Vienna is the capital of Austria. It has 1.8 million inhabitants, over 30% of whom have a non-Austrian background. This means that the city is very diverse and multicultural. Also, Vienna is situated very much towards the East – it is only 75 kilometres from the Slovakian border – as a result of which, both Eastern and Western European influences can be found in its architecture, cuisine and climate.
The city is composed of 23 districts or, as the Austrians say, ‘Bezirke’. The 1st Bezirk is the old centre and is called ‘Innere Stadt’. In addition to a number, all districts have a name. The number, however, can be found on all street signs, which will keep you (to a certain extent) from getting lost!
By urban standards, Vienna offers an enormous amount of green space, with over half of the city and its surroundings being rich in nature. Did you know that Vienna is one of the few capitals in the world which has its own vineyards?
The city also includes many parks, a mountain (Kahlenberg) in the north, a river (the Danube) in the east, dense forests (the Viennese Wood) in the west and an official game reserve (the Lainzer Tiergarten) in the south. Besides all of this there is an island in the river with sandy beaches, harbours and endless hiking trails (the Danube Island) and a park so large as to contain a golf course and a horse racing track and possibilities for cross country skiing in winter (the Prater). One of the six national parks Austria possesses (the Lobau) is even located within Vienna’s city limits.