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The east meets the west in Vienna (Wien), one of Europe's most inspired and romantic cities, a place the Ottomans once referred to as a "golden apple." Vienna is a vivacious place with ornate buildings, many strangely resembling sugary Marzipan concoctions from centuries ago, hosting world-class galleries and museums. The baroque edifices decorating the city's inner road, the Ringstrasse, are only the first layer of Vienna's beguiling cultural bounty. From the legacy of the Habsburg dynasty, which can be traced in the rooms of the famous Hofburg palace or Schloss Schonbrunn, to the Art Nouveau masterpieces on display by Gustav Klimt and Egon ...

The east meets the west in Vienna (Wien), one of Europe's most inspired and romantic cities, a place the Ottomans once referred to as a "golden apple." Vienna is a vivacious place with ornate buildings, many strangely resembling sugary Marzipan concoctions from centuries ago, hosting world-class galleries and museums. The baroque edifices decorating the city's inner road, the Ringstrasse, are only the first layer of Vienna's beguiling cultural bounty. From the legacy of the Habsburg dynasty, which can be traced in the rooms of the famous Hofburg palace or Schloss Schonbrunn, to the Art Nouveau masterpieces on display by Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele, Vienna percolates with life, music, history, and art. Vienna's vibrant clash of ethnicities, beliefs, and cultural facets have always lent the city a dynamic level of creative vigor - Johann Strauss invented the waltz here, Sigmund Freud came up with his famous (and infamous) psychoanalytic theories. In fact it was not too long ago that Vienna's artisans, musicians, and academia flocked to its coffeehouses (chiefly as a reprieve from their dank, typically unheated flats) to chew the political fat.

Aaron Anderson
About the Expert

Aaron Anderson is coauthor of Lonely Planet's Washington, D.C. City Guide, a contributor on western states to Lonely Planet USA, and he wrote the Austria chapters for Lonely Planet's Western Europe and Europe on a Shoestring.

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Aaron Anderson for Triporati

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Now Happening in Vienna

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Vienna lies in the very east of Austria and is close to the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.
  • Language: German
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    July- August, Christmas/New Year-late February