Here is our online city guide and travel guide: Vienna is not only today’s capital of the country Austria, but also the former center of the Habsburg Empire. Thus Vienna has a huge historical heritage.
As early as 1814/15 it gained immense political importance through the Congress of Vienna, today it is one of the headquarters of the United Nations. Culturally, too, Vienna produces a lot. For a long time artists and musicians like Haydn, Klimt, and Beethoven gathered here. It is not for nothing that there is more to music than a Viennese school. So if you are planning a trip, you may feel overwhelmed by the wide range of options available to a visitor. Travel guides and travel tips are therefore very important.
City Guide Vienna – Travel Guide Vienna
Most major sights are described everywhere, so here is a small compact guide with tips and tricks and unusual destinations for a successful stay.
The seasons (when to travel)
You can generally visit Vienna all year round without being boring. But there are certain events that are limited in time and you should also adapt to the weather.
• In winter, not as busy as in summer. Fewer tourists mean fewer queues at major attractions and a wider choice of hotels available. If you freeze during a city stroll, you can always go to one of the many cafes to warm up with hot chocolate.
• From mid-November to the end of December (sometimes even to January), the Christmas markets are open. The most visited markets are at Rathausplatz and in front of Schönbrunn Palace. Tip: The market at Spittelberg is smaller, but also less crowded and offers many individual craft items.
• Who plans a trip in the period from October to April, should be prepared for rain and possibly in winter on snow. If you are weatherproof, you can of course still stroll through the parks.
• The warmest and sunniest summer is naturally. The parks and gardens then bloom very beautifully and invite to picnics and walks. At the same time it is very crowded in the summer and there are many tourists in the city. Some popular attractions, such as the Opera and the Burgtheater, also have summer breaks from July to September. There is an open-air film festival on Rathausplatz and many other summer attractions.
• In addition, summer is open-air season. The Neusiedler See invites you to swim, but is located outside of Vienna. Within the city there are a lot of swimming pools. However, swimming in the Danube on the Danube Island, the green paradise of the city, is the most beautiful.
• Tip: For wine lovers autumn is certainly the best season, because then you get served in the Heuriger around Vienna fresh storm and held the wine festivals.
On the way in Vienna
• From the arrival by car is generally discouraged, since everywhere in the city, high parking fees prevail and you are traveling faster anyway with public transport. If you are still traveling by car, it is best to come at the weekend because parking is free on Saturdays and Sundays.
• In Vienna you are well served by metro, tram, train and bus. With public transport you can easily reach every destination in the city. The subways are tightly packed until late at night, so that you can get back to the hotel well after an evening at the opera and there are good bus connections for the outskirts (for example for hiking). Public transport is particularly cheap in Vienna and hardly comparable with other European cities. The tickets are available for 24h, 48h, 72h and for one week. Children under 15 travel free on all means of transport. Tip: If you stay longer than three, but not a whole week, you should still buy a weekly ticket. This is only three euros more expensive than a 48h ticket and thus much cheaper than another day ticket.
• The trams are sometimes modern and equipped with air conditioning and sometimes still in the old flair. A ride not only serves nostalgia, but is also good for a relaxed sightseeing tour when you get tired legs, as many of the attractions such as Hofburg and Burgtheater are located on the ring road.
• To get from the airport to Vienna and back, there are several options. The City Airport Train (CAT) is a train that gets you into the city faster than any other means of transport, but costs a lot more. We recommend the airport bus, a taxi (for several people) or the public railway. The journey takes about 30 to 40 minutes, but saves money.
Das Essen – Reiseführer
• Viennese cuisine is famous throughout Europe. Behind the name hides an international variety with specialties from the former Habsburg Empire: goulash from Hungary, pancakes from Bohemia and of course the Wiener schnitzel. If you want to dine traditionally, should be in a Beisl. There, the food is associated with the rustic charm of the restaurants. Well suitable for this is the gastronomy on Spittelberg. On balmy summer nights, you can also enjoy cycling or enjoying his wine at Tafelspitz.
• If you want to try the Viennese sweets, this is best done in one of the numerous traditional cafés. There you can also directly enjoy the Viennese coffee house culture, which is characterized by the large selection of coffee, long stays and reading in the newspapers. Many great minds of history spent their days here: Sigmund Freud’s patron cafe was the Café Landtmann, but he also joined other celebrities in the Café Central. The imperial and royal Hofzuckerbäcker Demel should have the best Sachertorte Vienna, but is also known for excellent cocoa and apple strudel.
• One should not blame anyone: the coffee house culture carries with it a certain amount of pride and tourists can easily go nuts, such as lack of knowledge about certain vocabulary. Therefore, do not be surprised if the waiters sometimes seem a bit grumpy.
• Austria was once called the “last bastion for smokers”. In fact, unlike the rest of Europe, it is allowed to smoke in some cafes and bars. One should not be surprised, this is also part of the cultural heritage.
