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Vienna is the capital and largest city of Austria with a population of about 1.8 million (2.6 million within the metropolitan area) and its cultural, economic, and political centre.
It is known for its high living standards, relaxed yet elegant lifestyle and rich musical life.
The thing about Vienna is that it not only is a large city, but that it has always been – as the former home of the Habsburg court and its various empires, it has always housed a large population and enjoyed a priviledged position, being home to many artists, especially composers including Beethoven, Haydn, Liszt, Mozart and Schubert. It was long the largest German-speaking city in the world before being surpassed by Berlin. The large historic city centre of Vienna filled with monuments to its imperial past is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Apart from being regarded as the City of Music because of its musical legacy, Vienna is also said to be "The City of Dreams" because it was home to the world's first psycho-analyst – Sigmund Freud.
Vienna is host to many major international organizations, including the United Nations and OPEC. The city lies in the east of Austria and is close to the borders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary.
Vienna is known for its quality of life. In a 2005 study of 127 world cities, Vienna ranked the first for the world's most livable cities.
Between 2005 and 2010, Vienna was the world's number-one destination for international congresses and conventions. It attracts over 3.7 million tourists a year.
|TIME ZONE :||CET (UTC+1) / Summer: CEST (UTC+2)|
|LANGUAGE :||German (official) , Turkish , Serbian|
|RELIGION :||41.3% Catholics, 31.6% no religion, 11.6% Muslim, 8.4% Orthodox|
|AREA :||414.65 km2 (160.10 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||151–542 m (495–1,778 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||48°12′N 16°22′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 51.17 % |
• Female: 48.83 %
|ETHNIC :||61.2% Austrian, 38.8% Other ( Serbian, Bosnian, Turks, German)|
|AREA CODE :|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :||+43 1|
Major tourist attractions include the imperial palaces of the Hofburg and Schönbrunn (also home to the world's oldest zoo, Tiergarten Schönbrunn) and the Riesenrad in the Prater. Cultural highlights include the Burgtheater, the Wiener Staatsoper, the Lipizzaner horses at the spanische Hofreitschule, and the Vienna Boys' Choir, as well as excursions to Vienna's Heurigen district Döbling.
There are also more than 100 art museums, which together attract over eight million visitors per year. The most popular ones are Albertina,Belvedere, Leopold Museum in the Museumsquartier, KunstHausWien, BA-CA Kunstforum, the twin Kunsthistorisches Museum and Naturhistorisches Museum, and the Technisches Museum Wien, each of which receives over a quarter of a million visitors per year.
There are many popular sites associated with composers who lived in Vienna including Beethoven's various residences and grave at Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery) which is the largest cemetery in Vienna and the burial site of many famous people. Mozart has a memorial grave at the Habsburg gardens and at St. Marx cemetery (where his grave was lost). Vienna's many churches also draw large crowds, famous of which are St. Stephen's Cathedral, the Deutschordenskirche, the Jesuitenkirche, the Karlskirche, the Peterskirche, Maria am Gestade, the Minoritenkirche, theRuprechtskirche, the Schottenkirche, St. Ulrich and the Votivkirche.
Modern attractions include the Hundertwasserhaus, the United Nations headquarters and the view from the Donauturm.
Evidence has been found of continuous habitation since 500 BC, when the site of Vienna on the Danube River was settled by the Celts. In 15 BC, the Romans fortified the frontier city they called Vindobona to guard the empire against Germanic tribes to the north.
Close ties with other Celtic peoples continued through the ages. The Irish monk Saint Colman (or Koloman, Irish Colmán, derived from colm "dove") is buried in Melk Abbey and Saint Fergil (Virgil the Geometer) was Bishop of Salzburg for forty years, and twelfth-century monastic settlements were founded by Irish Benedictines. Evidence of these ties is still evident in Vienna's great Schottenstift monastery, once home to many Irish monks.
In 976, Leopold I of Babenbergbecame count of the Eastern March, a 60-mile district centering on the Danube on the eastern frontier of Bavaria. This initial district grew into the duchy of Austria. Each succeeding Babenberg ruler expanded the march east along the Danube eventually encompassing Vienna and the lands immediately east. In 1145, Duke Henry II Jasomirgott moved the Babenberg family residence from Klosterneuburg to Vienna. Since that time, Vienna remained the center of the Babenberg dynasty.
In 1440, Vienna became the resident city of the Habsburg dynasty. It eventually grew to become the de facto capital of the Holy Roman Empire(1483–1806) and a cultural centre for arts and science, music and fine cuisine. Hungary occupied the city between 1485–1490.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Ottoman armies were stopped twice outside Vienna . A plague epidemic ravaged Vienna in 1679, killing nearly a third of its population.
Austro-Hungarian Empire and the early 20th century
In 1804, during the Napoleonic Wars, Vienna became the capital of the Austrian Empire and continued to play a major role in European and world politics, including hosting the Congress of Vienna in 1814/15. After the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, Vienna remained the capital of what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The city was a centre of classical music, for which the title of the First Viennese School is sometimes applied.
During the latter half of the 19th century, the city developed what had previously been the bastions and glacis into the Ringstraße, a new boulevard surrounding the historical town and a major prestige project. Former suburbs were incorporated, and the city of Vienna grew dramatically. In 1918, after World War I, Vienna became capital of the Republic of German-Austria, and then in 1919 of the First Republic of Austria.
From the late 19th century to 1938, the city remained a centre of high culture and modernism. A world capital of music, the city played host to composers such as Brahms, Bruckner, Mahler and Richard Strauss. The city's cultural contributions in the first half of the 20th century included, among many, the Vienna Secession movement, psychoanalysis, theSecond Viennese School, the architecture of Adolf Loos and the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein and the Vienna Circle. In 1913, Adolf Hitler, Leon Trotsky, Joseph Tito, Sigmund Freud and Joseph Stalin all lived within a few miles of each other in central Vienna, some of them being regulars at the same coffeehouses. Within Austria, Vienna was seen as a centre of socialist politics, for which it was sometimes referred to as "Red Vienna". The city was a stage to the Austrian Civil War of 1934, when Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss sent the Austrian Army to shell civilian housing occupied by the socialist militia.
Anschluss and World War II
In 1938, after a triumphant entry into Austria, Austrian-born Adolf Hitler spoke to the Austrian Germans from the balcony of the Neue Burg, a part of the Hofburg at the Heldenplatz. Between 1938 (after the Anschluss) and the end of the Second World War, Vienna lost its status as a capital toBerlin as Austria ceased to exist and became a part of Nazi Germany. It was not until 1955 that Austria regained full sovereignty.
On 2 April 1945, the Soviets launched the Vienna Offensive against the Germans holding the city and besieged it. British and American air raids and artillery duels between the SS and Wehrmacht and the Red Army crippled infrastructure, such as tram services and water and power distribution, and destroyed or damaged thousands of public and private buildings. Vienna fell eleven days later. Austria was separated from Germany, and Vienna was restored as the republic's capital city, but the Soviet hold on the city remained until 1955.
After the war, Vienna was part of Soviet-occupied Eastern Austria until September 1945. As in Berlin, Vienna in September 1945 was divided into sectors by the four powers: the US, the UK, France and the Soviet Union and supervised by an Allied Commission. The four-power occupation of Vienna differed in one key respect from that of Berlin: the central area of the city, known as the first district, constituted an international zone in which the four powers alternated control on a monthly basis. The control was policed by the four powers on a de facto day-to-day basis, the famous "four soldiers in a jeep" method. The Berlin Blockade of 1948 raised Western concerns that the Soviets might repeat the blockade in Vienna.
There was a lack of airfields in the Western sectors, and authorities drafted contingency plans to deal with such a blockade. Plans included the laying down of metal landing mats at Schönbrunn. The Soviets did not blockade the city. The Potsdam Agreement included written rights of land access to the western sectors, whereas no such written guarantees had covered the western sectors of Berlin. During the 10 years of the four-power occupation, Vienna became a hot-bed for international espionage between the Western and Eastern blocs. In the wake of the Berlin Blockade, the Cold War in Vienna took on a different dynamic. While accepting that Germany and Berlin would be divided, the Soviets had decided against allowing the same state of affairs to arise in Austria and Vienna. Here, the Soviet forces controlled districts 2, 4, 10, 20, 21 and 22 and all areas incorporated into Vienna in 1938.
They put up barbed wire fences around the perimeter of West Berlin in 1953, but not in Vienna. By 1955, the Soviets, by signing the Austrian State Treaty, agreed to relinquish their occupation zones in Eastern Austria as well as their sector in Vienna. In exchange they required that Austria declare its permanent neutrality after the allied powers had left the country. Thus they ensured that Austria would not be a member of NATO and that NATO forces would therefore not have direct communications between Italy and West Germany.
The atmosphere of four-power Vienna is the background for Graham Greene's screenplay for the film The Third Man (1949). Later he adapted the screenplay as a novel and published it. Occupied Vienna is also depicted in the Philip Kerr novel, A German Requiem.
Austrian State Treaty and afterwards
The four-power control of Vienna lasted until the Austrian State Treaty was signed in May 1955. That year, after years of reconstruction and restoration, the State Opera and the Burgtheater, both on the Ringstraße, reopened to the public. The Soviet Union signed the State Treaty only after having been provided with the political guarantee by the federal government to declare Austria's neutrality after the withdrawal of the allied troops. This law of neutrality, passed in late October 1955 (and not the State Treaty itself), ensured that modern Austria would align with neither NATO nor the Soviet bloc, and is considered one of the reasons for Austria's late entry into the European Union.
In the 1970s, Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreisky inaugurated the Vienna International Centre, a new area of the city created to host international institutions. Vienna has regained much of its former international stature by hosting international organizations, such as the United Nations (United Nations Industrial Development Organization, United Nations Office at Vienna and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime), the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Vienna lies within a transition of oceanic climate and humid continental climate.
Spring starts sometime in late March, normally it is very brief and summer-like weather sets in before the trees have had time to grow back their leaves.
Summer in Vienna is usually warm. Weather in June is moderate and sunny with a light summer windy breeze. In July and August, there are some hot and humid days where it reaches 35°C (95°F), but overall, summer in Vienna is pleasant.
Autumn starts around September, although an "Indian Summer" with warm and sunny days often occurs that month and it gets colder as it approaches November. A main disadvantage of the Viennese climate is that it is rather windy and usually overcast during these months.
Winter in Vienna can be just above 0°C (32°F) and drizzling for days on end, or just below with dustings of snow that manage to melt again quickly. There is the occasional cold-snap where it will stay below freezing for a week or two at a time. Due to Vienna's relative easterly position in the Central European Time Zone its daylight hours (if it's not too gray outside entirely) are relatively early during the winter.
|Daily highs (°C)||3||5||10||15||20||23||26||25||20||14||7||4|
|Nightly lows (°C)||-2||-1||2||6||10||13||15||15||12||7||2||0|
Vienna is located in northeastern Austria, at the easternmost extension of the Alps in the Vienna Basin. The earliest settlement, at the location of today's inner city, was south of the meandering Danube while the city now spans both sides of the river. Elevation ranges from 151 to 542 m (495 to 1,778 ft). The city has a total area of 414.65 square kilometres (160.1 sq mi), making it the largest city in Austria by area.
Vienna is one of the wealthiest regions in the European Union: Its gross regional product of EUR 47,200 per capita constituted 25.7% of Austria's GDP in 2013. It amounts to 159% of the EU average. The city improved its position from 2012 on the ranking of the most economically powerful cities reaching number nine on the listing in 2015.
With a share of 85.5% in gross value added, the service sector is Vienna’s most important economic sector. Industry and commerce have a share of 14.5% in gross value added, the primary sector(agriculture) has a share of 0.07% and therefore plays a minor role in the local added value. However, the cultivation and production of wines within the city borders have a high socio-cultural value. The most important business sectors are trade (14.7% of added value in Vienna), scientific and technological services, real estate and housing activities as well as manufacturing of goods. In 2012, Vienna’s contribution in Austria’s outgoing and incoming foreign direct investments was of about 60%, which demonstrates Vienna’s role as an international hub for domestic and foreign companies.
