One Day in a City

24 Hour Travel Itineraries to Make the Most of a Day in a Destination

The Ultimate One Day in Vienna: Must-Have Itinerary for Visiting Vienna in 24 Hours

November 11, 2023 By Gina Posts on this site may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here .

The Best Things to See and Do in Vienna in One Day

Short on time in Vienna? This super detailed and helpful 1-day Vienna itinerary is here to help.

I love Vienna…the alluring blend of art, music, and grandeur of the buildings gives it a different feel from other major European cities. While I think everyone should spend multiple days in Vienna, sometimes that just isn’t possible, and one day in Vienna is of course better than zero days. So if you find yourself with the opportunity to visit this city, even just for 24 hours – go!

To make that easier for you, I’ve created this detailed One Day in Vienna itinerary so you can keep yourself from feeling overwhelmed about filtering through the things to do and choosing what to see while in Vienna. I’ve included “One Day” tips for each recommended site to help you maximize your time. In addition, there are sites and things to do under the “Modified Itinerary” section that is more interest-specific depending on your favorite things to see and do while traveling. Here’s a quick breakdown of what you’ll find in this article: – Best Time to Visit Vienna – One Day in Vienna Itinerary Outline -Detailed 24-Hour Itinerary – Where to Stay -Itinerary Modification Ideas – Where to Eat – Getting Around Vienna

Here’s an infographic for you, too, to get a visual idea of your day before reading the itinerary.

Whether you're short on time in Vienna or just want to make sure you see all the top sites during your vacation there, this infographic with the top things to do in Vienna will help. Best of all, this can be the perfect one day in Vienna itinerary, too!

Best Time to Visit Vienna

Depending on your interests, July and August may not be the ideal time for you to visit. During those months the famous Vienna Opera House is closed as the musicians are on vacation. While other performances in stunning old Viennese buildings still happen, those who have their heart set on seeing an opera in the Vienna Opera House should aim to visit during a different month than July or August.

In addition, those who are looking forward to seeing the famed Lipizzaner horses of the Spanish Riding School in all their glory should note that horses get vacation, too, and during July and August they are on a farm in the country – though shows featuring some of the younger, not yet fully trained horses (and foals) are still conducted.

Vienna in a Day Itinerary Outline

Here is an outline of the itinerary and then I’ll get into the details for each thing to do in Vienna below:

Time needed:  1 day

One Day in Vienna Recommended Itinerary

Start your day by heading out of the city center to tour the elegantly impressive Schönbrunn Palace and grounds.

See the City Hall of Vienna and learn more about Austria’s government.

Experience the wonders of Lipizzaner stallions at this one-of-a-kind show.

A stately palace located right in the city center of Vienna.

Tour a house where Mozart lived and learn more about the famous composer.

See the ornate grandeur of this iconic opera house.

If you’re a museum person, choose one to visit in this museum-focused neighborhood of Vienna.

An incredible cathedral right in the heart of the city.

A bonus architectural masterpiece to see if time allows.

Also in this guide are tips on where and what to eat in Vienna, hotel recommendations, Vienna’s cafe culture info, and what to pack for your one day in Vienna.

For the optimal itinerary to experience a wide range of Vienna in a short amount of time – and especially for those who are visiting Vienna for the first time, I’ve put together a recommended itinerary of how you should spend your day in Vienna (modified itinerary recommendations depending on your special interests are listed afterward).

Schönbrunn Palace

Schonbrunn Palace view of Vienna

Though it’s a bit of a trek to get to, Schönbrunn Palace is still a must to make time to see even if short on time in Vienna. Schönbrunn Palace was the summer residence of the Habsburgs in Vienna and it’s an elegant, stately masterpiece to behold.

Schönbrunn Palace was the summer residence of the Habsburgs in Vienna. After the original palace that stood on the grounds was destroyed in 1683, a hunting lodge was put up instead. The hunting lodge stayed until Maria Theresa rose to power; she had the lodge reconstructed into the glorious Schönbrunn Palace and spent summers there. Her servants numbered in the hundreds and the buildings and grounds of Schönbrunn reflect that as there had to be enough space for her servants to live there, too.

One thing you’ll note of Schönbrunn Palace is how warm the coloring of the palace feels. That also is thanks to Maria Theresa who had the palace decorated in walnut paneling with plenty of ornate touches and décor in predominately browns and reds.

In addition to the overall décor and ambiance of Schönbrunn Palace, other notable palace rooms include:

Bedchamber: The bed in this room was where Emperor Franz Josef (who ruled from 1848 to his death in 1916 and was the great-great-grandson of Maria Theresa) died and a painting of him on his deathbed is located in the room. You can also see his grooming tool, which is still the original.

Lavatory of Franz Josef: Note that this is not very elaborate compared to other rooms in Schönbrunn Palace (and most other palaces from the time period) as Franz Josef lived a very frugal lifestyle.

Dressing Room: This room is impressive to behold as it includes a mannequin with an example of Sisi’s hair (Sisi was the nickname of Empress Elisabeth, the beloved wife of Franz Josef), which was so long it reached her ankles. It took hours for servants to do her hair each day.

Bedroom of Franz Josef and Elisabeth: Decorated in beautiful blues and greens.

Family Dining Room: Franz Josef often ate here and enjoyed traditional dishes for special occasions, like Wiener Schnitzel. Sisi rarely joined him in this room as she didn’t eat much in order to retain her figure.

Children’s Room: Here you’ll see the pictures of Maria Theresa’s 11 daughters, all of whom were married off for political reasons except one: Maria Christine. It was well known that Maria Christine was Maria Theresa’s favorite daughter and she was the only one allowed to marry for love.

Mirror Room: Used for family celebrations and small concerts. A notable fact about this room is that Mozart gave a performance in it at the age of 6 in 1762.

Great Gallery: This long room was used for ballrooms, receptions, and banquets. It has excellent examples of rococo art, including frescoes depicting the glorification of the Maria Theresa reign.

Chinese Cabinets: Maria Theresa loved Asian art and these small, beautiful rooms served as a place for card playing and meetings, including secret ones that Maria Theresa would have with her most trusted advisors.

Carousel Room: Has a large painting of the Ladies’ Carousel held by Maria Theresa at a winter riding school after the War of the Austrian Succession as a celebration of the recapture of Prague. Maria Theresa is riding a Lipizzaner horse in the painting.

Walk up to the Gloriette atop the hill by Schonbrunn Palace.

The Grounds of Schönbrunn Palace also have sights you can’t miss:

Garden Maze: The maze, of which there are three interconnected ones, takes about 30 minutes to walk through and opens up to the playground, making Schönbrunn Palace an ideal place to visit in Vienna with kids. One Day Tip: If you don’t have kids, skip the maze unless you absolutely love mazes – there are other sights to see in Vienna that you should be spending your day visiting.

Walking Paths: There are several walking paths to get from the palace up to the Gloriette, an open-air structure that is the highest point on the grounds and provides amazing views of the city of Vienna. You can opt for paths that wind through the woods or open paths zigzagging up the hill along prettily planted flowers and bushes.

Café Gloriette: After doing the slightly strenuous walk up the hill to the Gloriette, take a quick break to enjoy a Schokochino at Café Gloriette. The Schokochino is thick, creamy, frothy coffee goodness with a hint of chocolate flavor. It comes topped with whipped cream, but it’s not sweet; instead, the chocolate just adds to the creaminess of the drink.

View of Vienna from Schonbrunn Palace.

Schönbrunn Palace Quick Facts Address: Schönbrunner Schlossstrasse 47 Metro: Schönbrunn (U4 Line) Hours: April 1 – June 30 and September 1 – October 31, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.; July 1 – August 31, 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.; November 1 – March 31, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Phone: 43 1 811 13 0 Cost: Adults, €11.50; Children (ages 6-18), €8.50; Students (ages 19-25 with International Student ID), €10.50. (These ticket prices are for the Imperial Tour. The Grand Tour, which includes the rooms of Maria Theresa, costs a few euros more, and the Classic Pass is several euros on top of that, which also includes access to the Crown Prince Garden, the maze, and Gloriette – all of these can also be bought separately later on during your time at the palace.) Note: If you bring a backpack or large purse you will need to check it. One Day Tip: Opt for the Imperial Palace tour, which takes about 40 minutes and includes the opulent state rooms and private apartments of Franz Joseph and Sisi. Allow yourself an additional 40 to 60 minutes for walking around the grounds. Also, try to visit Schönbrunn Palace first thing in the morning before the crowds get really thick. You’ll be able to tour it faster and then have the rest of the day to explore the other can’t-miss sites of Vienna.

Rathaus is the city hall of Vienna and is the seat of the mayor plus houses the city council. It was built in 1883 and is an example of Historicism architecture, which blends historic architect styles of the past with a new style that is all its own.

The tower is the most reminiscent of a specific architecture style thanks to its Gothic look. While visiting Rathaus, be sure to look for the Rathausmann, a knight sculpture atop the tower which stands guard over the city. The Rathaus Tower is accessible via 331 steps which take you up spiral staircases to a landing with great views of Vienna, but if you only have one day in Vienna you may want to skip making this trek unless you really want the photo op.

Spanish Riding School

Spanish Riding School

The Spanish Riding School is where the famous Lipizzaner stallions and their riders are trained. The Lipizzaner horses have been bred for the past 200 years and the Spanish Riding School preserves classical equitation, which works to create the perfect harmony between horse and rider.

The Lipizzaner stallions are bred to be the perfect mount for classical horsemanship and for carriage-pulling. A carriage pulled by four horses is considered to be the utmost in carriage driving. The two horses in front are elite and lead the carriage, while the two in back are the pull horses – they provide the strength. These horses must be impeccably trained and must readily respond to the sound of the driver’s voice. Witnessing this type of carriage pulling at the Spanish Riding School gives you an excellent example of the training and elegance the Spanish Riding School is known for.

While at the Spanish Riding School, you’ll also learn about how the horses are selected to be in the performances. It starts with the breeding. Broodmares are specifically chosen to continue strong lines and the foals of the broodmares signify ancestry and character. As foals, they must prove they can learn the appropriate skills and then at six months they are weaned.

The horses learn very early to lift their feet (you’ll see why this is important during a performance at the Spanish Riding School) and are groomed daily so they immediately feel comfortable with humans. At one year the male foals are separated from their mothers and spend the summer in the mountains for training. The rest of the year, these talented stallions perform around the world, including at the Spanish Riding School, where you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back into the Renaissance era while watching a performance.

Spanish Riding School Quick Facts Address: The Visitor Center is at Michaelerplatz 1, which is adjacent to the Spanish Riding School arena. Metro: Herengasse (U3 Line) Phone: 43 1 533 90 31 Hours: Visitor Center hours are open Monday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (and 7 p.m. on Fridays when there is a performance). Performance times and days can vary depending on the time of year though typically there is a performance at 11 a.m. on days when the Spanish Riding School is performing. Cost: Tickets range from €8 to €130 depending on show type and seating area. Reserving your ticket in advance is highly recommended and can be done so at www.srs.at. One Day Tip: This is one place you’ll want to arrive at least 15 minutes early as you’ll have to get in one line to pick up your tickets (at the Visitor Center) then get into another line to get into the arena. Also, to save time, plan on seeing Hofburg Palace before or after the Spanish Riding School performance as the arena is located on the property of Hofburg Palace.

Hofburg Palace

Hofburg Palace

The Spanish Riding School is located in Hofburg Palace, which also is worthy of some of your time in Vienna.

Hofburg Palace, also referred to as the Imperial Palace, has been the home of many members of Austrian royalty, like the Habsburgs, and is still lived in today by the President of Austria plus is the location of the offices for the ministers of the chancellor’s office and the secretaries of state.

During the rule of the Habsburg family, Hofburg Palace served as the center of the Holy Roman Empire as well as the seat of the government and its administration. While visiting Vienna, you can just walk around the Hofburg Palace complex to see its array of different architecture, ranging from Neoclassical to Baroque due to constant expansion over 600 years.

