Portray of the Destination
Vienna is a dream city that amazes its visitors with its palaces, museums, historical buildings and
cafés. Crossing the River Danube, it is a place to be explored one step at a time, so that you do
not miss a single detail. It can be said that it is the "art noveau capital", as it has many
buildings of this style; the one that stands out most is the Majolikahaus building.
The Austrian National Library was built in the Josefsplatz square, and is considered a
masterpiece of Baroque architecture. Schloss Schönbrunn is the oldest zoo in the world. The
Kunsthistorisches Museum contains some Brueghel, Albretch Dürer and Titian paintings. Hieronymus
Bosch's paintings at the Akademie der bildenden Künste are a must, together with the ones at Museo
del Prado in Madrid, all considered some of the best paintings in the world.
The Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper) invites you to its operas only during the
September to June season, and during July and August they offer interesting guided tours around the
building. You can visit the Hofburg Palace, a palace built during the times of the Habsburg
There are also many stunning monuments in the city, paying tribute to some of the best
composers of the 18th and 19th centuries like Mozart, Strauss, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert,
Brückner, Brahms and Mahler.
Other interesting places to visit are the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra concert hall, the
Ferris wheel, the Parliament Building, the Old Town Hall Building and the Natural History, Applied
Arts and Modern Art Museums. It is also worth mentioning the Hofburg Chapel, the Burgtheater, the
Parliament, the University and the churches in Ringstrasse, and St. Stephen's Cathedral. And you
can’t leave the city without visiting the Imperial Crypt for the Habsburg dynasty and going for a
ferry ride across the Danube.
We would like to thank the Vienna Tourism Board for the pictures provided.
Austria's capital city, which is also a federal province, is located in the north-west part of the
country. The majority of its surface is on the right side of the Danube. The city is surrounded by
an amazing variety of landscapes, which include green plains and Alpine mountains. There are also
many woods and lakes in the outskirts of the city.
In Vienna, it is very nice during the day and rather cold during the night in summer. High
temperatures in July and August can reach 25ºC (77ºF); in May and September, the weather is rather
hot. It is very cold during winter. In January, the temperatures can go down to -4ºC (25 ºF).
When to go
Vienna is a wonderful city throughout the year. Choosing the season to travel here, then, will
depend on the tourist's preference. People who love snow and skiing should, of course, visit the
city at the height of winter.
At the beginning, Vienna was a small Celtic settlement. After the Roman occupation, it became
Vindobona's garrison, which guarded the nearby city of Carnuntum. However, by the beginning of the
5th century it suffered many barbarian invasions. In the 10th century, Vienna was acquired by the
Germanic Babenberg dynasty and, throughout the nearly three years that they ruled, the city became
an important commercial center.
In the 13th century, Vienna became the property of the Habsburg dynasty. Later on it was
harshly attacked by the Turkish, who were eventually defeated in 1683. From that year on, a great
flourishing of the Austrian capital began. During the 18th century it became an outstanding
imperial and cultural center. However, it had to face Napoleon's occupation in 1809 and the
consequences of the 1848 revolution; that year Franz Josef came to the throne.
After World War I, the Habsburg Empire collapsed and Vienna was no longer an imperial
capital. In 1938, when Austria was annexed to Nazi Germany in the Anschluss, the city knew their
independence was endangered and, after Hitler’s fall in 1945, their territory was in the hands of
the Allied forces. In 1955, Austria succeeded in becoming a sovereign state and Vienna shone again,
like during its best times. Like now.
