Vienna in Austria

Vienna in Austria

At a time when Vienna’s tourism industry looks back at 2017 as its best year ever – 15.5 million visitor bed nights – Indian travelers too hotfooted to Vienna, known for its imperial history, magnificent palaces and gardens. In 2017, over 58,000 Indians spent nearly 128,000 bed nights in the Austrian capital, an impressive 11% increase over 2016.

“The welcoming attitude of the people of Vienna helped ensure that visitors have delightful experiences and return to their homes with wonderful memories,” says Isabella Rauter, Public Relations Manager for Vienna Tourist Board.

With its red trams, magnificent museums, ornate palaces, atmospheric coffeehouses and its UNESCO World Heritage listed historic city centre, Vienna seamlessly combines a cultural break with the outdoors activities making it the ideal destination for family holidays. The city‘s efficient public transport system comprising tram, bus and metro is as convenient for small children in strollers as it is for the elderly. The city famed for its open green spaces and countless parks is steeped in art, history and music and there are enough activities for families with children, making it the best city for a memorable family holiday. ALSO SEE Vienna is the best city in the world: 10 stunning photos of Austria’s beautiful capital!

For the Indian travellers, the biggest attractions for children include The Butterfly House; Prater, an amusement park that houses the Giant Ferris Wheel, one of Vienna’s most iconic symbols and famously featured in Orson Welles film ‘The Third Man’; House of Music; Vienna Zoo (the world’s first zoo to see the birth of an African elephant conceived in human care); and art programs for children in various Viennese museums.

The ‘Children’s Museum – Schloss Schönbrunn Experience is a special guided tour (by appointment only in English) that teaches kids about the lives of the imperial children, lets them play with toys from imperial times and dress up as princes and princesses.

The Museums Quartier, one of the largest cultural quarters in the world, has ZOOM Children’s Museum, with four discovery areas for kids aged 0–12 as well as wienXtra-kinderinfo, an information service on activities in Vienna for kids up to 13, including theatre, museum events, and sports training.

At the MuseumsQuartier, while children have their hands full, adults can lie on colourful loungers, order cocktails or scrumptious food from a lively array of restaurants, cafés and bars that dot the art complex. While children participate in art programmes, adults can shop at MQ Point where culture meets kitsch and serious art rubs shoulders with offbeat humour.

A two-horse carriage ride is as much a part of Vienna as St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Giant Ferris Wheel: the fiakers. For many tourists, a carriage ride is the cosiest way to explore Vienna’s attractions.

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“Vienna is where you can step back into history one moment, revel in nature the next. A visit to the Zoo and the Prater are among the biggest draws for families travelling with children,” adds Isabella Rauter.

Jaipur-based Nandita Bedi had this to say about her recent family trip to Vienna, “One travels to build experiences and stories and to interact with other cultures and Vienna proved to be truly enriching on that count. We spent four days in Vienna and it turned out to be a fun family holiday with diverse activities to please each one of us. From the slow enjoyment of a sacher torte at a cafe to the rumbustious fun of an amusement park, to a leisurely glide through history at the palaces and museums to the grandiosity of an opera performance it was a thoroughly satisfying trip. The fact that we could make sorties to nearby Prague and Budapest added to the experience for us.” CHECK OUT Vienna voted the most livable city in the world AGAIN!

As a multi-ethnic capital, Vienna offers various eating-out choices – from traditional restaurants serving Wiener Schnitzel (Viennese breaded veal escalope), famous chocolate Sacher torte, and coffeehouses, selling not just wonderful melanges and other coffees but also great hot chocolates and pastries. For the Indian travellers, there are countless restaurants offering an array of North and South Indian dishes.

Newest attraction: Following extensive renovations, the Vienna World Museum (Weltmuseum Wien) now shows valuable treasures from around the world, including the collection of seafarer James Cook and the world-famous feather headdress of a Mexican priest. With its global collection, the museum deals with the cultural diversity of humanity and documents Austria’s rich historic relations with the world.

