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Destinations » Austria » Vienna Travel Guide
Vienna's inspiring attractions make for a perfect city break at any time of the year. The historic centre of Vienna with its world-famous sights such as the St. Stephen's Cathedral and the Imperial Palace has been added to the UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage list.
With its monumental palaces, gilded opera houses and stately boulevard, Vienna might feel like an imperial capital lost in history. It is undoubtable that it is a city of great heritage but it is also a city that has embraced the modern world and is a leader of the contemporary art scene. With a thriving nightlife and numerous great café, bars and restaurants it is a city that offers great diversity.
Once the seat of the Habsburg Empire, Austria's capital retains an ambiance of imperial elegance and boasts some of Europe's most impressive royal buildings. Follow in the footsteps of the Habsburgs; visit the stunning Baroque Palaces Schönbrunn and Belvedere and stroll along the Ring Boulevard surrounding the Imperial Palace.
Also inextricably linked with the city are the delights of Viennese cuisine and the unique charm of Vienna's coffee houses. Synonymous with Strauss' Blue Danube Waltz and the compositions of Haydn, come and embrace Vienna's rich musical heritage.
Take advantage of more than 210 discounts and unlimited free travel by underground, bus and tram for 72 hours with this card. Includes museums and attractions, theatres and concerts, shops and restaurants. Each Vienna Card entitles one child below the age of 15 to travel with you for free. Prices start at just £21pp.
Don't forget to add the Vienna Card to your booking!
24 hours in Vienna
An ideal way to start the day is to have breakfast in one of the famous cafes - Café Pruckel, Café Landtman or Café Central with its life-sized statue of Viennese writer and poet, Peter Altenberg. The church of St. Stephen, a gothic masterpiece, is worth visiting early in order to miss the queues waiting to climb to the top of the tower. The Hofburg Palace and a visit to the Spanish Riding School is also a must (remember to purchase your tickets for the riding school in advance). For lunch, dine at one of the street cafes near to the Naschmarkt - a pulsating open air market.
A trip on the tram around the Ringstrasse allows you to see many of the famous buildings that represent Vienna. Worth a visit are some of Vienna's many art galleries, whether this entails viewing Klimt at the Belvedere or Egon Schiele at the Leopold Museum. Try a traditional Viennese restaurant before a visit to the opera. The Schweizerhaus is a traditional restaurant worth a visit.
Things to do
Don't miss a visit to the Spanish Riding School, the world's oldest and only riding school that cultivates classical equitation.
Spend a day in the Vienna Woods on the outskirts of the city. Here, you'll find vineyards and old vintners' villages that have retained their rustic charm and are a famous for their Heurigens (local taverns). Approx. 45min by car.
Take the Twin City Liner (a catamaran, specially designed for the shallow waters of the Danube Canal), from Vienna to Bratislava, the Slovakian capital, in 75 minutes.
Places to see
City Tour and Schönbrunn Place: This city tour will introduce you to the most important sights of the Austrian capital. Drive around the famous 'Ringstrasse', pass by the State Opera, the Museums of Fine Art and Natural History, the Parliament building, the Burgtheater (National Theatre), the City Hall and the University. The highlight is a visit to Schönbrunn Palace for a tour of some of the most magnificently decorated rooms. Return to the city centre, passing by Belvedere Palace, where you can end your tour, or choose to continue to the State Opera House. Prices start at £34pp, including coach, entrance fees and guided tour of Schönbrunn Palace.
Belvedere Palace: Surrounded by beautiful gardens, Belvedere is the location of the Austrian Gallery Museum which features Gustav Klimt's famous painting 'The Kiss'.
The Third Man Museum: The place to go for anyone who loves the film.
Dine in the 165m-high Danube Tower. The entire city spreads out below from the revolving restaurant, where Viennese specialities like flavoursome bacon-wrapped pheasant breast or smoked halibut with horseradish are served. Arrive when the sun sets and Vienna's city lights start to twinkle.
Take a 'Danube & Panorama' tour during your visit to Vienna. The tour starts with a boat-trip on the mighty Danube to see the famous sights of Hundertwasser. It then passes through modern Vienna enroute for the northern part of the city, the 'Cobenzl' (or Northern Vienna Woods). From here you will have a marvellous panoramic view over Vienna. Then, passing by the picturesque little wine growing-village of Grinzing, return to the city centre where the tour ends. Prices start at £37.50pp
Our Vienna Hotel Recommendations
City Johann Strauss*This traditional Viennese hotel in an Art-Nouveau style is ideally located near Belvedere Palace.
Approx, 1.7 million
Vienna International Airport
The City Airport train takes just 16 minutes to get to central Vienna and vice versa. It operates daily from 05:36 a.m. to 23:36 p.m and the terminal is just 10 minutes from St. Stephen's Cathedral at Wien Mitte station, which can be reached easily by tram, underground, bus or taxi.
2 hours 15 minutes
You will find the main shopping streets in the city centre: Kärntnerstrasse, Graben, Kohlmarkt and Rotenturmstrasse.
Other shopping destinations are Mariahilferstrasse, one of the longest streets in Vienna, Favoritenstrasse and Landstrasser Hauptstrasse.
The Naschmarkt is a daily fruit and vegetable market south of the opera district. Vienna's largest and best known market offers a mixture of Viennese and international delicacies.
Right in the heart of the city is the supremely designed Haas House. The mirror image of St Stephen's Cathedral reflects in the building's semicircular glass facade. Here, you will find a number of exclusive shops and boutiques and a terrace restaurant which offers fantastic views over the historic city centre.
Exclusive Austrian foods and luxury goods.
One of Vienna's favourite sweet shops.
