Best Essential Tips for Traveling to Vienna: This guide to travel to Vienna will help you prepare a trip to one of the most beautiful and musical cities in all of Europe, which we are sure will surprise you.
The imperial capital of great avenues and historical buildings has its impressive palaces, located among the most beautiful in the world, one of the main tourist attractions. In addition to visiting these huge complexes, Vienna also allows you to stroll through its manicured parks, visit one of its many museums, enjoy an old amusement park and devour a delicious sacher cake in one of its famous cafes.
- 1 10 Best Essential Tips for Traveling to Vienna
- 1.1 What is the Best Time?
- 1.2 Entry Requirements and Travel Insurance
- 1.3 How to Go From Vienna Airport to the Center?
- 1.4 The Best Accommodation in Vienna
- 1.5 Transportation When Traveling to Vienna
- 1.6 Places to Visit in the City
- 1.7 What to Eat and Where?
- 1.8 Routes Around the City
- 1.9 Tours and Excursions
- 2 More Tips for Traveling to Vienna
10 Best Essential Tips for Traveling to Vienna
Based on the three days we spent in the city during our trip to Austria, we wrote this Vienna guide; we have made this list of what we think are the 10 essential tips for traveling to Vienna.
What is the Best Time?
The best time to travel to Vienna is in spring and autumn, when the temperature is pleasant, and prices are more affordable than in summer and holidays. If you travel in summer, you will surely enjoy a better time, although you will also have to share the city with thousands of tourists and pay a higher price, especially for accommodation. A good option if you have to travel during the high season is to get up very early and enter the most touristic places such as palaces first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the day’s busiest times.
Winter is a good time if you want to enjoy the city’s Christmas markets, although you will have to be warm as temperatures tend to drop below 0 degrees.
Entry Requirements and Travel Insurance
Austria is a member state of the European Union, so if you are Spanish, you can enter the country with only your ID or passport, without the need for a visa. If you are from another country, you can check the official website of the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country to see what the necessary entry requirements are.
One of the best tips for traveling to Vienna is to take your European Health Card with you and if you don’t have it, have the best travel insurance possible. Keep in mind that although you have this card that covers most medical expenses, there are not included cases, such as repatriation.
How to Go From Vienna Airport to the Center?
Vienna International Airport or Schwechat, located 18 kilometers southeast of the city, is well connected to the city center by public and private transport so that the transfer time will be very short.
From the two terminals of the airport, you can go from one to the other on foot; you have these transport options:
- Train: you have the City Airport Train (CAT) connecting with the Wien Mitte station near the center in 16 minutes for 12 euros. Another cheaper train service to make the transfer is Schnellbahn S7, which takes 25 minutes and costs 4 euros.
- Bus: the VAL 2 line of the Vienna Airport Lines bus will drop you off at Morzinplatz square, located less than a 10-minute walk from the center, in just 20 minutes for 8 euros. This company has two other lines that cover a large part of the city. Another option is to take the Airliner company bus that leaves you in 15 minutes at the bus station and from there, you can link to the center with metro line 3.
- Direct transfer to the hotel: a driver will wait for you at the exit of the terminal and take you directly to your hotel’s door.
- Taxi: the price of a taxi to a hotel located in the center is around 35 euros.
The Best Accommodation in Vienna
If you are going to travel to Vienna in high season, it is highly recommended to find reasonable prices and available places, book the accommodation several months in advance.
If you have a few days, the best area to stay in the center or Innere Stadt will allow you to reach most tourist attractions in a short time. If the prices in Innere Stadt are too high for your budget, you can opt for the Wieden district, located near Belvedere Palace and Central Station, or look in the Leopoldstadt area, located near the Prater.
We were staying at the Hotel CapricornioClose to the Schwedenplatz metro stop and an 8-minute walk to St. Stephen’s Cathedral, which has a great location with a great breakfast, friendly staff, and large clean rooms.
If you want to stay in another hotel or another part of the city, you can search for Vienna’s best hotels at the best price.
For more information on the best hotels and neighborhoods, we recommend consulting this post on where to stay in Vienna.
Transportation When Traveling to Vienna
When traveling to Vienna, you have to be clear that you will have no problem getting around the city and visiting the most remote places such as the Schönbrunn Palace, as you have an efficient and extensive metro network. Among the most useful metro lines in the city are the U1 that connects with the Prater, the U2 to move around the center and the U4 that goes to the Schönbrunn Palace.
Another very comfortable means of transport worth taking at least once is the tram, which has more than 30 lines. We recommend taking lines 1, 2 and the Vienna Ring Tram, a tourist tram that runs along the Ringstrasse, a circular avenue of more than 5 kilometers that passes through many important places to visit Vienna.
