The capital of Austria, Vienna, is the largest in the country and is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The city is loaded with Austrian culture and history, whether you walk down one of the narrow cobbled streets, see one of the baffling museums or experience one of the grand buildings that are on display. As well as being famous for its history, Vienna is well-known for its young scene with a vibrant music feel to the place as well as many other activities.
The Innere Stadt is the best area to stay in Vienna as this is right in the middle of the city and the main attractions are within the area or only a short walk away. This neighbourhood is very magical and is blessed with striking architecture and is home to incredibly beautiful palaces, historic religious buildings and some of the world’s most famous museums. In this area, you can eat all the traditional Austrian food that you can fit into your belly or try one of the many different cuisines that are on offer. There are also traditional and modern bars to pick from and there is a wide range of clubs on land or even on a boat. Don’t worry about where to sleep as the area has the biggest amount of hotels with most of them being historic and elegant.
BEST LOCATED HOTELS IN VIENNA
Motel One Wien-Staatsoper
110€ - 118$
Pension Neuer Markt
118€ - 126$
Austria Trend Hotel Europa Wien
Kärntner Straße 18
RECOMMENDED / BEST VALUE
101€ - 108$
K+K Palais Hotel
103€ - 110$
Hotel Rathauspark Wien
107€ - 114$
Hotel Das Tigra
Tiefer Graben 14 - 20
126€ - 135$
192€ - 205$
Le Meridien Vienna
175€ - 187$
Hotel Sacher Wien
435€ - 465$
On the map, which shows the most convenient area to stay in Vienna, you can see a selection of some of the best located hotels.
Being the centre of the city, the Innere Stadt is the best location to have as your base with gorgeous scenic views and a labyrinth of fun streets to get lost in. The main attractions are the gothic St. Stephen’s Cathedral with some of its origins dating back to the 13th century and Hofburg Palace, which is a huge complex of buildings with each one containing jewels and other artefacts to do with the Habsburg emperors.
Other interesting religious buildings include the Kapuzinekirche, which is a mausoleum where you will find many Habsbury royalty tombs. The Augustinian Friars’ Church is very unique and gruesome as the friars at the church look after actual hearts of the Habsburgs, which are carefully preserved in jars. There are plenty of museums in the Innere Stadt district to last you a lifetime but some of the most outstanding ones are the Museum of Fine Arts, which has the best collections of paintings by the Habsburgs as well as art from ancient Greece, Egypt and Roman.
More traditional modern artworks can be found at the Albertina and also at the Natural History Museum, which has various exhibitions on dinosaurs, space and animals. The Music House is an interesting learning experience and focuses on the history of music in the city including Mozart and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. You can also go to the world-renown composer’s house, where you will also find a museum that is all about the famous Austrian. Other attractions include the Opera House, the Parliament, Chapel of the Imperial Palace, Old Synagogue, Film Museum and the Jewish Museum.
There are many performances from theatre companies and orchestras that entertain throughout the week as well as live amateur entertainers on various streets. The majority of the streets that you find will have a decent number of shops that sell souvenirs, organic products, antiques as well as art galleries and tranquil cafes.
Most restaurants are set in lovely atmospheric old buildings, which all adds to the experience and you can sample the local food or try Asian, American or European dishes. There are a good amount of bars that have excellent beers on offer and try to find a garden rooftop bar, which will have the best aerial views of Vienna.
Clubs are found all over the area with some having massive dance floors and others found underground or even on a boat in the canal. In terms of sleeping, you are spoilt for choice as there are many beautiful historic hotels with excellent facilities including huge TVs, swimming pools, gyms and much more.
Leopoldstadt is the second district in Vienna and separated from the city centre by the Danube and the Donaukanal. Leopoldstadt is a warm welcoming place to stay and has a great choice of accommodation, ranging from top hotels like the Das Capri, Hotel Stefanie and the Austria Classic Hotel Wien, to smaller family run hotels and some great self-catering apartments which are perfect for longer stays.
