Background Information on Places to Stay in Vienna
A trip to Vienna should be high on everyone’s Euro-travel list, especially since the city consistently tops the list of the most livable cities in the world according to the Economic Intelligence Unit. It’s easy to see why that is: Vienna combines the best of its rich heritage and myriad cultural opportunities with economic and political stability and good infrastructure. This results an embrace of the German word ‘Lebenskunst’, which translates to ‘the art of living well’.
This historic city by the Danube is Austria’s capital with the 2nd largest German-speaking population after Berlin, and it is home to many international organizations such as OPEC and the UN. Vienna has been a key player in Europe’s turbulent history and politics; at one time, it was effectively the capital of the Holy Roman Empire as well as of the Austro-Hungarian Empire later on.
All of its rich historical traditions helped make Vienna a prestigious hub for culture, religion, arts, and science, resulting in a modern-day city that has a rich culture juxtapositioned with new developments. Vienna is also known as the center for classical music since some of the all-time greatest composers, such as Mozart, Beethoven, and Johann Strauss, were part of its historical music scene.
With such a rich heritage and stunning architecture where each building looks like a monument, Vienna makes for a great visit that is laid back but full of wonder. Three days is enough time to get a flavor of all that the city has to offer, so consult our itinerary for 3 days in Vienna that will help you discover the city and the best area from which to base.
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Vienna Hotels by District: Choose the Right Place to Stay in Vienna
When you plan for your visit to Vienna, it’s important to know that the city is divided into 23 districts, with each one having its own characteristics and vibe. Even though the city is sprawling, public transportation is convenient and accessible, making it very easy to get into the city from the Vienna airport by using the city airport train. As well, transport around the city is well thought out and swift, with tram stops everywhere.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor to Vienna or planning a shorter city break, our article about the top 10 must-visit Vienna attractions will help you make a good choice. One of the best areas to stay in the Austrian capital and admire these attractions would be in the old town, also known as the Innere Stadt.
1st District Innere Stadt: Popular Hotels In the Historic City Center of Vienna
This historic area has been bestowed with UNESCO World Heritage status since its past can be linked back to the Roman ages. The Innere Stadt is circled by the Ringstrasse or the Ring Road, which is a grand boulevard, main shopping street, and home to some of Vienna’s most famous buildings: these include the State Opera House (Wiener Staatsoper), the Hofburg Palace, the Austrian Parliament, City Hall (Rathaus), the Museum of Art History (Kunsthistorisches Museum) and the Natural History Museum (Naturhistorisches Museum). All of these attractions are within convenient distance of each other.
The crowning glory of the Innere Stadt is Vienna’s most recognizable and famous landmark, the St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom), which is as beautiful inside as it is outside. With most of Vienna’s landmarks located here, the 1st district is an ideal area to stay in Vienna and make a base for first-time visitors. As a main tourist area populated with magnificent historic buildings, the Innere Stadt is home to some of the best luxury hotels in Vienna, which make for a truly memorable stay in this ‘tres chic’ city.
If you want to stay right in the centre of Vienna and being close to the magnificent St Stephens Cathedral is on your bucket list, then one of the best hotels located in the Golden Quarter is the stunning and opulent hotel The Park Hyatt Vienna. The Viennese grandeur permeates this top-rated accommodation, with elegant rooms, modern amenities, and an indoor pool. Its proximity to the top attractions along with the luxurious accommodations makes it one of the best places to stay in the city center.
Another great option for a boutique hotel is located right opposite St. Stephen’s Cathedral. This is the Boutique Hotel am Stephansplatz. The hotel boasts traditional opulent interiors with elegantly appointed rooms that make for a very comfortable stay. The location is super convenient as not only do you have the most famous buildings at your doorstep, but the metro station is a stone’s throw away, which makes it super easy to explore the rest of the city.
Staying in the Innere Stadt can’t be more appealing than being a guest at the gorgeous Hotel Topazz & Lamée, a boutique hotel that is a masterclass in subtle elegance and modern conveniences which make for a wonderful stay. A 5-minute stroll will take you to the Danube Canal, while in 2 minutes you will find yourself facing the gothic wonder Stephansplatz. Its contemporary interiors are a breath of fresh air, with oval windows, a geometric print coupled with ornate gold accents.
The spacious rooms of the Hotel Topazz are artistic and influenced by the 20th century Art Nouveau era with earthen tones and modern technology like flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. The bathrooms are luxurious, inspired by the 1930s but finished with chrome, include a rain shower, and complimentary Molton Brown toiletries. This hotel is definitely worth a stay if you visit Vienna and wish to stay in the city center.
