Where to Stay in Vienna: Advice from a local Australian expat and travel blogger about the best neighborhoods to stay in Vienna, Austria!
We created this guide in collaboration with Carly Hulls, an Australian expat and travel blogger who has been living in Vienna, Austria since 2012. Carly has served as the local expert (and photographer) for this post by choosing and describing the best areas to stay in Vienna. I (Katie) have added in the hotel recommendations, as well as my own thoughts!
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Where to Stay in Vienna: A Quick Guide to Finding The Best Area in Vienna
Where should you stay in Vienna? If you’re looking for a quick answer and summary of Vienna’s best areas to stay, start here ==>
- Innere Stadt (Vienna 1): The Inner Stadt, or Vienna’s first district, is the heart of Vienna’s historic city. Stay in Vienna’s Inner Stadt if you want to be in the center of Vienna’s best sights, and are mostly interested in sightseeing and highlights.
- Landstrasse (Vienna 3): Stay in Vienna’s Landstrasse if you want to be close to the center, but are concerned about finding a high-value accommodation option, and don’t mind sacrificing a little on location to preserve your budget.
- Vienna’s Cool Neighborhoods
- Neubau (Vienna 7): Think galleries, industrial coffee shops, and a young and hip vibe. Stay in Neubau if you want to get a taste for indie, design and artsy Vienna.
- Wieden (Vienna 4): Multicultural with laid back nightlife, Wieden offers another taste of cool Vienna, one that mixes hipster, hippie, designers, and students. Stay in Wieden if you are looking for an edgy and lively neighborhood in Vienna.
- Vienna’s Tranquil Neighborhoods
- Döbling (Vienna 19): With a vibe that’s more ‘quaint village’ than ‘European capital’, Döbling backs on to the woods and is filled with upscale villas. Stay in Döbling if you want a relaxed family atmosphere, or you’re a major foodie.
- Hietzing (Vienna 13): Oozing “aristocracy,” stay in Hietzing if you want to get a feel for old-world Vienna or prefer the quiet life.
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Where to Stay in Vienna: An Introduction from Carly
Moving to Vienna in 2012, I was convinced the city was one of the most boring in Europe – all I could see were architectural wonders and white palaces, but no spirit. Certainly no idea of what the locals actually did in this beautiful, quiet and calm city.
Slowly but surely over the last 4 years of living here, the city has unveiled itself – the village-like districts, hipster hangouts and multicultural areas where real life bubbles away. I’ve fallen head over heels for this mysterious, creative, clean and slyly energetic city – and I’m not alone in the love affair.
These days, Vienna is angling with Berlin & Leipzig as one of Europe’s coolest cities this side of Paris, thanks to its growing startup scene and the enviable lifestyle awards it receives year after year. When friends and family visit, I encourage them to venture beyond the first district to get a real taste for the brilliant variety of the city.
This Vienna neighborhood guide will help you find the best areas to stay in Vienna and get a local’s view of the world’s most liveable city and its hidden hot spots.
Where to Stay in Vienna: Vienna’s Numbering and District System
Vienna (like all things Austrian) has very logically named their districts by number: the 1st district, 2nd district, right up to the 22nd. The districts spiral out from the city centre in a crooked snail-shell pattern. The key to knowing what district you are in is the postcode of that district – the middle two numbers indicate the district number. So postcode 1140 is the 14th district, 1050 the 5th and so on. The second giveaway is on the street signs, so if you are ever lost, check the street sign for the number that precedes the street name – you’ll know at least what district you are lost within!
When deciding where to stay in Vienna, the two key things you want near your place are a metro station or tram stop. Vienna has one of the most efficient and well-connected public transport systems in Europe, so if you are walking distance to a stop, you can connect through to most of the city within 10 – 20 minutes. The U-Bahn train system also runs 24 hours over the weekend so you can always find your way home, no matter how many weiss beers or würstels you’ve had!
Where to Stay in Vienna? The First District/Innere Stadt is the Historic Center
Stay in Vienna’s Innere Stadt is you’re only in Vienna for a few days and want to make the very most of your sightseeing opportunities.
