal silver. Neighbouring the Hofburg are the Naturhistorisches Museum and  Kunsthistorisches Museum, where a selection of great works by the old masters hang alongside fascinating relics of ancient history.

 

Museumsquartier

A string of museums are located in Vienna’s famed Museumsquartier (museum quarter), the former Imperial Stalls which became a museum complex during the 1990s. The Museumsquartier is home to the Museum of Modern Art, which is often called the MUMOK (Ludwig Foundation), the Leopold Museum (which houses the world’s largest collection of paintings by Egon Schiele), the AzW (Austrian Museum of Architecture), additional halls with feature exhibitions and the Tanzquartier.

Fans of Baroque should head to the The Liechtenstein Palace, which is home to one of the world’s most impressive Baroque collections. Prinz Eugen’s Castle Belvedere contains paintings by Gustav Klimt (including masterpiece The Kiss) and Egon Schiele.

Art lovers will have plenty to digest in one of Europe’s great arty destinations.

 

Architecture

Viennese architecture includes a number of styles, like the Romanesque Ruprechtskirche and the Baroque Karlskirche. Because of tightly –enforced legislation, Vienna is a strictly low-rise city, with very few buildings rising above 40m in height.

Lovers of Art Nouveau will be very pleased to find rich seams of the style in Vienna. Karlsplatz Stadtbahn Station, The Secession and the Kirche am Steinhof by Otto Wagner are seen by experts as being among the greatest remaining examples of Art Nouveau in the world.

In the 1990s, a number of quarters were adapted and extensive building projects were implemented in the areas around Donaustadt and Wienerberg. The 202 m-high Millennium Tower located at Handelskai is the highest building in Vienna] In recent years, Vienna has seen numerous architecture projects completed which combine modern architectural elements with old buildings, such as the remodelling and revitalisation of the old Gasometer in 2001.

 

Hundertwasserhaus

Friedensreich Hundertwasser’s Hundertwasserhaus is one of Vienna's most popular tourist attractions. Often compared to Gaudi’s architecture in Barcelona, it was built between 1983 and 1986 and consists of both offices and apartments.

 

Viennese Balls

Vienna is famed for its Balls.

Emperor Joseph II (1765-1790) broke with years of tradition and decreed that the ballrooms in the Hofburg palace should not be reserved just for aristocrats. In 1773 he made the ballrooms available for public balls for the common man. This tradition remains to this day and the city hosts upwards of 300 balls per year (although not all appear on the official calendar).  The soundtrack to Viennese balls is, of course, the waltz.

Today, the tradition continues and creates a great spectacle.

 

 
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Climate

Vienna has a humid continental climate, with warm summers ( typically 22 - 26°C), although the temperature can often reach a sticky 30°C (86°F).

Viennese winters are cold, with average temperatures at around 0°C, with significant snowfall from December until March. Rainfall is generally moderate throughout the year.



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Vienna Weather (BBC)

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Vienna Official Site