Visiting Vienna on a budget is pretty easy. Vienna, also known as “Wien” in German, is a UNESCO world heritage site and bursting with Imperial history and Baroque architecture with musical accompanied by Mozart and Strauss.
Located at east of Austria, and traveler would fall in love with its charm, history, art, music, and true tales of princesses and kings. This beautiful city is well known for Maria Theresa’s reign as well as Emperor Franz Joseph I and his beloved wife, Empress Elisabeth of Austria, aka Sisi. Travelers can explore the world’s cultural heritage by planning a self trip to the world-famous attraction at Vienna.
Despite the history tales, there are so many attractions in Vienna to explore and traveler can plan their day trip based on their interest. For an art lover, you can spend the whole day by visiting the museum, enjoy a world-class music concert, or just doing nothing by enjoying a nice cup of Viennese coffee at an elegant classic cafe.
We have summarized the transportation guide on how to get to Vienna city from airport and getting around in Vienna, food guide for what to eat and drink, accommodation guide for where to stay, and of course things to do in Vienna and nearby attraction in budget.
See how we spend three days in Vienna with full of fun and excitement, especially we were visiting Vienna on budget which is something more challenging.
How To Get To Vienna City
The nearest airport is Vienna International Airport (Flughafen Wien-Schwechat, airport code: VIE), located 12 miles (19 km) east of the heart of Austria’s capital. The airport and city is well connected by various public transport with different option available.
Transportation From Airport To Vienna City
By Bus: €8 with 20 minutes traveling time. You can purchase tickets directly from the driver on the bus.
By taxi: cost approximately €36 and it will only take 20 minutes to reach the downtown area of Vienna.
By private transfer: The most comfortable transport serves as a driver will be waiting for you in the Vienna airport arrivals hall. Remember to pre-book your private airport transfer and enter your flight information correctly. Cost is similar to taxi, but private transfer will guarantee your arrival and send you to your destination as desired.
By Train: Express CAT (City Airport Train) or the slower S7 Schnellbahn (city train). CAT is a dedicated airport train, cost €11 for one way or €17 for return ticket with the non-stop route is from Wien Mitte to the airport (and vice versa) in 16 minutes. Traveler can easily connect to Subway (U3 and U4), Tram (line O), Train (S1, S2, S3, S4, S7 and more), or Bus (74A) once reach Wien Mitten. So some people will choose to stay at the Wien Mitte area as it is the central location and well connected with various public transport.
The S7 city train is much cheaper compare with CAT, whereas the traveler can get the ticket by €4.20 for a single ticket; €1.80 if you already have a travel pass for the city. As this is the city train, so please expected for the crowd during the peak hour and there will be no extra space for luggage. Traveling time is approximately 30 minutes.
Getting Around In Vienna
First of all, Vienna is the capital of Austria, boasting by great transportation links of buses, trams, trains, metros.
The city of Vienna is not big, and mostly all the sightseeing spots are quite concentrated within walking distance. I enjoyed adventure the beauty of the city and getting lost by walking. However, certain of the location like Schönbrunn Palace and Belvedere Palace are hardly reach on foot and required to take the transport.
Where to Stay In Vienna
The public transport of Vienna is so convenient with well connected by great public transport. This make finding accommodation in Vienna is much simpler. A wide range of hotels, hostels, apartments with different budgets can be chosen.
If you choose to visit Vienna on budget, we still highly suggest you choose the accommodation near the station which will greatly help you to save a lot of traveling time. We choose the Wombats Hostel, Naschmarkt which is right next to Naschmarkt and close to the subway station. The strategic location helping us save a lot of traveling time and we are very glad that we did this smart decision.
Luxury Hotel In Vienna
Hotel Sacher Wien is one of the top choices of staying in Vienna, located directly opposite the Staatsoper Opera House. Classical Victorian-era decor with excellent room service. Well, Grand Hotel Wien is a good option for luxury stay featuring a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of Vienna and three minutes walk from the famous Kärntner Straße Shopping Street. Not to forget Hotel Bristol, another Luxury Collection Hotel, located directly next to the Vienna State Opera and superb convenient to explore the major sights of the city with 3 minutes’ walking distance.
Mid Range Accommodation In Vienna
Hotel Kaiserhof Wien offers luxury at reasonable price accommodation stay in Vienna. It located in a quiet side street of Vienna and within walking distance to every sign in Vienna city center. Travelers love its strategic location and excellent breakfast with a nice variety of choices. You may also consider Austria Trend Hotel Savoyen Vienna, located next to Belvedere Palace with walking distance to the tram station.