• Vegan on the way? No problem! Many cafés now have vegan options, and even traditional venues such as Café Central and Demel have sophisticated vegan options. In addition, every summer the “Vegan Festival” takes place in front of the MuseumsQuartier.
1. Pancakes are pancakes, so a dessert.
2. Melange is only with Nestle coffee with hot chocolate. It’s a latte in Vienna.
3. Never ask for a card at Hawelka’s artists’ café! There is none.
4. The famous cafes are often fully booked. Therefore reserve in advance!
5. Tipping is expected.
Parks and Gardens (for strolling and lingering)
The most famous park is certainly that of Schönbrunn Palace. The unusual floral decorations on the forecourt of the Neptune Fountain are sure to appear in every travel guide. And indeed, the park is a clear “must-see” in Vienna. Not only because, thanks to its size, it is never overcrowded even during high season, but also because the view from the Gloriette and the loving design create a whole holiday feeling. Tip: When you turn the outer circle in the park, you not only meet fewer people, but also find one or the other hidden garden.
• A part of the castle park, but not for free, is the Tiergarten. Here you can admire local and exotic biodiversity. The Tiergarten is the oldest zoo in Europe and even today some of the old enclosures are in operation or exhibited. Tip: The zoo is especially empty in winter. And even the cold can not harm his charm.
• The Volksgarten is also a flowery oasis right on the Ringstraße and in the center. Here it makes sense to make a lunch break between the Hofburg and the town hall in the middle of the roses.
• Good to reach by subway, the Danube Island and the old Danube. There you can walk for hours on the shore and discover new green gardens and parks. The whole area has been renatured and is now a leisure paradise for sailing, swimming and paddling.
• No park and no garden, but good for rest are the city hiking trails. Around and in Vienna you can enjoy the view of the city from the hills and forests. There is a place to stop at almost every path and hardly a path is so difficult that you can not cope with it with your family.
Vienna on a Budget (Tips on saving money)
• The Vienna City Card combines public transport with other tourist advantages. For example, you can use the hop-on hop-off buses and take advantage of more than 210 perks for sightseeing, culture and sports. This card is also available for 24, 48 or 72 hours and children up to 15 years travel free.
• The Vienna Pass is similar to the Vienna City Card, but not bound to public transport. Instead, the hop-on hop-off bus is also included and many attractions are free. These include Schönbrunn, the Hofburg, and the Kunsthistorisches Museum. In addition, one comes with the “Fast Track” on long queues. You can get it for 1, 2, 3 or 6 days and pre-order it on the internet.
• Some museums, such as the Beethoven apartment, the Haydn house and the Roman museum are free on the first Sunday of each month. Others are basically free (Wiener Fischereimuseum) and in most there is free admission for children and adolescents. There is also a student discount almost everywhere.
• You can eat cheap at the Naschmarkt. There you can taste good at all stalls. Also a picnic in the park is nice. For example, you can buy Mozartkugeln, which are much cheaper in the supermarkets than at tourist attractions.
• If you do not need luxury, you can easily and cheaply book an Airbnb instead of a hotel. Even private apartments are recommended, as they often offer more space and privacy than hotels.
Vienna points of interest – Famous sights
• The Hofburg was the residence of the Habsburgs from the 13th century until 1918. Today it is mainly known for its buildings from the 19th century. Directly on the ring road, the Hofburg houses the Sissi Museum, the Silver Collection, the Imperial Apartments and the Spanish Riding School, all of which can be visited. The Hofburg is also the seat of the Austrian Federal President and the Austrian National Library.
• Schönbrunn Palace was built by Empress Maria Theresia in its present form and has been a tourist magnet of the city for many years. It served the imperial family as a summer residence and is surrounded by extensive parks, which also houses the oldest zoo in the world.
• St. Stephen’s Cathedral forms the center of Vienna in the Old Town and is also the landmark of the city. In the former Austria-Hungary there was no church higher than the cathedral. Thus, the gothic national shrine is still visible from all directions and can be visited.
• The Prater is actually a large park on the Danube, but often only the amusement park in it is meant. This houses a built in the 19th century Ferris wheel, which here can be called as the second symbol of Vienna. It was then the largest Ferris wheel in the world.
• The Roof Top Bar at the 25h Hotel is young, loud and colorful. Extravagant lamps in drum drums, lifts such as zoo enclosures and a wide range of drinks will not leave you bored. This is where the backpacking generation meets and enjoys a beautiful view over the city.
• Not on the roof, but equipped with a pool is the Pratersauna. This house, techno and electro club is a real place for weekend students and travelers who just want to stay downtown. The Prater is day and night active.
• The top cinema is much in one: cafe, bar, restaurant and cinema. If you can not decide, just visit everything in one evening. In summer, the top cinema also offers open-air cinema. On the program are unusual national and international films that you will not forget for sure.