Vienna Travel Guide
Vienna, Wien in German, is a city of opulence and high culture. It's a city of splendid Baroque palaces and gardens, lavish balls and waltzes, classical music and opera, Sachertortes and wiener schnitzels, horse-drawn carriages and Lipizzaners prancing about in measured lockstep. Here, the decadent Habsburgs, royal arbiters of good taste, held sway for centuries, and many of the world's greatest composers – the likes of Brahms, Beethoven, Mozart, Mahler, Bruckner, Schubert and Strauss among them – lived and performed for years. Here is the birthplace of the coffeehouse culture, where patrons linger over a coffee, newspaper and conversation at those classical Viennese cafés sprinkled throughout the city. Here, pubs remain singularly nuanced and dedicated, one each, to wine and beer, respectively known as Heuriger and Beisl. Here, too, is a city of neutrality, home to scores of United Nations and other international organizations, and thus a premier destination for conventions and congresses from around the world. Ultimately, though, it must be fair to say that Vienna is as much a modern city as an historic one, at once among the choicest European travel destinations and one of the world's most desirable cities to live in.
Vienna is located in northeastern Austria, close to the borders of Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
Vienna is an absolute delight for visitors, with 100-plus museums alone, and scores of other must-see attractions besides. Still, among its top draws are the decadent, 1,441-room Schönbrunn Palace, which offers a window into what the Habsburgs were all about; the Baroque Belvedere palaces and sculpture gardens; the Museumsquartier, or MQ, a magnificent complex where Baroque buildings are juxtaposed with modern architecture, and where world-class museums such as the Leopold Museum, MUMOK and Kunsthalle Wien draw crowds for the asking; the Greek Revival-style Austrian Parliament Building, fronted by a statue of Athena; and Albertina, a museum that houses the world's largest print collection, with more than 65,000 drawings and over a million old master prints, including countless graphics pieces, architectural drawings and photographs. Also worth visiting is Stephansplatz, a square in the geographical center of Vienna, upon which stands the 12th-century St. Stephen's Cathedral, one of the tallest churches in the world, with a 445-foot-high (136-m) tower and a richly colored and ornately patterned roof. And for a slice of modern Vienna, there is the T-Mobile Building in the Landstraße district, an eye-popping marvel of sorts.
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