Sunday Tribune - - TRAVEL - | Mail on Sun­day


HAVE break­fast on the eighth-floor bal­cony of the Grand Fer­di­nand ho­tel (grand fer­di­ on the Schu­ber­tring. This build­ing was once the head­quar­ters of the Aus­trian se­cret ser­vice. Some­where, there will be a room where cap­tured Soviet spies were force-fed strudel un­til they talked, but I filled up on bircher muesli – yo­gurt, oats and berries –which is as close as lo­cals come to health food.

Af­ter an ul­tra-strong Vi­en­nese cof­fee, I took a su­per-charged stroll along the Ringstrasse past the Opera House (wiener-staat­ to­wards the Al­bertina art gallery (al­, with a lift at one end and a but­ter­fly house at the back. Its col­lec­tion in­cludes works by Monet, Matisse, Pi­casso and Renoir.


AF­TER a hec­tic morn­ing, you’ll need to rest your legs just around the cor­ner at the Sacher Ho­tel (sacher. com), home of the fa­mous choco­late con­coc­tion sacher­torte, cre­ated by Franz Sacher in 1832.

Suit­ably re­freshed, you could de­cide to take on one more palace. Schon­brunn (schoen­, the grand­est Vi­en­nese palace of all, sits in rolling park­land that fea­tures or­na­men­tal lakes and Ro­man re­mains, and is open all year.

The lo­cals’ favourite palace is the Belvedere (, eas­ily reached on the reg­u­lar tram from the Ringstrasse. An­other world her­itage site, this el­e­gant Baroque palace with as­ton­ish­ing in­te­ri­ors is set on a hillside amid beau­ti­ful gar­dens. In­side are white mar­ble halls, fab­u­lous state rooms and 24 Klimt works, in­clud­ing his most fa­mous of all, The Kiss. What bet­ter way to seal your trip?

Rooms at the Grand Fer­di­nand (grand fer­di­ cost from about £150 (R2 600) a night. For more de­tails on vis­it­ing Vienna, go to wien. info.

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