International consulting firm Mercer conducts an annual survey to evaluate the quality of life in 230 countries around the world. The study is intended to help multinational companies compensate employees fairly when sending them on international assignments and looks at various factors from political and economic environments, to health, education and public transportation.
Last year’s survey saw Vienna take the top spot marking the Austrian capital’s sixth time in a row. Known as both the City of Dreams — as the birthplace of Sigmund Freud — and the City of Music for its musical legacy, Vienna is a prominent cultural and economic centre in Western Europe. With a vibrant arts scene, walkable streetscapes and beautiful architecture, it’s not hard to see why people want to live here.
To see more of the city, we searched through Instagram to find some of Vienna’s most famous landmarks and attractions photographed by local Instagrammers.
Vienna Ice World
With Vienna’s stunning Neo-Gothic town hall as a backdrop, City Hall Square is transformed into a giant ice rink each year from January to March. The 8,000 square meter (86,111 square foot) rink allows visitors to skate along winding pathways that branch out from the main skating area, all to the sounds of beautiful Viennese music.
Known as the birthplace of the snow globe, Vienna’s Mariazell Basilica was the subject inside the very first snow globe when Erwin Perzy invented the famous toy in 1900. The Austrian inventor came up with the idea after initially setting out to develop an extra bright light bulb when the particles inside a water filled flask reminded him of snowfall. Today, the Perzy family tradition lives on as they continue to make thousands of hand-painted and manually assembled glass snow globes each year.
Vienna State Opera
As the City of Music, not only has Vienna been home to famous composers like Ludwig Van Beethoven and Anton Bruckner, it is also home to one of the world’s most famous orchestra. Members of the Vienna Philharmonic are recruited from the Vienna State Opera Orchestra and are required to complete a three-year tenure with the group before applying to the Vienna Philharmonic.
Spanning 1,770 miles (2,850 km) Europe’s Danube river is the second longest river in the continent. The waterway flows from Germany, through four European capitals including Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, and Belgrade, before emptying into the Black Sea.
Rich in architectural history, Vienna is famous for its beautiful buildings and historical monuments. Perhaps the city’s most famous and significant structure, Schönbrunn Palace, was once the summer home of the Habsburg monarchy. The 1,441 room Baroque palace is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is Austria’s most visited attraction.