There are few cities on the planet with a greater artistic and intellectual legacy than Vienna, and you owe it to yourself to spend some time in this bustling cultural utopia. But if you’ve only got 24 hours there, here are the things you absolutely must do.
1. See the piano Mozart used to compose the Malcolm in the Middle theme song: The crowds can be overwhelming, so get to the Mozarthaus museum bright and early for a chance to glimpse the famed instrument on which Wolfgang Amadeus created perhaps the greatest television theme in the history of Western music.
2. Attend a Viennese ball with the dashing but illiterate stable boy Lukas so as to stoke the jealousies of the surly Burgrave of Vienna: If the Burgrave thinks that simply showing up in a flashy gilded girdle will earn him his choice at the waltz, he is sorely mistaken. Oh, how it will vex him to see that gorgeous man-child Lukas drooling about on the dance floor with you by his side!
3. Exhume Franz Ferdinand’s body and rough it up a little to see if it’ll start another war: Go ahead, satisfy your curiosity! Kick the ol’ bag of bones around a bit to find out what sort of internecine chaos it’ll spark this time.
4. Order a plate of Wiener schnitzel only to get upset when you receive a veal cutlet instead of a hot dog like you were expecting: With the word “wiener” in the name, you’ll be certain that you’re ordering a sausage of some kind, but boy oh boy, you’ve got one hell of a surprise comin’ your way!
5. Find a lonely Austrian widower sitting on a park bench and hold hands with him: You can’t throw a rock in Vienna without hitting a widower named Christoph or Jan quietly reminiscing alone on a park bench, and these old-timers would love nothing more than to have you sidle up next to them and take their hand to remind them how it feels to have a companion.