The largest and brightest shining of the many jewels in Austria’s crown, Vienna is without doubt among the most beautiful and captivating capitals in Europe. A leading artistic and cultural hub, the city was once home to many of the great composers, such as Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn and Schubert, and is renowned for its contribution to theatre, the arts, opera and classical music over the years. It is also revered for boasting one of the most architecturally diverse historic centres found anywhere on the continent.
Vienna is a vast city, spread out along both banks of the River Danube, and is perfect for a few hours of rewarding exploration. After your riverboat berths in the nearby suburb of Nussdorf, you can head into the city to take your pick of a wealth of attractions. The UNESCO-listed historic centre is awash with highlights; Baroque castles and imperial palaces, ancient buildings and impressive landmarks and monuments all await you here.
The stunning Schönbrunn Palace, formerly the Imperial summer residence; the imposing Hofburg Palace, which was the base of the Habsburgs for over 600 years; and splendid Belvedere Palace are just a trio of Vienna’s most popular sights. Don’t miss the Stadtpark, striking gothic-style Stephansdom cathedral and the iconic structures of the Ringstrasse, including the Flemish-Gothic City Hall, the Parliament building and the New Baroque Burgtheater, too.
As well as architectural marvels, Vienna is – as you might expect from such a culture-rich city – also home to an abundance of fantastic galleries and museums. Among the city’s best cultural venues are the Museum of Fine Arts, which exhibits the world’s largest collection of Bruegel paintings; the Rinsgstrasse’s Kunsthistorisches Museum; and the many institutions of the MuseumsQuartier, such as Leopold Museum, the Museum Moderner Kunst, Architekturzentrum and Kunsthalle. No time spent in Vienna is complete without visiting the neo-renaissance State Opera, Musikverein, the Staatsoper and the Haus der Musik museum to immerse yourself in the City of Music’s famous musical heritage.