Imperial Vienna is one of the most charming European capitals, with an enticing combination of magnificent architecture, fascinating history and unparalleled culture - this is, after all, the city of Schubert, Klimt and Freud. Whether you're visiting for the first time or find yourself returning each year, there's always something new to discover and appreciate.
Where to stay
The city is known for the quality of its hotels, but the historic Palais Coburg Residenz still stands out as an exemplary establishment. Set in an impressive Renaissance building, the hotel has 34 suites, a gourmet restaurant presided over by Chef Silvio Nickol, and an impressive wine cellar with thousands of rare bottles. Alternatively, the modern Melia Vienna Hotel, set in Austria’s tallest skyscraper, boasts incomparable city views from the restaurant on the 57th floor and is conveniently located for business travellers in the Danube City district.
What to do
Although Viennese opera and cafés both live up to their international reputation, make sure you set aside some time to pay a visit to the Naschmarkt. The city's largest outdoor market, in recent years its stalls have become increasingly gentrified, now looking more like luxurious pop-up restaurants than standard street food vendors. Held every weekday, on Saturdays the area is transformed into one of the world's finest flea markets, with antiques hiding around every corner.
Vienna is also the world’s largest wine-growing capital city, with seven square kilometres of vineyards within the city limits, so adventurous oenophiles should schedule in at least one heuriger visit during their stay. Weinbau Sirbu is one of the best examples of these rustic wine taverns, offering fabulous views across the city from its vantage point in the “Nussdorf” vineyards.
Where to dine
The elegant Restaurant Steirereck is one of the most beautiful in Vienna, with an enviable location in the “Stadtpark”. Book early if you want to secure a table - Friday nights are best, as the establishment closes at the weekend. Spend your Saturday night at Glacis Beisl, a hidden gem tucked in a basement near the Museumsplatz. It’s a favourite destination with Vienna’s in-crowd, thanks to a charming beer garden full of hydrangea and delicious traditional dishes like tender Viennese schnitzel served with a crisp mixed salad.
Where to live
If you're considering investing in Viennese property, the city has several highly desirable districts that have recorded steady price increases year on year. The most exclusive is the first district, which comprises much of the city's historic centre, including famed sights such as St Stephen’s Cathedral and the Hofburg Imperial Palace. The Golden Quarter is home to several spacious apartment blocks, although families may prefer to stay slightly further away from the city centre. Districts 18 and 19 contain several charming suburbs that feel worlds away from the bustling heart of Vienna, with elegant villas set in manicured grounds, surrounded by hills and vineyards.
The property market in Austria is one of the most stable in Europe, with values rising at a steady pace over the past decade seemingly regardless of the international economy. This makes it an excellent choice for investment in either a rental property or a second home. For more information on Viennese real estate or to begin your search, simply visit Engel & Völkers.