Vienna travel guide

Vienna Tourism | Vienna Guide

You're Going to Love Vienna

Elegant, full of history, and a thriving food, nightlife, and cultural center, Vienna has everything vacationers could ever need. This stunning Central European gem is truly one of the world's great cities.

Walk in the footsteps of Viennese greats like Sigmund Freud, Mozart, and the artist Egon Schiele. Watch a classical concert at the Musikverein or a spectacular opera at the Staatsoper after dining on succulent Wiener Schnitzel at restaurants like Reinthaler's Beisl. Tour stunning palaces like Schönbrunn or spend all day at the massive Art History Museum with masterpieces by Vermeer and Velázquez.

But Vienna isn't all about concerts and art. You can shop at fashion boutiques in the Goldenes Quartier or dive into all-night dance clubs like Donau Techno. Whatever you love to do, you'll adore Vienna.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Vienna

1. The City's Unique Artistic Heritage

If you love art, Vienna is a must-visit. The Art History Museum towers over the local art scene with its Vermeers and Dürers, but there's more to see as well. See up-and-coming artists at bäckerstrasse4, see the paintings of Klimt at the Belvedere or the Schieles at the Leopold Museum.

2. Wonderful Food and Drink

Vienna is a famous gastronomic destination. Grab a Viennese coffee and pastry at Kaffeehäuser like Heiner, try a schnitzel at Figlmüller Wollzeile, or just head to the Naschmarkt to peruse the mile-long food market and stock up on picnic materials for the day ahead.

3. It's the World's Greatest Classical Music Venue

Few cities in the world can match Vienna for musical pedigree. Mozart, Brahms, Schubert, and Beethoven all made their careers here, and their works are still regularly performed at venues like the Musikverein.

4. A Beautiful Setting on the River Danube

Vienna combines fabulous 18th and 19th-century architecture, like the Hofburg or Schönbrunn Palace, with the majesty of the "beautiful blue Danube" as it sweeps through the city. Don't miss a river tour while you are in town (or even take longer boat trips to nearby vineyards if you have the time).

5. Luxury Shopping and Treasure-Laden Markets

Vienna is also a fantastic shopping destination. The Old City hosts upscale labels like Louis Vuitton and Prada, the Kohlmarkt is the place to go for world-class jewelry while the Naschmarkt and the Brunnenmarkt offer hundreds of stalls selling food, craft products, and antiques.

1. The City's Unique Artistic Heritage

If you love art, Vienna is a must-visit. The Art History Museum towers over the local art scene with its Vermeers and Dürers, but there's more to see as well. See up-and-coming artists at bäckerstrasse4, see the paintings of Klimt at the Belvedere or the Schieles at the Leopold Museum.

2. Wonderful Food and Drink

Vienna is a famous gastronomic destination. Grab a Viennese coffee and pastry at Kaffeehäuser like Heiner, try a schnitzel at Figlmüller Wollzeile, or just head to the Naschmarkt to peruse the mile-long food market and stock up on picnic materials for the day ahead.

3. It's the World's Greatest Classical Music Venue

Few cities in the world can match Vienna for musical pedigree. Mozart, Brahms, Schubert, and Beethoven all made their careers here, and their works are still regularly performed at venues like the Musikverein.

4. A Beautiful Setting on the River Danube

Vienna combines fabulous 18th and 19th-century architecture, like the Hofburg or Schönbrunn Palace, with the majesty of the "beautiful blue Danube" as it sweeps through the city. Don't miss a river tour while you are in town (or even take longer boat trips to nearby vineyards if you have the time).

5. Luxury Shopping and Treasure-Laden Markets

Vienna is also a fantastic shopping destination. The Old City hosts upscale labels like Louis Vuitton and Prada, the Kohlmarkt is the place to go for world-class jewelry while the Naschmarkt and the Brunnenmarkt offer hundreds of stalls selling food, craft products, and antiques.

What to do in Vienna

1. Innere Stadt: Sigh after Sight

Vienna's Old Town is brimming with historic jewels. The Hofburg Palace is the crowning glory with ornate interiors, also host to the Spanish Riding School and gorgeous horses. Meanwhile, St. Stephen's Cathedral harkens back to medieval times, hiding catacombs beneath. From there, Kärntner Strasse offers a contemporary shopping break, while Graben leads to more baroque beauties like the Pestsäule Column. The Parliament and the Burgtheater with Klimt murals cannot be missed either!

2. Schönbrunn Palace: Over the Top and Worth It

This Imperial Summer residence for Emperor Leopold I is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historical monuments in Austria. Overflowing with gems of art and nature, the grounds boast stunning gardens, an Orangerie, countless ornate fountains, artificial Roman ruins, and glasshouses for otherworldly plants. There is even a zoo on the premise, home to powerful and exotic creatures like the Siberian Tiger! The Gloriette centerpiece is the perfect stop with its sit-down café.

