The home of broad boulevards, baroque architecture, Mozart and winning way with chocolate cake, Vienna is easily one of the most romantic cities in the world. Although rich in history, modern Vienna is dynamic, forward-looking and awash in art and culture.
Few cities have a coffee culture that’s so ingrained it’s worthy of a UNESCO listing. Vienna does and as a result, the city is awash with coffee houses, many wonderfully ornate, where you can go, sit and drink the black brew for hours on end. While you’re there, grab a slice of Sachertorte, Vienna’s deeply moreish take on chocolate cake, which was invented in 1832 at the behest of Prince Wenzel von Metternich.
History of the Hapsburgs
As with Sachertorte and its regal roots, much of what you see in Vienna bears the mark of the Hapsburgs, the imperial Austrian dynasty toppled by WWI. The most obvious place to start is at the copper-domed Hofburg Palace (Albertinaplaz), now the residence of Austria’s president but until 1918, the home of the Hapsburgs. It also houses a spectacular treasury, complete with the 1,000-year-old crown of the erstwhile Holy Roman Emperors. Once you’ve looked your fill, cross the road to the Kohlmarkt, a fantastic 300-year-old street that is home to some of Austria’s best jewellers and top designer names.
Lindengasse fashion mile
One thing you shouldn’t miss on a weekend break to Vienna from Glasgow Airport is Lindengasse, a one-mile stretch of seriously stylish boutiques in the arty Neubau district. While the big designer names are all on Kohlmarkt, Lindengasse is home to local talent such as Mandarina Brausewetter who creates unique jackets and accessories inspired by graffiti. Also worth a visit is Rosenrot which stocks a carefully edited selection of ultra-hip fashion and homeware.