Vienna Tourism And Travel Guide
16.4° C / 61.5° F
May to December
5 to 7 Days
Vienna International Airport (18 kms)
Vienna, the city of Christmas markets and coffeehouses, baroque palaces and Hofburg theatres, the city of Mozart’s magic. It is a fact well acknowledged that those who wish to see the intricacies of Europe prefer to visit the east and central European cities, ones that were ruled by Romans and later evolved into rich, gothic, baroque centres of art and architecture. This is the reason tourism in Vienna never wavers, neither through seasons, nor through festivals.
If you are looking at visiting Vienna, here’s your travel guide to go along with you.
How to Reach
The best and easiest way to reach this central European country is by air.
Since Vienna sits in Austria, which is landlocked by the rest of Europe, you can easily drive into the city. Eurolines buses make domestic and international bus travel possible, but getting your own vehicle here is not advised due to parking restrictions.
Austria is known for great rail connectivity and Austria sits at its hub. Many trains travel frequently between Austria and main neighbouring European cities like Budapest, Prague, Venice, Munich, Berlin etc. The train journeys are also pretty plush and comfortable, cheaper than air too, most of the times.
Vienna, on the bank of River Danube, can also be reached by the said river from other cities on its banks, like Linz, Budapest, Bratislava etc. Catamarans, boats, ferries and other vessels ply frequently, but are slower.
In Vienna, you have many modes of public transport, from local or ‘commuterês’ trains to trams, buses to subways. Taxis can easily be hired and you can also buy special Vienna Cards to ensure great deals and discounts on museums and cafes in addition to 72 hours of free travel on public transport.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Vienna is good to visit through all seasons, but summer is the high season while winter is great in Nov-Dec for Christmas Markets.
Spring (March to May):
With a mild temperature range of 8-16°C, spring is bright and bestows longer sunnier days. The snow begins to thaw and there is mild rain in the air. A good time to enjoy Vienna without too much crowd.
Summer (June to September):
The official tourism time, summer in Vienna sees temperature highs of 30°C and everything is perfect, expect for some showers here and there. Most concerts, festivals, music concerts and opera performances are scheduled around this time.
Autumn (October to November):
This is a good shoulder season as it is mild in its warmth, not too cold, and also drier than other seasons. November also brings Christmas markets so it’s festive time through and through.
Winter (December to February):
Viennese winters are cold, December and January see some snowing too, but these months also bring a stupendously magical festive time. The Christmas open markets here are a thing of legends, attracting tourists from all over. Other than this festive time, winter is not the best in January or February for a visit.
Things to Do
Take a Ring Tour:
The Ringstrasse circuit is one of Vienna’s most famous drive circuits, circling the inner city. It is peppered with important landmark buildings like the Hofburg Palace, City Hall, the Parliament and the Opera House. If you want to see the city in one drive, ring road it is.
Visit a couple of Coffee Houses… or more:
The coffeehouse culture in Vienna is one of its legendary boasts. Here, you can drink your coffee and eat your cakes, and still sit at your table for hours after, enjoying the feel of the cafe. Nobody would disturb you. Of course, you won’t be able to resist just one more 'melange' coffee or a slice of apple strudel.
See a Viennese Opera:
Vienna is like a live, walking-talking artist - a musician, a dancer, a stage performer all wrapped into one. In this city you cannot miss a good opera or a ballet or even a Mozart music concert. Most of them are pretty easy on the pocket at the Vienna State Opera, starting at 3 euros.
Visit the MuseumsQuartier:
The MuseumsQuartier of Vienna engulfs in its wake the most significant museums of the city. Do make it a point to go museum-hopping and enjoy Leopold Museum, Natural History Museum, Art History Museum, MUMOK (Museum of Modern Art) etc.
Christmas markets, Christmas markets:
What is Vienna best known for? Christmas and Christmas Markets all the way! Come November and the festive spirit engulfs the city, erecting open night markets everywhere. Some of the best ones include Old Viennese Christmas Market on Freyung and Christmas World in City Hall. You will enjoy everything here, from baubles and trinkets on sale to souvenirs and cakes and spiced ale.
What to Eat
Vienna serves some of the most authentic Austrian and central-European cuisine. Here, you must eat at coffeehouses to satiate your cake and tart cravings, but go to some good restaurants for those meat soups and goulash bowls. Some of the best Austrian treats to try in Vienna are Apfelstrudel or Apple strudel, Erdapfel Gulasch (a lot like its Hungarian cousin goulash), Esterházy Torte or chocolate cake and Riesen Hot Dog/Käsekreiner or sliced sausages served with loaves of bread, ketchup and mustard on the side.
Vegetarians may be accommodated with special requests and there are many vegan bars an restaurants open around too.
What to Shop
Vienna may not be home to high street or luxury brands but it sure has some great souvenirs to send back with you. The most coveted ones include chocolates like Mozartkugel Bonbons (marzipan balls) and wafer biscuits, Stroh or the native alcohol and the delicious cheeses. Other gifts for loved ones from Vienna include Perzy Handmade Snow Globes, Swarovski Crystals, Lobmeyr Glass products and Pumpkin Seed Oil (great for salads and pastas).