Austria - The Best Place to Travel in 2020 - Discoverdior
Stefan Gergely/Courtesy of Hotel Sans Souci Wien - (Discoverdior).
Not long ago, Austria was viewed as the meringue of the Germanic world: beautiful to look at, yet somewhat dry when one actually bit in.
But the country has reinvented itself, pouring resources into cutting-edge arts institutions while lovingly elevating the cultural jewels that made it so beloved in days gone by. In Vienna, a wave of new hotels is catering to a younger, hipper crowd.
The Hahnenkamm ski races take place in Kitzbühel each Jan. Vienna’s Life Ball (May) is an extravagant charity gala. The Salzburg Festival (Jul–Aug) presents operas, plays and classical-music concerts.
Travelers from America typically stay up to a week.
None is more emblematic of the changing capital than the Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere, part of a more than $240 million development project surrounding the city’s central train station, which was completely rebuilt in 2015.
Across the street, one of Vienna’s preeminent venues for contemporary art has been rechristened the Belvedere 21, and the nearby Belvedere palaces, two Baroque buildings filled with classical art, have been beautifully renovated.
Over in the ninth district, the Freud Museum has moved into two temporary locations while its main building readies for a May reopening; the expanded space will give access to Freud’s family quarters and add a nearly 40,000-volume library. It’s also a celebration-packed year for Austria’s classical music world.
The legendary concert hall Musikverein turns 150, and this year marks the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth. His party in Vienna will last through 2020, with events like a weeks-long series of all of his symphonies by the Vienna Philharmonic and dozens of concerts at Wiener Konzerthaus and Musikverein.
Austria is a German-speaking country in Central Europe, characterized by mountain villages, baroque architecture, Imperial history and rugged Alpine terrain. Vienna, its Danube River capital, is home to the Schönbrunn and Hofburg palaces. It has counted Mozart, Strauss and Freud among its residents. The country’s other notable regions include the northern Bohemian Forest, Traunsee Lake and eastern hillside vineyards.
One of the most beautiful places to visit in winter!
In conclusion, the world-renowned Salzburg Festival celebrates its centennial this summer with theatrical premieres and performances ranging from avant-garde chamber music to lavish productions of opera classics such as Tosca, Don Giovanni, and Elektra. —John Wray