Where to stay in Vienna for first time: 6 Safe areas

Finding where to stay in Vienna as a first-time visitor can be a daunting task. That’s why, in today’s article, I will help you to find safe places to stay in Vienna for first-timers and tourists.

I’ll provide you with my recommendation for the best and safe areas to stay in Vienna, along with a helpful map and areas to avoid. I’ll also share where I stayed in Vienna and suggest some of the best hotels in Vienna for all budgets.

Before get into the detail of the main topic, let’s look at some facts about Vienna:

Vienna is the capital and largest city of Austria, located in the heart of Central Europe. The city has a history dating back to Roman times. It was the capital of the Habsburg Monarchy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, making it a significant European cultural and political center.

Vienna is renowned for its architectural beauty. Some of its famous landmarks include St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Schönbrunn Palace, Belvedere Palace, and the Vienna State Opera.

The city is often called the City of Music due to its association with famous composers like Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. It has a vibrant classical music scene, including the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna Boys’ Choir. 

It is also known for its coffee culture, with traditional coffee houses offering a wide range of coffee specialties. The city also has a thriving culinary scene with diverse international influences and Austrian cuisine dishes like Wiener Schnitzel, Apfelstrudel (apple strudel), and Sachertorte.

Vienna has an efficient and well-developed public transportation system, including trams, buses, and the U-Bahn (subway). It’s relatively easy to get around the city using public transit.

Vienna is consistently ranked as one of the world’s most livable cities due to its high standard of living, excellent healthcare, education, and safety.

Is Vienna safe to visit?

Yes, Vienna is generally safe place to visit. Violent crimes are rare, but like many European cities, petty crimes such as pickpocketing, ATM fraud, and terrorism can occur. Therefore, it’s essential to exercise basic precautions to have an enjoyable visit.

I advise you to take care of your belongings, stay alert when using ATMs, and be aware of your surroundings, especially in busy areas, around crowded tourist spots, and transport hubs such as Hauptbahnhof, Westbahnhof, and Meidling.

I also recommend monitoring local news to avoid demonstrations and public protests, which are usually held on Mariahilfer Strasse and around the Ring Road.

Where to stay in Vienna for the first time?

The best and safe areas to stay in Vienna for first-timers and tourists are Innere Stadt (1st district), Leopoldstadt (2nd district), Landstraße (3rd district), Wieden (4th district), Mariahilf (6th district), Neubau (7th district). They are all popular areas for tourists and have their own unique charm.

Innere Stadt is the overall best area in Vienna for first-timers who want to be in the heart of Vienna, with easy access to major historical attractions. It’s a safe area with plenty of police presence, but be aware of pickpockets and ATM scams around tourist spots such as the St Stephen’s Cathedral and Imperial Palace.

Leopoldstadt is a safe and family-friendly area where you can find popular tourist destinations such as the Prater amusement park, the iconic Giant Ferris Wheel, and the Danube Island.

Landstraße is a district located just south of the Innere Stadt, and is a great base for those who want a quieter budget-friendly area but still want easy access to the city center. It’s home to popular attractions like the Belvedere Palace and the Hundertwasser House. Safety shouldn’t be a major concern here.

Wieden is a residential and lively district  just south of the Innere Stadt and is known for its cultural diversity, affordable accommodations, and vibrant nightlife. It’s generally safe, and you’ll find a mix of local and international restaurants and shops.

Mariahilf is known for the Mariahilfer Strasse shopping street. It’s a safe area with good transport links. Keep an eye on local news for demonstrations and large gatherings to avoid.

Neubau is a trendy and artistic district known for its MuseumsQuartier and lively nightlife. It’s considered a safe area for tourists, but as with any urban area, keep an eye on your belongings in crowded places.

While Vienna is generally a safe and beautiful city, there are a few areas tourists may want to exercise caution when choosing accommodation. Areas to avoid, though not necessarily dangerous, might include Favoriten and Simmering, known for their industrial feel. 

Ottakring and Hernals, while residential and peaceful, may not offer the same vibrant atmosphere found in other districts. You should also be cautious around the train stations, like Meidling and Praterstern, especially late at night. I recommend reading recent reviews when selecting your lodging.