Innere Stadt, literally translated as ‘inner city’, is the 1st district and is Vienna’s historic old town, filled with cobbled alleyways, famous churches, the city’s oldest restaurant and most high-end shopping streets. If you’re only in Vienna for a short time, the Innere Stadt is the best spot to base yourself to make the most of Vienna’s ample sightseeing opportunities. Perfect for family or business trips if budget isn’t a consideration!
(The first district is also home to the Donaukanal popup bars & restaurants beside the Danube and some excellent rooftop views at Café Bar Bloom and the Do&Co restaurant).
We recently stayed at Motel One Staatsoper on a recent trip to Vienna, and it was amazing! It’s a designer 3-star, but very affordable compared to others in the area. We paid €106 per night (Dec 2017), and it’s a two-minute walk to the opera house! We opted out of the breakfast, but it looked quite decent, served in the nice little lobby cafe. The Karlsplatz metro station in a one minute walk from the hotel, and it has a McDonald’s and a Starbucks in the pedestrian pass though. We’ll be heading back to Vienna soon, and will stay there again. It gets a 9.0 on Booking.com, and also a 9.0 on Hotels.com.
Grand Ferdinand — An elegant luxury boutique hotel with a rooftop pool (and gorgeous views)! The rooms are minimalist, contemporary-looking and open-plan with high ceilings, comfy beds, and muted colors. Great location, fantastic reviews…the only tip from past guests is to skip the on-site restaurants, which by most reviews are over-priced for what you get, especially considering the fantastic selection in the area.
Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof — A 5-star luxury hotel only 250m from the Hofburg Palace and steps from the 19th-century intellectual hotspot, Café Central, the Steigenberger is right in the heart of Old Vienna, and close to the city’s most notable attractions. Beautiful, modern decor, and easy access to anywhere you want to go via Herrengasse U Bahn. Gets top reviews for comfort, quiet, staff, and location.
5-Star Value Deal
Hilton Vienna Plaza — Contemporary and comfortable with design hotel touches throughout (see: the art deco lobby!), this property offers 5-star value for a 4-star price. Only steps from a tram stop and metro station, and within 10 minutes’ walk to the very center, the hotel was recently renovated and gets top marks for comfort, location, and gorgeous, contemporary bathrooms in the rooms.
Hollmann Beletage Design & Boutique — This place is beautiful, and the rooms have the look and feel of a luxury apartment or loft, but with the conveniences of a hotel. Wonderful location only 2 minutes’ from St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and top marks for luxurious touches, breakfast, and friendly, helpful staff. Don’t be put off by the building lobby – take the elevator to the 2nd floor.
Hotel Kärntnerhof — An elegant boutique hotel with a colourful history as a post-war brothel, this property is centrally located right in Vienna’s old town, only 10 minutes’ walk from Stephanplatz metro (5 minutes from Stephansdom). Bonus points: in addition to having an old-world charm, it’s on a quiet street, offering a nice refuge from a busy sightseeing schedule.
Hotel Capricorno — A clean and modern hotel at the Schwedenplatz U-Bahn, this property is bright and cheerful, getting top marks for location, comfort, friendly staff and fantastic value for money. Only 10 minutes’ walk from St. Stephen’s, added touches in this hotel include soundproofed rooms and a tablet to use while in the hotel. Bright, pop colors and funky design.
Pension Dr. Geissler — An excellent choice in the ‘cheap and cheerful’ category, this hotel is on a quiet street in Vienna’s Inner Stadt, about 10 minutes’ walk from St. Stephen’s. Easy access to the city at Schwedenplatz U-Bahn and via Trams #1 and #2. The decor is a bit tired, and the hotel is basic, but it’s a great price and can be found for around $60 to $90 – great option for traveling families!
Austria Trend Hotel Europa Wien — This place gets mixed reviews, which seems to be a function of the disparate room quality: some look gorgeous and modern, and some look straight out of the 80s. If your main concern is getting an affordable room in central Vienna that is clean, comfortable without any bells and whistles, this could be a good choice, but ask for a renovated room.
Hotel Post Wien — A 3-star only 5 minutes’ walk from St. Stephen’s, Hotel Post is a popular budget choice in Vienna falling under the ‘clean, comfy, and basic’ category, in a great location. If you’re looking for flashy, this isn’t the choice for you, but if you just need somewhere clean and quiet to sleep and rest or are on a budget, Hotel Post is a great choice.