If you’re worried about time, you can quickly walk around the Hofburg Palace complex to see its array of different architecture, ranging from Neoclassical to Baroque. However, if you’re a big fan of Emperor Elisabeth or love old palace décor, you may want to make time to visit Hofburg Palace’s two onsite museums: the Sisi museum (Sisi was Empress Elisabeth’s nickname) and the Imperial rooms of the palace.

Sisi Museum

The Sisi Museum located in Hofburg Palace is a museum dedicated to Empress Elizabeth, who became a beloved icon of Austria during her reign in the 19th century and was mostly called by her nickname, Sisi. Married to Emperor Franz Joseph I and known for her elaborate hairdos and fashion, Sisi loved the finer things in life while also rebelling against the royal life. The museum focuses on her life as a young girl in Bavaria to her life as the Empress of Austria, including her love for traveling and riding horses, to her assassination in 1898 as well her inner conflict of being in the public eye. The Museum of Sisi also houses some of her personal artifacts, including some of her elaborate fashion from that era, and the best paintings of her. 

Imperial Rooms

Though most rooms of Hofburg Palace are still used for governmental purposes, the Imperial Rooms are open to the public and can be toured to get a glimpse of life as it was during the Habsburg era. During your time in the Imperial Rooms, you’ll learn more about the Habsburg family and how they lived as Hofburg Palace served as the winter residence of the Habsburgs for over 600 years. The Imperial Rooms include the apartments of Franz Joseph and Sisi, which includes bedrooms, exercise rooms and dressing rooms, still decorated as they would have been in the 19 th century.

Hofburg Palace Quick Tips Address: Innerer Burghof Phone: 43 1 533 75 70 Metro: Herrengasse (U3 Line) Hours: September – June, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; July – August, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Cost: Adults, €11.50; Children ages 6 – 18, €7; Students ages 19 – 25, €10.50. Includes Sisi Museum and Imperial Rooms plus an audio guide; tours with a human guide costs €2 more, last 55 minutes, and are offered daily at 2 p.m. One Day Tip: If short on time, just walk around the grounds open to the public and skip a museum unless you’re very interested in learning more about Sisi or enjoy historic architecture. You’ll learn a bit about her during the audio tour at Schönbrunn Palace and the Imperial Rooms are also similar in style to what you’ll see at Schönbrunn Palace.

Vienna State Opera & Musical Performance

Vienna State Opera

Now we’re onto the music part of your time in Vienna.

The musical side of Vienna is one you cannot miss experiencing during your one day in Vienna.

The Vienna State Opera is Vienna’s most famous musical landmark and you should at least walk by it to take in its beautiful ornate architecture and see the stars of composers lining the ground – a more sophisticated version of Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.

One Day in Vienna: Composer Star on the Sidewalk in Vienna

The Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper in German) is Vienna’s premier opera house and one of the most famous opera houses in the world. The Vienna State Opera opened in 1869 after careful designing for optimum sound by architect August Sicard von Sicardsburg. Starting with the performance of Mozart’s Don Juan, the Vienna State Opera has had a long history of incredible performances.

The sound engineering of Vienna State Opera got an updated overhaul in the 1940s after tragic bombings were inflicted to the building by the Nazis during World War II. The opera house was painstakingly rebuilt and reopened in 1955.

After being the place of persecution during World War II under the Nazi regime when many members of the opera house were driven out of Vienna or killed during the war and when most musical works of art were not allowed to be played, the rebuilding of the Vienna State Opera was symbolic of the rebuilding of Vienna and its new independence after the war.

Visitors to Vienna can opt to take a guided tour of the Vienna State Opera to learn more about the history and present day operations of the beloved institution. Inside the opera house, look for these elements while touring the famous building:

Frescoes: The famous “Zauberflöten” (meaning Magic Flute) series of frescoes on the veranda of Vienna State Opera. These frescoes were painted by Moritz von Schwind, a prominent artist of the era.

The Grand Staircase: Gorgeous to behold and one of the few parts of the opera house that was spared damage during the World War II bombings.

Schwind Foyer: Also spared during bombings, this ornate foyer has a beautiful frescoed ceiling, painted by Moritz von Schwind, a Vienna-born painter.

Performance Hall: This is where the musical magic happens. The Performance Hall of the Vienna State Opera is considered one of the best concert halls in the world for a reason: not only is it a gorgeous circular space, the design of the hall creates beautiful sounding acoustics.

The guided tour also provides access to the State Opera Museum, which is open Tuesday through Sunday and includes information and artifacts about performers who have wielded their talents at the Vienna State Opera House, as well as the history of the museum.

Vienna State Opera Quick Facts Address: Opernring 2 Metro: Karlsplatz (U1, U2, or U4 Line) Phone: 43 1 514 44 78 80 Hours: Tour times vary by day and time of year. Check here for tour times on the day you want to visit. For a guaranteed tour of the stage area as well, opt for the 10 a.m. tour on Sunday. Also note that on Mondays the State Opera Museum is closed so is not included in the tour. Cost: Adults: €6.50; Seniors 65 and older, €5.50; Students, €3.50. Tickets are €1.50 less on Mondays when the State Opera Museum is closed. One Day Tip: The guided tour lasts 40 minutes. Give yourself more time to see other Vienna sites during the day by visiting the Vienna Opera House at night while taking in a performance. Tips on getting tickets to a performance can be found under the Nightlife section of this guide.

One Night Tip: If you can, see a show at the Vienna State Opera, but don’t worry if it’s sold out or you’re there in July and August during its hiatus as there are plenty of other wonderful places to hear music in Vienna, including my favorite, the Musikverein where you can see the Vienna Mozart Orchestra perform in historical costumes and wigs. The musical shows are often in the evening and make a good ending to your day in Vienna.

But before you get to the evening part of your day in Vienna, there are still other sites to see, including additional musical ones, like the Mozart House…

Mozart House

Mozart House

One of the most famous residents of Vienna’s past is the composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In 1781, at the age of 25, Mozart moved to Vienna after giving up his teaching position in Salzburg. He spent the most profitable years of his life in Vienna in the apartment now known as the Mozart House, which you can tour during your time in Vienna.

During the tour of the Mozart House, you’ll see important memorabilia from Mozart’s time on this earth, including some of his musical compositions, pictures of him and his wife, and his death announcement. You’ll also learn about his family, his gambling issues, his aristocratic connections and love for the finer things in life, how he made money as an “avant-garde free musician,” and his work for the Imperial Palace of Vienna.

You’ll also get a sense for how Mozart and other affluent people lived in the 18 th century as you walk through each room of the house.

Mozart House Quick Tips Address: Domgasse 5 Metro: Stephansplatz (U1 or U3 Line) Phone: 43 1 512 17 91 Hours: Open daily, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.; last admission at 6:30 p.m. Cost: Adults, €10; Children 14 years and younger, €3; Family Ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children), €20. Ticket includes an informative audio guide. One Day Tip: If you’re feeling short on time, choose the two rooms of most interest to you to listen to the audio guide. In the other rooms, scan the information cards and listen to the numbers that most interest you and skip the rest; this will help you get through Mozart House more quickly while still getting a large amount of history and information out of your experience.

St. Stephen’s Cathedral

St. Stephen’s Cathedral

If there’s one historic church you should see while in Vienna, it should be St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

St. Stephen’s Cathedral (referred to as Stephansdom in Vienna) combines Romanesque and Gothic architecture that blends together impressively as its prominent spire juts up from the city center. Construction on St. Stephen’s was started in the 12 th century (though it underwent extensive rebuilds after World War II) and since then has been a prominent landmark in central Vienna. The church is of Roman Catholic denomination and still holds weekly masses. While touring the church, take note of the following aspects:

The Pulpit: Carved in stone by Anton Pilgram, the impressive pulpit was built in the 1500s and is located under a soaring Gothic ceiling.

The Virgin’s Choir: This Baroque section of the church is home to the opulent Wiener Neustädter Altar, a winged altar depicting scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary and which dates back to 1447.

South Tower (Steffl): Head up the more than 340 steps to get to the top of this tower for glorious views of Vienna.

Catacombs: This is where some of the bodily remains of the Habsburgs are kept, including urns of their entrails. You’ll also see where bishops are buried. In addition, you’ll see creepy sights like a pile of bones left over from the Black Plague stacked up in the catacombs like firewood. The catacombs can only be seen through a guided tour.

St. Stephen’s Cathedral Quick Tips Address: Stephansplatz 3 Metro: Stephansplatz (U1 or U3 Line) Phone: 43 1 515 52 37 67 Cost and Hours: Walking around the cathedral on your own is free and can be done Monday – Saturday, 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Sunday, 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. Note that during mass you won’t be able to have as much free range to walk around. The catacombs and the towers require a fee to access with more limited hours: Catacomb Tour: Adults, €5; Children 14 years and under, €2; with tours leaving every 15 – 30 minutes Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Sundays from 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. South Tower: Adults, €4; Children ages 6 -14, €1.50; tower is open Monday – Sunday 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

MuseumsQuartier

The next place to soak up some museum wisdom is in Vienna’s Museum Quartier, one of the largest art and culture complexes in the world. The buildings that make up the MuseumsQuartier date back to the 18 th and 19 th century and are lovely to walk around as they are surrounded by creatively designed gardens and courtyards plus quaint cafes. Inside the buildings, you’ll find a multitude of impressive art collections. Museums include:

Leopold Museum – This museum is home to an impressive collection of Viennese pieces of art, with a highlight on Art Nouveau and Classical Modernism. Fans of Egon Schiele will also enjoy this museum as it has some of his most important works. Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Tuesday, Closed. Cost: €12

museum moderner kunst stiftung ludwig wien (mumok) – Modern art lovers will enjoy the mumok museum (which writes its name lowercase) as it is the largest in central Europe for contemporary and modern art and has a wide range of international pieces. Hours: Monday, 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.; Wednesday and Friday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, Closed. Cost: €10

Kunsthalle Wien – A visit here will delight you if you’re more into subjects than paintbrushes as it focuses on photography, video, and other forms of new media. Hours: Daily except Thursday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Cost: €12

Architekturzentrum Wien – This museum has an ever-changing exhibit featuring events and research related to contemporary architecture. Hours: Daily, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Cost: €7

Naturhistoriches Museum Vienna – With over 30 million artifacts and specimen housed under its roof, it’s no wonder the Naturhistoriches Museum Vienna, or Natural History Museum Vienna, is one of the most acclaimed natural history museums in the world. Originally founded in 1750 by Emperor Franz I Stephan of Lorraine, today the museum houses an array of famous and unique holdings. See the Venus of Willendorf, the skeletal remains of the extinct Stellar’s Sea Cow, or marvel at the dinosaur bones. You can also view the world’s largest meteorite collection while at the museum. Hours: Wednesday, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Thursday – Monday, 9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Closed. Cost: Adults, €10; Students under age 27, €5; Children under age 19 are free.

ZOOM Kindermuseum – This hands-on art and culture museum is designed just for kids and is great for families with young children visiting Vienna. Hours: Tuesday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Saturday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Monday, Closed. Cost: Free for exhibits; certain activities cost extra.

Kunsthistorisches Museum – The main collections of this museum are those of the Habsburgs, which makes sense as this museum was originally built to house the imperial collections. Since its opening in 1891, the Kunsthistorisches Museum has expanded its collections to include artwork from Egypt, the Greek and Roman Antiquities collection, and an impressive Picture Gallery that includes artwork from Rembrandt, Raphael, and Peter Paul Rubens. Cost: Adults, €14; Children under 19 are free. Hours: Monday – Wednesday and Friday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

The MuseumsQuartier is also home to dance theaters and venues for musical and theater performances.

MuseumsQuartier Quick Tips Address: Museumsplatz 1/5 Metro: Museumsquartier (U2 Line) Phone: 43 1 523 58 81 One Day Tip: Even if you’re not a museum person and don’t want to visit any of the museums of the MuseumsQuartier, it is still worth a visit to walk around and soak in the historic buildings and courtyards. If you don’t visit a museum, then check out other activities to fill your time under the Modified Itineraries section

Austrian National Library

Skip MuseumsQuartier and head to this museum instead if you’re a book lover. The Austrian National Library is the oldest library in Austria and houses over eight million books and historic artifacts, with some dating back to the 14 th century.

