Vienna is the capital of Austria, and also one of Austria's nine federal states (Bundesland Wien). With a population of about 1.6 million, Vienna is the largest city and the cultural and political centre of Austria. Situated on both sides of the river Danube, Vienna is 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the Austrian-Slovakian border, and 50 km (31.3 mi) from the Slovakian capital, Bratislava. Vienna is surrounded by the Austrian federal state of Lower Austria. It is one of the best-known cities in Europe and has a prominent place in the history of Western civilization, world culture and history.
Art and culture have a long tradition in Vienna, in the areas of theatre, opera and the fine arts. Aside from the Burgtheater which, together with its branch, the Akademie theater is considered one of the best theatres in the German - speaking world, the Volkstheater and the Theater in der Josefstadt also offer high - quality theatre entertainment. Also, there is a multitude of smaller theatres, often equal in quality to their larger counterparts and in many cases devoted to less mainstream forms of performing arts such as modern, experimental plays or cabaret.