Schnitzel, Freud and classical music are some of the words most associated with Austria’s former imperial capital. Today’s city, however, manages to take its long and proud history and artfully combine it with all the modern experiences of a major capital city in the heart of Europe. Expect to encounter cultural events, imperial sights, coffee houses, cozy wine taverns, and the very special Viennese charm that leads millions of people to visit the heart of Europe every year.
Vienna has been known as the city with the highest quality of living for ten years in a row, it was declared a UNESCO world heritage and housed many of the great minds of Europe in their formative years: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Sigmund Freud, Gustav Klimt and many more. The Viennese take pride in their city’s history and you are sure to encounter those happy to tell you a story or two.
This begs the question: How did Vienna (or “Wien”, as it is called in German) combine its history and present movements to create a city found at the top of every list?
It all started out with a small Roman settlement known as “Vindobona”, established around 15 BC. With its important location in the heart of Europe, and with the beautiful Danube river flowing right through it, Vienna grew in importance and became the city of choice for the famous Habsburg Dynasty in the early 14th century. When Napoleon fought all of Europe, Vienna decided not to risk their people’s lives but rather invite the French in for a perfectly brewed coffee and endless nights dancing in ballrooms. Today Vienna still enjoys the title of being a good host, attracting conferences, artists and even the UN for a permanent stay. Every year, millions and millions of people visit the city that manages to artfully combine new and old to enjoy the local cuisine, the beautiful architecture, the ballroom culture or to read a new favourite book in an 18th century café. Vienna is different, but it has and always will be open to those wanting to experience it.