With its grand tree lined avenues with many lavish villas and palaces to the aromas of fresh coffee and pastries from the abundance of coffee shops and cafes, Vienna is a city that will stir up your senses in many ways. Vienna has been on my to-do list now for quite some time, and I’m really not sure why I hadn’t booked a trip before now. I booked my Vienna city break as part of my recent multi-city trip, spending the first couple of days in Budapest, before travelling on to Vienna for the rest of my trip.
Vienna City Break
Flight Time from London: The published flight time from London to Vienna is 2 hours and 20 minutes, but the actual flight time is around 2 hours.
Airline & Airport of Operation: I flew back from Vienna on British Airways as I booked one of their flight plus hotel deals. On this occasion I had booked a multi-destination hotel deal with open-jaw flights, starting in Budapest then travelling on to Vienna. BA, however do offer single destination flight and hotel packages to Vienna, currently priced from £117pp. British Airways fly 5 times a day from Heathrow Terminal 3.
My Vienna City Break was part of a multi city European trip and on my return flight I flew from Vienna to Heathrow on British Airways and I was able to use the Air Lounge in Vienna Airport. The Air Lounge is open to British Airways Club Europe passengers as well as gold and silver executive card holders.
Transfer Time to City: Vienna Airport is located 10 miles from the city centre and takes 16 minutes by the CAT airport train, and costs €12 for a single trip and €21 for a return.
Where to Stay on a Vienna City Break: For this Vienna City Break I chose to stay in the Vienna Hilton, located just on the edge of central Vienna. The room rate at this hotel didn’t include breakfast, which wasn’t a problem as I was there for just one day and had breakfast out. The hotel lobby was quite large and open plan, with a lot of seating and the main bar area. There was also a restaurant next to the lobby but I didn’t eat there during my stay. The decoration was what you would find in many Hilton hotels, quite a classic look without being too modern. The rooms were quite spacious and again classically decorated.
The hotel in general was quite clean. The only issue I found with the room was that the temperature was far too hot. This is as issue I’m finding quite often in hotels at the moment. I prefer to sleep in a room which is on the cool side, so having adequate air conditioning is a big thing for me. The location however was fantastic; just a ten minute walk to the city centre, and over the road from Wien Mitte Train Station where you can take the CAT train to the airport, or take a local metro train around Vienna.
Top Attractions for a Vienna City Break
Visit Schönbrunn Schloß
Schönbrunn is located approximately 4 miles from the centre of Vienna and can be accessed by the metro on line U4, or by the blue route on the hop-on-hop-off bus. You can visit the inside of Schönbrunn on one of many tours, with prices starting €14.20, or you can enjoy the extremely extensive grounds for free. Due to limited time on my trip I spent a few hours just visiting the grounds. However, you could spend all day at Schönbrunn, and I’m sure many people do.
Visit the St. Stephen’s Cathedral
St. Stephen’s Cathedral is located on Stephansplatz, right in the heart of Vienna. St. Stephen’s Cathedral on the outside it is a Romanesque/Gothic style cathedral with a stunning coloured tiled roof. The current cathedral dates back to 1339 and stands on the ruins of two earlier churches, the first dating from 1337. You can visit the cathedral for free during the day, however you can also pay €6 for a tour where you will get to access more of the cathedral, and you can also pay €5 to go to the top of the towers for fantastic views over Vienna. The cathedral also hosts a range of classical concerts in the evenings.
Food Recommendation for a Vienna City Break
Figlmüller – the Home of the Schnitzel
If you are looking for a classic Viennese dish during your Vienna city break then you must try a Wiener Schnitzel, and there is no better place for this but the oldest Schnitzel house in Vienna – Figlmüller. Figlmüller has become so popular in recent years that they have now opened two branches around the centre of Vienna. You can obviously have a range of different Austrian cuisine here as well, but their two specialities are Wiener Schnitzel which is a traditional veal schnitzel, or their Figlmüller Schnitzel which is their own recipe pork Schnitzel. You will definitely need to make a reservation in Figlmüller. I only found out about Figlmüller upon arrival in Vienna and the only time they could seat me was at 3pm on my second day in one of the newer locations and not the original one which books up well in advance.
You can’t visit Vienna, or Austria for that matter without trying a slice of tradition strudel. As I didn’t have breakfast included in my hotel rate I decided that I would try a slice of strudel for breakfast on my second day. As I visited Schönbrunn on the second day I decided that I would have a slice there for breakfast with a coffee.
Top Tip: Upon arrival at Vienna main station I decided to take a taxi to the hotel. I had heard that taxis in Vienna were on the expensive side but I assumed it wouldn’t be too bad as the hotel is less than two miles from the station. How wrong I was. The taxi cost €32 for this short two mile trip, yet earlier that day I had paid the equivalent of £4 for a 2 mile trip in Budapest. My best tip for Vienna would be to research public transport options in the city as these are really very inexpensive compared to the cost of a taxi.
Currency: Austria’s currency is the Euro and at my time of visiting the exchange rate was around 1.1 EUR to GBP.
Weather: I visited Vienna in early September and the weather was in the late 20s and sunny, although quite humid.
Best Time To Go: Vienna is one of the classic European city break destinations which can be visited year round. To be honest I can’t suggest a ‘good’ time to visit, my trip in September was fantastic weather wise and there was plenty to do, but I’ve also heard it’s equally as good year round, with always plenty to do.
Recommended Duration: I visited Vienna for just one night and two days and this was on the short side. I would recommend a 2/3 night stay to truly appreciate this city, but be aware that Vienna is one of Europes more expensive destinations to visit.
Conclusion: After finally visiting Vienna I’m not sure why I hadn’t visited sooner. I did have quite a whirlwind visit, trying to see as much of the city as I could and I think I did well. Although some elements of Vienna such as taxis and accommodation are on the expensive side, public transport and food are quite reasonably priced, and there is a lot of sightseeing and places you can visit for no cost at all. I would like to visit Vienna again to explore more of the city, perhaps at a different time of year to see the city from a different perspective.