Café Central (17 Herrengasse, Vienna) – this café, which is a fixture of the city for well over 100 years, is located within the Palais Ferstel (with famed historical figures like Freud, Lenin and Trotsky) and is best-known for serving the best, flakiest strudels in Vienna. Visitors come here because of the café air of the city’s 19th century and early 20th century history, complete with paintings of Austrian royalty closeby.
Austrian Dinner Show (Rathausplatz 1, Wiener Rathauskeller, Vienna) — A musical journey from the mountains of Tirol, the charming lakes of the Salzkammergut, and from the romantic Danube Valley to imperial Vienna awaits the visitors of the “Austrian Dinner Show”. Traditional folklore tunes and colorful dances, a spirited “Landler“ from the Alps, romantic arias from Salzburg and famous Waltzes and Operettas from Vienna, the highly talented musicians of our ensemble, excellent vocal soloists and spirited dancers will enchant with their performance of the musical treasures of Austria.
The Austrian Dinner Show Ensemble consists of highly talented musicians, excellent vocal soloists and spirited dancers, who appear in colorful local costumes of the various musical regions visited. In a charming manner they will enchant your clients with their performance of the musical treasures of Austria. Admission: €58 (including 3-course dinner without drinks) See its website for more details: www.austriandinnershow.at
Donauzentrum (Wagramerstrasse 81, Vienna) – a.k.a. “Danube Centre” and located near downtown Vienna, this is a shopping mall which, like Shopping City Süd, offers a variety of retailers, along with eateries, electronics stores, supermarkets, bars and restaurants.
Babenberger Passage (Burgring 3 / Babenbergerstrasse 1, Vienna) — Babenberger Passage, better known simply as Passage, is located directly underneath the Ring, the street that encircles Vienna’s inner district. It was originally built as a pedestrian underpass linking the national art history museum and the Hofburg Palace merely to ease the flow of traffic. That function was consigned to history long ago, and in 2003 the space was converted into the most-visited nightclub in Vienna.
Passage has a futuristic ambience, an interior designed for versatility, state-of-the-art lighting and a tailor-made sound system. The program varies from day to day and includes disco, R n’ B soul, Schlager (hit songs), house and electro. The many stars performing live at Passage have included Timbaland, Craig David, Arrested Development, Tim Toupet and more. If pure house music is more your style, you can add Axwell, Little Louie Vega, ATFC, D.O.N.S., Martin Solveig, Eddie Thoneick and others to the list of artists performing on weekends.
Albertina Museum (Albertinaplatz 1, Vienna) — this museum has a large collection of over a million prints and 60,000 drawings that originally established by Duke Albert of Saxony-Teschen (a son-in-law of Empress Maria Theresia) in 1776. That collection includes famed pieces like Dürer’s “Hare” and his “Hands folded in prayer”, Rubens’ studies of children and masterpieces by Schiele, Cézanne, Klimt, Kokoschka, Picasso and Rauschenberg are displayed in the rotating exhibitions.
On permanent display in the Albertina’s new exhibition collection are the most exciting art movements of the last 130 years: from French impressionism to German expressionism to the Russian avant garde and the present. Monet’s “Water Lily Pond”, Degas’ “Dancers” and Renoir’s “Girl” can be gazed at in wonder, as can paintings by Beckmann, Macke, Chagall, Malevich, Rothko, Rainer and Katz. In addition, the Albertina has an architecture and photographic collection (incl. Helmut Newton, Lisette Model), whose works are displayed in special shows. See the museum’s website for more details: www.albertina.at
Admission: € 11.90 (adult), € 9.90 (seniors), € 8.50 (students up to age 26), free for children 19 years and younger.
The landlocked country of Austria (bordered by Germany and Czech Republic to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland & Liechtenstein to the west), is best-known for being one of Europe’s great cultural destinations. With the country now known as Austria being occupied by various Celtic tribes during the Roman Empire, with invasions by Bavarians, Slavs and Avars afterwards, Charlemagne took over the land in 788 AD and Christianized the local population.
During the Middle Ages, the country became part of a ruling dynasty known as the Hapsburgs (which became one of the most important royal houses of Europe – producing kings in countries like Bohemia, England, Germany, Hungary, Croatia, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, along with provincial areas in present-day Netherlands and Italy). Austria’s sovereignty was challenged when nearby Hungary was conquered by the Muslim-practicing Ottoman Empire during the 16th century (with all of Hungary falling under Austria control as a result of the Treaty of Karlowitz in 1699).
This country’s place in world history is best-remembered when it formed the Austrian-Hungarian Empire in 1867 (establishing the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary) –covering vast territories of central and eastern Europe, consisting of various ethnicities, such as Croats, Czechs, Poles, Serbs, Slovaks, Slovenians, and Ukrainians, along with sizeable Italian and Romanian enclaves. That empire collapsed in 1914, due to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo that year, which triggered World War I. With Austria and Hungary becoming separate countries by the 1920s, they were a fraction of their former geographic size by then.
Austria found itself in the middle of history again, when it became part of Nazi Germany’s Third Reich in 1938, and was cut up in different zones by the Allied Forces (USA, UK, France and Russia) after the end of World War II in 1945. Austria became a fully independent democracy in 1955 and declared itself politically neutral (during the height of the Cold War period). With the country voting itself into the European Union in 1995, Austria adopted the Euro as its official currency in 1999.
These days, tourists who visit Austria naturally flock to the country’s capital Vienna. There, many visitors trace the country’s history of classical musical innovation. Thanks to the patronage of the Hapsburgs, Vienna attracted a number of classical music composers during the 18th & 19th centuries, such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Johann Strauss. Visitors also come across sites associated with Austria’s royal and medieval periods (such as Schönbrunn Palace, Tiergarten Schönbrunn, and Mariazell Basilica). With tourism accounting for 9% of the country’s GDP, Austria attracted 20 million visitors by 2007 (ranking it 12th in international tourist arrivals).