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Posted: 11/28/2023 | November 28th, 2023
I have really grown to love Vienna. It’s a stunning city bursting at the seams with galleries and museums, classical music, theater, cafés, and gorgeous centuries-old architecture. There’s a lot to do to fill your time here.
As a visitor, deciding where to stay in Vienna can be a little daunting. It’s a huge city that is really spread out. All areas are well connected by subway but there’s a lot of places to choose from. Personally, I think there are only a few districts worth staying in as a visitor.
To help you plan your trip and save time and money, here’s my list of the best neighborhoods, so you know exactly where to stay in Vienna:
City Center (Innere Stadt)
The center of town is an obvious choice. Here, in the heart of the city, you’ll find all the old imperial buildings, palaces, churches, museums, and famed restaurants (including the Hofburg palace, Albertina Museum, and Stephansplatz Square). It’s the busiest part of town, but you’ll get the most accommodation options as well as convenience.
Best places to stay in the City Center:
- BUDGET: Hotel-Pension Wild – This two-star hotel is one of the few affordable lodgings in the district, with simple but bright rooms that feature comfortable beds. It’s a quiet hotel in a quiet area so you’ll sleep well. There’s a hearty continental breakfast and the owner is friendly and welcoming too. If you’re on a super tight budget, there are small, no-frills single rooms with a shared bathroom.
- MIDRANGE: Hotel Domizil – This boutique hotel has small, clean rooms with décor that makes you feel like you’re back in Vienna’s imperial past. The rooms have plenty of light, the shower has great water pressure, and you can walk to all the main sights from here in less than 15 minutes. I think this is one of the best value accommodations in the district.
- LUXURY: The Ritz-Carlton Vienna – This is arguably the fanciest hotel in town. The marble bathrooms are huge and the showers have great water pressure, while the rooms themselves are also massive and have big, comfy beds (as well as desks, AC, and electric kettles). There’s a huge breakfast buffet and a free glass of champagne when you check in.
Just south of the City Center is Wieden, home to the famous Naschmarkt, an outdoor market and food hall. The Karlskirche (St. Charles Church) can be found on the northern tip of the district, while the massive Belvedere Palace lines the eastern edge, surrounded by parks and greenery. I like this area because of the market, restaurants, quieter side streets, and accommodation choices.
Best places to stay in Wieden:
- BUDGET: Wombats – This centrally located hostel is one of my favorites in Vienna. There’s a lively bar on-site (with cheap beer) and a café for food and snacks. I like the large rooms, which have lockers in which to store your stuff while you’re out exploring. The dorm beds also have individual outlets and reading lights (but no privacy curtains). It’s a fun, social hostel that makes it easy to connect with other travelers.
- MIDRANGE: Hotel Johann Strauss – This is a modern, bright, and stylish four-star hotel located in a historic Art Nouveau building. The rooms are airy and bright (the double rooms have desks in case you need to work), and the beds are comfortable. The bathrooms are large, and the water pressure in the shower is great too. I really enjoyed the breakfast buffet, which features a lot of fresh fruit and pastries.
- LUXURY: There are no real luxury places in this part of town. For a five-star option nearby, check out Hotel Imperial in neighboring City Center (the closest five-star hotel to Wieden). Decorated with stately antiques, this palatial hotel makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The rooms are huge and feature chic marble bathrooms, and the suites even come with your own butler! It’s the pinnacle of luxury in the area.
This part of town is just northwest of the City Center. It’s really quiet and has a lot of cheap eats because of the nearby university. It’s close to the center of town (you can walk there in 15 minutes), but it has a much more local feel (there are very few hotels here for that reason). You’ll find lots of good cafés here, as well as the Freud Museum. The giant red brick Rossauer Barracks, the headquarters of Austria’s Ministry of Defense, looms large over the southern part of the neighborhood.
Best places to stay in Rossau:
- MIDRANGE: Hotel Mozart – One of the few hotels in the area, the Mozart boasts a filling breakfast spread each morning. Its rooms are all bright, clean, and spacious, and have comfy beds, as well as AC (a must if you’re visiting in the summer). There’s also a bar on-site, and the staff are always happy to share their tips and advice.
Across the river, north of the City Center is Karmeliterviertel, a quiet residential area. You don’t find a lot of tourists here (since there’s not a lot of attractions), the shops are less busy, and it’s more peaceful in general. It’s still easy to get to everything, thanks to the extensive public transportation (you can walk to the City Center in around 15 minutes too). I think this is a good place for families looking for large places to stay that are quieter.
Best places to stay in Karmeliterviertel:
- BUDGET: MEININGER Vienna Downtown Sissi – This budget-friendly accommodation is run by a hotel/hostel chain, so it feels more like a hostel than a hotel. The rooms are spacious and large, and while all are private, there’s a shared kitchen, common area, and bar, so it’s easy to meet people. Rooms have TVs and desks, and the beds all have reading lights and outlets. I like to think of it as a hostel that only has private rooms (the best of both worlds).
- LUXURY: House of Time – This boutique five-star hotel with an avant-garde, arty vibe consists only of suites, each with a unique, colorful design. The rooms are huge and feature desks, couches, comfy beds, and even a sauna in some. The service here is incredible too (the delicious fresh breakfast spread, for example, is brought to your room each morning). It’s perfect for travelers who want a bit of luxury but also peace and quiet.
This is a massive district, so you can find a ton of variety here. Part of the area is glitzy, with many high-end restaurants and hotels. The lavish Baroque Belvedere Palace is here too, surrounded by acres of relaxing parks and greenery, perfect for lounging the day away when the sun is out. Further afield, the district becomes more laid-back and residential, home to lots of families. It’s very walkable and has a local, friendly feel compared to the busier tourist areas of town.
Best places to stay in Landstrasse:
- BUDGET: Rioca Vienna Posto 2 – Designed to emulate the feeling of being in Brazil, the lobby incorporates jungle décor to imitate the rainforest. There’s also a bar, gym, and laundry facilities on-site. The rooms are apartment-style, so you have access to a small kitchenette if you want to make food (there’s breakfast available if you don’t want to cook, though). The walk-in showers have nice water pressure, and the beds are especially comfy and soft.
- MIDRANGE: Hotel Am Konzerthaus Vienna – This stylish four-star hotel has large, bright rooms with super comfy beds. The bathrooms are spacious and well lit, featuring plush bathrobes and relaxing rain showers. The breakfast buffet is huge and has a lot of options, but I especially love that the on-site restaurant Apron has a Michelin star (it does amazing modern takes on traditional Austrian dishes). The hotel is a perfect choice for travelers who want a mix of value and luxury. It’s just a short walk to the Belvedere Palace too.
- LUXURY: InterContinental Wien – A five-star hotel, this is one of the most luxe properties in the area. It has huge, classically decorated rooms with comfy beds, AC, and desks, and a state-of-the-art fitness center with a spa, personal trainers, sunbeds, a sauna, and a steam room. I love that the bar hosts regular live music (as well as a happy hour) and that the breakfast (which was amazing) has lots of vegan and vegetarian options. The massive Stadtpark is right next door.
While Vienna is kind of spread out, as a traveler, everything you need is centrally located, and all the neighborhoods you might want to stay in are adjacent to the City Center and not far from one another. That means that if you pick one of those listed above, it will be easy (and fast) to get around and see the sights, saving you time and money in the process.
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