During my trip to Vienna, I stayed at the Boutique Hotel Das Tigra in a quiet area in the heart of Vienna’s 1st district, only a short walk from the iconic St Stephen’s Cathedral and Herrengasse Underground Station. It has superb breakfast, family rooms, and paid airport shuttle services.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Vienna for first-time travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the safe areas to stay in Vienna first time
Map of the safe areas to stay in Vienna first time

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Vienna, especially for first-time visitors. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Vienna have been carefully selected by me, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

6 Safe areas to stay in Vienna for first-timers and tourists:

1. Innere Stadt (1st district)

Innere Stadt (1st District), without a doubt, is the most popular place to stay in Vienna for first-timers and visitors who want to be in the heart of the city’s historic and cultural attractions.

The 1st District is home to many of Vienna’s iconic landmarks such as St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Vienna State Opera, the Hofburg Palace, and the Albertina Museum. You’ll be within walking distance of these must-see sights.

The 1st District features historic architecture, cobblestone streets, and a charming atmosphere that immerses you in Vienna’s rich history and culture.

You’ll find an array of restaurants, cafes, and shops in the 1st District, making it easy to enjoy Vienna’s culinary delights and shop for souvenirs.

The 1st District is well-connected to Vienna’s public transportation system, including trams, buses, and the U-Bahn (subway), making it easy to explore other parts of the city.

While staying in the 1st District offers many advantages, keep in mind that it can be pricier than other districts due to its central location and popularity. Make sure to book your accommodation well in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to have the best deals.

Best places to stay in Vienna in  Innere Stadt for first-timers:

  • Luxury ($$$): The Leo Grand, great 5-star hotel, centrally located in the heart of Vienna, within easy walking distance from St. Peter’s Catholic Church and St. Stephen’s Cathedral. It has Good breakfast, 24-hour front desk, and parking for those who drive.
  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel Royal, popular 4-star hotel located on Singerstraße in central Vienna, within a short walk from Saint Stephen’s CathedraI, Graben and Kärntner Straße shopping streets. Easy access to Stephansplatz Underground Station for services to all major attractions.
  • Budget ($): Boutique Hotel Nossek, great 3-star accommodation located in the historic district on the Graben and Kohlmarkt Shopping Streets, a short walk from Stephansplatz and Herrengasse metro stations. Also close to Hofburg Palace and the Staatsoper Opera. 

2. Leopoldstadt (2nd district)

Leopoldstadt, Vienna’s 2nd District, is an interesting area to consider for your stay. This district offers a more relaxed and family-friendly atmosphere, and it can be an excellent choice if you’re interested in the Prater, outdoor activities, and a diverse culinary scene.

Leopoldstadt is home to the famous Prater amusement park, which includes the iconic Giant Ferris Wheel (Wiener Riesenrad) and Madame Tussaud’s Museum. It’s a great place for fun and entertainment, especially if you’re traveling with family.

This district is close to the Danube River and the Danube Island, an extensive recreational area where you can engage in various outdoor activities like jogging, cycling, and swimming. The island is particularly popular during the summer months.

Leopoldstadt is known for its cultural diversity, which is reflected in its dining options. You can enjoy a variety of cuisines from around the world, including Austrian, Turkish, and Jewish dishes. The Saturday Karmelitermarkt market has some great cafes and places to eat.

The Augarten Park, with its Baroque gardens and porcelain manufactory, is a lovely green space in Leopoldstadt that’s perfect for a leisurely stroll. 

Best places to stay in Vienna in Leopoldstadt for first-time visitors:

  • Luxury ($$$): SO/ Vienna, 5-star hotel located close to the Danube Canal, offering paid airport shuttle services, easy access to Schwedenplatz Underground Station on lines U1 and U4 by crossing the Schwedenbrücke bridge. Within 10-15mins walking distance from the city center.
  • Mid-range ($$): Der Wilhelmshof,  4-star modern, family-run hotel situated in a quiet area within only a few mins walk from the famous Riesenrad ferris wheel and the Praterstern public transport hub for underground lines U1 and U2 to get to St. Stephen’s Cathedral, UN institutions, and Messe Wien fairgrounds.
  • Budget ($): Austria Classic Hotel Wien, popular 3-star hotel located on Praterstraße in the 2nd district of Vienna, within a short walk from the Praterstern underground station (lines U1 and U2) with links to the downtown area and the airport. The hotel has Fabulous breakfast and private parking.