Most traditional events in Austria are related to the country's culture. Some of them, with dates
that vary from year to year, are the following:
February: Carnival, Bad Ischl; Vienna Opera Ball; March-May: Vienna Spring Festival; May:
Vienna Festival; Jazz Festival; July: International Youth and Music Festival in Vienna;
November-December: Advent, the Special Magic of the Christmas Markets; December 31st: the Imperial
Viennese people are rather formal in terms of social relationships, so do not be surprised if
during the first meetings or introductions they do not call you by your first name. Handshaking is
the most common way of greeting and saying goodbye. It is considered good manners to say "Guten
Tag" or "Grüss Gott" when you enter a café or a restaurant and "Auf Wiedersehen" when you say
goodbye. If somebody treats you to a dinner, the most appropriate thing to do is to give the hosts
some flowers or a small gift. If you’re going to the theater, the opera or a classical music
concert, you will need to dress up for the occasion.
Austrian cooking is deeply influenced by the cuisines of its neighbours Hungary, Serbia and
Romania. The most popular dishes are Wiener Schnitzel (escalope), Tafelspitz (boiled beef),
Geröstete Leber (veal liver cooked with herbs and butter) and Goulash (meat and vegetables stew).
The most popular desserts are Kaiserschmarrn (a kind of omelette with sugar and raisins),
Palatschinken (omelette with jam) and Salzburger Nockerln (a kind of soufflé with eggs and butter).
Many dishes are duck, goose and, of course, sausage-based. Here, coffee is a passion (and the
Kaffeehaus cafés are their creation), as well as the pastry shops. There are almost 60 types of
cakes and pies. Some of the most popular are: Sachertorte, Mohnstrudel, Rechücken and Guglhupf. You
do not even have to ask how they are prepared; you just have to order them and enjoy them. The most
popular dessert is the Mohr im Hemd, a delicious chocolate pudding with hot chocolate sauce,
whipped cream and vanilla. Regarding wine, the local ones are quite good.
YES: Ja, NO: Nein, HELLO: Hallo, GOOD-BYE: Auf Wiedersehen, GOOD MORNING: Guten Morgen; GODD
AFTERNOON: Guten Tag, GOOD NIGHT: Guten Nacht, PLEASE: Bitte, I AM SORRY: Es tut mir Leid, THANK
YOU: Danke schön, DOCTOR: Arzt, CHEMIST'S: Apotheke; Numbers: ONE: Eins, TWO: Zwei, THREE: Drei,
FOUR: Vier, FIVE: Fünf, SIX: Sechs, SEVEN: Sieben, EIGHT: Acht, NINE: Neun, TEN: Zehn, TWENTY:
Zwanzig, THIRTY: Dreißig, FORTY: Vierzig, FIFTY: Fünfzig, SIXTY: Sechzig, ONE HUNDRED: Hundert, ONE
THOUSAND: Tausend; Days of the week: MONDAY: Montag, TUESDAY: Dienstag, WEDNESDAY: Mittwoch,
THURSDAY: Donnerstag, FRIDAY: Freitag, SATURDAY: Samstag, SUNDAY: Sonntag; Common words: BIG: Groß
/ SMALL: Klein, HOT: Heiß / COLD: Kalt, OPEN: Offen / CLOSED: Geschlossen, GOOD: Gut / BAD:
Schlecht, NEW: Neu / OLD: Alt, PUSH: Stoß / PULL: Ziehen, ENTRANCE: Eingang / EXIT: Ausgang,
LADIES: Damen / GENTLEMEN: Herren, FAR: Weit / NEAR: Nah, LEFT: Links / RIGHT: Rechts, TAXI: Taxi,
BUS: Bus. Eating: BREAKFAST: Frühstück, LUNCH: Mittagessen, DINNER: Abendessen, WINE: Wein,
DESSERT: Nachtisch, MENU: Menü, THE BILL: die Rechnung. Common Phrases: DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?:
Sprechen Sie Englisch?, I DO NOT UNDERSTAND: Ich verstehe nicht, WHERE IS IT?: Wo ist es?, HOW MUCH
IS IT?: Wieviel?, WHAT TIME IS IT?: Wie spät ist es?, CAN YOU HELP ME?: Können Sie mir helfen?
Euro. There are 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 euros banknotes. There are 1 and 2 euros coins, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cent coins.