The Austrian National Library serves as a center for information and research, though visitors not researching an academic paper will still enjoy touring it and its onsite museums, where you can see the world’s largest papyrus collection, a collection of historic globes, the beautiful Baroque Hall of State, rare books, music manuscripts and opera texts, and much more.

Austrian National Library Quick Tips Address: Josefsplatz 1 Phone: 43 1 534 10 Metro: Herrengasse (U3 Line) Hours: Tuesday – Wednesday and Friday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Closed Monday. Cost: Visitors have two different ticket options, which can be purchased together, depending on your interests: State Hall Only Ticket – Adults, €7; Children under 19 years old are free with purchase of adult ticket. Combi Ticket for the Esperanto, Globe, and Papyrus Museums – Adults, €4; Children under 19 years old are free with purchase of adult ticket.

If you’re into stately architecture and palaces you may want to try to squeeze one more stop into your one day in Vienna itinerary: the Belvedere.

The Belvedere consists of two 18 th century palaces, the Upper Belvedere and the Lower Belvedere, that are beautiful examples of Baroque architecture. Today, visitors can see the architecture up close while touring the museum exhibits located on the premises of the Belvedere palaces. The Upper Belvedere also has excellent views of Vienna – ideal for those looking for a good photo op of the city.

In the Upper Belvedere, you’ll have the chance to see incredible works of Austrian art, some of which date back to the Middle Ages. The museum also hosts contemporary Austria artworks.

The Lower Belvedere is still largely decorated in 18 th century décor and has many impressive rooms, including the Marble Hall, which has ceiling frescoes and other artwork on the walls, and the Marble Gallery, which has statues highlighted under scalloped arches.

The Belvedere also is adjacent to two other attractions. The first one is 21er Haus, a museum of contemporary art in an architecturally alluring building built in 1958 that has an exterior of steel and windows and which was incorporated into the Belvedere in 2002. The other extra attraction is the Winter Palace, which a baroque beauty that once served as the palace of Prince Eugene of Savoy and today is set up to showcase the baroque interior and collections of contemporary art.

Belvedere Quick Tips Address: Prinz Eugen-Straße 27 Metro: Hauptbahnhof (U1 Line) Phone: 43 1 795 57 134 Hours: Daily, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Lower Belvedere is open until 9 p.m. on Wednesday. 21er Haus is open until 9 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday and closed on Monday and Tuesday.) Cost: Upper Belvedere: €12.50; Lower Belvedere: €11; Upper and Lower Belvedere: €22.50; Upper/Lower Belvedere and 21er Haus: €22.50; Upper/Lower Belvedere, 21er Haus, and Winter Palace: €30. (Prices listed are for adults, kids 18 and younger are free.)

Where to Sleep in Vienna

Vienna has a variety of places to stay from B&Bs to 5-star luxury. Vienna is not known for being affordable for travelers, but it’s worth it to splurge a bit with your budget to stay in the city center.

Top Pick B&B:  Aviano Boutique Hotel

Aviano is located about as centrally as you can get in Vienna’s stately and opulent downtown area and is one of the best values in the city. As a result of its location, you might expect lots of people and an urban atmosphere and while that certainly applies to everything surrounding the Viennese building that Aviano Boutique Hotel feels like a calm oasis. The second the small elevator opens onto the upper floor of the building Aviano is located in, you’ll enter a peaceful B&B.

The dining area has an old-fashioned, romantic vibe that is a perfect place to start your day with the delicious complimentary breakfast in beautiful Vienna. Inside the rooms, small touches prevail. Though there is no air conditioning (a caveat of staying in an older building) fans are placed in the rooms to keep it cool during the summer months.

The décor in the guest rooms of Aviano are exactly as you would expect in a place as historic and romantic as Vienna. Ornate wallpaper and old-fashioned boudoirs line the room, and intricate chandeliers hang from the ceiling. Leave your room and head outside and you’re just a few minutes’ walk away from some of Vienna’s top sights, including the Vienna State Opera. I loved my stay there and highly recommend it.

  • Click here to see photos and rates for Aviano Hotel .

Luxury Hotel:  Hotel Sacher Wien

Want to sleep where John F. Kennedy and Queen Elizabeth II have rested their heads? Head to Hotel Sacher Vienna, a luxurious hotel centrally located in Vienna that also gives you direct access to the adjacent Sacher Café, where you can fill up to your heart’s delight on tortes and Viennese hot chocolate. But let’s move our minds away from food and back to the rooms. Hotel Sacher has opulent guest rooms with painstaking attention to details that will enhance your comfort level during your stay. Rooms are decorated in soothing colors and have crystal chandeliers and well-stocked mini bars, while the beds are outfitted with high quality bedding and the bathrooms have luxury toiletries and spacious countertops, tubs, and showers.  

  • Click here to see photos and rates for Hotel Sacher Wien .

Budget-Friendly Hostel Ruthensteiner

The clean and friendly Hostel Ruthensteiner has a convenient location a short walk from Westbahnhof train station, which is located between Schönbrunn Palace and Old Town. In addition to rooms ranging from 6-10 bed dorm rooms (including female only ones) to private rooms for one to five people, some with ensuites, you’ll find a host of extras at Ruthensteiner Hostel.

Grab a drink at the onsite bar or take your pick from the wall of musical instruments and start an impromptu concert with some of the other hostel dwellers. In addition, there is free Wi-Fi, hair dryers, 24 hour reception, lockers, kitchen, and laundry facilities. In addition, you can book tours and rent bicycles and even iPads at the front desk.

You can also search for the perfect Vienna hotel for you by using Booking.com, which is one of my favorite hotel booking sites since it is super easy to use and see the rooms available, plus has free cancellation for most rooms.

One Day in Vienna Modified Itinerary Ideas

Visiting the recommended sites I listed above will give you a great feel for the history and culture of Vienna. To add more into the day would really rush things, and you’ll want to enjoy your time at each site. However, since not everyone places similar value on the same types of attractions when traveling, here are some other sites you may want to visit while in Vienna.

Each site includes a recommendation on what to substitute from the One Day in Vienna recommended itinerary, which are chosen based on time constraints while still getting a similar cultural experience from your day; however, you may want to spend your entire day at museums or more time at the parks so rearrange and pick and choose your ideal day as you desire.

Vienna Itinerary Modification for Park Lovers: Stadtpark

If you enjoy park settings, then Stadtpark in Vienna is worth some of your time during your day in the city. Elegant landscaping and colorful flowers dot a grassy setting with meandering trails and bridges along the River Wien.

The focal point of Stadtpark is the Johann Strauss statue; a bronze statue of the revered composer playing the violin is elevated on a platform beneath an arch, surrounded by greenery and flowers.

Stadtpark Quick Tips Address: Located between Parkring and Am Heumarkt Metro: Stadtpark (U4 Line) Phone: 43 1 400 080 42 Hours: Open 24 hours a day. Cost: Free What to Substitute from the Recommended Itinerary: St. Stephen’s Cathedral or Rathaus for a short stay, or Hofburg Palace or one of the museum’s in the MuseumsQuartier for a longer stroll through the park.

Vienna Itinerary Modification for Architect Buffs: Hundertwasserhaus

Hundertwasserhaus requires a bit of a jaunt outside the city center to the Landstraße district, but it’s worth it for those who like interesting architecture.

Hundertwasserhaus was completed in 1985 and is the creation of artist/architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, an Austrian-born architect and artist known for his contemporary creations. Hundertwasserhaus is immediately eye-catching with an exterior of bright paint colors wrapping around the windows in colorful, curvy blocks and over 200 types of trees and plants grow on its rooftop.

The inside of the building can’t be toured as it is actually inhabited by lucky tenants, but this is one building that’s well worth visiting to see the exterior. If you do want to see inside a Friedensreich Hundertwasser creation, head to the nearby Kunst Haus Wien, a building his designs influenced which houses the Hundertwasser Museum about his life and the construction of Hundertwasserhaus. The museum also has temporary exhibits of other artists’ works.

Hundertwasserhaus Quick Tips Address: Kegelgasse 36-38 Metro: Rochusgasse (U3 Line) Phone: 43 1 470 12 12 Hours: 24 hours a day Cost: Free What to Substitute from the Recommended Itinerary: Schönbrunn Palace

Kunst Haus Wien Quick Tips Address: Untere Weißgerberstraße 13 Metro: Rochusgasse (U3 Line) Phone: 43 1 712 04 91 Hours: Open daily, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Cost: Hundertwasser Museum or Temporary Museum: Adults, €10; Children and Teens ages 11 – 18 years old, €5; Families (2 Adults and up to 4 children – children can be 18 years old and younger), €22. Hundertwasser Museum and Temporary Museum: Adults, €12; Children and Teens ages 11 – 18 years old, €6; Families (2 adults and up to 4 children – children can be 18 years old and younger), €26. Children ages 10 and younger are free. What to Substitute from the Recommended Itinerary: Schönbrunn Palace

Vienna Itinerary Modification for Church Lovers: St. Peter’s Church

St. Peter’s Church is a glorious Baroque church tucked into a corner of Petersplatz square that stands on a plot of land believed to have been used by Christians as a place of worship as far back as the 4th century and thus is considered to be the oldest Christian site in Vienna.

The present chapel was built in the early 1700s. A visit inside is worth it to view the impressive fresco in the dome portion of the ceiling depicting the Coronation of the Virgin.

St. Peter’s Church Quick Tips Address:  Petersplatz Metro: Stephansplatz (U1 or U3 Line) Phone: 43 1 533 64 33 Hours:  Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Saturday – Sunday, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Cost: Free What to Substitute from the Recommended Itinerary: Rathaus or Mozart House if you want to spend extra time in St. Peter’s Church, otherwise you can quickly pop into this church after visiting St. Stephen’s Cathedral as the two churches only take a few minutes to walk between.

Vienna Itinerary Modification for Photo Snappers: Danube Tower (Donauturm)

The Danube Tower is the highest structure in Austria, standing tall at 252 meters. The Danube Tower is located in pretty Donaupark and was built in 1964 for the Viennese International Horticultural Show. The terrace at the top of the Danube Tower is a great spot for sky high views of Vienna and to get panoramic pictures of the cityscape. There are also two revolving restaurants at the top of the Danube Tower (see restaurant section).

Danube Tower Quick Tips Address: Donauturmstraße 4 Metro: Alte Donau (U1 Line) Phone: 43 1 263 35 72 Hours: Open daily, 10 a.m. to midnight. Last lift up to the terrace departs at 11:30 p.m. Cost: Adults, €7.40; Children ages 6 to 14, €5.20; Children under 6 are free. What to Substitute from the Recommended Itinerary: Upper Belvedere

Modification for Music (and Beethoven in Particular) Fans: Eroicahaus

Eroicahaus is where Beethoven spent the summer of 1803 to work on his third symphony, Eroica . Referred to today as the Wien Museum Beethoven Eroicahaus, the layout of this small museum reflects this moment in time and has rooms with musical instruments and the set up that Beethoven probably enjoyed to compose his music.

Eroicahaus is located in the town of Oberdöbling near the Vienna Woods and touring Eroicahaus will give you a feel for what it was like to live in Oberdöbling in the early 1800s when it was still very rural.

Eroicahaus Quick Tips Address: Döblinger Main Road 92 Metro: Heiligenstadt Bf (U4 Line) Note: It’s a 20 minute walk from Heiligenstadt Bf – take a cab or Tram 37 to Pokornygasse to get dropped off closer to Eroicahaus. Phone: 43 1 369 14 24 Hours: Open by appointment only. Call 43-1-505 8747-85173 at least two weeks in advance. Cost: Adults, €4; Children under age 19, Free. Tip: Keep your ticket stub from the Mozart House to get €1 off your admission. What to Substitute from the Recommended Itinerary: MuseumsQuartier or Hofburg Palace

Modification for Those Wanting to Learn More About Vienna’s Government: Parliament Building

Vienna is the capital of Austria and you can learn about the top government officials and how law and policy making works in Austria at the Austrian Parliament Building. While touring the Parliament Building you’ll learn about the National Council and the Federal Council plus see the room of the Federal Assembly (if it’s not in session).

