It was once said that all roads lead to Rome, but in Austria, all roads lead to Vienna. Located in the heart of Europe, this capital city is an extremely accessible location by plane, car or train. The Vienna International Airport connects travelers with over 180 destinations worldwide, while train stations shuttle passengers to and from major European cities. Meanwhile, a modern public transportation network eases any confusion over inner-city travel. In fact, Vienna's public transport services, comprising nearly 70 kilometers, are known to be among the best in Europe.
Accessibility is one of many reasons that Vienna has been a top choice for meetings throughout history. Its role as a conference site dates back centuries to when it hosted the famous Congress of Vienna peace talks in 1815. Though its meetings infrastructure has certainly modernized since then, the city has not lost its reputation as a first-class host. It now sees over 1,700 events annually, including those held by prestigious groups such as OPEC and the United Nations. It has also maintained a top spot on the International Congress and Convention Association's list of top conference destinations for many years.
Among the most notable traditional meeting facilities in the city, the Austria Center Vienna (ACV) boasts 17 meeting spaces of various size, from the 4,000-square-meter Exhibition Hall X to the more intimate Green Level lounges, which offer anywhere from 92 to 540 square meters of space. Total capacity is 15,000 people. The Messe Wien Exhibition & Congress Center boasts 55,000 square meters of exhibition space.
Meanwhile, self-described as "Europe's first address," the Hofburg Congress Center features over 30 meeting rooms. A former imperial residence, the Hofburg's halls have hosted weddings of emperors and international dignitaries. Today, events ranging from concerts by the Vienna Hofburg Orchestra to international medical symposiums are given the royal treatment.
A number of other museums and palaces are also on hand to give events and meetings a taste of Viennese opulence. The Palais Ferstel and Palais Daun-Kinsky, breathtaking pieces of Wilhelminian and Baroque architecture, are capable of hosting events of 20 to 750 people. The red-brick Vienna Stock Exchange, one of the most notable structures on Vienna's famous Ringstrasse, is an elegant backdrop for events of 50 to 580 guests.
Events in Vienna need not be all pomp and circumstance. Kick back with cocktails on a cruise offered on one of six ships sailed by the DDSG Blue Danube. A whimsical dedication to Vienna's musical heritage, the Haus der Musik is another innovative space for receptions and presentations.
Thanks to its role as the 3rd United Nations city after Geneva and New York, its reputation as one of Europe's safest and greenest cities, and its central European location, Vienna is a hub for business and culture. The 10th largest city by population in the European Union, Vienna's economy relies greatly on the banking, insurance and manufacturing sectors; corporate conventions and conferences are also major contributors. The city is home several universities and international schools, including the prestigious University of Vienna.