Vienna is a city of many facets. Trendy clubs, "young" galleries, modern architecture and stylish shops are as much Vienna as the state opera, concert halls, the large museums, the splendid buildings and the nostalgic shops.If you're classical music fans, European history buffs or art and architecture aficionados, a trip to Vienna will be your personal recipe for bliss.. It's filled with gorgeous paintings and era-defining architecture from the Gothic, Baroque and Art Nouveau periods. And the city that gave the world Mozart and Beethoven remains a center for soul-stirring musical performances. When you need a break from absorbing so much culture, you can chill out at one of Vienna's famous coffee houses or dine on scrumptious local specialties like schnitzel and light and refreshing Austrian wines.
Austria's hills are alive with the sound of music - literally. Composers throughout Europe were drawn to the country in the 18th and 19th centuries by the generous patronage of the Hapsburg's. Visiting the country that inspired Mozart, Beethoven and Frank Lloyd Wright will leave a lasting impression and wonderful memories. Art enthusiasts will fall in love with Vienna's numerous museums and art galleries. What more romantic spot could there be for a honeymoon?
When To Go:
Best weather: Late spring and early fall are the periods that show off Vienna to its best effect -- average highs are in the mid-60s and the air is crisp. The city can get uncomfortably hot in July and August, and very cold (30 degrees is typical) in the winter, although it has a picturesque "winter wonderland" feel around the holidays.
What To Do:
At the Hofburg Complex you'll find a collection of museums containing treasures of the Hapsburg era, as well as breathtaking architecture. At the more modest Vienna Museum you can delve into the city's rich history, and if you tire of pre-20th century work pay a visit to the Museumsquartier grouping of modern and contemporary museums, or the MAK museum of applied and contemporary art. Eat seafood: Dine in open-air taverns and restaurants next to the spectacular caldera. Local specialties such as octopus in onion sauce and mussels with rice and raisins will keep you coming back night after night.
For your ears: Vienna is world-renowned for the heavenly music composed and performed within its city limits. Each Sunday morning you can hear the Vienna Boys Choir perform at the Hofburg Complex, and a trip to the Vienna State Opera is a necessity. A wide range of operas are performed in the stunning Baroque opera house, and if you find German opera frightening, not to worry -- they also perform the work of more accessible Italian composers like Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini. At the Haus der Musik (House of Music) museum you can learn more about the city's musical past and try your hand at composing and conducting, via cool interactive features.
All Austrians seem able to ski effortlessly which is wonderful the beginner learning on the slopes. Vorarlberg and Tirol are the most popular areas, but there is also skiing in Salzburg province, Upper Austria and Carinthia. Kitzbhel and Lech are the jet-set resorts. Those with less money, distaste for crowds and fine leg definition may find cross-country skiing more rewarding. This takes place just about anywhere where there's sufficient snow and a shortage of buildings. There are thousands of kilometers (km) of well-signposted hiking trails to explore in the Alps. The Kaisergebirge mountains in northern Tirol are a favorite with mountaineers, though make sure you never climb on your own or without proper equipment and consult locals about weather conditions and avalanche warnings. Paragliding and hang-gliding are both popular, and you can hire gear and get tuition at most ski resorts. Ballooning is also taking off (so to speak), despite the high costs. The lakes in Salzkammergut and Carinthia offer water-skiing, sailing and windsurfing. River cruises on the Danube are a must, especially for Strauss lovers.
For those more interested in an urban trip, Vienna is a world-class city with old world charm. Museum lovers will love the Kunst Haus, Belvedere, House of Music and so much more. A shoppers paradise lies within the Ringstrasse. Here you find small and large shops from the most glamorous internationally known designers to the trends within the the Vinenese style. The Vienna Opera House is also a must for anyone with an ear for music.