Vienna/Innere Stadt

Innere Stadt is the most inner district of Vienna. Its historic centre dates back to Roman ages and has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. It is encircled by the Ring Road (Ringstraße), a grand boulevard constructed along the old city walls, which were torn down starting in 1858. Along the Ringstraße are many famous and grand buildings, including the City Hall (Rathaus), the Austrian Parliament, the Hofburg Palace, the Natural History Museum (Naturhistorisches Museum), the Museum of Art History (Kunsthistorisches Museum), and the State Opera House (Wiener Staatsoper).

The very central point of Innere Stadt is the famous St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom), perhaps the most recognizable symbol of Vienna. From there, many of Vienna's most famous streets expand in every direction, including Graben and Kärntner Strasse. The centre is largely pedestrianized, and the remainder of streets open to traffic are mostly reserved for bus and taxi traffic - driving around is an intricate affair and is best avoided.

The Tourist Information point is in the green-domed building behind the Opera and in front of the Albertina

Understand

Get in

Arriving from the airport by train, change to U-Bahn at Wien Mitte/Landstrasse - or just take a walk to the Ring

From Vienna International Airport

It may come as a surprise, but the Innere Stadt is not directly reachable from the Vienna International Airport.

The shortest way to get there from the airport is to take the City Airport Train or S-Bahn line S7 to Wien Mitte-Landstrasse and then transfer to U-Bahn line U3 directly to Stephansplatz, or alternatively the U4 along the Donaukanal - a convenient stop to alight and start walking into the Innere Stadt is Schwedenplatz, while you can also choose to go south and alight at Karlsplatz by the opera house. Alternatively, you can simply walk as the Wien Mitte-Landstrasse station is only some 250 m from the Ring, separated by the nice Stadtpark.

Alternatively, you can travel on the S7 one station farther to Praterstern in Leopoldstadt, and from there the U1 will take you to the abovementioned Schwedenplatz, Stephansplatz or Karlsplatz. If you want to explore the Innere Stadt starting from the west, you can take the U2 from Praterstern, which stops along the western bend of the Ring, starting at Schottenring and terminates at Karlsplatz.

There are no trams that go directly to the Innere Stadt from either Praterstern or Wien Mitte-Landstrasse.

From major railway stations

Other than the abovementioned Wien-Mitte Landstrasse and Praterstern, the major railway stations of Vienna are the Hauptbahnhof, Westbahnhof and Wien-Meidling.

From the Hauptbahnhof, take U-Bahn line U1 (the station by the Hauptbahnhof is called Südtiroler Platz) to either Karlsplatz, Stephansplatz or Schwedenplatz. From the Westbahnhof, take U3 to Volkstheater, Herrengasse, Stephansplatz or Stubentor. If you end up at Wien-Meidling, which still serves as a terminus for some trains until the Hauptbahnhof is fully operational, your only option is a rather long ride on tram line 62 all the way to its terminus at Wien Oper (Kärntner Ring).

Get around

The inner city is easily walkable. For the special flair and tourist guidance one can take a tour in an historic horse carriage.

The underground lines U1, U3 both cross the district, while U2 and U4 border it. The city-bus lines 1A, 2A and 3a cross the district too. The tram lines D, 1 and 2 run on some parts of the Ring.

Chances are that on your journey to, from or around the Innere Stadt you will need to use the U-Bahn station Karlsplatz, or just one of its subways to get under the ring. Make sure to pay attention when nearing the Opera from the underground, as a globally unique attraction awaits you there - the Vienna Opera Toilet MIT MUSIK. The garbled Germano-English descriptive name stands for a normal (paid!) public toilet in the subway passage, but one that is lushly decorated and incessantly blares Strauss tunes at tourists and locals relieving themselves (and ones passing by as well).