The Parliament Building is also stunning in and of itself and you’ll hear about the architectural features and historical background of the building.

Parliament Building Quick Tips Address: Dr. Karl Renner-Ring 3 Metro: Rathaus (U2 Line) Phone: 43 1 401 10 24 00 Hours: Beginning of September – Mid-July (depending on end of session): Monday – Saturday, tours at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m. On Friday there is also a tour at 1 p.m. and on Saturday there are also tours at 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. Mid-July – Beginning of September: Monday – Saturday, tours at 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m. Cost: Adults, €5; Students, €2.50; Children ages 19 and under, Free. Entrance fee covers hour-long guided tour of the Austrian Parliament. What to Substitute from the Recommended Itinerary: MuseumsQuartier or Mozart House

Vienna Itinerary Modification for Sky-High Fun: Riesenrad

The Riesenrad, also referred to as the Vienna Giant Wheel, is a Ferris wheel located in Vienna’s Prater Park. Originally built in 1897 for the Golden Jubilee celebration of Emperor Franz Joseph I, the Riesenrad was rebuilt in 1945 after a fire burned down the original structure. The rebuilt Ferris wheel has cabins that look like a throwback to another era with red interior that encloses seats inside and large windows from which you can see gorgeous views of Vienna.

You can also learn more about the history of Vienna, particularly the Prater area, in the Panorama exhibit, which has eight different old Ferris wheel cabins that today house installed replications of scenes from Vienna’s past.

Riesenrad Quick Tips Address: Riesenradplatz 1 Metro: Praterstern Bf (U1 Line) Phone: 43 1 729 54 30 Hours: January 1 – January 6, March 1 – April 11, October 1 – November 2, November 22 – December 30: 10 a.m. – 9:45 p.m. January 18 – February 28, November 3 – November 21: 10 a.m. – 7:45 p.m. April 12 – August 31: 9 a.m. – 11: 45 p.m. September 1 – September 30: 9 a.m. – 10:45 p.m. December 31: 10 a.m. – 2 a.m. Cost: Adults, €9; Children ages 3 – 14, €4; Children under 3, Free. What to Substitute from the Recommended Itinerary: Rathaus or Upper Belvedere

Vienna Itinerary Modification for Families: Prater Park

The Riesenrad isn’t the only attraction in Prater Park. There is also the Grottenbahn, a collection of thirty eccentrically decorated grottos that reflect stories from fairy tales and you visit each grotto via a pleasant train ride. Families who want more adventures in the sky can go for a ride on the Praterturm, the world’s highest flying swing at 117 meters.

A planetarium is also located in Prater Park, which will teach kids about astronomy. There is also a rollercoaster, light rail, restaurant and more on the grounds of Prater Park.

Prater Park Quick Tips Address: Wiener Praterverband Phone: 43 1 728 05 16 Metro: Praterstern Bf (U1 Line) Hours: The grounds of Prater Park are open 24 hours, though rides and attractions on the grounds have limited operating hours. Aim to arrive in late morning to early afternoon in order to take full advantage of the attractions. Cost: Entering Prater Park is free, though the attractions cost extra ranging from €2 to €9. What to Substitute from the Recommended Itinerary: Schönbrunn Palace or Hofburg Palace

Vienna Itinerary Modification for Animal Lovers: Schönbrunn Zoo

Often voted one of Europe’s best zoos, the Schönbrunn Zoo is located within the Tiergarten grounds of Schönbrunn Palace. The Schönbrunn Zoo is the world’s oldest zoo and while visiting it you can see where Emperor Francis Stephen of Lorraine kept his menagerie of animals during his reign.

The zoo has over 700 species, including Siberian tigers, panda bears, and elephants. It is a great attraction for those who love seeing animals and is also an ideal kid-friendly activity in Vienna.

Schönbrunn Zoo Quick Tips Address: Schönbrunner Tiergarten-Gesellschaft m.b.H. Metro: Station Hietzing (U4 Line) Phone: +43 1 877 92 94-0 Hours: Open Daily. February, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; March and October, 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.; April – September, 9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.; November – January, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Cost: Adults, €16.50; Children ages 6 – 18, €8; Children under 6, Free What to Substitute from the Recommended Itinerary: MuseumsQuartier and Belvedere

Vienna Itinerary Modification for Nature Lovers: Vienna Woods

If nature is more your thing than history, you may opt to spend your afternoon in Vienna outside the cosmopolitan city center and instead head to the Vienna Woods, a protected UNESCO-designated biosphere reserve that is adjacent to the city of Vienna to the southwest and is part of the Alps’ foothills. The Vienna Woods covers nearly 25,000 acres and consists of numerous rugged hiking trails through thickly planted trees and plants.

Wine lovers will enjoy the many vineyards that are part of the Vienna Woods and which loop around quaint villages, where you can often find a shop to do a tasting in. Grinzing and Neustift am Walde are popular wine villages.

If you like to hike with a destination in mind, walk to the Stefanie-wart Look-out, which has fantastic views across the woods and surrounding countryside and mountains. While walking around Vienna Woods, keep in mind – and an eye out for – the over 150 bird species that call it home, including the endangered Ural Owl.

Vienna Woods Quick Tips Address: Anton-Krieger-Gasse / Kalksburger Straße Getting There: While there are bus lines that will take you to Vienna Woods, they are time consuming and sporadic. If short on time in Vienna, it’s best to rent a car for the day and have the option to drive directly to what you wish to see in Vienna Woods. The A1 or A23 to the A21 road will take you from Vienna’s city center to the Vienna Woods. Cost: Free, though activities in certain areas may cost extra. What to Substitute from the Recommended Itinerary: Schönbrunn Palace

Vienna Itinerary Ideas for Shopping

Ringstrassen-galerien.

The lobby of one of Vienna’s most opulent hotels, the Grand Hotel Wien, is also home to the city’s best upscale shopping. You’ll get to browse through clothing, jewelry, and lifestyle shops in a luxurious, unique setting. There are over 70 shops and they include both Austrian and international labels. Address: Kärntner Ring 5 – 7 and 9 – 13 Metro: Karlsplatz (U1, U2, or U4 Line) Phone: 43 1 512 51 81 Hours: Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Closed Sunday.

Naschmarkt is a food market located in Vienna that has over 120 stands and which is home to a large flea market every Sunday. If you love bargain shopping and are in Vienna on a Saturday, it’s a must-visit. Address: Naschmarkt by Wienzeile Metro: Kettenbrückengasse (U4 Line) Hours: Saturday, 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Where to Eat in Vienna

I’m going to break this section into three parts: wine gardens, non-wine garden restaurants by some of Vienna’s main attractions, and cafe culture.

If you just have 24 hours in Vienna, I recommend checking out one of the wine garden restaurants because I think they’re such a neat aspect of Vienna. But I also recommend some restaurants right in the city center in case you’re especially short on time. Cafe culture also can’t be missed in Vienna and is practically an attraction unto itself.

Wine Garden Dining

Unlike most of its European neighbors, Vienna is known more for its wine gardens than beer gardens, thanks to the nearby wine-making region in Vienna Woods. Vienna is the only major city in the world that has a wine region with vineyards within its city limits. And Vienna is beautiful with wonderful weather in the non-winter months, meaning wine gardens are a lovely way to enjoy a glass of Viennese wine with some delicious Austrian cuisine. Here are some of the top winery-operated restaurants to check out:

Pffarwirt in Grinzing

The patio of this restaurant is completely surrounded by bright green shrubbery and the large tree in the center creates a canopy of branches over nearby tables. The food is delicious and this wine garden carries some of the best wine you can find in Vienna. Try the perfectly cooked Wiener Schnitzel. Address: Pfarrplatz 5 Phone: 43 1 370 73 73

Wiengut Mayer am Pfarrplatz Beethoven-Haus

This looks like a beer garden at first glance thanks to wooden tables flanked by large trees within an open air setting. But the specialty of this place is the wine, served alongside Austrian fare. What makes it even more special is that it gets its name because it’s located in Beethoven’s former home. Address: Pfarrplatz 2 Phone: 43 1 370 12 87

Non Wine-Garden Dining

This elegant restaurant is located in lovely Stadtpark and is one of the top gourmet restaurants in Vienna. Try to reserve a seat on the patio or terrace to enjoy your meal of delectable Austrian cuisine. Address: Am Heumarkt 2A / im Stadtpark Phone: 43 1 713 31 68

Herzog’s Wirtshaus

This local favorite located by Schönbrunn Palace provides affordable cuisine in a quaint setting. It serves up traditional Austrian favorites with fresh local ingredients and is family-run. Address: Sechshauser Straße 120 Phone: 43 1 893 69 29

This is a brewery, distillery, and restaurant and provides a fun dining experience. Sip on local Austrian beer while you browse the menu full of hearty traditional fare. Try the beer spread for your bread as an appetizer and the Schinkenfleckerl (Austrian pasta with ham) for your main meal. Address: Rennweg 8 Phone: 43 1 799 59 92

Café Culture in Vienna

Vienna is known for its incredible coffees that are thick, creamy, and delicious plus its decadent desserts. Luckily for visitors to Vienna there are plenty of opportunities to drink Viennese Coffee and eat some sweets due to the many cafes dotted around the city. Here are a couple great ones to stop at for a cup of coffee or yummy treat:

Café Sacher Wien

Café Sacher Wien is a famous café in Vienna. Located adjacent to the Hotel Sacher, it features pretty fantastic décor with touches of romanticism, red upholstered tables and stately chairs plus a long bar you can sidle up to and order a quick cup of Viennese Coffee. If coffee’s not your thing, try their hot chocolate – it’s divine. You’ll also want to make sure you order a slice of the café’s Original Sacher-Torte. Address: Philharmonikerstraße 4 Phone: 43 1 514 566 61

Demel is home to sweets and confectionary so delicious that Empress Sisi would have them personally delivered to her. Demel, the origin of which dates back to 1786, is still serving up its sweets and pastries to visitors from around the world. Stop at the shop to pick up some delicacies, then take a moment to watch the bakers do their tasty work as the baking area of Demel is visible to the public through the elaborate and ever changing shop window display.

Demel also has excellent Viennese coffee and hot chocolate. For those who are interested in learning more about Demel’s past, there is an adjacent museum that covers the history of Demel and Viennese chocolate and sweets. Address: Kohlmarkt 14 Phone: 43 1 535 171 70

One Day Tip: There is often a wait to grab a table – get your sweets to go and instead enjoy when touring Rathauspark or Stadtpark (see modified itinerary section), or for a pick-me-up when you get back to your hotel before getting ready for the night.

Vienna Nightlife

Vienna isn’t really the place to hit the clubs if you’re short on time and only have one or two nights there. Instead, take in a musical performance. It’s what Vienna is known for and some of the best concert musicians and opera singers in the world congregate here. Two of the most popular places to take in a show are the Vienna State Opera and Musikverein.

Vienna State Opera Quick Tips

What: Afternoon and evening performances of operas and ballets in Vienna’s most famous opera house. Address: Opernring 2 Metro: Karlsplatz (U1, U2, or U4 Line) Phone: 43 1 514 44 78 80 Cost: Tickets range from €8 – €250 with many price points in between, depending on where in the theater the seats are located. The lower priced tickets have a restricted view of the stage. How to Purchase Tickets: Go to the concert venue website and click on “purchase tickets” under the performance you wish to attend. There are also ticket offices in Vienna where you can buy tickets, but this can be risky as shows often sell out weeks in advance. Note: It is important to know that if your dream of visiting Vienna must include attending a show at the Vienna State Opera, then you should not visit the city in July or August as the Vienna State Opera does not do any performances during this month.

