Vienna, the seat of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, situated in the heart of Europe, is all set to project its youthful romantic appeal to attract hundreds of honeymooning couples from India this year.
Indian Honeymooners are a target group for the Vienna Tourist Board – which has been successfully welcoming growing number of families with children and young travelers from India over the last many years.
“Vienna has always been a tourist’s delight. As you discover the various hues of Vienna, you realize Vienna has a young soul. It makes a romantic wedding destination, besides providing honeymooners the backdrop for a fairytale romance,” says Norbert Kettner, Director of the Vienna Tourist Board.
“As you scratch the surface, you realize there are several newlywed Indian couples in Vienna. Seeing a newlywed couple is always a pleasurable sight”, says Verena Hable, Public Relations Manager for India, who noticed a significant rush of Indian honeymooners.
To tap this segment, Vienna is advertising its romantic side in the Kuoni Romance Brochure that focuses not only on honeymooners, but also on DINK’s and couples who want to celebrate their anniversaries and other special occasions.
Vienna is ready to be discovered as a honeymoon destination by Indians. Its romantic spots are relatively unexplored by newlyweds from India, who are looking for a statement destination. To top it all, Vienna offers everything that an Indian tourist can ask for — authentic Indian food, English speaking hospitality staff and guides and loads of shopping experiences, adds Hable.
Probably this is what prompted Raj and Siya to zero in on Vienna for their honeymoon. “Soon after we got engaged and the wedding was firmed up, a search for a great honeymoon destination began,” says a recently married couple from Mumbai.
“I was asked to suggest some destinations,” says Raj, 32, a well travelled executive himself. “After some internet research and chat with a few friends, we started liking the idea of going to Vienna,” he adds.
“We could not have asked for a more romantic and beautiful honeymoon destination. Vienna’s almost untouched beauty, is the place for romance to blossom,” says 28-year old Siya, who teaches in a school.
Located in the heart of Europe, the Austrian capital of Vienna makes for a romantic honeymoon. Vienna`s historic old town has winding alleys, arcade courtyards and beautiful mansion houses. Cobbled streets lead you to the historic St. Stephen`s Cathedral located in the older parts of the city.
Though Vienna is a city for all seasons, the white and pink blossoms of the chestnut trees during spring season is a visual treat. Shades of white and pink are pleasing to the eye, and the floral beauty offers enough inspiration to discover true love. This is the best time of year to take a ride in a Fiaker, a traditional horse-drawn carriage.
And what could be a sweeter hideaway for young couples than a traditional Viennese coffee house with its small tables and loads of cakes and pastries. “Do try world famous delicacies like apple strudel, Sacher cake and Gugelhupf from the Viennese cuisine and you will never miss Gulab Jamun, Sandesh and Kesar Kulfi”, says Verena Hable.
Ms Renate Forte, Managing Director of Vienna-based Pegasus Travels who has assisted young couples from India for decades says, “Vienna is the best city to ring in the romance with a Candle Light Dinner at the city’s hotels. When you check in, many hotels welcome you with champagne and snacks.”
“There are other attractions too, like a massage or beauty treatment for bride or a Harley Davidson tour for the groom,” adds Renate.
Vienna is dotted with parks, an idyllic place to discover your soul mate. While honeymooners can revel in Vienna’s charm, its delightful locations make a beautiful backdrop for weddings. A knot tied in romantic surroundings like Schönbrunn Palace, the Giant Ferris Wheel or the Butterfly House is destined to last.
With this comes the safety factor. Vienna retains its numero uno ranking for offering the best quality of living in the world, for the fifth time a row based on global HR advisory firm Mercer’s Quality of Living index. The index covered 221 cities.
Vienna is a voyage of discovery. The voyage becomes an experience, seen in the form of picnic excursions and moonlight rides along the calm waters of the Danube. A little known fact is that Vienna has more than 40 kilometers of beaches, dotted with restaurants for all tastes. While there are plenty of Indian restaurants in Vienna, amorous couples can sample authentic Viennese cuisine. This is the world’s only cuisine which draws its identity from the fabled city, and blends the best culinary flavours of Bohemia, Austria, Hungary, Italy and the Balkans.
Let’s not forget, Viennese music can enrich you. The legacy of Mozart, Beethoven and Strauss lives on, as Vienna hosts over 15,000 concerts annually.
You can waltz along with your loved one at a Viennese ball. Every year more than 450 balls take place here, and the three-quarter rhythm is supplemented by more contemporary sounds, offering enjoyable dancing for every taste.
Already, Vienna has been on the Indian tourist’s radar, as it’s known to be a great shopping and sightseeing destination. The city centric luxury shopping mall called “Golden Quarter,” which is located in a complex of Unesco heritage listed palace, houses flagship stores of international brands. No wonder that Brad Pitt and Pete Doherty sport Viennese hat maker Mühlbauer’s label, Lady Gaga shows gloves of Viennese professional Nina Peter in her video The Edge of Glory.
Besides shopping, Vienna has the ability to connect the past with the present. It encourages visitors to travel back in time and visit some of the 27 palaces and 163 other imperial residences including sightseeing attractions like the Schönbrunn Castle or Hofburg Palace.
“Many Indian visitors tend to cover Vienna, Budapest and Prague, the three major cities of the former Habsburg Empire known as the ‘Golden Triangle,’ by availing a common Schengen visa”,
The Imperial City of Vienna is picture postcard perfect. It’s a place which grows on you and it only gets better with time.
Five Must Dos in Vienna
1. Check out the coffee houses. Vienna is home to about 2,000 coffee houses, the most traditional ones are in the old city center.
2. Stroll in the parks. In spring 400 varieties of roses blossom in Volksgarten.
3. Don’t miss the opera. The Vienna State Opera offers over 50 operas and ballet around 300 days per season
4. Take a vineyard tour. Vienna is the world’s only metropolis that grows a significant number of vineyards within its city limits.
5. Soak in the architectural heritage. The historic center of Vienna has been added to Unesco's World Cultural Heritage list.
How to Get There
An eight-hour direct flight connects Delhi with Vienna six times a week, operated by Austrian Airlines (Star Alliance), which has a code share agreement with Air India. Mumbai and other Indian major cities are conveniently connected to Vienna by a one-stop connection on many international carriers.