ViennaTravel Guide

Vienna, the capital city of Austria, oozes elegance, romance and grandeur. Known for its opulent palaces and theatres, museums and art galleries, and gorgeous Baroque mansions, Vienna also has plenty of natural beauty. Set in the northeastern corner of Austria along the Danube River, the city is surrounded by lush forests and vineyards.

Culture, history and music are woven into Vienna’s DNA. Famous composers such as Beethoven and Mozart called Vienna home, but it’s also a hotspot for other genres like pop, folk and jazz. Vienna has also been named The World’s Most Liveable City, many times over.

There’s no doubt that Vienna should be on your bucket list, and we bet you’ll fall under her spell the moment you arrive.

Let our Vienna Travel Guide help you plan your visit!

Vienna quick facts


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Explore Vienna

Where to stay in Vienna?

The best place to stay in Vienna, without a doubt, is in its historical 1st district. Not only are all the main attractions within walking distance but so are all the top shops, restaurants and cafés.

The luxury hotels, guesthouses and apartment hotels here are lavish − and so are the rates. But if you book in advance, you could bag some reasonable discounts.

The hotel everyone wants to stay at is the Hotel Imperial. Built for the Prince of Württemberg in 1863, this palatial 5-star hotel is one of the most photographed hotels in the city.

Prefer a more modern neighbourhood? Then one of the best areas to stay is in trendy Neubau in the 7th district. Close to the Museums Quarter, it has a lively, arty vibe, and here, Hotel Sans Souci Wien stands out with its fully equipped gym, indoor pool and spa.

Tight budget? Landstrasse in the 3rd district is where travellers arriving from the airport often find themselves. Situated opposite the gorgeous Stadtpark (city park), InterContinental Vienna is a favourite, offering good rates and a central location.

Believe us when we say, this is just the start. Book your accommodation today!

  • Street view of Old Austrian building architecture
    • Small circular coffee table with two cups of coffee, glasses and cake on it
    • Painted illustrations on the interior roof of State Library, Vienna
  • Street view of Old Austrian building architecture
    Street view of Old Austrian building architecture
    Street view of Old Austrian building architecture
  • Small circular coffee table with two cups of coffee, glasses and cake on it
    Small circular coffee table with two cups of coffee, glasses and cake on it
    Small circular coffee table with two cups of coffee, glasses and cake on it
  • Painted illustrations on the interior roof of State Library, Vienna
    Painted illustrations on the interior roof of State Library, Vienna
    Painted illustrations on the interior roof of State Library, Vienna

Things to do in Vienna

As you’d expect, Vienna is packed with historical sites, museums and art galleries. But there are also entertainment spots and outdoorsy activities to enjoy.

Innere Stadt, or the Old Town of Vienna, is a major tourist attraction and location of many important historical sites and landmarks such as the Vienna Opera House, Parliament and the City Hall.

With its eye-catching roof tiles and steeples, the Gothic splendour of St Stephen’s Cathedral is also here, in the heart of the city, in Stefansplazt Square. We dare you to climb the south tower and tour the catacombs. Let’s just say, this is not for the faint-hearted!

No trip to Vienna would be complete without a visit to Schönbrunn Palace. With 1,142 rooms, this historic building is bigger than Versailles in Paris. Plus, you’ll find one of the world’s top 10 mazes to explore in its beautiful gardens.

Belvedere Palace is another magnificent building to add to your must-see list. Short on time? Focus on Upper Belvedere, which houses Austria’s most valuable art collection. Tip: This is where you’ll find the painting “Judith” by Viennese Art Nouveau artist Gustav Klimt.

Venna plays host to several festivals throughout the year. There are May Day celebrations at the Prater, then the famous Vienna Festival takes to the stage mid-May to mid-June, welcoming thousands of visitors, followed by the Viennale film festival in October, to name just a few. But there are many more!

And don’t miss out on seeing the Lipizzaner dancing horses at the Spanish Riding School or a world-class performance at the Vienna State Opera. Just be sure to buy tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.

Had your fill of palaces and historical sites? Then it’s time for some thrills at the Prater amusement park. The entrance is near the iconic giant ferris wheel (the Wiener Riesenrad). Do the pay-as-you-ride, tuck into a hot dog or an ice cream in between or recover in the beer garden with a cold one.

You may be surprised to discover that Vienna is big on water activities, especially along the Danube River. On a hot day, rent a rowboat at Alte Donau (Old Danube), swim or hang out on one of the public “beaches” in Vienna on the river banks. Don’t fancy getting wet? Then opt for a cruise along the Danube Canal.

Looking for an immersive experience? Then a tour is the way to go.

Flights to Vienna

Vienna food and drink

Where do we even start? From historical restaurants and cafés to trendy new bistros, Vienna’s foodie scene is like the city − classic and cool with something for everyone.

