A car is not necessary in Vienna, especially as parking can be an absolute nightmare.
Schwechat airport is 12 miles from the centre and linked by the CAT train every 30 minutes (€9; www.cityairporttrain.at). A taxi into town will cost at least €25. Some budget airlines fly to Bratislava in Slovakia 65 kilometres away and connected to Vienna by a 90-minute coach ride.
Trains head in different directions from Vienna's three stations: Franz-Josefs-Bahnhof (north), Westbahnhof (west) and Südbahnhof (south and east). You can travel to Vienna on the Orient Express - the real one, not the Poirot reconstruction - check www.seat61.com for details.
Country code for Austria: 43. Vienna: 1.
The Third Man by Graham Greene is set in the city and has become something of a mini industry; alternatively anything by Rousseau or Voltaire for that café posing.
Do go / Don't Go
Summer is inevitably busy and while winter can by bitingly cold, the days are often clear and there are always the excellent Christmas markets in December. Spring and autumn are perhaps the best seasons to visit Vienna, but avoid September when there are usually many conferences are in town.
Vienna's café culture is a fantastic experience and the list of coffees is quite baffling, from Melange (milky coffee) and Einspänner (with whipped cream) to Kapuziner (like an espresso machiato) and Maria Theresia (with orange liqueur); this is most definitely not the city to ask for 'a coffee'. The cafés also have an equally befuddling selection of strudels and cakes. Austrian cuisine such as Weiner Schnitzel and Weiner wurstel (sausages), smoked meats, potato dumplings and strews spiced with paprika, is delicious if a bit heavy. Zweigelt reds wines from Kamptal are very drinkable.
There are plenty of ranks although you can also flag down taxis in the street. If you get your hotel to order a cab for you specify if you want a regular taxi or a hotel limo service.
Service is normally included in price in restaurants, although it's common practice to round up the bill to the nearest €5 or leave about ten per cent.
Bring a high-brow book with you - preferably something by an obscure French philosopher. You won't need to read it but it will come in handy if you want to look the part while soaking up some of Vienna's café culture; the Viennese like to think they're a bit intellectual.
The Imperial Palace, or Hofburg, is a vast neoclassical complex in the centre of the city. The former seat of the Hapsburgs, it now seems ludicrously oversized for the Austrian capital, but it's also a reminder that prior to World War I this city was the centre of the mighty Austro-Hungarian Empire. The über-kitsch Vienna Boys' Choir put on regular performances at the Burgkapelle in the palace. Also, pay a visit to the wonderful Secession Building on Friedrichstrasse to see Klimt's Beethoven Frieze.
It's possible to climb up to the viewing platform in the spire of St Stephan's Cathedral. If it's the cathedral you want a view of, then the bar or restaurant of DO & CO hotel in the cubist Hans Hollein building opposite is the place to go. In the summer there are also great views from the Ferris wheel on Prater, an island on the Danube.
St Stephen's Cathedral is a Gothic masterpiece at the centre of the Old Town and is universally loved by the Viennese. Among its many treasures, the two most unexpected are either side of the main entrance: a small niche for checking the official size of loaves (how very Teutonic) is on the left, while the number '05' - the symbol of the Austrian resistance in World War II - is written on the right. On Sunday nights in summer there are also popular free screenings of classical music concerts or operas in front of the town hall on Rathausplatz.
February The Opera Ball on the last Thursday before Shrove Tuesday is the most ostentatious event in the Viennese ball season which runs from November to late June. July The Vienna Jazz Festival features two weeks of concerts around the city (www.viennajazz.org). December Vienna's Christmas markets are a traditionally festive experience filled with traditional toys and seasonal food - not a scruffy Santa in sight.