Meeting place in the heart of Europe
Vienna has always been synonymous with variety and has a proven track record as a host, welcoming people from far and wide. Over the years, it has seen groundbreaking ideas take shape and far-reaching geopolitical decisions take root – and today innovative solutions are helping to propel Vienna forward into a sustainable future.
Participants in the countless conferences, meetings and events staged in the city add a touch of international flair. There are three major conference centers in Vienna as well as more than 100 hotels that offer on-site meeting facilities. And on top of this comes a further 100 locations, some of which are truly out of the ordinary. In Vienna, business and leisure go hand in hand. Visitors to the city are spoilt for choice when it comes to settling on where to meet up. From sightseeing and cultural attractions to world-class restaurants, Vienna checks all the boxes as the perfect host.
Vienna cemented its reputation as a truly international city decades ago. One of just four United Nations headquarters worldwide opened in the Austrian capital in 1970. And numerous UN and other international organizations are also based in the city. They bring together more than 18,000 people from all over the world, who work for the 40-plus international institutions that are permanently stationed in the capital. This creates a distinctly multicultural ambience in the heart of a city that has its own unmatched cultural history.
All eyes on Vienna
Vienna is a center of international dialog – a status that it has held for a considerable amount of time. The world of global diplomacy has long felt at ease in the city: highlights include the Congress of Vienna at the Hofburg in 1814/15 and the 1955 signing of the State Treaty with representatives of the Allies at the Upper Belvedere. In 1961, US President John F. Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev met at the Hofburg. It was at the same location that American leader Jimmy Carter and his USSR counterpart Leonid Brezhnev signed the SALT II nuclear non-proliferation treaty in 1979. In 2015, a nuclear deal was signed with Iran at Vienna’s Palais Coburg.
The 21st century has also featured numerous high-profile international events: from the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest and EuroPride 2019 to sporting spectacles such as the EURO 2008 final in the Prater and the 2017 Beach Volleyball World Championships on the Danube Island. Annual events such as the New Year’s Day Concert by the Vienna Philharmonic and the Opera Ball at the Vienna State Opera are broadcast live to millions all over the world.
The meeting industry – above all large-scale international congresses – generates a great deal of exposure and induced economic impact for Vienna as a destination. Vienna regularly hosts congresses that attract more than 5,000 participants, with medical events such as the annual European Congress of Radiology featuring prominently, followed by scientific, business and politics meetings.
Tradition and innovation converge
Vienna is constantly evolving. Smart City Vienna shows how the city has made an impressive start to the third millennium and is demonstrating what a sustainable urban future looks like. Impressive new neighborhoods are springing up all over the city – from the Sonnwendviertel in the 10th district, to the Nordbahnviertel in the 2nd and Seestadt Aspern over the Danube in the 22nd. Thanks to a raft of social and technological innovations, particularly in the field of digitalization, work is continuing apace in Vienna on creating a low-impact city of the future. Intelligent energy solutions and smart mobility systems like self-driving buses are all part of the picture, alongside pioneering developments such as giant timber high rises. After all, Vienna has always been a meeting place for outstanding ideas and pioneering projects.
"Meeting in Vienna" is one of the Vienna Tourist Board's themes for 2021, as it puts the spotlight on the capital’s unique meeting places and focuses on residents' and visitors' desire to get back to meeting in person again.