Are you planning to visit Vienna for the first time? Are you unsure about what to pack in your luggage? How to pay for stuff and how to get along in a foreign city? We have gathered a couple of basic information that will come handy for you if you have never been to this part of Europe.
Vienna (Wien in German) is the capital of Austria. Austria is situated in the Western part of Central Europe. It is a republic and a member state of the European Union. The official spoken language is German. In the capital a lot of people understand and speak English as a second language. The population of Vienna is about 1,8 million people. The city has 23 districts and an area of 415 km². Vienna and Austria are in the Central European time zone, which means that you need to add 1 hour to the Greenwich Mean Time. The country uses daylight saving time from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October.
The official currency is the Euro. Most shops, hotels and venues accept the major bank cards / credit cards, however, there are still many places - mainly smaller establishments - where cash is required. Make sure that you keep an adequate amount of cash with you to avoid possible uncomfortable situations when it comes to settling the bill. There are many places in downtown and in high-trafficked spots of the city where you can change money from foreign currency to euro and vice versa.
Main voltage is 230 volts (AC). If you bring a charger for your electronic equipments, be sure to have the right adapters with you.
The metric system is used in Austria.
The country code for Austria is +43, and the area code for Vienna is 1, so if you want to make an international call from abroad to Vienna, the dialling code would be +43 1 and then the phone number.
As most Central European places, Vienna has a mild continental climate. Winter days can be really cold and in the height of summer temperatures can easily climb above 30°C, but otherwise the weather is quite nice.
Here are some average temperatures for the year:
(Please note, that in recent years, due to the effects of climate change, temperatures have spiked noticably, resulting in summer-like weather days long before the start of summer.)
January 0°C - 4°C
February 1°C - 6°C
March 4°C - 11°C
April 8°C - 17°C
May 13°C - 21°C
June 16°C - 25°C
July 18°C - 27°C
August 18°C - 27°C
September 14°C - 21°C
October 9°C - 15°C
November 5°C - 9°C
December 1°C - 4°C
Most shops are open from morning till late afternoon. If you need a prolongated shopping time, try one of the shopping malls. On sundays, with a few exceptions, stores are closed. Should you need some food or urgent items beyond opening times, try the shops at petrol stations. To find the nearest pharmacy beyond opening hours, call the 24-hour pharmacy hotline at 1455.
If your hotel doesn't have a free or paid wifi service but you need to be online, there are several places throughout the city where you can surf the net for free. For example:
- City Hall Square
- many train stations and subway stations
- tourist information office on Albertinaplatz
- check out the interactive city map for wifi hot spots here (on the left of the page: 'Show on the map' --> Communication & business --> WLAN hotspots)
- list of hotspots on Freewave's site: https://www.freewave.at/hotspots/
The following toll-free numbers can be dialled anywhere in Austria:
- Fire service: 122
- Police: 133
- Ambulance: 144
- European emergency number: 112
- Emergency doctor: 141
- Evening and weekend dental service (taped service): tel. +43-1-512 20 78
Here is a list of the addresses of embassies located in Vienna: https://www.wien.info/en/travel-info/tourist-info/embassies
Save money during your stay in Vienna with the city card. More info about it: https://www.wien.info/en/travel-info/vienna-city-card
January 1: New Year
January 6: Twelfth Night
April 22: Easter Monday
May 1: Labor Day
May 30: Ascension
June 6: Whitmonday
June 20: Corpus Christi
August 15: Mary Ascension
October 26: National Holiday
November 1: All Saints' Day
December 8: Immaculate Conception (stores are open)
December 25: Christmas Day
December 26: Boxing Day, St. Stephen's Day