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Vienna has much more to offer than just art and opera. During your visit you'll be surprised by the multitude of possibilities in the Austrian capital.

The city has much to offer. You can take advantage of the wonderful shopping, play sports and enjoy the great nightlife. You can, of course, also take the opportunity to attend the most magnificent concerts.

With just one and a half million inhabitants, Vienna gives an impression of tranquillity. The city is actually a big open air museum full of magnificent buildings, with St Stephen's Cathedral and the Danube as fixed reference points.

Vienna is synonymous with Wiener Schnitzel. Should you decide to sample Austria's best known export, then head to Vienna's most famous Schnitzel restaurant, Figlmuller. Of course you don't necessarily have to start your evening out with a Schnitzel, this city has plenty of other excellent restaurants.

Vienna's nightlife centres on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. You'll find the majority of bars in the so-called Bermuda Triangle, in the old Jewish Quarter.

There's yet another way of making your evening a success. A night out in
Vienna is full of surprises. Why not attend a concert of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra? The orchestra is known, among other things, for its annual Spring concert and is a household name in the world of classical music.

The city boasts many excellent museums and the collections at the Leopold Museum and the Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien (MUMOK) definitely merit a visit. The well known Kunsthistorisches Museum lies close to Vienna's MuseumsQuartier.

So many new impressions can be tiring and Vienna's Praterpark is the ideal spot in which to relax and catch your breath. It used to be the imperial hunting grounds but is now the city's biggest park, with woods, sports fields and small coffee shops.

In short: Vienna is the perfect destination for your next city trip.

History

Iron and salt mining drew many peoples to the area where Vienna now lies: Firstly the Romans around 1000 BC and later the Germans. German speaking peoples ultimately managed to gain the upper hand. In 1221 Vienna received the rights of a city, and a wall was built around it. Vienna developed into an important trading centre.

In 1273 Rudolf van Habsburg was elected as the German king. The Habsburg Empire expanded. From the 15th century on, the city was threatened by the Turks. Following a heavy siege in 1683, the Turks were driven away. Their defeat resulted in the Counter-Reformation. The Roman Catholic Church commissioned impressive churches and works of art in the city to restore people's belief. As a result of this reconstruction, Vienna acquired its baroque appearance.

In the 18th century, Austria was an important power. The best architects, artists and composers flocked to the city. In 1804 and 1809 Napoleon occupied Vienna.

Europe's new boundaries and political relationships were laid down in the Treaty of Vienna. Poor work and living conditions, and a lack of freedom of expression resulted in the 1848 March Revolution. The new emperor tried to restore calm by introducing social reforms.

By the end of the 19th century, intellectual and artistic life had reached its pinnacle, particularly in the areas of painting, architecture, art and modern psychology as practised by Sigmund Freud.

Following WWI the defeated Austrian Empire was divided and the Austrian Republic was born. Political power was in the hands of the socialists. Germany occupied Austria during WWII from 1938 to 1945. Towards the end of the war, Soviet troops caused widespread destruction in the city. Once the war ended, Austria came under Allied rule, finally regaining its freedom in 1955.

Austria has a rich and varied musical history. World-famous composers like Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven, as well as the Strauss family were favoured guests of the Austrian nobility.