It’s all about Vienna

The 18th Mercer Quality of Life survey recently concluded that Vienna was the best city in the world to live in. So what’s so special about Austria’s capital that meant it beat 229 other cities to take the Number One spot? Read on to find out more about this low-key city and why you need to include it in your vacation plans!

The team at Mercer, which is one of the world’s largest HR consultancy firms, took healthcare, quality of education, housing and environmental factors into consideration when compiling the results of the study, which is thought to be amongst the most comprehensive of its kind. While the aim of the survey was to provide data that international corporations could use to assess how safe it is to send their employees to a given city, it also provides a handy list of some safe and attractive place to visit in Europe and beyond.

Why Vienna?

Vienna has an excellent reputation and has been known to charm and seduce even the most reluctant of travelers. No matter how many times you’ve been, there’s always plenty to do, to see and to discover throughout the year, making it a good option for out-of-season tours and vacations. If you’re looking for culture, musical theater and art galleries, it’s perfect; but it’s equally attractive if you want a cosmopolitan city break amongst cool cafes, bars, shops and street markets, or if you’re looking for a family vacation in Europe with plenty of activities to entertain the children.

When to go

As we mentioned, events pop up in Vienna year-round; however, we particularly recommend enjoying a vacation in Vienna from mid-May to late June, when the weather is fine and there are ample outdoor festivals and parties to discover. If you find yourself in the city at the end of June, be sure to check out the annual Donauinselfest – Europe’s largest open-air party, which continues for three days! Note that state-run opera, concert and theater venues close in July and August, but you’ll find them back in full swing come September.


There are a multitude of classic “must-sees” in Vienna, such as the palaces of Schönbrunn and Hofburg, the Ringstrasse, and fascinating museums, including the Museum of Fine Art, Belvedere, Albertina and Leopoldsmuseum. If you’re interested in architecture then there are plenty of contemporary structures to enjoy, particular the university’s buildings in the 2nd district. There’s also St Stephen’s Cathedral, which is one of Vienna’s most important and symbolic buildings, and an archaeological park. Family-friendly attractions include Madame Tussauds, Schönbrunn Zoo and the Giant Ferris Wheel.

To save money on the top attractions, we recommend purchasing a Vienna PASS, which grants you access to more than 60 attractions, including museums, palaces and the zoo, as well as tours, such as Vienna’s hop-on/hop-off bus tour and the Giant Ferris Wheel.

Local greetings

It is the norm to formally greet someone when you first meet them by saying “grüss gott”, which literally translates as “greeting the almighty”! You may also hear “guten morgen/tag/abend” (good morning/afternoon/evening), depending on the time of day. It is also customary to use someone’s title when greeting them and waiters will expect to hear “Herr Ober” (Mr Waiter) if you require their attention.

If you would like to say “please” or “you’re welcome”, use “danke” or “bitte”.


As a general rule, tips are not included on the final bill and it is not customary to leave them at the table. Instead, ask your waiter to add the tip that you would like to leave to your total bill – 10% is the norm.

The basics

Currency: Euro

Telephone code: 00 43

Time difference: +6 hours from EST

Flight time: New York to Vienna is approximately eight and a half hours

If you’re thinking about a vacation in Vienna or elsewhere in Europe, contact a member of our team on +44 1223 637328 for a personalized holiday quote or click here to send an online inquiry. We can pre-arrange all the details of your vacation, including airport transfers, accommodation, guided tours and activities so that you can simply relax and look forward to a magical holiday in Austria!

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