Vienna is located on the Danube, just at the centre of Europe and near the north-eastern extension of the Alps, largely surrounded by the Vienna Woods.
The city is world-famous for its magnificent imperial heritage, with the Schönbrunn Palace, the Belvedere and the Imperial Palace. The city is also appreciated around the world for its top-notch music and cultural offer with many renowned concert halls, museums and institutions — from the large Musikverein Hall to the prestigious Museum of Fine Arts and the Vienna State Opera.
And let’s not forget that Vienna is considered one of the world's most liveable cities and has been awarded this distinction eighth times in a row, confirming the city's status as a metropolis for bon vivants and art lovers, offering its guests an abundance of unique attractions at any time of the year.
Vienna is old, Vienna is new — and so varied: from the magnificent Baroque buildings and Art Nouveau masterpieces to the latest architectural achievements. Vienna is a city of beauty and art far beyond its imperial legacy: the city draws tourists with its dynamic mix of an imperial-nostalgic flair and an extremely creative cultural scene.
Besides the many sights sought after by tourists, Vienna has something more to offer: there are many hidden gems in the city that often provide a deeper understanding of its history and a real insight into its current daily life. Here are a few tips to check out for an off-the-beaten-track trip to Vienna.
Vienna has over 100 museums and countless examples of great architecture seamlessly combining old and new designs. When you've got enough sightseeing for the day, rest in one of the 280 parks and gardens scattered around the city.
Every evening thousands of enthusiasts gather in concert halls, big and small, to experience live classical music in Vienna. The city has a reputation as the “capital of classical music” largely owing to the immensely popular composers who lived and worked here in the late 18th and 19th centuries. During this period, numerous performance halls were built to accommodate the overwhelming boom of musical talent.
Major music venues in Vienna include the State Opera House, the People's Opera House, the Burgtheater, and the Theater an der Wien. Pick a venue that suits your liking and schedule and let the art vibrate through you.
The Austrian capital has a rich choice of great restaurants: from gourmet dining establishments perfect before (or after) a night at the opera to down-to-earth local eateries. First time visitors simply must try a hearty Kaisersemmel, traditional Viennese bread, or a Kaiserschmarrn, Austrian chopped pancakes dusted with powdered sugar.
Vienna is the only metropolis in the world that grows a significant enough amount of wine within city limits, so prepare to find plenty of good local wines to match your Viennese dinners.
The most popular time for dinner in Vienna is around 7 or 8 pm, so if that's when you plan to sit down for your dinner meal — book a table in advance.
Since 2011, the traditional Viennese coffee house culture has been regarded as part of the intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO. Legend has it Vienna's café culture had its beginning back in 1683 when a sack of coffee beans was left behind by the retreating Ottomans.
In the late 19th and 20th centuries, coffee houses became the go-to places for intellectuals and creatives, including the likes of Sigmund Freud, Gustav Klimt, James Joyce, and Leon Trotsky.
Traditional cafes entice visitors with a wide variety of coffee-based specialities, heavenly pastry creations, and a unique cosy and friendly: Austrian gemütlichkeit. If you are in the mood for something more modern, there are hundreds of third-wave coffee places in Vienna.
A world-famous electronic scene, live music, relaxed cocktail bars and a top-notch cultural offer. A young scene of microbreweries, waterside bars along the Danube sides and retro bars populates the bohemian neighbourhoods and are the perfect places to spend a more relaxed evening. During the weekend, head towards one of the famous underground clubs.
An original souvenir for friends at home or a pretty memento for yourself: shopping is an essential part of any stay in Vienna. From the many colourful markets and shops filled with countless mouth-watering Viennese specialties to design boutiques and luxury shopping experiences: whatever is your budget you'll find a sweet gift to bring back with you.
Austria can be visited visa-free for up to 90 days by citizens of most European countries, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Israel, UAE and most countries in America. If you are unsure whether or not you need to apply for a visa, we recommend contacting the embassy or consulate in your country. International (non-Schengen) travelers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip in order to enter the Schengen zone. Citizens of Schengen countries can travel without a passport, but must have a valid ID with them during their stay.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Vienna in around April–May in the spring and September to mid-October in the autumn. The weather is mild and the low-peak tourist season means that visitors can expect lower prices on average.
The warmer summer months are very popular with tourists but expect prices to be higher.
Many travellers will make their way to Vienna in the winter to visit Christmas markets, wander the streets and spend time with loved ones in the famous Viennese cafes.
Vienna International Airport (VIE)
Vienna’s International Airport is at Schwechat, 20 km from the centre of Vienna. There different options to reach the city:
– The city airport train, CAT, takes 16 minutes to the centre and departures from the airport every half an hour.
– The journey with the busses of Vienna AirportLines links the airport with the main transport hubs in the city. It takes 20 minutes to the centre and departures are every half an hour.
– The fast train (S-Bahn) is the cheapest option and takes 25 minutes to the centre. Trains leaves every 30 minutes, with additional services at peak-time.
– The taxi stand is located just outside of the arrival building. For information about the different taxi companies ask at the City Transfer counter in the arrival hall.
Address: Flughafen Wien-Schwechat, Schwechat
Phone: +43 1 70070
The public transport company Wiener Linien provides a broad network of tram, underground (U-Bahn) and bus lines, which make getting anywhere in and around Vienna very easy.
There are single, 24- and 48-hour tickets, beside passes for longer periods. The same ticket is valid everywhere and can be bought at tobacconists (Vienna’s 850 Tabaktrafik), at the vending machines available in any underground station, via the online shop or ticket app of Wiener Linien or at one of their ticket office.
Tickets must be validated before boarding. To validate your ticket stamp the ticket at the blue machines located at the entrance of underground stations as well as on buses and trams.
Phone: +43 1 79090
Taxis are easy to find at the taxi stands and train stations and are relatively cheap compared to other European destinations. Some reliable companies are:
Taxi 401 00
+43 1 401 00
Taxi 313 00
+43 1 313 00
You can download and use the Mytaxi app to get a taxi without having to make a phone call.
There are many branches of the Austria's Postal Service in Vienna, as well as many of the bright-yellow postboxes. Post offices tend to have long opening hours.
Address: Central Post Office: Fleischmarkt 19, District 1, Vienna
Pharmacies in Vienna usually have same opening hours as most shops. However, there are always 24/7 pharmacies operating at night and weekends located throughout the city: a list of the nearest ones is posted outside of each pharmacy.
The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. Power plugs and sockets are of type F common in Continental Europe.
Country code: +43
Area code: 01