MICE destination:

With more than 3,500 conventions and corporate events a year, Vienna is one of the world’s leading meeting destinations, as well as continually receiving awards for its outstanding quality of life.

2018 dedicated to art & Modernism:

This year the Austrian capital will celebrate Modernism and pay tribute to four of the greatest Viennese artists – painters Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele, architect Otto Wagner and the universal artist Koloman Moser. All four left an indelible mark on Vienna around 1900 and as if by a strange quirk of fate died in the same year – 1918.

To mark the centenary of their death, their lives and work will be remembered at numerous exhibitions and events throughout the year. Selected tours devoted to the 2018 theme of Viennese Modernism and Art Nouveau include Otto Wagner’s Church tour and the Sigmund Freud and Viennese Modernism city tour. The ground floor of the Klimt Villa which was used by Gustav Klimt as a studio between 1911 and 1918 will remain open year round hosting special events and tours.

In the early 1900s, Vienna was a hotbed of creativity and it was amongst a flurry of social remould that Klimt, Schiele, Wagner and Moser reached their creative peak. Many of the best-known masterpieces of art, architecture and design associated with Vienna were created during this era: highlights include Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss, Egon Schiele’s Wally Neuzil, Otto Wagner’s Austrian Post Savings Bank and Koloman Moser’s designs for the Wiener Werkstätte. In 2018 – a century after their death – Vienna is taking an in-depth look at the works of Klimt, Schiele, Wagner and Moser and other exceptional artists of Viennese Modernism.

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A number of accredited guides have put together special tours that take the theme for 2018 as their point of departure. English-speaking guides are available for all the tours. The city is safe even for women and solo travelers. DO SEE Your ultimate 10-day Eastern Europe itinerary: Explore the wonders of Prague, Budapest, Vienna and more

Vienna is also the starting point for trips along the Danube to Salzburg in Upper Austria, Bratislava in Slovakia, or Budapest in Hungary. The Vienna-Prague-Budapest Golden Triangle is the perfect holiday combo. Most Indians visitors tend to cover the Golden Triangle comprising all major cities of the former Habsburg Empire. Prague and Budapest are barely a 3-hour road trip from Vienna, by availing a common Schengen visa.

2018 Event Highlights

Klimt, Moser, Gerstl, Kokoschka:

Selected works of artists Gustav Klimt and Koloman Moser and expressionists Richard Gerstl and Oskar Kokoschka will be on display.

When: January 18-June 10, 2018

At: Leopold Museum

Stairway to Klimt:

The Klimt Bridge constructed in the central stairway of the Kunthistorisches Museum on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the painter’s birth will be erected again in 2018.

When: February 13-September 02, 2018

At: Kunsthistorisches Museum

Egon Schiele, The Jubilee Exhibition:

Schiele’s paintings, works on paper and numerous archive pieces will be on display.

When: February 23-November 04, 2018

At: Leopold Museum

Otto Wagner:

The Wien Museum is dedicating the first major exhibition to this “world capital architect”.

When: March 15-October 07, 2018

At: Wien Museum

The Vienna City Card

Experience the city’s imperial history, magnificent palaces and gardens with the low-cost Vienna City Card for 24, 48 or 72 hours. Available from the Vienna City Card app or the online shop as well as in most hotels, Tourist Info Counters at the airport, main station and Vienna Info counters.

Use either the Vienna City Card with Wiener Linien (red card) that includes travel ticket on the public transport (€13.90/€21.90/€24.90), one child up to 15 years of age can ride along for free.

Or the Vienna City Card with Big Bus Vienna (white card) that includes the Hop-On Hop-Off tours of Big Bus Tours (€28.00/€31.00/€35.00), one child up to 16 years of age can ride along for free. With these cards, additionally, enjoy more than 210 benefits – from museums to Heuriger wine taverns.

How to get there

Air India offers a thrice-a-week (Wed, Fri, Sun) direct flight from Delhi to Vienna and back. For those embarking from Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore leading airlines — Air India, British Airways, Emirates, Etihad, Lufthansa, Swiss, and Turkish — offer connections with just a small stop en route.