Since the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, Vienna has expanded its position as gateway to Eastern Europe: 300 international companies have their Eastern European headquarters in Vienna and its environs. Among them are Hewlett Packard, Henkel, Baxalta and Siemens. Companies in Vienna have extensive contacts and competences in business with Eastern Europe due to the city’s historical role as centre of the Habsburg Empire.The number of international businesses in Vienna is still growing: In 2014 159 international firms established offices in Vienna.
Altogether, approximately 8,300 new companies are being founded in Vienna every year since 2004. The majority of these companies are operating in fields of industry-oriented services, wholesale trade as well as information and communications technologies and new media. Vienna makes effort to establish itself as a start-up hub. Since 2012, the city hosts the annual Pioneers Festival, the largest start-up event in Central Europe with 2.500 international participants taking place at Hofburg Palace. Tech Cocktail, an online portal for the start-up scene, has ranked Vienna sixth among the top ten start-up cities worldwide.
Research and development
The city of Vienna attaches major importance to science and research and focuses on creating a positive environment for research and development. In 2014, Vienna has accommodated 1,329 research facilities; 40,400 persons are employed in the R&D sector and 35% of Austria’s R&D expenses are invested in the city. With a research quota of 3.4% Vienna exceeds the Austrian average of 2.77% and has already met the EU target of 3.0% by 2020. A major R&D sector in Vienna are life sciences with 378 biotech, pharma and medtech companies such as Johnson & Johnson,Siemens, Roche, Philips and Boehringer Ingelheim, with more than 21,000 employees. There are 25 public and private research institutions, among them the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), theAustrian Institute of Technology and the Campus Vienna Biocenter.
The Viennese sector for information and communication technologies is comparable in size with the sector in Helsinki or Munich and thus among Europe’s largest IT locations. In 2012 8,962 IT businesses with a workforce of 64,223 were located in the Vienna Region. The main products are instruments and appliances for measuring, testing and navigation as well as electronic components. More than ⅔ of the enterprises provide IT services. Among the biggest IT firms in Vienna are Kapsch, BekoEngineering & Informatics, air trafﬁc control experts Frequentis, Cisco Systems Austria, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft Austria, IBM Austria andSamsung Electronics Austria.
The US technology corporation Cisco runs its Entrepreneurs in Residenceprogram for Europe in Vienna in cooperation with the Vienna Business Agency.
The British company UBM has rated Vienna one of the Top 10 Internet Cities worldwide, by analysing criteria like connection speed, WIFI availability, innovation spirit and open government data.
In 2011 74.3% of Viennese households were connected with broadband, 79% were in possession of a computer. According to the broadband strategy of the City, full broadband coverage shall be reached by 2020.
Tourism and conferences
6.2 million tourists visited Vienna in 2014 amounting to 13,524,266 overnight stays. The main markets for tourists are Germany, the United States, Italy and Russia. Between 2005 and 2013, Vienna was the world's number one destination for international congresses and conventions. In 2014, 202 international conferences were held in Vienna, making it the second most popular congress location worldwide according to the statistics of the International Congress and Convention Association. Its largest conference centre, the Austria Center Vienna (ACV) has a total capacity for around 20,000 people and is situated next to the United Nations Headquarters in Vienna. Other centres are theMesse Wien Exhibition & Congress Center (up to 3,300 people) and the Hofburg Palace (up to 4,900 people).
Vienna is divided in 23 districts (inner 1–9, and outer 10-23)
1.Innere Stadt The central Old Town and most important part of the city where most of the travellers can be found. The district offer plenty of things to see and to do.
2.Leopoldstadt is the island between the Danube and the Danube Canal. The second district used to be the Jewish part of the Vienna town. It stretches from the more wild forests of the Prater to the newly gentrified areas of the Karmeliterviertel and Augarten.
3.Landstraße The third district is the largest inner district including the Belvedere Palace, the Schwarzenbergplatz, embassies and an industrial Hinterland.
4.Wieden The fourth district starts from Karlsplatz with the famous Karlskirche and borders the Naschmarkt with a miniature chinatown.
5.Margareten The outermost inner district, which is mostly a worker related residential area.
6.Mariahilf The sixth district continues on from the Naschmarkt up to the Mariahilfer Straße. It has popular bohemian neighborhoods.
7.Neubau The seventh district features the acclaimed Museumsquartier, which connects directly the modern museums to the classic museums of the inner city, plus other artsy spots.
8.Josefstadt The eight district is the smallest inner one and is mostly a classy residential area.
9.Alsergrund The ninth district has the Vienna University as well as several hospitals.
10.Favoriten is in the southern part of Vienna, and has the largest population.
11.Simmering is on the right bank of the Donaukanal.
12.Meidling is on the southern bank of the Wien river.
13.Hietzing is on the southern bank of the Wien river. The 13th district is a more residential area with the Schönbrunn palace and old villas. The attractions around it account for the most Viennese tourist visits.
14.Penzing is on the northern bank of the Wien river.
15.Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus is on the northern bank of the Wien river.
16.Ottakring is on the western outskirts and includes Vienna's traditional brewery.
17.Hernals is on the northwestern outskirts of Vienna.
18.Währing is on the northwestern outskirts of Vienna.
19.Döbling is on the northern outskirts of Vienna.
20.Brigittenau is on the same island as Leopoldstadt, and was separated in 1900.
21.Floridsdorf is on the left bank of the Danube, and includes industry areas.
22.Donaustadt is on the left bank of the Danube, and is the largest district in size.
23.Liesing is the southernmost least population dense district.
Make sure that your smartphone is not roaming data, as this will mean a huge bill, especially if you are from outside the EU.
Vienna has a large number of mostly free wireless hotspots in bars, restaurants, and cafés . Wifi is known locally as WLAN or Wireless LAN. Those that are on the Freewave Wi-Fi network can be found here. MuseumsQuartier has free wireless internet. There are plenty of internet cafes except for in the first district. Touch-screen media terminals are available (including internet) in many phone booths, much of the content about Vienna is free. If you plan to visit also places outside from the city and you don't want to stay without internet it's recommended to buy a prepaid 3G-simcard (all providers offers fast 3G service, also in rural and remote areas of Austria) and put it in your smartphone or internet USB stick. Download is mostly around 5-6 Mbit/sec and upload 2-3 Mbit. (for HSDPA). The monthly cost for mobile internet is between 4 euro (1GB) and 15 euro (unlimited) (August 2011). The best 3G coverage in rural areas is from A1 a1.at . Vienna is covered very well by HSDPA, HSPA+ and LTE as well.
FLINK offers the first rentable mobile hotspots for travellers in Austria. Get your hotspot delivered to any location in Vienna. Enjoy a fast, reliable and unlimited Internet connection without data roaming throughout your entire trip.
If you're a European student you can make use of the eduroam service. The University of Vienna, the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, the University of Technology, the Medical University of Vienna , the University of Applied Arts Vienna , the University of Music and Performing Arts as well as the Austrian Academy of Sciences are part of this programme in Vienna.
The local public radio aimed towards youth, FM4 used to be an English-language channel and still has much programming in English including the news. 103.8 FM or 91.0 FM.
Television in Austria is almost exclusively in German. The national public media ORF offer limited programming in several Slavonic languages and Hungarian. There are plenty of international English-language channels available.
Austrian news is printed in English in a newspaper called the Austrian Times . The Vienna Review offers a more indepth examination of local issues. International papers are widely available. There is a New York Times insert in the Monday edition of the local newspaper Der Standard which can be found quickly in coffee houses and elsewhere due to its tan color.
Prices in Vienna
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€0.95|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||€5.00|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||€30.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||€45.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||€64.00|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||€7.20|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||€3.80|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€3.50|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||€9.00|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||€20.00|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||€0.07|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||€4.95|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||€2.00|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||€90.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||€35.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||€100.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||€2.20|
55 $ per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
191 $ per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
Vienna International Airport
Vienna International Airport (Flughafen Wien-Schwechat) (IATA: VIE) is located just outside the city limits of Vienna on the far side of the City of Schwechat. To get to Vienna, you can use two different railway options (cheaper but slower S-Bahn and more expensive but faster City Airport Train - CAT, time difference between those two is 10mins), buses or taxis.
Bratislava Milan Rastislav Štefánik Airport
Another option if you're flying to Vienna is Bratislava Airport (IATA:BTS) which is located ca. 54 km (34 miles) from Vienna International Airport across the Slovak border and is the largest in the Slovak Republic. The budget airline Ryanair has the most flights. Additional carriers are Danube Wings flying to Kosice, Rijeka,Split and Zadar; Norwegian Air Shuttle to Oslo and Copenhagen; UTair to Moscow and Sun d'Or to Tel Aviv (seasonal flights). Transfer options:
- Blaguss (Bus). 4:00-22:45. The most regular bus service, but check schedule. Leaves from the airport terminal building and arrives at Erdberg (U3) in just over an hour. €10 each way.
- Postbus/Slovak Lines (Bus), +43 810 222 333 (Austria) +421 18211 (Slovakia), e-mail: [email protected]. 8:00-18:35. Leaves from the airport terminal building and arrives to Südtirolerplatz(U1) in under two hours. Intermediate stops in Bratislava, at Vienna Airport, some at Erdberg(U3). Check schedule. 5€ , 8€ return.
- Train. Bratislava public bus 61 to final stop, Hlavná stanica/Main Station (buy bus ticket at yellow machine before boarding and stamp in the bus). Buy a ticket to Vienna and take the train to Wien Hauptbahnhof. Takes about 1 hour. €13 (return ticket, not one direction ticket).
- Late arriving flights:. Should an evening flight arrive late, after 22:30 you can bargain for a cab or spend the night in Bratislava (last bus for Vienna leaves from the airport at 22:45).
- Early departing flights:. Take a cab or spend the night at a hostel or at the airport or take the early train leaving from Wien Hauptbahnhof (ca. 05:20) to Bratislava hl. st. (arriving ca. 06:30) and then take bus No. 61 to the airport (or take a cab) - it is possible to catch 8AM flights this way.
- Rosenov Airport Transfer, . Mo-Fr 9AM-6PM.Offer a flat rate transfer to/from Vienna. €75.
Alternative airports in the region
Budapest and Munich Airports are at least 3 and 5 hours out, respectively. There is a direct albeit not so speedy shuttle van from Budapest Ferihegy Airport to Vienna Schwechat Airport, departing three time daily, for €36. It is cheaper and quicker to transfer via bus or train from Budapest city which can be reached easily from Ferihegy Airport. From Munich International Airport you should take the commuter train into the city and transfer to a high-speed RailJet train to Vienna at Munich's main station. Austrian Railways (ÖBB) sell tickets for the entire journey from that airport to Vienna from €29.
There are also a number of other smaller airports in the region, some served by budget airlines: Linz (2 hours by train), Graz (2.5 hours by train), and Brno (2.5 hours by train or bus).
The station names of all stops in Vienna start with its German name "Wien". This is internationally recognized and helpful for buying tickets. The railways are managed by the Austrian Federal Railways ÖBB.
The city's main railway stations include:
- Wien Hauptbahnhof(abbreviated Wien Hbf), the city's main train station, where most international and long-distance domestic services call
- Wien Westbahnhof, which is where most services from the West stop and some services from the East, North and South terminate
- Wien Meidling, where many services stop arriving from the West towards the Hauptbahnhof
All of those stations are also served by the Wiener S-Bahn and are connected to U-Bahn stations.
It can be puzzling to understanding where trains depart and arrive, i.e. trains heading East often leave from the Wesbtbahnhof. It is best to check the schedules online. The ÖBB connection search allows to specify the exact train, subway or tram stop you are going to/departing from. Ticket offices are normally open during all departure hours at Wien Meidling and Wien West (around 5AM-11PM). The automatic ticket machines have English input and allow both cash or card payment (VISA, Maestro, ..).
