For centuries, Vienna served as the crown jewel of the sprawling Austro-Hungarian empire and, though the Hapsburgs may no longer be calling the shots, the city is still gilded with regal traditions. Modern day Vienna is steeped in history and a deep appreciation for the arts. This is, after all, the city that gave us composers Mozart and Beethoven, artists Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele and many others. The work of Klimt and the Vienna Secession movement, a turn-of-the-century group of artists that eschewed tradition and convention in favor of an entirely original style, was a major source of inspiration for the new Cora collection. The Secession aesthetic is reflected in Cora’s use of rich colors, luminous mother of pearl and intricate gold milgrain details.
From opulent palaces to cozy coffee shops, Vienna does everything with a sense of style and indulgence. The city offers a diverse mix of architecture, ranging from Baroque to Bauhaus, and a wealth of impressive art museums — making it near impossible to not get inspired. Read on for Larkspur & Hawk’s guide to the best of Vienna.
For accommodations worthy of a Hapsburg princess, the Hotel Imperial is a must. Built in 1863, the hotel’s interiors are unabashedly decadent — think silk-upholstered walls and plenty of crystal chandeliers.
The Guesthouse, an intimate, 39 room property designed by Terence Conran, offers a more modern experience with Scandi-chic furnishings and warm public spaces that encourage lingering. The Park Hyatt Vienna is housed in a stately building that was once the headquarters of the Austrian Monarchy Bank, located in a prime neighborhood that is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Vienna is full of spectacular buildings, many of which are open to the public, including the Liechtenstein City Palace and the Secession Building, the art movement’s magnum opus. To get a taste of Vienna’s imperial heritage, head to the Hofburg Palace where the royal family’s meticulously preserved apartments are on view along with a museum dedicated to Austria’s beloved Empress Sisi. And, given Vienna’s history of producing classical music’s greatest maestros, you’d be remiss to pass up the opportunity to see the Vienna Philharmonic at Musikverein or take in an opera at Staatsoper.
Opened in 1618, the genteel café Zum Schwarzen Kameel serves Vienna’s most famous dish — Wiener schnitzel — with old-world charm.
Zum Schwarzen Kameel
Second to schnitzel, Vienna is known for its refined coffee and pastry shops. The most legendary is Demel, which includes a full-service restaurant as well as a candy store whose beautifully-packaged bonbons make perfect souvenirs.
Another of the city’s storied dishes is the Sacher torte, a decadent chocolate cake embellished with apricot jam, named for the Hotel Sacher where it is still served today. If you’ve had your fill of sweets, the Sacher’s plush Blaue Bar is an elegant spot for winding down with a cocktail.
Hotel Sacher and Blaue Bar
Loden-Plankel has been stocking all manner of traditional Tyrolean wares like chunky wool sweaters and suede jackets since 1830. The contemporary boutique Song offers an avant-garde edit of clothing and accessories from the likes of Comme des Garçons and Dries van Noten, as well as a selection of equally stylish furniture and décor. For a souvenir with provenance, head to City Antik for a range of lust-worthy antiques including an especially impressive collection of Thonet bentwood furniture, Meissen porcelain figurines and Biedermeier silver.