Vienna, the capital city of Austria, is undeniably one of the most stunning cities in Europe. The sheer elegance of this city, influenced by the likes of Mozart and Beethoven, is truly captivating.

From the imperial palaces, like Schönbrunn Palace, to the breathtaking churches, such as St. Stephen's Cathedral, it feels like stepping into a fairy tale.

Where to stay in vienna austria

Choosing where to stay in a new city is always a tough decision. Vienna boasts numerous neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm that I absolutely love. 

However, after multiple visits, I've finally narrowed down my favorite areas and hotels in Vienna. Hopefully, this will make it a little easier for you to decide where to stay in Vienna.

Best areas to stay in Vienna – Overview

The western neighborhoods of Vienna are a bit more lively. Here, you have the option to stay in the Innere Stadt/Downtown, which is perfect for sightseeing and first-timers.

Alternatively, you can explore areas like Mariahilf, Wieden, and Neubau, which offer a cooler atmosphere. These neighborhoods are ideal for immersing yourself in the art and cultural scene of the city and getting to know some of the friendly locals.

The areas east of the city center, like Leopoldstadt and Landstrasse, offer a calmer and quieter vibe.

They're perfect if you're on a budget or traveling with your family. You'll still be within walking distance of the city center, but you won't be right in the middle of all the hustle and bustle.

1. Where to stay in Vienna for first-timers & luxury: Innere Stadt

The Inner Stadt, also known as the inner city centre or District 1 in Vienna, is the liveliest and busiest area you'll find in Vienna. It's jam-packed with people, but don't worry, there's a good reason for it.

This is where you'll find the UNESCO World Heritage site, the historical center of the city. It's home to some incredible landmarks like St. Stephen's Cathedral, the Hofburg, and the historic city hall.

Here, you will also find some of the best restaurants, cozy cafes, and luxurious hotels in Vienna. Just a heads up though, because of its popularity, places here tend to get booked up pretty fast. So, if you're planning to visit, make sure you book in advance!

Where to stay vienna

Best area for:

  • First-timers

  • Sightseeing

  • Luxury

Things to do in Innere Stadt

You should totally check out Vienna's famous landmarks like St. Stephen's Cathedral, the Hofburg, and the Vienna Town Hall. They are all architectural masterpieces and seriously impressive to look at.

Another one of my favorites is visiting the Hotel Sacher, which is known as the most luxurious and expensive hotel in Vienna. Of course, I didn't get a chance to stay there, but the hotel and its restaurant are famous for their Sacher Cake! It's a traditional dessert that is an absolute must-try when you find yourself in Vienna.

($$$) Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof

The Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof is one of the best luxury hotels in Vienna. This 5-star hotel, located in a historic building, features spacious rooms and is situated in the inner city within walking distance of most tourist attractions.

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($$) The Guesthouse Vienna

A great mid-range option for your stay in Vienna is Guesthouse Vienna. It offers modern rooms and has a great central location in the city center.

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($$) Aviano Boutiquehotel

A more affordable option is the Aviano Boutique Hotel, which offers comfortable rooms and a prime location close to the Vienna State Opera and the city center.

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2. Where to stay in Vienna for the coolest neighborhood: Wieden

Wieden is, without a doubt, the coolest neighborhood in Vienna. Most locals proudly call it the first hipster area of Vienna. With its many students, Wieden has a laid-back vibe and is filled with charming pubs, restaurants, and quirky vintage shops. It's the perfect area to wander around and discover all those hidden gems. 

Plus, its fantastic location right next to the Innere Stadt makes it incredibly convenient to explore all the sights without having to stay in the pricey inner city area.

Vienna

Best area for:

  • Foodies

  • Laid-back hipster vibes

  • Students

  • Foodies

Things to do in Wieden

Wieden is not only the coolest neighborhood but also a place to chill and relax. It's less touristy and has many cute little coffee shops where you can take a break for a couple of hours. My top two recommendations in Wieden are Kaffeefabrik and Vollpension. They're perfect for a break from sightseeing or to kick off the day.

Now, if you're a foodie, you gotta check out Naschmarkt in Wieden. It's an awesome flea and food market with so much excitement to explore. You can buy quirky souvenirs and try different foods. You can even book a guided tour of the market so you won't miss out on any of those delicious snacks.

Best hotels to stay in Wieden

($$$) Hotel Kaiserhof Wien

This hotel is the perfect luxurious place to stay in Wieden. It offers stylish yet traditional hotel rooms and a great breakfast buffet, and it is located close to public transport but also within walking distance of the inner city.

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($$) Saint Shermin Bed Breakfast

If you're looking for something more affordable, Saint Shermin Bed and Breakfast is a great mid-range option. The modern hotel provides different themed rooms and an outstanding breakfast buffet in the mornings, including Viennese coffee.

