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Vienna: 7 Things Travelers Need To Know Before Visiting

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The Austrian capital of Vienna is an incredible destination to visit. Not only is it packed with historical and cultural attractions, but it also has a fun and hip vibe, efficient public transit, plenty of green space, and is a very safe city for tourists.

Despite a population of nearly 2 million, Vienna feels more like a big town than a large city, which makes exploring the city’s history, music, art, and culinary scene all very manageable.

Vienna Aerial View

But before setting off to Vienna, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. In this post, we'll cover everything you need to know about traveling to Vienna, including:

  • What are the costs for travelers?
  • Things to know about culture and etiquette
  • What are the top attractions?
  • How safe is it?
  • Local food and drinks
  • How good is the WiFi?
  • How long can you stay?

Ready? Here are the top 7 things you need to know before visiting Vienna:

The famous Musikverein Concert Hall in Vienna

Did you know…  Vienna’s famed concert hall, Musikverein, is often viewed as the best in the world. Having held performances since 1870, it is home to the Vienna Philharmonic and often hosts the tourist-oriented Vienna Mozart Orchestra. Each year it also puts on a legendary New Year’s Concert which is broadcast on TV and radio stations across the world.

1) Vienna Affordability

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

The currency in Vienna is the Euro, or EUR. The current exchange rate is €1 EUR = $1.08 USD and $1 USD = €0.93.

Here are the average costs for travelers in USD:

Accommodation

Accommodation in Vienna fluctuates quite a bit with the seasons, so if you can’t afford these peak summer rates, consider traveling during the off-season.

  • Average hotel price: One night at a 3-star hotel typically costs around $210, or $290 for a 4-star hotel.
  • Luxury 5-star hotels: Vienna has some great 5-star hotels which average $450 per night. If you really want to indulge the beautiful Hotel Sans Souci Wien has spacious suites starting at $950 per night.
  • If you're on a budget: Vienna’s hostels range from $30 – $50 for a bed in a dorm, or around $100 – $150 per night for a private ensuite room.

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tram running through Vienna old town

Food

  • A 3-course meal at a mid-range restaurant for two costs around $65.
  • For a cheap meal at an inexpensive restaurant, expect to pay about $15.
  • A beer costs about $4.50, while a cappuccino is $3.50.

Transportation

  • Public transportation in Vienna is excellent. The network includes buses, local trains, trams, and a subway. A single ticket costs $2.60, or visitors can buy a 24 or 48-hour pass for $8.70 or $15.30. Tourists can also buy a Vienna CityPass Card that includes unlimited transportation and discounts on attractions. A 24-hour CityPass card costs $18.50.
  • Taxi fares start at $4 and cost an additional $1.85 per mile. Uber is also available and is typically cheaper.
  • Vienna is also a bike-friendly city, and the public bike rental service is WienMobil Bikes. There are 185 docks across the city that cost $0.65 per half-hour.
a colorful row of bikes is parked in front of a historic building in Vienna Austria

2) Culture And Etiquette In Vienna

Check this list before your trip! Here are some of the major Dos and Don’ts in Vienna.

  • DO plan ahead: If you plan on shopping, check the business hours of where you plan to go. Most shops are closed on Sunday.  
  • DON’T be late: Austrians are punctual. If you have booked a tour or plan on meeting someone be sure to arrive on time.
  • DO stand on the right: If you are taking an escalator be sure to stay to the right if you are standing to make room for walkers to pass you on the left side.
  • DON’T wait for the bill: When you are done at a restaurant you’ll need to ask the wait staff for your bill, they won’t bring it to your table until you ask.  
  • DO leave a tip: leave a few extra euros or include a tip of around 10% at restaurants and cafes.
Happy Couple Walking Down The Street In Vienna, Austria

3) Top Attractions in Vienna

Vienna is full of incredible things to see, do, and eat. Here are a few of the top things you can’t miss while visiting the city:

  • Mozart Museum – Located inside one of Mozart’s former residences, this museum houses paintings, artifacts, letters, and memorabilia from the famous composer’s life.
  • Naschmarkt – A vast open-air food market with over 100 vendors that has been around for hundreds of years. Visitors will find all types of food for sale and can enjoy it outside with a beer.
  • Schonbrunn Palace – With nearly 1,500 rooms, this UNESCO-listed palace is Austria’s most visited attraction. The original paintings and furnishings allow visitors to imagine life in the palace, and the extensive gardens are a relaxing excursion.
The Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna reflects in the water

4) How Safe Is It For Tourists?

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Vienna is a very safe place to visit. However, there are still some things that travelers should keep in mind to stay safe during their visit:

  • Be aware of thieves: pickpocketing and petty theft is the most common crime that tourists encounter in Vienna. Keep your valuables close at tourist attractions and busy areas.
  • Buy tickets from the source: Some scammers try to sell fake tickets for events and attractions on the street. Avoid being scammed and always purchase tickets directly from the source.
  • Know how to call for help: Emergency services can be reached by calling 112.
  • DO get travel insurance: Travel insurance can help in health emergencies as well as with covering the costs of any travel mishaps during your Vienna trip. For 5 great options, read more here.
Dome Of St Charles' Church In Vienna, Austria

5) Local Eats And Drinks

One of the best parts of travel is checking out the local cuisine, and Vienna is a fantastic place to try new foods. Don't let yourself leave without trying at least one of the following:

Food

Vienna is a great place to indulge in delicious foods. Be sure to try some of these traditional favorites.

  • Wiener Schnitzel – breaded and fried cutlets typically made from pork or veal.
  • Knödel a catch-all term referring to dumplings, popular versions are the leberknödel (small dumplings made with bread, onions, and liver), and semmelknödel (dumplings made with dried bread typically served with roast pork, and fleischknödel (a potato dumpling stuffed with minced meat).
  • Cake – the most popular dessert in Vienna is cake. You’ll find fantastic cakes on every menu – the most famous being the indulgent chocolate Sachertorte.
  • Manner Schnitten – a sweet snack made with layers of thin wafer crackers and hazelnut cream.
a plate with chocolate cake in Vienna

Drinks

  • Coffee – you’ll find coffee houses everywhere in Vienna, so grab a table and enjoy a cup.
  • Wine – Austria has a long history of winemaking and there are many fantastic regional wines to choose from.
  • Beer – the local Ottakringer brewery has several great brews to try

6) How's the WiFi?

Using Ookla, an internet speed testing service, the average internet speeds in Vienna for March 2023 were 78.58mbps download and 15.62mbps upload.

A group of people sit outside and drink beer at a market in Vienna

7) How Long Can I Stay?

Americans traveling to Austria can stay for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without needing a visa. Passports need to have at least three months of validity past the date of your departure.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the 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.