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The Austrian Tirol region lies at the heart of the Alps. But Austria's heart beats to the north-east on the Danube, in the ancien regime city of Vienna.

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The imperial city is a popular choice of destination on backpacker travel itineraries alongside Amsterdam, Rome and Barcelona.

But the Austrian capital has a fickle appeal. With cake shops instead of sports bars and mid-range pensions instead of easygoing hostels, Vienna feels very different from Prague or Budapest. While some fall in love with the seat of the Habsburg emperors, others find the city stuffy, a little dull and tiresomely expensive.

That said, the Austrian capital's cultural treasures are undeniably impressive. And Vienna is certainly a good transport hub with easy connections to the Slovakian capital, Bratislava, in less than an hour and Budapest in Hungary and Brno in the Czech Republic only a little more distant.


 
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