With a successful mix of imperial tradition and contemporary creativity, Austria's capital city has successfully positioned itself on the global tourism market. With 16.5 million overnight stays, Vienna recorded the best tourism balance sheet in its history in 2018. As an international congress destination, Vienna ranks 6th worldwide. In 2019, Vienna was named the world's most liveable city for the tenth time in a row.
Vienna is not only the federal capital of Austria, but also one of its nine federal states. The 415 km² city area is divided into 23 districts, a good half of which consists of green land. This means that Vienna has the largest proportion of green space among European metropolises. In addition to "urban green" such as the city park, the forest and meadow landscape of the Prater or the extensive Schönbrunn Palace Park, it also includes parts of the Vienna Woods, vineyards and vegetable fields as well as the floodplains of the much-sung-about Danube.
Vienna owes its tourist appeal to the exciting combination of imperial nostalgic flair and highly creative cultural scene, which boasts the latest trends as well as the responsible preservation of a precious heritage and endearing traditions. The architecture from the Danube Monarchy characterises the appearance: magnificent buildings, especially from the Baroque, Historicism ("Ringstrasse Style") and Art Nouveau periods, and the spacious overall layout of the city make you forget that it is the capital of the small Republic of Austria, which has a population of just under 8.9 million - people still revel in the romantic imperial city.
It is not only the many buildings from imperial times that make Vienna a city full of beauty and art: world-class museums, collections and works of art can be seen here. For example, the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien with the world's largest collection of Bruegel paintings and the Kunstkammer with its unique, sometimes curious exhibits. Another world-class attraction: the centrally located MuseumsQuartier is a fascinating combination of a baroque building (former imperial court stables) with trend-setting architecture by Ortner & Ortner. On up to eight levels, it is one of the ten largest cultural centres in the world and offers a unique mix of attractions.
The Albertina near the Opera House is the world's largest collection of graphic art with 60,000 drawings, over 1 million prints and an extensive photography and architecture collection. After enjoying the art, you can indulge in culinary delights at the "Do & Co Albertina" restaurant.
The Belvedere palaces with their magnificent gardens are among the most beautiful baroque ensembles in Europe. The Upper Belvedere houses the most important collection of Austrian art, with holdings spanning the Middle Ages to the 20th century. Interesting temporary exhibitions are held in the Lower Belvedere and the Orangery. Not far from the Upper Belvedere is the former Austria Pavilion of the 1958 World's Fair, which served as the so-called 20 House from 1962 to 2001 as the Museum of Modern Art.
The high value that has always been placed on art here has always promoted local creativity and attracted people from all over the world. Vienna has 50 theatres, four opera houses and several musical stages, over 150 museums, numerous galleries and renowned theatre, music and dance festivals to offer its guests. All this ensures an extraordinarily dense programme throughout the year and makes the city one of Europe's leading entertainment and cultural metropolises.
Vienna enjoys a special international reputation as a city of music. No other place in the world has been home to so many composers of world renown: from those born here, such as Schubert, Strauss, Schönberg or Berg, to those for whom Vienna was their home, such as Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Brahms, Mahler and many others. The Vienna Philharmonic is one of the world's leading orchestras, emulated by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and a number of other Viennese orchestras. The Vienna State Opera is one of the leading international opera houses.
© Text: WienTourismus