Travelling to Hong Kong or Bangkok sometime soon? You need to read on! You can now make a stopover in Vienna en route to Asia, and enjoy the pre-Christmas mood in one of the world’s great romantic cities – quickly, and with zero fuss!

 

Credit: Mohsen Soori

Why not enjoy two destinations on one journey? After putting some thought into how this could be done, those clever people at Austrian Airlines have come up with a brand new product you can enjoy right now: anyone travelling to the Asian megacities of Hong Kong or Bangkok before Christmas can book their flight with a stopover in Vienna as well – so they can spend up to seven days enjoying the Advent markets, tourist attractions, and maybe even a few days’ skiing at the resorts surrounding the capital. So let’s go!

 

Vienna for first-time visitors and connoisseurs

 

The perfect day in the former imperial capital of Vienna just has to include a visit to one of its traditional coffee houses. The best way to do this is to drop by for a breakfast with everything and melange – the city’s famed coffee with milk. Best places to do this? Try the super-classy Café Central or slightly more bourgeois Café Bräunerhof. If you prefer these things with a slightly more kitsch feel, meanwhile, you might think about trying Demel, court confectioner back in the days of the dual monarchy. All three of these are right in the old city centre. After that, take an unhurried stroll through the Hofburg, home to the Spanish Riding School, Imperial Treasury and Sisi Museum, and explore the legendary Heldenplatz and the Ringstraße. The Kunsthistorisches Museum, widely acknowledged as one of the greatest museums on Earth, is also just moments away. When you do finally come back out, it will already be dark, and you’ll be able to revive your spirits with a glass of punch or mulled wine at the Christkindlmarkt outside the front door or the Museumsquartier, just across the road.

 

After taking a quick breather at your accommodation, you can then move on to the theatre, opera or a great concert at one of the capital’s world-renowned venues such as the Musikverein.

 

After that, you can round off the evening perfectly with a visit to one of the city’s vast numbers of chic bars and restaurants, such as the Do&Co, with its legendary view of St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Romance factor? 100 percent!

 

Credit: Roderick Eime

 

Vienna for the adventurous

 

Even those who know Vienna will continually be surprised at the new things going on in the Danube metropolis. There’s always something new to experience. First things first, of course: do highlights like the Vienna Prater, the city’s huge (six square kilometres!) amusement park, which has something to offer for every possible taste – even if it’s just a dignified beer with roast pork and coleslaw at the legendary Schweizer Haus restaurant. Even though crazy city life tends to play out above ground, of course, subterranean Vienna also has its own well-hidden attractions to offer. You can get to know the Austrian capital by taking a variety of spine-tingling tours of the city’s graveyards and sewers – including the Third Man Tour, named after the classic 1949 thriller when participants can view the original underground locations used in the film in Vienna’s sewers. On the mystery tour you can also take a peek behind the scenes of the world city of Vienna – and set out on a search for secret codes, encrypted messages and the Holy Grail! With tours of empty houses with gruesome pasts, on the trail of the Knights Templar or the Da Vinci code, religious secrets and mystery are guaranteed!

 

Very special and no less interesting is a new kind of tour with a more social feel – a tour of Vienna guided by people who know the most secret nooks and crannies of the city – the homeless. So-called supertramps know all the most hidden corners of the capital, have worked out ingenious survival strategies, and are people with huge amounts of character and interesting, often heart-rending stories. Whether you’re shown around by a homeless guy who came to Vienna from abroad years ago with dreams of a great life, by people who have had to flee their own personal miseries, or by a super-streetwise survivor who knows the secret sleeping places of the homeless in Vienna, a tour with the supertramps is always a moving and fun experience. 

 

Credit: Michael Panse

 

Vienna with kids

 

Visit Vienna with kids, and you probably won’t want to leave – that’s how wide and diverse the range of family-friendly options is here. Start off with Zoom Children’s Museum in the Museumsquartier, where explorers of all ages can discover the world with all their senses, asking questions, touching, researching, feeling and playing as they do so. Housed in what used to be a World War II anti-aircraft tower, the Haus des Meeres aquarium is home to over 10,000 marine creatures from the Mediterranean and South Seas regions, ranging from turtles to piranhas and reef sharks. Children and their parents should always be sure not to miss out on a trip on the Big Wheel, at the Prater amusement park, when visiting Vienna. Like the Prater, the Hapsburgs’ one-time summer residence, Schloss Schönbrunn, is an integral part of the former imperial city. The Zoo is also located in Schloss Schönbrunn park. The Zoo is home to apes, giraffes, lions and penguins, with some still housed in old, dual monarchy-era pavilions! Rating: definitely worth a look! And just in case you haven’t had enough yet, you can then enjoy the Technisches Museum, just a few minutes’ walk from Schönbrunn. This interactive museum has something for discoverers big and small! 

 

 

Credit: superscheeli

 

The perfect spot for winter sports lovers and skiing fans

 

If you really want to enjoy those magic mountains, that piste feel and amazing après-ski in Austria, then you need to get out of the capital. The best way to do this is by renting a car or by train. After just a few hours, you’ll find yourself at the heart of the Alps – which could mean Carinthia, Tyrol, Salzburg, Upper Austria, Lower Austria or Vorarlberg. At winter openings, events are often held in the numerous ski resorts to mark the opening of the new season – and some of these events are really worth checking out. Particularly exciting, for example, is the opening at the Obertauern resort in the Salzburg region, where night is turned into day for two full weeks, from 25 November to 10 December.  At Ischgl in Tyrol, meanwhile, the opening features a live concert at 2,000 metres above sea-level.

 

 

Like the idea of making a stopover in Vienna sometime soon? If so, here’s how you can book your stopover to Hong Kong or Bangkok via Vienna:

 

In the booking mask, choose “Extended search/open jaw flights” and enter the date of your Austrian flight for the long-haul route from Vienna to Hong Kong or Bangkok, as well as the length of time you wish to stay in Vienna.

 

Offer bookable from 15 October to 15 December 2017 for journeys from 15 October 2017 to 31 March 2018, and valid on outbound flights only. Only on new bookings and at austrian.com.

 

Departure possible from the following countries: France, Romania, Great Britain, Germany, Poland, Belgium and Italy.

 

Vienna looks forward to welcoming you very soon