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Where to Stay in Vienna in 2024 – Best Areas and Hotels

Our selection of Vienna's best accommodations offers something for every taste and budget, from trendy neighborhoods to serene retreats.
Where to Stay in Vienna

Trying to decide where to stay in Vienna? While Austria’s capital is expansive, it offers a plethora of accommodation options, making it challenging to choose the best location for your stay. Vienna is renowned for its imperial history, vibrant cultural scene, and stunning architecture. To fully immerse yourself in this majestic city, it’s crucial to find a place that not only aligns with your travel style and budget but also positions you close to public transport and key attractions.

In this article, we’ll guide you through Vienna’s most appealing neighborhoods, highlighting their pros and cons based on your travel preferences, budget, and duration of stay. Additionally, we’ll recommend the finest hotels, apartments, and AirBnBs in each district to simplify your decision-making process.

Best Places to Stay in Vienna

Here’s a quick overview of Vienna’s neighborhoods. For comprehensive details on which travelers they suit best, including specific hotel and AirBnB recommendations, read the detailed descriptions below.

  1. Innere Stadt – The heart of Vienna, perfect for first-time visitors. It’s where you’ll find major sights like St. Stephen’s Cathedral and Hofburg Palace. However, it can be pricey and crowded, especially during peak tourist seasons.
  2. Leopoldstadt – A diverse and vibrant area, home to the Prater amusement park and the beautiful Danube Canal. Great for families and those seeking a lively atmosphere.
  3. Landstrasse – Known for the Belvedere Palace and Hundertwasserhaus, this district offers a mix of historical and modern attractions. Ideal for art and culture enthusiasts.
  4. Wieden – A charming neighborhood with a bohemian vibe, known for its cafes, boutiques, and proximity to the Naschmarkt. Perfect for travelers seeking a local experience.
  5. Mariahilf – Famous for Mariahilfer Straße, Vienna’s largest shopping street. It’s a bustling area with easy access to attractions and great for shopaholics.
  6. Neubau – The trendy and artistic district, filled with galleries, theaters, and hip cafes. A top choice for younger travelers and those interested in contemporary culture.
  7. Josefstadt – A quieter, more residential area with a historic charm. Ideal for those who prefer a more relaxed atmosphere while still being close to the city center.
Map of the best areas to stay in Vienna
Map of the best areas to stay in Vienna

Each district has its unique charm and attractions, catering to different preferences and budgets.

1. Innere Stadt, best area to stay in Vienna for first time

Where Stephansplatz meets Graben
Where Stephansplatz meets Graben

Let me tell you about my experience staying in Vienna’s Innere Stadt, the city’s historic heart. This area, stretching from the Danube Canal to the grand Ringstrasse boulevard, is a treasure trove of history and elegance. It’s small enough to cross on foot in just 20 minutes and boasts excellent public transport links.

Walking through Innere Stadt, I was dazzled by the luxury shops featuring both international and local brands. Streets like Karntnerstrasse and Graben are a shopper’s paradise. And the best part? This district is home to Vienna’s most famous attractions – St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Opera, the Hofburg Palace, Albertina, the National Library, City Hall, and the Art and Natural History Museums.

However, compared to other European city centers, Innere Stadt isn’t as lively in terms of nightlife or shopping variety. It’s more for those who are here to soak up the sights rather than the social scene.

Accommodation here is diverse but leans towards the pricier side, with an array of luxury and mid-range hotels. Budget options like hostels are few. But, if you’re looking to save, check out the apartments for rent; they’re usually more affordable.

For dining, don’t miss Pürstner for the city’s best schnitzel and Ribs of Vienna for a memorable meal.

Pros of Staying in Innere Stadt:

  • Easily walkable with great public transport.
  • Luxury shopping experiences.
  • Close to major attractions.
  • Good selection of restaurants and bars.

Cons:

  • Not as vibrant as other areas.
  • Very touristy.
  • Pricier than neighboring districts.
  • Limited budget accommodation options.

