Everyone knows about the golden, buttery and flaky croissants that the French are so fond of, but did you know this delicacy actually has an Austrian past? It's background is Viennese to be more accurate! It's said Viennese bakers created this crescent-shaped pastry called Kipferl back in the 13th century. However, it wasn't until the 17th century that this sweet treat’s popularity spread. As a matter of fact, it's believed that in 1683, bakers in Vienna made Kipferl to celebrate the victory of the Austrian army over the Ottoman Turks, as their shape was a reminder of the crescent form seen on the Ottoman flag. The famous pastry made its way across the border in 1770 as Marie Antoinette of Austria, married to the French King Louis XVI, introduced her most adored pastry to France.
Speaking of Marie Antoinette, you will not want to miss the opportunity to step back in time and learn more of her childhood as she spent most of her long summer days at the majestic Schönbrunn Palace. Stroll the magnificent gardens of this important Baroque ensemble and walk from room to room, retracing the imperial life of the Habsburgs. Vienna is also a haven for classical music enthusiasts! Often called “The City of Music”, the Austrian capital is known for having welcomed four of the world’s most famous and talented composers: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert and Johann Straus. Indulge yourself to a musical journey at the singular Museum of Sound, observing talented composers and musicians, or take a seat at the magnificent Renaissance Vienna State Opera for a delightful concert and a real treat for all of your senses.Wander the cobblestoned streets of the historic centre at leisure, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site and admire the diverse architectural styles that together create an incredible atmosphere within the city. Look up to notice the different eras that marked the heart of the city, from the Middle Ages with the mesmerizing Gothic St. Stephen’s Cathedral, to the Baroque period with the Imperial Palace featuring sumptuous cupolas, and finally to the late 19th century with splendid buildings such as the Vienna State Opera.
In 2018, Vienna was voted the most livable city in the world for the ninth time in a row, amongst 230 other cities around the world. A non-exhaustive list of factors taken into account is the social and economic climate, education, public transportation, green spaces, air quality and entertainment facilities. Since it feels so good to live in the fascinating capital of Austria, don’t you think exploring it on a one or two-day visit makes it an even better experience? Next year, two of our favourite cruises will moore in Vienna for a day, so this is your chance to experience the joie de vivre in this delightful city. Now, all you need to do is pick your destination between a romantic cruise along the Danube, or a fascinating voyage on the Grand Lower Danube. Be sure to watch for our upcoming Melodies of the Danube cruise including the Oberammergau Passion Play in 2022!