GETTING THERE: Austrian Airlines and United fly nonstop from Washington Dulles to Vienna, with round-trip fares from $766, with restrictions
GETTING AROUND: Taxis are relatively reasonable: A one-mile cab ride in the city costs $5 to $6, or more in the evening. To avoid cabs, purchase family discount rail passes at the airport and take a train to Vienna's center city. The passes are good on the subway and tram systems.
WHERE TO STAY: Vienna has some extraordinary luxury hotels, such as the legendary Sacher Hotel, known for its chocolate tort. But for those on a budget, there are plenty of pleasant and inviting hotels, many concentrated in the Mariahilfer Strasse-Westbahnhof area, within easy reach of the city center subway. Rates range from roughly $130 a night for a double to $400 or more for high-end accommodations. We stayed at the Hotel Anatol (Webgasse 26, 011-43-1-58800-800, www.austria-trend.at), a recently remodeled and well-run hotel with a great breakfast. Summer rates range from $132 to $200 per night.
WHERE TO EAT: A lot of restaurants offer hearty, traditional Viennese cooking (heavy on the wienerschnitzel and deep-fried specialties), but we focused on Turkish and Greek pizza and kabob shops for cheap lunches and dinners, and occasionally splurged on a nice Italian or Asian restaurant. Our favorite: Fusan (Getreidemarkt 18), a lively nouvelle Asian restaurant near the Museum Quarter. Dinner for three, including two appetizers and drinks, came to $75, plus tip.
MUSEUM QUARTER: The four-year-old museum and cultural complex is at Museumsplatz 1 in the heart of Vienna, and the grounds are open around the clock free of charge. Major attractions within the walled complex include the Leopold Museum, boasting the world's largest Egon Schiele collection (open daily except Tuesdays, admission about $11, www.leopoldmuseum.org) ; the Museum of Modern Art, containing a major Viennese Actionism exhibit (open daily except Mondays; free until mid-June, then about $10, www.mumok.at); Kunsthalle Wien, an art exhibition center (open daily, with admission ranging from $4.30 to $10, www.kunsthallewien.at); and Zoom-Kindermuseum, a children's museum and activity center (open daily, about $6 for children and $4.30 for adults, www.kindermuseum.at). The complex also includes artists' stalls and shops, a bookstore, cafes and restaurants. For more info: www.mqw.at.
INFORMATION: Vienna Tourist Board, 011-43-1-24-555, www.vienna.info. Austrian Tourist Office, 212-944-6885, www.austria-tourism.at.
-- Eric Pianin and Laurie McGinley