Enjoy one of the many coffee specialities served in the traditional coffee houses and try a piece of Mozart Cake
This Viennese restaurant is rich in tradition and inseparably linked with the Prater in Vienna. Here you may enjoy a relaxing atmosphere in the large beer garden - the perfect place to enjoy yourself with a delicious meal under giant old trees.
Sacher Hotel Restaurant
This is the best spot for a romantic dinner and a showcase for imperial Vienna. The restaurant serves various Viennese and international dishes and the famous Sachertorte was invented here.
There is no more traditional place to dine in all of Vienna than this cellar-level restaurant in Vienna's Town Hall. Live musicians entertain as you sample your Wiener schnitzel.
If you can't visit neighbouring Budapest, then here you can get a taste of traditional Hungarian cuisine.
The Original Sacher-Torte
The Wiener Sachertorte is world renowned and a favourite for more than 175 years. Try this dream of a chocolate cake with unsweetened whipped cream and a 'Wiener Melange' coffee.
St. Stephen's Cathedral
This cathedral is not only Vienna's major sight and symbol, it is also the city's most important Gothic construction and has been the church of the archbishopric since 1722. The cathedral represents eight centuries of architectural history.
Until 1918, the Imperial Palace (Hofburg) was the centre of the vast Habsburg empire. Today, the vast palace complex houses more than 20 top museums and exhibitions as well as several cafés, restaurants and gardens.
A magnificent Baroque palace surrounded by beautiful gardens. Belevedere is also the location of the Austrian Gallery Museum which features Gustav Klimt's famous painting 'The Kiss'.
The former summer residence of the imperial family is considered one of the most beautiful baroque palaces in Europe.
Close to the Imperial Palace you will find Vienna's exciting art complex with several renowned museums and a lively restaurant and bar scene.
Spend a fun-filled day in the Prater, Vienna's amusement park and location of the Giant Ferris Wheel, one of the city's famous landmarks.
Viennese nightlife offers something for everyone. You can dance into the morning hours, hear a concert, attend an opera, go to the theater, gamble, or simply enjoy regional wine in a local tavern.
Music is at the heart of Vienna's cultural life. The city continues to attract composers, musicians and music lovers. You can find places to enjoy everything from chamber music and pop to waltzes and jazz. Austria's capital is also home of four major symphony orchestras, including the world-acclaimed Vienna Symphony and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition, there are dozens of others, ranging from smaller orchestras to chamber orchestras.
Home to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the world's leading opera stars perform at this legendary opera house.
Vienna's blossoming bar scene centres around Schwedenplatz in the so-called Bermuda Triangle. Here, you will find everything from intimate pubs to large bars with live music.
This is one of the most famous jazz pubs in Austria, noted for the quality of its U.S. and central European-based performers. The bar is located in a deep 200-year-old cellar.
The Heurigen (wine taverns) on the outskirts of Vienna, have long been celebrated in operetta, film, and song. Grinzing at the edge of the Vienna Woods is the most-visited district. This is an area full of narrow old streets and houses, with thick walls surrounding inner courtyards.
This wine tavern offers one of the best authentic atmospheres just 20 minutes outside Vienna city centre. In summer, you can enjoy delicious wine and tasty food in the flower-decked garden set against a backdrop of ancient vineyards.
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- Adagio City Aparthotel Vienna Zentrum
- AllYouNeed Vienna 2
- AllYouNeed Vienna 4
- ARCOTEL Kaiserwasser
- ARCOTEL Wimberger
- Arion Hotel Vienna Airport
- Atlantis Hotel Vienna
- Austria Trend Ananas
- Austria Trend Anatol
- Appartementhotel Vienna
- Austria Trend Beim Theresianum
- Austria Trend Boeck (12 Km from Vienna)
- Austria Trend Bosei
- Austria Trend Donauzentrum
- Austria Trend Eventhotel Pyramide (12km from Vienna)
- Austria Trend Favorita
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- Austria Trend Rathauspark
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- Austria Trend Schloss Wilhelminenberg
- Best Western Premier Kaiserhof
- Bristol Hotel
- City Hotel Deutschmeister & Apartments
- City-Hotel Tabor
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- Courtyard by Marriott Vienna Messe
- All Seasons Wien President
- Das Triest
- De France
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- Derag Hotel Kaiser Franz Joseph
- EuroHotel Vienna Airport
- Eurostars Embassy
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- Fleming's Wien-Westbahnhof
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- Gartenhotel Altmannsdorf
- Gartenhotel Altmannsdorf 2
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- Hilton Vienna Plaza
- Holiday Inn Vienna City
- Hotel & Palais Strudlhof
- Hotel am Konzerthaus (formerly Sofitel)
- Hotel Ambassador
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- Hotel Lucia
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- Nestroy Wien
- Hotel Mozart
- Hotel Papageno
- Hotel Prinz Eugen
- Hotel Rathaus - Vienna & Design
- Hotel Regina
- Hotel Royal
- Hotel Springer Schlossl
- Hotel Thuringer Hof
- Hotel Viennart
- InterCity Hotel Vienna
- InterContinental Vienna
- K + K Hotel Maria Theresia
- Le Meridien
- Lindner Hotel am Belvedere
- Marriott Vienna
- Mercure Biedermeier
- Mercure Europaplatz
- Mercure Josefshof
- Mercure Secession
- Mercure Vienna City
- Mercure Vienna Westbahnhof
- Mercure Zentrum
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- NH Belvedere
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- NH Vienna
- NH Vienna Airport
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- Radisson Blu Style
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- Sacher Hotel, Vienna
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- The Imperial Riding School Vienna
- The Levante Parliament
- The Ring Hotel
- Tourotel Mariahilf Vienna
- Hotel Das President Wien