Vienna’s splendid historical face is easily recognised: grand imperial palaces and bombastic baroque interiors, museums flanking magnificent squares and, above all, the Hofburg – where the Habsburg rulers lived, loved and married into empires. Vienna is also one of Europe’s most dynamic urban spaces. Just a stone’s throw from Hofburg, the MuseumsQuartier houses some of the world’s most provocative contemporary art behind a striking basalt façade.
Prague, a combination of a thrilling history and glorious architectural overachievement, remains as compelling as ever. While the city centre is a mélange of stunning architecture, from Gothic, Renaissance and baroque to neoclassical, art nouveau and cubist, beyond the medieval lanes of the Old Town and the Castle District, there’s an entire other cosmopolitan city to explore. Search out the riverside parks, lively bars and beer gardens, music clubs, museums and art galleries. Venice is one of the most important tourist destinations in the world, due to the city being one of the world's greatest and most beautiful cities of art. The city has an average of 50,000 tourists a day (2007 estimate). In 2006, it was the world's 28th most visited city, with 2.927 million international arrivals that year.