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Often thought of as the crown jewel of Central Europe, Vienna is a grand and sprawling city which should be included in every travel plan to the region. Home of the Habsburg Monarchy from the 13th century, and more recently the center of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the end of World War I, Vienna’s traditions of high culture and worldly prominence have not been forgotten. Locals still prefer to spend their afternoons in one of the hundreds of refined cafes, sipping on rich espresso and enjoying decadent Sachertorte, the Viennese version of sinful chocolate cake. Professionally, you’ll find that many of Vienna’s inhabitants work at a number of international organizations which have central offices or headquarters here, such as OPEC and the United Nations.
While Vienna has consistently been rated one of the top places in the world to live in recent years, travelers come here to admire the Austrian capital’s past accomplishments. Beethoven, Strauss, Mozart, Freud, Klimt and Maria Theresa all called Vienna home for at least part of their lives, and they helped to shape the city’s prestigious reputation along with countless other notable individuals. Visitors will find traces of their great contributions all over the city: the daily classical concerts, massive Baroque palaces and world-class museums could keep any cultural connoisseur occupied for days.