Escape to Austria's capital city Vienna for art, culture, wine and all the schnitzel you can eat

Art and culture is not in short supply in Vienna, with theatre, opera, classical music, fine art and museums in abundance.


Drinking coffee and stuffing yourself with pastries is a top Viennese pastime.

Atmospheric Café Landtmann, where Sigmund Freud got his caffeine fix, has embossed wood panelling, chandeliers and slabs of Esterházy torte – hazelnut cream sponge.

While Old Vienna Coffee has taste-bud-blowing beans from Kenya and Costa Rica roasted on-site.

Or swap mochas for martinis at Das Loft over the Danube Canal, with incredible views from the 18th floor, a light-up ceiling and cocktails like the rum-fuelled Narcos, £14.


If you love food, you’ve come to the right place. Start at Plachutta for traditional Viennese Tafelspitz – a beef dish once a fave of Emperor Franz Joseph I, served with crisp grated fried potatoes and creamed spinach.

On the go? Head to Bitzinger sausage stand at Albertinaplatz for an array of würst – our fave was the käsekrainer, £3.20.

For a swish dinner, minimalist chic Labstelle serves up pink veal fillet and a zinging wild garlic dip.


Join a walking tour with guide Alexa Brauner to learn about the city’s history while taking in unmissable sights including the MAK museum (Vienna’s answer to London’s V&A), stuffed with art deco interiors inspo.

Group tours start from £12.60. Austrian artist Klimt’s masterpiece The Kiss is found in the gold and marble surroundings of the baroque Belvedere palace, entry from £7.

Later, snap vistas over the old town from the north tower of St Stephen’s Cathedral, entry £5.25.


For intriguing backstreet boutiques, join a Shopping With Lucie tour around the up-and-coming 6th district, from £30.

Ask to stop at Feinedinge Porcelain for unique tableware and handmade gifts.

Flo Vintage, where owner Ingrid Raab has stocked Chanel and Versace since 1978, is nearby, too.

On Saturdays, head to hipster hangout Naschmarkt, also in the 6th.

As well as a food court, you’ll find the flea market full of second-hand records and jewellery.


Vienna is the only city in the world that’s a recognised wine-growing region.

Take the D line tram to Nussdorf – a Vienna City Card offers unlimited travel from £14.90 – to wander among the vines with views stretching out over the city towards Bratislava.

A full circuit of the 660 hectares takes 21/2 hours.

Then meander downhill to Mayer Am Pfarrplatz, where Beethoven once sipped wine, to sample five regional vinos including prosecco-beating Sekt brut fizz.

Soak up the booze with lamb in red wine in the prettily lit courtyard.

Wine tasting costs £16.


The life-sized (but fake) stuffed horse in reception sets the fairy-tale tone at the quirky Grand Ferdinand hotel. Standard rooms are compact but have rain showers, coma-inducing beds and a leather-clad mini bar.

The Meissl & Schadn restaurant also serves the best schnitzel with herby potatoes and cranberry sauce. Burn off your meat feast at the LA-style infinity pool.

Doubles cost from £165 B&B.

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