Visiting Vienna? Today, we share tips for visiting Vienna, including the best time to visit, where to go, and where to stay.
Austria is a beautiful country to visit and Vienna is the perfect place to start.
Best time to visit Vienna
Having a continental climate, it could very cold during winter but also very hot during summer. Seeing Vienna under the falling autumn leaves, under the snow or illuminated by the summer sun will always provide you a different but amazing experience.
During winter the Christmas Market will warm you with lights and hot red wines, while during the summer you could spend time having a drink in busy parks or on terraces.
Getting to Vienna
Because of it’s location in Central Europe, there are plenty of ways to get to Austria.
The easiest way to get it Austria is by flying, with Austrian and United airlines offering direct flights from the US and Ryanair, EasyJet and Jet2 offering flights from the UK. Once at the airport, you can either catch a taxi or Uber directly to your hotel or head to the train station on the lower floor of the airport terminal and catch a train into the city centre.
If you are travelling Europe, you can catch a train from Bratislava, Budapest and Prague or a bus from many nearby cities with Budapest being the most popular travel route.
Getting around Vienna
Travel to Vienna is easy but after walking that much and eating the most delightful food of the Austrian Capital, don’t hesitate to use the public transport system which is easy to use.
You can quickly move around the city by bus or trams from morning till night. After midnight, some special night buses are still running in the main streets of the centre.
Metro stations are relatively clean, far from being crowded and everything is clearly marked! Nobody shoves you trying to enter before you in the subway (except tourists, obviously) and often you can find a seat without hurry!
In Vienna, taxis are quite cheap, but it’s simply impossible to “catch” them on the street. It’s then better to call a taxi at the restaurant or hotel, or to go to special taxi areas where they are waiting.
Where to stay in Vienna
Vienna is split into districts and is fairly contained, so you can get around the attractions with ease. Choosing where to stay in Vienna doesn’t need to be stressful because there are plenty of options to choose form.
- For historical attractions – District 1 is the best option for those looking to be in the heart of the city, near the most popular attractions such as Hofburg Palace, the Graben and Stephansdom.
- For the theatres, opera houses – District 3 and 4 are arguable the best districts to stay in. They are close to attractions like the Belvedere, Stadtpark, Naschmarkt and many of the cities theatres and opera houses. It is also just below district 1, so a hotel here is a great choice for those looking to be near the sights but not stay in the touristy areas. This is also a great place to stay during the Winter as Belvedere Palace becomes a Christmas Village.
- For outdoor spaces – District 2 is home to Prater Park, perfect for walking off the delicious food you will eat here.
- For Shopping – District 6 and 7 are the perfect districts for those looking for the biggest shopping street in Vienna and plenty of restaurant options. This is another fantastic place to stay because District 1 is within walking distance from some areas and the subway and tram system connects you to the historical centre quickly too.
Food in Vienna
Make sure to try the Vienna local coffee called a Wiener Melange, which is espresso with steamed milk and milk foam then tuck into a Wiener schnitzel, a famous local dish that can be had with pork or veal. Drink the local beer and try the open sandwiches in a cafe in the city too. Head to the Hotel Imperial Vienna to try the delicious Torte cake, also available in most cafes.
Just remember that most restaurants will accept cash only, so don’t rely on your bank cards and remember to leave a tips this isn’t expected but appreciated.
Also, if you plan on cooking food for yourself during your stay, many grocery stores are closed on Sundays so make sure to stock up on food items before then.
Things to do in Vienna, Austraia
Discover the cultural Heritage of the former Empire
Once arrived in the city center, you will quickly notice that the former Austro-Hungarian Empire left a huge architectural mark on the city. Buildings of this era are well maintained, impressive and a feast for the eyes.
Taking a Free Walking Tour of Vienna is surely a very good way to have an overview of the most important places and monuments the city has to offer. Moreover, the guide will offer you insider tips to enjoy the rest of your stay.
You can for sure see the city by day but Vienna is also to enjoy by night. Don’t miss a walk through the lightened historical city center of Vienna. A very beautiful show.
Vienna is the perfect spot to spend time outside. More than only visiting the city center, Vienna is also a very green capital. There are numerous parks to stroll. Maybe the most beautiful is the one of the Schönbrunn Palace (you can access the park for free).
While you there, you can find a Zoo called Tiergarten, which is the oldest zoo in Europe. Alternatively, you can enjoy one of the greenest area of the city along the Danube river.
Another kind of park is the Prater. It’s the most famous amusement park of Vienna and one of the symbol of the city with its giant Ferris Wheel which was built more than a century ago.
Spend your time outside
Try the delicious austrian gastronomy
After spending so much time outside, it’s time to take a break, a delicious break and try the amazing Austrian food. There are numerous cafes in the city to have a quick snack. Some of them are worth a visit not only for their pastries! At the Demel Cafe for instance, you’ll be taken to the period of the early 20th century. And it’s not an exception in Vienna.
The typical break is to have a warm apfelstrudel, a creamy apple pastry, and a coffee. If you’re more into chocolate, you can also try the classical Sacher Torte.
A rainy day? Museums and Operas will not let you rest
There is a lot of indoor activities to do in Vienna!
Vienna is considered as a major cultural city, counting on many worldwide famous artists such as Beethoven, Schubert and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart for the classical music, but also Sigmund Freud or Gustav Klimt.
Enjoying an opera is a must in the Austrian Capital. Tickets can be cheap if you don’t bother about standing to see the show. Anyway, the Opera building is beautiful and is worth to have look at it from the inside.
Art lovers will be the most satisfied in Vienna. There are numerous and prestigious museums in the city such as Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Modern Art (Mumok), the Leopold Museum, the Liechtenstein Museum, the Museum of Applied Arts (MAK) or the Kunst Haus Wien that offer sensational collections. All these museums reveal a real encyclopedia of the history of art.
Live the alternative hipster Vienna
Even if Berlin is the hipster city by excellence, Vienna is also a very good spot of this alternative lifestyle. Street Art is flourishing in the city, especially along the Danube river.
During summer, there is an artificial beach with terraces and pop-up bars to spend a nice time.
You can also get lost at the Naschmarkt’s Flea Market, one of the best in Europe, where you can buy everything (really everything).
What to pack for Vienna
We hope you have an amazing time in Vienna, let us know where you are travelling to in the comments below!
Happy travels and stay creative!