There are very frequent trains for all neighboring regions and countries. Night trains and quicker Euro-City trains arrive from virtually every city in Central Europe. High-speed ICE and RailJet trains arrive from places like Munich, Budapest and Zurich. There are frequent (at least hourly) regional trains to Czech, Slovak and Hungarian border regions. The special fare is named Sparschiene and needs to be booked quite in advance. It is available for High-speed trains.
When buying tickets, consider two domestic tickets instead of one international one, as it is often cheaper. Tickets can normally still be purchased to the border and from there to your destination in another country. In combination, they will have you covered for the entire international route without the need to change trains. Sometimes you can buy both tickets before departure, otherwise see with the ticket agents if the conductor will be able to issue you with a domestic ticket once you cross the border to Austria.
Vienna has many direct railway connections to German cities. Some of them are:
- Frankfurt - under 7 hours, a few times daily
- Munich - under 4 hours, every two hours
- Nuremberg - 4.5 hours, every two hours
- Passau - 2.5 hours, every two hours
Those cities are served by the Austrian Railjet or German Inter-City-Express (ICE) high-speed trains. Some of those services to Vienna also call at Cologne, Duesseldorf, Stuttgart or Wiesbaden, as well as major stations in between, with lesser frequency than listed above. Even fewer services start as far out as Hamburg, from where the ICE takes a grand total of 9 hours to reach Vienna. The Railjet can accommodate bicycles, whereas the German ICE cannot.
There also nightly Euro Night Line sleeper services from many cities in Germany, including Cologne, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Nurnberg.
From Czech Republic
From Czech border towns and as far as Brno you can buy "Wien Spezial" discount ticket. Consider buying it conjunction with a Czech domestic ticket if coming from elsewhere like Prague. The ÖBB also sell one-way 'SparScheine' to Brno (€12) and Prague (€29). Its cheaper to just get this to Brno and buy an onward domestic ticket to Prague (€5-10), and there is better availability than with the single Prague ticket.
EURegio tickets are valid from Vienna to cities near to the border and tourist towns, including the return ticket with-in four days; Znojmo €15,Mikulov €18, České Budějovice (Budweis) €27 or Český Krumlov €27, and Plzeň €29 (children half-price, weekly and monthy tickets available).
From Budapest Keleti buy a discounted round-trip ticket, kirándulójegy(excursion or 4-day ticket) for €31. It includes the return with-in 4 days and is valid for all public transportation in Vienna for 2 days. So its a deal even if you don't need a return ticket to Budapest. There are limited amount of SparSchiene tickets each day for €13. All tickets are valid in all trains (including the high-speed RailJet). Trains confusingly depart Budapest East (Keleti pu), most stop at Wien Meidling and then arrive at Vienna West Station (Wien West). Direct trains run every two hours or more. Otherwise transfer at Győr.
To Hungary the ÖBB offers tickets from €19 to Budapest as well as the EURegio ticket (Vienna to Hungary and return with 4 days);Mosonmagyaróvár €12, Győr €19, Tatabánya €25, Fertöszentmiklós €19, and Szombathely € 22 (children half-price, weekly and monthly tickets available).
From Bratislava the cheapest ticket is €11 (return), or €14 including a one day public transportation ticket for all of Vienna. A one-way ticket is available to Rail-Plus cardholders for €10.
To Bratislava the ÖBB offers an EURegio ticket for €14 valid for return (in 4 days) and for travel on public transportation in Bratislava on the day of arrival. Its also free to take a bike along.
A one-way ticket leaving from Vienna also costs €14 but doesn't include public transportation in Bratislava, so get the EURegio ticket and maybe you can give it to someone else who's headed for Vienna once you get to Bratislava.
From Eastern Europe
via Slovakia or Hungary.
Each railway has an independent partnership with others, so tickets can be much cheaper to (or from) neighboring countries. A common type is the so-called CityStar ticket that is valid for return and can be sold any station in both of the participating countries. Sopron in Hungary is near to Vienna (€14, hourly trains) for tickets on MÁV Hungarian Railways at that train station (operated by the Raaberbahn Railway). Hungarian prices.Bratislava in Slovakia is another nearby alternative. Most tickets need to be purchased 3 days in advance, possibly meaning an extra trip to the border to buy the ticket in advance.
- Ukraine and Russia
- Greece CityStar tickets are sold between anywhere in Greece and Hungary.
- Bulgaria BDZ sell the return CityStar directly to Vienna (€88), a group of 3 will pay €59 each. Conversly you'll have to go to the Hungarian Railways if you want to go the other way.
- Turkey Buy a ticket to the border at Kapikule (€5 from Istanbul), get a ticket from Bulgarian Railways.
- Serbia Serbian Railways sell the so-called Wien Sepzial for €70 return from Belgrade, but a cheaper connection can be made through Budapest, buying the Budapest-Vienna portion in Hungary (€56 return).
There is a slew of international bus services coming into Vienna daily. It is safe to assume that discounts are available (about 10% from Eurolines affiliates, about 15% on independent carriers) for those under 26 and over 60 on walk-up fares but not on discounted advanced purchase ("promo") tickets.
Eurolines Austria, is the largest operator. Euroline's own vehicles have assured quality, but this is not the case of all of their international partners. Confusingly Eurolines Austria is doesn't always cooperate with an inbound Eurolines affiliate from another country, for instance there are two competing Eurolines services (Slovak and Austria) to Bratislava departing from separate stops. Always check the webpages of both the arrival and departure countries' Eurolines affiliated operator for the best price as well as checking for non-affiliated carriers.
There are two main bus stations in Vienna, as well as other locations where national and international services deposit passengers.
- Vienna International Busterminal (VIB) located adjacent to the subway stop Erdberg (U3) is overseen by the local Eurolines affiliate Blaguss, who publish timetables.
- Waldmanngründen on the southwest corner of Südtirolerplatz(U1, S-Bahn) is a stop with an office only for services to Bratislava, other operators have offices in the nearby streets or just operate curbside services.
- Praterstern on the (U1, U2 and S-Bahn) has two main bus stops, one in Lasellestraße for Tourbus services from the Czech Republic and one in Nordbahnstraße for Orangeways service to Hungary.
- Busterminal Stadioncenter, Engerthstrasse on the east (Address: Engerthstrasse 242-244, 1020 Vienna, near the metro station U2 Stadion), this is a new stop of the yellow Student Agency coaches from 6th January, 2014.
- Vienna International Airport is served by nearly all buses to Bratislava, the Czech Republic, and Hungary, in addition to each bus line's city stop.
There are few private domestic inter-city bus lines in Austria. Several regional services to Vienna operated by a mix of the federal government, the states of Lower Austria and Burgenland, local governments and coach operators. Sometimes the cash-price for these is marginally lower than the train, otherwise the normal VOR public transport rates apply. They are most useful for traveling to the countryside, though timing and different departure locations in Vienna can make them attractive for inter-city travel in certain cases. All routes are operated with high-quality coaches and regional buses.
- Dr. Richard, Friedrichstraße 7 (Karlsplatz (across from the Secession Building) and other stops across Vienna). Southern Lower Austria,Burgenland and Styria. The 311 Timetable makes numerous regional stops but gets to Graz in about the same amount of time as the train. Up to 4 daily buses, free wifi. Graz €21.80 (€12 cheaper than by train).
- WESTbus (VIB Erdberg). Klagenfurt and Graz. 2x daily. €29.
- Wiesel Bus. From several points across the city to St. Pölten. Free wifi on many services. €0.10 less than the train.
- FlixBus. Free Wi-Fi and a guaranteed seat. Connects seven cities in Austria. Tickets from 5 €.
If you are traveling from the Balkans there are plenty of buses daily. Some may not be advertised and tickets are often not for sale at the ticket counter, rather from the bus driver or attendant. Ask around the bus stations, most of them leave in the afternoon. Buses from non-EU countries may be subject to higher scrutiny at the border. Sometimes operators smuggle or transport goods to supplement their low fares and the Hungarian border guards are not afraid to accept bribes from non-EU operators. You will likely never be asked to participate monetarily, although a bus driver may ask to put a carton of cigarettes above your seat or in your luggage. Legally, you're transporting "your own" one-carton cigarette allowance across the border, so you will not get in any trouble for that. It is also okay to decline cooperation.
Most buses from Serbia go to VIB Erdberg (U3) whie most buses from Kosovo and Albania go to Südtirolerplatz (U1). Bus lines from Bosnia and Croatia are split between the two bus stations.
- Turanus.Shuttles, , e-mail:[email protected]. Exclusive shuttle between Ljubljana and Vienna. from €190 for a group of 5.
- FlixBus. Routes from Vienna and Graz to Maribor and Ljubljana
- Adria Reisen (VIB Erdberg / U2 Schottenring). Between Vienna and assorted destinations on the Adriatic in Croatia. Three weekly.€150rt.
- Autobusni promet d.d. Varaždin (VIB Erdberg). Direct from Zagreb. Up to 3x daily. €35/€50rt.
- Croatiabus, Südtirolerplatz. Direct from Zagreb. 2x daily.€35/€50rt.
- WESTbus (by Blaguss Eurolines Austria) (VIB Erdberg). Daily afternoon departure from Zagreb to Vienna, morning departure from Vienna to Zagreb. €29.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Autoprevoz Banjaluka (VIB Erdberg), , e-mail:[email protected]. approx. 9.5h. Banja Luka, BiH. €39/€66rt.
- Biss-Tours, 0038733236620. Sarajevo, Zenica.
- Fudeks (VIB Erdberg). Belgrade. €30/€50rt.
- Feniks GiZ (VIB Erdberg). Novi Sad (€25) via Subotica (€20). Daily. Onward connection from Belgrade available at Novi Sad. €25/€40rt.
- Jovic Travel (VIB Erdberg). Belgrade. Mo-Tu-Su. €60rt.
- Lasta (VIB Erdberg). Požarevac via Belgrade. Daily. €45/€72rt.
- Niš-Ekspres (VIB Erdberg). Niš via Belgrade. Tu-W-Th-Su. €55rt.
- SRBIJATRANSPORT (VIB Erdberg). Požarevac via Belgrade. Daily.€45/€72rt.
- Zoran Reisen (VIB Erdberg). Southern Serbia. 2x weekly.€45/€80rt.
- Korona. No direct services exist, but Korona Travel offers service from Bratislava.
- EuroBus Macedonia (VIB Erdberg), , e-mail:[email protected]. direct to Skopje, Tetovo, Gostivar, Ohrid,Struga. €75/€140rt.
- Ecolines (Südtirolerplatz). Direct from Sofia. €60/€100rt.
- Ecolines. Departs from Südtirolerplatz (U1). Makes regular stops along the way to Tallinn. Vilnius €85/€128rt.
- Kautra. run in conjunction with Tourbus. Makes regular stops along the way to Vilnius. Vilnius €101/182rt.
- WESTbus (Eurolines Austria by Blaguss and Eurolines Bohemia by Touring) (VIB Erdberg). Three daily buses to Brno and Prague some with wifi and power outlets. Compare prices at https://www.elines.czand http://www.eurolines.at Prague €19.
- Student Agency. Six or more daily buses with free coffee, newspapers, movies. Improved service with touch-screen in-ride-entertainment a every seat and free wifi on most buses. Departs from Lasallestraße at Praterstern. Brno €5-8, Prague €12-18.
- Tourbus, a.s.. Stops at VIB and Lasallestraße at Praterstern. Brno €5.
Minibuses, or shuttle vans to Český Krumlov and surrounds are common, but more expensive that EURegio train tickets, especially for round-trips. Buses take around 3 hours, while trains take upwards of 4 hours and often require two easy train changes. Minibuses may match their times to passengers needs.
- Bean Shuttle (Cheapest shuttle between Vienna and Cesky Krumlov). offers direct shuttle bus between Vienna and Cesky Krumlov for 800 CZK per person and between Vienna and České Budějovice for 900 CZK. €35.
- Bohemian Lines, , e-mail:[email protected]. Daily 8AM-8PM. Runs twice a week or more from nearby Brno. Its a cheap connection with no advanced purchase requirement, you just have to get yourself to Brno on another bus company (€5-€8 from Vienna). €61+€5/€107+€10rt. Copenhagen €65/€117rt.