Best Hotels in Innere Stadt:

  • (€€€) Park Hyatt Vienna (⭐ 9.3): A luxurious 5-star hotel in a 1900s building, offering grandeur and comfort. Pricey, but worth it.
  • (€€) Boutique Hotel Das Tigra (⭐ 9.0): A charming 4-star hotel, just a 10-minute walk from St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Beautiful rooms and suites with great amenities.
  • (€) Aparthotel Adagio Vienna City (⭐ 8.2): An affordable option in the historic center, a short walk from the cathedral. Comes with a gym and sauna.

2. Leopoldstadt, budget-friendly area to stay in Vienna city centre

The Hauptallee in the Prater
The Hauptallee in the Prater

Just across the Danube, Leopoldstadt is a serene escape from the bustling Innere Stadt. The green spaces are abundant, and the famous Prater amusement park is a highlight, blending modern thrills with old-world charm.

The Prater isn’t just any park; it’s one of the world’s oldest amusement parks. It’s a delightful mix of contemporary rides and nostalgic attractions. Another gem is the Danube Tower, soaring 252 meters high. Its observation deck and revolving restaurant offer breathtaking views.

Leopoldstadt’s connectivity is impressive. A mere 10-minute walk across a bridge, and you’re at St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Plus, the airport bus conveniently stops at Morzinplatz, right across the canal from Innere Stadt.

Staying here is more wallet-friendly than in the city center. It’s an excellent choice, especially near the canal, bordering the historic center.

Pros of Staying in Leopoldstadt:

  • Peaceful compared to the city center.
  • Great metro connections.
  • Close to St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
  • Easy airport access.
  • More affordable accommodation.

Cons:

  • Stay near the canal for proximity to the historic center.
  • Fewer attractions than other areas.

Best Hotels in Leopoldstadt:

  • (€€€) Hotel Stefanie (⭐ 9.0): Vienna’s oldest hotel, a 4-star establishment with classic decor and excellent cuisine, located near St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
  • (€€) Radisson RED Hotel, Vienna (⭐ 8.5): A modern 4-star hotel close to the canal, 1.3 km from the cathedral. It features a gym, bar, snack bar, and breakfast.
  • (€) Motel One Wien Prater (⭐ 8.6): Among Vienna’s best budget hotels, next to Prater Park and close to the metro. Offers breakfast, a garden, and a bar.

3. Landstrasse, best area to stay in Vienna on a budget

Vienna Concert Hall
Vienna Concert Hall

Landstrasse, Vienna’s third district, nestled southeast of the historic center, left a lasting impression on me. It’s a tranquil neighborhood, where the elegance of the buildings’ architecture captivates you. The area is dotted with cozy cafés, restaurants, shops, and malls, offering a perfect blend of leisure and convenience.

This district is home to some unique attractions. The Belvedere Palace and Schwarzenberg Palace are breathtaking. Then there’s the quirky Hundertwasserhaus with its unusual architecture, and the Konzerthaus, not to mention the diplomatic quarter housing numerous embassies.

Transportation here is a breeze. The Wien Mitte and Wien Hauptbahnhof train stations make getting around effortless. Plus, finding budget-friendly accommodations is easier here compared to other areas.

Pros of Staying in Landstrasse:

  • Close to the Historic Center.
  • Its own set of attractions.
  • Excellent public transport links.

Cons:

  • Staying near the train station means being farther from the Historic Center.
  • Shops might be pricier.

Best Hotels in Landstrasse:

  • (€€€) InterContinental Wien, an IHG Hotel (⭐ 8.2): A 5-star hotel on the edge of the Historic Center, near Stadtpark metro station. It offers modern amenities, a gym, bar, and massage services.
  • (€€) Hotel Am Konzerthaus Vienna – MGallery (⭐ 8.7): A stylish 4-star hotel near Belvedere Castle. Features an award-winning restaurant, superb breakfast, and a gym.
  • (€) Hotel  Goldene Spinne (⭐ 7.7): A well-maintained, budget-friendly hotel at the Historic Center’s border. Offers breakfast and is adult-only.

4. Wieden, best neighborhood to stay in Vienna for nightlife

St. Charles's Church
St. Charles's Church

Wieden, the fourth district of Vienna, is one of my favorite spots to stay in the city, especially for those who love the nightlife. Along with Mariahilf and Neubau, it’s a gem located incredibly close to Vienna’s major attractions like the Opera, the Museum Quarter, and the Hofburg Palace.