Where To Stay in Vienna Third District – Landstrasse
Stay in Vienna’s Third District (Landstrasse) if you want centrally located and very convenient accommodation at a better price than the first, and are willing to prioritize value over character.
The nearby third district is also conveniently central with slightly better-priced accommodation options than the 1st district.
It doesn’t have the character of the ‘cooler’ districts, but plenty of baroque embassies and beautiful architecture can be found here. The direct express train from Vienna airport will drop you at Landstrasse station, right in the heart of the third district, making it extremely convenient to stay here. During your stay you’ll be just walking distance to Vienna’s main sights.
If you stay here be sure to drop into the Josephbrot vom Pheinstein café for the best bread of your life and delicious brunch menus.
5-Star + Value
Hilton Vienna — Located right by City Park and the river, and 15-minutes’ walk to St. Stephen’s or a quick ride from Wien-Mitte/Landstraße U-Bahn. Very easy access to the airport via the airport train, which stops 50m from the hotel. Most common complaint is that the rooms are in need of a bit of refresh and update, but overall this is a comfortable and convenient choice.
Austria Trend Hotel Savoyen Vienna — This is a relatively new hotel that’s consistently rated as one of the best value bets in Vienna. Big clean rooms look fresh and contemporary, there is a small gym and sauna, and there’s a tram right outside if you don’t feel like walking the 15 minutes or so to the center. Close to the Belvedere Palace, this looks like a fantastic option.
Austria Trend Hotel Doppio Wien — Another Trend Hotel property, this hotel is further away from the center than the others, and the price reflects it. Offering mostly spacious rooms and muted contemporary colors, it’s a convenient and affordable option if you’re happy to take public transport. If you rely on taxis, they’ll add up very quickly at 10 to 15 Euros per trip into the center.
Where to Stay in Vienna 7 – Neubau
There’s a handful of alternative areas to stay in Vienna, the best of which is the über-cool 7th district.
With unique art galleries, industrial third-wave coffee shops, delicious brunch haunts — and backing onto the lively Museums Quartier — it’s the perfect launching spot to discover the beating heart of the city. This is where the young designers, artists and indie store owners are hanging out, sipping espresso’s on the terrace of Figar, or enjoying Vietnamese noodles at Sapa.
Neubau also backs onto, but doesn’t quite include, the main shopping high street of Mariahilferstrasse (technically in the 6th district by a nose hair). There’s always something happening in this district, and with multiple transport and AirBnB options in gorgeous ‘altbau’ style apartments, it’s my number one recommendation for young-at-heart friends and couples staying in Vienna.
Ruby Marie Hotel Vienna — A hotel in the renovated remains of a former department store, Ruby Marie offers bright and airy rooms with vintage furniture, on-site guitar rental and bike rentals, and a radio station on the premises! Every room has a tablet to use, and there’s both a rooftop bar and a lobby bar to relax in. The Museums Quarter is 10 minutes’ walk away, and there’s an U-Bahn less than 100m away. Fun & stylish!
Hotel Altstadt Vienna — Beautiful rooms in a hip area, there’s not much not to like about this place. Located in a renovated historic building just 5 minutes’ walk from the Museum Quarter and Volkstheater metro, there’s an afternoon tea service, on-site bar, and fashion rental service featuring a local designer…all within a trendy area with great restaurants. Stylish and hip, this hotel gets high marks for design, staff, & location!
Hotel Sans Souci Wien — A 5-star luxury boutique hotel opposite Vienna’s Museums Quartier, the stand-out feature of this hotel is the beautiful indoor pool, complete with chandeliers! The rest of the hotel is no slouch, with the rooms having the feel of a bright and airy contemporary apartment. Features include a spa, sauna, steam bath and fitness center; bar and restaurant with good reviews; pillow menu; and design touches.
25hours — This place oozes a funky-cool atmosphere, offering bright, quirky decor and colors, a rooftop bar with gorgeous views over Vienna, live or DJ music in the evenings, and an overall ‘young and artistic’ vibe. Each room is unique, although the circus theme may not work for those with clown phobias. On-site spa and Italian restaurant.
