In addition to the wonders of Vienna’s peerless Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History Museum), Klimt’s The Kiss in the Belvedere and the funky new art hub of the MuseumsQuartier, there are some distinctly odd museums in Vienna.
Vienna is one of the few cities in the world that has vineyards within its limits – they are mostly concentrated on the northern side of town on fertile hills overlooking the Danube. Locally produced wines mostly include Rieslings and cabernet and the perfect way to sample the local vintages is to visit one of Vienna’s heurigen.
Grinzing is a leafy suburb of Vienna on the edge of the Wienerwald (Vienna woods) and close to the vineyards of Kahlenberg; it’s well known for its heurigen – cosy, simple wine bars serving local dishes and local wines. The Mayer am Pfarrplatz is one of the oldest and most historic of Grinzing’s heurigen and it was made famous by the fact that German composer Ludwig von Beethoven lived here briefly. The connection between Beethoven and Mayer am Pfarrplatz draws people to eat and drink here from far and wide across Europe.
Romantic Vienna has plenty of appeal at any time of year with its Biedermeier architecture, famous choir and exceptional galleries, but it really lights up over the festive season with enticing Christmas markets in its most photogenic corners. With around 20 to choose from, the scent of glühwein and fresh baking hangs over the city between Saturday, November 16 – when most open – and Christmas. Here are some of the most beguiling Vienna Christmas Markets.
Possibly the most famous cake in the world, the Austrian sacher torte was created in 1832 by pastry chef Franz Sacher at the court of Prince Metternich. Since then the original recipe has been a closely guarded secret known only to confectioners at Vienna’s Hotel Sacher. But the torte has bred many imposters; there are as many variations as there are cafés throughout Austria selling the cake.