Anyone living in the North of England or the Midlands too who is considering a short break in Vienna this year can thank the airline Jet2.com for starting up a direct route from Manchester to Vienna. Flights will operate 3 tines a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from May to October. In November and December flights will operate twice a week, on Fridays and Mondays – ideal for a Christmas market break.
These new flights will be welcomed by many, as in recent years it has been necessary to travel to London to fly from Heathrow or Gatwick to the Austrian capital.
For those visitors who don’t have much time to spare, the central area of Vienna is very compact and contains many of the city’s “must sees.” These include St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the iconic image of Vienna and a superb example of Gothic architecture. Its colourful roof is covered with 230,000 tiles that form a mosaic of the double-headed eagle representing Austria’s former imperial family, the Habsburgs.
The Hofburg Palace is another sight not to be missed. The Hofburg Imperial Palace was the centre of the Habsburg empire and contains a number of museums including the authentically-furnished Imperial Apartments, the tasteful SisiMuseum and the Silver Collection, a comprehensive collection of Imperial utilitarian objects.
For many tourists, a visit to the Spanish Riding School in the Hofburg is a highlight of the holiday. Tickets to see the wonderful white Lipizzaner horses perform to Viennese music must be purchased in advance.
A little further from the centre, the Schönbrunn Palace represents Rococo at its finest. It’s probably worth taking a guided tour of this exquisite baroque summer residence of the former imperial family.
One more recommendation – for a quick sightseeing tour take a ride on the special Vienna Ring Tram. It starts at Schwedenplatz and informs riders of the highlights en route during its 23-minute circuit. Vienna’s Ring Boulevard is lined with some of the most stunning architecture in the city. It was created from 1860-1890 when the old city walls were torn down. The best of the architecture includes the neo-classical Parliament, GothicCity Hall and the State Opera.