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Vienna is known as one of Europe’s most diverse capitals—a delightful mix of history, culture, and tradition blends seamlessly with a modern, hip, walkable city that has no shortage of trendy eateries and exciting attractions. And for those looking to experience the best of the Austrian capital in just a single weekend, there are a number of ways to explore that make it easy to get a taste of the city’s top spots. From historic haunts to green spaces galore; to epic eateries and eclectic neighborhoods, Vienna has something for every traveler keen to explore the beautiful City of Music in a single weekend.

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Vienna Neighborhoods

There’s no need to venture outside the city limits when visiting Vienna—an extremely walkable city, travelers will find virtually everything they need within the Austrian capital’s borders, including vineyards, parks, a forest, and even its own “island.” However, the city itself is divided into districts, each with its own personality, charm, and attractions. Below are just a few of Vienna’s most popular districts.

  • Innere Stadt (1st District) Circled by The Ringstrasse (once the city’s fortified wall), the 1st District is the beating heart of Vienna and is home to many of its most popular attractions, stores, restaurants, museums, and hotels.
  • Mariahilf (6th District) Here, visitors can find some of the best shopping in Vienna, including the Mariahilferstrasse shopping street. One of the city’s liveliest districts, the 6th is also home to a number of pubs, theaters, and the Vienna Aquarium.
  • Hietzing (13th District) Home to some of the city’s most popular tourist attractions—including the Vienna Zoo and Schönbrunn Palace—this district is also home to lush, sprawling woodlands, scenic wineries, and a number of hiking trails.

When To Go To Vienna

Vienna is a year-round destination that’s most visited in summer due to its mild (yet sometimes rainy) weather. In spring and fall, there are fewer tourists, and the hotel rates are less pricey—and the weather, though a bit chillier, is still pleasant. Though winter can be downright cold in Vienna, it’s also an incredibly magical time to visit because of the holiday decorations and Christmas festivities.

  • Getting Around: The city has an incredibly convenient public transportation system that includes buses, trains, trams, local trains, and a subway (U-Bahn), making it incredibly easy to explore. Biking Vienna is also a snap as it is one of Europe’s most bike-friendly cities, with available bike stations throughout the city.
  • Hot Tip: The Vienna City Card provides discounts on attractions, and tours, and offers select public transportation at no cost; while the Vienna Pass is an all-inclusive ticket for a plethora of the city’s top attractions
  • When To Go: The relatively mild temperatures of fall and spring (both before and after the ‘rainy’ season, which usually lasts from May through August) are some of the best times to visit Vienna.
  • Fun Fact: Vienna has been home to such famous classical composers as Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, and Strauss and is appropriately nicknamed the “City of Music.”

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Where To Stay In Vienna

Vienna has a parade of outstanding lodgings waiting to welcome guests to the capital city. From opulent, palatial properties with style and history and style to spare; to hip, chic boutique spots that are bustling with modern flair, there’s something for every traveler looking for unique accommodation that’s oh-so Vienna.

Sustainable Choices

  • Hotel Das Tigra
  • Der Wilhelmshof

Chic & Boutique

  • Hotel Boltzmann
  • Hotel Do & Co
  • Alma Boutique Hotel

Luxe Grandeur

  • Grand Hotel Wien
  • Hotel Sacher Wien
  • Hotel Imperial

Rooms With A View

  • Hotel AM Parkring
  • SO/Vienna

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Where To Eat & Drink In Vienna

Much like the city itself, Vienna’s cuisine scene is a culturally diverse mix—celebrating its illustrious past while still pushing the envelope when it comes to innovation and modern takes on the classics. And while there is no shortage of fantastic eateries, undoubtedly the best are the spots that are unapologetically Viennese, serving up all the flair (with a side of deliciousness) that makes the city one of Europe’s most eclectic capitals.

  • Palmenhaus A stunning setting overlooking the Hofburg palace gardens, this historical (yet hip) spot is an undeniably cool place to grab a bite $$-$$$
  • Restaurant and Bar Motto A classic spot that keeps its edge with slick decor and a modern-meets-traditional menu, this 5th district find is definitely worth the splurge $$$+
  • Café Central An Italian Palazzo in the heart of Vienna, this historic haunt has hosted some big names throughout its tenure (think Sigmund Freud himself!), making it worth a stop if only for its cool coffeehouse vibes, $$
  • Naschmarkt All of Vienna’s vibrant vibes are on display at the best-known food market in the city: a great place to grab a bite, people watch and stroll the flea market on Saturdays for a souvenir to remember $-$$

Best Things To Do In Vienna

As a city rich with culture and a long, storied history, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in Vienna. And for visitors that only have a weekend (long or otherwise) to explore the city, it’s still possible to experience a snapshot of everything that makes Vienna so special with a bit of planning—and a sense of adventure.

  • Schönbrunn Palace A must-see destination for Viennese art, architecture, history, and sprawling, picturesque gardens Schönbrunner Schloßstraß 47 1130 Vienna. Love palatial properties? Then be sure to check out the stunning Hofburg Palace, too
  • Danube Island Visitors looking to bask in some of the city’s best outdoor recreation (both on and off the water) will not want to miss this fun city spot Albertinaplatz/Maysedergasse 1010 Wien
  • St. Stephen’s Cathedral One of Vienna’s most iconic buildings, there’s something for everyone at this Romanesque/Baroque/Gothic masterpiece—from the catacombs, all the way to the roof walk Stephansplatz 3 1010 Vienna.
  • Belvedere Museum Stroll the gardens; ogle the art and architecture; or simply grab an IG-worthy pic at one of Vienna’s most stunning palatial complexes Prinz Eugen-Straße 27, 1030 Wien.
  • Vienna Woods A lush forested spot just west of the city, there are a number of ways to explore this wooded gem—from underground boat rides to half-day tours.

With so many things to see and do in Vienna, it may seem like a daunting task for visitors looking to explore in just a single weekend. However, the city’s walkability and stellar public transportation make it a snap to see many of its best sights—even in a short(er) period of time. So whether it’s a planned itinerary or a simple stroll through the city’s cobblestoned streets, there’s a surprise around every corner for travelers looking to experience this stunning European capital.