3. Prater: R&R for Centuries

Prater is a favorite destination in Vienna for locals and tourists alike, both a delightful public park and the grounds for the oldest operating amusement park in the world. The Wiener Riesenrad ferris wheel has stood tall over the expansive green fields since 1766. An adorable old-school locomotive follows the tracks of the Prater Liliputbahn and carries visitors from one end of the park to the other, so tourists can hit every attraction from the Planetarium to the Schweizerhaus Beer Hall.

4. Schloss Belvedere: The Kiss

This 17th century palace is an art-lover's dream, with incomparable architecture in Baroque gardens. The building houses Austrian art spanning from medieval times to the present day, and the highlight is the incredible Gustav Klimt collection. The contrast between the contemporary aesthetics of the art pieces and the traditional interior is definitely worthy of both the artist and the palace's majesty.

5. MuseumsQuartier: A Celebration of Modern Art

The greatest museums in town are all situated around this one delightful center for art, lending to days of cultural immersion and endless choices for visitors of all interests! The MUMOK Modern Art museum is internationally renowned with over 10,000 works, including Warhol, Picasso, and Lichtenstein. Its counterpart for modern Austrian masterpieces is the Leopold Museum nearby, while Kunsthalle Wien showcases up and coming artists of today.

1. Innere Stadt: Sigh after Sight

Vienna's Old Town is brimming with historic jewels. The Hofburg Palace is the crowning glory with ornate interiors, also host to the Spanish Riding School and gorgeous horses. Meanwhile, St. Stephen's Cathedral harkens back to medieval times, hiding catacombs beneath. From there, Kärntner Strasse offers a contemporary shopping break, while Graben leads to more baroque beauties like the Pestsäule Column. The Parliament and the Burgtheater with Klimt murals cannot be missed either!

2. Schönbrunn Palace: Over the Top and Worth It

This Imperial Summer residence for Emperor Leopold I is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historical monuments in Austria. Overflowing with gems of art and nature, the grounds boast stunning gardens, an Orangerie, countless ornate fountains, artificial Roman ruins, and glasshouses for otherworldly plants. There is even a zoo on the premise, home to powerful and exotic creatures like the Siberian Tiger! The Gloriette centerpiece is the perfect stop with its sit-down café.

3. Prater: R&R for Centuries

Prater is a favorite destination in Vienna for locals and tourists alike, both a delightful public park and the grounds for the oldest operating amusement park in the world. The Wiener Riesenrad ferris wheel has stood tall over the expansive green fields since 1766. An adorable old-school locomotive follows the tracks of the Prater Liliputbahn and carries visitors from one end of the park to the other, so tourists can hit every attraction from the Planetarium to the Schweizerhaus Beer Hall.

4. Schloss Belvedere: The Kiss

This 17th century palace is an art-lover's dream, with incomparable architecture in Baroque gardens. The building houses Austrian art spanning from medieval times to the present day, and the highlight is the incredible Gustav Klimt collection. The contrast between the contemporary aesthetics of the art pieces and the traditional interior is definitely worthy of both the artist and the palace's majesty.

5. MuseumsQuartier: A Celebration of Modern Art

The greatest museums in town are all situated around this one delightful center for art, lending to days of cultural immersion and endless choices for visitors of all interests! The MUMOK Modern Art museum is internationally renowned with over 10,000 works, including Warhol, Picasso, and Lichtenstein. Its counterpart for modern Austrian masterpieces is the Leopold Museum nearby, while Kunsthalle Wien showcases up and coming artists of today.

1. Innere Stadt: Sigh after Sight

Vienna's Old Town is brimming with historic jewels. The Hofburg Palace is the crowning glory with ornate interiors, also host to the Spanish Riding School and gorgeous horses. Meanwhile, St. Stephen's Cathedral harkens back to medieval times, hiding catacombs beneath. From there, Kärntner Strasse offers a contemporary shopping break, while Graben leads to more baroque beauties like the Pestsäule Column. The Parliament and the Burgtheater with Klimt murals cannot be missed either!

2. Schönbrunn Palace: Over the Top and Worth It

This Imperial Summer residence for Emperor Leopold I is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historical monuments in Austria. Overflowing with gems of art and nature, the grounds boast stunning gardens, an Orangerie, countless ornate fountains, artificial Roman ruins, and glasshouses for otherworldly plants. There is even a zoo on the premise, home to powerful and exotic creatures like the Siberian Tiger! The Gloriette centerpiece is the perfect stop with its sit-down café.

3. Prater: R&R for Centuries

Prater is a favorite destination in Vienna for locals and tourists alike, both a delightful public park and the grounds for the oldest operating amusement park in the world. The Wiener Riesenrad ferris wheel has stood tall over the expansive green fields since 1766. An adorable old-school locomotive follows the tracks of the Prater Liliputbahn and carries visitors from one end of the park to the other, so tourists can hit every attraction from the Planetarium to the Schweizerhaus Beer Hall.