Vienna’s history abounds with classical music and the greatest musicians of all times who graced the city. If your soul is enamored with opera and music, then it would make sense to stay near another of Vienna’s historic buildings: the spectacular Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper). Rest your body and soul after a long day of exploring and taking in the city’s magnificent architecture by staying at the traditional Hotel Imperial.
This 5-star property is not only splendid but also enjoys a top-notch location right on the Boulevard. Entering the hotel is like going back in time and reliving the opulence and elegance that was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. The rooms are carefully curated with antiques and intricate details coupled with all the modern amenities that will make your stay comfortable. This luxury hotel is a great choice with an onsite restaurant and sauna.
Another hotel that can whisk you into the past with its luxury and stunning interiors is the premium Ritz-Carlton Hotel. This grand property is located in four historical palaces, making it a stay fit for a king or queen in central Vienna. The rooms are some of the biggest in Vienna, traditional in their baroque style but outfitted with the latest technology, such as iPhone docking stations, heated floors, and Nespresso coffee machines.
Not only that, just a short walk will take you to Vienna’s best attractions which include St Stephen’s Cathedral and the Museum of Fine Arts. The hotel offers unlimited champagne, a Club lounge, and airport transfers which makes its service levels a touch above the others. A great option if you are coming to Vienna for the first time and are looking for a central location.
The list of best hotels to stay in in the 1st district would be incomplete without mentioning Hotel Bristol, a Luxury Collection hotel. The Bristol Hotel is perfectly located near an upscale shopping area and the opera house. The hotel has undergone renovations but still maintains its classic design elements, such as Art Nouveau original paintings, brass elevators, and antique furniture. They have a variety of rooms to choose from in which the design and amenities vary from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Note: Check out our in-depth review of the Hotel Bristol.
The Art Deco lounge in the Bristol’s lobby is worth a visit, where a large fireplace warms up guests during the cold winters. The onsite restaurant serves delicious Austrian meals and an afternoon tea that is luxurious and features classics like clotted cream, pastries, sandwiches, etc. The hotel’s award-winning concierge is always at hand to help with information, organizing tours, and making reservations for venues you want to visit. The free fitness center has some of the best views of the State Opera House and the Vienna Ring Road, which is a great option for fitness buffs. The location, personalized service, and comfortable accommodations make it one of the best hotels in Vienna.
Rounding off the list of some of the best places to stay while visiting Vienna is the Grand Hotel Wien. This majestic hotel is a true specimen of luxury, as you go past the livered bellhops to enter into a glamorous lobby with an overarching ceiling from which hangs a big chandelier. A big plus is the variety of cuisine the hotel’s onsite eateries offer, from Japanese at Unkai to traditional fare at the beautiful Le Ciel.
You can also partake in the quintessential Viennese experience of coffee and cake at the other 2 venues the hotel has. Even though the rooms are traditional and elegant, with chandeliers and antique armchairs, taking one back to a bygone era, the amenities are modern and just what a traveler needs. This hotel is also the top choice for travelers who visit Vienna for the beautiful Christmas markets that are magical and a sight to behold.
Use this interactive map to find and book accommodations in the Innere Stadt neighborhood:
Leopoldstadt (2nd District)
If you are looking for a more family-friendly area of Vienna that is bustling with coffee shops and street art yet is still close to all the tourist attractions, then the Leopoldstadt is the best district to stay in. The area is easily accessible by bus, train, and car, which makes it a great location for a stay in Vienna.
This former Jewish settlement lies across the Danube River and is the urban lung of the city, with over five urban parks. Trendy, multicultural, and creative, Leopoldstadt is noted for its many shops and art galleries. The 2nd district is home to the six million square foot Prater Park, which makes it a very popular recreation area for both local families and tourists. This vast green space allows for all sorts of activities, including biking, walking, hiking, skating, etc. It’s the perfect spot to visit with a packed picnic and spend the day while children run around enjoying nature.
Leopoldstadt is also home to the famous Prater Amusement Park, which has been around since the 19th century, making it the world’s oldest adventure park. This Vienna institution is still a must-visit for families and kids, as it has around 250 attractions, including a giant Ferris wheel, carousels, and roller coasters. For an adults-only night, a visit to the Praterodome, Austria’s largest nightclub, is a fun option.
If you are looking to absorb the local diverse culture while grabbing some food, then make your way to the Karmelitermarket, a small market located in a picturesque square. It’s quiet on the weekdays, but on the weekends, it’s home to a lively farmers market where you can buy local produce along with international meals.
There are some great options for top hotels that will ensure a comfortable stay as you explore the city with your family. The Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom is a contemporary hotel overlooking the Danube River, with a shimmering glass modern exterior and equally stylish interiors. The location is excellent, with a 5-minute walk taking you to the historic inner city while the Stephansdom is at a 10-minute walking distance. You also get views of the giant Ferris wheel as Prater Park is nearby.
