Vienna Basic Information
Vienna isn’t just the largest city and capital of Austria, it’s famous for many reasons. It’s been ranked one of the world’s most livable cities numerous times. The city hosts major international organisations, like the United Nations and even its city centre is special – in 2001 it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Want to know more about the city of music? Read on.
If you’re Australian, you won’t need a visa to visit Vienna, thanks to the Schengen Convention. Austria along with 25 other European countries is party to this convention. This conventions means Aussies can stay up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Just a few things to note though – if you’re staying in private accommodation for more than 3 days, you’ll need to register your place with the local authorities; you’ll need to have 6 months validity on your passport and if you’re loaded with cash (10,000 euros or more), you’ll need to declare it on arrival. Please note, visa and entry and exit conditions change, stay up to date by contacting the Embassy or consulate of Austria.
In Austria, you’ll use the Euro. The great thing about the Euro is you won’t have to change currency if you’re travelling to other countries that are part of the European Monetary Union. You can exchange your money into Euros before you leave Australia, but if you don’t have time, you don’t need to fret, there are plenty of ATMs and banking facilities where you can change travellers cheques or currency. Just make sure you shop around to find the best exchange rate and commission charges. Wechselstuben (money-exchangers, generally found in city centres or train stations) are open longer but charge high commissions.
Get ready to make like Homer Simpson because Austrian food is to drool for. Austrian goulash, apple strudel and the amazing Germknödel – a fluffy dough dumpling that’s filled with a spicy, plum jam and finished with melted butter, poppy seeds, powdered sugar and vanilla cream. Mmmmmm Germasomething. You’ll find Vienna has its very own cuisine too. Viennese cuisine is known for its pastries, but there are many other delights worth trying too – Wiener Schnitzel and Tafelspitz for starters. But yes, the pastries, oh my. Dig into Topfenstrudel – a quark cheese filled strudel or try some Viennese crepes – Palatschinken. Here’s a fun fact, the Danish pastry (we assume it’s from Denmark right?) is said to have originated from Vienna.
Vienna’s dance music scene is huge. Clubs like Flex and Danube Canal are arguably some of the best electronic clubs in the world. Some other famous establishments include the Chelsea, Rhiz and B72 – these places have been around for years. There’s also a new party strip in the Prater. But it’s not all doof doof and dancing non-stop in clubs, there are heaps of other cool nightlife options – you’ll find cool music in coffee-houses and bistros too. There’s also a new trend in Viennese nightlife – burlesque parties. These parties are themed on the years between 1920 and 1950. For a more traditional night out, there are plenty of beer halls and brewpubs about town where you’ll find a good variety of Austrian beers as well as few Czech lagers and some Bavarian wheat beers.