Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria credit: vichie81
Whether you cram in culture or while away hours in a traditional cafe, Vienna ensures an inviting visit - even when the temperatures are chilly. And 2017 - which will see the Austrian capital celebrate a whole host of anniversaries ranging from the Blue Danube Waltz to the birthday of Archduchess Maria Theresa - is the ideal time to go.
TNT has some ideas to get you started…
Vienna elates at any time but especially so throughout 2017: the city’s calendar is creaking with festivals and events to commemorate anniversaries ranging from 150 years of the Blue Danube Waltz (get the backstory on Johann Strauss’ world famous waltz at the Museum of the Johann Strauss Dynasty’s special exhibition from 16 Feb-31 Dec, www.strauss-museum) to the 300th birthday of Archduchess Maria Theresa. The Habsburg ruler was one of the most influential leaders in European history – numerous reforms date back to her rule. From 15 March to 29 November 2017, the large scale 300 Years of Maria Theresa: Strategist Mother-Reformer exhibition (www.mariatheresia2017.at/) will take up residence at four locations across the city, while the Belvedere will be looking at the monarch’s relationship with fine arts at the upcoming 300th Birthday Exhibition of Maria Theresa exhibition (30 June-5 Nov). The Austrian National Library (www.onb.ac.at) is also getting in on the act and is set to stage the Maria Theresa: Habsburg’s most powerful woman exhibition from 17 February to 5 June 2017.
Elsewhere art aficionados will want to make a pilgrimage to the remarkable Kunst Historiches museum (www.khm.at/en) – home to artwork by Rembrandt, Brueghel, Vermeer, Velazquez, Titian, Tintoretto and almost every great artist you can imagine. Other museums that reward a visit include the Leopold Museum (www.leopoldmuseum.org/en) and the modern art gallery MUMOK (www.mumok.at/en).
And of course no trip to Vienna would be complete without heading for the Hofburg – the sprawling home of the Habsburgs that’s filled with grand staircases - and seeing Stephansdom, the gothic cathedral whose spire dominates the busy square of Stephansdom. The Mozarthaus Vienna - where Mozart famously composed The Marriage of Figaro - is another must.
But the real joy of Vienna is to be found in wandering the atmospheric, cobbled streets and alleyways of the old city taking in the sights, smells and shops…