The best areas to stay in Vienna

The best areas to stay in Vienna

Here's the best thing about the different areas and neighbourhoods of Vienna: you will get the structure of the city in under a minute:

  • There is the Inner City („Innere Stadt“), which is the 1st of 23 districts. Inner City is – you guessed it – right in the middle of everything.

  • It’s completely surrounded by the famous Ring Street („Ringstraße“). That street is home to a lot of the sights you’ll want to visit.

  • Outside of Ring Street are the districts 2 to 9, which by themselves are – also quite logic – surrounded by the bigger Belt Street („Gürtel“). Further out are the districts 10 to 23.

  • And if that weren’t enough reasonable Austrian organization, of course the city’s landmark cathedral Stephansdom is right in the center of the Inner City itself.

> Inner City
> Ring Street
> Belt Street

Vienna is structured like an onion. A reasonsable one.

  • Favourhood N° 1 1st District

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    1<sup>st</sup> District
  • Favourhood N° 2 6th and 7th District

    Der großbürgerliche,
    noble Bezirk

    6<sup>th</sup> and 7<sup>th</sup> District
  • Favourhood N° 3 8th and 9th District

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    8<sup>th</sup> and 9<sup>th</sup> District
  • Maybe not

    The not so good,
    the bad and the ugly.

    Maybe not

The 3 best areas in Bangkok.

  • 1 1st District
  • 2 6th and 7th District
  • 3 8th and 9th District
  • Maybe not

Inside of Ring Street is where you find most of Vienna's sights – all condensed in the small 1st District (Inner City).

That’s because up until 1858 this area was surrounded by a city wall and considered "the real Vienna". Everything around it was only integrated after the wall was replaced by Ring Street. Today this boulevard is home to some of the most famous buildings of Vienna: Opera, Burgtheater, Hofburg Palace, City Hall, Parliament, University, Kunsthistorisches and Naturhistorisches Museum, etc.

It’s litterally the center of the city, with St. Stephans Cathedral right in the middle of it. So basically you will find 80% of what you wanna see in Vienna in this rather small area. Plus: the most prestigious shopping streets Kärntner Straße, Graben and Kohlmarkt.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet nosu est so.“

– Stefan Bauer

Sure, Vienna's 1st District is a bit more crowded than other areas of the city. Sure, it's more touristy as well. But, boy, do you get something for it!

The scenery and architecture are impeccable, the density of sights is as high as the density of horse-drawn carriages in the streets. It can feel as if you wandered around in a Habsburg city 200 years ago sometimes. Especially if you take the smaller, narrow side streets instead of the bigger shopping streets.

Prices might be a bit higher than in other areas, but it's worth it if you are looking for shopping and sightseeing with little walking needed.

Most legedary places such as Café Sacher, Hofreitschule, Café Central etc. are situated in the Inner City as well. If you avoid staying directly at Schwedenplatz or Karlsplatz (both a bit sketchy and loud due to traffic) you can’t go wrong in the 1st District.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet nosu est so.“

– Stefan Bauer

Hotel Hollmann Beletage

Why we love it: Because Hotel Hollmann Beletage is near both Stephansplatz & Heiligenkreuzer Hof, which is one of the prettiest places in Vienna that nobody knows...

Köllnerhofgasse 6

1010 Vienna

Motel One Staatsoper

Why we love it: Because Motel One is directly near Ringstrasse and shows off so much cool design. Just look at all the lamps...

Elisabethstrasse 5

1010 Vienna

The Guesthouse Vienna

Why we love it: Because Guesthouse Vienna is situated in the very inner city near Albertina Museum & State Opera, but still feels like you're home somehow...

Führichgasse 10

1010 Vienna

1st District is the best area to stay if ...

  • you want most sights of Vienna in walking distance.
  • you are looking for perfect architecture and scenery.
  • you plan to go on a shopping spree.
  • you do not mind other tourists and higher prices.

Practical tip for 1. District

Don’t go to Inner City by car unless your hotel has a garage. Both driving and parking is a nightmare here.

These two districts cover the area around the big shopping street Mariahilferstrasse. Although this street itself can be crowded and the area is home to the young hip and creative, it’s still reasonably quiet. Let’s be honest, it’s still Vienna – just a bit cooler than the rest of the city.

The golden rule of Vienna neighborhood quality applies here as well: the nearer to Inner City, the better.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet nosu est so.“

– Stefan Bauer

The most beautiful area in 6th and 7th district is a small neighborhood called „Spittelberg“. With it’s small houses and narrow cobble stone streets it is as pittoresque as Vienna gets. Feels like the Vienna of the early 19hundreds. Plus: you only have to cross Ringstraße to get to the Inner City.

If you are looking for a little more action, find something near Naschmarkt, the most famous market of Vienna. It is also worth visiting in the evening for dinner and drinks.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet nosu est so.“

– Stefan Bauer

Ruby Marie

Why we love it: Because the colourful roof terrace and an unusual circular layout give the Ruby Marie near Mariahilfer Strasse just the right amount of crazy...

Kaiserstrasse 2-4

1070 Vienna

25 Hours Hotel

Why we love it: Because 25hours has one of the best views and nicest terraces of Vienna and an outright funny concept of spectacle and circus...

Lerchenfelder Strasse 1-3

1070 Vienna

Hotel Altstadt Vienna

Why we love it: Because Altstadt Vienna is perfectly situated right in one of the prettiest quarters of Vienna (Spittelberg) and as a whole as unique as each of its rooms...

