If you're looking for a great city break then Vienna is a good choice. The capital of Austria is full to bursting with architectural treasures from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Situated on the banks of the Danube, Vienna is an elegant city boasting historic Hapsburg palaces and landscaped gardens coupled with gilded coffee houses serving traditional Sacher torte.
City breaks to Vienna bring so much variation, from shopping to sightseeing and from a delicious lunch of Wiener schnitzel to a quiet drink in a traditional pub.
The Hofburg Imperial Palace was home to the ruling Hapsburg family for 600 years and now contains the famous Spanish Riding School and the Lipizzaner stallions. For most visitors to the city this is the first place to visit.
The 1,441 room Schonbrunn Palace was the summer residence of the Hapsburgs and is the most popular tourist attraction in Vienna. It is a breathtaking museum and hosts many classical concerts in the Orangerie and Schlosstheater.
The museum quarter is where you will find the Liechtenstein Palace, which holds one of the largest baroque private art collections. The work of Gustav Klimt is featured in Castle Belvedere nearby and the area is filled with museums to suit all tastes.
The city is a wonderful place to stay, with fantastic accommodation close to the centre. Prices are competitive and you may even find yourself sleeping in a former palace as many of the grand houses have been converted into hotels.
Shopping is excellent, whether it's at the traditional annual Christmas markets or in any of the many international shops and boutiques. Local shops selling Austrian delicacies and products are wonderful places to browse and pick up a memento to take home. Vienna city breaks are just the thing for a spot of retail therapy.
Strauss and Mozart are famous former residents of Vienna and an evening at the Staatsoper, Theater an der Wien or the Volksoper enjoying an opera is an occasion to remember. The famous Vienna Philharmonic perform at the Musikverein's Golden Hall, but if you prefer something a little more up to date there are clubs to be found in the Neustadt.
The Haus der Musik is a fabulous place to take the kids. They can have a go at virtually conducting the Vienna Philharmonic, but they have to get it right. The orchestra leaves the stage if it isn't!
A ride on the Riesenrad Ferris wheel is another popular activity. Situated in the fairground at Prater Park, the wheel is 212 feet tall and was built in 1897.
Climbing the steps to the top of St Stephen's Cathedral tower will give you views of the city's roof tops and the Natural History Museum will have the children gasping at the dinosaur skeletons. A visit there can be rounded off with a picnic in the Vienna Woods.
Vienna is surrounded by the most beautiful scenery, which ranges from mountainous alpine meadows to the tranquillity of the Danube valley. You can get around by using the superb public transport system or hire a car.
Vienna is best visited during the spring and autumn when the weather is pleasantly mild. However, winters are crisp and clear and sunny.
Entertainments abound in Vienna and there are many held annually, such as the Christmas Market where all things festive are available to buy from cute little wooden huts. The Austrians do Christmas like no one else and a glass of gllhwein is just the thing to get into the spirit of things.
If you prefer an international festival of song then look no further than Voice Mania. Soloists, ensembles and choirs from all over the world take part in concerts which are held all over the city.
Some of the world's top tennis players take part in the Ertse Bank Open which is held every year in October.
The Viennale Vienna International Film Festival is Austria's biggest international film festival, where the latest independent films are shown.
If you are planning a trip to Vienna this year and need some help, read our fact file below and use TravelSupermarket's search tool to find the cheapest deals.
Romance:Follow in the footsteps of Orson Welles and his character Harry Lime as you find the locations that immortalised Vienna in cinematic history with 'The Third Man'.
Shopping:The Naschmarkt is full of some brilliant bargains. It's closed on Sundays, but that's probably to recover from the rush of Saturday when the weekly flea market sees thousands descend upon it before breakfast time.
Relaxing:A remarkable fact about Vienna is that it has a large area of vineyards within the city's boundaries. In summer, plonk yourself in one of the vineyard taverns - a heuriger - kick back, and sample the local produce.
Grown-up families: Don't leave Vienna without riding the giant Ferris wheel that dominates the skyline of the city centre. It's a 20-minute ride and it comes complete with some of the best vistas in Europe - especially at the top where it is a dizzying 213ft.
Kids & teens: Vienna's city zoo - the Tiergarten - is the oldest zoo in the world and a huge draw for both its exhibits and architecture. The pandas are the main attraction.
The airport is located some 16 miles to the east of the city, but transport links are frequent and efficient with a train service (S-Bahn) going both to the north station, Wien Nord, and the central Wien Mitte. The cost is around four euros and the journey takes about half an hour.
There is also the CAT (City Airport Train), which connects to Wien Mitte. It costs around 12 euros, but cuts the journey time.
Bus services run frequently, roughly every half an hour, and take about 20 minutes to reach the city centre.
Travel cards are an inexpensive option and can be purchased at most terminals.
Public transport: In Vienna, public transport is quite exceptional. There are almost 100 bus routes, 28 tram lines and five underground routes covering the whole of the city. One of the best options would be to purchase the Vienna Card, which gives you 72 hours of travel and discounts at around 200 museums, shops, cafés and wine bars. It costs, roughly, 20 euros.
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