- Eurolines AT/Blaguss. Requires a change of bus "assisted" by the driver (guaranteed connection) in Prague. "Business class service" through-and-through, free wifi within the Czech Republic and Germany. It can be cheaper to book the same connection in advance through Czech Eurolines (from €40 Copehangen-Prague + €7 Prague-Vienna) or Eurolines Scandinavia and German Eurolines (from €18 Copenhagen-Berlin + €18 Berlin-Vienna). Copenhagen €101/€170rt.
With the 2012 liberalization of the market, many companies now offer Intercity buses in Germany, many of them also serving Vienna. Prices tend to be lower than on the train while travel times can be significantly higher.
- Eurolines (Eurolines Austria by Blaguss, Eurolines Bohemia, Eurolines Deutsche Touring, BEX, Berlin Linien Bus) (VIB). These companies run one daily ("Business Class" with outlets and wifi) and one nightly joint service to Berlin. Check the respective website for sale tickets: http://www.eurolines.at/, http://www.eurolines.de/ Dresden, Berlin €15-50.
- Orangeways (Bratislava bus station). Its a slight detour to Bratislava (€7 by bus) to catch one of two daily buses to Berlin, but it can be a lot cheaper and the bus runs on a faster highway. Dresden €22, Berlin €30.
- FlixBus. Several connections from Austria to Germany. Prices from 5 €..
- Berlin Linien Bus. Berlin Vienna "from" 19€ - early booking gets you the best fares 1€ per piece of luggage.
- Eurolines (by Blaguss, Blaguss Agora and Volanbusz) (VIB). Affliates cooperate to run five buses daily from/to Budapest, some stopping in Győr and resort towns like Mosonmagyaróvár and Sopron. Some buses have wifi. Tickets are cheaper if purchased online. Győr €9, Budapest €10-19/€14-38rt.
- Orangeways. cheap way to Hungary. Arrives at Nordbahnstrasse 50 near Praterstern from Budapest four times daily. More expensive at peak times, cheaper to book in HUF. Popular times are often sell out. Free hot drinks, movies, headphones on some services. Budapest €6-€14/€14-20rt.
- Kautra. Udine, Venice, Bologna, Florence, Rome. Tickets at VIB.Walk-up promo-fare €29 all destinations.
- Tourbus, a.s.. Udine, Venice, Bologna, Florence, Rome, Naples etc. Tickets at VIB. from €40.
- Student Agency. Udine, Venice, Bologna, Florence, Rome. Book online, stop at Praterstern. from €52.
- Eurolines Polska. Polish destinations (Krakow, Warsaw) from €36/72rt.
- Ecolines. Departs from Südbahnhof/South Station. Polish destinations (Krakow, Warsaw) €48/€86rt.
- Jordan. run in conjunction with Veolia Eurolines Polska. Discounted tickets on their Polish booking site Kraków €30, Katowice €30, Lodz€33, Warsaw €35. Walk up: Katowice €38/€68rt, Łódź €41/€73rt, Warsaw €43/€77rt.
- Kautra. run in conjunction with Tourbus. Krakow €46/€83, Warsaw €61/109.
- PolskiBus. Cheap, bucket-priced bus around 2x daily to Katowice and Warsaw. Departs Südtiroler Platz. Warsaw (via Katowice) from €1.
- Tatar Czuk, Schweizergarten near Südbahnhof S-Bahn. Daily minibus service. Wroclaw €24.
It can be cheaper, faster and the buses can be more frequent if you change buses in Budapest, for instance on Eurolines HU/Volanzbus or Orangeways, depending upon your destination in Romania.
- Atlassib. A daily overnight traveling across Romania to Vienna, book through Eurolines.at or with Atlassib. Bucharest €59/€94rt.
- Eurolines RO. Extreme arrival times in Vienna (2:45AM) and departure times depending on origin/destination. Bucharest €124rt.
- Turanus.shuttle, , e-mail:[email protected]. Fast mini-bus service. Reservations required by phone, website or email. €120.
- Blaguss. 10 daily busses daily from Bratislava Airport, stopping also at Novy Most (city center) and Bratislava Petrzalka (Einsteinova St.). Stops also at Vienna Airport and arrives at Erdberg(Subway U3) in about an hour. €6/€11rt.
- Postbus/Slovak Lines. 19 daily buses from Bratislava main bus station at Mlynské Nivy (8 of them start from Bratislava Airport and then go to Bratislava main bus station), stopping also at Bratislava Petrzalka (Einsteinova ul.) to Südtirolerplatz(Subway U1) in approximately 90 minutes. Intermediate stop at Vienna Airport. €7.70, €14.30 return.
Nitra, Košice and the rest of Slovakia: There are more frequent buses if you change buses in Bratislava, for instance on SlovakLines.
- eurobus, a. s.. Has frequent buses traveling across Slovakia from their Košice base to across Europe via Vienna. Booking online is possible via their homebuy service. This service also is the best overview of buses between Slovakia and Vienna since it includes all schedules. Nitra €28rt, Košice €42rt.
- Varan, Ticket Office: Südtirolerplatz 7. On Tuesday and Friday to/from Istanbul from Südtirolerplatz bus depot. Istanbul €110/€200rt, Online €104/€190rt.
- Евроклуб (Euroclub). Arriving sunday from Kiev via Lvov among others returning on monday. Departure and tickets from VIB. Kiev €100/€180rt.
- Busabout. Busabout's "northern loop" passes through Vienna every other day during the summer (May–October). from €349.
Car ownership is common in Vienna and less than 1/3 of the trips taken within the city are by car. However, since parking space is scarce in the inner districts and parking fees apply to all inner and include many outer districts too, it is usually a good idea for visitors to leave their car parked somewhere in the periphery and use the city's excellent subway & tram system to get to the center. The Park and Ride is available at some subway stations in the city periphery for €3 per day. The weekly rates come with a discount if you add a subway/tram ticket.
For using the Austrian highway system, you will need a toll sticker ("Autobahnvignette"), which you can buy at gas stations and rest stops. There are stickers for 10 days, 2 months and 1 year. In Vienna, avoid the A23 Südosttangente at rush hour. Traffic jams are almost guaranteed there as well as throughout the city streets at rush hour.
Parking anywhere within districts 1-9, 12, 14-17, 20, and in specially marked areas is restricted to 120 minutes (from 9:00 and 22:00, M-F) (12,14-17 9:00-19:00) and subject to a fee of €2 per hour unless you have a resident permit. The municipality provides detailed information on parking on their website in English. If you're unsure whether fees apply to the place you're in there's a free Android app that can help you. Payment is made by marking the time of arrival on a ticket ("Parkschein"), which can be bought at tobacco shops. If you have an Austrian cell number, you can pay by text or using a smartphone app. Commercial car parks ("Parkhaus", "Parkgarage") are available throughout the city, but these can be very expensive (for instance, €32 per day in the Parkgarage Freyung).
Riverboats on the Danube include connections with Linz, Bratislava and Budapest, but are slower and more expensive than other options.
- LOD. run a fast hydrofoil between Vienna and Bratislava May–October with up to two daily departures. The dock is in the 2nd District on the Danube proper (U1 Vorgartenstraße, Dock 6 on the Danube). Sailing time 1:30 downstream 1:45 upstream. €16/€25rt.
- Twin City Liner. Is a fast catamaran between Vienna and Bratislava March–December with up to four daily departures. The dock is in the 1st District at Schwedenplatz. Sailing time 1:15 downstream 1:30 upstream. €17-€30.
- . operate a fast hydrofoil between Vienna and Budapest May–October with daily departures during the peak season. The dock is in the 2nd District on the Danube proper (U1 Vorgartenstraße, dock on the Danube). Sailing time 5:30 downstream 6:30 upstream. The boat only moors Bratislava and Visegrád if pre-arranged. Bratislava €29/€39rt, Visegrád/Budapest €89/€109rt, Stundent discount available.
- Donauschiffahrt Wurm + Köck. operate ships between Vienna and Linz. Sailing is slow and expensive but the ships travel through the famous Wachau river valley. Combine tickets including return via train are available from €12.
Transportation - Get Around
By Public Transport
Vienna has a good public transportation system, which includes rail, commuter rail, underground, trams (trolleys), and buses. The underground is very efficient and will take you to within a few minutes walk of anywhere you are likely to want to visit. The subway alone has the second highest per-capita ridership in the world, and that is not accounting for the 27 tram lines, dozens of train lines or numerous buses.
Public transportation within the city proper, including most everywhere you are likely to visit (the entire subway and tram network) is a single zone (Kernzone 100). Any transportation can be used: subway, any train – even high-speed ones – as long as you are traveling between two Vienna stations, trams, buses, night buses, and an inter-urban railway (the Wiener Lokalbahn) within the city limits.
You must validate (stamp) your ticket if the time and date is not printed on it, before entering the subway platform or train or as soon as you get on a bus or tram. You do not need to show your ticket to the bus or tram operator. Although there are not many spot checks, the fee for traveling without a ticket is €100.
Tickets are available at machines (Visa, MC accepted) and from counters at subway and rail stations as well as at tobacco shops (Tabak "Trafik"). They can also be bought online for printout or via a mobile app to present them via the mobile phone.
- Single Trip Ticket € 2.20 A single direction uninterrupted trip to anywhere, with as many transfers as needed (children, bikes, dogs €1.00). Single tickets can also be purchased in trams and buses but cost €2.20 full fare, €1.10 reduced.
- Shopping ticket/Einkaufskarte € 6.10 Valid workdays from 8AM to 8PM
- 24-hour ticket € 7.60 Valid from time stamped.
- 48-hour ticket € 13.30 Valid from time stamped.
- 72-hour ticket € 16.50 Valid from time stamped.
- Week ticket/Wochenkarte € 16.20 Valid Monday 0 AM through next Monday 9AM.
- 8-day Climate Ticket € 38.40 Valid for an entire day until 1AM the following day, each day you stamp the ticket (fold it and stamp a new box as needed). It is possible stamp the ticket multiple times for multiple people on a single day if traveling in a group. (For example, this ticket may be used by four people on two separate days, but four sections must be stamped each day.)
Children up to 14 do not need a ticket on Sundays, holidays and during Austrian school vacations. Children 15–19 are also exempt if they are enrolled in school in Austria.
If you are staying for a few days and hope to do tons of sightseeing and/or shopping, the Vienna Card (Wien Karte) is a good deal. It costs €21.90 and is good for 72 hours of unlimited public transit within Vienna. The card also gets you discounts (typically €1 or €2 at the major museums and art galleries) to many attractions and shops. You can buy it at the airport, hotels, and underground stops.
The best rail (heavy rail and underground) transport map is displayed at all ÖBB stations. There are so many lines that maps are normally very simplified, and there are no maps of the tram network. It can pay to ask or check the best connection ahead of time. Major stations are well signed and connections are scheduled to match-up if service isn't frequent.
The five U-Bahn lines (i.e. U1) are the most common way of getting around Vienna. These underground, metro or subway lines have trains during the day every 1.5–5 minutes and cover most of the important parts of the city and sights.
Tram (Bim, Straßenbahn) lines have just a plain number or letter (O, 1). There are 27 lines which stop locally, useful for taking things a bit slower and seeing more of the city.
The famous Ring lines were recently changed: there is a tourist tram around the ring, or you can take tram 1 (bound for Prater-Hauptalle) fromOper to Schwedenplatz and take tram 2 (bound for Ottakring) fromSchwedenplatz back to Oper.
Bus lines are denoted by a number that ends in a letter (i.e. 3A, 80B). You are unlikely to need to take a bus, but it is safe to assume if you see one that you can get on and it will take you to some higher form of transportation like the U-Bahn. Cheaper tickets (€1) are available for most 'B' buses; regular tickets and passes are also valid.
Vienna's suburban rail network is often overlooked by tourists. It comprises three types of trains: S-Bahn (S), which mostly serve inner suburbs and stop at all stations with few exceptions, Regionalbahn (R), which are generally more long-distant than the S-Bahn and make limited stops on parallel S-Bahn routes, but otherwise all stops, and RegionalExpress(REX), which mostly serve the outermost suburbs and make very limited stops in the inner suburbs (although not all RegionalExpress trains are suburban trains). The network also stretches over the borders of the neighbouring countries.
