When considering a trip to a city in Europe, most people think Rome, Paris or London. Maybe even Amsterdam. But rarely does Vienna, Austria make the list. However, in recent years, Vienna has quietly worked its way up the ranks to be regarded as the “World’s Most Liveable City,” as awarded by The Economist two years running. So what’s the secret behind this quiet enclave of Old World Europe?

Few places make the heart sing quite like Vienna. Around every corner of this immaculately clean, supremely safe city is another theater or concert hall where a new performance commences each night. Coffee shops abound, conjuring a golden era when literary masters, musicians and artists traded ideas over espresso and Sacher Torte, Vienna’s most prized pastry. After touring the Vienna State OperaAcademy of Fine Arts, or the staggeringly beautiful Austrian National Library, a truly delightful stay can be found at The Ritz-Carlton Vienna.

Perfectly located on the Ringstrasse, the grand boulevard that circles the heart of historic city, the Ritz-Carlton takes the crown as the top luxury lodging option in all of Austria. Constructed from four 19th century palaces, it should come as little surprise that guests are treated like royalty from the moment they stroll in from the Ringstrasse. With newly hung museum-quality Caravaggio replicas adorning its stylish lobby bar, this five-star hotel seamlessly fuses a fresh, modern aesthetic with enchanting Old World Europe.

From the front desk to the back kitchen, every member of the staff continues the tradition of exceptional service that has become synonymous with the Ritz-Carlton. Each of its 202 guest rooms and forty-three suites are regally appointed and offer dazzling amenities. Before enjoying a succulent farm-to-table dinner at Dstrikt Steakhouse take the lift to the Ritz’s Atmosphere Rooftop Bar and enjoy a sunset cocktail overlooking the majestic city.

After a few days exploring Vienna, board one of the first ÖBB high-speed trains heading west into the Austrian Alps. Two and a half hours later, hop off for an afternoon in Salzburg, where you can hike up to the historic Nonnberg Abbey that will have you humming melodies from The Sound of Music.

At dusk, jump back on the train and continue heading west another two hours to Innsbruck, the alpine city where the Winter Olympics were held. An easy, five-minute walk from the train station (known in German as Hauptbahnhof or simply Hbf) is the trendy AC Hotel Innsbruck, the perfect launching point for high-alpine ski adventures in the surrounding mountains.

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