Once the capital of the mighty Austrian-Hungarian Empire, Vienna is now a monumental city way too big for the small country it is the capital of. But if there’s one European capital of the hearts, it is Vienna. A city so beautiful and beloved by many, it has been the subject of many musical pieces, literature, and poetry. Vienna as a romantic city is currently being re-discovered as tourists from around the world flock into the city’s many attractions.
The many monuments located around the city, in majority around the Ring road but also outside (like the majestic Schönbrunn palace), are a testimony of a glorious time long gone. But it relives in the hearts of the Viennese people, who love their city and this makes for several years already Vienna elected to be the city with the highest quality of life worldwide. And it is true, there are very few European capital cities that offer both urban feeling and yet a lot of intimacy, just like in a small village. Vienna is relatively big for Austria with the country’s only 8 million inhabitants. But by international standards, it is still a small city. With an incredibly rich cultural and imperial background.
The best way to stay in Vienna is in the very heart of the city, near the old Ring road that lines up most of the historical monuments like the state opera (which has been bombarded during WWII because people thought it looked like a railway station) or the majestic parliament and the city hall. On the Ring, there are many historic hotels like the Imperial Hotel (one of the best hotels in the country) and its small sister hotel, the Bristol (both now owned by Starwood). Staying there lets you breathe history in every second.
Even if you have just a few days, walking around the monumental inner city leaves you breathless. Spend an evening strolling through the old town with all its secret cellars and underground taverns. If you can get a table, have dinner in the Steirereck restaurant, the best restaurant in Austria and one of the Top 50 in the San Pellegrino list. After a good nights sleep, Have an imperial breakfast in the “Palmenhaus” – the Palm Tree House of the imperial palace. How does that sound?
And if you eventually come back, you will notice Vienna has changed once all over again, even though the monuments are the same, but this city creates so much new every day that it’s worth visiting frequently.