Once the capital of a great empire, with Baroque pomp at every turn to prove it, modern Vienna remains a city at the very heart of Europe. A cornucopia of culture, it puts art, architecture, music and theatre at centre stage. Whatever your dream trip to Vienna includes, this DK Eyewitness Travel Guide is the perfect companion.
WELCOME TO VIENNA is a city steeped in history: from Roman ruins at the foot of the Hofburg to the tallest tower of Gothic Stephansdom, the city’s landmarks are testament to its imperial power. So, too, are the impressive collections of fine art and antiquity that fill Vienna’s peerless museums. The Habsburgs’ legacy aside, Vienna’s art and architecture scene packs a punch – this is the home of the Secessionist movement and Jugendstil, Gustav Klimt, EgonSchiele and Otto Wagner. From creative innovators to big thinkers: in the capital’s iconic Kaffeehäuser revolutions have been planned, politics debated and scientific ideas theorized. And did we mention Freud? But this is a city that also likes to be entertained. As the home of the waltz, lavish operas and the unsurpassable Vienna Philharmonic, no place offers a better opportunity to dress in your finest and indulge in some of the world’s most celebrated music.
There are simple pleasures to be found in the ubiquitous coffee houses and cosy local Beisln, too. Mouthwateringly decadent chocolate cakes, crisp apfelstrudel and schnitzel the size of dinner plates are the stuff of foodie dreams. Though Vienna’s centre is compact, there’s a lot to see and do here. We’ve broken the city down into easily navigable chapters, with detailed itineraries, expert local knowledge and colourful, comprehensive maps to help you plan the perfect visit. Whether you’re staying for a weekend, a week or longer, this Eyewitness guide will ensure that you see the very best Vienna has to offer. Enjoy the book, and enjoy welcome to vienna.
REASONS TO LOVE VIENNA
Small but steeped in imperial splendour, Vienna delights at every turn. Any list of its treasures must include its magnificent museums, famed Kaffeehäuser and glorious music scene. Here are a few of ourfavourites.
KAFFEEHÄUSER A Viennese institution and ubiquitous across the city, every haus has a story to tell. Savouring coffee and cake in a centuries-old café is a time-honoured tradition.
STEPHANSDOM The seat of the church in Austria, this cathedral is the city’s soul and centre of an empire (p66). Climb the striking Gothic tower for the best views in all Vienna.
SACHERTORTE The ingredients of this darkly decadent chocolate cake have been a secret since its creation in 1832. Taste the “original” recipe, with a dollop of cream, at Hotel Sacher
CLASSICAL MUSIC Once home to fine classical composers, Vienna’s music scene is world famous Tickets for the Vienna Boys’ Choir and the Philharmonic are the hottest in town.
BEISLN Why not join the locals and head to a beisl? These cosy Viennese bistros are the perfect place to enjoy hearty homemade classics like temptingly crisp Wiener schnitzel.