Vienna is awash with show-stopping imperial architecture, thanks to the influential Habsburg monarchy. Spot their staggering, UNESCO-listed summer residence, Schönbrunn Palace, or the Hofburg Palace complex. The latter was their home from 1273 to 1918 and features the Imperial Chapel, the famous Spanish Riding School and a treasure chest of museums. Other Baroque beauties include Belvedere Palace, built for Prince Eugene of Savoy and adorned with elaborate frescoes and exquisite pieces of art. For fine examples of 19th-century architecture, such as the splendid neo-gothic City Hall, make for the Ringstrasse street that loops the city centre.
Welcome to the ‘City of Music’, a place where Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Haydn, Brahms, Strauss (father and son), along with many other composers, have all been inspired by Vienna’s marvellous musical heritage. Visitors flock to catch performances at an array of superb venues: the Musikverein is home of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, while MuTh is where the glorious Vienna Boys’ Choir will make your spine tingle. Other treasures include the multi-stage Konzerthaus and the State Opera House. Meanwhile, the Haus der Musik museum is an enchanting point of interest, bringing music to life through interactive displays.
Art & Culture
Expect to be awed in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, filled with masterpieces by Europe’s top painters and sculptors, including the Imperial Art Collection. Simply breathtaking both outside and within, the building oozes lavishness and takes you on a journey from Classical Rome to the Renaissance. Next up is the MuseumsQuartier, created from the old stables of the Hofburg. This imaginative area displays a variety of art, from 19th and 20th-century Austrian pieces at the Leopold Museum, to extraordinary, avant-garde creations at the MUseum MOderner Kunst (MUMOK). A great one for families is the Natural History Museum, filled with fascinating prehistoric finds and meteorites.
Food & Drink
The Viennese have a passion for food and drink. Drinking coffee is almost an institution and the city is dotted with elegant coffee-houses, serving a myriad of roasted beans alongside fabulous pastries. The best-known is Café Sacher, draped with opulent chandeliers and famous for its Sacher Torte, a wonderfully rich chocolate cake that makes for a perfect sugar boost in between sightseeing. For hearty fare, the Vienesse Beisl resembles the British pub, plating up traditional dishes like wiener schnitzel and goulash. For fine Austrian wines, there are plenty of wine cellars, alongside rustic wine taverns named Heurigen. A huge range of upmarket restaurants also line the streets, in which innovative chefs dare to be different and create divine cuisine.
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.