Winding alleyways, arcaded courtyards, beautiful mansion houses - Vienna's historic old town is also its romantic heart. In the oldest parts of the capital around St. Stephen's Cathedral the streets are still cobbled as they were centuries ago. A stroll along Blutgasse and Domgasse is like stepping back into a bygone age. The stunning Biedermeier era buildings in the seventh district's Spittelberg quarter provide the perfect backdrop for a romantic stroll. Anyone who would prefer not to walk should hire a Fiaker (horse-drawn carriage) and take in the palaces, mansion houses and architectural gems on four wheels. There are Fiaker stands dotted all around the first district, including on Stephansplatz, Heldenplatz, Albertinaplatz and in front of the Burgtheater.
Countless restaurants throughout the city offer special Valentine's Day menus, with candle light and live music adding to the romance at many locations. Anyone who books a Valentine's Day dinner at Stadtgasthaus Eisvogel in the Prater park, can wrap up the evening with a ride on the capital's trademark Giant Ferris Wheel complete with a glass of sparkling wine and a rose as a memento of the evening. On the Saturday night after Valentine's Day (Feb 16, 2013) the DDSG Blue Danube cruise line will treat passengers to a romantic dinner on the river. Diners can enjoy a four-course à la carte menu with piano melodies providing the musical backdrop as the boat gently rocks in the wash. Meanwhile at Schönbrunn Zoo couples that quote the code "Valentine's Day" will receive two tickets for the price of one on February 14, 2013. Elsewhere, sport lovers will have the chance to cut loops on the ice against the romantic backdrop of City Hall at Vienna Ice World or at the Eislaufverein skating rink just over the road from Stadtpark.
A bouquet is still the gift of choice on Valentine's Day, and Vienna's florists always have something special up their sleeves. Located in the Römische Markthalle (Romanesque market hall) at the old stock exchange, Lederleitner offers an incredible range of blooms. Blumenkraft, one of the capital's most creative flower shops, is just a few minutes' walk from the Naschmarkt. Doll's Blumen in the eighth district is the place for unusual arrangements, as is Zweigstelle in the ninth district.
- Stadtgasthaus Eisvogel, Riesenradplatz 5, 1020 Vienna, www.stadtgasthaus-eisvogel.at
- Giant Ferris Wheel, Riesenradplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, www.wienerriesenrad.com
- Romantic Valentine's Day dinner, Feb 16, 2013, departure 7.30pm, arrival 11pm, Reichsbrücke bridge, 1020 Vienna, DDSG Blue Danube, www.ddsg-blue-danube.at
- Schönbrunn Zoo, 1130 Vienna, www.zoovienna.at
- Vienna Ice World, Jan 24-Mar 10, 2013, Rathausplatz, 1010 Vienna, www.wienereistraum.com
- Wiener Eislaufverein, Lothringerstrasse 22, 1030 Vienna
- Lederleitner, Schottenring 16, 1010 Vienna, www.lederleitner.at
- Blumenkraft, Schleifmühlgasse 4, 1040 Vienna, www.blumenkraft.at
- Doll's Blumen, Lange Gasse 62, 1080 Vienna, www.doll-wien.at
- Zweigstelle, Porzellangasse 4, 1090 Vienna, www.zweigstelle.com