The districts of Vienna

Vienna is truly the most international city in Austria, if not in all of Central Europe, hosting the regional headquarters of many international enterprises, the UN, OSCE and OPEC. In the central districts you will have no problem communicating in English. Vienna has 23 districts, with the 1st being the city centre, N°2-9 wrapped around it and surrounded by the Gürtel highway. Districts 10-23 are mainly residential areas. Every district is attractive in its own way and equally important, generally safe for tourists.

 

City centre area

The city centre literally refers to the very heart of Vienna. In the mid-19th century Vienna’s old city wall was replaced by the boulevard which in conjunction with the Franz-Josefs- Kai now forms a ring around the city centre. Magnificent buildings such as the state opera house, the Hofburg, the parliament building, the Vienna city hall, the Burgtheater, the university, the Vienna stock exchange and numerous prestigious buildings line this splendid boulevard. Most 5-star hotels as well as major sights are located here. Tourists will spend most of their time in this area, with everything more or less within walking distance. While Kärnterstrasse and Graben are the two major shopping streets in the city centre, Stephansplatz with St. Stephens cathedral is the very centre of Vienna.

 

Prater area

The city’s largest park stretches from the Praterstern metro and train station towards the Ernst Happel stadium. Next to Praterstern is the Wurstelprater amusement park. Some say it’s better to avoid this area after dark. Leopoldstadt in Vienna’s 2nd district used to be the Jewish part of town. Today the jewish community is again growing and you will find kosher bakeries and a number of synagogues.

 

Belvedere & Hundertwasserhaus area

The third district is one of Vienna’s most desirable addresses. Several buildings designed by Vienna’s most unusual architect Friedenreich Hundertwasser, as well as Belvedere Palace, the luxurious residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy, are all located here. In addition, the district houses numerous embassies and foreign missions, hence its name– the Embassy Quarter.

 

Naschmarkt area

This is currently Vienna’s most vibrant area with chic cafes and people strolling past trendy stores and art galleries. You would not want to miss out on a visit to Vienna’s central Naschmarkt, selling all sorts of food and with amazing restaurants and cosy cafés where many tourists and locals enjoy a break. The Freihausviertel south of Naschmarkt in the 4th district is the upcoming chic shopping mile. The 6th district, north of Naschmarkt, is known for its many gay bars.

 

Mariahilferstrasse area

Mariahilferstrasse is known as Central and Eastern Europe’s most important shopping street. Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, hundreds of buses bring shoppers from Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia to Vienna’s top shopping street to get their Christmas presents. A lot of interesting stores, nice restaurants and relaxed bars are found strolling around the side streets.

 

Gürtel area

Gürtel is the name of the highway ring that encircles Vienna’s central districts 1-9. In the zone between Westbahnhof station and the Danube canal, the red-light district has developed into Vienna’s hottest nightlife spot with dozens of clubs and bars, one after the other. Go and find a bar that fits your taste!

 

The following are locations of the 23 districts:

  1. Innere Stadt is the city centre, with numerous historical sites and few residents.
  2. Leopoldstadt is the island between the Danube and the Danube Canal, with Praterstern, Vienna’s most frequented traffic spot, and Giant Wheel.
  3. Landstraße is on the right bank of the Danube Canal, and includes the Belvedere.
  4. Wieden is a small district south of the city centre.
  5. Margareten was separated from Wieden in 1861.
  6. Mariahilf is a small district on the main shopping lane leading to Westbahnhof.
  7. Neubau is a small district on main shopping lane leading to Westbahnhof, and includes the Museums Quarter, a large cultural complex.
  8. Josefstadt is a small district close to City Hall, Parliament, and Vienna University.
  9. Alsergrund is the General Hospital district, and includes Sigmund Freud’s residence.
  10. Favoriten is in the southern part of Vienna, and has the largest population, the new main train station, and the city’s thermal spa.
  11. Simmering is on the right bank of the Danube Canal, and includes the Central Cemetery.
  12. Meidling is on the southern bank of the Wien river.
  13. Hietzing is on the southern bank of the Wien river, and includes Schönbrunn Palace.
  14. Penzing is on the northern bank of the Wien river, and was separated from Hietzing in 1938. It includes Otto Wagner’s Church Am Steinhof.
  15. Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus is on the northern bank of the Wien river. Until 1938, it consisted of the 14th and 15th district and was called Westbahnhof.
  16. Ottakring is on the western outskirts and includes Vienna’s traditional brewery.
  17. Hernals is on the northwestern outskirts of Vienna.
  18. Währing is on the northwestern outskirts of Vienna, and includes the Central Institute of Meteorology.
  19. Döbling is on the northern outskirts of Vienna, and includes the classical Heurigen district.
  20. Brigittenau is on the same island as Leopoldstadt, and was separated in 1900.
  21. Floridsdorf is on the right bank of the Danube, and includes industry areas. It is the northernmost part of Vienna.
  22. Donaustadt is on the right bank of the Danube, and is the largest district in size. It includes UN City, the largest convention hall in Vienna.
  23. Liesing is the southernmost district, and includes industrial areas.

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