4 things you need to know before visiting Vienna

Every country has aspects about it that will ultimately differ from where you are coming from. It’s always fun to figure out those aspects while exploring these new countries, but in hindsight, you sometimes also realize that it would have been nice to know a few things before you had gone.

Here are a few of those things which I would have found helpful before visiting Vienna.


1. It’s the land of affordable public transport

As a traveler, Vienna offers great deals for the public transport system – and that’s a great thing to know before you get there, rather than after you leave.

A one-way ticket will typically cost you €2.40 — so if you’re planning to take the public transport while you are there, it’s best to make use of the deals that are offered. Your wallet will bless you (as did mine).

Single ticket (for comparison purposes)€2.40
24-hour ticket€8.00
48-hour ticket€14.10  
72-hour ticket€17.10  
Weekly travel pass€17.10  
Monthly travel pass €51.00  

During my visit, I purchased the Weekly Travel Pass (€17.10). Although I walked for a majority of the trip, it was still useful to hop on public transport whenever and not worrying about tickets. It was definitely also much cheaper than if I were to have bought a single ticket each time.

For more deals and additional ticket prices, check out the Vienna metro’s official website.

A metro coming into the station in Vienna
2. You may need to hold your bladder until you’re home… or pay the price

As with many European countries, the public washrooms in Vienna are not free.

If you need to use the restroom, you’ll have to pay a euro or two to get access.

You can also use the washrooms in restaurants or coffee shops, but only if you have purchased something from them. I.e., their toilets are exclusively for paying customers.

On the plus side, the toilets are usually quite clean and sanitary. And when you see that they are up to that level of cleanliness, it makes sense that the washrooms are not free – since someone has to be paid for cleaning them.

Pro tip: Use the restrooms at coffee shops or fast food restaurants. You may as well pay a few euros to get a snack, coffee, or an ice cream and use the bathroom (since you’ll be a paying customer), rather than pay the same price somewhere else and not get a delicious treat.

3. Coffee house culture

Austria is widely known for its Kaffeehäuser (coffee houses). Coffee makes up a distinct part of the culture in Austria and at all times of the day you can find people sipping a cup of coffee in the Kaffeehäuser.

A drink for everyone

Austria prides itself in the extensive choices of coffee that it has – so there is something for everyone! Whether you’re a dark coffee drinker, someone who likes milk in their coffee, or someone who likes immense amounts of sugar in their coffee, there will be something for you.

Coffee at Landtmann cafe in Vienna
Seat yourself

Unless there is a sign that states to wait at the front of the coffee house that asks that you wait to be seated, go right on in and make yourself comfortable at a table!

Sitting with strangers

It’s not uncommon for you to sit beside someone who you don’t know.

Remember that every good friend was once a stranger.


For example, if there is a table with two seats and someone is occupying one of the seats, it is okay for you to sit at the other one. They will not feel as though you have invaded their private space. (Although, it’s always polite to ask before being seated!)

For a more detailed post on the coffee culture in Austria, check out this post.

4. Make a reservation before going to a restaurant

Restaurant reservations are HUGE in Vienna.

People in Vienna normally call and reserve a table ahead of time, rather than going and waiting for a table to become available. As a result, there are many reserved tables and sometimes there is no room for you in the restaurant if you go without having made a call ahead of time.

Although it is still more than possible to go to restaurants without a reservation, there are many restaurants that you won’t be able to get a seat in if you haven’t made a reservation for.

So, if there is a restaurant that you are really hoping to go to, I would recommend making a reservation ahead of time so you don’t miss out. If you aren’t able to give the restaurant a call, you can also check online as some restaurants may have online bookings available.

A table full of food: goulash, ribs, and a mozzarella salad.
Thankfully no reservations needed at this restaurant!

Do you have any other tips for those who are visiting Vienna? What is something that they would need to know before visiting? Let me know in the comments!

For more posts on adventures in Austria, click here.

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