There is nowhere quite like Vienna during Advent. The Christmas markets are full of life, the atmosphere in the streets is festive in a way that doesn't exist in most other capital cities and the concerts & operetta season is in full swing. Many of Vienna’s squares transform into magical Christmas markets with the aroma of hot punch and Christmas biscuits creating a wonderful atmosphere. Get your Christmas off to an early start and join us for six nights in this wonderful city.
This year we have included four definitively Viennese musical experiences in our programme –an evening at the Vienna State Opera with a performance of Mozart's Magic Flute; the exquisitely scored Hänsel und Gretel at the Volksoper, an all Bach programme by the renowned Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra at the Konzerthaus and a concert of Haydn, Schumann & Mendelssohn in the legendary 'Goldensaal' of the Musikverein.
We stay at the 4* Hotel am Konzerthaus just one block from the famous 'Ringstrasse', across the street from the Konzerthaus, ten minutes walk to the Musikverein and less than fifteen minutes walk from the Wiener Staatsoper (State Opera). The hotel style is inspired by the art nouveau era represented by works of art and sketches by influential Viennese artists. Each room of this hotel has been given a touch of Gustav Klimt, whilst ensuring 21st century comforts with double or twin beds. All rooms have tea & coffee making facilities, safe, flat-screen TV, minibar and a selection of C.O.Bigelow toiletries in the bathroom. The hotel has been a firm favourite with Maestro clients for the past seven years and the complete redesign of foyer, restaurant and bar area (completed last year) add to the enjoyment.
The historic 'Ringstrasse' was laid out on the line of the old city walls in the mid to late 19th century. The 'Ring' echos the days of the Habsburg Empire and is home to almost all of the important buildings of the city including the Austrian Parliament, the Vienna Rathaus (Town Hall), the Staatsoper, the Burgtheater, Natural History Museum and the magnificent Hofburg Palace. It encircles the historic heart of 'Old Vienna' where many of the streets and squares are pedestrianised and St Stephens Cathedral marks the centrepoint.
Perhaps the most important Christmas Market of the city is created in the 'Rathausplatz' in front of the Town Hall. This becomes a shining fairytale land with around 150 stalls offering Christmas gifts, Christmas tree decorations, sweets and gluhwein! The trees of the surrounding Rathauspark are festively decorated and radiate in a sea of lights.
During your stay we have included:
• Return scheduled flights with Austrian Airlines from Manchester
• Welcome dinner with wines at an excellent local restaurant in the heart of the city
• Two further pre-performance dinners with wine included
• ‘Café & kuchen’ at a traditional Viennese café
• Farewell supper following the performance of Hänsel und Gretel
• The stalls seats for Mozart's epic Magic Flute at the Vienna State Opera (stalls rows 15 – 18 included – these seats have proved more popular than higher priced seats further forward because of the excellent ‘rake’ and resulting sight-lines)
• Engelbert Humperdinck’s (the original one!) exquisitely scored Hänsel und Gretel at the Volksoper (centre stalls seats)
• Stalls seats at the Konzerthaus for the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra conducted by Ton Koopman (JS Bach Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major BWV1068 & Christmas Oratorio BWV238)
• Stall seats in the Goldensaal of the Musikverein for The Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra Leipzig, Peter Bruns conductor & cello; Lauma Skride piano (Haydn Symphony No. 7 in C Major "Le Midi"; Clara Schumann Piano Concerto in A minor Op. 7; Mendelssohn String Symphony No.8 in D major)
• A full programme of sightseeing in ‘Old Vienna’ visiting the Christmas Markets at the Rathausplatz, Schoenbrunn and the Belvedere Palace
Flights are with Austrian Airlines from Manchester and confirmed times are:
Monday 09 December Manchester Terminal 1 – Vienna 1300 – 1635 OS 464
Sunday 15 December Vienna – Manchester Terminal 1 1250 – 1430 OS 463
Flights are also available from Gatwick (other airports on request basis).