Destination: Vienna

Inspiration from the most livable city in the world

Although Vienna is perhaps most famous for its traditional coffee houses and opulent palaces, Austria’s capital now has an exceedingly modern cause for pride: It’s the most livable city in the world for the second year running. The ranking—given by the Economist Intelligence Unit—gave Vienna high marks in stability, health care, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. 

Vienna is a hot spot for meetings, too. Last year, the International Congress and Convention Association named the city along the Danube River the second most popular destination for international meetings. 

Given its history, amenities and breathtaking sights, Vienna offers planners a wealth of opportunities. Here are three reasons why planners should consider this multilayered and vibrant city for their next destination meeting:

A Storied History

With a legacy shaped by residents like Mozart, Beethoven and Freud, Vienna’s past is an integral part of its present. The magnificent skyline showcases the spire of St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Wiener Riesenrad, a 212-foot-tall Ferris wheel built in 1897 during the reign of Franz Joseph, the emperor of the Habsburg Monarchy.

Also not to be missed: the Leopold Museum, which houses works by famed Austrian artists Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele, and Schönbrunn Palace, once a summer residence to Habsburg royalty. 

Looking for some natural inspiration? The park at Schönbrunn and the Palace Gardens of Belvedere are designated World Heritage sites. 

World-Famous Cuisine

You would be hard-pressed not to find Wiener schnitzel during your culinary wanderings. Austria’s national and ever-popular dish, Wiener schnitzel is golden-fried veal coated in breadcrumbs. Other traditional favorites include tafelspitz (boiled veal or beef in broth, served with a mix of minced apples and horseradish), beuschel (a traditional meaty stew), and selchfleisch (smoked meat), with a side of sauerkraut and dumplings.   

Vegetarians, don’t despair. Delicious, meat-free alternatives spätzle, a cheesy egg noodle dish often served with crunchy fried onions, and grießnockerl, a semolina dumpling soup sprinkled with chives and diced carrots, are sure to wow. 

Or, skip the meal entirely and head straight for Vienna’s world-famous sweets: The apple strudel is not to be missed.

Gone Green

Breathe easy in Vienna, where air quality is high, noise and light pollution are low, and streets are clean. The environmentally friendly city is working toward its goal to decarbonize the country by 2030.

Should your budget allow a trip to the city, we encourage you to visit the Courtyard Vienna Prater/Messe, Imperial Riding School Renaissance Vienna Hotel, Renaissance Wien Hotel or the Vienna Marriott Hotel, which offer a variety of meeting spaces for every type of event—and directions to their favorite spots for Wiener schnitzel!