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Vienna, the city of music

  • Wien Innenstadt Photo: Georg Bodenstein
  • MuseumsQuartier Photo: WienTourismus, Popp+Hackner
  • Blick auf die Votivkirche und die Universität Wien Photo: WienTourismus, Christian Stemper
  • Prater: Prater Hauptallee Photo: WienTourismus, Popp+Hackner
  • Hofburg: Neue Burg, Heldenplatz, Reiterstandbild Prinz Eugen Photo: WienTourismus/Lois Lammerhuber
  • Adria Wien am Donaukanal Photo: WienTourismus/Christian Stemper
  • Ballet in der Wiener Staatsoper Photo: WienTourismus/Manfred Horvath
  • Naturhistorisches Museum Wien Photo: WienTourismus/Karl Thomas
  • Kunst Haus Wien, Garten Photo: WienTourismus, Popp+Hackner
  • Hofburg: Österreichische Nationalbibliothek Photo: WienTourismus/MAXUM
  • Prater: Wildalpenbahn, Vergnügungspark Photo: WienTourismus/Karl Thomas
  • Prater: Ringelspiel Photo: WienTourismus/Karl Thomas
  • Schloss Schönbrunn Photo: WienTourismus/Peter Rigaud
  • Strandbar Herrmann Photo: WienTourismus/Christian Stemper
Geographically, Vienna lies in the heart of Europe: on the Danube and the north-eastern foothills of the Alps. The capital of Austria is also one of the nine federal states: the smallest in area, but the most populous. Almost 1.8 million people live in the city, including more than 170,000 students at public and private universities and technical colleges. This makes Vienna one of the largest university locations in the German-speaking world and, with the founding of the university in 1365, one of the oldest university cities in Europe. Nine researchers who worked at the University of Vienna have been awarded the Nobel Prize.


Culture is everywhere in Vienna. UNESCO declared the historic city center a World Heritage Site. Magnificent buildings like the gothic St. Stephen's Cathedral built in the Middle Ages, the Museum of Art History and the Museum of Natural History, the Vienna State Opera, the Burgtheater and the Hofburg with the Spanish Riding School, the National Library and the Albertina Art Museum adorn the cityscape. Especially popular is the Sisi Museum, where the famous Empress Elisabeth is honored. The Vienna Museum quarter is one of the ten largest cultural areas in the world. Vienna is not called the "city of music" for nothing: Heroes of classic music like Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert and the Strauss dynasty worked in the city. Their graves can be visited at the huge Central Cemetery.


Vienna is the eponym of an independent style of food, the Viennese cuisine, the only city in the world that can claim this for itself. Desserts like Sachertorte, Apfelstrudel and Kaiserschmarren are available in the famous coffee houses, classics like Wiener Schnitzel, Tafelspitz and Wiener Backhendl can be enjoyed in many restaurants. In addition to the numerous traditional coffee houses, Vienna has a lively club scene, many live locations and design-oriented trendy bars. The 7th district is known for its countless great stores, including many Viennese designers. The Vienna Prater is very popular with visitors, a ride on the famous Ferris wheel is highly recommended. Many green spaces offer peace and relaxation. Half of Vienna's city area consists of gardens, parks, forests and agricultural land. The Danube Island is one of the most popular leisure areas with many sports facilities: a climbing park, a water playground, swimming bays, boat rentals and an extensive network of paths for jogging, skating, cycling and walking. The island is artificially created and is intended to serve as flood protection. Meanwhile there are also restaurants and bars as well as some public barbecue areas. Vienna is especially known for the "Wiener Schmäh" of its inhabitants, a typical Viennese way of humor and linguistic manners.

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Ann, 33 course participant from the US Photo: Goethe-Institut Frankfurt

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