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Insider’s Tips

  • Medical care is expensive, so please make sure you have travel insurance
  • If you need an adaptor (electricity: 220 V, 50 Hz)
  • Pack carefully: Austrian weather is not the most reliable, be sure to bring clothing for all types of weather.
  • Austria follows the metric system,
  • Currency: Euro
  • Time zone: 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Medium Time (+1 GMT)
  • Don’t forget!: Austria observes Daylight Saving Time from March to October

As well as being in the centre of Europe, Vienna is also in the middle range in terms of prices. Since joining the European Union, basic food costs have increased in line with those in the rest of the European Union.

Vienna is not a particularly cheap tourist destination in terms of Europe, however visitors do find it a great place to shop. There are many international brands to be found and also plenty of local shops selling specialised and traditional goods.

Food and drink is available in all price categories. There are numerous inexpensive pubs serving good local and international dishes. Main meals cost on average between €5-€7. Beverages cost between €1-€3. Of course, you will also find upmarket restaurants in the higher price brackets (especially in the inner city). Here you have to budget for between €11-€18 for a main meal. A good bottle of wine costs upwards of €10.

Travelcard

Ask at tourist offices or your hotel about a Vienna-Card; costing €18.50, the card combines 72 hours’ use of public transportation and more than 200 discounts listed in the 104-page Vienna-Card Coupon Book, which every Vienna-Card purchaser receives free of charge.

Shopping

The Kärntnerstrasse, Graben, and Kohlmarkt pedestrian areas in the 1st District, Inner City, claim to have the best shops in Vienna, and for some items, such as jewelry, they’re probably the some of the best anywhere, but prices are quite steep. The side streets within this area have developed their own character, with shops selling antiques, art, clocks, jewelry, and period furniture. Ringstrasse Galerie, the indoor shopping plaza at Kärntner Ring 5-7, brings a number of shops together in a modern complex, though many of these stores have other, larger outlets elsewhere in the city.

ATMs are common in Vienna, and more often than not are part of the Cirrus and Plus networks, meaning you can get cash easily.

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The Spanish Riding School

The Spanish Riding School of Vienna has been cultivating the art of equitation in its purest form for more than 400 years. It trains both horses and riders according to centuries-old methods. The Lipizzans and dressage have become synonymous with the school and you can see them both at any of the shows or special events held here.

Bookable with Citiescapes €35

The Albertina Art Gallery

The Albertina in Vienna is home to one of the world’s finest collection of drawings. Albert, Duke of Saxe-Teschen, began the collection and by 1822 the collection numbered some 14,000 drawings and 200,000 prints dating from the 15th to the early 19th centuries. Today there are over 60,000 works on show including a remarkable collection of drawings, etchings and watercolours by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rubens, Raphael, Manet, Cezanne and Schiele.

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The Austrian National Library

The Austrian National library is the oldest in the world. Joseph Fischer of Erlach completed the current building in 1726. The palatial room with its mesmerizing ceiling paintings by Daniel Gran is regarded as one of the most beautiful library rooms in the world. Currently there are approximately six million items stored in the library including collections of papyri, manuscripts, ancient and rare books, maps, globes, music, portraits, graphics, photographs, autographs and posters.

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The Belvedere Palaces

The Belvedere palaces were built for Prince Eugene of Savoy. The Palaces’ architecture and interior design are in the Rococo style. They now house two museums which offer an excellent and comprehensive survey of Austrian art from the middle ages to the present day.

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The Hofburg Imperial Palace

Built in 1279, the Hofburg Imperial Palace bears testament to the wealth and power of the Hapsburgs. It was home to Austria’s ruling family until 1918. Today, the Imperial Palace houses the offices of the Austrian president, an international convention centre, the chapel where the Vienna Boys’ Choir perform, the hall where the Spanish Riding School Lipizzan stallions perform as well as various official and private apartments and several museums and state rooms which are open to the public.

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The Sigmund Freud Museum

The Sigmund Freud museum is located in the building where Freud worked and lived with his family for almost 50 years. His daughter, Anna Freud, also worked here as a children’s psychoanalyst. The museum has been open since 1971 and its main exhibits include personal possessions, the original furniture of the waiting room, part of Freud’s antiques collection, the largest psycho-analysis library in Europe and an audio-visual display showing some of the Freud family’s private moments.

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Schloss Schönbrunn Palace

The enormous and elegant Schönbrunn Palace is one of Vienna’s top attractions. Originally the 1,440-room summer palace of the Habsburgs, it was designed by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach and completed in 1711. Forty of the 1440 rooms are open to the public. The interior is designed in the classic Rococo style of the 18th century with lots of red, white and gold. There are beautiful formal gardens surrounding the palace.

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St. Stephens Cathedral

Built in the 12th century, St. Stephens Cathedral was originally a Romanesque sanctuary. It was virtually destroyed by fire in 1258, damaged extensively during the Turkish siege of 1683 and during the Russian bombardments of 1945. The Cathedral was eventually restored and reopened in 1948 and today it is one of the greatest Gothic structures in Europe. The interior is rich in wood carvings, altars, sculptures, and paintings and its proud steeple rises over 450 feet above Vienna. Check out the ornately carved wooden Wiener Neustadt altarpiece dating from 1447 and make sure to visit the catacombs that contain the entrails of 56 members of the Habsburg family. If you’re feeling energetic, climb the 343 steps to the south tower for a great view of the Vienna Woods. Alternatively, take the lift to the north tower to get a beautiful vista of the city and the river Danube.

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The Prater Park (Praterverband)

Since 1766, when Emperor Joseph II opened it to the public, this extensive stretch of parkland and woodland has been the favorite place of relaxation and enjoyment for the Viennese. The Prater is basically a giant, open fairground with its most famous landmark being the giant ferris wheel known as The Ring or Riesenrad. Built in 1897, this 220-foot giant was originally designed to be a temporary exhibit, and like the Eiffel Tower, it is still attracting visitors today. The Lilliputian railroad is also located in the park, a 2.6-mile narrow-gauge line that operates in summer using vintage steam locomotives.

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The Natural History Museum (Naturhistorisches Museum)

The Vienna Natural History Museum is based in a handsome neo-Renaissance building near the Museum of Fine Arts. This museum has important collections of early Stone Age exhibits. The most famous display at the museum is a Stone-Age body called “Venus of Willendorf,” whose unearthing in 1906 confirms Vienna’s ancient origins.