The world's most liveable city offers a world of waterfront wonders

The world's most liveable city offers a world of waterfront wonders



Vienna is a city where beauty, music and water converge in perfect harmony.

The Austrian gem, Vienna, enchants visitors from across the globe with its rich history, breathtaking architecture, and vibrant cultural scene. A mere six-hour flight from the GCC brings intrepid travellers to this picturesque European city.

Our Vienna adventure commenced at the SO/Vienna Hotel. Situated in the heart of the city, it's the ideal location to jump on (and off) the impressive transportation links. Blending urban coolness with serene tranquillity, this urban retreat designed by renowned French architect Jean Nouvel is a masterpiece seamlessly integrated into the cityscape.


As we entered the lively world of SO/Vienna, Christian, General Manager, welcomed us with open arms and contagious excitement. This artsy-style hotel offers several chic accommodations, from a studio setting to corner rooms with wonderful cosy nooks and surreal views. The hotel also boasts all of the facilities one would expect from a modern city hotel, from captivating dining areas with stunning city views to a relaxing oasis at the luxurious spa and an uber-trendy bar in the lobby area that's perfect for people-watching.

Settling into our SO/Comfy Room, we were instantly transported to a realm of comfort and snugness. Running late for breakfast was a reoccurring theme, and waking up to the dreamy view was an experience in itself.

The Danube River

On our first day, we hit the enchanting streets of Vienna. Our charismatic tour guide, Ilse, informed us that water plays a central role in the city's allure; and the theme of our walking tour was all things water. We were advised to bring our refillable bottles and ensure we had comfy footwear for the whirlwind three-hour city tour. Unlike many cities, Vienna boasts tap water that's safe to drink, though the taste and appearance depend on its origin, history and the rock layers it flows through. Originating from the Lower Austrian Styrian Alps, the crystal-clear spring water flows directly to Vienna through the Mountain Spring Pipelines, resulting in a unique composition of minerals.

St. Stephen's Cathedral

As we wandered through the streets, we encountered an array of art, music, and historical wonders, each adding to the city's vibrant tapestry. We stopped to marvel at St. Stephen's Cathedral, the Vienna State Opera, and the Austrian Parliament Building, filling our water bottles at drinking fountains and bassena along the way. These public water stations in the old passage of houses in Vienna were historically a meeting point for small groups of women. Immersed in the topic of water from various perspectives, our itinerary was jam-packed with water-based adventures, from a scenic boat excursion along the Danube River to a mesmerising hike along the 1st Vienna Mountain Spring Pipeline, showcasing the city's enduring connection to this life-giving resource. As a tribute to Vienna's 150-year-old water supply, a Jubilee Fountain will be constructed in the city's 10th district by autumn 2023.

Food enthusiasts will find themselves in a culinary paradise in Vienna. The city's food scene is a delightful fusion of traditional Austrian cuisine and international influences, offering a diverse range of flavours and experiences. We tried everything from Weiner Schnitzels to Tafel Spitz, tender boiled beef served with traditional sides like cream apple horseradish. Beyond the traditional fare, Vienna also embraces international flavours with open arms. You can find everything from Italian pasta dishes to trendy Middle Eastern restaurants.

Café Landtmann

We dined on the culinary masterpieces of Chef Peter Duransky at Das Loft, located on the 18th floor of SO/Vienna and at Café Landtmann, a renowned establishment offering a wide selection of Viennese specialities, from delectable pastries to traditional coffee variations. We also explored the culinary delights of Zur Alten Kaisermule, where we dined on seabass while watching boats sail past.

Vienna is also famous for its coffee house culture. The Viennese coffee houses are more than a paper cup to go. They are places where people come to relax and socialise over sweet treats such as a fluffy Apfelstrudel or Sachertorte, a rich chocolate cake layered with apricot jam.

Vienna by night

Whether savouring a glass of Vienna's pristine tap water or immersing yourself in the city's artistic and architectural wonders, Vienna's captivating spirit, shaped by its vibrant culture, timeless beauty, and harmonious relationship with water, offers an experience that leaves its mark.

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