The most important rail streches:
- Stammstrecke (Meidling–Hauptbahnhof (main station)–Quartier Belvedere–Rennweg–Mitte–Praterstern–Florisdorf) trains run every 2–5 min. This is not a line itself but rather the result of the bunch of lines using the same stretch.
- S45 runs in the northwest of the city every 10–15 min along a beautiful railway built by architect Otto Wagner.
Rail trips to the suburbs of Vienna (in Vienna city all rail stations start with "Wien") require an extra ticket. These are available as zones in VOR (Austria's Eastern Transit Region) or as point to point tickets from the railways. It is easiest to buy extra zones from the edge of the city. If you have a Vorteilscard a railway ticket will be cheaper; if you are planning to transfer to a bus the VOR-ticket is also valid for it, within the same zone.
The Wiener Lokalbahn (WLB) also referred to as the Badner-Bahn is an interurban railway traveling from the Opera running as a tram on-street southwest through Vienna to Meidling station where it becomes a railway continuing onwards through the 23rd District and through suburbs and the rolling wine hills in Lower Austria to Baden.
The regular trams, trains and buses run until about 00:30 (just past midnight). Most of the commuter rail is shut between 1AM and 4AM. On Friday and Saturday (as well as on nights before holidays), the entire U-Bahn network runs all night. Additionally, a dense network of night buses, called "NightLiners" is available every night of the year. Regular tickets are valid. Most buses terminate at "Kärntner Ring, Oper", which allows for easy interchange. Intervals are every 15-30 min. Daytime service resumes at 5AM.
Taxis are plentiful and can normally be hailed on the street or found at a taxi stand. Fares are set to a meter price, but if you prefer, you can always negotiate a fare. Always negotiate when traveling to the airport or outside of the city limits as fares are not set to those places. Pedicabs, horse-drawn coaches and the like are also available.
Avoid driving a car within the central ring if possible. While cars are allowed on many of the streets there, the streets are narrow and mostly one-way. They can be confusing for a visitor and parking is extremely limited (and restricted during the day). Due to the comprehensiveness of the transit system, you most likely will not need a car within Vienna, except for excursions elsewhere.
Furthermore, it might be a good idea to leave your car at home during rush hours. Vienna's streets can become a little clogged in the mornings and early evenings and the drivers are not really known for being especially polite and friendly.
Pedestrians have the right of way in crossing all roads at a crosswalk where there is no pedestrian signal present. If there is such a pedestrian crossing on an otherwise straight section of the road, there will be a warning sign: you are required to yield to any pedestrian on this crossing. Austrians accustomed to experienced local drivers will step out with little thought and force you to stop, so slow down here and be careful. When driving in a neighborhood this "right of way to pedestrians" is an understood rule at every intersection, although pedestrians will be more careful before they step out. Again, be on the lookout for this: if you see a pedestrian waiting to cross, you should stop at the intersection for him or her.
Cycling is another option for travelling within Vienna, although it is still seen more as a leisure activity. Vienna's compact size makes cycling attractive. On a bicycle you can reach most places of interest within half an hour. There are many bicycle paths and lanes along major streets, in parks, and by the rivers. However, it can be complicated to cross town because the lanes follow illogical routes. One major complaint is that bicycle facilities were an afterthought and this is very apparent, many stop lights and intersections are dangerously or annoyingly set for bicyclists and paths are very illogical: they are sometimes on-street sometimes off, sometimes shared with pedestrians, sometimes not, and can vary or end out of nowhere. You are required by law to use a bike lane or path if there is one, unless it is blocked, otherwise regular traffic laws apply. Lights are required at night as are independently functioning brakes.
If your destination is in the outer suburbs, or you want to take a relaxed ride to the countryside, you may consider taking your bike on the U-Bahn (prohibited at rush hour, and always in buses and trams) or on a train. You need a reduced (children's) ticket for your bike.
- CityBike runs a short-term shared bike system all over the Vienna city. There are many stations in the inner districts and you can register to borrow a bike with your credit card (€1/to register) or obtain a Touristcard (€2/day). The first hour is free, the next €1, the third €2, etc. So always return your bike right away, 15 minutes after you return it, the system restarts counting with a new free hour, etc.
- Pedal Power offers guided bicycle tours and bicycle rental. They deliver to hotels or you can pick them up at the Prater for a discount.
Walking can also be very pleasant. The inner ring is quite compact with lots of pleasant cobblestoned and paved streets. It can be crossed in about 20 min.
Bring a comfortable pair of walking shoes as this is the most common way of getting around.
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Beaches in Vienna
Vienna is, of course, the capital of Austria’s cultural and intellectual society, and it has been for more than 200 years. Vienna is perhaps not the warmest location to be in the world, but when the weather finally warms up, people are anxious to sit along the sides of the Danube canal--of course Vienna does not have a coast, so all of its beaches are made along this canal which runs through Vienna.
Beaches in Vienna
Perhaps for people coming to Vienna, beaches are at the end of the list of attractions, but there are many beaches in the area, including the Strandbad Gansehaufel, in the 22nd District. This is an Austrian bathing beach formed of a little lake in the middle of the city. There are some areas of nude bathing on this beach, so be careful if you are easily abashed!
The Shafbergbad is perhaps the most famous beach in Vienna and its pool is large enough to hold many tourists, while the Strangbaeder Alte Donau is one of the oldest outdoor bathing arenas in Vienna. The area does not have pools, just manicured lawns that stretch along the side of the Danube. Relaxing on the grassy area is almost as good as having a sandy beach. The Ottakringerbad is also a green beach, located in the industrial district, this ‘beach’ has a pool and is a great place to relax for the day.
Simmering is one of the largest artificial pool areas in the city and there are small pools for children and larger ones with slopes for the adults. All of the pools have magical waves that give the impression of being near the sea.
Tel Aviv Beach – Vienna
Perhaps one of the most startling ideas is the Tel Aviv beach created on the Danube canal, paid for in part by the City of Vienna. It was created by importing sand from Israel and setting it down in the canal. It was created in what used to be the Jewish Quarter of Vienna. Electronic music and movies from Israel were put on display, and some original beach chairs from Tel Aviv were used, also. The menus were written in Hebrew, German, English and Arabic, in order to emphasise all the multicultural connections of this beach in the canal. The importance of this beach was to celebrate the re-establishment of the Jewish community in Vienna, after years of oppression.
Store hours are generally 8 or 9AM-6 or 7PM Monday-Friday, 9AM-6PM Saturday, Closed Sunday. There are slightly longer hours at some malls. Credit cards are normally accepted at large and at high-end stores. All chains that you can find in the malls also have stores on the city's shopping streets, which tend to be more accessible and tourist-friendly. Flea markets are usually can be found on Sundays, where one can buy items at very reasonable prices.
There are 21 markets with stands and small characteristically Viennese hut-like shops that are open daily (except Sunday). Additionally many of these have true farmers' markets, often on Saturday mornings. There is a large variety of sellers and markets, from the upscale to the dirt cheap. Each has several shops of different kinds (butcher, bakery, produce, coffee, etc.). There is another handful of weekly farmers markets around the city as well as seasonal markets like the Christmas Markets.
Open from Nov 15s or 20s to Dec 23th or 24th, most Viennese Christmas Markets("Christkindlmarkt", "Adventmarkt" or simply "Weihnachtsmarkt") are not so much for shopping as for eating and drinking. From midday until the late hours of the night, people gather at Christmas markets to drink mulled wine, punch, and chat to one another and the occasional stranger. Entry to all of these markets is free.
- Rathaus. More of a fairground than a Christmas market, this is Vienna's largest and busiest incarnation. Located on the large town square between Rathaus and Burgtheater, the Wiener Christkindlmarkt is by far the largest and probably best known Christmas market in Vienna. Large Christmas tree in front of the townhall, skating possibility, adorned trees in the park, often crowded!
- Spittelberg. Probably the most delightful, though often quite packed Christmas market in Vienna, the Spittelberg market is scattered over a series of lanes lined with picturesque early 19th century Biedermeier houses (many of them former brothels, which is the reason the area was spared early 20th century urban renewal). Some of the stalls are extensions of the shops and bars of this normally rather sleepy area.
- Maria-Theresien-Platz. A relatively new market between the two museums and en route to/from the MuseumsQuartier (MQ). It is easy to maneuver than some and the quality of the goods is better than most.
- Schönbrunn. One of the better markets with higher quality goods and a more festive atmosphere in front of Schönbrunn palace. It is easier to spread out here and the specialties are food, handmade soaps, and candles.
- Belvedere. Another recent addition to the city's Christmas markets, the market in front of the Belvedere palace is spacious and emphasizes the homespun.
- Resselpark/Karlsplatz - A small, alternative and more rambunctious Christmas market in front of Karlskirche.
- Freyung. A fine market in the First District frequented by locals and professionals on their lunch break and downtown shoppers. Focus on handicrafts and original gifts such as hand-made Christmas decorations, mangers or objects made of natural materials. Christmas cakes and biscuits as well as hot punch and Glühwein. There are usually fewer tourists.
Further afield a famous and overly bustling Christmas market may be found at Grafenegg castle. Entry is €7, children under the age of 12 are free.
Charity auctions are common in Vienna. Some stores give their proceeds to social programmes (often second-hand store back-to-work programs similar to Goodwill, or other charity shops).
- International Festival Charity Bazaar. Taking place in 2013 on November 30 at the Austria Center U1 – Station Kaisermühlen, has been organized yearly for over 40 years by the ladies of the United Nations Women’s Guild of Vienna. Volunteers, from a 100 different countries, who have some kind of connection to the United Nations, organize it and all proceeds from the Bazaar go to children’s charities in Austria and around the world.
Viennese supermarkets are not very large, especially compared with the hypermarkets covering the rest of Central Europe. However, there is practically one on every corner. They are open about 7AM to 7PM M-F and 7AM to 6PM on Saturday. Later, on Sunday and on public holidays, few stores are open: three in train stations (in Westbahnhof to 11PM, in Praterstern and Franz-Josef-Bahnhof to 9PM), three at the airport (to 11PM) and one at the General Hospital (Allgemeines Krankenhaus, AKH). Hofer, Penny, and Lidl strive to be discount stores, whereas Billa, Spar and Zielpunkt as well as the larger Merkur tout selection and quality. There is not a major difference in prices. Most regular stores have a deli where the clerks make sandwiches for the cost of the ingredients you select. Although many products are Austrian none of the chains are actually Austrian-owned. If you want to support the local economy more you can do so by frequenting independent shops or visiting actual markets.
Upscale grocers are not common in Vienna.
Viennese restaurant menus offer a bewildering variety of terms for dishes, most of which the visitor will never have heard of and many of which aren't in the brief lists of menu terms included in phrase books. However restaurants that have any foreign patrons at all usually have an English menu, though you may have to ask for it: the phrase "English menu" usually will be understood even by wait staff who don't speak English. A small bilingual dictionary will be useful for trying to decipher menu listings: at least it will enable you usually to determine what sort of food (chicken, beef, potato, etc.) is concerned, even if you can't tell how it's prepared. Not only savoury but also sweet main dishes are common in Austria.
Viennese restaurant portions tend to be large. Recently many restaurants are including more vegetarian options. Most restaurants have daily specials listed on a chalk board or sometimes on a printed insert in the regular menu. These are usually the best bet, though they may not be on the English menu, so you may have to ask to have them explained or try to translate them yourself.
Bread in Viennese restaurants is usually charged as an extra; if there is a basket of it on the table, you'll usually be charged by the piece only if you take some.
Tipping customs are similar to those in Europe and America though tips are slightly smaller; ten percent is usually sufficient in restaurants. Traditionally the way to tip a waiter is to mention the amount of the bill plus tip when you pay; for instance, if the bill is €15.50 you could give the waiter a €20 note and say "siebzehn (seventeen)," meaning he is to take out €15.50 for the bill, €1.50 for the tip, and so give you only €3 change. In this situation English numbers will usually be understood. Sometimes in less formal restaurants you can alternatively drop the tip into the money pouch the waiter usually carries.
