The luxury hotel market has surged in Vienna in recent years, bringing top rivals to the revered landmark lodgings that have dominated the city for well over a century. The grand old five-star dames of the Ringstrasse still stand supreme with their gilt mirrors, red velvet, and crystal chandelier opulence. The service, as ever, tends toward impeccable, bringing to mind the valets who served the medley of Imperial Highnesses who once lived in these palaces.
For those with more modest requirements and purses, ample rooms are available in less costly but no less alluring hotels. A number of new hotels have opened in this category, as well, making for an array of affordable and enticing choices.
Our lower-price options offer the best in location, value, and, in many instances, a quaint echo of Alt Wien (Old Vienna) atmosphere.
If you have only a short time to spend in Vienna, you'll probably choose to stay in the inner city (the 1st District, or 1010 postal code), to be within walking distance of the most important sights, restaurants, and shops. Outside the 1st District, though, there are many other delightful neighborhoods in which to rest your head. The "Biedermeier" quarter of Spittelberg, in the 7th District of Neubau, has cobblestone streets, rows of 19th-century houses, a wonderful array of art galleries and restaurants, and, increasingly, some good hotel options. Just to its east is the fabulous MuseumsQuartier, an area that has some very nice hotel finds. Schwedenplatz is the area fronted by the Danube Canal—a neighborhood that is one of the most happening in the city, although just a stroll from the centuries-old lanes around Fleischmarkt. Other sweet hotel options can be found in the 8th District of Josefstadt, an area noted for antiques shops, good local restaurants, bars, and theater.
Because of the Christmas markets, the weeks leading up to the holidays are a popular time to visit, as is the week around New Year's (Silvester), with its orchestral concerts. Expect to pay accordingly, and, at the very top hotels, a lot (around €300–€600 a night). Summer months are not as busy, perhaps because the opera is not in season. You'll find good bargains at this time of year, especially in August. Air-conditioning is customary in the top-category hotels only, so don’t be surprised if you have to do without. On the plus side, nights are generally cool.