Musikverein Quick Tips

What: A historical, beautiful concert hall in Vienna mostly hosting orchestras and opera singers, of which the most popular performances are the ones by the Vienna Mozart Orchestra, whose musicians perform dressed in historical costumes and wigs. Address: Musikverein Platz 1 Metro: Stadtpark (U4 Line) Phone: 43 1 505 81 90 Cost: Vienna Mozart Orchestra: €45 – €89; other performances have tickets starting from €5. How to Purchase Tickets: Tickets can be purchased online here . Choose the performance you wish to see and choose your ticket by category. You can also purchase tickets at the Musikverein box office located on the left side of the Musikverein building on Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. (9 a.m. – 12 p.m. during July and August) and Saturday from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. plus one hour before concerts. For best seat selection, purchase your ticket online in advance.

Alternate Nightlife Option: Medusa Restaurant and Club

For those looking for a drink at a lively establishment, Medusa is a good choice as it’s located right in the heart of Vienna’s bustling city center. A patio with lounge seating is available outside or you can head indoors to find a table amidst trendy décor in the lounge or club area. Medusa has local wines available plus a full bar.

Address:  Neuer Markt 8 Phone: 43 676 60 57 286

Vienna Transportation

A key to making the most of your day in Vienna is getting into the city center as quickly as possible and then expertly making your way around the city once you’ve arrived.

Getting to Vienna

Most people arrive to Vienna via three different methods:

By Air: Vienna International Airport (VIE) is located 10 miles east of the city center. The fast economical way to get into the city from Vienna International Airport is to take the 16-minute City Airport Train (CAT) to the Wien Mitte/Landstraße stop in the city center. This train operates into the city from 6:05 a.m. to 11:35 p.m. and returns to the airport from Wien Mitte/Landstraße between 5:38 a.m. to 11:08 p.m. It departs every 30 minutes. The cost is €11 for one way or €17 for roundtrip and you can buy your ticket when you arrive from ticket machines or the tourist information desk at the airport. From Wien Mitte/Landstraße you can jump on the U-Bahn metro to your hotel or starting point for the day. You can also take a bus into the city center: Postbus line 1185. This bus service runs daily from the airport between 4:50 a.m. and 1:20 a.m. with departures every half hour on the 20 minute and 50 minute mark. The bus takes around 22 minutes to reach the city center and costs €8 one way. Another quick way – which may be faster as it alleviates having to switch onto the U-Bahn – but more expensive is to take a taxi. A taxi into the city center from Vienna International Airport takes roughly 35 minutes and costs around €40-50, though if you book your transportation in advance you can get a special airport tariff rate that may save you €5 to €10. Check http://www.flughafentaxi-wien.at/#taxis for a list of such companies that let you reserve in advance.  

By Train: Vienna’s main train station is Westbahnhof Station, which services domestic and international arrivals and departures and is located just west of the city center. A convenient aspect of Westbahnhof Station is that it’s adjacent to the city metro (Lines U3 and U6 run directly through Westbahnhof) so as soon as you arrive, you’re set to immediately begin exploring Vienna. Westbahnhof Station has multiple connections from large European cities such as Hamburg, Germany and Zurich, Switzerland.

By Car: Vienna can be a headache to get to by car if you’re staying in the city center. If staying in the city center, check if your hotel has a parking lot and how far it is from the hotel. Also, ask if there is a daily fee to use the parking lot (there most likely is). Once you’ve arrived and settled into your hotel, driving around the city center is more of a hassle than it’s worth since you’ll have to pay for parking – if you can find some. Walking or using the metro instead can easily get you most everywhere you want to go. Plus, there are many one-ways that are sometimes confusing for visitors, so if driving around the city, keep a careful eye out for such streets.

Transportation in Vienna

Here are options for getting around Vienna once you’ve arrived in the city.

Metro: Vienna’s underground metro, called the U-Bahn, is convenient and fairly cheap to use, plus it takes credit cards which makes it much faster and easier to buy tickets, especially if you arrive in Vienna without a surplus of euros. If you’re short on time, the U-Bahn is your best option as it is usually faster than using the trams or buses you’ll see navigating the city. The U-Bahn has five lines (U1, U2, U3, U4, U6) which intersect all over Vienna’s city center and also out to the city’s suburbs. A single ticket costs €2.20 while a 24-hour ticket will run you €7.60. The U-Bahn starts running (depending on the station) at 5 a.m. and ends around midnight, though on Friday and Saturday, it runs through the night.

Walking: The central area of Vienna’s historic downtown can be easily walked, however not all of the city’s sites are clustered together, so just planning on walking the city isn’t very practical. However, there are several sites that can easily be walked between and it’s a great way to experience the ambiance of Vienna. 

One Day Tip: Take public transportation as opposed to walking to get to your starting point for the day in order to save time – the metro is easy and inexpensive to use. Also, plan out your day before departing and check out how far apart each site is. If it’s more than a few metro stops, it will save you time to jump on the metro instead of walking to the next site. 

Only have one day to spend in Vienna? You can still experience a lot of its culture and history with this itinerary for visiting Vienna if short on time. This video guide lists the top things to do before you leave Vienna.

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Note: All opening hours, prices, and info was believed to be correct at the time of writing, but is subject to change. Double check all attraction info before leaving for your trip.

Experience the enchanting beauty of Vienna, Austria, even if you have just one day to explore. Our comprehensive travel guide and one-day itinerary reveal the top things to do in Vienna. From historic landmarks to cultural treasures, immerse yourself in the rich heritage of this European gem. Make the most of your short visit to Vienna with our curated guide.

I'm a former travel agency marketing director turned freelance travel writer. My editorial and copywriting work has been published on and in USA TODAY, Travel + Leisure, the Travel Channel Cities app, TripSavvy, and many more online and print publications. I especially love sharing my knowledge of traveling with limited vacation time, making the most of cruise ports of call, and vacationing with kids. I also enjoy sharing my favorite travel gear and products to make traveling easier!

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February 2, 2017 at

I’m not personally aware of any to recommend, but Viator.com may offer this type of tour package. Enjoy your layover!

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January 26, 2017 at

We (4 people) have a 9 hour layover in Vienna in May 2016. Can you recommend a tour provider that can pick us up at the airport and give us a private tour?

August 12, 2016 at

Yes, that’s correct — the City Airport Train (CAT) takes 16 minutes from the airport to the Wien Mitte stop in the city center.

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August 10, 2016 at

How about the train? I read it takes 16 minutes to city center.

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August 2, 2016 at

Hello great content and tips for some Wientime, during my summer vacations I will have almost a full day between 2 flights in Vienna. I’m looing for the fastest safest and most reliable transfer from the airport to the city centre and back on time… money is not a problem that much, but of course don’t want the have twice as much as I should… I found this service http://wientransfer.com/ , what do you think of them? Are they good do you anything of them?

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One Day in Vienna Itinerary: 10 Things to See in Vienna in a Day

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Vienna is one of the most beautiful and architecturally rich cities we have visited. We enjoyed our stay in the city and have highlighted 10 spots worth seeing and adding to your one day in Vienna itinerary. 

There is royalty and mesmerizing art in every little corner of the city. These sightseeing spots in Vienna are very close to each other and well-connected, making it perfect for exploring Vienna in a day. You can take a local transit or a cab to reach one spot and walk down to explore the other areas.

A clean city, Vienna, Austria , also has great cafes and unbelievably well-dressed people, and you can hop on a horse-drawn carriage to explore the city – an experience that will take you to its rich past.

Most of these spots are free to visit from the outside unless you wish to explore the inside of the palaces/complexes with a guided tour. Some of the monuments and complexes are living quarters and are currently in use by high dignitaries and/or set up as museums.  

List of items One day in Vienna in a day

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

We have visited Vienna several times, most recently as part of our Eurail Pass adventure. Vienna is pretty; one day is enough to explore the Inner City attractions. if you plan it well and spend 24 hours, you can include stops like the Viennese Prater. 

Here is a quick peak into the Vienna 1 day itinerary,

One Day in Vienna itinerary: Things to do in Vienna in a day (at a glance)

  • Take a tour of the Schönbrunn Palace
  • Explore the Hofburg Palace
  • Visit Heldenplatz – a public square in inner Stadt
  • Explore Maria-Theresien-Platz
  • Lunch in the inner city
  • Head to the St Stephen’s Cathedral
  • Visit the St Peter’s Church
  • Stroll the Graben Vienna
  • Admire the Hundertwasserhaus or Hundertwasser House
  • Ride the Viennese Giant Ferris Wheel or the Viennese Prater

There are a few convenient ways to explore Vienna in a day. All three options are equally great; it just depends on your travel style – which suits you best

🖤 Visiting Vienna for 2 days? Read our  2 days in Vienna itinerary here

  • Vienna Pass 1 to 6 days of Sightseeing – This is the ULTIMATE sightseeing tool in Vienna Vienna Pass. This pass includes free admission to over 60 attractions, unlimited hop-on and hop-off sightseeing tours, and a guidebook to the city. Book a one day in Vienna pass here
  • Vienna Hop on and Hop off Sightseeing with a guided city Tour – Vienna Hop on and Hop off sightseeing tour is a convenient way to hit all the sightseeing spots in Vienna in a day. Because you only have one day in Vienna – hop-on and off services will take you to the main tourist sights. This sightseeing bus is not intrusive (it doesn’t include entry to attractions or guides) but includes a guided walking tour to learn about the history of Vienna in the old town. Book a Vienna hop on/off tour
  • Vienna City Card – 1 to 2-day Vienna City Card gives you free public transportation for the day (or two). It doesn’t include travel to the airport as it is located outside of city limits. You can get discounted tickets to the Hofburg Palace and Schonbrunn Palace. Buy a Vienna City Card here

🖤 Here’s an extra one day in Vienna item to consider: 

Vienna is known for its palaces, Austrian wines , cafes, and sweet foods, so definitely check them out on your one-day trip to Vienna. BUT….there are 3 impressive palaces to see, and you only have 1 day, so you have to prioritize and choose! 

We could easily do 2 palaces in a day, but the third one might be a stretch if you plan to visit other tourist attractions.

The 3 popular palaces are – Schonbrunn Palace, Hofburg Palace, and the Belvedere Palace. 

We recommend including Schonbrunn Palace in your day’s itinerary (more on that below). Between the Hofburg Palace and the Belvedere Palace – Hofburg is in a GREAT location (inner Stadt or inner-city) and is just a stone’s throw away from other sightseeing areas.

The Belvedere Palace is known for its collection of Gustav Klimt paintings, including The Kiss and Judith, one of the world’s largest. It is, however, located a little outside of the inner city. 

Starting your one day Vienna Itinerary

Start your day bright and early in Vienna. If you arrive in Vienna from a nearby city or country, you will find cafes and restaurants on your way to the sightseeing locations. Viennese coffee is amazing.

If you are flying to Vienna, of course, Vienna airport will have breakfast options for you. Get airport transfers from Vienna airport here – CAT

Our first stop for the day is the Schonbrunn Palace, and the palace complex has a cafeteria as well, for breakfast or light snacks.

1. Schonbrunn Palace – the most popular palace to see in Vienna in a day

Vienna's top 10 items for your itinerary. Include them in your Vienna bucket list. The top 10 items include Vienna Opera House, St Cathedral Basilica, Schonbrunn Palace and more. Read the article to learn more. Vienna's Top 10 Things to See

Schonbrunn Palace is the most popular tourist spot in Vienna. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is rightly so because of its rich cultural history and association with the Hapsburg royalty. 

Built in the early 18th century, this gorgeous yellow-colored palace reflects the changing styles and interests of the Hapsburg dynasty.

The Schonbrunn Palace, in its present form, was built and re-designed during the reign of Empress Maria Theresa, who received the estate as a wedding gift. 

Maria Theresa was an able leader, and during her reign, she popularized yellow as a color of royalty. But the reality was that the color yellow was economical and readily available.

You can easily spend 3-5 hours at the Schönbrunn palace complex. There is a guided tour available to explore the interior of the beautiful palace. 

