Everything You Need to Know Before Traveling to Vienna
April 17, 2020
Planning your trip can be exhausting, especially when you want to visit such an amazing city as Vienna. Here I will try to list all the things you should know before traveling to Vienna.
Firstly, a little bit about Vienna. Vienna is a capital city of Austria and home to around 1.8 million people. Vienna is known for its high quality of life and is ranked as the best city in the world to live in for 10 years in a row.
Vienna’s unique blend of Baroque buildings and modern architecture attracts a lot of tourists. When it comes to planning your visit, you have to be prepared. Otherwise, you could miss a lot.
Everything you need to know before traveling to Vienna:
How to get to Vienna
Getting there by plane
- Most major airlines fly to Vienna, many of them offer direct flights from major worlds cities
- Note: many low-cost airlines offer inexpensive flights from various cities
Getting there by train, car, bus or boat
If you’re traveling from nearby European cities train, bus or even a boat can be a relatively cheap option
- Vienna’s main railway station is well-connected internationally and regionally.
- Vienna has an excellent network of motorways, expressways and highways, so there should be no problem with traveling from many European cities. You will need a vignette to drive in Austria as tolls are compulsory on all motorways and expressways.
- Traveling by bus from nearby cities is usually cheaper than traveling by train, but it also takes longer.
- You can travel to Vienna with a boat only from Bratislava. Boats usually run in summer.
Vienna has a well-developed public transport network that includes buses, trains, trams and underground lines. They will take you almost anywhere in the city in no time.
Tip: The Vienna Ring Tram circles around the Ringstrasse and offer audioguides with information on all landmarks you pass
In addition to that, here you can find routs and all information about tickets online Wiener Linien.
You can easily explore Inner city on foot or with a hop-on hop-off bus.
You can also use a taxi or an Uber.
There are so many ways to explore Vienna, but the fanciest way is absolute with fiakers, horse-drawn carriages. During this experience, you will hear fascinating stories about the places along the route.
Best time to visit Vienna
The weather in Vienna is quite mild compared to the others part in Austria. On average, there are approximately 10 days with rain per month.
I would say the best time to visit Vienna is from April to October. Of course, there is a lot to do and see in Vienna in winter too, but you can’t experience the beauty of Vienna’s parks and gardens in winter.
If you are not a fan of crowds, you should avoid visiting Vienna in the summer.
So, that depends on your personal preference. Because when it comes to this city, there is always something to do.
Where to stay
When it comes to accommodation in Vienna, you should consider finding something outside the Inner city. Due to Vienna’s public transport, you can go from one side of town to the other very easily and quickly.
Of course, it is beautiful to wake up with a view of a beautiful Inner Town, but that can cost you a lot of money.
German is the official language in Austria. If you speak German and you find yourself in a situation in which you don’t understand the locals, that is normal. Locals may use many regional dialects and variations of the standard language (Hochdeutsch). You can just ask if they can maybe talk little slower 😊
If you can’t speak German, don’t worry, English is widely spoken in Vienna.
Here are some of the words that might be useful:
- Hello = Hallo
- Good morning/afternoon/evening= Guten Morgen/Tag/Abend
- Goodbye = Auf Wiedersehen
- Please = Bitte
- Excuse me = Entschuldigen Sie bitte
- Thank you = Danke
- Yes / No = Ja / Nein
- Sorry = Entschuldigung
- Where is the bathroom? = Wo ist die Toilette?
- My name is… = Ich heiße…
Vienna is one of the safest cities in the world. Austria is also one of the 10 safest countries in the world. So, you shouldn’t fear for your safety in Vienna, but you should, as always, be careful.
Euro is a currency in Austria.
You can easily get Euros from any ATM in Vienna, also in most places, you can pay with your card.
Tip: when it comes to tipping in Vienna, you should consider rounding up your bill (if the bill is 18.7 Euros, round up to 20, etc.) and give a tip between 10 and 15 %.
Instead of leaving your tip on the table, you can tell the waiter what you want to pay, including the tip.
Like I’ve said so many times, there is a lot to do and see in Vienna. When it comes to sightseeing, that can be an expensive journey. Whit the tickets for public transport and admission fees, your costs can get as high as 150 Euros or even more (that depends, of course, on what you want to see).
I would honestly recommend one of these two options:
Vienna pass – here you can choose between 1, 2,3 or 6 days pass
- It includes free admission to over 60 of Vienna’s most famous attractions, hop-on hop-off bus and fast entrance but doesn’t include public transport
Vienna city card – here you can choose between 24, 48 or 72 hours valid card
- It includes free public transportation in Vienna as well as discounts and deals at many museums, attractions, theatres, concerts, shops, cafes and restaurants
You should think about what you want to see and how much does it cost and then decide what is the best option for you.
Tip: if you don’t want to miss anything, you should also consider booking your tickets in advance. It can be packed in Vienna.
If you are planning on shopping in Vienna, keep in mind that shops are closed on Sundays.
There are a few supermarkets open on Sundays and you can find them on some railway stations. But you don’t want to buy your loved ones gifts in supermarkets, don’t you?
So, don’t leave that gift purchase for the last day in the week.
Tips do’s and don’ts
- Buy a ticket for public transport. While it is an honor system, inspections do occur and fins are high.
- Expect to pay a small sum to use restroom facilities (50 cents)
- Be careful of pickpockets active in the area of St. Stephen’s Cathedral and on crowded trams and subways
- Stand to the right on an escalator, let those in a hurry go on the left
- Try some of Austria’s national dishes, such as Wiener Schnitzel, Tafelspitz, Apfelstrudel or Sachertorte
- Underestimate the weather
- Expect “the customer is always right” policy, here is more “the waiter is always rude” policy
- Expect everyone to speak English
- Mistake Austria for Germany
- Ignore the Highway Code
Did I forget anything?
You can leave a comment and tell me.
I hope you will have a great time visiting Vienna. Viel Spaß!