Where to stay in Vienna at Christmas?
June 22, 2015 12:10 PM   Subscribe

We're looking at spending a wintery Christmas in Vienna and we're wondering what part of the city we ought to be searching for accommodation. Where should we stay? (limiting factors inside.)

We plan to enjoy the Christmas markets as well as the usual grand architectural/cultural/culinary sights in the historical center of the city.
We'll be a group of 5 or 6, so apartment rental is a possibility.
Our limiting factor is that a member of our party has limited energy and (occasionally) mobility. This person will probably need to return to our lodgings in the middle of the day for a rest. We don't want to lose too much time to travel, so we'd like to be reasonably close to the sights and the markets - or if that's not possible, no more than a couple of hundred meters from public transport that will get us to the city center in a short time.
Suggestions please!
(Bonus points for totally unrelated question - what are the current best places for eating pastries and drinking coffee in the city centre?! Because I plan to do a lot of that. Sachertorte here I come.)
posted by tabubilgirl to Travel & Transportation around Vienna, Austria (9 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
What's your budget?
posted by Omnomnom at 12:14 PM on June 22, 2015

As to eating cake, I've written this before.
posted by Omnomnom at 12:17 PM on June 22, 2015

Best answer: It will depend on your budget really, but I suggest hotel kugel in the heart of the 7th district. The hotel kugel is within walking distance of some of the most traditional Christmas markets. Prices are excellent value for money. It is family run and very cozy, not an anonymous chain hotel. Www.hotelkugel.at
posted by 15L06 at 1:01 PM on June 22, 2015

The Hotel Sacher has some very decent prices, although I had to wait for a quarter of an hour for a table. A piece of Sachertorte and a Wiener Melange costed me under 10€.
posted by sukeban at 1:29 PM on June 22, 2015

Best answer: This past December we stayed at [Small Luxury] Hotel das Tyrol, which is in the Museumsquartier (just a couple blocks from, I think, three different mass transit stops). I would recommend both the Museumsquartier as a general location based on transit accessibility and the number of sites nearby, and that hotel specifically as a very well run place with well-appointed rooms. In addition to the museums and the Christmas market that's right there, there's a more interesting Christmas market at Karlsplatz. (Side note: we visited at least half a dozen markets and found them to be largely identical to each other with the same varieties of food, the same hot punches, and the same selection of ornaments and tchotchkes. The primary difference between markets was the color of the souvenir mug. The one at Karlsplatz actually had more handmade and artisanal items and not just the same set of ornaments and fridge magnets as everybody else.) That part of Vienna is pretty compact. The Naschmarkt is very convenient from the Museumsquartier, so you could drop off your traveling companion and go get a Käsekrainer and a beer while waiting. Or, really, just get a hot punch from the corner stand. As for accessibility, there's a small elevator in the hotel, but the street access is up, I think, three stairs.

Our friends got an AirBNB apartment nearby and they were also very happy with the general area, so call that four votes from us for the Museumsquartier.
posted by fedward at 1:37 PM on June 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

On the subject of cafe culture, there was a ridiculous line at the Sacher, and Cafe Mozart (as seen in THE THIRD MAN) was overrun with American tourists, but we had some lovely pastries at the Gerstner K & K Hofzuckerbäckerei.
posted by fedward at 1:43 PM on June 22, 2015

Response by poster: Sorry for the tardy response - my computer is being stroppy. At present we don't have a fixed budget - we want a 3/3.5 star sort of place: Doesn't have to be swanky, but clean, comfy and with good central heating.

Thanks for all your suggestions so far and omnomnom - your torte thread has been read and bookmarked with great enthusiasm.
posted by tabubilgirl at 7:05 AM on June 23, 2015

Best answer: Re cake: as a local, I would say 10 Euro for cake and coffee is extortion. But then you pay for the Sacher experience, which is unique, including the waiting. But personally, I would not think it worthwhile to wait that long and pay that much.
If you are willing to sepnd this amount I would say rather go to Demel, which is the just around the corner and features the "Demelinerinnen", and also provides the most delicious cakes.
However, I think you could try something a bit off the beaten path (but not much) such as Cafe Diglas . Lovely, lovely cakes.
Or try the Cafe Korb, very Viennese.

Re hotel, expecially if you are looking for 3 or 3.5 star, be sure to remain in the inner districts: 1060 (6th), 1070 (7th) , 1080 (8th). Prices will be higher, but otherwise you could end up to far from the Christmas markets and the city center. IN general I think 3 star in outer districts can be both cheaper but also much less comfy (think bad matresses, grubby carpets, unattractive breakfast, no 24 hour reception).
And while public transport is great, if one of you has reduced mobility, this may not outweigh the price factor, if you end up riding the trams for an hour.

I think the Hotel Kugel totally meets the criteria you list for hotel. The only issue (which at the same thime is a bonus) is that there is the 49 tram line right outside on the street in front of the hotel. If you look at trip advisor reviews, some people are bothered by this, some are not.

I live within a few blocks from there and sent many people there - so far all were happy. The area is very safe for walking at night, features lots of cafes and shops, and is one of the most popular residential areas.

The christmas market closest to the hotel is within walking distance or two tram stops away. The one in front of the Rathaus is abit further (4 stops on 49 line and 1 on any Ring tram).
Both of those are very touristy, I should add. As ist this one, located between the Museum of Natural History and Museum of Art History.

Much less touristy and a favourite with those who live in the area is this one here: this is where all the 7th district bobos (incl myself) love to hang out, as it is not "christmassy" in the strict sense, but rather focussed on an urban winter theme. Great food and hot drinks but no Christmas knick knacks are sold there at all.

This one is one of the loveliest hotels in the area. i think it starts from 100/night for a single, but may be much more in December (peak of winter season)
Other hotels near the Museumsquartier (literally across the street) and only one block from Spittelberg market:
http://austrotel.at/hotel-viennart/en/ (rooms fromca 85/night)
This may be too expensivie but also just across the road from Museumsquartier, right nest to underground station Volkstheater)
http://www.sanssouci-wien.com/en/index.html (rooms from ca 250 per night)

When you look, be aware that many hotels bill themselves as close to Museumsquartier - however, unless they are in a certain area in the 7th district (zip code 1070) they are not generally within easy walking distance.

Museumsquartier itself is an area containing several museums etc , so really the area sourrounding is where the hotels are. There are no hotels at all within the Museumsquartier in the strict sense, only close by.

One thing I think is nifty for visitors the Vienna Card .
posted by 15L06 at 1:43 AM on June 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

Re cake: as a local, I would say 10 Euro for cake and coffee is extortion.

Nah, extortion was paying 10-12€ at the Albertina and Leopoldmuseum to see posters of Dürer and Egon Schiele drawings respectively. I'm still bitter about *that* :P

(The Albertina has modern art paintings and the Leopoldmuseum has Schiele oils, too, but that wasn't what I was stoked up to see)
posted by sukeban at 4:01 AM on June 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

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