Vienna Traveller Tips

Whether you are visiting Vienna for the first time or repeating the experience, some of the tips I share with you today may help you in your exploration.

Katherine Betances

Katherine Betances

7 min read

Vienna Traveller Tips

View from Leopoldsberg | ©Thomas Fabian

Considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Vienna is famous for its historic palaces, its connection to classical music and its imperial museums; so visiting the charming Austrian capital is always a good idea.

If you are planning your next vacation to get to know everything there is to see in Vienna, pay attention to this collection of tips aimed at making your trip to this wonderful imperial paradise more enjoyable, fun and organized.

1. Walking is the best way to get to know the city.

Schönbrunn Palace Vienna| ©Ji Goal
Schönbrunn Palace Vienna| ©Ji Goal

Once in the city you will find that, as a good avant-garde capital, the transfer options in Vienna are diverse and public transportation, specifically the Vienna metro is really cheap.

However, in my opinion Vienna is an ideal city to tour on foot, as its historic center and main attractions are extremely close to each other.

With the exception of some monuments such as Schonbrunn Palace located quite far from the heart of the city, my advice? Walk around Vienna as much as you can! and marvel at the beautiful treasures and historical monuments that adorn its streets.

However, if you travel to the city during the winter in Vienna you may find it too cold on the streets to walk long distances. In this scenario I recommend the Vienna sightseeing bus. An internal transportation service designed for travelers who will be in the city for two days or more.

The route includes stops at at least 22 tourist spots and you can hop on and off as many times as you like. On board you also have an audio guide with commentary in your language that gives you information about the city as you travel through it.

Book the tourist bus

2. Use the Vienna Pass to visit more attractions on a smaller budget

Vienna pass| ©Michelle B
Vienna pass| ©Michelle B

If you have little time to explore the city, a tourist card such as the Vienna Passis an option to consider.

This resource has been specially designed to help travelers save time and money on their vacation by including in the special pass a total of 60 attractions scattered throughout the city.

Some important monuments or historical sites included in this special pass are: Schönbrunn Palace, Hofburg Palace, Belvedere Palace, the Natural History Museum, and Mozart's House in Vienna.

Also included is usually at least one day's use of the sightseeing bus so that you can move from one attraction to another without major inconveniences and without additional costs.

Buy your Vienna Pass

3. Save money when visiting museums and art galleries in Vienna

Inside the Casa de la Musica| ©John Valk
Inside the Casa de la Musica| ©John Valk

Vienna is a city of art with impressive museums and galleries that you must see.

If you organize your itinerary properly, you will find in the city of Vienna several free museums, some all year round and others at special times. In addition, many art galleries are free for children under 19 years of age.

Reduced Price Museums

  • The MAK (Museum of Applied Arts) has a reduced admission price of about 5 euros on Tuesdays from 18:00 to 22:00.
  • The MUMOK (Museum of Art Nouveau) has a reduced admission price of approximately €8 on Thursdays between 18:00 and 21:00.
  • The Vienna House of Music has half-price tickets every day from 20:00h and 21:30h.

Free museums in Vienna

  • Photomuseum (the Radio Museum in Vienna)
  • Geldmuseum (Vienna's Coin Museum)
  • Feuerwehrmuseum (Firemen's Museum)
  • MOYA (Museum of Young Art) and others.

4. The Burgtheater conducts guided tours for tourists every day.

Exterior of the Burgtheater| ©Bwag
Exterior of the Burgtheater| ©Bwag

The Burgtheater (Austrian National Theater) conducts guided tours focused on tourists who want to know the city every day at 15:00h. If you want to know this important monument, I recommend you to organize your day exploring the city to be on time for this activity.

You should arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of the tour and buy the entrance ticket. It is well worth visiting the interior of the Burgtheater to see the impressive main staircase and the Gustav Klimt Mural.

The building was badly damaged during the bombings of World War II and underwent a thorough restoration process.

5. Take a private tour of the Museum of Art History in Vienna

Austrian Museum of Art History| ©Marcus Winter
Austrian Museum of Art History| ©Marcus Winter

The Vienna Museum of Art History is the most visited museum in Vienna.

Unlike other important historical museums, such as the Louvre in Paris or the Prado Museum in Madrid, the Vienna Museum was one of the first old museums that was not located in a renovated former palace, but in a purpose-built building.