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($) Christian Apartments Oper

The Christian Apartments Oper is the perfect budget option for those who want to explore Wieden. The apartments offer rooms of different sizes and a spacious living room, making them perfect for larger groups. Plus, as the name gives away, it is located close to the Vienna State Opera.

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3. Where to stay in Vienna for budget travelers & backpackers: Landstrasse

The Landstrasse district in Vienna is quite different from the Inner City but in a charming way. It's a little further away and feels more down to earth. You'll find less fancy architecture, fewer boutiques, and fewer imperial palaces, making it perfect for budget travelers and finding cheap hotels.

That being said, the neighborhood is still full of life, with plenty of pubs and restaurants.

And for all you sightseeing enthusiasts out there, don't worry, you can still find one or two palaces, including the beautiful Belvedere Palace with its lush and huge gardens surrounding it.

Vienna austria

Best area for:

  • Budget travelers

  • Backpackers

  • Relaxation

Things to do in Landstrasse

Apart from exploring the breathtaking Belvedere Palace and its surrounding parks, I've got a fantastic recommendation for you.

You should definitely check out Kunsthaus Wien, designed by the renowned Austrian artist Hundertwasser. It's the only permanent exhibition of Hundertwasser's work. Although it's currently closed, it'll be reopening at the beginning of 2024. 

Best hotels to stay in Landstrasse

($$) Vienna Residence, Rochusmarkt

If you're looking for a spacious yet affordable stay in Landstrasse, then Vienna Residence is the perfect place for you. The apartment is centrally located and comes with a fully equipped kitchen and living room.

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($$) Home Sweet Apartments

The cozy apartment Home Sweet Apartments is perfect for a smaller budget. It's in a convenient location in the 3rd district, close to public transport, and within walking distance of local restaurants and bars.

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($) Apartment Erdberg

Apartment Erdberg is a great budget option for those who want to explore Landstrasse. It's a cozy and bright apartment with free Wi-Fi, located in close proximity to the metro station. 

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4. Where to stay in Vienna for families & a quiet atmosphere: Leopoldstadt

Leopoldstadt is actually a neighborhood on an island located in the heart of Vienna! It has completely changed since World War II, it now boasts trendy cafés lining the streets and great open spaces. It has a cozy residential feel, making it perfect for families staying in Vienna.

Plus, its location is not too far out, so with many metro stations nearby, you'll find it super easy to explore the inner city and other areas of Vienna.

The most fun attractions in this district are the Danube River and the Prater Theme Park, featuring its own Ferris Wheel. It's so much fun for the whole family, especially for the kids.

Accommodation vienna

Best area for:

  • Families

  • Escaping the crowds

  • Relaxation

Things to do in Leopoldstadt

Strolling through one of my absolute favorite farmer's markets in Vienna is such a wonderfully relaxing thing to do. The Karmeliter market is a massive farmers market in Leopoldstadt, and it's just perfect for trying out various organic foods.

You'll come across a wide range of handmade jams, wines, and other delightful treats. Especially if you're planning to stay in an apartment and cook for yourself, it's a fantastic alternative to do your grocery shopping here instead of going to a regular supermarket.

If you're up for something more thrilling, you should definitely check out the Prater! It's an old-school theme park in Vienna that will make you feel like you've traveled back in time. You'll love seeing all the classic attractions, including the famous Ferris wheel built in 1897. 

Best hotels to stay in Leopoldstadt

($$$) ibis Styles Wien Messe Prater

The Ibis Styles Wien Messe Prater is a great choice for those who are looking for something upscale in Leopoldstadt. With its modern and spacious rooms and close proximity to the Prater theme park, it's an ideal spot for families.

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($$) Austria Classic Hotel Wien

The Austria Classic Hotel Wien is located in the heart of Leopoldstadt. The hotel offers modern and stylish rooms, flat screen TV, a delicious breakfast buffet, and free Wi-Fi throughout the building.

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($) Center Wien Apartment

If you're on a budget, then the Center Wien Apartment is a lovely hotel for you. Located in a central location and within walking distance of popular attractions like the Prater Theme Park and Danube River, this apartment offers all the amenities necessary for a comfortable stay.

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5. Where to stay in Vienna for art & culture: Neubau

Neubau is the 7th district and it's also the museums district of Vienna. It's a fantastic place to explore, filled with the famous Museums Quarter – a huge complex packed with museums and cultural attractions. You'll discover a rich blend of traditional Viennese culture and captivating modern art exhibitions here.

Neubau is also one of the coolest neighborhoods in Vienna, right up there with Wieden. You'll love strolling through trendy art galleries, designer boutiques, and unique coffee shops and restaurants.