InterCityHotel Wien — Located right on Mariahilfer Straße – the main shopping street in Vienna – the rooms in this hotel are a tad institutional looking, but great value considering the location and easy access to both the U3 and U6. A nice inclusion: the hotel will give you a free transit ticket for the duration of your stay!
Hotel Kaffeemühle — Cheap, but not necessarily cheerful, this is a fairly ‘bare bones’ option in a central location. No bells and whistles, but a clean place to sleep for an affordable price. If you plan to be out exploring most of the time anyway, and just need somewhere to store your stuff and sleep, this seems to be a solid choice.
Need Some Inspiration and Ideas While in Vienna? Check Out This List of Tours in Vienna to Get Started!
Where to Stay in Vienna 4 – Wieden
Wieden is what the locals think of as the ‘original’ hipster district, where Viennese fashion labels are flanked by vegan supermarkets and antique furniture stores.
Staying here, you can enjoy strolls through multicultural Naschmarkt, cheap eats in mini-Chinatown, and laid back nightlife in the selection of pubs, restaurants, hipster cafes and boutique wine bars dotted along Schönbrunnerstrasse.
The University of Vienna has a campus within this district, so the energy here is young and creative – with street markets and live music, not to mention the broad selection of clubs and LGBT bars that emerge in the evening.
A fun, edgy option for travellers who want a slice of real Viennese life.
Hip & Modern Boutique
Graetzlhotel beim Belvedere — A self-proclaimed ‘non-hotel,’ this place offers de-centralized, self-contained suites in former workshops and stores, all spread throughout a single neighborhood. Each suite has a Nespresso machine and unique decorations that point to the rooms’ former lives.
Das Triest Hotel — A modern luxury boutique and a member of the Design Hotels group, this property offers contemporary, architectural furnishings, beautiful rooms, and a garden bar when the weather is nice. Easy access to 3 metro lines makes it a convenient and beautiful choice.
Saint SHERMIN bed, breakfast & champagne — A small and funky family-run hotel, each of the 12 rooms is unique and carefully decorated. Offering design touches for those on a budget, this place has the feel of a B&B, rather than a hotel. Cozy and different!
Where to Stay in Vienna 19 – Döbling
Backing onto the Vienna woods, Döbling is a village-like district with a countryside feel. Cobbled laneways, rolling green hills and some of the more expensive residences in the city combine for an exclusively serene atmosphere. Surrounded by vineyards and dotted with large villas of former noblemen, the nineteenth district is a fantastic option if you want a slice of country living in the inner city. Lush parks and delicious heuringer restaurants abound, this is definitely the district to base yourself in as a foodie or wine fan, or just a family looking for a relaxed atmosphere away from the bustle of the city.
Where to Stay in Vienna 13 – Hietzing
Hietzing is home to the former aristocracy of Vienna, situated just beside the Schönbrunn palace. There’s plenty of Villas to ogle and grandmas in genuine furs and pearls at the local supermarket, but Cafe Dommayer is where the best coffee drinking and people watching happens. This is a lovely area to stay in if you are having a longer-term stay in the city and want to be close to the green parkland of Lainzer Tiergarten but still enjoy the sightseeing fun of Schönbrunn palace. There’s a mix of budget and high end hotels nearby and a handful of cosy AirBnB’s. This will be your best district for unwinding and is perfect for families or couples who prefer the quiet life after a long day of exploring the city.
So Where Should You Stay in Vienna?
Vienna’s first district is the most accessible to tourist sights, but if you are staying more than 3 days, the seventh district is the best location to balance local living with a bit of energy and fantastic accommodation options for young and old. If you are looking for a longer term stay, Döbling or Hietzing and the surrounding areas will give you the flexibility and community feeling that might not click in the inner city.
Wherever you stay, give Vienna enough time and it will reveal the edgy, creative and lively side beneath its grand facade!
Rick Steves Pocket Vienna includes a color fold out map, neighborhood overviews including restaurant suggestions. The book is full of self-guided tour options and overviews of the top tourists attractions Vienna has to offer, and some lesser known ones as well. It’s small and fits in your pocket, but is available in Kindle as well.
