Vienna is one of those destinations that doesn’t have a ‘go-to season’. It’s incredible all year round! If you’re wondering when is the best time to visit the Austrian capital, or you’re already planning your trip to Vienna but you don’t know where to start from and need some useful tips – then keep on reading.
When to visit Vienna?
This strongly depends on your personal preference because when it comes to this city, every season has its incredibly charming features. Besides, there is always something going on.
- Winter: Around Christmas time Vienna transforms into a real-life fairy tale like no other place. Things you need to experience during winter include:
- Christmas Markets. When? – End of November till end of December
- Wiener Eistraum: Ice Skating in front of the City Hall. When? – January to March
- Spring: The time when Vienna starts blooming and turns into a beautiful flower garden. Don’t forget to look for those beautiful pink blossom trees at places like Votivpark and Stadtpark! You should also pay a visit to:
- Summer: Vienna tends to be very busy during this season and there are also some interesting events happening:
- VOLX kino – international films are being played in public places like parks and squares. Free entry! When? – May to September
- Donauinselfest – the biggest open-air music festival in Vienna. Free entry! When? – End of June
- Popfest at Karlsplatz (by Austrian bands). Free entry! When? – July
- WUK Platzkonzerte – open air concerts. Free entry! When? – July to August
- Autumn: Definitely one of the most beautiful seasons all year round! If you want to enjoy the remaining warm temperatures of summer (warning – not always so warm) while having a gorgeous fall background, then this is the right season for you. Don’t forget to go to the:
- Buskers Festival at Karlsplatz – clowns, acrobats, musicians and other street performers. Free entry! When? – September
How to get to Vienna:
- Vienna Schwechat Airport: The Viennese airport is located slightly outside of Vienna, so the best way to reach the city is to take the Train (S-Bahn). There are two different companies that operate from Schwechat Airport
- CAT (City Airport Train) – €11 single ticket, €19 return ticket – takes 16 minutes to the city centre (Wien Mitte) without having any stops along the way
- ÖBB – this is the local train company and you have to get the S7 or Railjet (RJ) train. For this option you are going to need two tickets – one for Vienna, and one for the couple of stops outside of Vienna, but this is still the cheapest option. The total price is €4,20 and the trip is not longer than 25 minutes till the central station Wien Mitte.
- Bratislava Airport – Some low cost air companies offer extremely good deals on flights to and from Bratislava (check my article on how to travel Europe on a budget), so if you don’t find any reasonable flights to Austria, why not opt for this option? Bratislava is only 1 hour and less than €10 away from Vienna and the buses stop directly in front of the airport, so it’s incredibly convenient. You can choose between Flixbus and Slovak Lines.
How to get around in Vienna
- Public Transport – it tends to be more pricey than other central European cities, but if you’re staying for more than a few hours, then I wouldn’t suggest buying single tickets every time. The metro operates from 5am till midnight on weekdays and all night long on Friday and Saturday night. If you happen to be out after midnight on a weekday, but don’t want to pay for a cab, there are night buses operating in 30 min intervals. Your ticket is valid for all trams, buses and metro lines.
- €2,40 single ticket – if you buy it in advance
- €2,60 single ticket – if you buy it on the bus or tram
- Daily tickets – €8 for 24 hours; €14,10 for 48 hours, €17,10 for 72 hours – the best option!
- Bike Rental – Vienna is a very bike friendly city. CITY BIKE stations can be find everywhere (usually close to metro stations) and you need one credit card per bike. You have to initially pay a €1 fee to use the service, then you get 1 hour for free every time you pick up a bike. If you happen to exceed this one hour, you pay €1 for the next one. But you can always return them to a new bike station and get a new one for another extra free hour, just saying. You have only one credit card but need more than one bike? In this case you need to get a tourist card for €2.50 a day at “Die Radstation” (address: Am Hauptbahnhof 1). Use the app CityBike station finder to locate the next free bike stations.
Useful tips and information:
- Opening hours – All supermarkets and shops work Monday – Saturday and close on Sundays. Keep this in mind if you are planning on shopping – do not leave it for the last day of the week! There are a few supermarkets open on Sundays. You can find them at the railway stations Praterstern, Hauptbahnhof, Westbahnhof or Franz-Josefs-Bahnhof.
- Quando – the best app to get around Vienna. If you don’t know how to get to a certain place – no worries! Just type in the address and it will tell you exactly which type of transport to get, where to get it from and how long it will take you to reach your destination.
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