Where Is Vienna and Why It’s the Best City In Europe

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Discover the capital city of Austria, Vienna, one of the most magnificent travel destinations to visit in Europe. Experience the best of both the past and the present, where world-class culture meets delicious food and a lively nightlife.

Night sky of Vienna from above.
Night skyline of Vienna City. Image source: Zoran Cindric, Pexels

Vienna consistently ranks as one of Europe’s top travel destinations and it’s not hard to see why. The city has something for everyone. With parks and gardens, festivals and events, sports and outdoor activities, shopping and eating, and business and conferences, there are plenty of things to do in Vienna to make it a perfect destination for any traveler.

United States to Vienna

Vienna is a popular European getaway destination for tourists from the United States because of its unique balance of culture, history, cuisine, and attractions. 

Its location is in the very heart of Europe. It makes it possible to combine trips to other major European cities like Prague, Munich, or Budapest, which can all be reached by train or car in just a few hours.

Vienna is easy to get to by plane from the United States. Several airlines fly directly from big cities like Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, or New York to the Schwechat international airport in Vienna.

Where Is Vienna located?

Vienna, the Austrian capital city, is located in the center of Europe and the northeastern part of Austria. It is also the largest city in Austria, area-wise, the country consisting of nine states.

Vienna is just over two hours by plane from Malta, which is a great place to visit; here are the best areas to stay in Malta.

Map of Vienna

Being only 46 miles from Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary, it is a focal point when exploring more than one country. Based on the banks of the Danube river, boat rides or bike trails along the river offer breathtaking views of the countryside and its nature. 

Map of Austria with magnifying glass.
Map of Vienna. Image source: Zuzana Paar

Language

When you come to Vienna from English-speaking countries such as the United States, there is no worry about being able to communicate. 

Even though the official language is German, most Vienna residents speak English. Getting around the city is easy, as most signs and announcements on public transportation and in other public places are in English.  

Climate

The location of Vienna gives the city a continental climate with four seasons, warm summers, and cold winters. The average low temperature in the winter is around 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius), while in the summer, the average temperature is around 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius). 

It makes a perfect place for visitors to enjoy outdoor activities and concerts in the summer and a cozy Christmas market with a glass of hot mulled wine during the winter. 

Transportation

The city has one of the most extensive public transportation services, where you can quickly get from one point to the next without needing a car. 

Busses, trains, and trams cover the whole area with the addition of a metro system running throughout the city. 

Although taxis, bike rentals, scooters, and street car rentals are available, the main attractions are all within walking distance. Almost all of the attractions in Vienna are pet friendly, so just in case you have an Eskimo dog, you can take him with you.

Currency in Austria

As part of the European Union, Austria has accepted and is using its official currency, Euro. You can easily find ATMs around the town. All international credit cards are widely accepted, so you can use them in most shops and restaurants. 

Euro is an official currency in surrounding countries as well, which eases the hassle when planning day trips outside the Austrian border or on a trip that includes multiple countries.  

History

Step back in time and learn about Vienna’s rich history, from its Roman roots to its current role as the capital.

Vienna, once the center of the Habsburg Dynasty and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, offers many magnificent historical buildings and palaces, such as Schönbrunn Palace, Hofburg, or baroque Belvedere Palace.

Statue with golden features.
Statue in Vienna. Image source: Berta Raspall, Pexels

Viennese Culture

The city, filled with world-class galleries and museums, is excellent for enthusiasts exploring more of its history dating back to the Roman Empire. 

Vienna is also home to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna Boys Choir. They often perform in the Vienna State Opera, which is a huge building with beautiful rooms inside. 

Coffeeshop culture, which dates back to the 19th Century, is available to enjoy by visiting many historical coffee houses such as Café Frauenhuber, known for being a place where the greatest performers such as W.A. Mozart and L. van Beethoven played their music for guests. Visit and enjoy a cup of Viennese coffee with melt-in-your-mouth vanilla crescents

Cuisine

Its restaurants are known for their delicious food, so you can’t miss a chance to try some of its traditional dishes:

  • “Wiener schnitzel,” breaded fried cutlet
  • Goulash,” a hearty meat stew to warm you up 

On the sweet side:

  • Sacher torte, chocolate cake filled with apricot marmalade
  • Apfelstrudel, a sweet pastry filled with apples

For gastronome lovers, Vienna is home to some outstanding restaurants and bars offering traditional and international cuisine. 

Family-Friendly Tourist Attractions

If you have kids with you, there are lots of attractions around the city they’re sure to enjoy. On the premises of Schönbrunn palace, you can visit the oldest zoo in the world. 

For a bit of extra fun, an amusement park, Prater, offers a wide range of attractions and rides for the whole family, including its Ferris wheel. 

Many museums around the city offer special events and activities for children to enjoy. 

Outdoors and Sports

The bike ride trail around the Danube spans and connects several countries, from Donaueschingen in Germany to Budapest in Hungary, over 745 miles. A ride along is a perfect activity when visiting in summer.

Vienna is a true winter wonderland for skiing or snowboard enthusiasts with great spots accessible as day trips.The city offers several golf courses, tennis clubs, water activities such as canoeing and kayaking, as well as hiking trails in the surrounding forested Vienna woods and vineyards. 

Night shot of Vienna with water.
Vienna by night. Image source: Zoran Cindric, Pexels

Gardens and Parks

Vienna has many parks and gardens, offering visitors a chance to escape the city’s hustle. With Schönbrunn, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Vienna has over 100 parks, covering up to 50% of the city’s area. Beautiful places to visit are Burggarten, Stadtpark, Volksgarten, and Augarten, to mention a few. 

Events and Festivals

Every day of the year, some event or festival is happening, from music, theaters, food and wine, opera, or art festivals. 

When visiting in winter, you can attend Christmas markets, offering traditional crafts, food, and drinks in various parts of the city. 

Shopping in Vienna City

The city center offers a variety of shopping opportunities, from local markets to high-end boutiques, making it an excellent destination for those who love to shop. 

A must-see is the Naschmarkt, a large open market selling a variety of fresh food specialties, as well as the famous shopping street for upscale and exclusive brands, Kärtner Strasse, which is located in the city center. 

Business and Conferences

For its central location, Vienna is the United Nations’ headquarters and home to various international organizations and offices such as OPEC, International Atomic Energy Agency, and World Bank Group, making it an essential destination for international congresses and conventions, a place for business and politics. 

Overall, Vienna is a city that has it all and offers something interesting for everyone. Whether you are a culture or history enthusiast, art lover, cuisine or shopping fanatic, or devotee to sports, you find your favorites. 

An excellent destination for longer trips or city breaks, with your family, or on a business trip, opportunities to explore are here for everyone. 

Zuzana is the creative force behind her websites Lowcarb-nocarb and Best Clean Eating. As a content creator, food recipe developer, blogger, and photographer, Zuzana brings diverse skills to the table with a dedication to sharing delicious, healthy recipes and helpful tips with the readers. Get her Best Keto Recipes Book for free. 

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