Schönbrunn Palace Evening: Palace Tour, Dinner and Concert is one of the more popular tours in Vienna so book early. This is the quintessential Vienna experience beginning with a self-guided audio tour followed by a three-course meal. The evening culminates with a classical music performance by the Schönbrunn Palace Orchestra.
Vienna City Walking Tour will give you a great overview of Vienna’s rich history. Learn about St Stephen’s Cathedral and it’s gothic architecture, the Hofburg Imperial Palace and much more. A 2.5 hour tour like this is a great introduction to the city covering history from the time of the Romans, through the wars and up until modern times.
Small-Group Naschmarkt Food Walking Tour in Vienna is a 2 hour guided tour through the stalls of Vienna’s Naschmarkt where you will sample the fresh fruit and other delicious delicacies that make up Viennese cuisine. Smell oriental spices and meats and learn about the history of the market from your knowledgeable guide.
Where to Stay in Vienna: Frequently Asked Questions
As we get questions from readers via emails, tweets, and comments, we’ll update this section to better answer your Vienna trip planning questions, specifically as they have to do with accomodation. If you have a specific question about where to stay in Vienna for your style of trip, check out our FAQs below.
Where to stay in Vienna on a budget?
The best district to stay in Vienna on a budget is the Third District (Landstrasse), which offers a good mix of convenience and value. Certainly, you’ll have to walk or take public transit more than if you were in Vienna One, but you’ll also be able to find more budget-friendly accomodation options. Depending on your dates, I found Austria Trend Hotel Doppio Wien for as cheap as US $68 (mid-week in off-season), along with some other highly-rated 4-stars in the same price range (Check out Eurostars Embassy). You can also search Booking.com by district by using the “refine results” options on the left-hand menu. (This link should take you directly to Vienna 3 hotel search results).
Of course, the closer you stay to the most central and desirable neighborhoods, the more you’re going to pay. In Vienna, you can count on the First District/Innere Stadt being the most expensive address in the city, with prices decreasing the further out you go. If being central is important, you can do pretty well at Pension Dr. Geissler, with rates starting around €65.00 per night (depending on your dates, of course!). Hotel Kaffeemühle is another option to look at, located in Vienna 7 (Neubau).
Finally, you can also filter Booking.com search results by price per night, such as $0 to $52 per night, which yielded 45 properties when I searched. What I would suggest doing is first filter by price, then arrange the results by average review, so you get the best-of-the-best properties to choose from within your price range!
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A Note About Our Hotel Recommendations In This Vienna Neighbourhood Guide
You may be wondering how we came up with all these hotel recommendations. The thing is, we’re always hearing from readers planning a trip to Europe, and asking about accommodation recommendations. And of course, we’re happy to help. But on our own travels, we can only stay in so many hotels. So no…we haven’t stayed in every hotel we recommend in our Where to Stay in Vienna guide. it’s just not possible.
Our goal with this Where to Stay in Vienna Guide (and our Where to Stay in Prague, Where to Stay in Budapest, Where to Stay in Berlin Guides…you get the idea) is to make sure you find the best area for your travel preferences and style. That’s why we only write guides when we can find a local – or someone who knows the city well – to provide expertise.
We know all too well from personal experience that the area in which you stay can make or break a trip…and we definitely want to help you ‘make’ it.
So…the hotel recommendations in our Where to Stay in Vienna Guide are based on what we’d suggest to friends and family with different budgets and trip styles, if they were coming to Vienna. We haven’t personally been to these hotels, but we’ve researched them carefully: is it in a good area that seems safe? Is it in a good location for enjoying Vienna? Have past guests left fantastic reviews of the property? Would I tell my mother or sister-in-law that this is a good place to stay?
If it meets these criteria, I’ve added it to the list. Ultimately, our goal is to help you have a great visit to Austria’s capital, and to do so without having to spend hours choosing the best place to stay in Vienna! Hopefully we’ve succeeded…but please don’t blame us if we haven’t – at the end of the day, we expect you’ll check the most recent reviews as well, using our suggestions as a starting point and framework, and choosing the best area to stay in Vienna for your own very unique trip!
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