The Grand City Tour– our flagship tour – offers a broad introduction to the must-sees and must-dos in the city that was once the cultural and economic powerhouse of a sprawling empire that stretched from Italy to the Russian border. This tour gives visitors to Vienna the opportunity to experience the grandeur of the Ringstraße, lined with impressive buildings such as the State Opera, the Hofburg or Imperial Palace, City Hall, the Museums of Natural History and Fine Arts, the parliament and many more. Built from 1858 by royal decree, replacing the thirteenth-century city walls, the boulevard was designed to showcase the glory of the Habsburg Empire and quickly became home not just to the aristocracy but also the wealthy bourgeoisie, including members of the city’s large Jewish community. The tour then moves on across the Danube canal to the Prater, the vast amusement park, which is home to the historic giant wheel, the Riesenrad. We continue towards and across the River Danube to more twenty-first century architectural spectacles such as the Vienna University of Economics as well as the Vienna International Center, the complex housing of the United Nations Office at Vienna often referred to as “UNO City”. The unique Kunsthaus Wien Museum is home to the world’s only permanent exhibition of works by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, as well as temporary special exhibitions by other big hitters in the art world. The tour concludes with a visit to Belvedere Palace, another showpiece in Vienna’s rush to catch up with London, Paris and Berlin in the race to become a major cultural and industrial center. The Upper Belvedere houses the world’s largest collection of Klimt paintings, including The Kiss and Judith, as well as works by Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Egon Schiele and others.