Once the leading city in Central Europe, today's Vienna is a modern city robed in 18th Century charm and 19th Century grandeur. The Old World ambience of the city is determined as much by attitude as architecture: The Viennese invented cafe society, ad they continue to perfect the art of sophisticated relation. Nowhere else in Europe are you so aware of a sense of warmth and friendly comfort. This feeling is so prized by the Viennese that they refer to it by name - gemutlichkeit (literally, coziness). To get the true sense of the word, spend some time in the cafes, where you'll see the residents lingering over newspapers, chatting with fiends and relaxing over a whipped-cream confection and a rich cup of coffee.

Vienna lies in the northeastern corner of Austria, at the crossroads of eastern and western Europe. To the southeast, Budapest is less than four hours away; to the northwest, Prague is about five' and Munich is about a four-hour drive due west. Nestled in the foothills of the Wienerwald, Vienna is hilly; the centre of the city (Districts 1 through 9) is generally flat, although the terrain slopes higher as you get close to the woods. The Danube (Donau) of waltz fame traverses the city.

The heart of the city is to be found in the ancient streets around St Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom) and Karntner Strasse - a lively street lined with shops and reserved for pedestrian traffic - leading away from the cathedral and out toward the Ring. (The Ringstrasse, created by Emperor Franz Josef in the 19th Century, is a broad, curving concourse rich with Vienna's proudest architecture.) The square-mile area within the Ring is the Innenstadt (Inner City). Within the Innenstadt and along the Ring are most of Vienna's imposing and historic structures.

Note: Vienna is divided into 23 districts, whose numbering helps to orient the visitor asking directions (or giving directions to a tax driver). Listings in, for instance, a telephone book will begin with the district number, followed by the street name and number. When you see 19, Probusgasse 6, it means house number 6 on Probusgasse in the 19th district. (Most people would say to a taxi driver, "Probusgasse 6, 19th District," - or, given in German, ("Probusgasse sechs, neunzehnten Bezirk".)

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Camelot International have a number of high quality hotels and apartments that you may wish to view. All the properties are available for you to book through the internet at very compettitive prices and all bookings over three nights will receive a free copy of the "Cities of Europe" CD.

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