Yet the Austrian capital, known as 'Wien' in German, attracts a high number of visitors every year, who come there for its large number of attractions and to discover why its centre was named as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Whatever the weather, Viennese cuisine never disappoints, and the Viennese coffee house is a tradition that has contributed to the city's UNESCO status. While the destination is widely known for its coffee house pastries, the famous Viennese Whirl is surprisingly not usually among them, having been invented in England. Those visiting the city on European river cruises or coming from Vienna Airport soon realise that street food is a must when exploring the area, with the Frankfurt hot dog one of the most popular options. There are also seasonal additions to enjoy, with hot chestnuts – known as 'maroni' – and potato fritters sold during the winter months.
Art and culture
Those who keep up with the art world should be sure to visit Vienna, with its 100-plus art museums providing a cultural base for art lovers and those interested in the city's rich history alike. One of these art centres is the Belvedere which is part palace, part impressive gallery, with the Upper Belvedere building being home to Gustav Klimt’s famous ‘The Kiss’, as well as featuring works by Schiele and the French Impressionists. Another royal attraction, Schönbrunn Palace, is one of the most important cultural landmarks in Vienna, representing the tastes and history of the capital's past monarchs, having been commissioned by Emperor Leopold I for the heir to the throne in the 17th century.
Schönbrunn Palace is much more than an architectural marvel; its gardens are home to the oldest zoo in the world - the Tiergarten Schönbrunn. The zoo was founded as an imperial menagerie in 1752 and flourishes today as a centre for species conservation. It made history as the first location in Europe to see a natural insemination birth of a giant panda and is still one of the few zoos in the world to house the species. Should the Vienna weather take a turn for the worse, there are a number of fascinating museums in the capital to appreciate alongside its art and animal conservation centres, one of the most popular of these being the Sigmund Freud Museum. Founded in 1971, the museum covers every aspect of the famous psychologist’s life story, and is a must-visit for anyone interested in his work or Vienna’s history.
Image Credit: Roberto Verzo (flickr.com)