1 Euro (EUR) = 1.22 Dollar (USD); 1 Euro (EUR) = 0.68 Pound sterling (GBP).
Even though Vienna is a little more expensive than other European cities, there are accommodation
and restaurant alternatives for everybody.
+1 GMTOfficial Language
415 square kilometers (160 sq. mi)Population
1,700,000 inhabitantsPolitical Regime
Federal RepublicPublic holidays
January 1st: New Year. January 6th: Epiphany. March - April: Easter. May 1st: Labor Day. May 5th:
Ascension. May - June: Corpus Christi. August 15th: Assumption. October 26th: Austrian National
Day. November 1st: All Saint's Day. December 8th: Immaculate Conception. December 25th: Christmas
Day. December 26th: St. Stephen's Day.Religion
Even though most of the country is Catholic, many diverse cults are practiced with complete freedom
78% Catholics, 5% Protestants, 4.5% other religionsArrival / Departure
By air: Austria has three airlines (Austrian Airlines, Lauda Air and Tyrolean Airways), which
travel to the main European capitals. At Vienna Airport you can find many important airlines from
all over the world.
It is very easy to reach Vienna by land as, due to its geographical location, it is connected
to all the European highway networks from Germany, Switzerland and Italy.
By train: You can reach the city from all the European countries, thanks to the service of
the Austrian Federal Railways (Bundesbahn).
By bus: Many companies from the European countries provide services to Vienna. International
bus services: Tel. 798 29 00 (Monday-Friday: 6.30 am-8.30 pm, Saturday, Sunday: 6.30-11.30 am and
4.30-8.30 pm); website:
Vienna is a safe city, although some street robberies are notified once in a while, with purses
typically stolen. Although there are very few recommendations, they have to be abided by.Visa
The Schengen Agreement establishes the abolition of borders among the states signing this agreement
which currently are: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy,
Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. Even though Norway and Iceland are not
part of the European Union, they have signed the cooperation agreement and have implemented it.
Passport: All people visiting Austria need a valid passport except for citizens belonging to
the European Union, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Slovenia, and Switzerland; they can enter the
country with their ID card.
Visas: All countries need a visa, except for: (a) citizens from countries belonging to the
European Union, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland, and Switzerland, for an unlimited period of time;
(b) 2: nationals of Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam,
Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Vatican City, Korea, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Slovenia,
the United States, Estonia, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania,
Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, The Czech
Republic, Slovakia, Rumania, San Marino, Singapore, Switzerland, Uruguay, and Venezuela, when
staying less than 3 months; (c) Japanese citizens when staying less than 6 months; (d) passengers
in transit who continue their journey in the same or the next connection flight, provided that they
have their documents in order and they do not leave the airport.
Note: Citizens from specific countries, even if they are passengers in transit, always need a
visa to enter Austria. Should you need more information about these countries, please contact the
nearest Austrian consulate.Clothing
Even in summer, it is advisable to take some warm clothing. In winter they are essential, as are
warm and waterproof footwear.Electricity
220 volts AC, 50Hz.Radio and Television
In Vienna you can watch ATV-Austria TV, Telekabel, ORF1-Oesterreichischer Rundfunk and Wien 1. The
main radio stations are Frieis Radio in Wien, Kunstradio, FM4 and Radio Austria International.Telephone
Austria’s country code: 43. Vienna’s area code: 1.
The most important operator is NEXTRA (website:
). Payphones can be found anywhere in the city. The
most convenient time of the day to make phone calls is between 8 pm and 8 am, from Monday to
Friday. During the weekend, however, fees are roughly 35% cheaper (from Friday 8 pm to Monday 8 am)Police
141Tourist health care services
122Newspapers and Magazines
The main newspapers are Wiener Zeitung (founded in 1703 and is the oldest newspaper in the world),
Neue Kronen-Zeitung, Kurier and Norma de Der.Postal Service
Letters within Europe take between two and four days to be delivered. The opening hours of the post
offices are from 8 to 12 am and from 2 to 5 or 6 pm, from Monday to Friday. The ones at the train
stations are open 24 hours a day, even on public holidays. They all have telegram services.