4. Schloss Belvedere: The Kiss

This 17th century palace is an art-lover's dream, with incomparable architecture in Baroque gardens. The building houses Austrian art spanning from medieval times to the present day, and the highlight is the incredible Gustav Klimt collection. The contrast between the contemporary aesthetics of the art pieces and the traditional interior is definitely worthy of both the artist and the palace's majesty.

5. MuseumsQuartier: A Celebration of Modern Art

The greatest museums in town are all situated around this one delightful center for art, lending to days of cultural immersion and endless choices for visitors of all interests! The MUMOK Modern Art museum is internationally renowned with over 10,000 works, including Warhol, Picasso, and Lichtenstein. Its counterpart for modern Austrian masterpieces is the Leopold Museum nearby, while Kunsthalle Wien showcases up and coming artists of today.

Where to Eat in Vienna

Vienna's food is out of this world (though sometimes a little calorific). For starters, be sure to try a Wiener Schnitzel (veal fried in breadcrumbs) at places like Figlmüller Wollzeile. For an all-round gourmet experience, try the 100 percent organic Weinbotschaft. And, while you see the sights, grab a traditional apfelstrudel from Cafe Central or the stalls of the Naschmarkt. Prices vary wildly, from EUR5-10 for street food to EUR50 for a gourmet three course meal.

When to visit Vienna

Vienna in January
Estimated hotel price
$254
1 night at 3-star hotel
Vienna in January
Estimated hotel price
$254
1 night at 3-star hotel

Summer is an excellent time to see the sights and stroll along the Danube, but if you are into classical music and want to get the best seats, try late spring (May and June) or the fall (October is good). Alternatively, Vienna is a magical Christmas destination, with markets, lights and parties all over town.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Vienna

Plane

Vienna International Airport (VIE) is a few miles southeast of the city itself and getting into town isn't hard. One option is to take the S7 S-Bahn train (EUR4, 25 minutes) or the less frequent but faster Railjet trains (same price, 16 minutes). If you'd prefer to take a taxi, it should cost around EUR30 and there are also airport buses (though these are more expensive than trains).

Train

Vienna's Hauptbahnhof has excellent connections to the rest of Europe and arriving by train is a popular option. The station is on the Vienna subway system, so transferring from international trains to your accommodation should be hassle-free.

Car

Anyone driving to Vienna from Germany will probably take the A3 to the border, then the A8 and the E60 straight into Vienna. From the Italian border, the best route is to take the A2 then the E59, while those driving from Prague can take the E50, the E461 then the A5 into the heart of Vienna.

Bus

Plenty of buses arrive in Vienna every day from destinations all over Europe. Eurolines is the major operator, and generally stop at the Vienna International Busterminal, just southeast of the Old City. From there, you can take local buses or hop on the subway from Schlachthausgasse and you'll be in the center in 10 minutes.

Plane

Vienna International Airport (VIE) is a few miles southeast of the city itself and getting into town isn't hard. One option is to take the S7 S-Bahn train (EUR4, 25 minutes) or the less frequent but faster Railjet trains (same price, 16 minutes). If you'd prefer to take a taxi, it should cost around EUR30 and there are also airport buses (though these are more expensive than trains).

Train

Vienna's Hauptbahnhof has excellent connections to the rest of Europe and arriving by train is a popular option. The station is on the Vienna subway system, so transferring from international trains to your accommodation should be hassle-free.

Car

Anyone driving to Vienna from Germany will probably take the A3 to the border, then the A8 and the E60 straight into Vienna. From the Italian border, the best route is to take the A2 then the E59, while those driving from Prague can take the E50, the E461 then the A5 into the heart of Vienna.

Bus

Plenty of buses arrive in Vienna every day from destinations all over Europe. Eurolines is the major operator, and generally stop at the Vienna International Busterminal, just southeast of the Old City. From there, you can take local buses or hop on the subway from Schlachthausgasse and you'll be in the center in 10 minutes.

Airports near Vienna

Airlines serving Vienna

Lufthansa
Good (4,690 reviews)
KLM
Good (848 reviews)
SWISS
Good (945 reviews)
British Airways
Good (4,560 reviews)
Delta
Good (4,612 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (2,293 reviews)
Air France
Good (981 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (487 reviews)
Iberia
Good (1,596 reviews)
United Airlines
Good (4,950 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (2,122 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (2,454 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (5,894 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (229 reviews)
Finnair
Good (868 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (924 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (1,180 reviews)
LOT
Good (685 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (820 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (834 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Vienna

The Old City - Vienna's Altstadt is clustered around Stephansplatz and the city cathedral, right at the center of town. Here you can see the filming locations for "the Third Man", attend an opera, window shop on Kärntnerstrasse or sip coffee in Café Hawelka, a legendary artists' hangout.

