The Melting Pot of European Culture

Peter Medhurst

with Jeremy Limb piano and Tom Abbott tour manager and historian

22-28 June 2023

7 days from £3,269

Booking through Sandy Cornish at Tailored Travel 01227 830624

Download brochure here


For centuries, Vienna has been at the forefront of the cultural world of Europe, drawing to its heart some of the finest architects, poets, writers, artists and composers the world has ever known. The tour celebrates 2000 years of Viennese history, by uncovering each of its important eras from the time that it was a Roman encampment named Vindebona, down to its 21st century position as a vibrant centre for commerce, culture and tourism.

Day 1

Our tour begins with a morning flight from London Heathrow to Vienna. On arrival, we are met by Peter and Tom who accompany us to our hotel, the König von Ungarn, beautifully situated in the heart of the historic centre of Vienna. Following lunch in the hotel restaurant, we take a stroll through the city centre to the Roman Museum in Hoher Markt. Here we explore Roman excavations as well as the early history of Vienna, when it was named Vindobona. If time permits, we can walk through Kohlmarkt to see further evidence of the presence of the Romans . After an early evening lecture by Peter on the cultural diversity of Vienna, we meet for a drinks reception, followed by dinner.

Day 2

Following our morning lecture, we walk to the Hofburg, the winter palace of the Imperial Family, where among other buildings, we explore the state apartments and the royal chapel. The Hofburg – meaning ‘castle of the court’ – was the heart of political power in Vienna from 1279 until 1918, and today is the official residence and workplace of the president of Austria. Over the centuries, the Hofburg was extended by successive emperors commissioning the work of a range of gifted architects, including Luchese and Fischer von Erlach, and consists of 18 wings, 19 courtyards and 2,600 rooms. After lunch in a local restaurant, we pick up the theme of Gothic Vienna by visiting St Stephan’s Cathedral and its catacombs. The present building is the result of work begun in the early 14th century, largely at the instigation of Duke Rudolf IV. We then enjoy an organ recital by Peter and Jeremy of Viennese music in one of the nearby historic churches. The evening is at leisure.

Day 3

Today we spend the morning in the birth house of Franz Schubert. Schubert (1797-1828) is one of the key composers of early 19th century Vienna and the birth house displays a range of memorabilia connected with the Schubert family. After coffee, we go into the Museum’s concert hall for a recital by Peter and Jeremy of Schubert’s piano music and songs. We then make our way out of Vienna to the enchanting village of Heiligenstadt, where Beethoven spent the summer of 1802. We have lunch in a local restaurant before spending time in the newly refurbished Beethoven Museum. We then enjoy one more recital by Jeremy and Peter, this time on the organ in the Catholic church of Neusimmering. The evening is at leisure.

Day 4

This morning we take a short walk to the Academy of Sciences, which houses a magnificent historic festival hall, which was one of the most important music venues in early 19th century Vienna. Here it was in 1808, that Beethoven famously attended a performance of Joseph Haydn’s oratorio, The Creation; and where in 1813 he conducted the premieres of his 7th Symphony and his symphonic work Wellington’s Victory. We then make our way to the Museum of Applied Art, which focuses on Austrian art, craft, architecture and design, both historic and contemporary. The museum took its cue from London’s South Kensington Museum (the V&A) of 1852, and opened its own doors 13 years later with a range of permanent rooms displaying centuries of applied art. We then travel by coach to view the glorious Secession Building, an exhibition hall completed in 1898 by Joseph Maria Olbrich. Here we can admire the famous Beethoven Frieze painted by Gustav Klimt in 1901 for the 14th Vienna Secessionist exhibition in celebration of the composer. After lunch, we make our way to the so-called Otto Wagner church at Steinhof and the nearby Ernst Fuchs Museum (Otto Wagner Villa). This evening has an optional concert or opera visit.

