This article was produced in partnership with Priority Pass and a version recently appeared on the Priority Pass blog. All opinions are our own.
This is our review of the airport-operated Vienna Lounge at Vienna Airport in Terminal 1.
As you will see, it is one of the best business class lounges I have ever used and probably the best independent one. It is actually better than the majority of official airline lounges.
The lounge is used by a number of airlines, including Emirates, Qatar Airways and more. The fact that these airlines, which are typically aggressive in opening their own-branded lounges, are happy here shows just how classy it is.
British Airways also sends its business class and status passengers here, you’ll be pleased to hear. Note that the lounge is in the Schengen area so you need to factor in time to clear passport control afterwards if flying to the UK.
You can also access the Vienna Lounge with a Priority Pass membership. Cash rates are €49 for a 3-hour stay, or €29 for children 4-14. Kids under 4 go free.
Where is the Vienna Lounge?
Whilst nominally in Terminal 1, in reality Vienna Airport’s terminals are all interconnected with a regular airside bus running between Terminals 1 and 3 every 10 minutes or so. If you arrive at the airport early or on a long layover you could easily hop over to pop in – and I would highly recommend it.
The lounge is very easy to find and is immediately to your right as you exit the duty free corridor after security:
There are two lifts or you can use the stairs to head up one floor. Inside, you’ll find a self-serve luggage storage room:
Followed by the welcoming lounge reception:
Inside the Vienna Lounge
Inside, you’ll find 2,500 square metres of lounge with space for 450 guests. It is bigger than it first appears, but never feels too big or cavernous. There are also quieter areas on both sides if you want to withdraw a little.
Immediately to your left is a Viennese Cafe area inspired by the art nouveau cafes of the city. This features burgundy seating and 1920s inspired lighting:
I was thrilled to find a wide selection of international newspapers, as befits a Viennese cafe:
…. plus a selection of cakes and sweet treats:
Next to this, in the centre of the lounge, is the buffet area (more on this later):
This has been cleverly designed so that staff can replenish dishes from the inside, without disturbing the guests.
Towards the window and around the buffet you’ll find a huge variety of seating. Closest to the buffet is a dining area with restaurant style seating. You’ll find more casual seating closer to the windows, with a number of different styles of armchair:
Virtually every seat is connected with European electrical sockets and USB ports. The only exception is the dining tables.
There is plenty of seating and natural light – whilst it was busy during my visit it was not overcrowded, and you could sit in any of the different sections.
The lounge also features a children’s area, with a curtain that can be pulled for additional privacy, as well as a family bathroom with baby changing facilities etc.
On the far right hand side you’ll find a media lounge with three TVs running various programming:
…. plus seating designed for those who want to work:
Throughout the lounge you’ll find a number of framed facsimile artworks from the Leopold Museum’s collection.
These have all been custom chosen by the curators of the museum depending on where they are in the lounge and are extremely convincing – it was only when I read the label that I realised they weren’t original.
Some beautiful works by Klimt and Schiele are on display. This was my favourite:
The lounge also features a number of showers, which are equipped to a high standard with Dyson hair dryers:
The only thing missing from the showers are toilets!
Overall, the lounge has been lavishly refurbished, with genuine wooden features, stone floors and high quality seating. Whilst the lounge is now a year old, it feels brand new – I have rarely seen a lounge specced out to this level. It is extremely impressive and puts many other lounges to shame.
Food and drink in the Vienna Lounge
The buffet is just as impressive. Okay, it’s not a la carte, but to be honest the food here is better than you’ll find at many supposedly a la carte lounges.
It is stylishly laid out. On one side, and on the island, you have a selection of soft drinks and alcohol:
This includes Austrian beers and wines, including a sparkling wine:
On the other side you have the food. This includes six hot main dishes, including Riesling chicken, curry lentils, vegetable strudel, spinach dumplings as well as two soups:
You’ll also find a salad bar with lettuce, tomatoes and various toppings in addition to two pasta salads:
…. plus some pre-made sandwiches, cold cuts and cheese:
Of course, as we are in Vienna, so there are plenty of cakes to go around, in addition to those in the Viennese cafe section.
The bottom line is that you won’t be going hungry here, with a good selection of items to choose from.
It is hard to convey how impressive the Vienna Lounge is, although I have tried!
This is, fundamentally, the best independent airport lounge I have ever tried and I would be surprised if it isn’t one of the best globally. The quality of the finishes, the upkeep and the design is exceptional. It feels like it opened yesterday, despite having over 800,000 guests over the past year.
It is head-and-shoulders above the windowless Plaza Premium lounge at Heathrow T2, which has won top spot in the “World’s Best Independent Airline Lounge” awards for six years in a row.
If you are flying through Vienna Airport, I highly recommend you take a look.
You can check opening hours and other information on this page of the Priority Pass website, which also looks at the Terminal 3 options.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (September 2023)
Here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a UK credit card.
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.
If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.
Additional lounge visits are charged at £24. You get four more free visits for every year you keep the card.
There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus. Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network. Guests are charged at £24 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.
The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer. Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.
PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.