MEETING IN VIENNA
The Austrian capital offers convention goers a colorful palette of culture, art and history
From the beautiful blue Danube to its traditional coffee shops and its splendid architectural legacy, Vienna retains an old world charm, a rich cultural sensibility and a long history. For visitors, Vienna is compact, green, safe and easily accessible, attributes which placed it at the top spot in Mercer’s 2016 Quality of Living Survey as the most livable city in the world. It was also named the World’s Most Reputable City in 2014 by the Reputation Institute.
All these accolades no doubt contribute to the Austrian capital’s consistent showing among the most popular meetings and convention destinations on the planet. Statistics from the International Congress and Convention Association rank Vienna fourth globally in 2015; in total Vienna hosted 3,685 congresses and conferences, company meetings and incentives, just under 750 of which were international.
The city has a wide range of venues large and small, along with attractions that offer interesting activities for attendees. According to the Vienna Convention Bureau, the city has three convention centers, 93 conference hotels, 34 historical venues and 17 contemporary locations.
Most of the key venues and hotels are located in the city’s and on the south bank of the Danube Canal. To simplify travel for convention visitors, discount tickets for the Wiener Linien public transportation network, complimentary maps and information packs are available from the Convention Bureau.
More than three-quarters of convention travelers arrive by air, so the capital’s two largest conference centers recently installed self-service check-in kiosks to help cut travel time. The kiosks are available at Austria Center Vienna and the Messe with Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, Swiss and Brussels to check in and print out their boarding passes on site.
To the see and do
Art and classical music are the cultural soul of the city, so Vienna boasts more than 100 museums, 27 palaces, 120 spaces to host events. Among them, The Belvedere, a former baroque palace, now split into two museums and the Albertina includes 21 neoclassical Habsburg State Rooms and a collection which spans masters from Monet to Picasso.
The 16th-century Spanish Riding School is a meeting venue that also happens to be home to the snow-white Lipizzaner winter residence of the Habsburg family, a labyrinthine venue for large-scale events, with 35 spaces overall.
Then there’s the city’s devotion to good food and drink, with around 7,400 cafés, bars and restaurants. And let’s not forget was the home of Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Schubert and the Strauss family, as well as playwright Arthur Schnitzler and artist Gustav Klimt, among many others.