Reaching the city centre is easy as there are three metro stations and if you want to explore further afield, you can catch a train from Vienna Praterstein Station. There is plenty to see and do on your doorstep too. Leopoldstadt is the traditional Jewish quarter of the city and the Karmelibermarkt has an amazing array of Kosher food stalls. This district has a hip culinary and arts scene to enjoy. The iconic Riesenrad Ferris wheel stands 65 metres high and is the perfect way to get a bird’s eye view of the area. The wheel stands on the edge of the Wurstelprater amusement park and Prater which is a vast green space. If you are keen to try authentic Viennese cuisine, seek out the Gasthaus Reinthaler near the park to sample schnitzels, goulash and käsepätzle and more. The waterfront areas have trendy bars and restaurants and places to hop on a boat trip to enjoy the river or to reach the river island of Donavinsel.
Favoriten is the 10th district of Vienna and is very much an up and coming one, perfect for business travellers. If you are wanting to ‘do Vienna on a budget’ this district is ideal because it has plenty of reasonably priced hotels and good transport links to get you speedily into the city centre. There is the main station, the Hauptbahnhof and the U bahn and tram lines. Favoriten is well placed for easy access the city’s international airport. The journey time in to Stephanplatz is just ten minutes.
Favoriten is a multicultural district with modestly priced hotels and more self-catering options than in any other part of the city. The Wienerberg is 117 hectares of attractive green space with a large central lake and is perfect for relaxing after sightseeing in the city centre. It is fun to browse in Viktor- Adler Market as it is a colourful mixture of Balkan, Turkish, Oriental and Viennese. The popular Farmers’ Market – Lebnizgasse is held in the next street. Favoritenstraβe is the main shopping street with all the well known chain stores. There are plenty of traditionally styled coffee shops for relaxing and ‘watching the world go by’. Be sure to try the local speciality too- the best krapfen are made in Favoriten! These are delicious doughnuts filled with apricot jam or custard and are perfect start to the day with a cup of Viennese coffee.
This attractive part of Vienna lies to the south-east of the city centre and is mainly residential- making it a quieter and more relaxing district to stay in – especially for families. There are elegant four star hotels to choose such as Hotel Spiess & Spiess, Austria Trend and Hotel Savoyie. This district is linked to the city centre by a short metro ride – the U3- which is probably the most useful link, but getting around Vienna from this district is easy.
Landstraβe has some great attractions to visit including the Botanical Gardens, Viennese City Park Belvedere Palace and the Hundertwasserhaus, with the lure of the Vienna State Opera just a little further away. There are plenty of quirky shops to explore and Landstraßer Hauptstraße has the greatest concentration of bakery shops in the whole of Vienna – what temptation!
The Prater, Vienna’s largest park is just a short distance away and can be reached easily on foot, crossing one of several bridges, or hiring a bike can be fun. If you want to spend some time shopping, there are several malls including Wien Mitte and it is in this particular mall that you will find some of the best restaurants in the area.
The seventh district of Vienna is Neubau – vibrant and fashionable and perfect for those seeking luxury hotel accommodation. The hotels in Neubau situated closest to the historic Innere Stadt are certainly the most impressive and luxurious. The top hotel is the 5 star Sans Souci Vienna which is in an elegant19th-century building situated next to the Museums Quarter. The equally impressive K & K Hotel Maria Theresia lies on the other side of the Museums Quarter. This part of Vienna was once home to the silk factories, but today is known as the gateway to the museum district. There are a cluster of contemporary art museums and various galleries, including the Leopold with collections of works by Austrian artists Klimt and Schiels and the Mumok, famous for its modernist works.
Neubau is a vibrant neighbourhood with a student and expat population. By day, it is fun to browse in the numerous vintage and retro shops, flea markets and artisan craft shops. There are gorgeously elegant coffee shops and attractive restaurants. As night falls, the trendy bars and restaurants swing into action before the clubs take over giving everyone the chance to dance until dawn.
Josefstadt is ideally located right in the center of Vienna, and is known as Vienna’s ‘Eighth District’. Despite being relatively small, Josefstadt is a thriving student area with plenty of lively bars, restaurants and cafés which give the area a warm and friendly feel.
The youthful vibe of Josefstadt is its major draw, and as a result there are some ideal accommodation options catered for young people - especially budget hostels. There are also more mid-range and upmarket options if you are looking to treat yourself too - it is not just for students! In Josefstadt, there aren’t a huge number of attractions, but certainly enough to keep you busy for a while. You can visit several palaces, museums and even enjoy the Theater in der Josefstadt! You also have excellent access to public transport here, as well as being a walking distance from some of Vienna’s downtown attractions in other districts.