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The Austrian city of Vienna is famous for opulent palaces and elegant cafes. The Hofburg Palace complex is one of the city’s grandest buildings with its green domes and sweeping facade. Home to the Habsburg monarchy, inside you can see their extensive collection of silverware and the imperial apartments where Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Elisabeth once lived.
With a hire car in Vienna you can head out of the city to the romantic rolling countryside that surrounds it. The Wachau valley, with its gentle hills and lush vineyards is an hour away by car, a 56-mile journey along the S5 and A22. The Vienna woods span the city’s western side and provide hiking trails of varying levels. Or for traditional villages try Durnstein, which is 52 miles away, or a couple of miles further along the road is Weissenkirchen - both are beautiful and offer a glimpse into authentic Austrian country life. The spa town of Baden, about 25 miles south of Vienna, is also worth a trip.
Fly into Vienna International Airport, which is 12 miles from the city centre via the A4 (about 20 minutes by car). There is also the city airport train that takes about 16 minutes to get to the centre.
For car hire in Vienna head to the Stadtpark, which is southeast of the city centre and is where most of the big brands are based. Sixt and Hertz are among the companies available.
Megadrive, Hertz, Enterprise and Buchbinder are also among the brands that can supply a rental car in Vienna with collection counters at the airport.
The town of Hollabrunn is a 40-minute drive north of Vienna, 33 miles on the S3 and A22. The pretty town with lush gardens and the nearby Hollabrunner Forest is popular with cyclists and walkers, while foodie tourists can enjoy its wine taverns and cosy cafes.
The city of Graz is 125 miles, or a two-hour drive south from Vienna. Eggenberg Palace and the surrounding parkland and gardens are full of Austrian charm, or head up the Schlossberg hill for panoramic views. If you are a fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger take the 10-minute journey to Thal, the village where he was born, which now houses a museum about his life.
Make the most of this landlocked country by visiting some of its neighbours. Bratislava in Slovakia is less than an hour away by car and offers town squares and pavement cafes, as well as a castle and a bridge shaped like a UFO. While in the Czech Republic the lively university city of Brno, which is set in the middle of Moravian vineyard country, is one hour and 45 minutes via the E461, a journey of 85 miles.
Most roads in Vienna are free to use, but there is a motorway toll. Some parts of the city are designated Kurzparkzone or short-term parking area. You need to fill out and display a prepaid parking voucher, which you can buy from newsagents, public transport ticket offices and ticket machines in subways.
Use the Expedia search tool to help you organise your trip to Vienna and other parts of Austria. We can help you find bargain deals on flights, car hire and hotels, as well as researching the best attractions and activities in the area.
There is one international airport in Vienna, located 10 miles southeast of the city centre. When you fly into Vienna International you should find it very easy to find a rental vehicle from one of the agencies operating out of the airport (Sixt, Avis and Budget all have branches here). To make the process easier and to avoid queues and waiting time on the day, book your vehicle in advance using the Expedia search tool. From Vienna International, central Vienna is a short 20-minute drive away.
If you’re not arriving in Vienna by plane, or if you would prefer to pick up a vehicle in the city, there are plenty of hire agencies in the centre. Rental offices are clustered close to major train stations like Wien Hauptbahnhof and Wien Westbahnhof. This makes it very simple to acquire a car if you are arriving in town by rail. Wherever you decide to pick up your rental car, it can be worth getting a vehicle equipped with English-language satellite navigation, particularly if it is your first time in Vienna.
Driving in Vienna is straightforward, but it’s important to note that the inner circle of the city can be trickier to navigate, due to some driving restrictions and the streets being narrow. Parking is also competitive in the centre, so for ease you might want to research some good parking areas and book accommodation that lets you park for free. When you’re not using your car, you can take advantage of the city’s public transport links.
There’s plenty to keep you busy once you arrive in Vienna. Some firm favourites amongst seasoned travellers include a visit to the opulent 18th-century Schönnbrunn Palace, a tour of St Stephen’s Cathedral, and some time spent enjoying the old-time attractions at Prater, Vienna’s 19th-century amusement park.
To get the best out of your hire vehicle, of course, you’ll want to venture outside the city centre. The 18th-century Habsburg palace complex at Schloss Hof can be reached in under an hour by car. Or, if you’ve had enough of royal buildings, you can head west to the Lainzer Tiergarten wildlife preserve and the Foehrenberge Nature Park.