A complete guide to where to stay in Vienna for the first time (+ the best areas and hotels for sightseeing, Christmas markets and for one night).
Vienna, the city of Mozart and Strauss, is one of the most beautiful cities in Austria. It’s a gorgeous place with stunning architecture and imperial palaces. If you’re planning to visit the capital of Austria, there is one big question: What is the best place to stay in Vienna?
There are 23 districts (Bezirk) in Vienna. The smaller is the number of the district, the closer it is to the city centre. You can find out the number of any neighbourhood by looking at its postcode. So postcode 1020 is the 2nd district and postcode 1150 is the 15th. In this way, you can easily find out where a hotel is located only by looking at its address.
I’ve been several times to Vienna and for me, the most convenient area is Leopoldstadt district. And to be precise the area between the Historic City Centre and Praterstern railway station.
I find the area convenient as both the Praterstern station and the Historic Centre are at a walkable distance. Plus, it’s not so touristy. Also, it’s a great area if you plan on doing side trips from Vienna or catch the train to the airport.
Most popular hotel in Vienna
In a hurry? Looking for a nice hotel with a great location and a good rating?
Then check out Hotel Astoria – it’s one of the most popular hotels. This is the best place to stay in Vienna if you’re visiting the city for the first time.
A great 4-star hotel with a perfect location in the Historic Centre close to the cathedral. Rooms are huge and comfy with a charming authentic atmosphere.
Why book – 300m from Stephansdom, public parking nearby, comfy beds, huge rooms
Where to stay in Vienna for first-time visitors
- Innere Stadt – the best area to stay in Vienna for tourists
- Mitte and Praterstern Railway station – for one night
- Ringstrasse – for Christmas Markets
- Wieden – for hipster experience
- Neubau – for museum lovers
Innere Stadt – best area to stay in Vienna
The best place to stay in Vienna is the Innere Stadt, near St. Stephen’s Cathedral. This is the heart of Historic Vienna, where you’ll find almost all the major attractions. This is the best area to stay for first-time visitors, especially tourists.
The grand boulevard Ringstrasse surrounds Innere Stadt (Historic City Centre). This boulevard is built on the site of the former city walls. The Imperial Palace, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, City Hall and many more must-see sites are here.
Book a private transfer directly to your hotel for a worry-free arrival.
Staying in the Innere Stadt will save you time in commuting, as all the landmarks will be within walking distance. You will walk on picturesque cobbled alleyways, surrounded by strikingly beautiful palaces. You’ll find little restaurants with mouth-watering Austrian food, tucked away between centuries-old buildings.
There won’t be any need to use public transport (unless you’re visiting Schonbrunn). This is the best area to stay in Vienna, especially if your time is limited.
Why stay in Innere Stadt
- Stay here if you want to see the charm of old Vienna and be in the heart of the action.
- You can reach by foot all must see-sites (Imperial Palace, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, City Hall).
- The most famous opera houses are here: Musikverein, State Opera House and Kursalon. Don’t miss to see a Mozart Concert at the Golden Hall.
- Restaurant Pürstner – they serve the best schnitzel in Vienna.
- Ribs of Vienna – ribs lover, you gonna love this.
- There are four Christmas markets in the 1st district. The most famous ones are on Stephansplatz and in front of the City Hall.
- Go for shopping on Graben and Kärntner Straße.
- Café Neko – cat lovers, don’t miss it! It’s the only cat cafe in the city.
Hotels near St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Best for couples)
Housed in a historic building from the 17th century, the hotel features an authentic Viennese atmosphere. The rooms are beautifully decorated in traditional style with comfortable beds and huge bathrooms. Plus, it’s just a few minutes’ walk from the cathedral and the State Opera.
Why book – 600m from Stephansdom, airport shuttle, public parking nearby, 24 hours free coffee at reception
If you want to stay right in the heart of the city, this is the best option. The location is more than perfect – 2 minutes on foot from Stephansplatz and the corresponding subway station. Plus, all the main attractions are within walking distance. Spacious traditional rooms with modern touches.
