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Welcome to Vienna


City Break to Vienna


The capital of Austria, Vienna is without doubt one of Europe’s grandest imperial cities. Renowned as the music capital of the world and influenced by all the great composers including Mozart, Strauss and Beethoven, the city is alive with the sound of music from classical concerts to jazz clubs, street musicians and the Vienna Boys’ Choir. City Breaks to Vienna from Dublin are an ideal way to enjoy this city.

Information & Facts

Things to do 
Most of Vienna’s historical sights are concentrated in the Old City (Innere Stadt) and around the Ringstrasse, including St Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom), The Imperial Palace (Hofburg), the National Theatre and State Opera, and Mozart’s house. One of the biggest art complexes in Europe, the Museumsquartier Wien (MQ) is located on the perimeter of the Old City. Within its museums are displayed the works of Schiele and many other modern masters. The palace and gardens of Schönbrunn are one of Vienna’s top attractions, as is the Spanish Riding School. The large park known as the Prater is home to the Giant Ferris wheel, as well as other rides and attractions. Cheap weekend breaks to Vienna from Ireland are ideal for visiting Kärntnerstrasse and Graben with theie excellent shops, and many coffee houses. Don’t leave Vienna without paying a visit to one of these, renowned for their coffee and pastries - try the famous Sachertorte. Heurigen are taverns selling reasonably priced snacks, wine and beer.  Abbey Travel offers unforgettable last minute city breaks & short break deals to Vienna.



Vienna has a temperate continental climate, with warm, sunny summers and cold winters. The average temperature range in January is between 23°F and 34°F (-4°C to 1°C), while in July temperatures range between 60°F and 76°F (15°C and 25°C). Thunderstorms occur frequently in summer and snowfall is common in winter. Spring, autumn and the beginning of summer are perhaps the best times to travel to Vienna.


The official language in Austria is German.


The unit of currency is the Euro (EUR), which is divided into 100 cents. Currency can be exchanged at banks and bureaux de change available in all towns, but it may be easier to use the ATMs. Banks are closed on Saturdays and Sundays, but exchange offices at airports and major city rail terminals are open seven days a week. Major credit and debit cards are widely accepted though some small hotels and restaurants may only accept cash. Travellers cheques are also accepted.


Local time in Austria is GMT +1 (GMT +2 from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October).

Situated in the Hofburg Palace, the royal library of the Habsburgs dates from the 14th century and is among the oldest and finest libraries in the world. The six million items stored in the library include papyri, manuscripts, ancient and rare books, maps, globes, portraits, music, photographs and graphics. The Grand Hall is a palatial room topped by a dome, designed in the Baroque style, and is decorated with statues and exquisite frescoes and is regarded as one of the most beautiful library rooms in the world.

The Belvedere consists of two splendid rococo mansions, designed in the early 18th century, which face each other across formal, sloping grounds offering excellent views over the city. From the outside it is Vienna's finest palace complex, built by Prince Eugène of Savoy (1680-1735), the famous general who saved Vienna from the advance of the Ottoman Empire. The museums in the two palaces house some of Vienna's most renowned art galleries, offering excellent examples of Austrian art from the middle ages to present day. Their displays include an unrivalled collection of paintings by Klimt as well as famous works by Schiele and Kokoschka, Renoir and Monet. The Medieval and Baroque works are presented in the Lower Palace where many rooms have been preserved in their original state.

BOGI Park is Austria's largest indoor playground, featuring a climbing volcano, quad train, a trampoline area, slides, ball pools and much more. Children will love exploring the magic cave and train rides as well as meeting other children. BOGI Park also features a restaurant where parents can unwind while the kids are at play.

One of Vienna's most famous residents, Dr Sigmund Freud revolutionised the study of psychology with his ideas. Though many have been discredited, the term 'Freudian slip' and other ideas are still widely known and debated today. The Freud Museum in Vienna houses a number of antiques and mementos of the good doctor inside the offices he practised in from 1891 to 1938. Guided tours are available, and the museum has a giftshop offering photos and other memorabilia as well as books written by Freud.

One of Vienna's most recognisable attractions, the Giant Wheel is located in a large wooded park and playground known as the Prater. It was built in 1897 by an English engineering firm and is the only one of its era still standing (the ferris wheels in Chicago, London, Blackpool and Paris have long since been destroyed). The wheel with its 15 gondolas takes twenty minutes to manoeuvre around and offers magnificent panoramic views of the city.

The House of Music is an interactive, high-tech discovery museum devoted to music and is located in the former Palais of Archduke Charles. Four floors take visitors past the music and memorabilia of the great composers who lived in Vienna, such as Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and Schubert; discover the top musicians of today; and explore the future of music on computers. Conduct an orchestra, listen to what an unborn child hears in the womb or paint a musical picture. The museum was awarded top prize for its innovative design and allows visitors to experience music using the senses of sight, sound, touch and hearing.

The Hofburg Palace, or Imperial Palace, was the home of the Austrian Hapsburgs for 600 years. The first fortifications were erected by King Ottakar Premyst in the 13th century and were added to by every generation until it became the monumental structure it is today. As well as housing the president's offices, the palace now encompasses 22 separate museums, the National Library, a 14th-century Augustinian church, the famous Spanish Riding School and the Royal Chapel, where every Sunday the Vienna Boy's Choir sing Mass (they have performed for the Royal Court since 1498). It will be impossible to even catch a glimpse of everything on display at the Hofburg, so visitors should be selective. The most popular of the museums is the Kaiserappartements, which takes visitors on a tour of the Kaiser's imperial apartments, the Sisi Museum, and the Imperial Silver Collection.

