Vienna is the imperial jewel in Austria's crown. You'll see the fruits of the city's status everywhere, from the treasures of the cosmopolitan Ringstrasse to the Hofburg, Emperor Franz Josef's palace. This splendor was designed to impress subjects centuries ago, and today it makes Vienna a tourist-friendly city overstuffed with baroque buildings and cozy cafés.
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- Walking around the Innere Stadt, Vienna's medieval heart, is an ideal way to spend an afternoon. Explore the twisting streets. It's here that you'll find the iconic 10th-century Stefansdom Cathedral and the shops lining the pedestrian-only Graben.
- Coffee and pastries are centerpieces of the culture here; sample them at Café Central, one of the city's most famous coffeehouses. It was a favorite haunt of Trotsky before the Russian Revolution.
- The Ringstrasse, a grand circular boulevard built in the latter half of the 19th century, envelops Innere Stadt. It is home to some of Vienna's most famous sights, including the MuseumsQuartier complex, the Rathaus and the Staatsoper.
- The Christmas Market lasts from early November into the New Year.
- May through June is festival season, when most events in the city take place.
- Visit one of the thermal baths in Baden, at the eastern edge of the Vienna woods.
- Drink your way through the Weinviertel, which specializes in young wine that goes down smooth.
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