Day 5

Following our post breakfast lecture at the hotel, we make our way to the Liechtenstein Summer Palace for a private tour of its magnificent art collection. The Lichtenstein family possesses some of the finest European art in the world, including works by Rubens, Raphael, Rembrandt, and other masters from the early Renaissance to the High Baroque. The Palace was conceived by Prince Andreas I von Liechtenstein as the family’s summer residence, and was built in the early 18th century to designs by the architects Johann von Erlach, Rossi, and Martinelli. After such a rich aesthetic feast, we head off to lunch, followed by an afternoon at leisure in the city. This evening has an optional concert or opera visit.

Day 6

After the morning lecture, our coach takes us to the Military Museum, the oldest museum in Vienna, and located near the Upper Belvedere Palace. The museum follows the history of the Habsburg monarchy from the end of the 16th century to the end of the monarchy in 1918, as well as the years leading up to the close of WW II. The museum was built between 1850 and 1856 to designs by Ludwig Förster and Theophil Hansen, and the quaint mixture of Moorish-Byzantine and neo-Gothic styles is as interesting in appearance as the exhibits inside. After lunch at the nearby Salm bräu, we walk to the Upper Belvedere Palace to view the fine collection of paintings, which include works by Waldmüller, Friedrich, Monet and Klimmt. This evening we enjoy a farewell dinner in a restaurant close to our hotel.

Day 7

After checking out of our hotel, we spend the morning visiting buildings linked to two important, but hugely contrasting composers. The first is the Johann Strauss Museum in Praterstrasse, where in 1867 Strauss composed his legendary Blue Danube Waltz. Strauss lived in this fashionable and elegant Viennese suburb for seven years, and on display in his apartment are some of his instruments, furniture and paintings. The museum not only illustrates Strauss’s work as a professional musician, but also presents an insight to his private life as well. After this, we visit the thought provoking Arnold Schoenberg Centre to consider one of the most influential composers of all time, the Viennese born Arnold Schönberg (1874-1951). The Centre was established in 1998 as a library and a repository of Schoenberg’s archival legacy. It also celebrates a composer whose approach to harmony and form changed for all time the way in which music is perceived. After a final lunch together, we proceed to the airport for our return flight to London.

End of the tour

Tour limited to 24 passengers
Lectures by Peter
Three recitals by Peter & Jeremy
Tom Abbott – professional tour manager & art historian
Central Vienna hotel
All excursions, entrance fees, guided tours &
gratuities for hotel & restaurant staff included
Welcome dinner & private drinks reception included
Farewell dinner included
Included light lunches on Days 1 to 7
Return scheduled flights from London Heathrow to Vienna
Executive coach throughout
Audio headsets included on Days 1 to 6


Roman Museum in Hoher Markt
The Hofburg – state apartments & royal chapel • St Stephan’s Cathedral & its catacombs
Birth house of Franz Schubert.
Village of Heiligenstadt – Beethoven Museum • Catholic church of Neusimmering
Academy of Sciences
Secession Building
Otto Wagner church at Steinhof
Ernst Fuchs Museum (Otto Wagner Villa)
Liechtenstein Summer Palace – private tour
Military Museum
Upper Belvedere
Johann Strauss Museum
Arnold Schoenberg Centre

Optional concert or opera visits on day 4 and 5

The Hotel

We stay for six nights at the centrally located 4* König von Ungarn Hotel in Vienna ( Located just behind St Stephen’s Cathedral, facilities at the hotel include a restaurant and a bar. All rooms are en suite and feature television, telephone, hairdryer, mini bar, and an in room safe. A dinner is included in our hotel on the first evening (set 3 course dinner without drinks), and at the Sky Restaurant on Day 6, whilst the remaining four days are on a bed and breakfast basis.

Extras to the tour

Insurance (including Covid 19 cover) £56
Double room for sole use supplement £489
(limited availability)

Booking through Sandy Cornish at Tailored Travel 01227 830624

Download brochure here