Courtesy: Austrian Airlines

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines

Austrian Airlines has just began its first non-stop service from LAX to Vienna. The flights will be operating five times a week starting June 13 and later will increase to six a week.

The airline, which already offers non-stop flights from the East Coast to Vienna will use a two-class cabin Boeing 777-200 for the new service from LA to Vienna.

Austrian has also partnered with its tourist board and other sources to offer the Vienna Card. The card, which must be purchased ahead of travel and mailed to your home or picked up at the airport on arrival, gives you free access to the underground, buses and trams for either 48 or 72 hours as well as discounts on museums, attractions, theaters, concerts, cafes, restaurants and wine taverns.

You can get the 48 hour version for $21.90 per person (kids under 15 travel free on buses, trams and underground with you) or the 72 hour version for $24.90. Altogether a great value if you plan to be in Vienna for a few days.

One place to use your Vienna Card, the great Albertina Museum, housed in a Hapsburg palace which will be presenting an Egon Schiele retrospective until June 18, 2017. Ticket price is usually 12.90 Euro for adults but with the card its 10.50.  Schiele’s often disturbing visions of life and human relations makes him one of Austria’s most reproduced and well-known artists.

Another major attraction, the Spanish Riding School has recently attained UNESCO status.

And then there is the pure pleasure of sitting in a historic Viennese coffee haus sipping a robust brew with the obligatory carafe of water and a sweet biscuit.  The legend is that the Viennese were the first European culture to drink coffee and they found it when the Turks left bags of the beans at their gates after an unsuccessful raid in the Middle Ages. Since then, they’ve perfected the art of coffee–the kind that doesn’t come in paper cups or a Venti version.