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.
District 1: City centre
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.
District 2: Prater
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. 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.
Districts 4,5,6: 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 tourist 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.
Districts 6,7: 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.
Districts 7, 8,9: 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!