Budget Hostel In Vienna
If you are the budget type, you can choose the Wombats Hostel Naschmarkt with clean and spacious room. The location is incredibly central in the city with walking distance to Naschmarkt and the train station. Alternatively, consider a&o Wien Hauptbahnhof with a lower price yet accessible by public transport.
Top 10 Things To Do In Vienna
Planning on visiting Vienna for the first time? Here are my Top 10 Things To Do in Vienna for beginner’s guide. There are so many exciting things to try out at Vienna and the activities are catered for all types of travelers.
If you’re a historical lover, you can plan one or two days of museum trip to explore and experience the centuries-old development of Central Europe. Don’t forget to spend some time to enjoy the classical music concert or enjoy a nice cup of coffee at an elegant coffee house.
Top 10 Things To Do For Your Vienna Itinerary:
- Schönbrunn Palace
- Belvedere Palace
- St. Stephen’s Church (Stephansdom)
- Enjoy World Class Classical Music Concert
- Naschmarkt (Snack Market)
- Vienna Cafe Tour
- Spanish Riding School
- Hundertwasserhaus, World Most Quirky Building
- Prater Park And The Giant Ferries Wheel
Location map the top 10 must visit in Vienna:[intergeo id=”AOzUzM”][/intergeo]
1. Schönbrunn Palace
Schönbrunn Palace is one of the most historical buildings in Vienna and it is the former summer residence of Hapsburgs with over 1,400 rooms in this palace. However, not all the rooms are open to the public and you can visit the 40 rooms by joining the Imperial tour or visiting 22 rooms with Grand tour. You could easily spend the whole day at Schönbrunn Palace.
Large line form all year round, please come early or consider the Schönbrunn Palace-skip the line ticket. Audio guide available in 21 different languages free of charge.
Don’t forget to take a walk to the large, beautiful and spectacular garden with free entry. Locals come here for morning jogs or enjoy the sun.
- Address: Schönbrunner Schloßstraße 47, 1130 Wien, Austria
- Admission: Imperial tour at €16 and Grand Tour at €20
- Getting there: Closest station Schloss Schönbrunn stop
2. Belvedere Palace
Many people came to the Belvedere Palace for the Kiss of Klimt. The 18th-century Belvedere is a UNESCO heritage site, features with a beautiful garden with the world’s largest collection of Gustav Klimt’s art.
The palace is split into two Baroque palaces, with Lower Belvedere and Upper Belvedere, which is also home to the largest Gustav Klimt’s collection including the famous The Kiss of Klimt.
- Address: Prinz Eugen-Straße 27, 1030 Wien, Austria
- Admission: Upper/Lower Belvedere at €16/ €14, visit both at €22
- Getting there: Tram 0, 18 to “Quartier Belvedere or Tram D to “Schloss Belvedere”
3. St. Stephen’s Church (Stephansdom)
Stephansdom cathedral is built in Romanesque and Gothic styles since the 12th century with a 137-meter high spire and beautiful decorated roof.
You can walk around in Stepansplatz to discover one of the most impressive landmarks in Vienna. Added, you can explore the catacombs below the cathedral by paying €6 extra. Alternatively, consider paying for additional €5 to climb up a total of 343 steps of the south tower to the highest point in the city of Vienna for watchman’s lookout.
It’s a great place for visit to explore the architecture of Catholicism.
- Address: Stephansplatz 3, 1010 Wien, Austria
- Opening Hours: Daily 6:00 to 22:00 except Sunday 7:00 to 22:00
Neat collection of museum with home to different museums; the Leopold Museum for Art Noveau and Expressionism; Kunsthalle Wien for contemporary art; and the Mumok for Museum of Modern Art with largest collection in central Europe.
5. Enjoy World-Class Classical Music Concert
Vienna has a strong influence on culture and music scene. Getting tickets to a classical concert is ABSOLUTE MUST at Vienna. During our visit to Vienna, we have spend a night to enjoy the opera music at Staatsoper or State Opera House. Staatsoper is one of the largest and most famous opera houses in the world.
Remember to reserve your ticket especially for the weekend show as cheap ticket selling out extremely fast. See how we save our money by spending €15 only for a seated ticket for a great wonderful performance at Staatsoper.
6. Naschmarkt (Snack Market)
Naschmarkt (snack market) is Vienna’s most eclectic largest open-air market with over 120 market stalls selling local produce. You can easily find fruits, vegetables and exotic foods and spices from all around the world.
It’s nice to feel like a local by enjoying a meal here with wine. A great location to grab a bite or enjoy your lunch with some fresh delightful Viennese specialty.
- Address: 1060 Vienna, Austria
- Opening Hours: Daily 9:00 – 18:30. Close on Sunday
- Admission: Free
- Getting there: U4 “Kettenbrückengasse”
7. Vienna Cafe Tour
One of the best things to do in Vienna is to sit in one of the Viennese coffee and enjoy a cup of nice coffee. There are many world-class cafes available like Julius Meinl, Café Central, Café Demel, and many more in Vienna for Vienna your cafe tour.
