"Vienna wasn't just a city, it was a tone that either one carries forever in one's soul or one does not. It was the most beautiful thing in my life. I was poor, but I was not alone, because I had a friend. And Vienna was like another friend." Sándor Márai
Consistently voted the city with the world’s highest quality of life, Vienna is a magnet for the curious. Perhaps best known for its musical heritage, it boasts numerous concert halls and opera houses. It has been playground to some of the greatest composers in history, including Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. Long a cultural and political hub, Vienna has protected itself from the slow decline of some other European cities: it remains a place of immaculate gardens, charming shops, long boulevards and thriving theatres.
The city has also capitalised on its history as a flashpoint for major events. It was once the last bastion against the Ottomans, and later the seats of both the Holy Roman and Austro-Hungarian Empires, the second a major player in the First World War. During the Cold War, Vienna often served as neutral ground between the United States and the Soviet Union in times of tension.
Unmissable spots include the State Opera, Prater Park, and the buzzing Dachboden bar. The Kahlenberg hill overlooks the city and offers panoramic views. And don’t forget to sample Vienna’s famous bakeries and ice cream parlours.
Places to stay: