Pick up your hire car at Vienna International Airport and discover the Austrian capital - a paradise for music lovers, culture vultures and winter-sports enthusiasts.
"We're the world capital of music! Whether it be classical, opera or operetta, our elegant and spectacular city is master of them all."
There may be fewer glitzy balls and aristocratic intrigues than there once was, but Vienna is still a grand and intoxicating destination.
From dancing horses to dainty cakes, everything about Vienna oozes charm and style. Walking around the august courtyards, you can almost hear the classical rhythms of its musical masters.
The people of Vienna are genteel and refined, so can appear aloof. But they're a jovial bunch when you get to know them.
Vienna is usually covered in snow between November and April, so dig out your salopettes, strap on your ski boots and head up to the mountains - there are few better places in Europe to hit the slopes.
Vienna is a paradise for the sweet of tooth - cafe overflow with strudels and sweet dumplings. For those of a more savoury persuasion, try Wiener schnitzel (veal cutlets) served up with a big pile of sauerkraut.
When it comes to musical sons, Vienna is without rival. Mozart, Schubert and Strauss lived and composed here.
Vienna is the only capital in the world to have hosted an International Ski Federation World Cup race within its city boundaries - a fact that speaks volumes about the quality of its skiing facilities.
"Yes, beloved Vienna, you hold in your narrow compass the dearest and most precious things in life." - composer Franz Schubert
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City halls don't come much grander than Friedrich von Schmidt's Gothic masterpiece, which the mayor and the city council call home. This towering structure also houses one of the city's oldest restaurants.
Park in nearby Landesgerichtstrasse.
This sobering, dignified monument was created by the British artist Rachel Whiteread as a tribute to the 65,000 Austrian Jews who died in the Holocaust. Known as "the silent library", it consists of concrete shelves displaying untitled books.
In nearby Wipplingerstrasse, Tiefer Graben and Salvatorgasse.
Once the political HQ of the Austrian monarchy, this splendid palace is now the Austrian President's official residence and offers a unique insight into the country's rich heritage.
Reserved parking is available nearby.
The Upper Belvedere palace was originally built to host lavish masked balls, firework displays and royal receptions. It now houses works by Van Gogh, Klimt, Rodin and Schiele.
There's a car park by the entrance.
Learn how to conduct an orchestra or listen to what an unborn child hears at this hi-tech, interactive music museum, located in a former royal palace.
There are several parking garages in the vicinity.
The world's first slalom race was staged at Lilienfeld way back in 1905, which makes this small but friendly ski resort one of the most historically significant in Austria.
Follow the A1, then take exit 59-Sankt Pölten Süd to merge onto the B20. Follow signs to the resort. The journey will take just over an hour.
Under two hours driving time from Vienna Airport, near Salzburg, is Annaberg. While many resorts around Austria's fourth city are crowded, Annaberg's powdery slopes are largely congestion free.
Follow the A1 for around 31 miles, then take exit 59-Sankt Pölten Süd to merge onto the B20. Continue on the B20 to Annaberg.
If the idea of a mud bath, followed by a dip in an outdoor thermal pool sounds great after a hard day's skiing, head to the slopes of Bad Mitterndorf - a spa resort just over two hours from Vienna by car.
Take the A23 and continue on the A2. Exit at Knoten Seebenstein to merge onto the S6. Pick up the A9 toward Salzburg/Linz and exit for the B320. Continue onto the B145, following signs for Bad Mitterndorf. The journey takes nearly three hours.
The booming Slovakian capital is less than an hour away from Vienna and you'll find no shortage of museums, plazas and architecturally unique buildings to wander around in this up-and-coming city.
It takes under an hour to reach Bratislava from Vienna - just follow the A4 and continue onto the A6. Exit onto Route 2 and follow signs for the capital.
" Vienna is a great city to drive in, but watch out for traffic wardens - they are very efficient! If you're parking on the street, you'll need to get a ticket from a tobacconist and display it in your windscreen. Finding your way around should be straightforward, although be aware there are lots of one-way streets. The best thing about hiring a car though is to be able to get out of the city on day trips, such as an excursion from Kahlenberg to Hütteldorf through the Vienna woods. And lastly, don't forget trams have right of way, and they're a lot bigger than you! "