We recommend starting the day with the Schönbrunn Palace after breakfast. Keep in mind they have 1441 rooms! Book a guided tour of the Schonbrunn Palace and Gardens 

The sculpted garden is beautiful and is adorned by 32 sculptures of deities. There are picturesque Roman ruins located in the palace complex as well.

Vienna's top 10 items for your itinerary. Include them in your Vienna bucket list. The top 10 items include Vienna Opera House, St Cathedral Basilica, Schonbrunn Palace and more. Read the article to learn more. Vienna's Top 10 Things to See

One of my favorite sights is the Neptune Fountain, with Gloriette in the background. The Gloriette was erected to glorify the Hapsburg rule. It adds a romantic feel to the entire place, and you can get amazing views of Vienna from the Gloriette.

Schonbrunn Palace is open daily, including public holidays. There are cafes, restaurants, and museums in the palace complex. This site is completely accessible to all tourists.

Schonbrunn Palace has a popular Apple strudel show – Viennese Strudelshow in the bakery of Café Residenz. (The show, along with a sample piece of apple strudel, are included in Vienna Pass).

It is popular because you get to see how the original Viennese Apple Strudel is made (right in front of your eyes) from the imperial bakery and also taste it. The show lasts 15- 20 minutes and is open daily from 11:00 am to 04:00 pm. Book your apple strudel show here (without the Vienna Pass) .

2. Hofburg Palace – the iconic landmark

Hofburg Palace in one day in Vienna

The Hofburg Palace is located in the old town of Vienna or the inner city (inner Stadt – 1st district in Vienna), where you will spend most of the one day in Vienna.

The Hofburg Palace is the imperial seat of the Hapsburg Dynasty in Austria. Every inch of this palace drips in luxury and royalty. The outside of the palace is as beautiful as the inside. 

A lot of history has happened in this palace, which had served as the prime residence for Empress Maria Theresa, Emperor Franz II, and, for a while, even the German Emperor.

The complex is spread over 59 acres and comprises 18 groups of buildings, close to 20 courtyards, and around 2600 rooms. The complex showcases the legacy of rich and different architectural history – nearly every Austrian ruler since 1275 had ordered additions or alterations.

Guided tours are available to tour the palace complex. Visitors are given three choices when visiting this spectacular site – the Imperial Apartments, the Sisi Museum, and the Silver Collection – each can be toured individually or as part of an extended visit.

Other attractions are included as well, along with the Hofburg, which includes the Imperial Chapel (Burgkapelle), the Natural History Museum (Naturhistorisches Museum), the Austrian National Library, and the Spanish Riding School.

There is also a Sisi Museum at the palace, and it’s worth a visit. Sisi, or Elisabeth, was the Empress of Austria. She has gone down in history as an empress of eternal youthfulness and beauty. 

For over three decades, she was regarded as the most beautiful queen in Europe .

A fun fact about Sisi is that she believed in natural beauty and never used cosmetics or fragrances. She relied on natural remedies. Her beautiful brunette hair was beautiful and very long. 

She would spend about 2 hours a day fixing and caring for her hair. There are exhibitions conducted at the Imperial Palace that highlight the lives of the Hapsburgs, including Sisi.

The Hofburg Palace is iconic to the city of Vienna. The Hofburg is an architectural marvel that showcases many different architectural styles, from Gothic to Renaissance, Baroque to Rococo, and a bit of Classicism. 

Learn about the history of the Hapsburg in a Vienna walking tour (2 hours)

After checking off the Hofburg Palace, stroll on the Vienna Ring Road – this circular boulevard around the historic Innere Stadt (or inner city). By doing so, you will be able to visit most of the sightseeing stops listed in the center. 

3. Heldenplatz – public square in inner stadt

Heldenplatz

Heldenplatz is a public space located in front of the Hofburg Palace. This square was set up as a Heroes Square. 

There is a statue of Archduke Charles of Austria, which was meant to glorify the Habsburg dynasty. There are other statues, too, including the one of Prince Eugene of Savoy. 

Many important actions and events took place in Heroes Square. Adolf Hitler’s ceremonial announcement of the Austrian Anschluss to Nazi Germany occurred here.

The present-day Heldenplatz on the former outer plaza of the Hofburg was built under the reign of Emperor Francis Joseph. The President of Austria currently resides in one of the Hofburg complex wings.

During our visit, there was a police recognition ceremony that was underway, and the complex had quite a few police vehicles in it.

4. Explore Maria-Theresien-Platz

Maria Theresia Platz

Maria-Theresien-Platz is a large public square in Vienna built in honor of Hapsburg Empress – Maria Theresa. 

There is a huge statue of the Empress, flanked by two museums on each side. These buildings are identical – the Naturhistorisches Museum (Natural History Museum), and the Kunsthistorisches Museum, aka Art History Museum. 

The buildings are nearly identical, except for the statuary on their facades.

The Maria Theresa Monument is probably the most important monument with the construction that lasted 13 years. The statue is about 19 metres high and is surrounded by 4 horseman statues. It can be seen across the road as you proceed to the complex. 

Beautiful gardens in and around the monument make it a perfect place for a stroll or a picnic.

Maria Theresa Platz is classified as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. The legacy of Maria Theresa is phenomenal – her stories of grit and tact are discussed even today. 

She reformed the school system, cared for the state affairs in a remarkable capacity, and cared for her 16 children. Talk about home and work-life balance for a woman. Amazingly done, I say!

Optional Palace no 3: Belvedere Palace

For one day in Vienna, choose 2 of the 3 most popular palaces to make the most of your day and capture other sightseeing spots. Belvedere Palace is another beautiful landmark worth visiting. 

Belvedere Palace in 2 day Vienna Itinerary

The Belvedere Palace is a historic complex in Vienna located about 30 minutes from the inner city area. 

The complex grounds comprise two Baroque palaces – the Upper Belvedere (with stunning interiors and a museum) and the Lowe Belvedere (consisting of the Orangery and the Palace Stables). These buildings are set in a Baroque park landscape and have a Belvedere museum with permanent exhibitions on display.

The Belvedere served as the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy, who built it as his summer residence. He was an accomplished general and art connoisseur. His apartments and staterooms are located at the Lower Belvedere. 

The Lower Belvedere and the Orangery are mainly used for temporary exhibitions, and the Palace Stables showcases 150 objects of sacred medieval art.

The Belvedere Palace is known for its collection of Gustav Klimt paintings, including Kiss and Judith, one of the world’s largest. It is located in the upper Belvedere. The Palace Gardens are equally stunning and feature beautiful sculptures, fountains, and cascades. Get entrance tickets to the Belvedere Palace

5. Lunch in the inner city

Well, if you decide to stay back in the inner city, then it is a great time for lunch (or brunch) before exploring more of the inner stadt.

Let me tell you, you will find TONS of a variety of restaurants (expensive and budget eats, including Starbucks and other fast-food chains), street cafes, open-air cafes, and fine eating options to choose from.

We decided to eat (and drink coffee) from Aida – a common coffee and bakery shop in Vienna. Their Sachertorte was delicious.

After a food break, explore more of the inner city – starting with St Stephen’s Cathedral. 

You can also cover the next 3 stops (St Stephen’s Cathedral, St Peters Church, and Graben) before lunch, as most of the open cafes and fine restaurants are located near the Graben.

6. Visit St Stephen’s Cathedral

St Stephens Cathedral

One of Vienna’s most iconic landmarks is the St Stephen’s Cathedral. The Cathedral is located at Stephenplatz, 1010 Vienna, providing visitors with the stunning architecture of the Hapsburg and other Austrian rulers. 

The cathedral has stood the test of time. It has watched over the city for more than 300 years. 

The Giant Gate dates back to the 13th century and is one of the oldest parts of the cathedral. The cathedral is decorated with Baroque altarpieces in the name of St. Stephen, the first martyr of Christendom.

There is an underground burial place that contains the mausoleum of the bishops, the tombs of Duke Rudolph the Founder, and other members of the Habsburg family. It is also the home to treasured art pieces like the red-marble sepulcher. 

Austria’s largest bell, the Boomer Bell, is located in the north tower of the cathedral.

The South Tower’s observation deck is the highest point in Vienna. You can enjoy some of the finest views in all of Vienna from here. 

A climb of 343 steps of the tight spiral staircase leads up to the watchman’s lookout, 246 feet above the street level. The entire cathedral complex area is also called the Stephansplatz (named after St Stephen’s Cathedral or Stephensdom).

Aren’t these multi-colored roof tiles the prettiest? They shine under the sunlight!

Read: Most beautiful churches in Vienna

7. St Peter’s Church

St Peters Church

We accidentally passed by this beautiful baroque church in Vienna. It’s called the Peterskirche or St Peter’s Church. This important church has a long history dating back to the Middle Ages. 

The church looks stunning with its beautiful green colored dome. What was most interesting was the intricate details in the church’s interior. You will see an attractive high altar and several side altars with beautiful religious works of art. There are remarkable frescos inside as well.

You will definitely pass by this place when you wander out and about and cover attractions like the Hofburg Palace, Graben, or even the St Stephen’s Basilica. This church is not crowded, making it an excellent spot for a quiet stroll, photography, etc

Or take a horse-drawn carriage to this church and click amazing shots! Book a musical concert at the St Peters Church for the evening

8. Stroll the Graben Vienna – the main shopping street in the inner city

Graben Vienna

The Graben Vienna is an upscale and trendy shopping street in the heart of the inner city. What is unique about this street is that the area is lined with a plague column. The origin of this street dates back to the old Romans.

Due to its close proximity to St  Stephen’s Cathedral and the Hofburg Palace, this street has served as a shopping district since ancient times. There are 5 divisions/shopping areas with the Graben. And they include Stephansplatz, Kohlmarkt, Naglergasse, Tuchlauben, and Petersplatz.

The plague column dates back to the 17th century and is made of marble. You can see unique structures as you walk along the market area. Make sure you visit their Swarovski store – their window displays are gorgeous and all sparkly! 

There is an H&M store located in a splendid room of a former court.

Talk about royalty! Oh, and the people in Vienna are so well-dressed and handsome.

I recommend visiting this area during the day and in the evening. Daytime is great for shopping, people-watching, or even admiring the beautiful buildings and sculptures and reading about the city’s past. 

Visit this place in the evening to enjoy leisure time at a side cafe or an open restaurant with live music. The city shines under the moon’s (and neon’s) lights. Very beautiful .

9. Admire the Hundertwasserhaus or Hundertwasser House

Let’s proceed to some of the attractions in the other districts of Vienna from the city center or inner city. 

Hundertwasserhaus Vienna

Staring with Hundertwasserhaus. The drive to Hundertwasserhaus is about 12- 15 minutes from the inner city. Or if you are on the hop-on and hop-off sightseeing bus, you will see this on your way in and out of the city center loop.

A unique form of art and architecture, the Hundertwasserhaus is an apartment building located in Vienna. This is unique as it was built after the idea and concept of Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. 

The outer landscape is multi-colored, hap-hazard, and uneven, making it an interesting piece of art. This expressionist landmark is located in the Landstraße district on the corner of Kegelgasse and Lowengasse in Vienna. Don’t miss this popular Vienna tourist attraction.

The last item on the list for the day is the Giant Ferris Wheel – Prater amusement park in Vienna.

10. Viennese Giant Ferris Wheel or the Viennese Prater

Viennese Giant Ferris Wheel, or the Viennese Prater, is an amusement park in Vienna. The distance from the city center to the Prater is about 15 minutes.

Prater Ferris Wheel

It is located in Vienna’s 2nd district. The Wurstelprater, which is an amusement park, is an iconic symbol of Vienna, and it includes the Wiener Riesenrad Ferris wheel. 

The park is open daily from 09:00 am to midnight (with the main season running from mid-March to the end of October).

Book your tickets to the Giant Ferris Wheel in Vienna

Indulge in some comfort food, enjoy some rides, and fall in LOVE with Vienna. You can see the amazing night lights from the rides at the Prater.

