Innere Stadt, the heart of Vienna, is a sophisticated neighbourhood full of history and quaint cobble stone streets. Most of Vienna’s main sights like the Stephansdom Cathedral, Habsburg Palace, Vienna State Opera and the Spanish Riding School are in this district. Naturally, so are the tourists. Innere Stadt has more than its share of charming cafes, bars and restaurants. But if you want the non-touristy kind, head to the alleys and side streets around Dr. Ignaz Seipel Platz. Shopaholics will feel at home at the popular luxury shopping streets of Graben and Kärntner Strasse.

Mariahilf is best known for being home to Vienna’s busiest and most famous shopping street, Mariahilfer Strasse.  It’s packed with eateries, bars and shops that sell just about everything under the sun. The district also has a bustling food market, Naschmarkt which has exotic vegetables, fruits and cheeses. The west of Mariahilf is mostly residential with cute cafes and restaurants, while the area around the Academy of Fine Arts has many small art galleries and designer furniture stores.

The Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus area is multi-cultural, cheap and is located close to Mariahilfer Strasse. A typical residential district, it is home to Vienna’s immigrant population and Stadthalle, the biggest concert venue in the city.

Located on the border of Innere Stadt, Neubau is a trendy and charming neighourhood. It’s home to the Museum Quarter, a sprawling area with 20 museums including the Leopold Museum and the Museum of Modern Art and Architecture. Neubau also has a lively cultural and artistic vibe with galleries and artist studios, while its nightlife is the best in the city. It’s full of nice restaurants, cafes, bars and music clubs, especially around the Spittelberg area.

Alsergrund, also called the Academic Quarter, is home to the University of Vienna and quite a few hospitals. As you may have guessed, it’s full of students and medical professionals. The baroque style Liechtenstein Palace and the Freud Museum are located here. This is a good district for tourists on a shoestring budget since its restaurants and bars are quite pocket-friendly. It is not far from Innere Stadt either.

Vienna’s smallest quarter, Josefstadt, is located behind the Rathaus (City Hall) between Alsergrund and Neubau. It doesn’t have many attractions but it’s residential and quiet.  It’s a perfect district for people who want to be centrally located without having the hustle and bustle of the centre. Josefstadt has quite a few interesting baroque churches, the most notable being the Piaristenkirche Church. It’s also home to many charming restaurants, cafes and bars.