ONCE THE SEAT OF THE HABSBURGS, VIENNA HAS BEEN A CENTER OF ART, ARCHITECTURE, AND MUSIC FOR CENTURIES.

Even before it was the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s capital, this elegant city on the Danube was renowned as a European cultural hub. From the grand edifices and expansive gardens of Schönbrunn Palace to the sounds of a Mozart opera wafting through the doors of the Staatsoper, it’s hard not to fall for Vienna.

Euro
German, Alemannic Austro-Bavarian
Vienna International Airport (VIE)

DISCOVERIES

AUSTRIAN NATIONAL LIBRARY
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One of the world’s most magnificent libraries and the largest Baroque library in Europe, the Austrian National Library began its life in early 18th century at the behest of Emperor Charles (Karl) VI as the Court Library in the Hofburg Imperial Residence. Even without the archival and historical art exhibitions it hosts, the library would merit a visit for its frescoed domed ceiling, Venetian Baroque globes, and collection of more than 200,00 books, dating back to 1500.

CAFÉ LANDTMANN
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Vienna’s coffee houses have long been known as centers of intellectual debate and artistic life, from as early as the 18th century. While Café Landtmann isn’t the oldest – that honor arguably goes to Café Frauenhuber – it has been a landmark since 1873, and has been frequented by a host of intellectuals from Freud to Mahler to Marlene Dietrich. Order a kaffe and a slice of Vienna’s famous sachertorte and admire the ornate, traditional style.

HOFBURG PALACE & GARDENS
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The massive apartments and sumptuous gardens of this magnificent city palace were, until 1918, the center of the Habsburg dynasty and the heart of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Once the home of Empress Elisabeth – known as Empress Sissi – many of the gilded halls have been preserved and transformed into a variety of museums, including one about the empress herself. The oldest part of the palace houses the treasury, which displays the 10th-century Emperor’s Crown of the Holy Roman Empire.

KUNSTHALLE WIEN
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One of Vienna’s newer museums, the Kunsthalle is the city’s contemporary art exhibition gallery. Part of the Museumsquartier – a collection of former Imperial stables transformed into museums, cultural centers, and event spaces – the gallery hosts both rotating exhibitions by both established and up-and-coming artists with an eye to contemporary international discourses, making it one of the city’s most compelling art destinations.

MOZARTHAUS
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A pan flute said to have inspired the opera “The Magic Flute” sits among original scores, paintings, violins, and interactive exhibits on 18th-century life in this excellent, four-story museum devoted to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s life and music. The Austrian composer lived with his family on the second floor of this elegant apartment building from 1784 to 1787, and it’s the only of his Vienna residences still in existence.

NASCHMARKT
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One of Europe’s largest outdoor markets, dating back to the 16th century, the Naschmarkt stretches a mile down one of Vienna’s largest boulevards, attracting locals and visitors alike to its bustling stalls selling produce, prepared traditional foods, baked goods, fresh fish and meats, spices, and more. On Saturdays, a popular flea market holds court at one end, offering colorful antiques and vintage finds.

NEUBAU DISTRICT
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Vienna may be a postcard-perfect historic city, but, as a center of arts, music and culture, it’s also a vibrant, cosmopolitan destination for creatives. Wander the streets of the Neubau District and discover a hip side to the city, full of independent designer’s boutiques, art galleries, vintage furniture stores, and trendy bars, cafés, and restaurants.

STAATSOPER (VIENNA STATE OPERA)
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Upholding a rich tradition of classical music dating back to the reign of Leopold I, Vienna is home to one of the world’s most illustrious opera houses. A Renaissance-inspired structure adorned with exquisite architectural details and works of art, the Vienna State Opera’s grand stage bursts to life with over 50 different productions each year. And it’s just one of the city’s many renowned music venues, from the Musikverein to the Wiener Konzerthaus.

UPPER BELVEDERE
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A former palace transformed into an elegant art museum, the Upper Belvedere houses the greatest collection of Austrian art dating from the Middle Ages to the present day. At its heart is the world’s largest Gustav Klimt collection, including such highlights as “The Kiss” and “Judith.” The museum also features masterpieces by Schiele and Kokoschka, and impressive collection of Viennese Biedermeier paintings, and prominent works by the French Impressionists.

VIENNA UNIVERSITY OF ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS
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Venture off the beaten arts path and pay a visit to the recently opened campus of the Vienna University of Economics and Business. The school’s buildings were designed by such renowned architectural names as Zaha Hadid, Atelier Hitoshi Abe, London’s CRAB studio, and Madrid’s NO.MAD Arquitectos. For those who’d like to learn more about the buildings, the Architecture Center Vienna offers tours.

FEATURED EVENTS

EPICUREAN

EXPLORERS

HEURIGER WINE TAVERNS

Vienna is one of the only metropolises in the world where grapes are cultivated for wine within the city borders. Heuriger wine taverns are Viennese institutions where locals and guests can enjoy live music and the owner’s homemade wine alongside traditional Viennese culinary specialties.

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Stay

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