The Austrian capital offers a host of cultural experiences, along with a wide variety of activities and here are just a few ideas for what clients can do while here.
1. Take a cycling tour
The streets of Vienna are full of bicycles, and for good reason – there are no hills! The flat landscape means it’s really easy to get around on a bike, and there are plenty of operators including Pedal Power (www.pedalpower.at) who can provide an overview of the city on two wheels. There are also a number of operators providing Segway tours, and you can even rent a Vespa motor scooter from the Le Meridien Hotel.
2. Go shopping
Vienna has a wide range of eclectic shops, with fashion, homewares and souvenirs abounding. We spotted this store which specialises in a certain type of leather goods, while there are also lots of places to buy traditional Austrian outfits such as Dirndls. The Poliform homeware store on the Danube Canal has a stunning array of furniture including a life-size horse lamp.
3. Get behind a horse
On many street corners in Vienna are “Fiakers” – horse-drawn carriages which will take you on a tour around the Ringstrasse. It’s a great way to get to where you’re going, and the ideal start to a pleasant night out.
4. Party on after dark
Vienna’s vibrant nightlife scene offers a wide array of clubs, bars and other entertainment options. Check out the funky bar on the top floor of the Sofitel Hotel – it’s like spending the evening inside a gigantic artwork.
5. Stop and smell the roses
Vienna’s Volksgarten is a beautiful park on the Ringstrasse which features a stunning array of roses and other flowers. There’s also the “Temple of Theseus” here, which houses an art installation comprising a single work which changes each year.
6. Head to a museum
Vienna has literally scores of museums, with the rich history of the Habsburg dynasty seeing major collections of art, objects, historical artefacts and more on display year round. The Jewish museum traces the city’s Jewish history, while the Albertina, Sisi, Kunst and other museums contain priceless items which have to be seen to be believed. These items are from the collection of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who visited Australia during a “world tour” prior to his assassination which led to the start of World War I.
7. Check out a monument
Vienna is filled with statues at every turn, including this stunning one of Athena which graces the front of Austria’s Parliament building on the Ringstrasse. We can see where Madonna got some of her inspiration.
8. See how the other half lived
The wealthy people who lived in mansions on the Ringstrasse resided on the middle floors of the buildings, known as the Beletage. Lavishly decorated, many hosted “Salons” where people would gather to listen to music and discuss the latest ideas. The Gerstner Beletage at Palais Todesco is still in existence and regularly holds an Art & Design brunch.