Order a “Schwarzer’ for a black coffee, ‘Brauner’ for a black coffee with milk or a ‘Melange’ for coffee with cream
8. Spanish Riding School
One of the famous things to do in Vienna. The superb Spanish Riding School was established after the ruler had the famous Lipizzaner horse introduced to his courtesans in 1562. You can witness the training of Lipizzaners and their riders during the morning exercise.
9. Hundertwasserhaus, World Most Quirky Building
A quick stop to visit the shrine to one of Austria’s most important artist’s work, Hundertwasserhaus. This colorful apartment is famous as the “nature and human-friendly” house and build after the idea of the Austrian artist, Friedensreich Hundertwasser with the colorfully decorated facade.
You cannot visit it as people are living inside. Take a picture from outside with this world’s most quirky house.
- Address: Kegelgasse 36-38, 1030 Wien, Austria
- Getting there: From U1, U4 “Schwedenplatz”, take tram 1 and stop at Hetzgasse
10. Prater Park And The Giant Ferries Wheel
Prater is a large natural park located in Vienna’s 2nd district (Leopoldstadt) between the Danube and the Danube Canal. It is the oldest amusement park in the world, so-called the “Wurstelprater”.
However, the most highlight in Prater Park is the Giant Ferries Wheel which has been turning since 1897. It has the most luxurious cabin for parties up to 12, help getting a wonderful view of Vienna from above.
- Address: 1020 Vienna, Austria
- Opening Hours: Daily 10:00 – 23:00
- Admission: Free entree but charged on attractions.
- Getting there: U1, U2 “Praterstern”
Day Trip Nearby Vienna
There is also some of the one day trip nearby Vienna waiting for you to explore.
- Wachau Valley Cruise and Melk Abbey – Take A day tour on Danube Valley to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Wachau valley by the 90 minutes boat ride with an English guided tour. You will see how the river Danube flows and into lush hills, surrounded by vineyard and the Krem and Melk medieval castle.
- Visiting Bratislava, Slovakia – Located only an hour away from Vienna, you can plan a short trip to the capital of Slovakia, Bratislava. Train departs from Vienna one hour interval with a return ticket from OBB cost you only €16 for a round trip. Or going by Flixbus which run regular with around €5 one way. Bratislava is a small capital and easy to travel around on foot. See how we spend a day trip to Bratislava from Vienna. Alternatively, consider going for a day tour to Bratislava from Vienna with a guided tour.
- UNESCO World Heritage Site, Salzburg – A day trip can bring you to the scene of the classical movie “The Sound of Music” and the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at Salzburg. Getting around in Salzburg for its world-famous Schloss Hellbrunn and Trick Fountains, Hohensalzburg Castle, Mirabell Palace and Gardens, Mozart’s birthplace or as simple as strolling around the Salzburg old town can easily spend the whole day. See how we spend our one-day itinerary in Salzburg here.
- Vienna Woods and Mayerling – Enjoy half a day escaping the city by exploring the nature of Vienna Woods and memorial chapel of Mayerling during your stay in Vienna. However, it is just hard to get to these place without being on tour. Suggest going on tour to exploring Vienna outskirts. The tour will include a boat ride in Europe’s largest underground river, Seegrotte Hinterbrühl.
What To Eat At Vienna
Even we were visiting Vienna on budget, we ere forgot about to save some money on food. You hardly can’t miss the best food and cafe in Vienna. Listed are some of the recommended food to eat at Vienna. For something authentic, make sure you try various traditional dishes. Not the MUST EAT but it is worth to give a try to taste the Vienna.
Sacher-torte – One of the most decadent desserts served at Hotel Sacher. Some say it is overrated and very pricey because of the name. But I still give it a try for this famous rich dark chocolate cake. Don’t forget to pair it when a strong Viennese coffee.
Apfelstrudel – One of the traditional dessert is Apfelstrudel. It is is an apple strudel with sweet, cinnamon and apple-filled pastry, topped with some whipped cream or warm vanilla source. Perfect match with a hot coffee.
Schnitzel – You can’t go to Vienna without a Wiener schnitzel. Austria is the birthplace of Schnitzel. Plenty of restaurants served this dish and the most famous Figlmüller served the biggest schnitzels in town. Please beware that it’s huge and easily serves two people.
Spare ribs – The popular food at Vienna and mostly all traditional Austrian restaurants served them. One of the famous restaurant, Ribs of Vienna offer a wide range of mouth-watering pork spare ribs. Don’t forget to book your reservation as the restaurant easily gets full by locals and tourists.