3. Landstraße (3rd district)

Landstraße, Vienna’s 3rd District, is a popular and attractive area to stay, especially for those who prefer residential atmosphere while still being close to major attractions. Plus, it’s a bit more budget-friendly than the 1st District, making it an attractive option for many visitors.

Landstraße is located just east of the 1st District and is within walking distance of several significant Vienna landmarks. The Belvedere Palace, home to impressive art collections, beautiful gardens, and the famous “The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt, is one of the district’s highlights.

Landstraße is well-connected to Vienna’s public transportation network, including the main train station (Wien Hauptbahnhof), which provides easy access to other parts of the city and airport.

Landstraße is home to the famous Hundertwasser House, a unique and colorful architectural masterpiece created by the artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser.

This area features green spaces, such as the Schweizergarten park, which is a lovely place for a leisurely walk or a picnic.

While not directly in Landstraße, the Naschmarkt, Vienna’s largest and most famous market, is within walking distance, offering a wide variety of food stalls, restaurants, and a lively atmosphere.

Best places to stay in Vienna in Landstraße for first-time tourists:

  • Luxury ($$$): Hilton Vienna Park, 5-star hotel located right next to the City Park, easy access to  Wien-Mitte/Landstraße Underground Station and the City Airport Train (CAT) for the train to the Airport. It has family rooms and a very good breakfast.
  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel Spiess & Spiess, great 4-star eco-friendly hotel, located a quiet neighborhood, within a short walk from Rochusgasse Rochusgasse stop of the U3 underground line, offering easy access to the  airport trains and the Erdberg car park.
  • Budget ($): Jimmy’s Apartments Emerald, 3-star accommodation, located close to Museum of Military History, Belvedere Palace and Karlskirche. It has luggage storage, family rooms, and laundry services. Short walk from Rennweg train station for direct link to airport.

4. Wieden (4th district)

Wieden, Vienna’s 4th District, is a fantastic choice for visitors who want to experience a lively district with a mix of cultural attractions, shopping opportunities, and dining options while still being close to many attractions.

Wieden is close to the famous Naschmarkt, Vienna’s largest and most vibrant market, where you can sample a wide variety of local and international foods and find unique souvenirs.

Karlskirche (St. Charles’s Church) is an iconic Baroque church and is a prominent landmark in Wieden. Its distinctive dome and beautiful interior make it a popular tourist attraction and a venue for concerts.

The area is home to the main campus of the Vienna University of Technology, making it have a youthful and student vibe with plenty trendy bars, restaurants, and coffee houses.

It is also home to the Vienna Secession building, an architectural masterpiece designed by Joseph Maria Olbrich. It’s a significant cultural site and often hosts contemporary art exhibitions.

While Wieden has a more local vibe, it’s still close to Vienna’s city center, and you can easily reach major attractions  on foot or via the U-Bahn lines U1, U2, and U4, as well as several tram and bus lines.

You can easily access the MuseumsQuartier, a vibrant cultural complex in Vienna with numerous museums, art spaces, and cultural events.

Best places to stay in Vienna in Wieden for first-time travelers:

  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel Johann Strauss, 4-star hotel located in Vienna’s 4th district, a short walk from Taubstummengasse Underground Station (line U1), also close to Karlskirche (St. Charles Church), as well as the State Opera and Belvedere Palace. It has fabulous breakfast according to 2000 guests’ reviews.
  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel Erzherzog Rainer, 4-star traditional Viennese hotel located within walking distance from State Opera and Karlsplatz Underground Station. Easy access to the trendy Freihausviertel district and the Naschmarkt open-air market.
  • Budget ($): Drei Kronen Hotel Wien City, 3-star historic hotel centrally located within a short walk from Vienna State Opera, Museum Quarter, and Naschmarkt market. ALso close to major sights such as the Hofburg Imperial Palace, and the shopping streets of Mariahilfer and Kärntner.