Other sightseeing options for One day in Vienna itinerary

Karlskirche Karlsplatz in Vienna

Karlskirche, or the St Charles Church, is a beautiful baroque church in Vienna. It is located on the edge of the Innere Stadt and is characterized by a turquoise-blue dome with 4 pillars. 

The church is dedicated to Saint Charles Borromeo – a Roman archbishop from Milan.

Karlsplatz is also known as the art nouveau paradise. There aren’t that many, but if you wander to Karlsplatz or the Naschmarkt train station, you will see some art nouveau buildings along the way. The Art Nouveau movement blossomed in Vienna at the turn of the 20th Century. The secession art museum is worth visiting if you are an art nouveau enthusiast.

Vienna State Opera House 

Wiener Staatsoper, or the Vienna State Opera, is an Austrian Opera house. This opera house is one of the busiest in the world, with over 350 performances conducted in the 2017/18 season. 

It was opened for the first time in 1869 with a performance of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni.” So when you step into the opera house or book tickets for the opera, you enjoy a slice of rich Austrian history. 

Vienna Opera House

The Vienna State Opera is particularly unique as it caters to children’s performances. The opera house was used to showcase children’s productions in the bygone era, which were performed in a tent on the roof of the Staatsoper.

Presently, the opera house has an opera school for boys and girls. The children are introduced to music theater and the prospect of becoming opera singers. The company recruits singers from this opera school for children’s roles in its productions. 

Twice every season, the opera school has a special matinee performance. So don’t miss it!

Book your tickets and learn more about Vienna State Opera shows, or book a dinner, musical concert, and horse-drawn carriage ride .

Johann Strauss Building – Vienna in a day

Vienna is a city of music lovers. This apartment building located in Praterstraße 54, 1020 Vienna, used to be the residential unit of Johann Strauss’s son. This is where he wrote his most famous composition (the Blue Danube Waltz), which is also the unofficial Austrian national anthem.

This building houses original furniture and instruments, including objects that were used in the daily life of the great musician, as well as paintings, photographs, and documents about his life and work.

There is also a museum – the Museum of the Johann Strauss Dynasty, which is the first museum in the world to present the family history and creative works of the entire Strauss family. 

The music of the “Strausses” has never lost its sheen. Their waltz and operetta melodies still resound in concert houses in Austria and worldwide. The museum is located at Müllnergasse 3, 1090 Vienna.

Christmas Markets in Vienna – One day in Vienna winter

If you visit Vienna from November to December (until Christmas) in winter, then definitely visit the Christmas market at the Rathaus Platz (or the City Hall Square). Christkindlmarkt at Rathausplatz is said to be Europe’s finest. Find what Vienna looks like during Christmas

Sightseeing Map – Things to see in Vienna in one day  

Here is a 1 day in Vienna sightseeing map for your trip. 

One Day in Vienna Austria Guide – Travel Tips

Here are some quick tips to help you prepare for your trip to Vienna. Vienna is easily connected to the rest of the world by train, road, and airways. We arrived in Vienna from Prague by road.

Travel Documents

Vienna Austria belongs to the Eurozone of countries, which means that if you require a visa to visit the Schengen list of countries, Vienna is one of them. Ensure you have an approved visa before landing in Vienna. 

EU nationals are visa-exempt. Citizens of the US and Canada can stay up to 90 days without a visa.

If this is your first trip to Europe, read our extensive guide here

Getting to the Vienna City Center from the Airport

Vienna International Airport is the busiest airport in Austria, serving as a major hub for international and domestic flights. Located just 20 km (12.5 miles) from Vienna’s city center, it offers convenient transportation options to reach the heart of the city.

The most popular and efficient way to get from Vienna airport to the city center is by train. 

The City Airport Train (CAT) is a direct train service that takes only 16 minutes to reach the city center. It runs every 30 minutes and costs €5 for a one-way ticket. You can purchase tickets online, at the airport, or directly on board the train.

Another option is to take the S-Bahn (line S7), which is operated by ÖBB (Austrian Federal Railways). These trains take around 25 minutes to reach the city center. The fare for a one-way ticket is €4.40, which can be purchased at the airport or on board the train.

Several bus options are available from the airport to Vienna’s city center. The Vienna Airport Lines buses offer a comfortable and affordable option, with routes to major locations in the city. 

Buses depart every 30 minutes, taking around 20-25 minutes to reach the city center. The fare for a one-way ticket is €9 to €16, which can be purchased at the airport or directly on board the bus. 

Alternatively, you can also take the Postbus line 1183, which runs every hour and takes around 30 minutes to reach the city center (Vienna Meidling and Westbahnhof train stations). The fare for a one-way ticket is €4, which can be purchased at the airport or from the bus driver.

Taxis are available outside Vienna airport’s arrivals hall and offer a convenient but more expensive option to reach the city center. A typical taxi ride to the city center takes around 20 minutes and costs between €36-€50, depending on traffic and the exact location in the city.

If you prefer to drive yourself, several car rental companies are located at Vienna airport. The drive from the airport to the city center takes around 25 minutes. 

However, it is important to note that parking in the city center can be difficult and expensive, so this option may not be recommended if you plan to stay in the city for an extended trip. 

Travel Insurance

Always insure your trips against trip cancellations and delays. Get a quote here

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Tips for 8 hours in vienna or vienna in half a day.

If you visit Vienna for only 8 hours or half a day, we recommend staying in the inner city and making the most of your time there. Visit the Hofburg Palace and museums, Opera House, Stephen’s Cathedral, St Peter’s Church, Graben, and taste Sachertorte at any cafe in the inner city. 

Hotels in Vienna: Where to stay in Vienna for the first time

Extending your stay in Vienna ? For a night’s stay, we chose the Trend Austria Hotel . We loved the location as it is close to Vienna city center or the old town and can be accessed via the Rathaus Underground Station (public transportation). Book your stay here

Here are some additional hotel recommendations for Vienna (inner city),

  • Grand Hotel Wien – This is one of the prettiest hotels in the inner city district and is only a 3-minute walk from the Vienna State Opera and the famous Kärntner Straße Shopping Street. The suites are grand and beautifully decorated with elegant furniture, and the property boasts multiple restaurants and bars on site.
  • Park Hyatt Vienna – Park Hyatt Vienna is one of the luxurious hotels overlooking Am Hof Square. It is housed in a 100-year-old building but is filled with modern amenities. Its location is convenient and perfect for sightseeing. 
  • The Guesthouse Vienna – There is so much at this hotel that will make your stay in Vienna all the more pleasant, from the city views to the spacious rooms and the thoughtful touches that each guest is given. 

More hotels Vienna –  To find the best hotel deals in town, we recommend using  Booking.com   to find accommodation.

Day Trips from Vienna 

Looking for day trips from Vienna? We ventured on a few day trips out of Vienna during our visit. Here are some options to consider

Wachau Valley in Lower Danube Austria –  The lower Danube is very picturesque and makes for an easy day trip from Vienna. Read about our trip to the Wachau and Danube Valleys. You can also book a day tour of the Wachau Valley

Bratislava Slovakia – Vienna is only an hour away from the capital of Bratislava. You can easily explore the city on a day trip from Vienna to Bratislava. Book a day tour to Bratislava, Slovakia . 

Salzburg Austria – Vienna to Salzburg is about 2 hours by train, and you can enrich your Austrian vacation by taking a trip there. We stayed for 2 days in Salzburg and thoroughly enjoyed our time there. 

Read our 14 day Europe Itinerary that includes time in Vienna, Austria. 

Is one day in Vienna enough?

Is 1 day in Vienna enough? Vienna is not a huge city, so you can cover a lot of ground in a day. Our one-day Vienna itinerary listed above can be easily done in a day or less. 

As we highlighted in our pro-tips section, pick 2 palaces instead of 3 to make a comfortable day of sightseeing rather than being rushed through. 

We hope you found this post helpful in creating a list of places to visit in Vienna in 1 day.

READ OUR EUROPE TRAVEL GUIDES

  • Europe 101  – Our introductory guide to  planning a trip to Europe.
  • European Bucket list  –  Epic 101 Europe travel bucket list ideas
  • Europe Itinerary Samples  – Want to make the most of your visit to Europe?  This is the ultimate 27 itinerary samples to plan your sightseeing in one or multiple destinations in Europe.
  • Visiting Europe in winter  –  Here are some of the best traveler picks.
  • Warm places in Europe?  –  Here are the warmest places to visit in Europe from December through March.
  • Europe Packing Guide  –  This is the only packing guide to Europe you will ever need . 

Pin: What to see in Vienna in One Day itinerary

Mayuri is the founder & editor of ToSomePlaceNew. An Indian-Canadian globetrotter, she has traveled to over 100 cities and 35+ countries. Mayuri has a graduate degree in History and is an MBA. She loves traveling the world, capturing historical nuances, and discussing that over a cup of coffee with her husband, Salil. She currently resides in Edmonton, Canada, and plots travel plans to Europe, the Americas, and beyond. 

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24 Comments

Such a great post! Thanks for putting this together, very useful!

Thanks so much! Glad you found this useful 🙂

I am in love with Palaces! Cant believe you saw all this. I really need to make a trip to Europe. I have only been to Sweden believe it or not!

I was so excited, Austria was my 3rd European country that I traveled to! All the palaces are so beautiful!

I was in Vienna a couple of years ago on a field trip from the university. But I need to go back and see it again. Thanks for reminding my great time there

Time for re-visit <3

Vienna is so beautiful! I was there for a few days in 2015, and I’m hoping to go back next year. Do you think I could fit all these amazing spots into one day?

You can definitely cover quite a few of these areas. Go for the Hofburg Palace in the morning, then head to the Maria-Theresa-Platz, Heldenplatz. And then in the late afternoon/evening head to St Stephen’s Basilica and the Graben. It will be difficult to do guided tours as it takes 2-3 hours in each of the palaces. But you can cover Hofburg and Schonbrunn Palace from outside and capture some great pictures Have fun in Vienna

I’ve been to Vienna a couple of months ago and loved it! I did exactly the same things:) Such a fancy and beautiful city! Also pricey. But the St Charles church was my favorite one. Sooo stunning!

That’s true, the city is stunning, but accommodation in certain areas could be pricey. We were able to see quite a few places by keeping our shopping and food bills a little low!

Ahh I want to see all of these in one day! Stunning list, and you have gorgeous photos as well. Makes me excited to see the city one day

Thanks so much! Appreciate that 🙂 I hope you can make it to Vienna one day and tick these off your travel bucketlist Happy Travels 🙂

Vienna looks like such a great city! I’ve never been but it’s high up on my list when I next get the chance. I love all the architecture but the colours in the Hundertwasserhaus really made me gape! Thanks for sharing.

You are welcome! I am sure you will love this beautiful city! I highly recommend

I missed Hundertwasserhaus when I was in Vienna. I had to take tram nr. and I was just too tired to do that too. Have you seen the Lipizaners, at the Spanish Riding School? It is a great tradition in Vienna. However, they are very strict and don’t let you take photos of them.

I did see the horses from the Riding School, but didn’t cover the Lipizaners. Did you see it, must be wonderful?

Wow these sites are incredible! The architecture is stunning. I was so close to going to Vienna when I was in Central Europe and opted to spend more time in Germany. Regret it a little now!

Oh no! You should plan to visit Vienna I am sure you will fall in love. Plan for extra days to cover places like Salzburg and Hallstatt, you wont be disappointed

The HofBurg Palace is absolutly stunning! Would for sure love to take a tour to see the insides and am definitely getting the Vienna City Card too if and when I visit. Also, Hundertwasserhaus looks so Instagrammable! You’re so right in that the architecture is just eye-opening!

The entire area around the Hofburg Palace is so stunning – whether its night or day. I highly recommend visiting this area and taking a guided trip inside the palace. A horse-carriage ride would be an amazing too! I say, go for it!

Vienna is one of my bucket-list places to go to, mostly for its connection with music and Mozart. Thanks for showing me that there’s so much more to it. Some of these neighbourhoods are just lovely.

Absolutely Vienna has such a lovely ambiance where ever you go. Their neighborhood squares and cafes are so stunning too!

