Last Updated on August 31, 2022 by gregor
Practical Tips for Visiting Vienna & How to Avoid Mistakes in Vienna
Vienna is a great city that can never disappoint. You can keep on visiting Vienna again and again and there is always something fantastic to experience, something to see that you haven’t seen before and eat food you haven’t tried yet.
The overwhelming amount of things on offer can be a real challenge for first-time visitors. That’s why everyone needs some practical tips for visiting Vienna and how to avoid mistakes when traveling to Vienna.
Why You Should Listen to Me?
I was born and live in Vienna my whole life. (Not like other “Travel Bloggers & Travel Websites” who pretend to know Vienna just for visiting 1 or 2 times). I live and work in the City Center of Vienna and get seen and tried most of the things I recommend, but I have also seen several things you should definitely avoid (making a few mistakes on my way too).
I am very confident to give you the best Vienna travel tips that will help you avoid some unpleasant disasters.
Practical Tips for Visiting Vienna
Essential Information to Know Before Traveling to Vienna
Before any trip, it is always good to have some essential information. Check out these tips to be prepared for your trip to Vienna:
- Currency: Euro(€)
- Language: German
- Voltage: 230V
- Power sockets: Type F
As seen above, Austria uses the Euro therefore, if you need to change currency, be aware of the exchange rates.
The official language in Austria is German, and even though most people can communicate in English, it is always useful to learn a few words or phrases. Some of them are danke, meaning thank you, and bitte, meaning you’re welcome or please.
Another useful tip is that in Austria, the standard voltage is 230V while the power sockets are Type F, so be sure to have the right travel adaptor.
Don’t visit Vienna Just for a Weekend
When someone tells me that they’re going to spend just 1-2 days in Vienna I feel like they’re most likely not going to love it. I mean, it’s possible to have a great time but if you do it right and prioritize what you want to see.
During such a short visit most tourists head to see the St. Stephens Cathedral, Hofburg Palace, Schönbrunn, and some other tourist attractions, and therefore experience crowds, long lines, and not the real local Vienna.
Take your pick and spend some time actually enjoying these things instead of rushing through everything.
Here are some valuable Vienna Itinieries for visiting Vienna:
- Best of Vienna in 4 hours – Layover in Vienna
- The Perfect 1-Day Vienna Itinerary
- The Perfect 2-Days Vienna Itinerary
- The Perfect 3-Days Vienna Itinerary
Vienna Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive
Before going to Vienna probably some friends will tell you that the city was going to destroy your wallet and almost every person on any travel forum will tell you the same. But, Vienna does not necessarily have to be a city that sucks all the money out of pockets and bank accounts.
Vienna isn’t cheap, but it isn’t more expensive than other European cities. In fact, visiting London or Paris will cost you way more money.
You can also benefit from my locals’ knowledge. I can point you in the right direction and that includes finding the best deals in Vienna and how not to get into any tourist traps.
When visiting Vienna here is the Vienna Budget Travel Guide, Free Things to do in Vienna, Austria
What can you do in Vienna for free?
Please read this blog post about the Free Things to do in Vienna
Vienna Has More Amazing Museums Than Just the Belvedere Museum
The Vienna Pass isn’t only going to save you money, but also time. You won’t need to stand in the long line for every museum and you could skip the ticket line.
Speaking of Belvedere Museum… if you’re not an art lover and trying to go to Belvedere just to see the Kiss from Gustav Klimt: DON’T! Don’t be one of the tourists who go in, take a photo of the KISS, and leave.
Most people aren’t actually even seeing the painting, but just taking selfies with it.
St. Stephens Cathedral Isn’t a Very Glamorous Experience
Almost everyone is dreaming of getting to the St. Stephens Cathedral in Vienna. But the moment you start approaching the tower you might realize that it’s not very romantic, as it’s surrounded by a ton of visitors and annoying vendors. The place is crowded, and lines take forever no matter when you visit.
Similar to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, going to the top of the tower is not worth it. I mean, you probably want to see a panorama of Vienna with the actual St. Stephens Cathedral in it, right?
Where to get the Best views in Vienna
I recommend you to see the city from up high from the top here are the Best Views of Vienna, Austria
Stay only in the City Center of Vienna
I cannot emphasize this more! Pinning down the perfect place to stay depends on budget and location, but quite often the second one is way more important than you think. Vienna is divided into 23 districts and nearly everything is referred to as the 1st district (City Center = Innenstadt)
Before booking your hotel check whether the area is safe and close to the places you want to visit. If you’re in Vienna for a very limited time don’t choose a place on the edge of town, as you definitely don’t want to spend hours commuting in order to save a few bucks.
