City trips, short stays, or weekend breaks

Even Goethe took off on extended journeys in search of inspiration

City trips are becoming increasingly popular. Hardly any other section of the tourism sector has experienced such a growth in recent years. The reasons why are clear. This kind of trip is part of a long tradition: even in the past, urban areas were the centre of culture, politics and trade. Goethe would set off on extended journeys through Italian cities to experience culture first-hand and recorded his experiences in writing. Today, the world’s major cities offer a wide range of experiences. Visitors can enjoy the flair of former times in old towns, marvel at new architecture, get to know modern and historical culture, and last but not least, embark on shopping trips.

Ein schöner Blick über die Dacher der Wiener Altstadt
The old town of Vienna – cityscape © tupungato /

The purpose of city trips is often to discover a city’s culture in just a few days and to combine holiday relaxation with adventure. Many do so with a long weekend, but sometimes one to two days is enough. It is even easy to fill a whole week, thanks to the constantly expanding offer for tourists. One thing is certain, whether a package or individual trip – everybody has their own preferences for going away, and the right offer is often out there for each person.

Vienna – The perfect destination for city trips

Along with cities such as London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, and Barcelona, Vienna too is one of the top ten most popular destinations for city trips in Europe. In 2017, the Mercer study once again selected Vienna as the city with the highest quality of living in the world and with good reason. And this is not only felt by Viennese citizens themselves, but even visitors to the city enjoy the perfect combination of adventure and relaxation here. On the one hand, they can marvel at the rich cultural heritage of the Habsburg monarchy in the numerous palaces and stately buildings. Vienna has long been the home of art and music, with personalities such as Haydn, Strauss, Klimt, and Mozart among its former citizens, and there are a range of museums and concert houses.

On the other hand, many are drawn to the Viennese coffeehouses for some truly pleasurable stays, where they can simply take some time out, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Traditional Viennese cuisine is ideal for gourmets. The main attractions are Schönbrunn Palace, the Giant Ferris Wheel, and the oldest zoo in the world. Even when it comes to shopping, the city is far from lacking: whether fine boutiques or department stores – on the main shopping streets of Mariahilferstraße and Kärntnerstraße, everyone will get their money’s worth.

How to plan a stress-free stay

Despite the lure of spontaneity, a bit of pre-planning will definitely save some of the stress on your arrival.

When is the best moment to travel

  • The timing: Vienna is enjoyable all year round. In summer, the parks are the most beautiful, in winter the Christmas markets, and in autumn, the wine. Hardly any season is truly unsuitable. Often, 4 to 5 days are ideal for getting to know a city during a city trip.

Is it better to holiday in Vienna with a package trip or individual trip?

  • The format: The idea that package trips often have many things already included, the main programme is planned, and that you don’t need to worry about arriving and leaving, means less stress when planning. Organisers often offer the trips for several days, with hotel, catering, and tickets included. A trip that is individually planned means more work, but also more freedom. As well as that, you have a certain level of spontaneity which lets you pursue your own needs. Whichever type of trip you prefer is up to you to decide.

Are city cards or advantage cards a good investment?

  • Plan sights in advance: Attractions such as Café Demel are often so popular that you have you make an advance reservation. But even when this is not the case, it’s worth finding out beforehand, as some attractions are cheaper as part of a combined booking, for example, Schönbrunn Palace and the Hofburg. If you know where certain sights are, it will save you a lot of travelling back and forth. It may also be worth getting yourself the ViennaPass for the most popular sights. This includes discounts for many tourist destinations.
  • Book tickets online: Platforms such as Getyourguide also offer a good opportunity to book highly popular concerts, tours, and entries in advance.
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What type of arrival is recommended?

  • Arrival and accommodation: If possible, you should avoid travelling by car. In Vienna, it is cheaper and quicker to get around the city using public transport. It is therefore advisable to arrive by train. Flying is also an option, although the airport is located slightly outside the city and not the best option for environmentally-friendly travel.
  • Vienna is not short on hotels and if you check comparison portals early enough, you can often find good offers. However, there you can also find holiday apartments, which are often cheaper and offer more privacy. The same goes for here: there is something for every preference.