Waltz your way into breathtakingly beautiful and sophisticated Vienna. This thriving metropolis has managed to firmly hold onto its roots while marching steadily on into the future. Modern art museums sit comfortably beside grand palaces and for every Ball Season and classical music concert, there is a avant-garde film festival or contemporary art show competing for your attention.
Get acquainted with Vienna's rich history at the Hofburg Palace, the former seat of the Habsburg empire, and from there move on to the legendary musicians who made the city their home, like Mozart, Haydn, Mahler, and Brahms. For music-lovers, nothing beats tickets to a performance by the Vienna Boy's Choir while equestrians will enjoy a trip to the 430-year-old Spanish Riding School. If a set itinerary is not what you're looking for, take a stroll through the city centre, visit St. Stephen's Cathedral, or enjoy a long afternoon of people-watching at one of Vienna's many coffee houses.
When the sun goes down, Vienna's nightclubs and bars come to life and you will find everything from techno-music dance clubs to internationally acclaimed DJ's spinning the latest tracks to crowds that just can't seem to get enough. If you're in the city for a few days, consider buying a Vienna Card which gets you discounts on public transport and many major attractions.
Vienna-Schwechat Airport (VIE) is the main gateway for flights to Vienna and is the largest airport in Austria. VIE is served by full-service airlines which include Air Canada, Air Transat, United, KLM, and Delta, as well as low-cost carriers like EasyJet and Aer Lingus. Austrian Airlines has non-stop services to Vienna from Toronto, while Air Transat flies direct from Montreal.
Passengers looking for a cheaper travel option to Vienna can also book flights to other Austrian cities like Linz (LNZ ) or Graz (GRZ), or even Brno (BRQ) in the Czech Republic, Bratislava (BRT) in Slovakia, and Budapest (BUD) in Hungary. However, flights to these airports are only cheaper if you are flying from within Europe and may not be as economical if you are travelling from more distant locations.
The peak tourist season is between June and August, so for cheaper airline tickets and hotel rates, book your Vienna flights for spring or fall. The weather may not be warm and sunny but it is still pleasant, and you will avoid most of the crowds, giving you more leisure time to enjoy the sights.
Despite temperates that remain between 7°C and -5°C, winter is also a peak holiday period when cheap flights to Vienna are scarce and hotel rooms fill up months in advance. The city's music events, Christmas markets, and extravagant New Year's celebrations are the main draw and if you intend on visiting during this time, book your airline tickets as soon as you can.
The arrivals area at Vienna-Schwechat Airport (VIE) is located at Level 0 and the airlines operate from three terminals - 1, 1A, and 2. VIE also has a dedicated Priority Terminal for passengers who want to board their flights quickly, and a VIP Terminal for those needing additional security or who simply want their privacy. For additional information on the ground transportation options mentioned below, visit the airport's website.
Train: The City Airport Train (CAT) is the quickest way to travel to the city centre, taking just over 15 minutes to reach the Wien Mitte (city centre) station. One-way tickets are about €10 and the trains operate every 30 minutes from 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Discounts are available for booking round-trip fares or buying tickets online and children under 14 years of age travel free.
If you're looking for something cheaper, take the Schnellbahn (S-Bahn) which also connects the same stations. The travel time on S-Bahn services is about 25 minutes are fares are less than €4 for a one-way trip.
Bus: Postbus, the local transit authority, has three Vienna Airport Lines which connect the airport to the city centre and some suburbs. The best connection to downtown Vienna is on the Airport -Morzinplatz/Schwedenplatz route which takes about 20-30 minutes and fares are about €7 with discounts available for children under 15 years of age.
Taxi, Shuttle, Chauffeured Car, and Limousine Services: Metered taxi stands are located outside Exit K3 on Level 0 and you can expect to pay about €30-€35 for a trip to the city centre. Some taxi companies also operate group shuttles - not to confused with shared-ride shuttles, chauffeured car, and limousine services. If you book these online in advance, the rates for shuttles and some chauffeured cars are on par with what you would pay for a cab ride.
Car Rental: The city has an excellent public transport system and taxis are inexpensive compared to most other European cities, so the large majority of passengers on flights to Vienna don't bother with renting a car. However, if you need a car for your onward journey, several car rental companies operate booking kiosks at the airport, including Europcar, EasyMotion, Sixt, and Avis.
Arriving at Linz (LNZ ), Graz (GRZ ), Brno (BRQ), Bratislava (BRT), or Budapest (BUD)
Passengers flying to Linz and Graz can use bus and train connections to get to Vienna. Depending on the mode of transport, travel times vary between two to three hours. Potbus and international bus operators like Eurolines and Student Agency run bus services between Vienna and Bratislava, Brno, Prague, and Budapest. The most frequent services are from Bratislava Airport and one-way fares from BRT to Vienna are less than €10 with a travel time of about an hour and a half.