Despite being one of Vienna’s smaller neighborhoods, Wieden bursts with vibrant and modern energy. The best part? You can easily walk everywhere, from sightseeing spots to the bustling night spots.

In Wieden, you’ll find the stunning Karlskirche, the Vienna City History Museum, and the Vienna University of Technology. Plus, it borders Landstrasse, home to Sudbahnhof, one of Vienna’s key railway stations.

Pros of Staying in Wieden:

  • A cool area brimming with cafes and restaurants.
  • Close to the city center.
  • Lively nightlife.

Cons:

  • A bit more hipster.
  • Lots of students around.

Best Hotels in Wieden:

  • (€€€) Hotel Kaiserhof Wien (⭐ 9.2): A 4-star hotel just 7 minutes from the Vienna State Opera. It boasts modern decor, bright spaces, and a fantastic breakfast.
  • (€€) Saint SHERMIN bed breakfast & champagne (⭐ 8.8): A charming place with home-like rooms, located near the Historic Center and just 5 minutes from Karlsplatz metro station.
  • (€) Suite Hotel 900 m zur Oper (⭐ 8.2): A budget-friendly 4-star hotel, a 10-minute walk from the Opera. Housed in an 18th-century building, it features classic decor.

5. Mariahilf, best area in Vienna for shopping

Wienzeile house of Otto Wagner
Wienzeile house of Otto Wagner

Mariahilf, nestled right next to Wieden, is undoubtedly one of the best places to stay in Vienna. Though they are distinct neighborhoods, to me, they feel like one vibrant area.

Mariahilf is incredibly central, sitting just across from the Ringstrasse, opposite the Opera. It’s a lively place, teeming with a plethora of restaurants, bars, and shops.

On one side, you have Mariahilferstrasse, one of Vienna’s busiest shopping streets, and on the other, the Naschmarkt, an open-air market bustling with stalls and eateries.

A standout attraction here is the massive Haus des Meeres aquarium, housing over 10,000 aquatic creatures, intriguingly set in an old anti-aircraft tower.

Pros of Staying in Mariahilf:

  • A cool area with local cafes and bars.
  • Active nightlife.
  • Great shopping spots.

Cons:

  • More residential.
  • Slightly off-center.

Best Hotels in Mariahilf:

  • (€€) Leonardo Hotel Vienna: 4-star hotel located 100 meters from Mariahilfer Straße. It offers modern rooms that offer all comforts, serves breakfast and has a bar.
  • (€€) Hotel Beethoven Wien: a beautiful 4-star hotel located 100 meters from the Naschmarkt. It has a beautiful decoration, serves a great breakfast and there is a bar.
  • (€) Ibis Wien Mariahilf: a well-known chain hotel just 500 meters from Mariahilfer Straße. It has a restaurant with international cuisine and serves a buffet breakfast.

6. Neubau, best area to stay in Vienna for art and culture

Spittelberg
Spittelberg in Neubau

Neubau, the 7th district of Vienna, is a cosmopolitan gem. Tucked “behind” the Museum Quarter, it’s a cultural hotspot with a youthful vibe.

The Museumsquartier itself is a sprawling 90,000 square meters, hosting around 60 cultural institutions. Highlights include the Leopold Museum, the Museum of Modern Art (Mumok), and Kunsthalle Wien, known for contemporary art.

Beyond its proximity to the city center, Neubau is a fantastic place to stay in Vienna. It’s more affordable and one of the best areas for dining and drinks.

Vienna, like any European capital, has its share of nightlife. But don’t expect the wild nights of Madrid or Berlin. Vienna’s scene is much calmer.

Pros of Staying in Neubau:

  • Central and easily accessible.
  • Close to attractions & museums.
  • Great spots for food and drinks.
  • Nice shopping areas.

Cons:

  • Can get crowded.

Best Hotels in Neubau:

  • (€€€) Hotel Sans Souci Wien (⭐ 9.4): A luxurious 5-star hotel next to the Museum Quarter. Housed in a stunning building, it offers unique amenities like a pool, spa, and gym.
  • (€€) Ruby Marie Hotel Vienna (⭐ 8.5): A 4-star hotel located at the intersection of Kaiserstraße and Mariahilfer Straße. Half an hour walk from the museums but close to a metro station. It offers breakfast, a bar, yoga classes, and is reasonably priced.
  • (€) Pension Pharmador (⭐ 8.6): An affordable 3-star hotel, 20 minutes walk from the Museums. Known for its excellent breakfast and free parking.