The bus is only recommended at dawn when there is no metro and tram service.
The price of the single ticket for the metro, tram and bus is 2.40 euros, the one-day ticket costs 8 euros, the two-day ticket costs 14 euros and the 3-day ticket costs 17 euros.
In Vienna, you will see that horse-drawn carriage rides are very common; we are a means of transport that we do not recommend considering animal exploitation.
Places to Visit in the City
Before traveling to Vienna, it is useful to look at this list of the 50 best things to do in Vienna to plan all the experiences you want to enjoy while optimizing your time.
Suppose you will visit most of the tourist attractions in the city and want to save money and time. In that case, our first recommendation is to book the Vienna Pass, a card with which you will have free entry to more than 60 attractions and you will skip the line, something highly recommended, especially in the most touristy seasons.
Some of the places that we consider essential on a trip to Vienna are the magnificent Schönbrunn Palace with its incredible gardens, the huge Parliament and City Hall, the Hofburg Palace, which highlights the Austrian National Library and the Belvedere Palace, where you can see great masterpieces like “The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt.
In addition to these impressive palaces, Vienna has other wonders such as the relaxing Stadtpark, St. Stephen’s Cathedral with its beautiful interior, the world-famous Vienna Opera House, the fantastic Hundertwasser House and the Prater, the oldest amusement park in the world.
What to Eat and Where?
Another reason to travel to Vienna is to try its copious dishes of food, always leaving a little room for dessert, in which the famous Sacher chocolate cake is the star.
Some of the most typical dishes of the city are:
- Wiener Schnitzel: breaded veal schnitzel.
- Würstel: traditional Vienna sausage.
- Goulash: typical meat stew seasoned with paprika.
- Tafelspitz: boiled beef in a broth with wine and spices.
- Apfelstrudel: apple pie.
- Tiroler Gröstl: sautéed potatoes, ham and onion.
Among the most recommended restaurants in the city to try all these dishes, which are also located in tourist areas, you have: Purstner, Zum Weissen Rauchfangkehrer, Vinothek W-Einkehr, ef16 Restaurant Weinbar, Stadtboden and the famous Café Sacher, which serve their delicious cake accompanied by a good coffee.
For more recommendations, you can check this post on restaurants to eat cheaply and well in Vienna.
Eating a Sacher Cake, one of the tips for traveling to Vienna
Routes Around the City
To not miss out on anything important in Vienna and to be able to spend more time strolling through its complete streets full of historical buildings, we recommend that you dedicate exclusively to this city two or three full days.
Although the entire center can be entirely explored on foot or with the Ringstrasse tram, it should be noted that some important places such as Schönbrunn Palace, Belvedere Palace, and the Prater area, are far from the center and are necessary to use the subway.
For this reason, it is important to plan the routes well before traveling to Vienna or before leaving the hotel to make the most of your time.
A good option if it is your first time in the city and you want to know its interesting history book this free tour of Vienna Free! or this tour of Vienna that includes the Schönbrunn Palace, both with a guide in Spanish.
Based on the time we spend in Vienna, we have made these two guides that will help you in planning your daily itineraries, which you can vary according to your preferences and the time you have available.
Tours and Excursions
Once all the city visits have been completed, if you still have extra time, you can complete your trip to Vienna by taking one of the best excursions from Vienna.
These one-day tours will allow you to visit some of the wonders to see in Austria, such as the Danube and Wachau valleys, Salzburg, the Vienna forests, or Hallstatt beautiful towns in the world.
To get to all these places, the best option is to rent a car, although if you don’t want to drive, you can use public transport such as the train to get to Salzburg, the boat to go through the Danube Valley, or the bus to the Vienna Woods.
More Tips for Traveling to Vienna
Other top tips for traveling to Vienna are:
- Remember that to not pay commissions and always have the current exchange rate, we recommend using the N26 card to pay and the B next and Revolut cards to withdraw money at ATMs. They are the ones that we use, they are free, and they will mean a significant saving.
- Flights to Vienna International Airport are usually quite expensive, so an excellent way to save money is to buy a flight to Bratislava and then take a bus from the airport, which will take you to Vienna in an hour, for less than 8 euros.
- An excellent option to save time on transport is to book the Vienna tourist bus that stops at the city’s main points of interest, including those furthest from the center.
- To visit the entire historic center of Vienna, you can rent a bike, be an amiable city to this means of transport, and offer a great offer that allows you to have very reasonable prices.
- Remember that shops are closed on Sundays, and the usual restaurant hours are from 11 am to 2 pm and from 6 pm to 10 pm.
- If you have more time, you can route through the country and follow this list of essential tips for traveling to Austria.
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