I was recently transformed and treated to the magic of Vienna, Austria's capital, in the heart of Central Europe. Vienna is infused with history and stately buildings, yet trendy and modern at the same time. It is a city that is taking great strides to become the next hot spot in Europe.
Being in Vienna immediately reminded of its grand history as the center of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire for centuries, and then the destruction it suffered in WWII.
A city tour or a scenic ride on the Ring Tram takes you from the Danube River to the inner city with its famous Ringstrasse lined with grand buildings, monuments, parks, Baroque castles and gardens. Vienna is surrounded by vineyards, which provide the city with their own local wines to enjoy, enhancing the gastronomic experience. Try a traditional Heurigen dinner with wine tasting and “Schrammel” Music.
Vienna is aptly named “The City of Music,” where music, theater, opera, art, and Viennese Balls have long been a tradition. There is a plethora of opportunities for any music lover. The ghosts of Mozart and Johann Strauss will beckon to you as you traverse the cobblestone streets by foot or a Fiaker, a horse drawn carriage.
A stay at the legendary Hotel Sacher takes you back in time with visitors like the King of Spain and Princess Di. If you can’t stay then make sure to stop and watch the world go by while enjoying a piece of Sacher Torte and Viennese coffee at the hotel's café.
The Imperial Palace is home to the well known Spanish Riding School, home of the beautiful
Lipizzaner Stallions, the horses of royalty. There are many public performances which offer opportunities to watch the stallions demonstrate classical movements and their well trained choreography to music. The School also offers tours which offer a behind the scenes look and opportunity to visit the Lipizzaners in their stables. This is a must for every visitor to Vienna.
That evening the group I was with was whisked away to the Kursalon Vienna, where an exclusive ball with dinner, music, traditional dance and a midnight quadrille had been arranged for us. Vienna not only offers numerous operas and concerts, but also hosts more than 450 balls each year featuring exclusive events such a the Grand Ball in the Imperial Palace on New Year’s eve, the Philharmonic Ball, or the famous Vienna Opera Ball.
Vienna is a hidden gem and is well worth a visit. If you’re ready to step in time with the Hapsburg and Mozart, then pack your gown and dancing shoes and be transformed by the magic of Vienna.