Although I went for Christmas twice, anytime is suitable, since most places are open all year round. This is probably the grandest and possibly most beautiful city in Europe. It has countless museums and palaces, and houses of historic interest, like those of Beethoven, Schubert, Mozart, Strauss and Freud open to view. The greatest artwork treasures are to be found here, throughout the various galleries and museums, those of Breugal, Rubens, the Dutch masters and the Impressionists, Hironymous Bosch, Caravaggio, to mention a few. Central and popular is the golden domed Sessession building, Klimpt and the Beethoven frieze. Why not try the paintings of Egon Schiele? Writers, and thinkers came to Vienna and honed their ideas, for example Hitler, Carl Marx,and Starlin. The sculpture and metal working from the 14th century onwards are incredibly beautiful and sophisticated and defies the idea of there being any dark ages in Europe. The Viennese rulers collected the best artworks for 700 years. Since they controlled much of Europe for that time they could afford to indulge their passions lavishly – and they did. Try the museums quarter, several in one spot, and the Burghoff nearby. Buildings that will leave you gasping with the magnitude of their rulers ambition, architectural and artistic wonders abound – exquisite furniture, painted ceilings and frescos, marble halls and staircases, open to he public to wander around at leisure.
Because central Vienna is encircled by the ringstrasse, one road, and many of these great places are to be seen there or close by, it is easy to reach them, either by walking, by tram, or underground. Fortunately some trams just travel on this circular route. If walking is a problem, there are taxis outside all the major tourist spots ready for hire. Hop on and off buses go to all major tourist areas from the state opera house in the centre, which is one of the worlds greatest, but book early.The information centre is also central and can help with accomodation, although booking in advance is recommended. For older people, better to stay near the centre for ease of movement, though taxis are plentiful. Bad news for vegetarians, who are not well catered for, but you can get by on the usual basic pasta/pizza. Smokers are more fortunate because some cafes split up into smoking and non smoking areas. There are lifts in all buildings, and wheelchairs are available. Currency is in euros. Vienna can be pricey, so I would recommend shopping around when dining, or book meals along with a hotel. Some hotels are reasonably priced at around e120 a night, with breakfast of rolls and fruit, and for light lunches expect to pay euros 8 – 15. Everyone speaks English, and people are kind and helpful. Go online to get a taste of Vienna or contact the tourist board for brochures to be sent to you.