Kirchengasse 41

1070 Vienna

In Saint Germen de Pres Wohnt man also am besten, wenn man

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Practical tip

Don’t go to Neubau or Mariahilf by car unless your hotel has a garage. Both districts are a nightmare to park – hipster/bobo residents, a green city government and narrow one way streets do a great job in making the whole area more attractive for pedestriants and cyclists than for car drivers.

Both 8th and 9th district are a bit more of an insiders’ tip than the other two areas. They are not filled with sights and shopping opportunities. Choose this neighborhoods if you like it a bit more quite, bourgeoise and authentical viennese.

Again, try to stay as near to inner city and as far away from Gürtel / Belt street as possible.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet nosu est so.“

– Stefan Bauer

8th district (the smallest of them all) will charm you with narrow cobble stone streets, small houses from the early eighteen hundreds and viennese residents from almost the same time period. Also, on a personal note, it is home to the most beautiful square of the city: Piaristenplatz.

9th district is greener, more open and hosts a lot of university institutions and some embassies. Don’t get fooled by the younger crowd there, it is still quiet and bourgeois for the most part.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet nosu est so.“

– Stefan Bauer

Hotel Harmonie Vienna

Why we love it: Because The Harmonie Vienna is a ballet-themed boutique hotel in a quiet side street of Servitenviertel, run with lots of heart & attention to detail...

Harmoniegasse 5-7

1090 Vienna

Fleming's Deluxe City

Why we love it: Because Inner Josefstädter Strasse is exactely the kind of location a local would choose: less crowded than the city, but only a few steps away from it...

Josefstädter Str. 10-12

1080 Vienna

Hotel Rathaus

Why we love it: Not only because it's not far to get into the city, but also because Hotel Rathaus is situated in one of the most charming neighbourhoods of Vienna, the inner 8th district...

Lange Gasse 13

1080 Vienna

In Saint Germen de Pres Wohnt man also am besten, wenn man

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  • Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmodtempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna liqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam,quis nostrud exercitation
  • Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmodtempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna liqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam,quis nostrud exercitation

Practical tip

Don’t go to to 8th district by car unless your hotel has a garage. It is a nightmare to park – there is just not enough parking space in the very narrow streets that at the same time make the neighborhood so charming. 9th district is mostly okay in that regard.

But don’t forget that parking in Vienna is now restricted almost everywhere and costs money monday to friday between 9am and 10pm.

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Vienna is considered the city with the highest quality of living worldwide, so even the bad areas are not L.A.-South-Central or Vancouver-Downtown-Eastside bad. But there are two general rules in when it comes to districts and areas that aren’t as great:

  1. Avoid everything directly at or very near to „Gürtel“ (the belt street around districts 2-9)! It’s noisy, annoying and not pretty. Stay away from it if you can.

  2. Avoid everything outside of „Gürtel“! Especially the districts 10-12, 15-17 and 20-23 are not Vienna’s finest. Districts 13, 14, 18 and 19 are nice, but too far away from the city center for visitors.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet nosu est so.“

– Stefan Bauer

Key info on Vienna

Airport to city

Vienna has only one airport, so there is no confusion where you will end up. If you don’t want to spend the 25-30 € for a taxi to the city, your best options are:

  1. The City Airport Train (CAT) that will take you to a station that is near the inner city and connected to the metro in 15 Minutes for 11 €.
  2. The busses of Vienna Airport Lines. They will take you to the Inner City for 8 € in a little over 20 minutes. Just take care you take the right one that goes to „Morzinplatz/Schwedenplatz“ to get to Inner City.

Safety

Vienna is considered one of the safest, cleanest and overall most liveable cities in the world, so there are almost no scary areas or neighborhoods, not even at night. If you avoid walking along at Gürtel late at night you will not see a lot of shady people overall.

Getting around

Public transportation is very good. Use the subway („U-Bahn“) for longer distances like getting to „Schloss Schönbrunn“. Try to catch one oft he old trams going around Ring Street if you wanna get a sight seeing tour and feel nostalgic for 2 Euros and change.

For everything inside Ring Street (the inner city) you should just walk. It ist the only thing that makes sense there. Taxis are easy to get and usually won’t rip you off but honestly: I prefer Uber – drivers are nicer and it’s less expensive. If you wanna drive yourself: The car sharing program Car2Go is available in Vienna for everybody who uses it in other cities also.

Opening hours

One thing that most visitors of Vienna find a little weird and surprising ist he opening hours of shops: most oft them close at 6 pm, on saturdays even earlier. Do not assume you will get anything on sundays and holidays: it’s a catholic country with powerful unions so shops are closed. Deal with it. Also some museums are closed on mondays, so check that before you go there.

The best time to travel

  • January and Febrary are usually cold, a bit dark and sometimes snowy.
  • March and April can be nice spring time months, but the unpredictable weather is famous in Vienna.
  • May and June are already warmer, but have a quite high number of rainy days (meaning 8-9 per month)
  • July and August are by far the hottest months of the year. Many of the locals are out of the city, some restaurants stay closed, but festivals of all sorts keep visitors entertained.
  • September and October can be very nice: sunny days, crisp air, blue skies and colourful leaves are what you can hope for.
  • November is usually grey, foggy and can be a bit depressing.
  • December is one of the best times to be in Vienna: The whole city changes into pre-christmas mode. Markets, horse and carriage, tasteful christmas lights, punch and ice skating ... It’s simply a magical month. Even hard boiled travellers like Anthony Bourdain admit that sometimes.
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