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Where to stay in Vienna /trains

Hi! I’m new to the forum and I’ve never been to Europe so I apologize in advance if my questions seem silly!
Question 1: is it better to stay near city center in Vienna or Central Station? We will be using public transportation.

Question 2: what’s the best website for booking train tickets? We’ll be taking the train from Munich to Salzburg then from Vienna to Budapest and finally Budapest to Zagreb. So we’ll be crossing boarders.

Thank you!!

Posted by
6570 posts

Let me just answer #1. We always stay at K&T Boardinghouse in Vienna. It's one metro stop outside of the Circle, and the street scene there is bustling. The entrance to the Metro is 50' away--across the street. We can be at St. Stephens and the middle of town in 5 minutes. If it's good enough for Rick Steves personally, it's good enough for me.

Posted by
1392 posts

#1: Not the location is of most importance, but easy access to public transport. Choose a place to stay where the next tram or metro stop is close (i.e. 3 minutes walking).

#2: First choice is always the website of the national carrier of the country from where you depart:
DB (Germany), OeBB (Austria), MAV (Hungary)
Second choice is the website of the national carrier of the country where you go to, because there may be a better price due to different currencies.

Posted by
12542 posts

Second choice is the website of the national carrier of the country
where you go to,

Always buy from the agency in the country you are departing from for a number of reasons not the least of which is that one thing you cant do on the MAV site is purchase your Vienna to Budapest tickets, as you have to pick up your tickets in Budapest.

With the MAV site, and possibly the others, you can get the discount tickets on line even the night before which leaves you some flexibility.

Posted by
4373 posts

Question 1 - If you want to be near the majority of the sites, then you should choose the city center. It is also the most beautiful part of town. There are several subway stops in the city center, so getting around Vienna to attractions that are not within walking distance will be easy. I really avoid staying near the train stations as these tend to be the ugly parts of town.

Question 2 - Please use the resources found on the Man in Seat 61 for a really good how-to for purchasing train tickets:

Munich to Salzburg -
Salzburg to Vienna -
Vienna to Budapest -
Budapest to Zagreb -

The only international border you will cross will be the Hungary/Croatia border. The other borders are a non-issue and like crossing a state line in the US. There are no procedures or staff as the countries are part of the Schengen Zone.

Posted by
85 posts

Another vote for city center, especially if you want to enjoy the cafes and an evening stroll. I've been to Vienna many times and like to stay at the Hilton Vienna Plaza right on the Schottenring.

Posted by
413 posts

I'm a bit of a contrarian. I like to stay a bit off the beaten tourist path. Pension Kraml is a favorite. Good pricing, in a real neighborhood and close to Westbahnhof and close to U3 and U4. Buses 13A & 57A stop a half block away, so easy access to the Bahnhof as well. However, I've also stayed at the Renaissance Imperial Riding School Hotel, which is comfy and closer to the center. Short stroll to Belvedere.

Posted by
188 posts

The train website that we used to go from Munich Hauptbahnhof to Salzburg Hbf was and we took RailJet and got seat reservations also. It was 1 hr. 28 min. The website that we used for our train from Salzburg to Vienna was We went to the Wien WestBahnhof station and took the metro to Volkstheater U bahn stop. We liked staying near the Volkstheater U bahn stop. It is easy to get to Schloss Schonbrunn from there via the U3 Gold Line Volkstheater to Westbahnhof and then Tram #60 to Schonbrunn.. The Volkstheater area was also near a quaint area of pedestrian streets and restaurants called Spittelberg as well as many museums. It was easy to walk from Burggasse to Central Vienna and the sites on KartnerStrasse, Graben, and Kohlmarkt.

Posted by
248 posts


Glad to hear you enjoy Pension Kraml. I just booked it for my upcoming trip.

Posted by
4671 posts

Don't stay near the Hauptbahnhof in Vienna, it's a recently redeveloped area that is somewhat soulless.

Posted by
1392 posts

Don't stay near the Hauptbahnhof in Vienna, it's a recently redeveloped area that is somewhat soulless.

But there are some brand new hotels, having moderate prices. Using metro U1 you are in the very center in about 8 minutes.

Around the new Hauptbahnhof a modern, completely new part of Vienna emerged. Of course not comparable to the historic parts of the city. But that's the way gentrification works, not only in Vienna (e.g. Docklands).

Posted by
1392 posts

@James E

The whole project for the new Hauptbahnhof affected (and still affects because not completed yet) an area of more than 1 sqkm (100+ hectares, approx. 250+ acres).

Starting in 2009 every building on that space was taken down, including some apartment buildings whose inhabitants had been "convinced" to move out, something rather rare in Vienna.

Then the new central train station was built, including the underground BahnhofCity shopping mall. Northeast of the train station Quartier Belvedere emerged, a large business complex. Southeast the Sonnwendviertel was created with more than 5000 new apartments including required infrastructure (schools, doctors, shopping, tram, park, etc.). The planned connection to the Autobahn (freeway) is still not complete, though. (Some buildings belonging to the Austrian Army are in the way, but demolition has started eventually.)

These activities also ameliorated adjacent areas, most notably along Sonnwendgasse. (Nevertheless Emily is always warning of this area.)

So the 10th city borough, said to be a low-income and blue-collar worker area, has got an uptick in quality.

The downside is rising costs for renting (or buying) an apartment. Apartment prices rise up to four times the yearly inflation, a problem the City of Vienna tries to get under control, but with no avail. Consequently a different clientele will move into this area who can afford this.

Posted by
12400 posts

The advantage to staying near Vienna central station (Wien Hbf) is that it's not that far from Schloss Belvedere and the Army History Museum (HGM), a nice walk if you want the exercise, plus the tram line connects to Schwarzenberg Platz, ie the Soviet WW2 memorial and the Field Marshal himself at the opposite end.

Posted by
114 posts

We stayed at Hotel am Parkring. A 5 minute walk to the station. Just on the edge of the old town. On the ring tram route. The hotel is the top few floors of a commercial building and has spectacular views over the city towards the Prater.