The first question we ask with every trip is…where should we stay? I turn to my trusted blogs, Pinterest, TripAdvisor, etc. to read reviews, map out the options, and start narrowing down the choices. Usually our final choice is a balance of budget and location. When choosing where to stay in Vienna, Austria, we had to pick two options — one for our first four nights and another for our last two nights, after we returned from Budapest. Luckily this gave us a chance to try out two Vienna accommodation options — one luxury and one budget.
We enjoyed both of these options, but before I describe them in detail, let’s talk about actually where to stay in Vienna. I’d highly recommend staying in the First District, within the Ringstrasse. From anywhere within the Ringstrasse you will be within a 5-20 minute walk to all of Vienna’s top sites, except the Schönbrunn Palace, but that is an easy metro ride away. If you want to be very central and close to the Underground, you may want to aim for somewhere near Stephansplatz. If you want to be very close to the Hofburg Palace, metro stops and the touristy area, then stay near Opera. Or, if you want to be in a quieter area without all the tourists, then stay where we did…read on.
Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission to help support this blog. We received a travel agent rate at the Kempinski hotel. All opinions are my own.
Where to stay in Vienna: Luxury Hotel in Vienna
We were absolutely thrilled with our stay at the Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna. The location was ideal. It was right off the Ringstrasse and away from the touristy areas, making it super convenient, while also quiet and more authentic feeling. It was steps away from two tram stops and a block to an underground station.
The service at the Kempinski was the best of any hotel we have experienced. Every time we came and went, we were greeted by name. The doormen, bell staff, and concierge were exceedingly helpful. The housekeeping staff was also top notch, with nightly turn down service and kid-friendly amenities.
We had booked a Grand Deluxe Room, but were very happy to receive the Virtuoso upgrade to a Ring Suite (as a Virtuoso travel advisor I can secure similar amenities for you at select hotels, ask me about my trip planning services.) The suite was so spacious with a very large living room with a pull out sofa bed and views to the city. There were two large walk in closets with built in drawers and shelves. The bathroom was equally large and could be accessed from the entry foyer or the master bedroom. It had a large soaking tub, walk in shower with a rain shower, double vanity, and a WC with its own sink that could be separated from the rest of the bathroom for privacy.
The master bedroom featured a comfy king bed, also with a beautiful city view. The lights of the entire suite can be controlled from a panel near the door, and other controls are near each nightstand. The Kempinski also provides an iPad for Internet access and ordering room service.
One of my favorite things about the Kempinski was the extensive world breakfast buffet (free, thanks to another Virtuoso perk!) The breakfast features champagne, freshly squeezed juices (or a do it yourself juicer, eggs made to order, fresh fruits, pastries, meats and cheese, cereals, and even a kid-sized child buffet with cereal, juice boxes, and other snacks.
Another great feature of the Palais Hansen Kempinski is the light-filled lobby where people gather for high tea, as well as coffee, pastries or drinks. How lovely to relax with a glass of wine and a tasty treat at the end of a day touring! There is also a full-service spa, but unfortunately we didn’t have time to check that out.
We loved our stay at the Kempinski and highly recommend it if you are looking for a luxury hotel in Vienna.
Vienna Airbnb: Budget Accommodations in Vienna
When I look for budget accommodations in a city, my first stop is usually Airbnb. We have found some great options in Iceland and Rome, and I love that we can get more space for often less than the cost of a hotel room. There were so many options for Vienna Airbnb apartments, some of which were extremely affordable.
We ended up picking a two-bedroom apartment in a historic building near Judenplatz, very centrally located within the Ringstrasse. The apartment was very spacious, with two large bedrooms, full bath with shower and tub, kitchen, dining table and a small sofa. They say it can fit up to six people (two on the sofa bed), and it was more than enough space for the three of us.
The furniture was new and modern and everything was extremely clean. The check in process was smooth and the only two things to note are: 1) it is on the second floor with no lift, which didn’t seem like a big deal, but in the winding staircase it felt like more than two floors to carry the bags; and 2) it is on a very small street that taxis may have trouble finding (one Uber was no problem, one taxi dropped us off with our luggage quite far away even though I insisted it wasn’t the right place, and another Uber was a no show.) Luckily it is very easy to walk everywhere and honestly, finding it should not have been hard at all using Google Maps.
All this starting at only $166 per night really can’t be beat when you are looking for budget accommodations in Vienna.