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Travel guide – Vienna

A city with over a thousand years of history, Vienna has seen kings and dynasties come and go, has watched the tides of war pass and the blossoming of many eras of progress. With this comes a stunning array of historical and cultural delights that not many cities can match. However, this city is not all about the past – it is a modern and vibrant river city home to over 1.8 million people. Let the Finnair travel guide to Vienna highlight the best the capital of Austria has to offer.

With so much to see it can be hard to know where to start, so why not begin with the city’s most famous resident, Mozart, and visit Mozarthaus Vienna where you can see the very room in which this classical master lived and composed some of his finest works. Head next to the Stephansdom Church with its imposing views over the city, fully rebuilt after the devastation of the Second World War. On the western outskirts of town is the marvellous Schönbrunn Palace, a sprawling 1,441­room Baroque wonder that served as the former imperial summer residence. Equally magnificent is the former imperial winter residence, the Hofburg Palace, nowadays working as the official residence and working place for the President of Austria. There you can also witness performances of the world-famous Lipizzan horses taught at the Spanish Riding School. Nearby is the Albertina museum, housing one of the largest graphic art collections in the world. Another must-visit spot for Austrian art history is the stunning Belvedere Castle set in a Baroque park landscape. After a day’s exploring pick a spot along the Danube and soak up the culture in one of Europe’s oldest cities.

Salzburg – Three hours away by car, less by train, and you can visit this historic beauty. Renowned for classical music, it’s the birthplace of Mozart.

Danube cruise – Board one of the many ferryboats plying the waters of the Danube and take a leisurely cruise to see vineyards, valleys and quaint hamlets.

Bratislava – Only an hour’s drive and you’re in another country, this time Slovakia. On the western edge of the country, what it lacks in size it makes up for in charming old­town alleyways, friendly people and affordable enjoyment.

Wine tasting – The steep hillsides of the Danube valleys provide the perfect environment for grape growing. Not surprisingly there are hundreds of vineyards scattered around Vienna that are easily reached by car.

Vienna has a large variety of shopping opportunities for all tastes and budgets. Luxury brands, European chains stores, popular fashion outlets and of course a plethora of tourist shops are found here.

Markets - Vienna loves markets and these can be found in the many squares that dot the city, especially in the old town. Selling everything from produce to fashion you need only seek one out to find a wealth of buying opportunities. Not to be missed at Christmas time are the many Christmas Markets, which truly are a magical experience on a snowy night.

Kärntner Straße – Probably the city’s most well­known shopping street, this is where you stroll for international brands and lots of people.

Malls – For an intense shopping experience you can find several large malls to explore, Ringstrassen Galerien right in the city centre, the larger Lugner City to the west and the gigantic Shopping City Süd, with 330 stores.

Kohlmarkt – The domain of high­end brands, come here for a taste of luxury (or window shopping).

Vienna has given the world some well-known dishes and needless to say, these are a must­try when in town.

Wiener Schnitzel – Bearing the city’s name, this popular dish of crumbed and fried veal steak is a hearty meal on a cold winter’s day.

Sachertorte – A very rich and very tasty cake made from a lot of chocolate and a hint of apricot jam. The Sacher Cafe is said to be the inventor of this renowned treat.

Coffee – Kaffeehauskultur is huge in Vienna so do as the locals do and pick a kaffeehaus, order one of the many speciality grinds and sit down to enjoy the buzz of the locals going about their day. Enjoy a glass of cold water on the side for the truly Viennese experience.

Wine – Surrounded by vineyards, the wine offering of Vienna is very broad. Riesling and Weissburgunder are popular local varieties along with many other types from around the country.

Vienna’s excellent transport system is among the best in the world. Efficient yet cheap, it can get you to everywhere you likely want to go easily. One ticket will get you from one station to another regardless of the number of transfers needed. Single tickets and multi­day passes are available from railway and transport stations and tobacco shops.

Metro – The second­busiest in the world, the metro is efficient and easy to use with many stations around the city. It is safe to use and open until late in the evening.

Bus – Buses criss­cross the city and can take visitors to hard-to-reach areas.

Trams and trolleys – Mainly found in the inner city, these are useful if you want to quickly move around without going underground.

Trains – Mostly serving the outer suburbs the Vienna train network is fast and efficient. Using it you can connect with the rest of the country and Europe too.

Currency – Euro

Electricity – 230 volts, 50Hz, type ­F plug. 

Tips – Adding 5–10% on the bill is appreciated but not mandatory.

Payment/card – Credit cards are widely accepted.

Time zone – Vienna (Austria) UTC/GMT +1 hour

Water - Tap water is safe and delicious to drink.

Vienna International Airport (VIE)

The airport is located 20km southeast of Vienna.

  • Finnair flights: Terminal 3. 
  • Check-in opens 2 hours before departure
  • Check-in closes 45 minutes before departure

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