Austria's mail service is efficient and secure.Health Care Services
Austria has a bilateral agreement on health care with all European Union countries. For EU citizens
to benefit from free or reduced-cost health care, a European Health Insurance Card (replacing the
E111) must be obtained. This can be done at your local post office or online at
Non-EU citizens should purchase travel insurance before travelling.
Vienna International Airport, A-1300 Wien Flughafen, Postfach 1, Austria. Tel: (0) 1 70070; Fax:
(0) 1 7007 23805; website:
. You will find two terminals there
and it's located 16 km (10 mi) South-East from the city. From Spain, there are direct flights to
Vienna (with Austrian Airlines, Spanair and Iberia), and there are also flights with stops via
Zurich. Lufthansa offers daily flights via Frankfurt and Munich.Public Transport
Vienna has a very efficient public transport system including underground, tram, buses and
short-haul trains. You can combine underground, tram and bus trips with a simple ticket. Seasonal
tickets of different validity periods can be bought in advance at any Tabak-Trafik shop, or at
ticket machines located at the stations.
Children under 6 years old travel free. To learn more about this service, which must be
booked in advance, you can visit www.wienerlinien.co.at. There is also a "nostalgic tram", built in
1929, which cruises along the beautiful old downtown of the city. This service is available from
May 7th to October 2nd, on most Saturdays between 11.30 and 1.30 pm, and on Sundays and holidays at
9.30am, 11.30am and 1.30pm. Departure: Zahnradgasse, 19 District.
The Austrian Federal Railways offers fast and comfortable services to almost all cities and towns
within its territory. From Vienna, there are services to Salzburg (hourly), to Innsbruck and
Bregenz (every two hours), to Graz (hourly) and to Klagenfurt (every three hours). Also from the
main capitals that surround the Republic of Austria there are many direct connections like
Vienna-Prague (4 trains a day), Vienna-Budapest (7 trains a day), Vienna-Venice (2 trains a day),
Vienna-Munich (4 trains a day) and Vienna-Zurich (3 trains a day). You can enquire about schedules
and fares visiting their website: www.oebb.at. Schnellbahn's trains are ideal for travelling around
the tourist attractions located in the outskirts of the city.Bus
There is a bus service which travels around downtown and another one that travels around the nearby
villages and neighbouring areas. The main long-distance coach station is Wien Mitte, where you can
find coaches that travel throughout the east area of the city.Car
In order to drive in motorways it is essential to buy a vignette, which should be placed clearly on
the windscreen. Vignettes can be purchased at every entry border. In general, the entire road
network, except for toll motorways, is free of charge in Austria. Traffic rules and regulations are
the same as those applied in the rest of the European countries.
The speed limits are: up to 130 km/h (80 mph) on motorways; up to 100 km/h (62 mph) on
ordinary roads, and in built-up areas in the city, up to 50 km/h (31 mph). In winter, in case of
copious snow, special tyres should be used. Since May 1st, 2005 it is compulsory all over the
country to wear reflective vests. Only drivers should wear them.
As for Vienna, parking is duly signposted, not only in the "blue zones" (parking tickets for
which can be purchased in banks and gas stations) but also in the underground parking lots. In case
of an accident with personal damage, it is compulsory to notify the police or gendarmerie. In case
of material damage, it is only compulsory to notify the police if the identity of one or both
drivers cannot be proven. Important telephone numbers: ÖAMTC-motor club, roadside assistance: 120;
ARBÖ motor club, roadside assistance: 123. Information about the condition of the roads: telephone
number 0 800 120 120 (24 hours, in German and English).Taking pictures See climatewww.worldweather.orgCurrency converterwww.xe.com/uccA dinner
30 EUR in a good restaurant.A coffee
2 EURThe Bus
1.5 EURThe Underground
24 hour tickets: 5 EURThe train
24 hour tickets: 5 EUR