Vienna was originally a Celtic settlement, founded in 500BC and later played a part in defending the Roman empire from Germanic Barbarians.
Later, the city became the residence of the Habsburg dynasty - the most powerful family in Europe - and grew further to become the capital of the Holy Roman Empire. During this period in the middle ages, Vienna was the European cultural center for music, arts, science and fine cuisine.
When capital of the Austria-Hungary empire in the late 1800s/early 1900s, the population was actually higher than today at around 2 million people.
Vienna was once a walled city, but in the 1800s the wall was removed to allow the city to expand. Where the wall once stood is now the famous "Ringstrasse" or "Ring Street" - a wide boulevard which surrounds the old city. Most of the important buildings in Vienna lie along this circular ring road.
Vienna is situated in the far east of Austria, and is only 40km from Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. It has a temperate climate with warm summers and cold winters. The average high temperature in summer is around 25 degree's, however in winter it can often stay around freezing for extended periods.
Public transport in Vienna is extensive, reasonably priced and clean. It is made up of S-Bahn's (overland trains), U-Bahn's (Subways), trams and buses. The public transport runs so frequently that there is rarely a need to look at a timetable.
Vienna is a major international destination and the hub for Austrian Airlines. Many direct flights from all over the world arrive at Vienna's international airport each day. The airport itself is located in the south east of the city, and is well connected by public transport.