Parliament with Minerva Statue, Vienna, Austria (Photodisc)

Palace in Vienna, Austria (PhotoDisc)

St Charles Church, Vienna, Austria (Digital Vision)

Haas Haus, Vienna, Austria (Charles Hoffman/flickr)

Naschmarkt in Vienna, Austria (Gunar Grummt/flickr)

Saloon inside the Opera House in Vienna, Austria (barnyz/flickr)

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What to do in Vienna

Legend has it that Vienna’s affair with coffee started when Turkish invaders left bags of beans outside the city’s gates. Thus began the Imperial City’s coffeehouse culture—an institution of reading, writing, gossiping, wheeling, and dealing. Many of these establishments feel largely unchanged—like much of this stately, grandiose place. It’s still European cool and ticket-sellers often wear Mozart wigs, but it isn’t old-fashioned: Postmodern concrete hotels share the stage with Habsburg palaces. The contemporary art at MuseumsQuartier is attracting as much attention as the marble, stucco, and gold leaf of Emperor Franz Joseph I’s Kunsthistorisches Museum. If you tire of the architectural pomp, nearly half of the city is dedicated to parkland. And if it all feels too traditional, remember that many of the coffeehouses turn into bars at night.

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