Vienna attracts millions of visitors each year. They often come for the baroque architecture and rich cultural legacy. Medieval cathedrals, famous museums, and imperial palaces await you, making Vienna one of the best destinations in Austria.
While you can easily find things to do, you may struggle to decide where to stay in Vienna. The capital city covers over 400 square kilometres, sprawling out from the city centre on both sides of the Danube river.
At the heart of the city is the historical Innere Stadt. It was once a walled fortress and is now the site of a boulevard called the Ringstrasse that encircles the historic city centre. Many of the top attractions are within this area, but there’s still plenty to see outside the centre as well.
Not sure where to look? Get your accommodations search started with this guide to the best places to stay in Vienna…
Where to stay in Vienna: A complete guide to the best neighbourhoods & areas for travellers
Vienna is not a small city. It includes over 23 districts, called Bezirke, each with its own distinct flair.
The most well-known area is the Innere Stadt (Old Town). This is where the city boundaries ended until Vienna expanded in 1850.
In the oldest part of the city, you’ll find narrow streets separating old buildings and historic sites. Most tourists start their trip here, but there are other areas to explore.
If you stay anywhere outside Old Town, just keep in mind that you may need to rely on public transport to get around. While the inner city is walkable, the outer districts cover a lot of ground.
Some districts are mostly quiet residential neighbourhoods. Other areas are more commercial, such as Landstrasse with its selection of shops and coffee houses.
A few of the best areas to stay in Vienna for travellers include:
- Old Town
✔ Best area to stay for sightseeing & culture
Old Town, or Innere Stadt, is the centre of the city and where you’ll find the top attractions in Vienna. This is the original Vienna and the most popular tourist area.
Before 1850, this central area was the entire city. It featured large walls that secured the outer perimeter. The walls eventually came down and were replaced with the Ringstrasse.
You can take a trip around the Ringstrasse and see many of the historic sites without leaving the wide boulevard.
The Old Town area is a picture-perfect example of an old European city. It features cobblestone streets that separate brick buildings that house cafes, bars, and restaurants.
In the centre of the district, you’ll find Stephansplatz, the main public square of the city. It’s named after St. Stephen’s Cathedral, one of the most prominent landmarks in Vienna.
The large cathedral features a combination of Gothic and Romanesque design elements, creating an interesting façade that stands out, even in this old district.
Recommended hotels in Old Town
As the centre of tourism, Old Town has some of the best hotels in Vienna. You also have a wide selection of hotels to choose from, including many four-star and five-star locations. No matter which place you choose, you’re never far from the main Vienna attractions.
- Boutique Hotel am Stephansplatz: Many of the spacious rooms feature views of St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the crowds down below at Stephansplatz. This is the most central hotel in the city and the most popular. Vacancies fill up quickly throughout the year, so be sure you book months in advance.
- Hotel Austria – Wien: Located in the heart of Old Town, you can enjoy convenient access to the main attractions. Just a short walk from the cathedral, at the end of a traffic-free street that also contains several small cafes and restaurants.
- Hotel Domizil: It’s a four-star hotel that caters to your every need, featuring a wide range of amenities. The rooms are clean, the staff is helpful, and the location places you just steps away from Stephansplatz.
- Hotel Wandl: The modern rooms are a complete contrast to the old buildings that surround the hotel. This four-star location is about 200 metres from St. Stephen’s Cathedral, making it another top choice for those ready for sightseeing.
✔ Best area to stay for parks & the arts
Leopoldstadt is one half of an island near the centre of Vienna. It’s surrounded by the Danube on all sides, except the northern border with the neighbouring Brigittenau district.
This area is mostly known for its large public parks, including the sprawling Prater Public Park. Prater covers close to 1,500 acres of land, offering lots of space to get away from the crowds and enjoy the fresh air.
The park also includes the famous Wiener Riesenrad giant Ferris Wheel. You can get a great view of parts of the city from the top.
As the district is surrounded by the Danube, you get some of the best views of the river in this district. The riverside areas are also lined with quaint little restaurants and cafes. You can even find a stretch of beach on the Danube canal.
Besides fresh air and great scenery, this district also offers access to the arts. Leopoldstadt includes several notable museums, including the Leopoldstadt Museum and the Prater Museum.
Leopoldstadt is considered a major theatre district. While dozens of cinemas in the area have closed in the past several decades, the district hosts several outdoor summer cinema festivals each year.
Recommended hotels in Leopoldstadt
Leopoldstadt sits directly across the Danube from Old Town and most of the hotels are just a few blocks away from the river. With any of these options, you can easily travel between the two districts.
- Hotel SO/Vienna: This outstanding property sits just across the river from Old Town. If you want luxury, this is the top recommendation. Relax at the spa, work out in the gym, or enjoy a panoramic view of the city from the rooftop gourmet restaurant. It’s also a few steps from a metro station.
