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News.. - Free Online Library

LOCALS say Vienna has experienced a renaissance in recent years.

Back in the 1980s, the Austrian capital was regarded as a staid, old-fashioned Western outpost surrounded by Warsaw Pact countries.

But as well as its famous grand old palaces and museums, glittering balls and the prancing horses of the Spanish Riding School, Vienna is now home to cutting-edge modern art, funky design boutiques and cool bars.

High culture will always be a major draw. The sprawling Hofburg Palace complex is still a must-see, taking in the museums, imperial apartments and exhibitions.

Also within the complex are the splendid 16th-century stables, home to the famous Lipizzaner horses of the Spanish Riding School. Tickets to the dressage show sell out quite quickly, but the troupe rehearses most days in the chandeliered auditorium.

Vienna is one of Europe's great cities. It's a mix of old and new styles of architecture and a great place for a long weekend, with a fine selection of galleries, sights, good food and shopping.

The Museum Quarter has a dizzying array of galleries, museums, stage and dance shows, digital projects, workshops and children's activities.

The quarter lies within the vibrant seventh district, with its funky design studios and fashion boutiques and the cool bars and cafes in the Spittelberg area.

Foodies simply have to check out the traditional coffee shops for their decadent pastries and cakes.

During the summer months, Vienna's worldrenowned caf culture takes on a new al fresco ambience.

The array of museums and the palaces are complemented by an outdoor cinema in front of the Rathaus - the seats are free and food stalls abound.


VARIETY n Vienna has a mix of old and new attractions

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