Flight and hotel Vienna
Presenting Vienna weekends
Vienna, Austria's capital, is one of Europe's most historic cities. Sitting on the banks of the Danube, it is bursting with beautiful buildings, parks and fountains. Vienna isn't just a living museum though, it's a vibrant 21st-century metropolis with plenty going on in the fields of contemporary art, food and culture. City breaks in Vienna mean spending time in elegant surroundings, taking a horsedrawn carriage ride along tree-lined avenues and feasting on some famous Vienna cakes.
Practicalities of package holidays in Vienna
Vienna uses Central European Time, meaning it is one hour ahead of the UK and Ireland. The currency is the euro, and the official language is German, although most people understand some English. Flights to Vienna usually arrive at the city's airport just southeast of town. Another option for flights to Vienna from Dublin would be flying to Bratislava, around 40km to the east of Vienna, across the border in Slovakia. When flying from Cork to Vienna, a connection will be needed, most often through Dublin or London Gatwick.
When's the best time of year to book a flight and hotel in Vienna?
Vienna's climate is Alpine, with warm sunshine in the summer months and cold winters with plenty of snow. April and May are great times to visit the city, with temperatures climbing to between 15°C and 20°C, and fewer average days of rainfall than in July or August. December or January bring the snowy, frosty festive season, with temperatures hovering around freezing and snow staying on the ground around 40 days per year.
What can you do during city breaks in Vienna?
Whereas there's something for everyone in Vienna, history buffs will particularly enjoy the city for its sumptuous palaces and museums. If you prefer to take things easy, cruises along the Danube offer the chance to sit back and watch the scenery pass by.
Top attractions to see on your weekend in Vienna
- Schönbrunn Palace: this former summer residence of Hapsburg Emperors has sumptuous interiors, and visitors can tour the state apartments, ballroom and orangery. The beautifully manicured gardens are just as impressive as the palace and are well worth exploring.
- The Natural History Museum: discover the wonders of the natural world, including dinosaur skeletons, fossils, and animals from around the globe. The building itself is equally impressive, with elegantly painted interiors.
- Spanish Riding School: the dancing white horses here are famous worldwide. Book a performance or visit the school in the morning to see the horses and riders going through their paces.
- Carriage ride: an absolute must in Vienna is hopping on one of the carriages lined up outside St Stephen's Cathedral and be guided through the city streets. Select a city tour that suits how much time you have available.
- Schönbrunn Zoo - the world's oldest zoo is a major draw during family package holidays in Vienna. While the giant pandas are the main attraction, the zoo is also home to great apes, giraffes, big cats and a plethora of other species.
Eating out in Vienna
If you haven't already tried iconic Viennese wiener schnitzel, apple strudel or Sachertorte, you're in for a treat. Schnitzel – breaded and fried veal cutlet – is a staple of most restaurant menus and often served with a mountain of fries. If you've got a sweet tooth, try the city's most famous treat, Sachertorte. This rich chocolate tart was invented in 1832 at Café Sacher in Philharmonikerstrasse, where you can still enjoy a slice with coffee. For casual food on the go, the Nachsmarkt is hard to beat – it sells fresh produce and delicious street food from around the world.
Souvenir shopping in Vienna: what to buy
Most people booking a flight and hotel in Vienna will want to bring something home to remind themselves of their trip. If you can resist the temptation to start eating it before you get on the plane, a beautifully boxed Sachertorte is a lovely gift. As snow globes were invented in Vienna, they also make perfect souvenirs of your time in the city. If you're visiting in December, head to the area around Town Hall, where you'll find a Christmas market offering everything from candles to handcrafted wooden ornaments.