- Novotel Wien City: This four-star hotel overlooks the Ringstrasse and provides access to a sauna and fitness centre. It’s a comfortable place to stay, as the rooms are decked with luxury furnishings, from the carpeting to the bedsheets and pillows.
- Austria Classic Hotel Wien: Located near the centre of the district, this hotel is a little further from Old Town and still within walking distance. It gives you a break from the crowds and spacious rooms with flat-screen TVs.
✔ Best area to stay for shopping & history
Landstrasse includes many activities and sites to fill your Vienna itinerary, including the popular 18th-century Belvedere castle.
The sprawling Belvedere complex includes two Baroque palaces and well-kept grounds containing fountains and sculptures.
Another destination you need to visit in Landstrasse is the Hundertwasserhaus. The expressionist landmark is an apartment building featuring forested roofs and other plant life growing out of the façade.
Within the boundaries of Landstrasse, you’ll also find St. Marx Cemetery. Used from 1784 to 1874, the cemetery includes several notable interments, including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Josef Strauss.
Besides offering access to interesting historic landmarks, Landstrasse is a major shopping district. This area includes several shopping malls and a few small shopping streets with little boutique shops and restaurants.
Shopping and history are the highlights of this district, but it also has a museum. The Museum of Art Fakes includes a collection of forged artworks from famous forgers. Each exhibit includes detailed notes about the forgeries and the dramatic stories behind them.
Recommended hotels in Landstrasse
Landstrasse offers a great selection of stylish four-star hotels and luxury accommodations. Many of these hotels feature spacious rooms, balconies, and a lot of natural lighting. You’ll also find a couple of options bordering Old Town.
- InterContinental Wien: This hotel is just across the street from Old Town, on the outer edges of the Landstrasse district. Many of the other hotels have embraced modern interior design, but this location features classic furnishings and décor, creating a stately atmosphere.
- Austria Trend Hotel Savoyen Vienna: Located next to the Belvedere, this eco-friendly hotel provides comfortable accommodations and a great location. It’s just a 10-minute walk from Ringstrasse. After a long day of sightseeing, you can unwind at the hotel spa.
- Mercure Grand Hotel Biedermeier Wien: This four-star hotel is located near the top Landstrasse attractions, making it a popular choice for history lovers. You can easily travel to Stadt park or the Hundertwasserhaus. Due to the popularity of the hotel, it’s a good idea to book early.
- Arthotel ANA Enzian: This hotel is a little further from the centre of Vienna, but it’s only a five-minute walk from the Belvedere. If you take the tram, it’s also just a five-minute ride to Old Town. The hotel itself is clean, and guests seem to love the free breakfast.
✔ Best area to stay for pubs & shopping
Neubau is known as one of the youngest, most liberal districts, due to its large student population. It’s also a popular destination for families and nightlife.
Landstrasse is not the only shopping district in Vienna. Neubau also offers a wide selection of stores. During the day, you may enjoy taking a trip to the ZOOM Children’s Museum and other family-friendly destinations. At night, you can explore the vibrant nightlife and the dozens of pubs in the area.
Neubau is a central district with its own selection of museums and historic sites. Some of the most visited sites include the Volkstheater and the Museumquartier.
Volkstheater (People’s Theater) was founded in 1889 and still holds public performances. You can often find plays, operas, and musicals throughout the year.
Museumquartier includes several Baroque buildings and houses modern art. It also has an artist-in-residence program, providing living and working space for over 735 artists.
As with the previous two districts, Neubau is still within walking distance of the city centre. Stretch your legs and walk for about 20 minutes to reach Old Town.
Recommended hotels in Neubau
Neubau has become a top choice for those seeking lower rates on accommodations and dining. Neubau has more street vendors and dive bars compared to the other districts, along with several three-star hotels.
- Hotel Pension Museum: This three-star hotel is across from Volkstheater and Old Town. It’s one of the best locations for a Neubau hotel. It’s also right next to a large market, providing endless options for dining and snacks.
- Hotel ViennArt Am Museumsquartier: Located in the Spittelberg neighbourhood, this four-star hotel provides a little more peace and quiet compared to some options. The hotel also provides large rooms with great views at decent rates.
- Mercure Secession Wien: The exterior of this four-star hotel resembles other classic Viennese buildings in the area. The interior features modern comforts and design. It’s a comfortable, convenient place to stay, just 15-minutes from St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
- Hotel Am Brillantengrund: Located near the centre of Neubau, this family-run three-star hotel boasts its own courtyard and homemade Philippine cuisine. It’s also in the middle of a nice little neighbourhood where you can enjoy evening strolls away from the crowds of tourists.