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Plan Your Vienna Holiday: Best of Vienna

What is Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best?
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Explore Vienna

With its Baroque palaces and manicured gardens, Vienna is all elegance and charm. What’s more, they’ve got a huge opera scene—with three houses including the Vienna State Opera—and a deep connection to classical music (Mozart, Beethoven, and Haydn all lived here). But it’s not all history at its (literal) finest. To see a modern side, check out MuseumsQuartier, a creative district packed with exhibits, shops, and restaurants. Coffee culture’s a real thing, and there are tons of cosy cafés where you can grab an espresso and a slice of sachertorte and hang out for the day. Want to trade your coffee for something stronger? Head to a vineyard (there’s around 400 of them) or wine tavern for drinks and schnitzel. That’s just the start—we’ve got more recs below.
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Travel Advice

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Essential Vienna

How to spend 3 days in Vienna

Cathedrals, cafes, and classical music galore
Read on

Vienna’s coffee shop culture

Coffee Shops are an integral part of life in Vienna. Throughout the city’s history, they have been political hotspots, literary centres of philosophical debate, and—for people in cramped apartments—extended living rooms where locals can linger over coffee and sweet treats. There is no rush to turn tables, and in fact, many travellers find the waiters gruff—but it’s all part of the charm.
carlyhulls, Vienna, Austria
  • Cafe Sperl
    Whatever you do, do not simply order “a coffee” in a Viennese coffee shop. The Viennese melange is the ideal mix—an espresso shot topped with warm milk and a small amount of foam. Order yours at the richly decorated Cafe Sperl. Chandeliers twinkle overhead, red velvet settees invite you to stay awhile, and if you are lucky, a musician might just appear to perform on the grand piano.
  • Café Jelinek
    The rustic Cafe Jelenik is home to students and couches that can comfortably swallow you whole. Leaning more toward the bohemian than the imperial side of Vienna, Jelenik reliably serves traditional Sacher Torte cakes, gulasch soups, and apfelstrudel alongside many coffee varieties. You won’t find waiters in bow ties here, but you will find a cosy spot to get lost in a book or newspaper for hours on end, without interruption.
  • Kleines Cafe
    This picture-perfect cafe can be found on a cobblestoned courtyard in Vienna’s historic city centre. With tiny wooden tables and mismatched chairs, it lives up to its name (“kleines” means “small”), though it feels larger than life, thanks to cleverly positioned mirrors.
  • Konditorei Oberlaa
    Hidden away in a leafy green corner near Schonbrunn Palace, Cafe Dommayer has a coffee menu with endless pages (try the Maria Theresia kaffee with orange liqueur-infused espresso); waiters stand at the ready to bring you plates of pastries and cakes heaving with whipped cream. Grab a marble interior table lit by a chandelier and enjoy the real treat: watching the aristocratic locals, bedecked in furs and pearls, sip their coffee in companionable silence.
  • Balthasar Kaffee Bar
    If all these traditional coffee houses overwhelm with their gruff waiters and opulence, allow me to introduce a more modern alternative, if you just want a really good flat white or filter coffee. Balthasar Kaffee Bar takes its beans and brewing seriously and will give you a caffeine jolt with a smile—ushering in the next generation of Viennese coffee traditions.

Vienna Travel Guide

Travelers' pro tips for experiencing Vienna


The city center is very small, and everything is within walking distance. But other attractions such as Schönbrunn Palace may require an underground ride.

Vienna Unwrapped

Get the 72-hour Vienna Card, which includes public transport and 210 discounts on selected museums, attractions, restaurants, and shops.

Richard M

Travel light. Vienna is comfortably warm for outdoor cafes, evening meals outside, from late March to late September.


Vienna has been voted the second most liveable city in the world, for obvious reasons. The city is clean, safe, and public transportation is easy. The locals are friendly, and the food is a mesh of the surrounding cuisines. A week is a great start to taste what this amazing gem of a city has to offer.

Richard M

Vienna is a city drenched in history, full of galleries, museums and good places to eat.

Dushan J

Besides being one of Europe’s cultural hubs, Vienna is considered one of the greenest cities of the region, featuring more than 200,000 trees, the Danube River, a handful of parks as well as running and biking trails spread across the city. Visit in spring or summer and make the most out of Vienna's great outdoor offerings.

What is the best way to get there?


Vienna International Airport (VIE) is a major hub with 77 airlines flying to more than 200 destinations in 68 countries.

For info, see here.


Wien Hauptbahnhof is Vienna’s main train station, with regional and international connections, while Wien Westbahnhof station connects Vienna and Salzburg.

For more info, visit here.


Flixbus and Eurolines offer bus service to Vienna from dozens of European cities.

For rates, fares and schedules, visit here.

Do I need a visa?

Since Austria is one of the 26 Schengen Area countries, tourists from those countries do not need a visa for visits less than 90 days, but passports must be valid for at least six months after departure dates. The same goes for Americans. For more info, see here.

When is the best time to visit?

Winter: Winter is a magical time to visit Vienna, with its UNESCO-listed palaces lit up with festive illuminations, atmospheric Christmas markets and the New Year’s Eve Imperial Ball marking the start of the ball season. You can expect average daily temperatures in Vienna this time of year to be highs of 39 Fahrenheit (4 Celsius) and lows around 32 Fahrenheit (0 Celsius).

Get around

public transportation card

Be sure to nab a Vienna City Card, which includes free public transportation and discounts on lots of attractions.

For more info, visit here.


The U-Bahn subway has five lines serving 109 stations across the city.

For more info, visit here.


Another great way to get around Vienna is by taking one of its 29 tram lines.

For schedules, routes, and fares, visit here.


There are 127 bus lines in the city’s network.

For schedules, routes and fares, visit here.


Citybike Wien is the city’s public bike-share with 1,500 bikes available at 121 docking stations.

For rates and locations, visit here.


Uber is available in Vienna via its app on your smartphone.


Taxis are widely available in Vienna and fairly inexpensive. You can find them at taxi stands across the city and at train stations.

For a map of taxi stands in Vienna, visit here.

On the ground

What is the timezone?

Central European Summer Time

What are the voltage/plug types?

230 V and 50 Hz with F type sockets.

What is the currency?


Are ATMs readily accessible?


Are credit cards widely accepted?

Yes, but paying in euros is more common.

Is it easy to find a bank?


How much do I tip?


Tipping 10% of your restaurant bill in Vienna is common, more, of course, if you’re extremely happy with the meal and service.


At least 10% of your fare.


Give a euro or two per bag to bellhops helping with your luggage, and a euro or two per day of your stay to the housekeeping staff as you would in any other city.

Tour guides

At least 10% of the tour cost is a common tip for Vienna tour guides, more if they were extra fun or interesting.

Are there local customs I should know?


The legal drinking age in Vienna is 18.


Only medical marijuana is legal in Austria for qualified residents.


“Grüss Gott” is a common greeting in Vienna, and if it’s said to you, say it or a simple “Hello” back. Shaking hands is also very common.


“Prost” rhymes with what it is, a toast before drinking, and it’s rude to drink before saying it, especially with locals.