5. Mariahilf (6th district)

Mariahilf, Vienna’s 6th District, offers its unique charm and a more local, contemporary experience. If you enjoy shopping, dining, and a lively atmosphere, Mariahilf is a great choice. 

Mariahilf is home to Mariahilfer Strasse, Vienna’s main shopping street. It’s a bustling hub of retail stores, boutiques, and department stores, making it a shopping paradise for visitors who love fashion and souvenirs.

The district is well-connected to the city center and other parts of Vienna via public transportation, including trams and the U-Bahn (subway).

Mariahilf is known for its cultural diversity and offers a wide range of dining options, from traditional Austrian cuisine to international dishes. You’ll find a variety of restaurants, cafes, and bars to choose from.

Gumpendorfer Strasse trendy street in Mariahilf is home to hip boutiques, art galleries, and cool cafes, adding to the district’s cultural diversity and contemporary appeal.

Best places to stay in Vienna in Mariahilf for first-time visitors:

  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel Josefine, comfortable 4-star hotel, located right next to the Mariahilferstrasse, within easy distance from central Vienna. Easy access to many nice cafes and restaurants as well as an U-Bahn stop for further exploration.
  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel MOTTO, 4-star hotel located on Mariahilfer Straße, which is Vienna’s main shopping street and is next to the Neubaugasse stop of the U3 metro line. It is also close to the Museumsquartier, Ringstraße Boulevard, Spittelberg Quarter, and Naschmarkt. 
  • Mid-range ($$): Jaz in the City Vienna, extremely popular 4-star accommodation, offering Fabulous breakfast and 24-hour front desk. It is located only a 2 mins walk from a bus stop and 5 mins walk from the nearest metro station (U3, orange line).

6. Neubau (7th district)

Neubau, Vienna’s 7th District, is a trendy and artsy neighborhood known for its creative and bohemian atmosphere. It also has a lively nightlife scene, with bars, pubs, and clubs that cater to a diverse crowd, from locals to tourists.

Neubau houses numerous art galleries, design shops, and studios. You’ll also find vibrant street art and graffiti scattered throughout Neubau, adding to its artsy and urban feel.

Neubau is close to the MuseumsQuartier, one of Vienna’s most significant cultural hubs, where you can explore various museums, art exhibitions, and cultural events.

The district is known for its independent boutiques and designer shops, making it a fantastic place for shopping for unique fashion and home decor items.

Neubau’s location offers easy access to the Naschmarkt is within walking distance, offering a diverse selection of foods, spices, and unique items.

Best places to stay in Vienna in Neubau for first-timers:

  • Luxury ($$$): Hotel Sans Souci Wien, 5-star hotel located in Neubau, in front of the Museum Quarter, a short walk from Ringstraße Boulevard and Volkstheater Underground Station (lines U2 and U3). It has an indoor swimming pool and exceptional breakfast.
  • Mid-range ($$): The Weekend Hotel, 4-star hotel, located a 10 mins walk from  Stadthalle and Mariahilfer Straße shopping street. Its location is also close to tram no 5, bus no 48A, and Burggasse-Stadthalle Metro Stop on the U6 line. You can enjoy Superb breakfast and comfortable family rooms. 
  • Budget ($): Hotel Pension Museum, 3-star hotel located in a quiet area in the 7th district of Vienna, easy access to Volkstheater and the Museumsquartier. You can find many restaurants nearby. Also close to underground U2 and U3 lines, bus 48A, tram 49.

In conclusion, Innere Stadt, Leopoldstadt, Landstraße, Wieden, Mariahilf, and Neubau are the best places to stay in Vienna for first-timers and tourists. They are all safe and central districts that have excellent connections to public transportation and a wide range of accommodations.

You can continue reading about Vienna and other destinations in Austria in these articles:

I hope you enjoyed my article and find it both informative and helpful. If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

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