Popular Neighborhoods in Vienna

Leopoldstadt - Vienna's "Second District" is situated on an island in the Danube river and it's a charming neighborhood. Once home to the city's large Jewish population, it's also home to the Prater - Vienna's funfair with its iconic ferris wheel. With bars and sports stadiums in the area too, Leopoldstadt is a fun place to be.

Landstraße - located southeast of the Altstadt, Landstraße is a large neighborhood with plenty to see. There's the elegant grounds and superb art collection of the Belvedere Palace, the vibrant Haupstraße shopping district and off-beat artistic attractions like the KunstHausWien, a must for modern art lovers.

Leopoldstadt - Vienna's "Second District" is situated on an island in the Danube river and it's a charming neighborhood. Once home to the city's large Jewish population, it's also home to the Prater - Vienna's funfair with its iconic ferris wheel. With bars and sports stadiums in the area too, Leopoldstadt is a fun place to be.
Landstraße - located southeast of the Altstadt, Landstraße is a large neighborhood with plenty to see. There's the elegant grounds and superb art collection of the Belvedere Palace, the vibrant Haupstraße shopping district and off-beat artistic attractions like the KunstHausWien, a must for modern art lovers.
Most popular hotel in Vienna by neighbourhood

Where to stay in popular areas of Vienna

Most booked hotels in Vienna

Novotel Wien Hauptbahnhof
4 stars
Excellent (8.6, Excellent reviews)
$214+
Leonardo Hotel Vienna Schönbrunn
3 stars
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
$129+
Grand Ferdinand
5 stars
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
$318+
Leonardo Hotel Vienna
4 stars
Excellent (8, Excellent reviews)
$137+
a&t Holiday Hostel Wien
2 stars
Good (7.3, Good reviews)
$44+
A&O Wien Hauptbahnhof
2 stars
Good (7.1, Good reviews)
$43+

How to Get Around Vienna

Public Transportation

Vienna's public transportation system is superb and getting around will be easy. There's a choice of subway (Metro), tram, bus, and commuter rail services, and every area is well connected to the center. It's also affordable, with a single fare of EUR2.20, 24-hour tickets for EUR7.60, and weekly passes for EUR16.20.

Taxi

With such a good public transportation system, you don't really need to take taxis much in Vienna. However, if you do, expect to pay a meter drop of EUR3.80, then around EUR2 per mile after that. Uber is active in the city too, and offer rates of EUR1 for the meter drop then around EUR1 per mile, so it can be a good way to save money.

Car

Renting a car is easy, either at Vienna International Airport or downtown. Local companies include Sixt, Hertz, Avis, Europcar, and Budget and rates can be as low as EUR15 per day for smaller vehicles. However, driving in central Vienna isn't easy, with narrow and often one-way streets inside the Ring. Instead, use your car to reach day trip destinations like Liechtenstein Castle or suburban attractions like Schönbrunn Palace.

Public Transportation

Vienna's public transportation system is superb and getting around will be easy. There's a choice of subway (Metro), tram, bus, and commuter rail services, and every area is well connected to the center. It's also affordable, with a single fare of EUR2.20, 24-hour tickets for EUR7.60, and weekly passes for EUR16.20.

Taxi

With such a good public transportation system, you don't really need to take taxis much in Vienna. However, if you do, expect to pay a meter drop of EUR3.80, then around EUR2 per mile after that. Uber is active in the city too, and offer rates of EUR1 for the meter drop then around EUR1 per mile, so it can be a good way to save money.

Car

Renting a car is easy, either at Vienna International Airport or downtown. Local companies include Sixt, Hertz, Avis, Europcar, and Budget and rates can be as low as EUR15 per day for smaller vehicles. However, driving in central Vienna isn't easy, with narrow and often one-way streets inside the Ring. Instead, use your car to reach day trip destinations like Liechtenstein Castle or suburban attractions like Schönbrunn Palace.

The Cost of Living in Vienna

Shopping Streets

Vienna is a wonderful place to shop for jewelry, apparel, chocolates, shoes, and food. In the center of town, Kohlmarkt is the street to head for, hosting labels like Burberry, Chanel, and Armani (and Graben next door is also lined with high-end boutiques). Another place to look is the Goldenes Quartier, a showcase for fashion labels like Alexander McQueen, Miu Miu, and Mulberry.

Groceries and Other

Vienna can be a little expensive, but you can save money by shopping for groceries at supermarkets like Merkur, Billa, Spar, and Hofer (or the Naschmarkt). Expect to pay around EUR4 for a gallon of milk and EUR1 for a pound of apples.

Cheap meal
$18.12
A pair of jeans
$149.94
Single public transport ticket
$4.00
Cappuccino
$5.52