Grandiose Vienna was the showpiece of the all-conquering Habsburg dynasty. Monumental edifices line the city centre, world-class museums burst with treasures, white stallions strut their way down mirrored halls and renowned orchestras and angelic choirboys perform in lavish concert halls.
Vienna has plenty of lower-brow pleasures too - walks in the woods, splish-splashing high jinks on the river, slap-up indulgent evenings in its renowned wine taverns. If you can't find something to please you in this generous, opulent, open-armed city, you're ready for the grave.
Cultureheads of every stripe will swoon over Vienna, but music lovers in particular will be in ecstacy. This is the city that nurtured the works of Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, Brahms and Mahler, among others. This heritage has an almost physical presence, and music is still a driving force in today's city.
Facts for the traveller
Off the beaten track