Nuts-and-bolts information to plan your trip, plus a checklist of essentials to include when you pack and a list of links to local media
Entry Requirements: U.S. citizens need a valid passport to enter Austria and may stay up to 90 days without a visa.
Security: Vienna is generally a safe city, however, guard against pickpockets in popular tourist and shopping areas. Don’t carry a lot of cash and lock any valuables in your hotel’s safe.
Time: Austria is six hours ahead of U.S. eastern standard time.
Money: The local currency is the euro. For current conversion rates go to OANDA Currency Converter: www.oanda.com/convert/classic.
Phone Calls: When calling Vienna from the U.S., dial 011 43 1, then the local number. To call the U.S. from Austria, dial 001 followed by the area code and phone number.
When to Go: Visit during the mild (average 68°F [20°C]) summer season to experience the outdoor cafés and explore the historic sites on foot. December is cold (average 34°F [1°C]), but magical with Christmas markets, horse-drawn carriages, and snow-topped hillsides.
Getting There: Vienna has only one international airport, Vienna International Airport. The City Airport Train (CAT) goes directly to the city center in about 15 minutes. A cheaper alternative is the regular train from the airport to Landstrasse station (about 30 minutes). Purchase tickets on the train platform and validate before boarding.
If traveling to Vienna from within Europe, you may also choose to arrive at the Bratislava international airport about 37 miles (60 kilometers) away from the city. A shuttle bus transports arriving passengers to Vienna. www.airportshuttle.sk
Getting Around: Vienna is a very walkable city with a number of its main tourist attractions situated in the city’s first district (the city center). There’s also an extensive public transportation system including buses, trams, and five subway lines, plus an alternative system of night buses. Private sightseeing buses offer city tours (www.viennasightseeing.at). Ride the number one or two public tram lines to tour the first district along the Ringstrasse.
Advance Reservations: Tickets to the opera, philharmonic orchestra, and major touring acts often sell out quickly. For upcoming events and advance tickets, contact the Vienna tourist office (info.wien.at).
Power Adapters: If you are taking electrical appliances on your trip, you may need power adapters for European plugs and a charger. Austria uses 220 volts versus 110 volts in the United States.
Money: The currency in Austria is the euro. In Vienna, you can easily obtain cash from any of the numerous ATMs (called Bankomat) around town. Most bigger shops, restaurants, and hotels accept credit cards.
Winter Clothing: If you travel to Vienna in the winter months, pack warm clothes, gloves, hats, and scarves to protect yourself against the strong penetrating winds.
Walking Shoes: Vienna is a walkable city year-round, so pack a pair of comfortable shoes for your sightseeing tours.
Austrian Tourism Board
Extensive information on Vienna and its surroundings, plus other Austrian destinations. Includes culture, travel tips, and weather reports. www.austria.info
Viennese Society of Music Lovers—Musikverein
Updated classical music concert schedules and online tickets for venues throughout the city, including performances by the Viennese Philharmonic Orchestra. www.musikverein.at
Vienna State Opera
Information on the current program, history, performances, artists, and guided tours of the Vienna State Opera house. Also, online ticket sales. www.wiener-staatsoper.at
Vienna Boys’ Choir
Up-to-date information on the concert schedule, plus historical information, photos, and audio clips. www.wsk.at
Spanish Riding School
The history and philosophy of the famous Viennese Spanish Riding School, plus online ticket sales for the current performances. www.srs.at
Celebrates eight centuries of Jewish history in the Leopoldstadt district. Includes cultural facts and information on guided tours and Jewish weddings. www.jewish-vienna.at
Informative guide to Vienna’s coffeehouse culture, plus the addresses of some of the best known traditional Viennese cafés. www.wiener-kaffeehaus.at
Information about Vienna’s unique wine taverns or heurigen. Includes the schedule for Heurigen Express train tours around the Viennese vineyards. www.heurigenexpress.at
Danube Boat Trips
Boat trips in and around Vienna. For the current schedule and routes, check www.ddsg-blue-danube.at.
Bratislava Boat Trips
Schedule and fare information for boat tours from Vienna to Slovakia’s capital Bratislava, which is about 37 miles (60 kilometers) away from the city via Twin City Liner. www.twincityliner.com
Sigmund Freud Museum
Historical and tour information about the house where Sigmund Freud lived and worked between 1891 and 1938. www.freud-museum.at
News and shows in German and English; news in French. Features a wide range of musical styles and information on current concerts, exhibitions, and other art events. Fm4.orf.at
Weekly newspaper in German with a complete guide to Vienna’s cultural life, including cinema, concerts, theater, dance, art exhibitions, dining, and clubbing. Online version includes an events database. www.falter.at
Local online English-language newspaper, with daily updates on Austrian politics, business, general news, culture, and sports. www.austria-today.at
In print since 1703, this local daily newspaper is said to be one of the oldest in the world. It also has an English edition. www.wienerzeitung.at
A detailed monthly guide to Vienna’s cultural life, published by the Vienna Tourist Board. Available for free at major tourist sights and in hotels.
Travel Photos From Your Shot
See photos of World Heritage sites in Europe submitted to National Geographic by users like you.