The Sofitel’s interiors are stark and moody, but the service is equally warm and accommodating. Rooms are comfortable and minimalist with luxe touches, such as Hermes amenities and Bose speakers. It makes for a family-friendly hotel as there are connecting rooms which are essential when traveling with kids. The highlight of the hotel is the Das Loft Bar and restaurant, located on the 18th floor, which allows for superb panoramic views over the city. The meals are a mix of French and Austrian cuisine which makes for an interesting but pricey option.
Another elegant hotel located at a 10-minute walk to the Vienna city center is the Hotel IMLAUER Wien. If you are not up for walking, then there are 2 underground stations located nearby to whisk you off to different parts of the city. A shuttle is available to pick you up from Vienna International Airport if you need the ride which makes it a convenient choice when traveling with kids.
The Hotel IMLAUER Wien rooms are modern and equipped with high-quality facilities that make for a comfortable and relaxing stay. The hotel offers free WIFI along with a fitness room and sauna, which is a great way to relax. The breakfast served is delicious and plentiful, and the guests also have the option of biding time in the glass conservatory, where the bar is also located. The great location also allows access to a plethora of restaurants serving diverse cuisine which cater to everyone’s taste buds. The is one of the best Vienna hotels for families looking to explore the Austrian capital on an affordable budget.
A contender among the best boutique hotels in Vienna is a great place to stay on a budget within easy reach of Prater Park is the Motel One Vienna. The design elements of this aesthetic hotel borrow from the next-door fun fair, with interesting design elements such as a Rabbit Lamp or a Pig Table. Also adorning the lounge are carousel horses which add to the whimsical air of the hotel appealing to kids and adults alike with its uniqueness.
With an underground station next door, it makes for very easy access to the heart of the city. The modern rooms are stylish and soundproof, which makes for a good restful sleep. While breakfast is charged, children up to 6 years of age can have free breakfast which is a convenient option for families.
Use the interactive map below to check rates and availability of hotels and accommodations in Leopoldstadt:
3rd District (Landstrasse)
If you are visiting Vienna on a budget but want to be close to the top attractions, then the 3rd district is the best location to find a good deal on hotels. This quiet residential area is home to cute cafes, unique shops, and a relaxed atmosphere.
The Landstrasse district is also home to the stunning Belvedere Palace and its gardens, which is a must-visit for all tourists. This historic building complex is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to not one, but two Baroque-style palaces (the Lower and Upper Belvedere), Stables and an iconic French-inspired garden.
Inside the Belvedere, you will find the biggest collection of Austrian art dating back to the Middle Ages, including by the artist Gustav Klimt along with more recent paintings by illustrious artists such as Van Gogh and Monet. If you decide to not visit the stunning art collection, you can still roam the magnificent Baroque gardens, which are perfectly maintained with plenty of sculptures and fountains dotting the grounds.
There are many other gems in this neighborhood that make it one of Vienna’s great areas. This includes the impressive Baroque Salesian Church, the onion-domed Byzantine-style Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Nicholas, and the colorful architectural delight Hundertwasserhaus.
All these architectural marvels along with the proximity to the city center make staying in hotels in the 3rd District a popular choice. There are many options for top hotels at great prices, such as the Intercontinental Vienna. Located next to the Stadpark, this prestigious hotel dating back to the 1960s is sumptuous, decorated with plush carpets and enormous chandeliers in a high-ceilinged lobby.
The rooms are spacious and classically elegant with dark interiors coupled with the latest amenities such as an espresso machine and Wi-Fi. The hotel restaurant serves great food coupled with warm and hospitable service by the award-winning staff.
Another chic option for a boutique hotel that is within walking distance of the Hundertwasserhaus and the Ringtrasse is Spiess and Spiess. The interiors are light and airy, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows and the minimal furniture that adds to the hotel’s chic functionality. Service is discreet but attentive, and no ask is too much for this family-run place. Most of the elegant private rooms have balconies that open onto views of gardens and rooftops, which makes for a great airy vibe.
Rain showers or corner tubs with eco-friendly products are the hallmarks in the porcelain tiled bathrooms, complementing the room’s natural, contemporary décor. The free breakfast is organic and high quality, consisting of Austrian produce including seasonal fruits, coffee from Graz, delicious cheese, and options that are vegan and gluten-free. This makes the hotel an amazing option, especially for people who are eco-conscious and are looking for an intimate but top-notch stay.