Boasting more than 3,500 animals, the House of the Sea (Haus des Meeres) features a terrarium where children can marvel at crocodiles and snakes, or for the more impressive creatures, the tropical seawater section features piranhas, sharks and sea turtles. The crocodile park is another attraction, while the tropical house features free-flying birds and monkeys who have free reign over everything.

The Schatzkammer, located in the Hofburg Palace, houses the greatest treasury in the world spanning 1,000 years of treasures such as relics and vestments from the Austrian Empire and the Holy Roman Empire. Included in the collection are the crown jewels, particularly the priceless imperial crown, which dates from 962, and is studded with precious stones, as well as the Holy Lance was thought to be the lance that pierced Jesus' side while on the cross. Also housed is the Burgundian Treasure, and treasures connected to the Order of the Golden Fleece.

Karlskirche is the most outstanding Baroque church in the city and its 236-foot (72m) high dome flanked by two columns forms a dramatic landmark on the Viennese skyline. The church was commissioned by Emperor Charles VI after the Black Plague that swept Vienna in 1713 and is dedicated to the patron saint Charles Borromeo who was revered as a healer for plague sufferers. The lavishly decorated interior includes frescoes and visitors can get a closer look by taking the elevator to the roof, which is included in the entry fee.

Minopolis is Europe's first theme park featuring a city that was specifically designed for children with buildings, doors, cars, etc reduced to children's size. Children can pretend to be adults and go about their daily life in the city if Minopolis working as whatever their hearts desire - a journalist, fire-fighter, policeman, doctor or dentist. Children can discover their dream jobs in a fun and safe environment. There are over 80 professions for children to try their hand at.

The Fine Arts Museum across from the Hofburg Palace houses many of the art collections gathered by the Habsburgs and is one of the foremost museums of fine arts and decorative arts in the world. The magnificent building is crowned with a 197-foot (60m) high dome, while the inside is sumptuously decorated with marble, gold leaf and stucco ornaments, a fitting home to the formidable artistic treasures collected over the centuries. The collections range from Ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman relics to medieval art, and Renaissance and Baroque paintings. The museum faces the Natural History Museum across the Maria-Theresian Platz, which has an identical exterior.

The impressive Natural History Museum is sited within a neo-Renaissance building that is identical from the outside to the Fine Arts Museum opposite. It is the third largest natural history museum in the world and has some of the oldest exhibits, including early Stone Age artefacts. Visitors can travel through the planet's history ranging from the diversity of nature to the origins of culture.

The magnificent Schönbrunn Palace was used as the summer residence of the Hapsburgs from the 18th century onwards. Set amongst superb gardens this vast, symmetrical structure is everything you would imagine an imperial palace to be. A tour of the palace offers visitors the chance to view the superb assortment of Baroque and Rococo State Rooms and to admire the famous ceiling frescoes of the Great Gallery and the Hall of Mirrors where Mozart once played. The vast gardens are popular with locals and tourists alike, and include a zoo, a maze and labyrinth, the Privy garden, and the Gloriette with viewing terrace. Also within the grounds, the Orangery plays host to classical concerts during the summer season.

The Spanish Riding School of Vienna is the oldest and last riding school in the world where classic dressage is still practised in its purest form. This Institute was founded in 1572 and named for the Lipizzaner horses, which are of Spanish origin. The Imperial Court Stud was originally situated near the village of Lipizza (hence the name of the horses) but since the collapse of the Danube Monarchy in 1920 they have been bred at the Federal Stud in Styria. The horses perform their tricks in the Winter Riding School, which was commissioned by Emperor Karl VI. Performances take place between February and June, September and December but are in high demand and booked up months in advance (details on their website). The easiest way to see the horses is during their training sessions. Tickets are only available at the door, and cannot be booked in advance. Situated in the stables is the Lipizzaner Museum, which displays the history of the school.

The Cathedral is one of the city's most recognisable symbols and the massive south tower standing at 445 feet (136m) tall is a dominant feature on the Vienna skyline. The 343 steps can be climbed for a fantastic view over the city. St Stephan's Cathedral is the most important religious building in the city and is one of the greatest Gothic structures in Europe, and has been in a state of continual preservation and repair since its original construction in the 12th century due to fire, city sieges and bombardment. The cathedral is built of limestone and has an ornately patterned and richly coloured roof covered by glazed tiles. The interior is rich in wood carvings, sculptures and paintings and has numerous chapels and altars, as well as the catacombs, which can be visited on a guided tour. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was married here, had children baptised here, and his funeral was held in the Chapel of the Cross.

The former Hofburg residence today houses one of the largest and greatest graphic art collections in the world with drawings, old master prints and modern graphic works. The museum explores the development of graphic arts since the 14th century and there are over 60,000 works on show, including works by Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Manet, Picasso and Cezanne. The Albertina is also one of the most beautiful examples of classical architecture in the world.

The Vienna State Opera performs a repertoire of near-one hundred operas, operettas and ballets every day from September to June. The opera house was founded in the early 18th century (it was rebuilt in 1955 after being all but destroyed in 1945) and makes for a romantic and regal setting in which to enjoy the performances. As seating tickets are not easily available, an alternative is to buy standing-room tickets, which are well priced and can be purchased on the same day (but expect long queues). The State Opera collaborates closely with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and their famous New Year concert requires advance bookings of up to one year.

With beautiful tree-lined paths and exquisite scenery, the Vienna Woods are a fantastic place to go for a walk with the kids and get out into the great outdoors for some fresh air. The miles of open space is perfect for more active kids and walking or riding through this breathtaking scenery is a must for everyone.

This large public park is a great place for families to enjoy a day in the sunshine. Stroll along the Hauptallee where chestnut trees line the way, or visit the Planetarium and the Prater Museum, both located inside the park. The Wiener Prater also has a small amusement park witha Ferris Wheel. There is plenty of open space here for kids to run around.

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