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Where to Stay in Vienna
In all, Vienna is a sprawling patchwork of 23 districts, the smallest and most historic of which are clustered together in the city center along the banks of the Danube. The inner city 1st District, or Innere Stadt, is the site of the majority of Vienna’s top attractions, including the Hofburg Palace, the Vienna State Opera House and numerous museums, shops and restaurants. In general, the hotels in this district are in the highest demand because of their location, but there are dozens of choices at all price levels.
Districts 2 through 9 surround the Innere Stadt, and many more hotels can be found in each of them. The nearby districts with the greatest concentrations of hotels include Wieden, the 4th District and home to the Historical Museum of the City of Vienna, and Mariahilf, the 6th District, where you can pick out fresh produce and baked goods at the open-air Naschmarkt. Look for cheap hotel deals in Vienna near the 8th District, Josefstadt, which has numerous lodging options despite being quieter and slower-paced than its bustling neighbors.
Vienna Hotel Tips
Vienna offers a diverse array of accommodations, particularly within the luxury category, where your options include centuries-old palaces converted into elegant hotels and state-of-the-art properties with modern design and resort-style amenities. Most of these top-tier hotels are located in or just outside of the 1st District, but a few noteworthy luxury properties can be found scattered among the surrounding districts, as well.
Mid-range options include numerous modern hotels and others that, while not located inside former palaces, are operated from historic buildings that have a certain regal, “Old Vienna” appeal. You won’t see many chain hotels in the budget category, but you can save considerably by staying in simpler guest houses and family-owned hotels. Keep in mind that all rates in Vienna are above average for Central Europe.
Vienna Hotel Recommendations
If you have the means to splurge on some royally luxurious digs during your stay, look into a few nights at Hotel Sacher, located inside an 1876 palace. Its best classically appointed rooms overlook Vienna’s spectacular Opera House, and the hotel’s namesake even has a very special claim to fame; Franz Sacher, the property’s former chef, invented the Sachertorte, Vienna’s signature dessert. Another fine hotel in the 1st District is the Grand Hotel Wien, which is located directly on the Ringstrasse, Vienna’s most celebrated thoroughfare. The Grand Hotel Wien is well-recognized for its Austrian and Japanese restaurants, Le Ciel and Unkai, which serve some of the city’s most delectable dishes.
Find more affordable accommodations in the surrounding districts like Josefstadt, where the Hotel Graf Stadion offers spacious, comfortable and thrifty rooms within a few minutes’ walk of the city center. In Mariahilf, the Hotel Das Tyrol is a refreshingly modern boutique hotel in an area dominated by more traditional lodging options. Despite its swanky style, its rates are often lower than the average hotel located close to the Ringstrasse.
Rather than rent a car for your stay in Vienna, it’s best to rely on the city’s sophisticated public transit system. Tickets can be purchased in advance at discount rates comparable with most public transit in the U.S., and each validated ticket gets you a full one-way ride, including transfers, to your destination. The system makes use of an extensive underground subway, a series of streetcars and a fleet of buses. While the subway is fastest and most convenient, the streetcars and buses allow you to see more of Vienna as you move about the city.
You can even take public transit to your hotel from the airport after your flight to Vienna lands. Catch the airport shuttle bus to the City Air Terminal, where you can take either the subway or the streetcar into the center of the city.
Taxis are also widely available, and unless traffic is heavy due to rush hour or major events, they’re another efficient means of traveling the area. Taxi rates are more expensive than in most U.S. cities, however.