7. Josefstadt, best place to stay in Vienna for families

Piaristenkirche or Maria-Treu-Kirche (church) in Josefstadt.
Piaristenkirche or Maria-Treu-Kirche (church) in Josefstadt.

Nestled between Neubau and Alsergrund, Josefstadt, Vienna’s 8th district, is a quaint and peaceful neighborhood. It’s a stone’s throw away from the Parliament, City Hall, and the University.

This area is dotted with cafes and restaurants frequented by students and officials. While it may not boast major attractions, Vienna’s prime sights are just a short walk away.

Notable spots here include the Maria Treu Church, the Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art, and the Theatre in der Josefstadt, the city’s oldest theater.

Josefstadt is an ideal stay for families. It offers the tranquility of a residential area, yet a brief stroll lands you in the heart of Innere Stadt.

Pros of Staying in Josefstadt:

  • Close to the city center.
  • Excellent public transport.
  • Not overrun by tourists.

Cons:

  • Predominantly residential.
  • Limited accommodation options.

Best Hotels in Josefstadt:

  • (€€€) Hotel Josefshof am Rathaus (⭐ 8.6): A charming 4-star hotel near the Museums. It blends modern and classic decor and offers a superb breakfast and a bar/snack bar.
  • (€€) Hotel Graf Stadium (⭐ 8.4): A simple hotel close to Vienna’s City Hall. Don’t expect lavishness, but it’s clean, well-maintained with a retro vibe. Offers breakfast and family rooms.
  • (€) Pension Lehrerhaus (⭐ 8.4): A traditional, small pension dating back to 1906. Just a 5-minute walk from the City Hall, it offers affordable and commendable rooms.

8. Alsergrund, best place to stay in Vienna for students

Franz Schubert's Birthplace
Franz Schubert's Birthplace

Alsergrund, Vienna’s 9th district, is affectionately known as the Academic Quarter. It’s the city’s vibrant student hub, home to the University of Vienna and numerous hospitals and health centers.

While it may lack the charm of some central neighborhoods, Alsergrund is worth exploring, especially given its proximity to Innere Stadt.

Key attractions include the Liechtenstein Palace, housing the Federal Museum of Modern Art, and the Freud Museum.

Pros of Staying in Alsergrund:

  • Charming area.
  • Excellent transport links.
  • Fewer tourists.

Cons:

  • Predominantly residential.
  • Very quiet.

Best Hotels in Alsergrund:

  • (€€) H+ Hotel Wien (⭐ 8.7): A luxurious 4-star hotel about a half-hour walk from the center, next to tram and metro stations. It offers great amenities and a fantastic breakfast.
  • (€€) The Harmonie Vienna, BW Premier Collection (⭐ 9.2): A modern 4-star hotel near the Freud Museum. The center is easily accessible on foot or by tram. It offers breakfast and has a gym.
  • (€) Hotel & Palais Strudlhof (⭐ 8.1): A simple, budget-friendly hotel, 20 minutes on foot from the center and a minute from the metro station. It offers breakfast and features a bar and restaurant.

Areas to avoid in Vienna

Adult bar in Stuwerviertel
Adult bar in Stuwerviertel

When I explored Vienna, I quickly realized that safety isn’t a major concern, especially in the city center. There are no neighborhoods that scream ‘danger’. This observation aligns with what I found during my research on specialized websites, government advisories, and various travel and expat blogs and forums.

While Vienna doesn’t have ‘dangerous’ neighborhoods per se, there are areas tourists might prefer to skip. These are typically far from the city center, distant from major tourist attractions, or not well-connected by public transport.

Also, while not inherently unsafe, I’d advise a bit of caution in the city’s two red-light districts at night. These are located in Stuwerviertel and a section of Gürtel. They’re not dangerous, but they do have a different vibe from the rest of Vienna’s charming districts.

One Response

  1. We are planning trip to Prague , Vienna by train then possibly to Salzburg, we are thankful to read your very helpful comments on where to stay.

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