Capture the essence of Vienna with these movies, books, and songs to get you in the mood for travel


Sissi (1955)
First in a trilogy of romantic films about Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph’s meeting and falling in love with princess Elisabeth of Bavaria. Starring German actress Romy Schneider.

Mayerling (1968)
Romantic tragedy based on the novel, Mayerling, by Claude Anet. Traces the story of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria’s clashes with his father Emperor Franz Joseph I and his violent death with his mistress, Baroness Maria Vetsera. Stars Omar Sharif and Catherine Deneuve.

The Third Man (1949)
Classic crime film noir with Orson Welles features Vienna in the aftermath of World War II. The screenplay is by British writer Graham Greene, who wrote the novel by the same name.

Inspector Rex (1994-2004)
Television series about the adventures of the police inspectors from a Viennese crime squad who resolve their cases with the help of the German shepherd dog named Rex.

Before Sunrise (1995)
Dramatic film about a young American on his way to Vienna, his encounter with a young French woman Celine, and their brief romance in the Austrian capital.


The Man Without Qualities, by Robert Musil (1930)
Robert Musil’s modernist novel offers original insight into the life of prewar Vienna during the decline of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The Radetzky March, by Joseph Roth (1932)
Describes the rise and fall of the great Austro-Hungarian Empire as seen through the personal histories of three generations of the Trotta family.

The Third Man, by Graham Greene (1950)
Novella set in post-World War II Vienna, divided into three zones and occupied by the Allied powers of Britain, France, the United States, and the U.S.S.R. Follows the story of pulp western author Holly Martins who comes to Vienna to work with an old friend, but discovers the friend is dead when he arrives. Greene also wrote the screenplay for the 1949 film of the same name.

Wittgenstein’s Vienna, by Allan Janik and Stephen Toulmin (1973)
Scholarly tome about the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein and the artistic and intellectual fervor in early 20th-century Vienna that helped shape and inspire him.

The Forever Street, by Frederic Morton (1984)
Explores the history of Vienna’s vibrant Jewish community through Frederic Morton’s treasure trove of memories, stories, and anecdotes.

The Vienna Coffeehouse Wits, 1890-1938, by Harold B. Segel (1993)
An anthology of texts by Austrian authors, including Peter Altenberg, Karl Kraus, and Hermann Bahr, on topics and characters typical of Vienna at the turn of the 20th century.

Marrying Mozart, by Stephanie Cowell (2004)
An entertaining historical novel about the Austrian-born musical maestro Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the four important women in his life—the Weber sisters.



Greatest Hits of Johann Strauss, Ensemble Wien-Berlin (1994)
Includes some of the composer's most well-known and beloved waltzes including “On the Blue Danube,” “Tales from the Vienna Woods,” and the “Emperor Waltz,” along with the “Overture” from Die Fledermaus and polkas.

Schubert Streichquartett, Alban Berg Quartet
Award-winning, Vienna-based chamber music string quartet plays the complete late quartets by Schubert.

Hannes Löschel: “Herz.Bruch.Stück,” Hannes Löschel
Contemporary interpretations of traditional Viennese music.

Wiener Sängerknaben Goes Christmas, Vienna Boys’ Choir (2003)
Selected Christmas songs performed by the world-famous Vienna Boys’ Choir.

Best of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (2004)
A double CD with music by Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, and other famous composers.

Classic Songs:

From classical and pop to traditional Viennese melodies, here are some great songs associated with the city of music:

1. “Wiener Blut” (Viennese Blood ) by Johann Strauss the Younger
2. “Radetzky March” by Johann Strauss the Older
3. “On the Beautiful Blue Danube” by Johann Strauss the Younger
4. “Grüß mir die süssen, die reizenden Frauen” from the operetta Countess Maritza by Emmerich Kálmán
5. “Vienna Calling” by Falco
6. “Rock Me Amadeus” by Falco
7. “Olle Menschen Samma Z’wida” by Kurt Sowinetz
8. “Jö, schau” by Georg Danzer
9. “Die Reblaus” by Hans Moser
10. “Es lebe der Zentralfriedhof” by Wolfgang Ambros


About Vienna and Austria

  • <p>Photo: Hofburg Palace</p>


    Get travel tips, see photos, take a quiz and more with National Geographic's Ultimate Guide to Vienna.

  • <p>Photo: Salzburg, Austria</p>


    Explore Austria through facts and photos, related features, a country map, and more.

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