Credit cards aren't quite as commonly used in restaurants in Vienna as in Northern European countries, so ask if it's important to know beforehand.
The traditional Viennese fast food is sausagein all shapes and sizes. You can buy hot sausages and hot dogs at snack bars called "Würstlstand" all over the town. The famous Wiener Würstel is known as "Frankfurter" in Vienna, but many inhabitants prefer Bosna (with onions and curry), Burenwurst, and Käsekrainer or "Eitrige" (with melted cheese inside).
In addition to this, the local snack culture also includes more ex-Yugoslavian and Turkish varieties of fast food, such as the Döner Kebap, sandwiches of Greek and Turkish origin with roasted meat, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and yogurt and/or hot sauce. Places that sell kebap often sell take-away slices of pizza too. Good kebapscan be bought at the Naschmarkt. The lower end of the Naschmarkt (further away from Karlsplatz or city centre) is cheaper than the upper end (closer to Karlsplatz), and the right lane (facing away from the city centre) is reserved for mostly sit-down eateries. Another good place to find snacks (especially while going out) is Schwedenplatz.
By far the cheapest way to get a fast food meal in Austria (and probably the only meal available for just over €1) is buying an Austrian sandwich (sliced brown bread + ham/cheese + gherkin) from a supermarket. Supermarkets with a deli counter (Feinkostabteilung) will prepare sandwiches to take away at no extra charge. You only pay for the ingredients. There is usually a large selection of meat products, cheese, and bread rolls available here, too. You point at the combination you want, can also mention the max total you can pay, and then pay at the cash register. One of the favorites is the "Leberkässemel", which is like a bigger but less dense version of a high quality hot dog on a bun. Freshness and quality at the grocery stores are normally better than at a sandwich stand on the street.
Another great way to eat on a budget is at one of Vienna's hundreds of bakeries. They sell anything from cinnamon rolls to pizza for a good price. It's also a great breakfast-on-the-run alternative because they also have coffee/espresso to go. However, most places do have a couple of tables and chairs where you can enjoy your food.
Coffe & Drink
Vienna's Kaffeehäuser (coffee houses) are world famous for their grandness and the lively coffee house culture. Skipping theKaffeehauskultur is missing out a big part of Viennese culture. You should at least visit one of the countless traditional baroque 19th or funky 20th century coffee houses where you can sit down, relax, and enjoy refreshments.
Most cafés also serve beer, wine and liqueurs. Many serve meals, especially at lunch, and these are often cheaper than in restaurants. Most have a fine selection of Torten (tortes or cakes), some offer other baked goods. In general some are more restaurant-like, some more café-like and some more bar-like.
Coffee is obviously an important part of the coffeehouse culture. Vienna was not only the center of the Austrian Empire but also the center of a much larger coffee empire, and the local roasts were sold across Europe. Today many people are still familiar with the term Vienna roast.
Vienna prides itself of its dozens of varieties of different coffees, although the Italian style and names are better known by many youth than the Viennese, the cafés are keeping the traditions alive. Most commonly:
- Kleiner Schwarzer also known simply as aSchwarzer or as a Mokka is the Viennese version of espresso. It is made with a tick more water, a Viennese roast (the point between origin and roast flavor) and it is pulled slowly allowing it to oxidize.
- Großer Schwarzer is simply a double Schwarzer (similar to a double espresso).
- Kleiner Brauner is a mokka (espresso) with cream, often on the side.
- Großer Brauner is a double Mokka with cream.
- Melange is perhaps the most typical Viennese coffee. Similar to cappuccino but with the Viennese style mokka and more foamy milk in equal parts.
- Verlängerter is mokka (espresso) with extra hot water, similar to a small Americano.
- Kapuziner is a mokka (espresso) with a dollop of whipped cream on top.
- Kaffee Verkehrt (or in the more modern places Kaffee Latte) is the local version of a latte.
Also consider specialties like theKaisermelange (coffee, milk, egg yolk and cognac) on the menu. Most cafés have a house specialty (for instance, "Kaffee Central" at Café Central). Many coffee houses have a huge selection of (international) newspapers.
Finding a café is not hard in Vienna; Finding a particular café you are looking for is another story. Most of the baroque "top" coffee houses are on the Ring and main streets of the Innere Stadt, mostly cozier and often less formal 1970s or 80s modern style coffee houses are hidden away on the Innere Stadt's backstreets, and distributed across the rest of the city (4th district, 7th district, 8th district, Outer West districts, ..).
- Oberlaa. Very Viennese cafes, really delicious bakery and well know confectionary. Also some choice of soups and mains. Several locations, mostly in Innere Stadt. Melange €3.70; Slice of Torte €3.50.
- Aida. Chic but artificial design, mediocre quality, depends on location and luck. Many cafés across Vienna and Lower Austria. Their menus have a very useful graphical design indicating the precise ingredients and proportions in each type of coffee, so it's worth visiting if you are a complete beginner.
Rather unusually it is necessary to say some words about Vienna's drinking water which is really unique in Europe. The majority of Vienna's water comes from the three "Hochquellwasserleitungen." Meaning "high-(as in mountain) spring waterlines (as in aqueducts). Indeed the city's water flows through aqueducts from the mountains around 100 kilometres south of Vienna (Schneeberg and Hochschwab). These were built during the reign of Emperor Franz Josef and supply Vienna with unchlorinated high-quality drinking water, with a considerably higher quality than many bottled waters. So if you visit this city, it is not necessary to buy water, you can simply drink tap water here - unless you prefer sparkling water.
Another speciality is that at typical coffeehouses a coffee is always accompanied by a glass of cold clear water. In most restaurants, you can get a glass of drinking water for free with any order, just specify tap water ("Leitungswasser").
New wine is usually enjoyed at a Heurigen (family-run vineyard bars allowed to the new vintage). Austria in general, but especially the area around Vienna, produces quite a large amount of wine each year. There are even many vineyards within the city in Döbling (19th District). The wine is not often exported and white is more common than red. Grüner Veltliner is a common tart and fresh white wine served almost everywhere. Officially the new wine season begins on November 11 (St Martin's Day), but as early as September, some partially-fermented new wine (calledSturm which is cloudy, because it has not been strained) is available around town at stands and in 2L green bottles (try the Naschmarkt – sometimes the vendors will have samples of this drink, which at about 4% alcohol is less strong than wine). Taverns can call themselves Heurigens whether the wine they serve is their own or not – for genuine in-house product look for a Buschenschank. This is a particularly Viennese Heuriger which can only be open 300 days per year or until their supply of house-made wine runs out. Heurigen can be found e.g. in Grinzing, Sievering (19th district) and Mauer & Rodaun (23rd district) areas, but also in almost every suburban area in Vienna. Even in the center, there are some Stadtheurigen. While the Heurigen of Grinzing are bigger and more famous with tourists, they are often a rip-off. If any of the year’s vintage lasts until next year, it officially becomes Alte (old) wine on the next Saint Martin's Day. The Heurigen in the South of Vienna or in Perchtoldsdorf are much cheaper and serve the same quality as the Heurigen in Grinzing. Also in the Northern suburbs, you can find cheap and somewhat authentic Heurigen. Try the towns of Stammersdorf or Hagenbrunn, for example Karl Matzka, hard to reach by public transport.
After a long day, the perfect place to relax among Viennese are the Heurigen in the suburbs. Somewhat akin to a beer garden, except with wine, these tiny treasures are the only places authorized to serve new wine. New wine is made from the first pressing of the grape and can appear a little cloudy. Be careful, it's stronger than you might think! This is why it's served in very small glasses, .25L and up. Some Heurigen serve food, either elaborate Viennese specialties or very simple bread and cheese platters. No matter which one you choose, you're guaranteed to enjoy yourself. Just hop on a convenient outbound tram line, take it to the very last stop, and look for buildings with large, evergreen foliage hung over the doors. Each one is unique, but all are a good bargain. Locals invariably have a favorite: ask around.
- Wein & Co, . A chain shop for wine lovers featuring a wine bar in every location. Shop locations include Naschmarkt, Marihilfer str., near Burggarten and near Stephansplatz.
Sights & Landmarks
Vienna has a rich history as the capital city of the monarchy, and thus, there is an abundance of historical buildings and museums. Most of these, includingStephansdom (St. Stephen's Cathedral) and the two most well-known museums,Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts), Naturhistorisches Museum(Museum of Natural History) and Albertina, are located in the Innere Stadt. The Ring Road (German: Ringstraße) is a circular road surrounding the Innere Stadt district of Vienna and is one of its main sights. Its architecture is typical of the eclectic, historicist style called Ringstraßenstil (Ring Road Style) of the 1860s to 1890s. Built in the style of the Renaissance according to plans by Heinrich von Ferstel, the MAK- Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art is the first museum building on theRingstraße. The Schloss Schönbrunn palace, a part of the UNESCO World heritage list, is located in the Outer West district.