See

Religious buildings

St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom)
Ceiling frescoes in the Jesuit Church (Jesuitenkirche)

Hofburg

Crown of the Holy Roman Empire dating from the 10th and 11th centuries, in the Imperial Treasury
Collection of Arms and Armour
Austrian National Library
Albertina
Spanish Riding School

This immense palace complex grew into a large, unwieldy series of buildings over the years and was the imperial residence of the Habsburg emperors until 1918. What began as a medieval castle (whose chapel is the only original element of that building to survive) was expanded and redecorated as the Habsburgs' power increased correspondingly. The Palace Stables and Amalia's Wing were added in the 16th century; the Imperial Chancery Wing, Court Library, and Spanish Riding School were added in the 18th; most recently St Michael's Wing (Michaelertrakt) was tacked on and around 1900 the New Palace (Neue Hofburg) was completed. Each separate building contains so many treasures that the time spent moving from one to another is like opening box after box of fabulous jewels. The palace now houses the offices of the Austrian President, a convention center, and the Spanish Riding School with its Lipizzaner stallions, as well as several museums.

Other museums and galleries

Museum of Fine Arts (Kunsthistorisches Museum)
Scottish Monastery (Schottenstift)
Interior of the Postsparkasse by Otto Wagner

Historic sites

Beethoven Pasqualatihaus
Vergilius Chapel (Virgilkapelle)

Other attractions

Parliament
Secession
Looshaus

Parks

The Innere Stadt has next to the Ring four bigger parks:

Do

Cultural events

Opera House
Großer Musikvereinssaal (Großer Saal/Goldener Saal) at the Musikverein, home of the Vienna Philharmonic
Burgtheater

Vienna is of course famous for its classical music. Both the Musikverein or the Konzerthaus feature excellent concerts at their famous halls. The Opera plays classical master pieces. As student one can get reduced tickets, where one has to stand together with other aficionados.

Sports and other activities

Wiener Eistraum at the Rathaus

Buy

The inner centre has both old traditional Viennese, international luxury stores as Hermes or branches of cheaper shops like H&M.

Shopping Streets

Kärntner Straße during the holiday season
Plague Column (Pestsäule), Am Graben

The shops are mostly concentrated at those 3 bigger, popular and pieton streets:

Shops

Eat

The inner district has many restaurant options of which the more prominent are listed. Some restaurants may be touristy, others are very upper class and pricy due to their location in the historical center of Vienna. High rated restaurants include the Bauer, Dombeisl and Palais Coburg. The Trzesniewski is a very Viennese "Austrichbrote" place to meet and have a quick lunch.

Budget

Mid-range

Traditional schnitzel at Fieglmüller



Splurge

Hollmann Salon
Tafelspitz at Plachutta
Assorted tempura at Unkai

Ice cream

You can buy excellent ice cream (Eis) at a number of places in central Vienna.

Drink

Cafés

Café Central
Café Museum, designed by Adolf Loos
Coffee and torte at Café Schwarzenberg
Café Frauenhuber, open since the days of Mozart

In the inner town one finds the most historic Viennese Cafés, many like Demel, Café Central or Gerstner dating from imperial times. For a complete description on how and what to order read the Vienna overview article entry about Viennese Cafés.

Bars

There are several bars in the first disctrict of which most attract formal public. In contrast to that the Flex is highly popular amongst students.

Loos American Bar, designed by Adolf Loos

Nightlife

Sleep

Several high profile Hotels like Sacher, Grand Hotel, Imperial or others are located in historical palais on the historical grand boulevard the Ringstraße. As one can imagine sleeping in the Innere Stadt is not recommended for tight budgets.

Budget

Mid-range


Splurge

Hotel Imperial (Palais Württemberg)

Connect

Several cafés will either hand you over their Wi-Fi key or have free access anyway. Beyond that there are several access points in the Inner city:

Public Wi-Fi Hotspots from the local Viennese government are being deployed, currently active at Stephansplatz and Rathausplatz. Local information is displayed on connection. For Internet connection (filtered) one needs to register via mobile phone number, which will receive access code in SMS.

Go next

One can continue outside the ring to the inner districts:

Or outside the Ring is attractive:

Routes through Innere Stadt

Vienna/Outer East Vienna/Inner East  NE  S  Vienna/Wieden Vienna/Outer South
Vienna/Outer East Vienna/Inner East  N  S  END
Vienna/Outer West Vienna/Neubau  W  E  Vienna/Landstraße
Vienna/Outer West Vienna/Alsergrund  N  W  Vienna/Wieden Vienna/Hietzing


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