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City of culture; In the first of an occasional series of City Snaps, WIL TREASURE offers the 'at a glance' guide to Vienna.

Byline: WIL TREASURE

WHAT'S WORTH SEEING? THE Austrian capital has become a popular destination in recent years. The city is alive with history, from the narrow medieval streets to broad imperial squares.

The one-time home of famous names including Mozart and Johann Strauss has a legacy of musical entertainment which shouldn't be missed.

The Wiener Philharmoniker orchestra performs regularly at the Musikverein, and there are year-round performances at other music halls and theatres around the city.

The Spanish Riding School (00 43 15 33 903 113; www.srs.at) with its famous Lipizzaner stallions is a major attraction, too. The performance seasons run from March to June and September to December. Bookings are advised.

There are also numerous historical sights to see, including the Hofburg Palace and St Stephen's Cathedral.

FEELING PECKISH? The Restaurant Kronprinz Rudolph (00 43 1 211 500), situated in the Hotel Stephanie, has secured a lasting reputation as the best place to find traditional Viennese dishes.

Expect the traditional Wiener Schnitzel and Sache Torte, but also prepare to be surprised - Vienna is unusual for a city in being able to boast its own food traditions in addition to the famous national dishes.

The Palmenhouse (00 43 15 331 033), one of the most beautiful glass and steel structures in the world, hosts a popular restaurant in an unusually tranquil city centre location.

WHERE CAN WE STAY? The Hotel am Stephansplatz (00 43 1 534 050) has rooms which open out to a panorama Cathedral.

Recently renovated, the hotel has a distinctly modern feel and is right in the heart of the city. Doubles start from 180 euros, have a larger room with a view.

Lying on the longest shopping street in Vienna, the Hotel Das Tyrol (00 43 15 875 415) provides a convenient and classy e to stay. The sleek deis complemented by emporary Viennese Doubles start from euros.

HOW DO WE GET THERE? KLM is offering return flights from mingham for around 30 early in January. 71 231 0000; www.m.com).

ritish Airways (0844 3 0787; www.com) flies four times day to Vienna from athrow.

A taxi into the city sts around 25 euros d takes 25 minutes. Alternatively Freent train services run Wien Nord for 10 eus.

WHEN'S BEST TO GO? Vienna is a yearround destination. ummer can be hot, ut is perhaps the best me to go if you want o spend time on foot o see the sights. Howver, for a romantic reak you can't beat a now-covered Vienna.

WHAT SHALL WE TAKE HOME? opera in Those with a sweet tooth will be pleased to know that Vienna is awash with sugary treats to take home.

From sacher torte to the famous Demel and Altmann and Kuhne hand-made chocolates.

Flohmarkt, the biggest flea market in Vienna, is sure to turn up unusual gifts in abundance.

CAPTION(S):

MUSICAL: Enjoy opera and ballet in Vienna.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Jan 3, 2010
Words:485
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