A Quick Guide to Vienna

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Not only is Vienna the capital of Austria, but it is also the unrivalled cultural hub of all things Austrian: cafe culture, a dedication to the Opera, impressive art collections, and stunning architecture. It is perhaps little surprise that the historic centre of Vienna has been UNESCO World Heritage Listed, given its unique insight into imperialism throughout the various empires.
Vienna Austria

Population: 1.741 million +
Known for: Imperial Buildings, Fabulous Art Collections
Climate: Continental Climate – mild but with warm summers

A Quick Guide to Vienna

Prior to Arrival

As Austria is a part of the EU, arriving in Vienna from other EU countries is seamless. It is helpful to note that the Vienna train stations (there are a few) start with their German name “Wien”, which should be useful when searching for train tickets! If you’re visiting Vienna as part of a larger European trip, some great connections with ICE (High Speed Trains) include Munich, Prague, Budapest, and Zurich.

If intending to fly into Austria, Austrian Airlines offer the best international connections.

On Arrival

If arriving by air, the cheapest transport to the city is by S-Bahn (rail) for €4 one way, however does require some connections. Another option is the City Airport Train, which will take you direct to Wien Mitte (central) in 16 minutes for €11 euros one way; €17 round-trip.

Getting Around

Vienna is incredibly large with many points of interest at different sides of the city. Thus, the best mode of transport is public, which includes trains, subway, trams, and buses. The most common of these for visitors is the U-Bahn which provides great connections throughout the city. Vienna is also very pleasant to walk around in the warmer months but expect to walk some distances!

Getting By

The official dialect of Austria is German, but many in the tourism industry are also fluent in English so it is quite an easy city to visit as a foreigner. Perhaps the best idea as a visitor is to memorise a few German phrases to help get you by!

Hello: Hallo / Guten Tag (good day)

Excuse Me, Sorry: Entschuldigung

Thank You: Danke

Bye: tschüß!

What to See

Imperial Vienna is fascinating and there are so many wonderful displays of architecture to enjoy. Be sure not to miss Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s Cathedral); Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts); The Belvedere (home to The Kiss by Gustav Klimt); Hundertwasserhaus (apartment block by Hundertwasser; Schonbrunn Palace; Hofburg Palace; and the Vienna State Opera House.

What to Eat & Drink

Typical Austrian foods to try include Apple Strudel; Chicken Schnitzel; Frankfurter (sausage); Bosna (sausage with curry and onion – vegan options sometimes available); and Kebaps from Naschmarket.

For drinks, you can’t go past the chance to indulge in Viennese cafe culture, as it is here where the tradition began and is still very much alive today. Famous coffee houses include Cafe Central and Cafe Sacher, with many others located in the Inner Stadt. If you’re a wine-lover, Austrian is renowned for its wines so you’ll be spoiled for choice!

Get Out

Wondering where to go beyond Vienna? Some great day trips include St. Pölten; Wiener Neustadt; Eisenstadt and Bratislava (Slovakia – only 55km east of Vienna).

Longer trips in Austria include Salzburg (music city); Hallstatt; or heading next to Budapest!

Vienna in Winter vienna Franz Messerschmidt's work on display at the Belvedere, Vienna Franz Messerschmidt's work on display @ The Belvedere, Vienna hundertwasserhaus_vienna Vienna Austria

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    November 26, 2015 at 4:02 am

    Wow ! wonderful blog post and looking so nice and very stunning it’s also helpful information all of us so thanks a lot for sharing this.

    October 8, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    I was just here last weekend! It’s such a gorgeous city. I’m already planning a trip back because I feel like I barely got anything done. I need to explore those cafes some more!

    Miles of Happiness - Marie
    October 2, 2015 at 10:56 am

    I love the picture of Vienna under the snow… It looks fabulous. I should definitely plan an European road trip one day…

    Haydee Féliz Ortíz
    October 1, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    Such a beautiful city. OMG! The apple Strudel and the Chicken Schnitzel were absolutely Yummy!
    It is not a cheap city but It’s totally worthy !

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    October 1, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    I’ve been to Vienna once and I love their chicken schnitzel 🙂 I hope to live there one day 🙂

    October 1, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    Great guide! But I was a bit surprised to find Eisenstadt mentioned as well, especially in the category “Getting out”, as there are actually not many opportunities for going out there

    October 1, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    These are some great tips! And your photos are stunning. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
    – Maddy @

    October 1, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Vienna is actually on my top list of dream vacation spots so I very much LOVED this post!


    October 1, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Hey Brooke,
    nice guide to Vienna, but another small mistake: it isn’t chicken Schnitzel (that’s a cheaper fake) but veal Schnitzel. But I know since you’re a vegetarian that doesn’t matter to you anyway ;D

    October 1, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Going there this summer!! ahhh

    October 1, 2015 at 8:32 am

    My very first couchsurfers I ever hosted come from Vienna.

    So my Europe trip that I leave for in November is starting with 10 days in Vienna with them. I’m definitely hoping to really get to know Vienna as a city. ALt-J are also playing the first night I am there and I’m super excited to be going to that (despite how jetlagged I’m going to be!).

    October 1, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Can’t wait to go to Vienna and see everything myself. Thanks for this handy article!

    October 1, 2015 at 2:02 am

    I love the new logo by the way! – am I a little late? Such a historic place, full of culture! I hope to visit there early next year so I’ll be referring back to this 🙂

    October 1, 2015 at 12:41 am

    Our family will be spending a week in Dec in Vienna. Our 1st visit so appreciate the insight. Am excited to see it at Christmas!

    Laura Mareno
    September 30, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    I’m in love with Vienna already! It’s so beautiful! kisses!!

    September 30, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    Love this! So weird to read because I’m Austrian myself and have been to Vienna quite a lot recently. Just wanted to add that “Excuse me” would be “Entschuldigen Sie” or “Entschuldigung” rather than only “entschuldigen”.

    Love, Kerstin

    Martina @ Spunkyrella
    September 30, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    As a born and bred Vienna girl, I cringe at some of those tips and references. Especially the phrases – “entschuldigen” is a term, not the way you would talk to someone!! Also we don´t talk Austrian-Bavarian and the train from the airport to the city center (Wien Mitte) takes around 20 min. for not more than 2 euros and it´s a direct connection, you don´t have to switch trains at all, it just takes a little longer than the CAT. I think, I should put up a proper guide myself with some insights! I always cringe reading Vienna guides from visitors – they get so much wrong!

    September 30, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    Vienna is one of my favourite, my cousin used to live there so I spent quite some time there.
    I especially love it for Christmas, you can see here why 😀

    Aaaaand just a little hint since I’m from Munich, Sorry is: EntschuldiGUNG

    September 30, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    very interesting to read what visitors write about vienna. as i’ve grown up just next to the city and live there now for many years, i agree with most of it 🙂

    September 30, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    Thanks for sharing! Loved how beautiful the pictures were 🙂

    September 30, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    I’ve been to Vienna and I love the city. I hope I will live ther one day, haha. 🙂 Nice post, by the way.

      September 30, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      I know, right? I also dream of living someday in Vienna. I love this city so much!

    September 30, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    Ahhh this reminds me of my trip to Vienna!! Such a beautiful city 🙂

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    September 30, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Brooke, I could not access the works of some of your photos. Please help.