Browse the meeting calendar for Vienna and you find most of the biggest conventions, fairs and similar make use of the Messe Wien exhibition and congress center. Here some tips on public transport, nearby hotels, local activities and more.
Exhibition & congress center
(Messe Wien Entrance A; press photo © Reed Exhibitions / G. Szuklits)
When I see spikes in interest in travel options between Vienna and the airport, it usually means a big congress is in town.
And a giant spike nearly always means an event at the Messe Wien exhibition and congress center.
Opened in 2004, the center has four large exhibition halls that host the kind of conventions and fairs that attract visitor numbers in the five figures. And a congress centre serves meetings where those numbers are in the tens, hundreds or low thousands.
As well as numerous specialist private meetings, Messe Wien houses such public events as the Buch Wien book fair, the huge Modellbau-Messe model making fair and the wonderful Vienna Comic Con (wave if you go).
The complex lies just outside the centre of Vienna between the great Danube river on one side and the Prater park and entertainment complex on the other. A direct subway connection takes you to and from the edge of the old town (the first district and historical centre of the city) in about 5 minutes.
(The Hampton by Hilton is very close)
I have a whole article with a list of highly-rated hotels in the area.
Since the Messe Wien buildings are next to two subway stations on the U2 line (see below), you can also reach the location very quickly from the city centre.
If you stay in a hotel around Stephansplatz and the cathedral, for example, then take the U1 from Stephansplatz station and change to the U2 at Praterstern. The typical journey time to the Messe is around 8-10 minutes.
What to do
(Just a short walk to the iconic Riesenrad)
The subway, of course, takes you to all Vienna’s delights remarkably quickly. However, the hotel guide includes the various points of interest around Messe Wien.
For example, discover some remarkable modern architecture immediately to the south and east of the Messe Wien center, particularly the campus of the Vienna University of Economics and Business.
And you’re just a couple of minutes’ on foot from the Danube, which is more practical than picturesque where it flows through Vienna. But you can enjoy walks or cycle rides, particularly down the long island (Donauinsel) in its middle.
How to get there
(It really is that close to the U-Bahn subway station; Messe Wien Entrance D; press photo © Reed Exhibitions / G. Szuklits)
The Messe Wien buildings actually stretch between two stations on the U2 subway line: Hall A is more or less outside the Messe-Prater U2 station and Hall D outside the Krieau U2 station. The complex also has space for around 4000 cars.
From the centre
Jump on the U2 at Schottentor and Schottenring in the old town. Or take the U1 line from the central Karlsplatz, Stephansplatz or Schwedenplatz stations and change to the U2 at Praterstern.
From the airport
For reaching Messe Wien via public transport from the airport, you have two main options:
- Catch the S7 S-Bahn train direct from the airport to Praterstern, where you can change to the U2 subway
- Catch an airport bus. The Vienna Airport Lines normally operates a service that has a stop at the Krieau subway station next to Messe Wien
From Hauptbahnhof railway station
Take the U1 subway from Hauptbahnhof / Südtiroler Platz to Praterstern and change to the U2 subway for the Messe-Prater or Krieau stations. The journey takes around 14-16 minutes during peak hours.
From Westbahnhof railway station
Take the U3 subway from Westbahnhof to Stephansplatz, then the U1 from Stephansplatz to Praterstern, and then the U2 from Praterstern to the Messe stations. Expect the journey to take 20-22 minutes during peak hours.
Address: Messeplatz 1, 1020 Vienna | Website