Another accommodation that is consistently included in the top hotels to stay in Vienna is the Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere. Part of the Hyatt chain of hotels, Andaz brings the best of both worlds, a boutique hotel feel while keeping the high, consistent service and amenities standards that a hotel chain brings. It’s a bit removed from the city center but a quick walk to the metro station will have you near the top attractions in no time.
The rooms at the Andaz are airy with floor-to-ceiling windows, and a modern color scheme of blue and white with parquet flooring. The distinct feature of this hotel is the 16th-floor rooftop bar Aurora. From here you can enjoy some of the best views of the Belvedere Palace and the surrounding city. It’s the perfect place to unwind after a long day of exploring and enjoy some drinks as the sun sets over this picturesque city.
More options in Landstrasse on the interactive map below:
7th District (Neubau)
Vienna is home to one of the world’s largest cultural quarters, the MuseumsQuartier, located in the 7th district. Conveniently located at the border of the old city, the MQ is a combination of different institutions, such as restaurants, shops, and art galleries housed in a juxtaposition of baroque and modern architecture.
Visitors who are art aficionados, enjoy shopping, and have a creative soul should stay in this trendy and vibrant district. The site is open 24 hours a day and requires no entrance fee, which makes it a great place to hang out on the strategically placed award-winning furniture that is placed around the area.
The MusuemQuartier is also where the Mariahilfer Strasse starts, which is Vienna’s number one shopping street. It continues for 1.8 km and houses a diverse range of establishments: from high-end flagship stores to boutiques and coffee shops. This car-free pedestrian street is a great way for people of all ages to enjoy the various offerings that Vienna has in a great environment.
As the name suggests, these quarters are home to great museums which should definitely be part of your itinerary. For instance, The Leopold Museum is a treasure trove of Austrian art dating back to the 19th century. If you are interested in contemporary artists like Andy Warhol and Max Ernst then the Museum of Modern Art is a great option. For the little ones who also need to be entertained, there are 2 great options: ZOOM Kindermuseum and Naturhistorisches Museum (Natural History Museum).
Because of this district’s increasing popularity, you can decide where to stay from a wide variety of hotels in the Neubau area. Ranging from eco-friendly accommodations to luxury hotels, the discerning visitor will be spoiled for choice.
For the art lover, you cannot go wrong with the quirky but extremely stylish 25Hours Hotel. The circus-inspired interiors are maximalist with bold colors, which is a departure from the usual grand aesthetics of the more classic hotels in the city; however, it’s a welcome change for a young-at-heart crowd who want to experience more than the city’s opera and history offerings.
Its location right next to the Neubaugasse shopping quarter is a plus point for those who enjoy a dose of retail therapy. The rooftop terrace has wonderful panoramic views of the city and is a hot spot for locals and visitors alike, so make sure you arrive early in the evening to grab a spot and enjoy the vista with some snacks.
Another great option in this cool neighborhood is Max Brown, a hip hotel with an award-winning restaurant that is beautifully decorated with interesting modern design elements. Greenery is dominant in this hotel as it intertwines with art by female creators across its walls. With a pool table, an old-school cinema, and a beautiful outdoor terrace, this hotel definitely packs a punch and is a great option to stay in while you enjoy a more local Vienna experience.
Hotel Sans Souci Wien, located right behind the MusuemQuartier is an amazing option for a stay in Vienna because of its ideal location. A 20-minute walk will bring you to the Inner Stadte and the magnificent top attractions while a stroll on the other side will give you a more local feel of Vienna in a buzzing neighborhood dotted with coffee shops and art galleries.
This purple-hued hotel is a careful blend of whimsical and antiques, making for an aesthetic that is unique and distinct. The rooms are comfortable and adorned in warm hues of browns and creams for a cozy vibe and Lichtenstein artworks. Along with a spa, a large pool, and an upscale Austrian restaurant, the service is personalized and warm, making for a lovely experience.
The City’s Best Hotels Await to Match Your Requirements in Vienna’s Neighborhoods
The beautiful city of Vienna should be on everyone’s bucket list, especially for travelers who enjoy the finer things in life, as the city is home to some of the best luxury hotels in the world. Yet, budget accommodation options can easily be found as well. The city’s historic past permeates throughout its architecture and way of life which makes it a fascinating visit.
If you want to be within walking distance to all of the top attractions, then the best district to stay in is the first district. Even though it’s expensive, the experience makes it worth it. However, if you are looking for cheap hotels in Vienna, but don’t want to be too far from the city center, then the 3rd district is one of the best neighborhoods to find them.
Families can choose accommodations in the 2nd district as the green space and proximity to public transportation make it the best district to stay in. Travelers who enjoy art, culture, and shopping can head to the 7th district, where modern quirky hotels are the best option. Whichever district you prefer, the city has a lot to entertain and offer you.