Museums & Galleries
|21er Haus||Favoriten||Art||Austrian art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries|
|Academy of Fine Arts Vienna||Innere Stadt||Art||Features public painting gallery|
|Albertina||Innere Stadt||Art||Features prints and drawings, graphic works, photographs and architectural drawings|
|Alt Wiener Schnapsmuseum||Hietzing||Beverages||website, history and manufacture of schnapps|
|Architekturzentrum Wien||Neubau||Architecture||Architecture and urban design of the 20th and 21st centuries, located in Museumsquartier|
|Arnold Schönberg Center||Biography||Life of composer Arnold Schönberg, music culture center|
|Augarten Porcelain Museum||Leopoldstadt||Art||website, history of Vienna porcelain and Augarten porcelain|
|Austrian Film Museum||Innere Stadt||Cinema||website|
|Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art||Josefstadt||Art||website, located in the Schönborn Palace, traditional folk art and culture of Austria and its neighbouring countries|
|Austrian Social and Economic Museum||Margareten||History||website, economy, business, trade, monetary system|
|Austrian Theatre Museum||Theatre||Theatre history in Austria|
|Bank Austria Kunstforum||Innere Stadt||Art||website, Austrian art collection of Bank Austria|
|Beethoven Eroicahaus||Döbling||Biography||Memorial to composer Ludwig van Beethoven's stay in Oberdöbling in the summer of 1803, during which he composed a large part of his Eroica Symphony, operated by the Vienna Museum|
|Beethoven Pasqualatihaus||Innere Stadt||Biography||Life in and work of composer Ludwig van Beethoven in Vienna, operated by the Vienna Museum|
|Beethoven Wohnung Heiligenstadt||Döbling||Biography||House where composer Ludwig van Beethoven wrote the Heiligenstadt Testament, operated by the Vienna Museum|
|Belvedere||Landstraße||Historic house||Include two Baroque palaces, museum of Austrian art from the Middle Ages to the present, gardens|
|Brennpunkt||Technology||information, history of heating and day-to-day life in the city|
|Chimney Sweep Museum||Technology||information, history of chimney sweeping|
|Church of the Teutonic Order||Innere Stadt||Religious||Ecclesiastical artifacts and treasures|
|Demel||Innere Stadt||Food||Artifacts and history of the historic Imperial chocolate maker|
|Esperanto Museum||Innere Stadt||History||Part of the Austrian National Library, relationship of man to language|
|Design Forum Wien||Neubau||Art||website, gallery for study of design, located in Museumsquartier|
|Dommuseum||Innere Stadt||Art||Sacral works of art from St. Stephen‘s Cathedral and other churches in Vienna and Lower Austria|
|Emperor Franz Joseph Hat Museum||Fashion||website|
|Ephesos Museum||Innere Stadt||History||Antiquities from the city of Ephesus in modern-day Turkey, located in a wing of the Hofburg Palace|
|Ernst Fuchs Museum||Penzing||Art||website, works by Ernst Fuchs|
|European Coat of Arms Museum||History||information, development of coats of arms and heraldry|
|Fantasy Art Museum||Innere Stadt||Art||website, works by the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism and by important international artists of fantasy, surreal and visionary art|
|Federal Pathologic-Anatomical Museum Vienna||Science||Anatomy and pathology|
|Foltermuseum||History||website, history of torture and corporal punishment|
|Funeral Museum Vienna||History||Funerary customs|
|Generali Foundation||Art||Works by many international artists, mainly from the 1960s to today|
|Globe Museum||Innere Stadt||History||Part of the Austrian National Library, terrestrial and celestial globes, lunar and planet globes, and instruments related to globes (armillary spheres, planetaria, telluria)|
|Geldmuseum||Numismatic||website, operated by the Austrian National Bank, evolution of the monetary system, banknotes, banknote designs, securities and coins|
|Haus der Musik||Innere Stadt||Music||History of music|
|Haydnhaus||Mariahilf||Biography||Life of composer Joseph Haydn, operated by the Vienna Museum|
|Heeresgeschichtliches Museum||Landstraße||Military||Austrian military history from the 16th century to 1945|
|Hermesvilla||Hietzing||Historic house||Imperial castle remodeled by Emperor Franz Joseph I for his wife Empress Elisabeth in the late 19th century, operated by theVienna Museum|
|Hofburg Palace||Innere Stadt||Multiple||Includes the Imperial Apartments, Silver Collection, Sisi Museum, Kunsthistorisches Museum's collections of arms and armour and musical instruments|
|Hofburg Wien: Kaiserappartements||Innere Stadt||Historic house||website, located in the Hofburg Palace, rooms used by Emperor Joseph II, includes museum about his wife Sisi and the Imperial Silver Collection|
|Imperial Crypt||Innere Stadt||History||Sarcophagi and tombs of the Imperial family, located below the Capuchin Church|
|Imperial Furniture Collection||Innere Stadt||Decorative art||Furniture from the 18th to early 20th century, includes the Egyptian room of Empress Maria Ludovica, Biedermeier and Wiener Moderne pieces|
|Jewish Museum Vienna||Innere Stadt||History||Jewish history, life and religion in Austria|
|Johann Strauss Wohnung||Leopoldstadt||Biography||Life of famous waltz composer Johann Strauss II, operated by the Vienna Museum|
|Kunsthalle Wien||Neubau||Art||Temporary exhibitions of contemporary international art, located in Museumsquartier|
|KunstHausWien||Landstraße||Art||Features works by Friedensreich Hundertwasser and other exhibits|
|Kunsthistorisches Museum||Innere Stadt||Art||Includes fine art, Egyptian, Near Eastern, Ancient Greek and Roman antiquities, sculpture and decorative arts, coins|
|Künstlerhaus Wien||Innere Stadt||Art||Exhibition centre for painting, sculpture, architecture and applied art|
|Kunstraum Niederoesterreich||Art||website, art and project space located in the Palais Niederösterreich|
|Leopold Museum||Neubau||Art||Modern Austrian art including key paintings and drawings by Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt, located in Museumsquartier|
|Liechtenstein Garden Palace||Alsergrund||Art||Pre-booked guided tours of significant collection of European art|
|Lichtenstein City Palace||Historic house||Baroque palace under restoration|
|MAK||Innere Stadt||Art||Applied arts and contemporary art|
|MAK Branch Geymüllerschlössel||Art||website, branch of MAK, Viennese clocks and furniture|
|MAK Depot of Contemporary Art||Art||website, branch of MAK, exhibits of contemporary art|
|Mozarthaus Vienna||Innere Stadt||Biography||Life in and work of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Vienna, operated by the Vienna Museum|
|MUMOK||Museumsquartier||Art||Modern and contemporary art works|
|MUSA (Vienna)||Innere Stadt||Art||website, City of Vienna's art exhibition space|
|Museum Aspern Essling||History||website, history of the 1809 Battle of Aspern-Essling during the Napoleonic Wars|
|museum in progress||Mariahilf||Art||Specialised on extraordinary contemporary art projects in media and public spaces|
|Museum Judenplatz||Innere Stadt||History||Social, cultural and religious life of the Jews of Vienna in the Middle Ages|
|Museum of Art Fakes||Landstraße||Art||Forged art|
|Museum of Contraception and Abortion||Science||website|
|Museum of Ethnology||Innere Stadt||Ethnography||Ethnographic and archaeological objects from Asia, Africa, Oceania, and America|
|Museum of Young Art||Art||21st century art|
|Museum of the History of Medicine||Alsegrund||Science||website, anatomical and obstetric wax models, operated by the Medical University of Vienna|
|Natural History Museum of Vienna||Innere Stadt||Natural history||Displays include geology, paleontology, the animal world from protozoa to insects to highly developed mammals|
|Neidhart Fresken||Innere Stadt||Art||Medieval secular mural paintings that show scenes from the life and work of the minnesinger Neidhart von Reuental|
|Original Vienna Snowglobe Museum||Währing||Commodity||website, collection of snowglobes|
|Österreichische Galerie Belvedere||Landstraße||Art||Located in the Belvedere, masterpieces from the Middle Ages and Baroque until the 21st century|
|Otto Wagner Hofpavillon Hietzing||Hietzing||Transportation||Railway pavilion built for the Emperor and his court, operated by the Vienna Museum|
|Otto Wagner Pavilion Karlsplatz||Innere Stadt||Biography||Life and work of Viennese architect Otto Wagner, operated by the Vienna Museum|
|Papyrus Museum||Innere Stadt||History||Part of the Austrian National Library, exhibits of papyrus from its collections|
|Peace Museum Vienna||Innere Stadt||Peace||website, street museum highlighting 150-plus peace heroes in Windows for Peace project, part of the International Network of Museums for Peace|
|Pharmacy and Drugstore Museum Vienna||Wieden||Science||website, development of the profession and the history of the drugstore|
|Prater Museum||Leopoldstadt||Amusement||History of Vienna's largest amusement park, the Wurstelprater, operated by the Vienna Museum|
|quartier21||Neubau||Art||website, contemporary art and culture gallery, located in Museumsquartier|
|Red Vienna in the Laundry||Döbling||History||website, history of the Red Vienna government of Austria from 1919 to 1934, located in the Karl Marx-Hof|
|Römermuseum||Innere Stadt||History||History and culture of Ancient Rome in Vienna, operated by the Vienna Museum|
|Schatzkammer||Innere Stadt||Art||Part of the Hofburg Palace, features the Kunsthistorisches Museum's collections of royal treasures and religious relics|
|Schönbrunn Palace||Hietzing||Multiple||Includes the Rococo palace, gardens, museum of carriages in the Wagenburg, children's museum|
|Schottenstift Museum||Art||Benedictine monastery with major paintings, furniture, tapestries, vestments and liturgical objects and vestments|
|Schubert Geburtshaus||Alsergrund||Biography||Birthplace of composer Franz Schubert, operated by the Vienna Museum|
|Schubert Sterbewohnung||Wieden||Biography||House where composer Franz Schubert lived until his death, operated by the Vienna Museum|
|Scout Museum||Mariahilf||Scouting||website, history of the Boy Scouts in Austria|
|Secession||Innere Stadt||History||Changing exhibits of contemporary art, features the Beethoven Frieze by Gustav Klimt|
|Sigmund Freud Museum||Alsergrund||Biography||House, life and work of Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis|
|Strauss Museum||Alsergrund||Biography||Life and work of the Strauss Family Johann I, Johann II, Josef, Eduard and Johann III Strauss.|
|State Hall of the Austrian National Library||Innere Stadt||Library||18th century Baroque library room|
|Technisches Museum Wien||Penzing||Science||History of science in industry, including astronomy, physics, mining, iron, steel, energy, communications and media, transportation, music|
|Third Man Museum||Media||website, collection of memorabilia related to the 1949 film noir The Third Man, which was filmed in Vienna in 1948|
|Urania (Vienna)||Innere Stadt||Science||Astronomy|
|Uhrenmuseum||Horology||Clocks, operated by the Vienna Museum|
|Vienna Crime Museum||Leopoldstadt||Law enforcement||Wiener Kriminalmuseum website, includes the Vienna Police Department Museum, history of judicial and police system and the proceeds from crime by the late Middle Ages to the present|
|Vienna Undertakers Museum||History||Bestattungsmuseum Wien website, information, funeral and cemetery items and customs|
|Vienna Museum Karlsplatz||Innere Stadt||History||History, art and culture of the city, main location of the Vienna Museum|
|Vienna Schuhmuseum||Josephstadt||Fashion||website, development of shoe-making and orthopedic shoe-making|
|Vienna Tramway Museum||Landstraße||Transport||website, collection of trams, buses and light rail vehicles, operated by Wiener Linien|
|Wagenburg||Hietzing||Transport||Located on the grounds of Schönbrunn Palace, carriages and horse-drawn vehicles and equipment|
|Wiener Werkstätte Museum||Decorative arts||website, designs and examples of Wiener Werkstätte furniture and decorative arts|
|ZOOM Kindermuseum||Neubau||Children's||website, located in Museumsquartier|
Things to do
- Ball Season: One thing you should not miss when you visit Vienna during the carnival season is to attend one of the many glamorous balls in the city, some of them in wonderful elegant locations like the Vienna Hofburg or the City Hall (Rathaus). The most widely known and elegant balls are the Opera Ball in the State Opera or the ball of the Wiener Philharmoniker. Many professional guilds have their own ball like e.g. theKaffeesiederball by the Vienna Coffee house owners. The ball calendar can be found on the pages of the Vienna City Council
- River and Canal tours — The Canal tours are horrible. All you see are trees and industrial buildings. It's a waste of money and time.
- There are also a lot of other open-air-film festivals in summer, e.g. at Karlsplatz, the Vienna Turf Krieau, the Prater, the Arena, the rooftop of City Library on Urban-Loritz-Platz and Schloss Neugebäude.
- In the summer, there is also the ImPulsTanz Festival for contemporary dance & performance. They are also good if you are interested in dance workshops.
Vienna is considered by many to be the spiritual home of European classical music, with many great composers such as Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert and Johann Strauss II spending a significant part of their careers in Vienna.
From May to December you can attend concerts of the Vienna Hofburg Orchestra which take place in the Festival Hall and the Redoutensäle of Vienna's Hofburg Imperial Palace. The orchestra's program is composed of viennese waltz and operetta melodies by Johann Strauss, Franz Léhar and Emmerich Kalman along with opera arias and duets by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Each year on the evenings of December 31 and January 1 the Vienna Hofburg Orchestra performs traditional Viennese New Year's Eve and New Year's Concerts in the Hofburg's festival halls. These concerts however, along with those that are from similar ensembles, are quite expensive for what they offer, and are intended for the entertainment of tourists.
For a more serious program, other concerts at the Musikverein and the Staatsoper can be attended for as low as 3 to 4 Euros (standing room). They feature some of the best musicians in the world, including of course, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. With concerts starting at almost the price of a cup of coffee, Vienna boasts a frequent and outstanding roster that is financially accessible to all. Unfortunately, much of the musical scene in Vienna is absent during the summer months, with the exception of the ensembles that cater to tourists. The solution would be to travel to Salzburg, where the Vienna Philharmonic resides during the summer.
For those who wish to watch opera, the Vienna State Opera is the most famous opera house in the city.
Festivals and events
Vienna Ball Season
If you have come just after the Christmas holiday, no fear. Vienna ’s ball season is still in full swing, especially in January and February. Held almost every weekend in Vienna, you can catch one of the small dances, usually benefiting a local charity, or attend one of the world-famous balls, such as Opernball (February), which has drawn a number of famous actors and actresses, such as Heather Locklear and Pamela Anderson. Be sure and get your tickets in advance, as admission tends to fill up fast. Then go out and get your new party dress!
The Christmas Markets of Vienna
As in most European cities, in Vienna you can find numerous vibrant, and specialized “Christkindlmarkts" (Christmas markets). These holiday markets sell local food, spiced wine, ginger bread, fudge, knitted clothing (such as gloves and hats), local and international crafts. If you’re lucky, you might even chance upon a market featuring pony and horse rides for the children. Local favorites include the markets at Schobrunn Castle , the Frankfurt City Market, and the Spittelberg Market. All markets open in November and run through New Years.