When it comes to fine dining, Vienna’s not shy. Some of the best restaurants can be found in the inner city. Celebrating something special? Silvio Nickol offers the perfect romantic setting. Tucked in the Palais Coleburg, be prepared to be dazzled by a 5-, 7-, or 9-course menu paired with wine from its famous cellar.

Another winner is Steirereck in the leafy surrounds of the Stadtpark. Specialising in Austrian cuisine, expect the unexpected, served with a flourish. Their signature dish is a char fish cooked at the table in beeswax.

For the ultimate Viennese experience, settle in at the gorgeously opulent Cafe Central. Order a melange (the local cappuccino) and some apple strudel, then read a book or catch up on emails, as one does in Vienna.

Rated as one of the most beautiful coffeehouses in the city, Palmenhaus offers an experience that’s on a whole other level. Sip your mocha java among giant palm fronds in the massive, ornate “greenhouse” while you contemplate the menu.

So you’ve heard about Vienna’s legendary chocolate cake, the Sacher torte? Well, there’s really only one place to sample it − the Hotel Sacher with its old-world charm and its Sacher Eck (corner), actually two levels dedicated primarily to coffee, cake and dessert.

You can’t leave Vienna without having tucked into a schnitzel! You can find the crispy, crumbed veal and pork fillets throughout the city, but the best − and biggest − is at Figlmüller. Heads up that if you go there, you’ll probably have to queue.

You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to markets. The Naschmarkt is Vienna’s most well-known, featuring hundreds of stalls to tempt you with the freshest produce, including bread, cheeses, olives and jams.

Karmelitermarkt is a smaller market, established way back in 1671. Here you can shop for organic produce, fresh herbs, wine and baked goodies. The market is surrounded by many good cafés and restaurants offering global cuisine – ideal for an after-shopping cuppa or meal.

Perhaps the most common street food you’ll find in Vienna is the sausage! Sausage booths like that of Bitzinger Sausages & Co. are on almost every street corner, where you can enjoy a hot dog or one of the Viennese favourites, the käserkrainer (smoked pork and cheese sausage). Vienna also offers other street food like pizza slices, the Turkish Döner kebab, while in winter, the maroni stands pop up with their braziers roasting chestnuts. A portion gets scooped into newspaper cones for you to be enjoyed on a park bench or on the steps of a fountain.

Get a real taste for the local cuisine by booking a tour.

Vienna through your eyes

Where to shop in Vienna?

Vienna is a shopper's dream, from boutiques, jewellers and luxury stores to mega malls and mega markets.

For the ultimate shopping spree, make a beeline to Kohlmarkt, Graben and Kärtnerstrasse. These glitzy pedestrian streets in the heart of the 1st district are lined with the top fashion houses like Dior, Channel and Gucci. It’s also where you’ll find the exquisite watches and jewellery of Cartier, Hermès and Omega.

Fancy a pair of Jimmy Choos, a designer bag from Louis Vuitton, or an evening gown from Saint Laurent? Then head to the Goldenes Quartier, which is around three minutes’ walk from the Stephansplatz Square.

If malls are your thing, see what all the fuss is about at Wien Mitte, the largest mall in the inner city. Alternatively, you can hang with the fashionistas at Donau Zentrum, housing all the typical stores that you find in a mall, from health and beauty, sports and books to jewellery and toys.

If your budget doesn’t stretch to haute couture, head to the famous Mariahilferstrasse in the 6th district, the longest and largest shopping street in the city. This is where the locals like to shop. Looking for sneakers or a sweater? So easy with brands like Nike and Puma – and everyone’s favourite, H&M – all here.

Looking for souvenirs or something unusual? The Kettenbrückengasse flea market at Naschmarkt is said to be one of the best flea markets in Europe. A treasure trove for bargain hunters, it’s open on Saturday mornings. Further away, in the 12th district, you’ll come across another large flea market called Riesenflohmarkt, which features loads of vintage, antique and second-hand items.

Looking for a safe and simple way to bring your money when you travel? Our Travel Money Card has you covered!

When is the best time to travel to Vienna?

No matter what time of year, Vienna always turns on her magic! Peak season is July and August, when everyone flocks here to enjoy the long, sunny days. The average summer temperature is around 21°C (70°F), moderately humid and pleasant. If you enjoy outdoor activities and want to make the most of its parks, lakes and outdoor pools, summer is the best time to visit the city.

There’s a second, shorter high season in December. This is when its Christmas markets take over the city. But the winter is cold, of course, with minimum temperatures dipping to a chilly average of -3°C (27°F) in January.

Low season is between January and May when you can score better prices, enjoy the last bit of the carnival season and only have to endure the weather and the early onset of evening (that’s why they have a carnival to uplift people’s spirits!).