Continue to read on: Vienna Food Guide: What and Where to Eat in Vienna
How To Spend Two or Three Days In Vienna
There are so many things to do in this gorgeous Vienna city and could not cover by one or two days of short visit. After consider on our Central Europe trip itinerary, schedule, and planning, we spend a total of three days in Vienna strolling around including a half-day trip to Bratislava.
See how we spend three wonderful days in Vienna itinerary on budget:
- Day 1: Arrived Vienna. Visit Schönbrunn Palace and Schönbrunn park.
- Day 2: Visit Hofburg, Graben, Stephansdom. Tea break in Cafe Central.
- Day 3: Day Trip To Bratislava from Vienna
Day 1: Schönbrunn Palace
We arrived Vienna after two hours of train journey from Salzburg. The first day of the Vienna itinerary is more on historical visit at Schönbrunn Palace. We spend most of time exploring the important architectural, cultural, historical monuments in Vienna. In the evening, we also have a leisure walk in the huge beautiful garden at Schönbrunn park. We end our day with juicy ribs and a cooling beer at Ribs of Vienna. Very delicious!
Day 2: Hofburg, Graben, Stephansdom
The second day in Vienna is very leisure and free. We enjoy our time exploring Naschmarkt in the morning, while afternoon we are wandering around and take a detailed look at Hofburg, Graben, Stephansdom at the city center. Lunch at most famous Figlmüller for biggest schnitzels in town and spending leisure time at cafe central for their gorgeous cakes and dessert. Not to forget to enjoy a world-class opera show at Staatsoper Vienna.
Day 3: Day Trip To Bratislava
Vienna and Bratislava are good in coupled up together when traveling in Vienna. Thanks to its excellent train system, we have a day trip to Bratislava from Vienna on the last day in Vienna itinerary. See my guide on Bratislava: A Charming Unpolished Old Town in Slovakia.
Visiting Vienna on Budget
Vienna is not a cheap city and can consider one of the most expensive cities in Austria. You need to prepared to pay for a lot of money for entrance, concern, foods, and drinks. However, visiting Vienna on a budget is still achievable. The first thing to understand is how to explore Vienna by spending less yet enjoy the most.
Don’t forget to read on our money saving tips if you plan to visit Vienna on budget.
- Visit With Vienna Pass
- Travel With Vienna Transportation Pass
1. Visit With Vienna Pass
The first money-saving tip for visiting Vienna on a budget is getting Vienna Pass. Vienna has a great selection of museums and Palaces with entry fees can be very costly if you buying one-by-one. Forget about the Vienna Pass if you not does not plan on visiting the museum or palace.
However, if you are planning to visit a lot of city’s attraction, it’s worth to investing in Vienna Pass which cost €70/€95/€125/€125 for 1/2/3/6 days with free entry to over 70 of Vienna’s most popular attractions and museums, including the Imperial Palace, Schönbrunn Zoo and the Natural History Museum as well as hop-on hop-off bus tour. It also covered the fast track entry to certain of top attractions. Optional, you may also include the travel card which will cover all your transportation when getting around Vienna.
Book your Vienna Pass here and easily redeem at Vienna PASS Customer Service Center at Underground passage at State Opera.
2. Travel With Vienna Transportation Pass
If you are just want to getting around and visiting Vienna on budget, we are highly recommended you to get the Vienna transportation pass for 24/48/72 hours with €8/€14.10/€17.10 respectively.
You may be questioning why you need the transportation pass as mostly you will explore the beauty of Vienna by foot. A single trip ticket of the metro will cost a flat rate of €2.40 each way no matter how far you go. If you will take at least two times of public transport, the Vienna transportation pass is a worthy investment. Do your smart calculation!
If you need longer stay for seven full days, there’s also a weekly ticket with €17.10. Take note that this weekly ticket is followed as per calendar week which valid from Monday midnight until next Monday at 9 a.m.
Plan your trip and it can save you a lot of money by getting the right transportation card. Visiting Vienna on a budget is pretty easy. However, remember to validate your Vienna card before starting the first journey.
How We Plan On Our Central Europe Trip
Planning to visit Central Europe? Check out our perfect itinerary to Prague and the Cesky Krumlov in Czech Republic for three to five days.
Exploring the World’s Most Beautiful town, Hallstatt, visit to Salzburg and Vienna in Austria.
- Salzburg: City of “The Sound of Music” And Mozart
- Hallstatt: Most Beautiful Lake Town In The World
- Vienna: How to visit Vienna on budget
Have a side visit from Salzburg to Munich and Berchtesgaden, a day trip to Bratislava, Slovakia from Vienna. Lastly, see how we plan three days in Budapest.