Rund um die Burg
Are you an aspiring writer? Love literature and books? Don’t miss out on Vienna ’s annual world famous literary festival, occurring in front of the Viennese Burgtheater every September. Here you can listen to established and up-and-coming Austrian writers read from their works. You may also get a chance to participate in the local open mike readings! Listen to more than 40 authors for free over 24 hours, and you’ll be sure to find one or two new favorite writers. Don’t forget to bring author books for signing!
Jazz Fest Wien
Do you love jazz music? Did you grow up listening to Ella Fitzgerald? This is the modern music festival for you! Held annually in June and July, this month-long affair features over 100 of the world’s most famous jazz musicians, including Austrians, Americans, New Zealanders and Germans. Jazz takes on a whole new name (and experience) at this renewed festival, where you can eat and drink all day long (and night). Make sure to book your tickets in advance, as seating is limited.
Despite Vienna's stuck-up reputation don't be led to believe it is a quiet city. There are diverse cafés, bars, clubs, parties and festivals as well as thriving nocturnal scenes.
Cafés and bars
The café scene often continues into the early hours, during the week and on weekends. Additionally there are many traditional neighborhood bars some which also have Viennese food. Most popular though, are bars (some with a nominal cover fee) with a dj and small dance floor. These are quite comfortable and there are plenty to meet anyones musical taste, many are open all night.
Although "mainstream" is hardly a majority of people in Vienna it is still referred to as such. Even here there is quite a bit of variance between places the conservative working class goes out and the conservative upper class tends to go.
Things to know
Most Viennese speak a range and mix of Viennese German and Standard German ("Hochdeutsch") as their mother tongue, unlike in most other parts of Austria where the local dialect is still more prevalent. The Viennese German is counted amongst the Austria-Bavarian dialects. It used to be specifically split by districts. It also had many Yiddish influences ("Hawara", "Beisl"). However, nowadays, basically everyone speaks Standard German as well, though the Austrian variety of German does differ in accent and somewhat in vocabulary (e.g. plastic bag is "Plastiksackerl", not "Plastiktüte") from Standard German as used in Germany. These differences are small enough that knowing Standard German is enough to get by.
Should someone be so proud as to continue speaking in dialect and you don't understand, just ask the person to speak "Hochdeutsch" (standard German, literally "high German") and he/she generally will. Standard German is the sole official language and thus the main recognized written language.
People in jobs dealing with foreign visitors are usually fluent in English, though English is not as universally spoken as in northern European countries, and signs (including descriptive signs in museums) don't as often include English translations as in some other European countries, so those who don't speak German may find a traveler's phrase book or bilingual dictionary useful in some situations.
Apart from German and Austro-Bavarian, there are sizeable minorities in Vienna, such as Serbian, Croatian, Turkish and Romanian, who use their own languages amongst themselves and might be helpful if you speak any of their languages and come across a person of that origin.
Addresses in the Vienna articles are written with the street name following the district name. Badgasse 26, Alsergrund is Badgasse #26 in the 9th district. One can always tell what district you are in by the first number on street signs. Districts can also be made into a postal code by substituting the XX in 1XX0 Vienna (0X for districts below 10), for instance 1090 Vienna for the 9th district and 1200 the 20th, and are sometimes referred to as such.
Common points of reference are often used in Vienna in addition to districts, most notably public transportation stops. Reference toU1/U4 Schwedenplatz or Schwedenplatz (U1, U4) means that something is near to the Schwedenplatz stop on the underground lines U1 and U4. Normally if the place is not directly at the subway stop you can ask around and find it easily.
The Vienna Tourist Board operates information and booking booths at the airport Arrival Hall, 7AM-11PM and in the center at 1., Albertinaplatz/Maysedergasse. Information and free maps are also avialible from the ÖBB InfoPoints and offices at train stations.
The city has a very centralized layout radiating from the historic first district with the Stephansdom and Stephansplatz at the centre of a bullseye. It is encircled by theRingstraße (Ring Road), a grand boulevard . Districts 2-9 are considered the core districts and are gathered within the Gürtel (Belt Road), which encircles the core districts as an outer ring concentric to the Ring around the first district, with the notable exception of Leopoldstadt (2). The outer 14 districts are largely less urban but are equally as diverse.
Traditional Vienna is but one of the many façades of this city; the historic center, a UNESCO world heritage site, is sometimes begrudgingly compared to an open-air museum. But Vienna is also a dynamic young city, famous for its (electronic) music scene with independent labels, cult-status underground record stores, a vibrant Monday through Sunday club scene, multitudes of street performers, and a government that seems overly obsessed with complicated paperwork. However, people are willing to go out of their way or bend the rules a little if they feel they can do someone a favor.
The Viennese have a singular fascination with death, hence the popularity of the Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery), where there are more graves than living residents in Vienna, as a strolling location and of Schrammelmusik - highly sentimental music with lyrics pertaining to death. Old-fashioned Sterbevereine (funeral insurance societies-literally translated "death clubs") provide members with the opportunity to save up for a nice funeral throughout the course of their lives. This service does not exist solely to save their children the hassle and expense - it is considered absolutely mandatory to provide for an adequate burial. Vienna even has the "Bestattungsmuseum", a museum devoted to coffins and mortuary science. The country’s morbid obsession may be correlated with its higher suicide rate when compared with the rest of Europe. Here too, the socialist Vienna has its hand, the city also offers a socialized undertaking service, with hearses branded in the same department of public works logo as the subway cars, and a link to the transit-planner on their website.
Vienna is also famous for its coffee culture."Let's have a coffee" is a very commonly heard phrase, because despite incursions by Starbucks and Italian-style espresso bars, the Kaffeehauskultur is still the traditional way to drink a cup of coffee, read the newspaper, meet friends, or fall in love.
18+ (Adult only)
Although gay nightlife in Vienna is not concentrated in one area, it's blossoming. It can be difficult to keep up with what's on offer, but luckily Vienna is fairly accepting and you can go out and meet other gay people in most venues. Austria is, however, a very conservative Catholic country, and during the day gay and lesbian couples might get some stares - especially from older people - but at night a younger, less conservative crowd heads out.
- Why Not. Is Vienna's main-steam everyday gay disco. The crowd is varied. In the 1st District at Teifergraben 22 (Herrengasse U3). Saturdays are house-music free.
- Meat Market happens regularly at both the Pratersauna and on the Badeschiff (see above). It is more alternative and its the hot major queer party in Vienna these days. The same people put on Dem Schönen Frönen which is similar but with a focus on minimal, instead of alternative music.
- HOMO is the other main-stream alternative gay party that happens every now and again, sometimes in Heavan @ Camera Club
- Rosa Lilla Villa. Is a gay resource center with an excellent bar and restaurant. (Pilgramgasse U4)
- Gumpendorfer Straße in the 6th District has several very gay-friendly bars to meet most any taste, there is one every block or so.
Brothels are legal in Vienna, as is street prostitution. There are male and female prostitutes, many from Austria's neighboring countries (few from Austria), but also from Africa, Latin America and Asia offering their services. Brothels differ greatly from small to the point one-room operations to hokey grad parlors. There is no true red-light district, but there are many 'bars' located on the 'Gürtel' as well as in the 2nd District, but they can be found everywhere. Street prostitution areas exist but should be avoided due to the lack of regulation and high number of trafficked and unregistered workers. There are plenty of go-go clubs as well, though, that are not brothels. Some of these have male and female dancers dancing together and are frequented by men and women together.
Safety in Vienna
Vienna is potentially one of the safest cities in the world for its size. There are no slums or districts you should avoid. In general, you can visit any part of the city at any time of the day without taking many risks — just use your common sense. At night, though, it is wise to avoid parks. The drug scene at Karlsplatz (underneath the Opera) hangs out there during the day, but they do not care at all about tourists. Just ignore them and they will ignore you. The Prater (fair grounds/amusement park area) is said by some locals to be less safe at night, though more in reference to pickpockets than anything else. As in any major city, watch out for pickpockets who grab and run when boarding the U-Bahn. Petty crimes (like jackets 'going missing') are more common and normally go unreported and won't get much sympathy. There have been a very few racist assaults in Vienna (even some by the police themselves). One runs the risk of being pickpocketed. Schwedenplatz, along the Ring, is sleazy in the evenings, but basically harmless; the Stadtpark, along the Ring, to the East, is a bit deserted at night and therefore best avoided.
Prostitution is legal, even on the street, and is common around the area of the Prater. Ironically, some of the areas are stones thrown from the UNODC Headquarters (the UN agency responsible for combating human trafficking) and are human trafficking hubs for all of Europe. Many of these prostitutes are not registered and a high number are known to be trafficked, so take care if seeking their services. It is safer for everyone involved to visit a brothel. Women dressed in a certain manner walking around these areas alone at night might feel uncomfortable being checked-out in a certain way but there is no real danger.
There have been some reports of fraud around Karlsplatz and the Ring. The usual scenario is that someone will stop you and ask for directions. A couple of other guys show up claiming to be police, showing a badge (must be fake). They ask if you were getting drugs from the other guy and then will ask for your passport and wallet for verification. When you are busy trying to convince them that your passport is valid, one of them sneaks out some money from your wallet. Best to tell them that you want to go to the police station — there is one at Karlsplatz U-Bahnstation. It's a minor annoyance, but it's better to be careful. In a different case of fraud they try to convince you that your money is counterfeit money and that they have to inspect it. As always use common sense: police are taught to approach you in a very distinctive way (you will notice if they do so), the badge must have Polizei ([ˌpɔlɪˈʦaɪ̯] police) and the Austrian coat of arms and/or the Austrian flag located somewhere on it, and they will be willing to bring you to the police station or a properly uniformed officer.
Do not walk on the bike lanes and cross them like you would cross any other road. Some bike lanes are hard to recognize (e.g. on the "Ring" in Vienna) and some cyclists bike rather fast. Walking on bike lines is not only considered impolite but it is illegal and you run the danger of getting hit.
If you see people gambling on the streets (usually in popular tourists' destinations like Stephenplatz or Mariahilferstrasse), stay away! The modus operandi usually involves a guy playing the classic game of "hiding the ball". This involves covering the ball (or small trinket) with either a bottle cap or a match box and swirling it around with two other bottle caps asking people to guess the position of the ball. The game is set in a way that you can easily see the ball's position. This is done to lure the unsuspecting person into placing a wager. There are usually two main players and, between them, they will lose and win money back and forth to give the appearance that it is a fair game - do not be tricked! They are from the same gang. Once you get greedy and get lured in, you will surely lose your money! The person in control of the bottle caps will remove the ball from their position through sleight of hand and you will never see your money back. Besides the two or three other players involved, there are usually at least two lookouts - one on each side of 'stage'. Vienna has plenty of legal casinos if you care to try your luck.
In addition, it is common for suspicious persons to approach you in the city centers if you are standing still for a while (particularly if eating at outdoor tables). They will be holding magazines for sale, and will ask you if you are interested in looking at one for free. They are typically very aggressive in their demeanor. Do not be fooled by them! It is not free. If you look at the magazine for free, they will refuse to take the magazine back and demand payment for it at a high cost (typically 2 euros, which is the price of local homeless' magazines in Austria like "Augustin", but they are in German anyways and it indeed has become a trend among non-related people to abuse the idea). The best response in this situation is, when they first approach, to simply wave your hands demonstratively to say no while shaking your head and repeat the phrase "Nein danke" ([naɪ̯n ˈdaŋkə] no thank you) to them repeatedly until they leave. If police are nearby, these people may accuse you of stealing the magazine, but many police know of their trickery so stand your ground. However, the best response in all cases is simply to dismiss these beggars by saying "Nein danke" and refusing to take the magazine. They will often look for tourists or people who look as though they are visiting hoping to make a sale; therefore, be prepared to tell them "Nein danke" as necessary so that they will leave you alone. They are not violent and just trying to get money from you, so do not be afraid that they will hurt you if you tell them no.