Why book – ideal location, 200m from Stephansdom, airport shuttle, public parking nearby, comfy beds
Hotels near St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Best for families)
Hotel Domizil is one of the closest to St. Stephen’s Cathedral and Stephansplatz. Although located in the heart of the city, the hotel is on a quiet street, so you won’t be bothered by noise. It’s the perfect place to stay for sightseeing, shopping and restaurants. The breakfast includes hot and cold buffets with a wide range of choices.
Why book – 100m from Stephansdom, airport shuttle, public parking nearby, big rooms, great breakfast
Hotel Kaiserin Elisabeth is one of the best rated near the cathedral. It’s a modern hotel housed in a 19th-century historic building. The location is excellent – on a quiet street within walking distance to all major attractions, shops and restaurants.
Why book – 150m from Stephansdom, airport shuttle, private parking nearby, large rooms, gourmet breakfast
Luxury hotels in the Historic Centre
The property is just down the street from Hofburg Palace, 600m away from Stephansplatz. The location is walkable to all major attractions and the shopping streets. Plus, there is a subway station next to the hotel. The hotel features a great Spa and wellness centre and spacious elegant rooms.
Why book – 600m from Stephansdom, wellness centre, private parking on-site, great breakfast, pillow options
Grand Hotel is a gorgeous luxury hotel close to Karlsplatz metro station. If you want to pamper yourself, this is the place to stay. The hotel features an awesome spa centre, two fine dining restaurants and a rooftop terrace with panoramic city views.
Why book – 300m from Karlsplatz, Michelin-starred restaurant, wellness centre, rooftop terrace, luxury rooms, excellent breakfast
Apartments in the Historic Centre
These modern well-equipped apartments are less than 300m from the cathedral.
Why book – excellent and quiet location, 300m from Stephansdom, public parking nearby, airport shuttle
Modern, bright and spacious apartments within walking distance of all major sites.
Why book – 300m from Stephansdom, iPod dock, private parking on-site, 24-hour reception, Nespresso machine
Where to stay in Vienna for one night
If you have only one night, choose accommodation near Wien Mitte (Landstrasse district) or Praterstern Railway station (Leopoldstadt district). The city has an excellent public transport system, so you’d easily reach all the must-see attractions.
Don’t stay near the Central Railway Station as it’s a little far from the Historic Centre (unless you don’t have a very early train departure).
Where to stay in Vienna for one night
- Wien Mitte – closest to the tourist attractions, ideal for transport links
- Praterstern Railway station – 15min walk to the tourist attractions, easy access to the airport
- Vienna Central Station – a little further from the historic centre, but perfect for an early international train
Which area you’d choose depends on how you’d travel from the airport and what attractions you’d like to see most. Wien Mitte has a slight advantage over Praterstern as Mitte is closer to the Historic Centre. Plus, the must-see sights Belvedere Palace and the bizarre Hundertwasser House are in the area. Moreover, the CAT train from the airport stops only at Mitte station.
Wien Mitte is one of the best options for one night stay in Vienna. Both the Historic Centre and Belvedere Palace are less than 1km away. You can reach them on foot or you can take the underground – line U3 for the city centre and line U4 for the palace.
Going to the airport is also easy – just catch CAT (City Airport Train) or the S7 train from Wien Mitte station.
Am Parkring is one of the best rated hotels near Wien Mitte. Situated right next to the Stadtpark, the hotel features panoramic views of the city’s skyline. Close to the main pedestrian area with many restaurants and shops nearby. In addition, you can easily walk to Wien Mitte station and CAT train to and from the airport.
Why book – 500m from Wien Mitte, gourmet restaurant, airport shuttle, panoramic views, SKY channels
The hotel is perfectly situated between 2 metro station and only 300m away from Wien Mitte. The Historic Centre is less than 1km away. Plus, there are a lot of cafes and restaurants near the hotel. The perfect place for one night stay in Vienna.
Why book – 300m from Wien Mitte, wellness facilities, public parking on-site, spacious rooms
Praterstern Railway station
The area around Praterstern Railway station is also a great option for one night stay. It’s a short subway ride from the centre or a 15 minutes walk.
The S7 train from the airport stops here at Praterstern railway station (Bahnhof Praterstern). Moreover, one of the iconic city’s sites, the Giant Ferris Wheel, is right next to the Praterstern train station.
Taking a ride on the Giant Ferris Wheel is a must-do! The city views are stunning, especially in the evening.
