Ever fancied donning your tuxedo and waltzing the night away with as many as 6000 delighted ball-goers, all dressed up to the nines and ready for fun? Now’s your chance – deep in the heart of central Europe, and steeped in history, the Austrian capital keeps alive its unique traditions conjuring a romantic mix of 19th century elegance with a modern twist. The height of Viennese ball season falls conveniently into the city’s low season for tourism. With fewer overseas visitors in the chilly months of January, February and March, low season travellers have the chance to enjoy a winter wonderland at great prices without short-changing on a feast for the senses.
History on every corner
Whatever you thought of the subject in school, you’ll be hard pressed to avoid it in this beautiful historic centre. You’ll spot Habsburg Imperial nostalgia at every turn with the indulgent baroque architecture, and the later work of Maria Theresa, who fancied herself as a bit of an interior designer, dominating the cityscape. Get to know the family better with a tour of the central Hofburg Palace, originally a 13th century castle, or their stunning summer residence, Schönbrunn Palace, on the edge of town. The latter was added to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list in 1996, worth a visit for its magnificent gardens alone, which are free to enter during palace opening hours.
Vienna proudly claims more composers living among its residents, than any other city. Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Strauss and many more all worked in and were inspired by Vienna. Download a walking tour that allows you to follow the trail of musicians and taking you around their haunts, including Mozarthaus, one of the abodes of Vienna’s famed son. Believe it or not, 10,000 people every night are treated to concerts, recitals and operas throughout the city! The Vienna Boys’ Choir continues to enchant music lovers in their new state-of-the-art concert hall, MuTh, in Augarten Park. Or visit the House of Music where an ultra-modern walkway of virtual organ pipes allows visitors to create their own compositions. For those with more modern tastes, Flex, Grelle Forelle, Pratersauna or Volksgarten Disco offer late night on-trend dance tunes.
Take your time people watching over a large coffee and an even larger piece of cake or strudel in one of Vienna’s famed coffeehouses, before moving on to a wine tasting tour around the city’s heuriges or wine taverns. Yes, Vienna is a city that actually produces its own wine, with urban vineyards within the city limits and more than 100 cosy family run taverns where you can sample the, mostly white, produce. Wines are served of course with snacks of cold meats, pickled vegetables, or crispy pumpkin seed bread. Heurige lifestyle is so ingrained within the city, that it has recently been acknowledged by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage. Continue for a dinner in a Michelin starred restaurant or a Wiener Beisl local neighbourhood bistro for a mouth-watering Weiner Schnitzel.