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Austria’s beautiful capital, Vienna, lies mostly to the west of the River Danube. Up until 1918 it was the capital of Austria-Hungary, which partly explains the size of the city; 1.7 million inhabitants in the city itself and 2.4 million in Greater Vienna, which is roughly 20% of Austria’s population.

The old town, Innerstadt, has been on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites since 2001. There are several international organisations represented in the city, for example; the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the United Nations’ third headquarters after New York and Geneva.

   You can get from the airport to the heart of the city by the CAT high-speed train. When buying your return ticket, you can also get a public transport ticket for Vienna, lasting 24, 48 or 72 hours. A return on the CAT and a 48hr ticket costs around EUR 30. The Vienna underground system has five lines and you can get to any part of the city within two train changes. The tram network is one of the world’s largest and there are also lots of buses.

   When you arrive, all you need to do is enjoy what the city has to offer:

   Austrian cuisine isn’t as renowned as say French cuisine, but most of us are familiar with Wiener schnitzel, Tafelspritz, Kaiserschmarrn, Austrian pastries, apple strudel and Sachertorte.

   Vienna was the hometown of Beethoven, Strauss and Mozart, which has left its musical and cultural mark on the city. The wide variety of performances and concerts can be seen at places like The Musikverein, The Konzerthaus, The Staatsoper and The Volksoper.

   Why not visit Grinzing, a small wine-producing district just to the northwest of the city. Go shopping at Graben, Kärtner Strasse or Kohlmarkt. See the Spansih Riding School’s morning exercise. Marvel at the splendid architecture. Have coffee in style at Café Sacher, Café Landtmann, Café Demel, Café Central , Café Diglas or choose one of the more “smokey” options; Café Hawelka, Café Prückel, Café Bräunerhof, Café Tirolerhof or Café Europé.

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