Where to stay in Vienna
Most attractions are situated near the Old Town and ring roads around it, as shown in the map below. Ideal location for accommodation would be near the ring roads west of the river, in Innere Stadt, as the locals call the area. The area constitutes the Old Town of Vienna.
The two most central shopping streets are indicated on the map: Graben in black and Kärtner Strasse in red.
Mariahilfer Strasse is indicated in blue. It’s a pedestrian-friendly shopping street, a couple of kilometers in length (image 1 - image 2). If you’re looking to accommodate outside the very center, yet within walking distance, somewhere close to Mariahilfer Strasse might be a suitable neighborhood.
Things to do in Vienna
The Belvedere palace area contains two palaces, Upper and Lower Belvedere, with a garden and fountains in between. Both palaces host exhibitions with world-famous art pieces, but especially Upper Belvedere is an attraction on its own.
There’s free access to the garden. It’ll take some 30-45 minutes to stroll through the garden, including the areas on the other side of Upper Belvedere. A fee is collected to gain access to the palaces.
Belvedere is situated south of the city, 1,5 kilometers away from Stephansplatz at the heart of the Old Town.
If on foot, choose the left-hand side of the Hochstralbrunnen fountain (picture 16 on the map, street: Rennweg). The entrance is 250 meters away by Lower Belvedere. If approaching via the right-hand side of the fountain (Prinz Eugen-Strasse), you’re in for a longer walk; the entrance is by Upper Belvedere.
More information: belvedere.at
Schönbrunn Palace is probably the most impressive attraction in Vienna. It’s the only attraction clearly outside the center, but it’s a must-see sight if you’re staying for more than a day.
The fantastic gardens alone take easily a couple of hours to stroll through. The area is over a kilometer long and almost just as wide. The other end is mostly covered with forest. There’s free access to the garden, but the palace and other attractions require a fee.
The metro line 4 (green) runs close to the palace area. The correct stop is Schönbrunn, which is 600 meters away from the entrance on foot. Trams and buses can get you closer.
There are no pictures of Schönbrunn on this website, since it’s a private area with strict rules concerning pictures. Photos for personal use are allowed.
More information: schoenbrunn.at
Hofburg is the former imperial palace, which has been expanded several times. It contains several buildings, each serving as a wing to the palace. The buildings are scattered, and some visitors may not realize they belong to the same complex.
Check here for a good picture/map of the building complex: Hofburg Wikipedia page.
To visit the inner parts of the palace and other paid areas, tickets are sold near the picture tag 10 on the map, on the opposite side of the square. The entrance is right in the middle of picture 10. If, however, you’ve purchased a ticket or the Vienna Pass in advance, the entrance is via the inner yard, which is shown in this picture by the red flags left of the statue.
More information: hofburg-wien.at
Stadtpark, Vienna City Park in English, is situated southeast of the Old Town by the Wien Mitte train station, which is indicated on the map. The park serves as a great area to stroll around and relax in the shadows of trees.
In the middle of it, there’s a small pond with plenty of benches and statues (Johann Strauss in the picture) around. There are also grass areas for having a picnic. Coffee and refreshments are sold in kiosks and carts on wheels.
The area also contains Kursalon Music Hall, restaurants and cafeterias.
Volksgarten, People's Garden in English, is situated opposite the parliament building, marked with the picture tag 3 on the map. It’s a beautiful and well-maintained park with fountains, a rose garden and plenty of beautiful plants.
You can’t miss Volksgarten, if you’re near City Hall, Parliament building or Hofburg, as it lies right in the middle of them.
Have drinks along the Danube Canal
Danube canal is not a famous attraction as such, but it’s a nice getaway from the city on a hot day. It’s a great place for relaxing in a sunbed, with your toes in the sand and a tropical drink in your hand; there are small bars built on imported sand, with reggae music lifting your spirits.
Most bars are situated on the eastern side of the canal. To get there, take the metro Line 4 and hop off at Schottenring. Then choose the exit on the other side of the canal. At the canal crossing east of Schwedenplatz, there’s also a large Strandbar.
While there are numerous museums scattered around Vienna, MuseumsQuartier is full of them. Moreover, twin museums Museum of Fine Arts and Museum of Natural History are facing MuseumsQuartier on the other side of the street.
MuseumsQuartier is situated southwest of the picture tags 5 and 6 on the map.
More information: mqw.at
Naschmarkt is about a half kilometer-long market area south of the city center, between Linke Wienzeile and Rechte Wienzeile.
Areas closest to the center are dedicated to food. Vegetables, fruits, spices and drinks are on offer everywhere. There are also restaurants one after another. Naschmarkt serves as an interesting alternative to restaurants in the center, especially during chilly evenings in spring and fall; most restaurants have heaters on the terraces.
In areas farthest from the center, there’s all kinds of miscellaneous stuff on offer. The only limit is your imagination as to what you can find.
Prices in Vienna
Below, there are some examples of hotel and restaurant prices in Vienna. The prices of hotel rooms are median prices at Booking.com.
Pizza in restaurant
Steak in restaurant
33 cl beer in restaurant
Hotel room, 3-4* (April)
Hotel room, 3-4* (July)
From the airport
- City Airport Train (CAT), marked in red on the map, is an easy and quick alternative. Trains are available every half hour (06-23), and the connection between the airport and the only stop, Wien Mitte, takes 16 minutes.
Tickets are available at many locations at the airport, and CAT-station is well indicated by signs. The prices are 11 euros one-way and 19 euros two-way.If you have an evening flight, some airlines allow the check-in already during the day at the Wien Mitte station, giving you the chance to spend the day in the center without luggage. CAT-ticket is required for that. More information: cityairporttrain.com
Express train S7 route is marked in black on the map. Due to its many stops, it’s slower than CAT, but also significantly cheaper.
In timetables, the airport is referred to as Flughafen Wien. The names of the other stations are indicated on the map. Timetables: oebb.at.
The airport is outside Vienna city zone and therefore a city zone ticket is not sufficient. Instead, you need to buy a ticket covering the outer zone as well.
- Railjet trains (the blue line) are long distance trains, which stop at the Vienna main railway station (Wien Hauptbahnhof or Wien Hbf) and at Wien Meidling. The price is equivalent to S7 trains, but the travel time is only 15 minutes. Hence, it’s a good option if you accommodate near Wien Hbf, or if you need to use the metro anyhow.
At ÖBB website, choose Flughafen Wien (the airport) and Wien Hbf as the stations.
- Going to the very center, a bus might be the best option unless there’s a metro station near your hotel. Vienna Airport Lines operates 14 stops in Vienna. Five of the most central ones are marked on the map.
The price is 8 euros one-way or 13 euros two-way. Travel times vary between 22 and 60 minutes. More information: viennaairportlines.at
Weather in Vienna
Winter: Temperatures vary on both sides of 0°C, generally with plus degrees in daytime. It snows sometimes, but not often.
Spring: Especially March nights are cool. In April, the weather may change from very warm to sleet – anything is possible. In May, day temperatures exceed 20°C, but nights may be cool.
Summer: June is the rainiest month, and you can’t avoid rain in July and August, either. However, on average, more than half of the days are sunny. The daily highs often exceed 20°C in June, and in July – August it could be 30°C and higher. At nights, temperatures drop below 20°C.
Fall: In September, the weather resembles June, except for nights with temperatures close to 0°C at times. Some days could be warm in October, the daily highs going above 15°C. November brings subzero temperatures at night, and day temperatures may also drop to 10°C and below.