Viennese Eat Dinner Time
Viennaians tend to eat dinner around 6:00 or 8:00 PM. Many good restaurants won’t serve dinner after 10:00ish PM.
If you’re planning some Michelin star dining keep in mind that places are booked weeks in advance, especially in the summer.
Please refer to my Vienna Food Guide to learn everything about Viennese Food, like Wiener Schnitzel and Sacher Cake
Don’t Think That Vienna is a City Just for Lovers
While many romantic comedies portray Vienna as the city for lovers, with boyfriends proposing in front of the Sisi Chapel and taking girls on romantic walks along the Danube River.
Here are the Most Romantic Things to do in Vienna. Please have a look at this Blog article
Solo Travel to Vienna Tips
Vienna is a great place to travel solo, as you can people-watch and appreciate everything in a different way than you would with your partner. You can also easily meet people in Vienna too as there are many solo travelers in the city and many families as well – my kids have a blast every time they go!
Here is the Blog Post about Vienna Solo Traveler Tips – Top Things to Do and See
Vienna Has More Awesome Coffee Houses than the Cafe Central & Cafe Sacher
Cafe Central is definitely the most iconic Coffee House in Vienna. Especially in the summertime, there are often long waiting lines and the Cafe Central is crowded. There are several other Coffee Houses that offer you a traditional Viennese Coffeehouse experience, including great Viennese Coffee and delicious cakes.
Here is the selection of the Best Coffee Houses in the City Center of Vienna.
Don’t Be Afraid of Using Public Transportation System
How to get around Vienna?
Metro in Vienna (U-Bahn) is very easy and safe to use. It might be slightly intimidating at first due to the huge amount of different lines, but once you figure it out you’ll use it all the time.
Keep your Vienna metro ticket until you’ve exited the metro system at your final destination because the police might be checking your tickets inside the station.
Where to buy a Public Transportation ticket in Vienna
- there are ticket machines at most underground stations
- points of advance sale
- Tobacconists also sell tickets
- On board the tram at an increased rate of EUR 2.60 per ticket
- Buy tickets online: Wiener Linien Online Shop
On many Metro lines, the doors to the train do not open unless you press a button or lift a handle. Remember it if you don’t want to miss your station or look funny.
My tip: While taxis in Vienna are expensive, Uber & Bolt are definitely affordable and I recommend doing it at least once so you can see Viennaian streets during your ride. Just don’t try to take it to the airport as it would take longer than the train and cost you 5 times as much… on top of getting stuck in traffic for a very long time.
Best Way to get from Vienna Airport to the City Center?
I do have the answer here:
Most Viennese People are on vacation in July/August
Viennese people are used to going on vacation in the summer months of July and August, and as a result. Tourist attractions are obviously open and very full of people because of the summer, but many local small shops, private stores, and small local restaurants might be closed.
If you’re opting for a mixture of local and tourist experiences, it might not be the right time to visit Vienna in July or August. Personally, I’m not the biggest fan, as I like to interact with locals anywhere I go.
Dedicate a Whole Day to Schönbrunn & Belvedere Palace + Don’t Go Without a Skip-the-Line Ticket
Schönbrunn Palace and Belvedere Place are incredible places to visit outside the City Center of Vienna. However, especially if you’re visiting Vienna during the summer the palace can get VERY busy.
Combining two places (for instance Schönbrunn & Belvedere) in one day may seem tempting price-wise, but it’s not the best idea. You’ll be rushing and running (literally!) through everything and only get frustrated.
Don’t try to do everything and prioritize what you want to do.
I suggest you allow yourself a full day to explore Schönbrunn and purchase skip-the-line tickets, its gardens, and especially the Gloriette. It’s a great place that can’t be missed and you don’t want to be rushed through it.
Please refer to my Schönbrunn Palace Travel Guide:
The second palace you need to see is the Belvedere, it is a grand place and said to be the most visited tourist spot in Vienna. Built back in 1712-23, by Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt.
This masterpiece is considered to be one of his best works. While the place served as a summer home to Prince Eugene of Savoy, it is now open for everyone to explore. Said to be one of Europe’s most important museums, it has a great deal to offer. One that is sure to take hours of your day.
Book your ticket here: Entrance Tickets for Belvedere
Vienna is one of the greatest cities on earth. If you follow my tips for visiting Vienna and do it the right way, you should have a great experience. It will make you want to come back for more!