Culture

Hardly any other city can offer such an interesting and so wide a variety of cultural events. Vienna's music scene is world-known. Think about the Vienna Philharmonic, the Vienna Choir Boys, the Vienna State Opera. In Vienna there is a living concert scene that offers classic as well as modern music on the highest level.

Experimental theatre is also presented here along with performances of classic theatre. Many are also interested in ballet or in modern dance. The museum collections naturally have world value as, for example, the graphic collection in the Albertina. Vienna is a city that takes care of its traditions, and allows the modern to gain an even larger status.

Vienna is an ideal place to learn German in Austria.

Museums

Vienna Language CoursesSchatzkammer (Imperial Treasury) - Located in the Neue Hofburg, the Schatzkammer (also known as the Secular and Ecclesiastical Treasures) is the best part of the Hofburg and an absolute must on any tour of Vienna. It contains the Hapsburgs' collection of jewels, crowns, and other valuables - perhaps the best on the Continent. Second only to a tour of the Kunsthistorisches Museum itself, of which the Schatzkammer is officially a part, there are 20 rooms of priceless treasures that give a fairly accurate feel for Hapsburg court life over the centuries.

The New Palace (Neue Hofburg) - The New Palace is the newest and largest section of the Imperial Palace. It contains the Ethnological Museum and three branches of the Museum of Fine Arts. The Ephesus Museum contains classical art from Asia Minor. The Collection of Historical Musical Instruments is self-explanatory, but the jewel of the New Palace is the Collection of Arms. This collection, second largest in the world, houses an immense and exhaustive representation of weaponry from past centuries.

Vienna Language CoursesThe Belvedere - Intended as a summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy, the Belvedere was located outside the city walls. Its two palace segments, the Upper and Lower Belvedere, later became the permanent home of the Austrian Gallery. The Oberes Belvedere (Upper) contains recent Austrian and international art from the past two centuries. Viennese art from the early twentieth century is well-represented in the permanent collection "Vienna around 1900 and the Art of the Classical Modern.

Castles and Palaces

Vienna Language CoursesSchloss Schönbrunn - Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1996, it is not far from the city centre and easy to get to by public transportation: You can take the underground U4 (green line) and get off at Schönbrunn; If you plan on catching a tram, take 10, 58, and detrain at Schönbrunn. Otherwise, take the 10A bus and alight at Schönbrunn. Schönbrunn is the ultimate palace experience in Vienna, because the Hapsburg summer palace can be found here. It is comparable in grandeur to Versailles and is definitely a must-see in Vienna. Its gardens and zoo (the oldest in the world, built for Maria Theresa's husband in 1752) alone are worth a lengthy visit.

Vienna Language CoursesHofburg Palace - This immense palace complex grew into a large, unwieldy series of buildings over the years and was the imperial residence of the Habsburg emperors until 1918. What began as a medieval castle (whose chapel is the only original element of that building to survive) was expanded and redecorated as the Habsburgs' power increased correspondingly. The Palace Stables and Amalia's Wing were added in the sixteenth century. The Imperial Chancery Wing, Court Library, and Spanish Riding School was added in the eighteenth. In the last century, St Michael's Wing was tacked on and around 1900 the New Palace was completed. The contents of each separate building contain so many treasures that the time spent moving from one to another is like opening box after box of fabulous jewels - it's difficult to know when to stop.

Nightlife

Vienna doesn't have the reputation of being a huge European party city, the denizens of the fair city of music rather preferring so-called "Sitz-clubbings" (seated clubbings where you pay entry and drink sitting down with very little dancing) to actual clubbings. Still, when night falls, the Viennese let go of some of their inhibitions. If you're walking around the center of town, you're bound to run into touts passing out vouchers for free drinks or waiving door fees. During the summer, restaurants stay open late into the night, so even if you're not looking for a club scene there is likely to be something for you. If you are looking for something a little less gemütlich, see below.

  • Flex - This probably main club venue of Vienna is down on the Wien Kanal, a feed of the Danube. Take the U2/U4 to Schottenring, taking the Schottenring exit, then walk, keeping the river on your right, until you get to a bridge. There take the stairs down: the club is on the canal itself). There are loads of tables in front of and on top of the club in summer and an enclosed bar in the colder months with the club next door.
  • Fluc - Fluc and its downstairs sister Fluc Wanne (meaning "tub"), where the real dancing happens, are a bit cheaper and good alternative to Flex. Take the U1/U2 to Praterstern, head upstairs and from there head towards the ferris wheel ("Riesenrad"). It's on the roundabout but a little difficult to find because most of the club is underground.

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