The Belvedere, Vienna
The Belvedere (Photo credit: Gerhard Bögner)

Vienna Travel Guide

QUICK FACTS

  • Largest city (and capital) of Austria, with a population of 1.7 million.
  • Vienna’s city centre has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Recognized as the world’s top destinations for congresses and conventions.
  • Located on the Danube river, the city has a rich 2000 year long history.
  • Nicknames: V, ViVi, the Imperial City

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

  • Currency: Euro (EUR).
  • Spoken languages: predominantly German (English common in tourist areas).
  • Best time to visit: from April to October (mild continental climate).
  • Arriving via airport: City-Airport train takes 16 minutes and costs 12 EUR. Bus is about 8 EUR, while subway is from 4 EUR.

WHERE TO STAY

Areas around the main tourist attractions (Mariahlfer Strasse, Innere Stadt, Rathaus, Karlsplatz) are expensive, but convenient. More affordable options, can be found farther away from the city centre (close to subway stations).

GETTING AROUND

  • For just €20, the Vienna City Card gives you unlimited travel on the subway, bus and tram for 72 hours (with an additional 200 discounts for city use). The subway (U­Bahn) is extremely developed – with 5 lines and 100 stations, it is arguably the best public transport option. Ticket prices depend on city zones, time, number of rides.
  • Trams and buses can get crowded, but have a great view.
  • There are over a hundred taxi companies in Vienna. Ask your hotel about the best companies servicing your area. Another option is the bicycle taxi (FAXI).
  • Tip: the mobile app Qando provides detailed information about getting around in Vienna.

VIENNA NIGHTLIFE

  • Drinking age is 18, no official last call (some clubs are open all night).
  • Younger crowd clubs: Flex, Pratersauna, U4 Discotheque, The Loft, Prated Dome, Club U.
  • Hip/trendy clubs: Volksgarten Club Disco, Babenberger Passage, Palmery, Platzhirch.
  • Up and coming scene: under the subway station at the Gurtel Ring Road.

UNIQUE LANDMARKS TO VISIT

  • Of the city’s many historical attractions, the Imperial landmarks stand out. Check out the museums at the Hofburg Imperial Palace, the Sissi Museum, the Treasury and the Spanish Riding School.
  • The Ringstrasse features many of the most important buildings and sights in Vienna, including the Opera, Fine Arts Museum, Parliament, City Hall, and the Burgtheater.
  • If you have time, take a day trip to the Schonbrunn Palace. With exceptional architecture and treasures, it is the site of one of the best zoos in Europe (Schonbrunn Zoo).
  • For a magnificent view of the city, check out the (new) modern Danube Tower.

INTERESTING WALKS

  • Walk along the Ringstrasse to take in all the top tourist sites.
  • A historical tour: walk from St. Stephan Cathedral towards the Hofburg Palace, through the Natural History and Fine Arts Museums, the Museum Quartier, towards Parliament Building and City Hall (Rathaus). End your tour at the Votivkirche.
  • Walk along the Danube banks or the take a walk in the City Park.
  • Tip: when you get tired of all the walking, relax on a boat tour of the Danube.

LOCAL WISDOM

  • Bring a light jacket (it can get chilly and windy in the evenings, even during springtime). Another good idea is to bring an umbrella, as it can start raining anytime.
  • Vienna is one of the best destinations in Europe for food and shopping enthusiasts. Get the Yelp app for restaurant/shop reviews and opening hours.
  • One of the best experiences in Vienna is the world famous Christmas Fair. The entire city transforms – many small traditional shops appear in front of the City Hall and in Schonbrunn Palace. The fair takes place for several weeks before Christmas.
  • Where to find good cheap eats: while you’re in town, try the world famous Austrian strudel or the wiener schnitzel – two of the best specialties in Vienna.
  • Do not carry any valuables on you. Take only the cash you need with you. Never take your wallet out in public to count money.
  • Dangerous areas: Vienna is one of the safest cities in Europe. In any case, exercise caution. Avoid less crowded areas and subway stations at night.

RECOMMENDED VIENNA GUIDE BOOKS

Recommended trip duration: 3-4 days


SEE ALSO:
Vienna Travel Guide was last modified: September 28th, 2016 by Nick
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