Vienna is packed with imperial history; at the same time it has exciting contemporary museums, lively eating and nightlife scenes, and many quiet corners to explore.
Few cities can boast the imperial grandeur of Vienna, once the centre of the powerful Habsburg monarchy. Lipizzaner stallions performing elegant equine ballet, the angelic tones of the Vienna Boys' Choir drifting across a courtyard, outrageously opulent palaces such as Schloss Belvedere and Schloss Schönbrunn, and the monumental Hofburg complex – as a visitor today, you feel the grandeur everywhere in Vienna.
Vienna is one the most musical cities in the world. This is partly due to the vast number of great composers and musicians who were born here or lived and worked here. Visiting Austria's capital therefore means experiencing the works of Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, Beethoven, Johann Strauss (both father and son), Liszt, Brahms, Bruckner and many others in venues like the Staatsoper and Musikverein. The music of Bach and Händel continues to be performed in Vienna's historic churches today, and Vienna's Collection of Ancient Musical Instruments, paired with a visit to the Haus der Musik, takes you deeper into the texture of music and how it is created. Venues for classical music are augmented by some great clubs and live rock and jazz places.