And if you're into second-hand and vintage shopping, this district is a dream come true. There's even a whole street dedicated to vintage stores and charming boutiques.

Accommodation vienna austria

Best area for:

  • Museum district

  • Shopping

  • Laid-back atmosphere

Things to do in Neubau

It can be a bit tricky to choose which museums to visit because there are so many and time is often limited during a city trip. But one museum you absolutely can't miss out on is the MUMOK! It's a stunning modern and contemporary art gallery in Vienna.

Two other very popular options here are the Zoom Kids Museum and the Leopold Museum.

Best hotels to stay in Neubau

($$$) Vienna City Apartment 7

The Vienna City Apartment 7 is a great choice for those looking for something luxurious in Neubau. Located within walking distance of the Museum Quarter, this spacious apartment features modern and stylish rooms. 

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($$) Hotel Am Brillantengrund

The Hotel Am Brillantengrund is a popular hotel in Neubau. It's a great option for those looking for something budget-friendly yet comfortable and centrally located. The rooms are clean and cozy and has free Wi-Fi.

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($) Pension Walzerstadt

If you're on a tight budget, then the Pension Walzerstadt is a great choice. The family run hotel features cozy rooms and is located on a quiet street in Neubau.

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6. Where to stay in Vienna for a local experience & shopping: Mariahilf

Mariahilf is one of Vienna's oldest districts and it offers an incredible local experience. It strikes the perfect balance between modernity and tradition, with stunning old buildings on one side and trendy bars, eateries, and coffee shops on the other.

It's actually one of my favorite districts because of its unbeatable location. You can easily walk to the city center and it's right next to Wieden and Neubau, so you get the best of both worlds. You'll love the laidback local vibes and having sightseeing and tourist attractions just a stone's throw away.

But the real highlight of Mariahilf? That would be Mariahilfer Street, the longest shopping street in Vienna (1.8km). It has everything from big fashion labels to charming boutiques.

Accommodation guide vienna

Best area for:

  • Local experience

  • Shopping

  • Good location

Things to do in Mariahilf

Besides shopping until you drop at Mariahilfer Street, there are some other awesome activities in the area. Visiting the Aqua Terra Zoo should definitely be on your list. It's a super interesting aquarium that's fun for both kids and adults alike.

A unique activity here is the walking tour “Addiction & Drugs“. Not only do you get to do some sightseeing around Mariahilf and the neighboring districts, but you also learn about drugs and addiction from someone with personal experience. It's really fascinating!

Best hotels to stay in Mariahilf

($$$) Hotel MOTTO

The Hotel MOTTO Vienna is a stylish hotel located centrally in Mariahilf. The rooms are stylish and very modern and offer great amenities. It's also within walking distance of Mariahilfer Street and other popular attractions. 

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($$) Elaya Hotel Vienna City

The Elaya Hotel Vienna City is a great mid-range option in Mariahilf. Located close to Mariahilfer Street and the Aqua Terra Zoo, this hotel offers simple and modern rooms and a great rooftop terrace!

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($) Wanz'inn Design Appartements

The Wanz'inn Design Appartements is a budget-friendly option in Mariahilf, offering self-sustained apartments with a quirky design and a super cozy atmosphere.

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Where to stay in Vienna – Frequently Asked Questions

📍 What is the best area in Vienna?

If you want to be close to the city center and major tourist attractions, then Inner City is the best option as it's right in the heart of Vienna. But if you prefer a more local experience with plenty of shopping opportunities and art galleries, then Mariahilf is a great choice. I personally love Weiden as a compromise!

💸 Is Vienna expensive?

Vienna is definitely a more expensive city than other European destinations, but with a bit of research and clever budgeting, you can make it very affordable. You just have to find the right accommodation and activities that suit your budget when visiting Vienna.

❓ Should I stay in Vienna or Salzburg?

Salzburg is a great city and definitely worth visiting! However, if I had to pick, I think Vienna offers a more unique experience. It's much bigger and there are so many activities to do, from sightseeing in the daytime to bar hopping at night. Plus, it's also easier to reach the Vienna airport compared to Salzburg.

🏨 Where is the best area to stay in Vienna on a budget?

Landstrasse is a great choice for budget travelers in Vienna as it's more down-to-earth than the flashy inner city and therefore, has more affordable accommodation options.

Where to stay in Vienna – Final Words

Vienna is one of those incredible cities that has so many layers to explore. While many people focus on the flashy inner city with its imperial palaces, designer boutiques, and luxurious hotels, there's so much more to discover. You'll find proper hipster districts where things can feel more edgy, but that's part of the charm.

For me, Vienna keeps getting better with each visit because I always manage to uncover another layer of this amazing city. I hope that my guide has made it a little easier for you to decide where to stay in Vienna.

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