If you look for accommodation as close to Praterstern station as possible, don’t look further. This modern hotel is situated only 50m away from the train station and the subway. It’s about 15m walk from the Historic Centre (if you prefer to walk).
Why book – 50m from Praterstern station, private parking on-site, quiet rooms, great breakfast selection
Henriette Stadthotel is a family-run hotel with great attention to details. The rooms are themed – each one represents a famous place in the city. The breakfast features a wide range of hot and cold choices, plus a lot of local products. The Nestroyplatz metro station is just outside the hotel and the train station – 500m away.
Why book – 500m from Praterstern station, airport shuttle, private parking on-site, excellent breakfast, themed rooms
Vienna Central Station
If you prefer to stay near the Central Railway Station, because of an early train departure, check out the hotel below. It’s one of the closest hotels near the train station (and one of the best-rated, too).
Novotel Hauptbahnhof is an excellent hotel with a high level of comfort. The location is perfect for the Railway station, on a side quiet street without noise or crowds. Elegant rooms with super comfy beds and pillows. Plus, there is a restaurant and a parking garage on-site.
Why book – convenient location next to Hauptbahnhof, 24-hour front desk
Best area to stay in Vienna for Christmas Markets
The city is magical in December. There are more than ten Christmas markets all over the city. Most of them are in the Historic Centre or along the grand boulevard Ringstrasse.
The best area to stay in Vienna for Christmas Markets is around Karlsplatz. You’d be at a walking distance to a few of the Christmas markets (including the markets at Karlsplatz and Stephansplatz). Moreover, three of the metro lines (U1, U2 and U4) cross at Karlsplatz metro station.
This is super convenient, as you’d be able to reach the rest of the markets without changing lines. And be sure that you’ll need the subway (no matter how much you like to walk), as the city is freezingly cold in December.
Why stay near Karlsplatz
- you’ll be close to several popular Christmas Markets
- a convenient area for transport links and exploring the city (3 metro lines at hand)
- easy access to Schönbrunn Christmas Market (just take metro line U4 from Karlsplatz)
- most of the tourist attractions are a short walk from here
Hotel Kaiserhof Wien is a great place to stay for Christmas. Modern elegant rooms with comfortable enormous beds with soft linens. The breakfast buffet is full of hot and cold options (suitable even for those with food allergies).
Why book – 300m from Karlsplatz, airport shuttle, high-quality breakfast, option for allergy-free room
This stylish hotel is only a short walk from Karlsplatz and the State Opera House. Modern boutique rooms with comfortable beds.
Why book – 150m from Karlsplatz, 24-hour bar on-site, trendy rooms, large makeup mirror
More places to stay in Vienna, Austria
If you look for a less touristy location (or a hipster area), check out the charming Wieden and Neubau neighbourhoods.
Wieden – 4th district
Wieden is a small hipster district south of the Innere Stadt. Between the residential buildings, you will find a lot of art and antique shops and even vegan supermarkets. The Historic Centre is within a short walk from here. The beautiful facade of Karlskirche gives an additional charm to the 4th district.
Why stay in Wieden
- Stay here if you are looking for a hipster, charming neighbourhood close to the city centre.
- The elegant Karlskirche is located in Wieden. In December there is also a Christmas market in front of the church.
- The Central train station is close. This makes the area very convenient for taking day trips. If you plan a day trip to Bratislava, you have to take a train from this station.
- Wiener Wiazhaus – try the ribs or the Schnitzel.
- The largest market in the city, Naschmarkt, is a short distance away (in the nearby district Mariahilf). Take a gourmet tour of Naschmarkt and explore the market while tasting selected delicacies.
Neubau – 7th district
Neubau is the perfect place to discover the art life of the city. Here you will find the unique MuseumsQuartier – heaven for museum lovers. The 7th district is lively, dynamic and at the same time close to the city centre.
Neubau together with Wieden are my favourite neighbourhoods. It is like living like a local, but at the same time surrounded by a lot of history and art.
Why stay in Neubau
- Stay here if you want to feel the young pulse of the city, combined with a taste of old Vienna.
- Explore the largest art complex in Vienna, MuseumsQuartier.
- Three Christmas markets are here to warm you in the cold December.