Why go: Although Vienna is synonymous with stately palaces, lovely public squares and dignified 17th- and 18th-century architecture, the history serves as a backdrop for contemporary art museums, hip furniture shops and innovative restaurants.
Where to stay: Some of the 42 unique rooms at Hotel Altstadt Vienna feature sexy black-and-red furnishings by Italian designer and architect Matteo Thun. All of the rooms have high ceilings and plenty of natural light. Rooms from around $186; hotel-altstadt-vienna.com.
Where to eat: With a menu featuring Viennese, French, and Mediterranean cuisine and a ceiling embellished with the bold work of artist Otto Zitko, Skopik & Lohn is a magnet for the city's creative community. skopikundlohn.at