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Vienna
Vienna was once the center of the powerful Habsburg monarch and today is known around the world for being a capital of culture and beauty. Vienna is one of the most musical cities in the world, partly due to the vast number of legendary composers and musicians who were born, lived, and worked here.

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Rathaus
St. Stephen’s Cathedral
Schönbrunn Palace
Museum Quarter
Danube Tower
Vienna Woods

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Michael Jackson at the Travel Shack in Vienna

Vienna is known round the world for being a capital of culture and beauty, but the city also has a uniquely fun side that you’ll find in bars, eateries, strange museums, unique retail stores, and the general disposition of the Viennese people. One of the things I always loved about Vienna, and Austria in general, is its people. Many people think Austria is simply an extension of Germany, but if you spend any real time here you’ll quickly come to learn that while the language may be similar, the quirks and cultural norms are quite different.

The way I would perhaps describe a typical Austrian is a more loose, laid back, and goofy version of what you might see in the ‘traditional German’. Austrians are not as serious as you might find your average German to be, but they still maintain a rigorous work ethic while maintaining a healthy dose of humor in their daily lives. That is not to say Germans don’t have a sense of humor, but I’ve just found as soon as you cross the border into Austria the mood changes and you can more easily joke around with strangers.

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Jack Baumann

Jack Baumann

Hi, my name is Jack Baumann, and I have a passion for helping independent travelers unlock the wonders of Europe. I founded Guidester - we build personal mobile guidebooks sourced from local experts - so travelers could cut through the noise and dive deeper into the wonders of Europe. I hope you enjoy my stories and tips!

Jack Baumann

Jack Baumann

Hi, my name is Jack Baumann, and I have a passion for helping independent travelers unlock the wonders of Europe. I founded Guidester - we build personal mobile guidebooks sourced from local experts - so travelers could cut through the noise and dive deeper into the wonders of Europe. I hope you enjoy my stories and tips!

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Local Tips

Discover Vienna’s imperial palaces, cultural art galleries, and fascinating museums with the Vienna PASS. With over 60 top attractions to visit for free you can create your own sightseeing adventure. This is a great way to get to know the city upon arrival.

 

Keep in mind that the pass is only valid for 1, 2, 3 or 6 consecutive days after activation at one of the attractions included in the Vienna PASS.

Best views of the city can be found in two locations – at the top of St. Stephen’s Cathedral or Kahlenberg hill in Vienna Woods.

The 4 main forms of transport are: U-Bahn (subway), Schnellbahn or S-Bahn (local train), Straßenbahn (tram), and the Bus.

 

Tip: All forms of public transport fall under the same organization (WienerLinien), so the tickets you buy are independent of your mode of travel.

 

Vienna works on an honesty system. There are no ticket barriers at stations and no formal ticket checks on trains, trams, and buses. You just hop on and off unchallenged.

 

This doesn't mean public transport is free though - you do still need to buy a ticket.

Do not confuse Austrians with Germans. Many people think Austria is simply an extension of Germany but if you spend any real time here you’ll quickly come to learn that while the language may be similar, the quirks and cultural norms are quite different. 

It is common for people to pay their bills separately. So, when bringing you the bill, the waiters will ask everybody at the table how you would like to pay: Zusammen? (Together; pronounced susamen) or Getrennt? (Separately; pronounced getrenn). If you say Zusammen that usually means you want to pay the whole bill and are treating the rest of the group.

Tips usually amount to about 10% of the bill. Instead of leaving the tip on the table tell the waiter when paying how much you would like to add as a tip.

Where To Stay

If you want to be close to of the major sites the 1st district is ideal. It’s also a good place to stay if you have limited time in Vienna. This entire area of Innere Stadt (literally means “inner city”) is the original Old Town of Vienna and a declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The 7th district is a good option for those seeking to get to know the alternative side of Vienna. Here you’ll find lots of unique galleries, bars and cafés.

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Local Eats

Viennese cuisine
Viennese dishes are rich and satisfying. There is limited variety in the cuisine but what they do cook is done well. Viennese cuisine is the only cuisine in the world to be named after a city and local chefs draw on influences from various countries to conjure up exciting dishes that never fail to capture the imagination.
Vienna is known for...
The Viennese coffee house (Wiener Kaffeehaus) is a typical institution of Vienna that plays an important part in Vienna's culture. Coffee houses entice with a wide variety of coffee drinks, international newspapers, and pastry creations.
Know your coffee
When ordering coffee in a Viennese café specify which kind you want. Typical Viennese coffees include: Melange—coffee with frothy milk, Kleiner/grosser Brauner—small/large coffee with cream, and Einspänner—coffee with whipped cream and icing sugar, served in a glass.

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