Best known for its classical music, imperial history, astounding architecture and The Sound of Music scenery, visiting Vienna is a culture trip like no other. The city is an enthralling blend of old and new, with old buildings housing contemporary museums. At the same time, some of the latest additions to the architectural landscape include the tallest building in Austria, the striking DC Tower.
Long a travel destination to watch incomparable opera performances at the Wiener Staatsoper, Austria’s capital is now also a trendy city with plenty of modern sights and activities, well worth exploring on holiday. Close by are numerous exciting locations to visit on day trips, making Vienna an excellent choice from which to launch further adventures in Austria.
Why we love holidays in Vienna
- It’s a beautiful city with a remarkable diversity of architecture, from Art Nouveau and Baroque to Gothic.
- Vienna is the world’s centre of classical music.
- Holidays in Vienna include visiting some of the 100-plus museums in the city.
- You have to experience its unique coffee house culture.
- You haven’t lived until you’ve tasted its irresistible cakes including Sachertorte.
- Vienna is a magical destination for a winter holiday.
- To see artworks by famous masters including Gustav Klimt, juxtaposed by spectacular modern street art.
Vienna is ranked as one of the most liveable cities in the world. It's equally enjoyable to explore on holiday, any time of the year. During winter, you can go ice skating, sip copious amounts of excellent coffee and savour decadent cakes. In summer there are music concerts, tranquil parks in which to relax, and buzzing nightlife around the Danube Canal. You can also shop for bargains in the flea markets, sample Vienna’s very delicious wine or go to an outdoor cinema. Experience it all when you book a Vienna holiday package with Thompsons Holidays.
Things to do in Vienna
Vienna is a year-round destination with fabulous things to do no matter the weather. In the 19th century, Vienna was the centre of art, music and culture in Europe. Not much has changed since then, and this exciting city still offers fabulous cultural attractions. Activities abound in Vienna, from exploring its history and classical music roots to shopping in chic fashion boutiques.
Tourist attractions like Salzburg’s Museum of Modern Art are the benchmark for the continent’s contemporary art scene. The food is delicious, and the cakes and desserts have only improved over the years. Enjoy a sliver of something decadent in a Viennese coffee house.
Places to visit in Vienna
- Visit the colourful and quirky apartment building, Hundertwasserhaus, designed by legendary artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser.
- Explore the vast Schonbrunn Palace to see how Austrian royalty lived.
- Savour the quintessential Sachertorte at Café Sacher Wien.
- Discover Vienna’s most famous church, St Stephen’s Cathedral.
- Spend an evening at the Vienna State Opera, watching a memorable performance.
- Stroll through the fascinating Belvedere Museum, housed in two exquisite palaces and home to the world's most extensive collection of Gustav Klimt paintings, including The Kiss, Judith and the Head of Holofernes.
- Spend a fun-filled day on the rides at the Wiener Prater amusement park.
- Enjoy panoramic views of the city from the observation deck of the 252m Donauturm (Danube Tower).
- Discover the famous buildings lining opulent Ring Road.
- Shop in the festive season Christkindlmarkt in front of the Town Hall.
- Enjoy street food – especially tasty sausages.
If you love people-watching, music, impressive buildings, markets, street art, and fabulous food, you’ll enjoy travelling to Vienna. Whether you’re just visiting the city to explore or are using Vienna as a stopover as part of your European tour. Vienna is known as the city of music and the city of dreams. You can make all your dreams come true on holiday in Vienna with a travel package from Thompsons Holidays.
Know before you go...
- Vienna is a popular year-round destination with long hot summers and cold winters.
- The best time to visit Vienna is from April to May in the springtime and in autumn, from September to October.
- High season (summer) is June to August; winter is November to March.
- Vienna is a popular destination during the Christmas holidays.
- There are frequent flights from South Africa into Europe.
- You will need to catch a connecting flight from another city or country to get to Vienna.
- Flight duration from Johannesburg to Vienna with a stopover in Frankfurt: 14 hours, 5 minutes.
- South African passport holders require a Schengen visa to enter Austria.
- Passports must be valid for at least 3 months beyond your date of return with at least 2 blank pages.
- Vienna is one hour behind South Africa during the winter (November to March) and the same time as South Africa in the summer months (March to October).
What must I pack?
- Choose clothing items that can be layered, even for a summer holiday in Vienna.
- Winter can be very cold.
- Comfortable walking shoes.
- Sunscreen, lip balm, hat and sunglasses.
- Mini first aid kit and regular prescription medication.
- Hand sanitiser.
- Vienna is a photogenic city. Don't leave home without your camera!
- Travel adaptor. The Europlug is a flat, two-pole, round-pin domestic AC power plug, rated for voltages up to 250 V and currents up to 2.5 A.
- Vienna has an excellent public transport system.
- The four main forms of transport are the U-Bahn (subway), Schnellbahn or S-Bahn (local train), Straßenbahn (tram) and Autobus (bus).
- Vienna works on an honesty system. There are no ticket barriers at stations and no formal, permanent ticket checks on local trains, trams and buses. You just hop on and off unchallenged. This doesn’t mean public transport is free, though. You do need to buy a ticket.
What can I do to be a responsible traveller?
- Support the local economy.
- Be mindful of your impact on the environment.
- Respect each other's cultures and customs.
- Always have a map (or app) on hand, especially when travelling at night.
- Be safety conscious: don’t display cash or valuables. Leave jewellery and expensive watches at home.
- Keep your belongings safe – use the hotel safe for passports and valuables.
What do I do in an emergency?
- Contact the Thompsons Holidays 24-hour care line to assist.
Out of season
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