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Brimming with baroque palaces, the sound of classical music and grand old-world cafés, Vienna is one of the great capitals of Europe. Far from just trading on past glory, the modern metropolis has an increasingly multicultural feel with buzzy restaurants, bars, shops and galleries.
First-time visitors to Vienna will probably spend most time in the Innere Stadt (city centre). This refined district is home to big hitters such as the Hofburg palace complex, the Spanish Riding School, St Stephen’s Cathedral and the State Opera House.
Across the tree-lined Donaukanal (Danube Canal), you’ll find the revitalised Leopoldstadt district. Here, you can shop and café-hop along Praterstrasse and around Karmelitermarkt, stroll through Vienna’s largest park, and take a spin on the iconic Riesenrad Ferris wheel.
Neubau is Vienna's creative district filled with trendy restaurants and bars, quirky independent shops and boutique hotels. Arty types should head to the MuseumsQuartier, where you can peruse the renowned collections of the Museum of Modern Art and Leopold Museum.
Wine lovers, meanwhile, can hop on a tram to Nussberg in the outlying Döbling district, where rolling hills are blanketed by neat rows of grapevines and hiking trails that offer fantastic views of the city. Stop by a cosy heuriger (wine tavern) to sample local wines and rustic fare such as wurst and Wiener schnitzel.
Vienna is also known as the City of Music – Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert all composed here – and for many visitors, a classical concert is a quintessential experience not to be missed. Renowned venues include the Musikverein, while St Stephen’s hosts atmospheric recitals that won’t break the bank.
Lingering over coffee at a traditional café is another much-loved Viennese pastime. Stop by the historic Café Landtmann – which has counted Freud and Trotsky among its regulars – to sip a frothy Melange (a Viennese cappuccino) served with a slice of sachertorte (chocolate cake).
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