A guided tour of the Museum of Art History in this city is worthwhile not only for the art exhibited in its halls, but also for the architecture of the majestic and elegant building itself.

Vienna is a city with an impressive historical past and if you want to really learn and soak up this knowledge, guided tours are an alternative you should consider.

Book a tour of the History Museum

6. Attend a classical music concert

Vienna Opera House| ©Pierre Blaché
Vienna Opera House| ©Pierre Blaché

Do you enjoy classical music? Not attending a concert in Vienna would be a sin! Don't like classical music? Maybe listening to some of the world's best performers will change your mind on this particular subject.

Both in its past and present Vienna is a city renowned for its musical trajectory; producing over the years some of the best musicians in history.

For this reason, a classical music concert in Vienna is not only a recommendable experience, but also unique in its kind.

As expected, you will find many alternatives in the city. My favorites are those that combine dinner and concert for a perfect evening plan that you can do with your partner, family or on a trip with friends.

Book your ticket to a classical music concert

7. Visit Vienna's Hofburg Palace early to avoid the crowds

Hofburg Palace| ©Dennis Jarvis
Hofburg Palace| ©Dennis Jarvis

The best way to make the most of your Vienna sightseeing days is to get up early. Start your tours when part of the city is still asleep and when the flood of tourists have not yet taken over the streets.

For example the Hofburg Palace is one of the must-see sights on any tour of Vienna. Although the official opening time is 8:00 am, 42% of tourists visit the Palace after 1:00 pm.

If you are a real early riser, the Naschmarkt is another great place to visit first thing in the morning, as its official opening time is at 6:00 am.

8. Visit the Steffl: the best viewpoint in the heart of Vienna

Vienna Rooftop| ©Alexander Annenkov
Vienna Rooftop| ©Alexander Annenkov

The Stephansdom is the German name for St. Stephen's Cathedral, the most important religious temple in the city and a must-see on your tour of Vienna's Old Town. Here you will find a spire-like tower in Gothic style that rises impressively above the other buildings around it.

This tower is known as the Steffl and visitors can access the top of the tower by walking up the spiral staircase. The reward at the end of the path is a viewing platform with the most impressive views of the heart of Vienna, the most important old buildings and the roofs of the important Cathedral.

Personally, although Vienna is equally impressive at all times, I love the view of the tower from the Cathedral at sunset. With the sunlight falling on the beautiful streets, don't forget your camera or your phone! You'll want to save photos to remember.

9. Take advantage of the free attractions

At the Prater| ©Thomas Feichtinger
At the Prater| ©Thomas Feichtinger

Vienna is known for being a city with a high cost of living that can be a bit expensive to explore. That's why I recommend you save money by visiting the free attractions. Some are even some of the best in the city.

  • Parks and Gardens, the main parks of the city are free, as well as the gardens of important palaces such as Schönbrunn Palace or Belvedere Palace. Although you can visit the gardens without paying, the interior of Schönbrunn Palace is worth a visit.
  • The Prater The oldest amusement park in the world. You do not need to pay an entrance fee to enter, only if you want to go on one of the rides.
  • The city cemetery, access is free and you can visit the grave of important historical figures such as Beethoven.
  • Churches, almost all religious temples are free of charge in the worship space.
  • Ringstrasse The wide boulevard avenue known as the most important of the city and around which some of the most important monuments of the center of Vienna are congregated.

10. Gasthaeuser and Markets: The best places to eat in the city.

Naschmarkt market| ©Anne and David
Naschmarkt market| ©Anne and David

If you are visiting the city on a tight budget, you should know that taverns, Gasthaeuser and local markets are the best option to taste the most popular typical dishes at a good price, without having to plan too much and without making reservations.

Their location, in the busiest tourist and commercial areas of the city of Vienna, makes them very easy to find during a day of exploration in the city; especially if you decide to explore Vienna on foot as I suggested at the beginning of the article.

My advice? Have a list of the most famous Viennese dishes and try as many of them as possible during your trip.

In Vienna, most stores and commercial spaces are closed on Sundays, while the usual opening hours of most restaurants in the city are from 11h to 14h for lunch and in the evening from 18h to 22h.