The best time to visit Vienna to enjoy food and wine-tasting opportunities is in April and May (spring), and September and October (autumn). The weather is mild, and there are fewer tourists around.

Don't miss out. Book your flight today!

How to get around Vienna

The best way to get around Vienna’s famous streets is on foot or public transportation.

While it’s easy to get around the streets and attractions in the inner city without a car, the further you go from the centre, the more useful the city’s network of trains, buses, trams, and subway lines becomes.

The public transport network is operated by Wiener Linien, and the website has all the maps, apps, timetables and tickets you need to get around.

If you fancy leaping onto a bike, there are plenty of cycling paths to explore the city on two wheels, especially along the Danube Canal. Bike stations offering rental bikes are dotted throughout the city, so it’s that easy.

Ride-hailing services like Uber are also handy if you need to get somewhere quickly.

Let us help you organise your own wheels for exploring. Hire a car today.


What are the best parks in Vienna?

Did you know that almost half of Vienna is made up of green spaces? With so many beautiful gardens and free parks to chill in, you’re spoilt for choice.

In the inner city, the Hofburg Gardens take first prize. Love roses? Then you’ll fall in love with Volksgarten. But equally beautiful is Burggarten, with its statue of Mozart taking centre stage.

Further away, you can also find some zen at Türkenschantz, known for its plants from around the world, ponds, streams, waterfalls, and fountains. The kids will enjoy the playgrounds, skatepark, and observation tower.

Nature lovers will have a field day ambling through Lainz Game Reserve, the former hunting grounds of the imperial family. Here you can go on informative forest trails, and if you’re lucky, spot some boar and deer.

Getting from park to park is so much better with your own wheels. Hitch your ride now!

Ski and snow in Vienna

You’ll be happy to hear there is snow in Vienna in winter − an average between 2.5cm and 6cm (1 and 2.4 inches) of the white stuff. There are also several snowy mountains not too far out of the city where you can spend a day getting to grips with a pair of skis or a snowboard.

In just over an hour, you can hit the slopes at the family-friendly resort of Unterberg-Pernitz or Zauberberg-Semmering, known for the best night skiing under the stars.

The largest and most modern ski resort near Vienna is Stühleck am SemmeringIf you haven’t hired a car, you can take a train to the town of Mürzzuschlag and from there, hop on a bus to the slopes. Various bus operators even offer all-inclusive packages. Stühleck caters to every level of experience and with loads of winter activities on offer, there’s something for everyone here, but because it’s so popular, it can get crowded.

Then there’s Lackenhof Am Ötscher, which has long ski runs and two separate skiing areas. One is ideal for families still practising their turns − the other for thrill seekers demanding steeper, more challenging runs.

Hochkar is a bit further away, but with its altitude of 1 808m it gets some of the best snowfall. Plus, there are enough pistes and lifts to keep skiers of all levels happy.

Good to know is that ski resorts in Austria endorse the rules of conduct of the International Ski Federation for your safety. Keep in mind, though, that ski season is between December and April, and it’s always recommended to check if your resort of choice is open before you arrive.

There’s a slope with your name on it, for sure. Let’s give you peace of mind with travel insurance.

Vienna Frequently asked questions

When packing for a trip to Vienna, don't forget the essentials like your visa, passport, chargers, camera, some euro and the correct power adaptor. Clothing wise, check out the seasonality guides and pack to suit the conditions - aka layers for winter and lighter options for summer. Other necessities include a walking shoes, hat, sunglasses and a fancy ‘fit for the opera.

Perched on the Danube River, Austria’s capital of Vienna offers travellers a bounty of interesting experiences and beautiful accommodation options. Some of the most popular locations to stay throughout the city include Innere Stadt, Leopoldstadt and Landstrasse.

Life happens - we get it! Read more here:

Austria’s peak season runs throughout summer, from June to August, when travellers can enjoy warm weather and long days. If you’re keen to avoid the crowds, consider heading over between April and June or September and October. Alternatively, if the winter slopes are calling, head to Vienna between December and February. 

Vienna is famous for two key things - incredible classical music and coffee. Head to the home of Beethoven and Motzart to catch a show at any of the city’s iconic opera houses and music halls before exploring unique architectural feats and sprawling royal estates. If you’re in need of a pick-me-up, look no further than any of Vienna’s cosy coffee shops, which welcome you to savour your brew and enjoy a few moments of down time.

Flight Centre's travel experts have spent many an hour pondering in Viannese coffee shops, and have worked hard to curate the best Vienna holiday packages on the market. Sign up to get the hottest deals sent straight to your phone & emails here. You can also check out our deals online, or speak to one of our Travel Experts.

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