Win a Lonely Planet Guide to Vienna, Austria
Our new Explorers Club spotlights a port of call from favourite cruising areas each month, looking at what its particular appeal is, what you can look forward to seeing, little known facts about the place – and how to get there. Plus there’s the chance to win a fabulous Lonely Planet travel guide – just see below for how to enter.
The world was first explored by water and in many cases, it remains the best way to discover a new destination, from the Mediterranean to Malaysia, from Alaska to Australia, from Scandinavia to South America. We hope you enjoy taking a look at this new feature!
Why go to Vienna?
Set on the Danube, Austria’s capital is a cultural treasure-trove of historic palaces and parks, castles and churches, gardens and galleries. The whole downtown area is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and more than half of Vienna’s metropolitan area is made up of green space. It’s been dubbed the “City of Music” as the birthplace or sometime residence of Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven and many other celebrated composers, and Vienna is also famous as the hometown of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), the world’s first psycho-analyst. Art-lovers will find impressive and varied collections housed within the city, with works including Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso and Yoko Ono.
What’s good to do there?
You’ll be spoiled for choice in Vienna – there is just so much to see. The historic centre covers three square kilometres, much of it pedestrianised, so a walking tour is a good way to explore. Historic buildings and museums abound, but also unexpected delights like a café that sells furniture, quirky second-hand shops and a tiny basement where you can listen to the finest jazz.
Vienna is also where you’ll find the fabled Spanish Riding School with its magnificent white Lipizzaner stallions. The world-famous performances by the Lipizzans – the Ballet of the White Stallions – take place in the unique, baroque Winter Riding School at the city’s Hofburg Palace accompanied by classical Viennese music.
The Viennese invented cafe society, and the city remains one of the best places in the world to enjoy coffee and a slice of Sachertorte (the Viennese chocolate cake invented in 1832) as you people-watch the passers-by – or a horse-drawn carriage trotting past. UNESCO even recognises the coffee culture in Vienna as part of Austria’s intangible cultural heritage.
Vienna is also known for its Wiener Schnitzel – a cutlet of veal (or pork) meat pounded flat, coated in flour, egg and breadcrumbs, then fried in clarified butter. This traditional dish is offered in almost every restaurant serving Viennese cuisine.
Little-known facts about Vienna?
More famous composers have lived in Vienna than any other city in the world. Franz Schubert, Johann Strauss I and Johann Strauss II were born here and while Mozart, Haydn, Mahler and Bruckner all hailed from different parts of Austria, and Beethoven, Gluck and Brahms came from other countries in Europe, all at one time called Vienna home.
You can visit Mozart’s Apartment and stand in the very same room he stood in, looking out on to the very same view he once looked out onto.
Vienna was the primary capital (together with Budapest) of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (1867-1918) and the city still feels like a political and cultural epicentre today, dominated by grand imperial palaces, strictly maintained royal gardens and statues of serious-looking men on horseback.
At the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum you can see the car that Archduke Franz Ferdinand was travelling in when he was assassinated, precipitating WWI. And the (still stained) clothes he was wearing.
How to get there
A-ROSA offers a medley of 3-16 night Danube cruises that call at Vienna. A-ROSA is one of the very few river cruise lines that continued to operate successfully throughout 2020, and its health and safety protocols remain as reassuring as ever. 7-night fares start at £1,920 pp in an outside cabin for the 3-10 October 2021 Classic Danube Explorer Cruises sailing with ports of call including Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava.
What’s included in your fare:
- Return flights from London Heathrow to Munich
- Transfers to and from A-ROSA DONNA, your contemporary-style, 206 passengers, all-outside-cabin river ship
- Free Wi-Fi on board
- Free Premium Drinks Package including unlimited teas, coffees, mineral water, soft drinks, beers, and selected wine, cocktails and spirits throughout the day
- All meals and afternoon tea on board
- 15% off beauty and wellness treatments in the onboard spa
Win a copy of the Lonely Planet travel guide to Vienna
Simply add a comment below as to why you would love to visit Vienna. The best entry made in the month of May will win a copy of the Lonely Planet travel guide to Vienna, which will be sent to the winner in June 2021.