The Aus­trian cap­i­tal of­fers con­ven­tion go­ers a col­or­ful palette of cul­ture, art and his­tory

Business Traveler (USA) - - GATHERING PLACES -

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.

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