At the gateway to the Balkans, the Austrian capital is one of Europe’s most important cultural centres! Here are the best neighbourhoods to stay in Vienna.
Once the capital of the Holy Roman Empire and the Habsburgs, Vienna is now the capital of Austria. With a population of 1.8 million and home to major international institutions – such as OSCE, OPEC, IAEA, and United Nations agencies – it is the largest German-speaking metropolis in the world after Berlin. Though staying in Vienna is expensive, to visit a city that attracts 3.7 million visitors a year, a city that has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001, is a priceless opportunity.
Traversed by the Wien and the Danube rivers, Vienna is the main economic, cultural, and political centre of Austria. The city’s 23 districts are home to many neighbourhoods offering a diversity of places to stay. Below is a non-exhaustive list to help you stay in Vienna in the area that best suits your needs.
Innere Stadt, city centre
Photo credit: Flickr – Douglas Sprott
Extending over 3 km², the district of Innere Stadt is the very heart of the city, and the best place to taste the Sachertorte – a famous local chocolate cake – in its many cafes and restaurants. Up until 1850, this district was the entire city of Vienna. Consequently, it houses the majority of historic buildings worth visiting, including the Opera House, Hofburg, the National Library, the Rathaus, around sixty museums – no less! –, not to mention all the major shops for a successful shopping trip. It is however the most expensive area to stay in Vienna. Public parks such as the “Stadtpark” and “Volksgarten” are among the largest green spaces in the city centre, and perfect refuges for peace and quiet after a day spent in the crowded shopping streets.
Leopoldstadt, second district
Photo credit: Flickr – Simon
Located between the Danube and the Danube Canal, Leopoldstadt is home to the Prater and the 65-metre high Wiener Riesenrad (Giant Ferris Wheel), which is part of a permanent fairground – in one of Vienna’s largest green areas. You won’t want to miss the Augarten Park, another green haven in the neighbourhood. Many bars open their terraces on sunny days. This is a very pleasant district to stay in Vienna, especially as it is one of the least expensive districts of the city.
Photo credit: Flickr – Loco Steve
Landstrasse is a lively neighbourhood home to the Mitte-Landstrasse railway station, the botanical gardens, the Schwarzenberg Palace, the Belvedere Palace and many other historic buildings, including the University of Music and Fine Arts, and the Wiener Konzerthaus concert hall. In this area you will find accommodation conveniently located close to the city centre.
Neubau, the student area of Vienna
Photo credit: Flickr – Sarah Sampsel
Fancy a Viennese coffee after strolling around Mariahilferstrasse, the busiest shopping street in the city? The Neubau district is home to a host of cool cafes and bars, as well as the MuseumQuartier (museum district), a 60,000 m2 cultural complex – one of the largest in the world – located in the former imperial stables, home to an array of museums centred on modern art, cinema, theatre, architecture, and dance. It also features innumerable shops, cafes, and restaurants. The advantage of renting an accommodation in this neighbourhood? It is a lively student area, attracting the youth, and packed with a range of affordable youth hostels and hotels.
Photo credit: Flickr – Ronit Bhattacharjee
If you can find an apartment in Wieden, you will be only a stone’s throw away from the city centre while enjoying one of Vienna’s most historic and cultural districts. Be sure not to miss the famous Christmas market in December. To the north, you will find the Karlskirche (the Church of St. Charles Borromeo) on Karlplatz (St. Charles Square), an 18th-century Baroque edifice. Music lovers will be delighted by the Musikverein, one of the biggest concert halls in the world. The area offers a good compromise if you’re looking to stay in Vienna not too far from the city centre.