Help a Reader Travel: Vienna

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Welcome to another post of helping a reader travel! As I’ve mentioned before, I have not been to every destination (unfortunately), but do get questions from friends and other blog readers on all sort of travel destination questions. Thus far, we’ve been able to help other readers travel to MauiThe Greek IslandsPacific Coast HighwayArgentina /Buenos AiresCosta RicaCape Cod & The Islands,IcelandGenevaCanadian RockiesRomeIsraelPeru / Inca Trail ,Stockholm,ChicagoParisHanoiAustinPuerto RicoBrugesSalzburgIstanbulLas VegasJamaica, India/Golden Triangle, AucklandSingapore, Moscow, The Oregon Coast,SeattlePortlandHawaii IslandsAlaska SkiingBrazilPragueBudapest,ParaguayCabo San LucasEdinburghSan DiegoHilton HeadDubrovnik, TanzaniaThe SeychellesBelize, and Miami.

So this weeks travel destination includes Vienna. I received the following email from reader David:

“In late October, we are spending 3 nights in Prague, then 3 nights in Vienna, and 2 nights in Salzburg. I know you already have articles on Prague and Salzburg, but I’m looking on tips on things we shouldn’t miss in Vienna.” 

If you’ve ever been to Vienna and have any recommendations, let’s help out reader David by commenting below. I’m sure other readers would be interested in hotel recommendations as well.

Also, if you have any upcoming travel where you need some help, feel free to email me at to be a featured “Help a Reader Travel” Monday special. Thanks!

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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10 years ago

Was there last year for a couple days. One thing I highly recommend in the Schonbrun Palace. Takes a full day and is well worth it!

ExPat in Vienna
ExPat in Vienna
10 years ago

Well, I am an American who has been living in Vienna for 3 years now, I might have a few ideas.

First things first – walking around the 1st district is great. “Historic Center of Vienna” is ranked #1 on TripAdvisor for a reason. Around here, be sure to see: The Opera House, Rathaus, Hofburg. Albertina is a good museum with both art and imperial apartments inside. Other than that…

Top 3 to see:
– Naschmarkt (see Top 3 to Eat), get off at U4 Pilgramgasse and start walking up the aisles.
– Kunsthistorisches Museum
– Schonbrunn Palace (but skip the zoo and carriage museum given time constraints)

Top 3 to eat:
– Naschmarkt, go during the daytime and walk up the aisles sampling all the tasty bites. Cheese-stuffed cherry peppers (sußpaprika) and prosciutto-wrapped dates with walnuts are my favorite.
– Everyone should enjoy a schnitzel the size of your head once in your life. Any typical restaurant will have this.
– Käsekrainer. Go to any stand that says “Wurst” on the outside. Basically a cheese brat, but a very social late night snack. Wurstelstands can be open as late at 5 am. The one in front of the Albertina is very good.

Top 3 to skip:
– Museumsquartier unless you are very into modern art.
– The imperial jewels, which look just like any other jewels.
– The Lipizzaner stallions. If you really want to see them, they are always in their stables over by the Hofburg.

Top 3 specialized:
– Museum of Military History (hard to find but VERY INTERESTING) with the car Franz Ferdinand was shot in and much, much more. Where else can you learn about the Austrian Navy? (don’t laugh!)
– Zentralfriedhof. See where Beethoven, Schubert, Strauss and Brahms are buried, along with Vienna’s other famous son – Falco!
– Boating on the Danube. Might still be open depending on when you are there. Take the U1 to Alte Donau, walk toward the river looking for places that rent “Elektroboot.” These are easy and inexpensive to zoom up and down the river. Be sure to pick up picnic supplies at Naschmarkt first!

If coming from the airport, skip the expensive CAT train, and take a regular (ÖBB) train instead. It is cheaper and stops in more places.

Transportation in Vienna is so easy. Skip the “Vienna Card” and just get a regular 72-hour pass (available at any U-Bahn station in the red terminals). This gives you access to any subway, train, tram, or bus within the city limits.

Stay at a hotel on the ring in the 1st district for easiest access to tourist stuff. Both Radisson Blus, Marriott, Le Meridien, Ritz-Carlton as well as a Best Western (Schlosshotel Roemischer Kaiser) are all in this central area.

To find classical performances:


“In late October, we are spending 3 nights in Prague, then 3 nights in Vienna, and 2 nights in Salzburg. I know you already have articles on Prague and Salzburg, but I’m looking on tips on things we shouldn’t miss in Vienna.”

10 years ago

My girlfriend and I went to Vienna in June and decided to stay in Bratislava instead of Vienna to save money and we couldn’t have been happier with our decision. We did day trips to Vienna (about an hour and a half each way by bus) and stayed in the Sheraton Bratislava (4+ star hotel) for just over 100 bucks a night. We ate breakfast and supper in Bratislava each day which was about 3x cheaper than Vienna. We even spent 1 day in Bratislava touring the old town and beautiful castle that overlooks the city. What’s funny is that we both decided we liked Bratislava better than Vienna, cheaper or not. Vienna is still a great place to visit, don’t get me wrong 🙂

10 years ago

Salzburg is beautiful but I’d recommend spending the two extra days in/near Vienna, where there’s more than enough to do. A day trip to Melk Abbey is very, very worthwhile, as is a trip to the Wachau wine country, which is fantastic. Good to get out into the countryside, as Salzburg, Vienna, and Prague are in some ways similar in terms of architecture. Personally I’d rather do Budapest than Prague. Anyway, for Vienna:

Kunsthistorisches Museum for art through the 19th century

Belvedere for early 20th century art (Klimt et al.)

Vienna State Opera, Musikverein, and Konzerthaus for classical music (tickets at the Konzerthaus are generally easier to get than the other two; opera tickets can be hard to get last minute)

Walk/take tram around the Ring and marvel at the fantastic architecture

Get out to the ‘burbs for the wine taverns (Heurigen). Some are very touristy but there are plenty of more authentic, local places.

10 years ago

I do agree that adding Budapest to the itinerary would make this the Habsburg tour!

In addition, definitely stop by a few Viennese coffee houses and order their version of the sachertorte. Most if not all have their own version, but the original is at Hotel Sacher.

End the meal by drinking a shot of schnaps (sp?). Plum is my favorite but other popular flavors Austrians love are apricot and pear.

10 years ago

Just came back from Vienna last week which was a great trip. Ill give the tips as concisely as possible.

1. Sim/ Internet – the A1 card, for 10 Euros you get 1000 local mins, 1000 texts and 1000MB. Fast connections. Can be bought at airport.

2. Do go see the opera or an operetta. If your budget is tight, standing room is under 10 Euros.

3. I wouldn’t do more than one palace and/or museum in one day unless you are pushed for time. The former are particuliar long.

4. Sunday is rest day, tourist sites, restaurants and tourist shops open. Everything else closed. Plan ahead.

5. If you are going for a sachertorte, each of their five cafes/ rest. serve it. You can bypass the lines if you don’t follow the herd.

10 years ago

I agree with the Melk suggestion. You can train it to Melk, boat ride down the Danube, then subway back to the city. Visit the abbey in Melk. Ask the hotel about a day trip package.

10 years ago

St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Stephansplatz, Mozarthaus Vienna, Schönbrunn Palace, Hofburg palace, Haus der Musik, one of Beethoven’s houses (two are open on a regular basis), The Vienna Prater (amusement park if you like those kinds of things)

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