Things to do in Vienna
The Altes Rathaus dates from the 14th century and features famous baroque motifs on its walls. Inside, you will find pleasing courtyards and passages, along with a gothic chapel and fountains. The Am Hof dates from the 1600s and is Vienna's oldest square. It contains noted buildings such as the Kirche Am Hof and is a great place to start a walking tour. Music lovers will enjoy the Pasqualatihaus, where Beethoven lived while composing some of his major works. It now contains a small museum.
Vienna has some wonderful shopping streets, such as Mariahilfstrasse, where you can find some excellent high-end stores. It is also a great market city, with no less than 21 different markets. You will come across everything from craft and jewellery stalls, to food, coffee and farmers markets. Prices range from budget to premium, so there really is something for everyone. Christmas markets are a particular highlight of the shopping calendar and there are a number spread throughout the city - many of these feature food and drink stalls and are open late into the evening. Spittelberg is one of the best and there are lots of attractions as well as stalls near the Rathaus.
Vienna is famous for its traditional dishes, such as pork, dumplings and Emperor Franz Josef's favourite: Tafelspitz, a dish of pink boiled beef. Coffee and pastries are also a treat. Nowadays, however, there is a new wave of Viennese cooking with a lighter and more sophisticated character. Steirereck is often rated as one of the top 50 restaurants in the world and serves modern Austrian food. Restaurant Edvard has a more international menu and boasts a Michelin star, while Zum Schwarzen Kameel is a traditional favourite that served Beethoven.
Cinema buffs should visit Burg Kino, where they screen the classic movie, The Third Man, every day except Wednesday. The Burghtheater is one of the world's foremost German language theatres, while Deutschordenskloster is the best place in the world to listen to Mozart. Bäckerstrasse 4 is the place to catch new Viennese artists and book lovers just cannot miss the Hofbibliothek, which is one of the most spectacular libraries in the world. The Kaiserliche Schatzkammer is the imperial treasury of the city and has some memorable exhibits.
It goes without saying that the nightlife of Vienna includes many concerts and operas but the city also has more a more contemporary side. If you do choose one of the classic venues, do remember to dress appropriately because the Viennese adhere to formal dress code. If something more modern is to your taste, you can find the best indie music at Flex, and Jazzland is the place to go for jazz.