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Walking is the best way to experience Vienna, allowing you to see and smell the roasting chestnuts in winter and to stop and sample sidewalk cafés in summer. From Stephansdom (St Stephen’s Cathedral) to Belvedere Palace and Gardens in the south, it is no more than a 30-minute stroll. A useful map with up-to-date information on Vienna’s museums and Wien Programm, a monthly listings guide, can be obtained free of charge from tourist offices. Except for shopping malls in train stations, most retail businesses are closed on Sundays, and many shops also close early on Saturdays. Churches may restrict visitors, or not allow them at all, when services are under way.

Visas and Passports

 Austria is part of the Schengen common European border treaty, which means those going from one Schengen country to another are not subject to border controls. Schengen residents need only show an identity card when entering Austria. Visitors from the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand will need to show a full passport. Travellers from these countries do not need visas for stays of up to three months. NonEU citizens wishing to stay in the country longer than three months will need a visa, obtained in advance from their country’s Austrian embassy or consulate. All visitors should check requirements before travelling

Travel Safety Advice

Visitors can get up-to-date travel safety information from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK, the State Department in the US and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Australia

Customs Information

Nationals of EU countries, including Britain and Ireland, may take home unlimited quantities of duty-paid alcoholic drinks and tobacco goods,as long as these are intended for their own consumption and it can be proven that the goods are not intended for resale. Citizens of the US and Canada are limited to a duty-free maximum of 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars. Americans may bring home 1 litre (33.8 fl oz) of wine or spirits, while Canadians are allowed 1.5 litres (50.7 fl oz) of wine, or a total of 1.14 litres (38.5 fl oz) of any alcoholic beverages, or 8.5 litres (287 fl oz) of beer or ale. Residents of other countries should ask their customs authority for more details. Information is included in the free Zollinfo brochure available at the Austrian border and allowances are listed on the Vienna Tourist Board website. The Austrian Foreign Ministry website also has information on tax-free goods.

Tourist Information

For help planning your visit you can contact the Österreich Werbung (Austrian National Tourist Office) and the Wiener Tourismusverband (Vienna Tourist Board). The main Tourist Board office is located on Albertinaplatz, just by the Hofburg palace complex. The information booth at Schwechat Airport  can provide maps, brochures, public transport schedules and assistance with hotel bookings. Tickets to musical and theatrical performances are sold at the Albertinaplatz office, including discounted tickets for same-day events. The Austrian National Tourist Office can also assist with planning day trips from Vienna .

Admission Prices and Opening Hours

All major attractions charge admission. A number of museums allow those under 19 to enter for free, and children under 12 generally enter for half-price. There are also reductions for senior citizens. Museums grouped together, such as at Neue Burg, have tickets offering admission to multiple museums. Some multiday Wiener Linien transport tickets grant free or discounted admission to certain attractions. Popular attractions like the Art History Museum and Belvedere complex of palace and gardens charge €15 per adult. The Natural History Museum charges €10, and a guided tour of the State Opera House costs  €7.50. Prices may change with no notice. Many museums are closed on Mondays and on the public holidays of New Year, Easter, May Day (the workers’ holiday) and Christmas.

Public Toilets

Viennese public toilets (signed as “WC”) are clean, safe and well maintained. Most charge a nom inal fee payable by machine or to an attendant in small change. Many are open until late, especially those in under ground stations. Vienna’s “toilet art” is renowned, and the beautiful Art Deco WC on the Graben, design ed by Adolf Loos, is well worth a visit. Other lavatorial highlights include the Opera Toilet at the Karlsplatz underground station and the Toilet of Modern Art in the Hundertwasserhaus housing estate.

Travellers with Disabilities

Vienna is relatively easy to navigate as a disabled traveller. Most of the major museums have entrances and ramps designed for wheelchairs; detailed information is available from the Vienna Tourist Office. Trams and buses are equipped with seats for disabled travellers . Most major underground stations have lifts unless otherwise indicated. Travellers who need assistance from airline or train staff should contact the airline at least 48 hours in advance

Senior Travellers

The Viennese are extremely respectful of older people. Senior travellers in Vienna are often given priority seating on public transport and many theatres, cinemas, attractions and museums offer generous discounts to travellers with senior ID. There is no free travel for seniors, though they can buy the Obb 50 per cent discount card for a full year for only €29, if 62 or older. Some ski resorts offer free skiing for those over-80.

Student Travellers

Vienna’s main theatres sell cheap standing-room and unsold tickets at the box office before a performance. For popular shows, you may need to queue for several hours. A university ID card or international student card also entitles students to discounts on some museum admission fees and occasionally on rail tickets. Tourist offices provide a list of cheaper hotels as well as a list of Vienna’s youth hostels .


Austria’s voltage is 220V AC/ 50Hz and electrical sockets take European round 2-pin plugs.

Responsible Tourism

 Austria is one of the world’s leading destinations for sustainable tourism. About 70 per cent of energy is generated from non-fossil-fuel sources and about 60 per cent of all waste is recycled. Guests will notice that many hotels ask that they reuse towels instead of exchanging them daily. Recycling is rigorously adhered to but not mandatory. The Österreichisches Umweltzeichen (Austrian Eco Label) is a seal of approval awarded to hotels and restaurants that meet high environmental and wastereduction standards. Hotel Stadthalle, near to Westbahnhof station, was the first hotel in Vienna to be awarded the European Ecolabel for its green credentials. This hotel uses solar panels to heat up water and collects rain water to flush its toilets.


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