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Vienna Travel Information

When to Go

There's almost always something happening in Vienna, making it a year-round destination. Weatherwise you might want to miss January's chill, and July and August's heat - you won't be able to see the Lipizzaners and the Boys' Choir in those summer months anyway. June and September are particularly good times to visit, though you'll find that everyone else thinks so too, making things somewhat busy. As always, it's a good idea to opt for the less-crowded spring/autumn shoulder months of April-May and October-November.

Austria falls within the central European climatic zone, though the eastern part of the country where Vienna is situated has a Continental Pannonian climate, characterized by a temperatures in July of above 19°C (66°F) and annual rainfall usually under 800mm.

July and August can be very hot and winter is surprisingly cold, especially in January. May and August tend to be the wettest months. Damp maritime winds sometimes sweep in from the west, and it is not uncommon for the Föhn, a warm wind from the south, to make its presence felt the entire year.

Region: Austria

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Hilton Vienna

Hilton Vienna

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Hofburg Imperial Palace

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Getting Around

Vienna's Flughafen Wien Schwechat, 19km (12mi) of the city center, is Austria's main center for international flights. Flying domestic routes offers few benefits over trains. Although there are frequent flights to Graz, Klagenfurt, Salzburg and Linz with Austrian Airlines from Vienna, Innsbruck in Tyrol is the one place where flying is considerably faster than train.

Vienna has excellent rail connections with Europe and the rest of Austria. It has several train stations: trains to the west and north depart from Westbahnhof; from Südbahnhof trains travel to Italy, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland; and Franz-Josefs-Bahnhof handles regional and local trains.

Bus connections across Western and Eastern Europe are plentiful, but they're generally slower, cheaper and less comfortable than trains. Vienna currently has no central bus station and national Bundesbuses arrive and depart from several different locations, depending on the destination - many routes south (eg Eisenstadt) go from Südtiroler Platz.

There are numerous road entry points from Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy and Switzerland. All major border crossings are open 24 hours and there are no controls coming from Germany, Italy - and very few from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia - thanks to the EU Schengen Agreement.

Getting around on foot is really easy, as most 'must sees' are in the inner city (Innere Stadt), and some main streets are pedestrianized.

With its network of over 30 tram lines, Vienna is ideal for exploration by tram.

If money means nothing you can hire a horse-drawn carriage (fiacre) from Stephansplatz, Albertinaplatz and Heldenplatz at the Hofburg.

Taxis are cheap by West European standards, and safe, easily available and metered.

Driving in Vienna is pretty hairy, especially if you haven't experienced a city with trams before, and parking is prohibitively expensive.

Cyclists can circle the city on the Ringstrasse bike path, or follow 700km (434mi) of bicycle tracks, including those along the banks of the Danube.

For something different, you can travel to Vienna from Amsterdam by riverboat, or from Budapest or Bratislava by hydrofoil.

Vienna has one of Europe's best integrated public transport networks. Flat-fare tickets are valid for trains, trams, buses, the underground (U-Bahn) and the S-Bahn regional trains. Services are frequent, and you will rarely have to wait more than five or 10 minutes.

Cycling is popular, but when it comes to thoughts of driving, you're better off using public transport.

Flughafen Wien Schwechat is Vienna's international airport and is served by over 80 airlines. Rail connections with the rest of Europe are excellent.

Entry Requirements

Visas for stays of up to three months are not required for citizens of the EU, the European Economic Area (EEA), much of Eastern Europe, Israel, USA, Canada, the majority of Central and South American nations, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia or New Zealand. All other nationalities require a visa; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website has a list of Austrian embassies where you can apply for one.

Please contact the Austrian consulate for up-to-date information on travel document requirements.

Health and Safety

You'd be hard pressed to find a safer capital city in Europe than Vienna. At night it's not uncommon to see women walking home alone or elderly people walking dogs or using public transport. Tourists normally only experience petty crime, such as pickpocketing (especially at the Naschmarkt, on Mariahilfer Strasse or on crowded public transport).

There are, however, a few places to be extra alert, especially at night. Karlsplatz station and U6 Gumpendorfer Strasse are well-known spots for people to loiter and stagger about with a bottle in hand. The Prater and Praterstern can still feel a bit dicey at night, though that is swiftly changing. Südtirolerplatz and the S-Bahn and tram stations along Margareten and Wiedner Gürtel can be quite unnerving after dark. Indeed, much of the Gürtel around the inner suburbs of Vienna is dotted with red-light clubs, but north of Westbahnhof, the Gürtel contains a higher proportion of them. Women may not always feel comfortable along the Neubaugürtel section, but generally it's OK, particularly as you edge further north past Thaliastrasse, where the nightlife really starts hopping.

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