Historically, Vienna has played many parts. It was once the seat of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The city was home to Freud, Trotsky, Tito, Hitler and Stalin (who all lived in the city at the same time, unaware of one another’s existence and the part they would each play in shaping the century). Later, during the Cold War, it was a playground for spies from both sides of the Iron Curtain. Now, it is home to the largest number of ambassadors, diplomats and political envoys in the world. You can join them with flights to Vienna.
The city exudes a unique Old World imperial charm – its gilt-edged palaces and opera houses epitomising Europe’s pre-World War One excesses. Now they simply lend the city a fairy-tale feel – especially at Christmas when the festive lights are on and the markets are in full swing.
This isn’t to say, however, that visiting Vienna is restricted to winter. It is beautiful in summertime – a season that brings with it plenty of al fresco dining, drinking and festivities. Between May and June, there are plenty of outdoor festivals, which culminate in the annual three-day Donauinselfest – Europe's largest free open-air party.
Vienna’s charm isn’t just limited to its rich history. Today, the Austrian capital is a vibrant, cosmopolitan hub. It is a city of sparkling high-end boutiques, Michelin star restaurants and culture. It is also a hotbed of cutting-edge contemporary art, pop-up restaurants, electronic music and bustling backstreet lounges. All in all, it is a city of wonderful contrasts and contradictions, and a fascinating place to visit.