Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Romantic Vienna - City Of High Culture And Old World Charm

By Andrew Regan

SUMMARY: Spring is here, love is in the air and if you're thinking about whisking your partner away for a romantic weekend then Vienna - with its high culture and old world charm - makes a great getaway for two.

Less well known as a romantic destination than the somewhat clichéd Paris – the Austrian capital of Vienna is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated and vibrant cities of the world. Its blend of historical and cultural heritage mixed with majestic boulevards, medieval streets and ornate courtyards, radiates old world charm and magic.

But it’s not just architecture that makes Vienna a prime spot for a romantic getaway; the cobbled streets are lined with superb Viennese coffee houses, from where you can try an Austrian fruit tea and the city’s famous pastries. Wander onwards and you’ll find cosmopolitan shops, museums and fantastic restaurants to wine and dine in. Try the traditional Wiener schnitzel or beef goulash, both staple dishes in Vienna, or perhaps grab a Wiener from a Wustelstand as you walk past.

For the evenings, why not sample an opera, ballet or concert? Vienna boasts a proud musical heritage and has produced a number of renowned artistic geniuses, such as Schubert, Brahms and Mozart. There are hundreds of bars, clubs and music venues across the city offering countless opportunities to enjoy classical concerts - but make sure you book in advance, as performances at major venues sell out fast!

Vienna is great to visit in winter when the streets are covered in soft snow: the city becomes a glorious Yuletide parade of colour and music in which you can enjoy Gluwein from the Christmas markets stalls and take in the festive street spirit. And if you get cold, step into the Schmetterlinghaus (Butterfly house) - a dreamy enclave containing more than 150 different species of butterflies, which maintains a cosy temperature of 26C throughout the year.

To inject some real romance into your stay, why not take a room in one of Vienna’s grand hotels such as Hotel Sacher, with its blissfully romantic décor such as white and gold rococo furniture, pink marble bathrooms and views of the opera house? Or, how about a stay in Vienna’s first boutique hotel - the Hotel Das Treist - with its laid back élan, colourful interior and chic Italian restaurant?

Getting to this romantic Austrian paradise is quick and easy with cheap flights to Vienna from London taking just over two hours. So if you’re looking for a romantic destination to woo your partner, Vienna - the city of high culture and old world charm - is the perfect place to visit.

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