City of the Month: Vienna

Each month we provide the low-down on a European city. Our focus in July is Vienna…

Offering a wealth of historic grandeur, with some of Europe’s most exquisite imperial buildings, visitors to Vienna can immerse themselves in fine art, design, architecture, and musical performances while experiencing the city’s vibrant food, elegant wine, and celebrated coffee house culture.

As far as MICE visitors are concerned, Vienna is recognised as one of the world’s top congress and convention destinations; the Austria Center Vienna has a capacity for around 20,000 people; the Messe Wien Exhibition & Congress Center holds up to 3,300 people; and the Hofburg Palace up to 4,900 people.

With culture, diverse experiences, and large-scale conference facilities, Vienna appeals to a broad spectrum of traveler and is ideal for:

  • Leisure groups
  • Students
  • MICE
  • FITs

VIENNA FACTFILE

Population of Vienna: 1.9 million

Location: Situated in north-eastern Austria, to the east of the Alps, and straddling the Danube river

Nearest airport: Vienna International Airport is 11 miles south-east of the city

Getting around Vienna: 

  • Vienna’s public transport network – buses, trams, trains, and metro lines – is excellent
  • Taxis in the city are affordable
  • Vienna is also bike-friendly and rentals are straight-forward

What to eat and drink in Vienna:

Wiener Schnitzel (veal cutlet which is flattened, coated in breadcrumbs and fried) or hearty beef goulash followed by Apfelstrudel (hot spiced apple pie made with flaky pastry). Coffee houses serve an array of enticing gateaux, including Sachertorte (a rich, glazed chocolate cake with apricot jam)

Vienna claims to be the coffee house capital of the world and the coffee here is exceptional. Vienna has several celebrated vineyards – Gruner Veltliner (dry white wine) being the most cultivated wine in Austria. Beer is also very popular – Vienna has a large brewery, Ottakringer, and numerous microbreweries

Weather/seasons in Vienna:

Vienna has a temperate climate with warm to hot summers and cold winters. The hottest, sunniest months are July (average 19.9°, 9 hours of sunshine) and August (average 19.5°, 8 hours of sunshine); the coldest and driest month is January, average -0.6° and just 35mm rain; you can expect snow from December to February, although this doesn’t usually pose a problem for the city

Visit Vienna in…

April and May for warm days and the chance to explore without summer’s peak visitors.
June to August for festivals, café culture, gourmet street food markets, outdoor cinemas and pub gardens.
Mid-November to end of December fortraditional festive markets and stunning Christmas lights.

Vienna’s top 12 must-visit landmarks and attractions

  1. Wiener Rathaus – the town hall, with its elaborate neo-Gothic façade, is also home to the fantastic Rathauskeller restaurant; and the Rathausplatz hosts events, concerts, and markets all year-round
  2. Stephansdom/Stephansplatz – Vienna’s cathedral is one of the tallest churches in the world
  3. Hofburg Palace – visit the ornate imperial palace on Sunday for High Mass and witness the Vienna Boys’ Choir
  4. Schönbrunn Palace and Albertina – the picturesque grounds boast a palm house, zoo, maze, and artificial Roman ruins; and Albertina houses valuable graphic illustrations
  5. Prater – a nostalgic amusement park with rollercoasters, carousels, and a giant Ferris Wheel
  6. Wiener Staatsoper – the grand Viennese State Opera House hosts daily opera performances, ballet shows, and concerts
  7. Spanische Hofreitschule – witness the spectacle of Lipizzaner stallions performing dressage at the Spanish Riding School at Hofburg
  8. Stadtpark Vienna – at approximately 65,000 m², this is the city’s largest park – a peaceful spot with pools, fountains, and a golden statue of Johann Strauss
  9. Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna – a museum full of paintings, sculptures, and works by Europe’s finest Old Masters
  10. Hundertwasserhaus and Museum – an apartment block designed by the celebrated artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser and a museum dedicated to his work
  11. Leopold Museum – home to one of the world’s most extensive collections of Austrian art, including pieces by Klimt and Schiele
  12. Kärntner Strasse – an exclusive shopping street, offering flagship stores, coffee houses, horse-drawn carriage tours, and the renowned Hotel Sacher 

Vienna’s top 3 events and festivals

  1. Wiener Festwochen – from May to June, Vienna hosts a festival of theatre, music, performance, and art.
  2. Wiener Wiesn-Fest – Vienna’s equivalent to Munich’s Oktoberfest celebrates Austrian folklore with a funfair, music, dance, and traditional food and beer (held from late September – October).
  3. New Year’s Eve Trail – 12 hours of celebrations, diverse music, culinary specialties, mulled wine and a huge firework display.

Vienna’s nearby attractions

  1. Wachau Valley – the valley is a World Heritage Site due to its spectacular scenery, rich history and culture. Beautiful Melk Abbey and other monasteries, sleepy villages, exquisite castles, and rolling vine-clad hills, create a scene from bygone times.
  2. Salzburg – 2.5 hours by train from Vienna, picturesque Salzburg is home to elegant buildings set amid mountains.
  3. River Danube – a trip along the river by boat, through the Danube Valley, takes in some utterly beautiful scenery. The river winds through Budapestand Bratislava, and the Wachau Valley or Melk.

We’ve been sharing our European travel expertise for over 40 years – please get in touch to discuss your bespoke travel requirements or one of our signature itineraries.

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