Thanks for all the information, staying in Budapest for Christmas 2022 and going to Vienna by train on 27th for the full day early start late finish, your guide will be a great help. Thanks Pete

So glad to hear Pete! Enjoy your trip!

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One Day in Vienna Itinerary – Top things to do in Vienna, Austria

One day in Vienna Itinerary

Vienna in one day

Planning to visit this magnificent city? Here’s a list of all places to visit if you’re spending a day in Vienna and everything else you need to make this trip absolutely perfect!

1. What’s the best time to visit Vienna? 2. A few facts about Vienna 3. One Day in Vienna Itinerary 3.1. Start your day with the enchanting Belvedere Palace 3.2. Visit the Karlsplatz 3.3. Explore the famous Naschmarkt 3.4. Tour the historic Ringstrasse 3.5. Stroll the Old Town 3.6. Taste the delicious Viennese sausage 3.7. Visit the Palmenhaus at the Burggarten 3.8. Breathe in some tropical air at the Butterfly House 3.9. Dinner Time 4.0. Spend the night in the NeuBau District 4.1. Vienna with Kids – Prater Park 5. Where to stay in Vienna? 6. Extra tips for visiting Vienna

What’s the best time to visit Vienna?

TIP: Need a transport from/to an airport? Pre-book your transfer with Welcomepickups . They offer the cheapest prices and most comfortable ride along with the possibility to pre-order essential travel products.

Vienna is a year-round destination where every season has its special charm. If you want to enjoy sunny and warm weather with temperatures above 25°C (77°F), make sure you visit Vienna in summer . Shoulder months, May and September also bring nice weather with less tourist crowds. Winter in Vienna is cold and dry, with the temperatures hovering around the freezing point, but this is when the city hosts some of its most famous annual events.

Christmas Market Rathaus Platz

The Christmas Market in Vienna is the most famous and one of the biggest Christmas markets in Europe. From mid-November to Christmas, many of the city’s streets and squares become scenic spots with enchanting light decorations and wooden stalls selling everything from Christmas accessories to baked goods and hot punch. Make sure to visit the most famous Christmas market location in front of Rathausplatz where you can ice skate with the fairy-tale backdrop of the Vienna City Hall right behind you. Ice skating doesn’t stop with Christmas Eve, though. Vienna Ice World is another event that takes place at the same location from January all the way to March.

Besides the Christmas Market, Vienna also hosts the world-famous New Year’s Concert on January 1 st .

A few facts about Vienna

Austrian capital and its largest city, Vienna is located in the country’s eastern part, close to the Slovakian border and only a 45 minutes’ ride from Bratislava . As the capital of the once powerful Austro-Hungarian Empire , Vienna was for centuries a cultural centre of classical music, arts and science.

Vienna is home to some of the most beautiful examples of Baroque or neo-Classical palaces built during the reign of the Habsburg dynasty. These include the Schönbrunn Palace , the Belvedere Palace and the Hofburg Palace among many others. Besides that rich architectural heritage, new buildings and modern interventions are largely present in the city’s appearance.

Because of its musical legacy, Vienna is recognized as a world capital of music and was given the name City of Music . Today, this city is a cultural and economic central European hub and one of world’s most livable cities.

Ferris wheel in Prater park

One Day in Vienna Itinerary

Store your luggage:  LuggageHero allows you to store your luggage for as long as you want to. If you are there only for a day, or waiting for a check-in, this sounds like a perfect option!

Follow this guide and make the most of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do during your one day in Vienna.

Start your day with the enchanting Belvedere Palace

It can be tough to decide which of Vienna’s famous palaces to visit first, but the Belvedere Palace is simply a classic. Start your day early and visit the enchanting palatial complex Belvedere right in the morning when the crowd is still reduced. It is actually within a walking distance from the city center, which also makes it a great pick for your one day in Vienna. The two palaces, Upper and Lower Belvedere , accompanied with vast gardens and an orangery, were built as a summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy.

Today, both of the palaces, along with an impressive collection of Austrian works of art, are a part of the Belvedere Museum, which is open every day from 9.00 am. The admission varies depending on the exhibits you want to visit, but you can check them all out here . The gardens can be explored for free, and once you reach the Upper Belvedere you’ll be confronted with the beautiful Vienna skyline , so even if you’re traveling on a budget don’t skip this on your tour.

Belvedere

Visit the Karlsplatz

After you’re done with the Belvedere, take a 15-minute walk to the Karlsplatz . There are many interesting sights in the area, but one is really hard to miss  – Karlskirche, an outstanding baroque church with a large pool in front of it. The huge Resselpark dominates the square. Don’t miss the Art Nouveau pavilion of the former Karlsplatz station designed by the famous architect Otto Wagner. Another great example of Vienna Secession is the exhibit hall known as the Secession Building created by the architect Joseph Maria Olbrich, only a block away from the Karlsplatz. 

Karlskirche

Explore the famous Naschmarkt

No need to walk for this one, as you’re basically at the Naschmarkt . Right next to the Secession Building, this famous Viennese market stretches for around 1.5km, offering anything from fresh fruit and vegetables to exotic herbs, meats, seafood, cheeses and baked goods, while on Saturday it houses a flea market . This famous market is actually a very old Viennese tradition, since a variety of products have been sold at this place since the 16 th century. Explore the colorful stalls, sample their food and later stop for some brunch at one of the many eateries offering both Austrian and international cuisine. Unfortunately, if visiting on a Sunday, you’ll find the place closed.

Naschmarkt

Tour the historic Ringstrasse

It’s pretty challenging to fit all of Vienna’s best attractions into one day. With that in mind, the best thing you can do is take the yellow Vienna Ringtram (Wiener Linier) that tours the Ringstrasse – a historical boulevard lined with some of the most significant imperial landmarks such as the Vienna Town Hall (Wiener Rathaus), State Opera , Natural History Museum and the Hofburg Palace . The round-trip with multilingual commentary takes approximately 25 minutes. The first tram departs at 10.00 am from the Schwedenplatz and later runs every half an hour. To reach the Schwedenplatz from the Naschmarkt, take the direct metro line U4 at the Kettenbrückengasse.

Vienna Town Hall

Stroll the Old Town

Vienna’s Old Town is the area of the 1 st District (Innere Stadt) encircled by the Ringstrasse boulevard where the majority of cultural and architectural heritage is located. Climb the South Tower of the St. Stephen’s Cathedral for some spectacular panoramic city views, check out the St. Peter’s Baroque Church (Peterskirche) exterior, stroll the Graben pedestrian street and finally end your walk at the Michaelerplatz in front of the impressive imperial palace, the Hofburg . Unfortunately, since you only have one day in Vienna, you won’t have time to get inside the palace and visit its greatest attractions – the Sisi Museum, Imperial Apartments and the Silver Collection, but hey, that’s a great reason to revisit Vienna.  

Graben street

Taste the delicious Viennese sausage

You don’t have to bother finding a restaurant to try the famous Wiener Wurst, since there are many stalls in the Old Town selling these delicious sausages. Just look for a stall with the longest queue in front, or check out the famous Bitzinger Würstelstand am Albertinaplatz in front of the Albertina Museum. There’s a variety of delicious sausages such as the cheese-filled sausage (Käsekrainer) or the spicy one (Scharfe). You can have it chopped up or stuffed in a baguette, and you can add the tomato sauce and mustard. This quintessential Viennese treat is also a great budget deal , since one portion costs less than €5.

Visit the Palmenhaus at the Burggarten

Coffee houses are such a big part of Viennese culture that the whole Coffee House Culture is listed as an Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Austrian inventory. And while most of the attention goes to Café Sacher and Café Demel, these cafes are queued out the door most of the time.

Palmenhaus Burggarten

Instead of waiting in those lines, visit the Palmenhaus at the Burggarten , the most unique Viennese coffee house and a restaurant in a lush rainforest setting inside the former Emperor’s glasshouse. Filled with palms and other tropical vegetation, the Palmenhaus offers a perfect break from the busy streets. They also serve the popular Sacher cake (chocolate cake with a layer of apricot jam), and there’s no better place to try it than Vienna.

Sacher cake

Breathe in some tropical air at the Butterfly House

Within the Palmenhouse, under the same steel and glass structure, you’ll find the Butterfly House (Schmetterlinghaus). This greenhouse has a great butterfly collection of around 400 butterflies flying freely in the tropical forest under the glass arched ceilings. This green oasis should be visited not only because of these beautiful little creatures, but also because you have a chance to escape whatever weather conditions are outside and enjoy the hot and humid tropical climate in the middle of Vienna. It really is a unique experience!

Butterfly house

Dinner Time

Needless to say, Vienna’s culinary scene is of the highest standard and has a lot to offer. But out of many Vienna’s famous restaurants, Restaurant 1070 stands out with its unique concept. There’s no menu in the restaurant, you basically only tell the waiter what food you don’t eat and that’s it – the rest is left to the chef’s creativity. The portions are not that big, but you’ll be served an obligatory 3-course menu that will cost you 27.90€ (you can always add more courses later). The place is quite small and intimate and usually requires a reservation.

Wiener Schnitzel

In case you’re not into surprises when it comes to food and you want something more local, Centimeter is the place for you. The place serves Austrian classics like Wiener schnitzel (breaded veal cutlet) and a 2-meter Wurst (Austrian sausage), but you can also order stuff like spare ribs and burgers, plus they have a great beer selection. This budget restaurant chain serves XXL portions , so you won’t need to order more than one dish per person. They have 4 locations in total, with two of them located within a walking distance from the city center.

Spend the night in the NeuBau District

The Viennese 7 th district, NeuBau , is at the moment the trendiest local spot and the most exciting area to spend the night in Vienna. This vibrant neighborhood is packed with trendy cafes, independent boutiques, art galleries and museums and offers plenty of things to do in Vienna at night. In summer, you’ll find crowds at the courtyard of the MuseumQuarter , a huge museum complex that houses Vienna’s top museums.

Vienna at night

If you’re into spending a night at a cozy bar, check out places like R&Bar , Le Troquet, Radio, The LabelBar . On the top floor of the 25 Hour Hotel, Dachboden bar will welcome you with a great cocktail selection and a spectacular panoramic view. DonauTecho brings late night drinking and partying until the early hours to the techo beats accompanied with great visuals.

Prater Park – Vienna with Kids

In case you’re spending your day in Vienna with kids, nightlife is not an option. Instead of spending your night in Vienna exploring its bars and clubs, head to Prater park , the oldest amusement park in the world featuring all sorts of fun attractions. The famous Wiener Riesenrad is a 65 meter high Ferris Wheel and one of the city’s most popular landmarks. Both adults and kids will enjoy the exciting 10-minute ride with the breathtaking 360 ° panoramic view which gets even more exciting at night.  Skip the line by getting your ticket here .

Prater park

Where to stay in Vienna?

TIP: Get best hotel deals in Vienna here .

Hotel Kärntnerhof Room

Hotel Kärntnerhof

Grashofgasse 4, 01. Innere Stadt, 1010 Vienna

Very comfortable and with a dash of Italian design, Hotel Kärntnerhof offers fantastic value. It is located right in the city centre, but is secluded from the crowds and the noise. You’ll get a buffet breakfast every day, and if the weather is nice you can enjoy the roof terrace, too. Shopping streets, underground stations and numerous attractions are all nearby, so practically all you have to do is get out and you’ll experience Vienna to the fullest.

BOOK A ROOM HERE

Hotel Beethoven

Hotel Beethoven Wien

Papagenogasse 6, 06. Mariahilf, 1060 Vienna

Hotel Beethoven Wien is in a quiet street, but still located at the very heart of Vienna. The building dates from 1902, but the rooms are very much modern and quite elegant. However, no smoking is allowed in them. What will surely leave an impression on you is the fact that a free concert of classical music is held every Saturday and Sunday at 6 pm, plus you get a glass of champaign to go along with it. It’s quite an experience.

Hotel Schani Salon

Hotel Schani Salon

Mariahilfer Straße 58, 07. Neubau, 1070 Vienna

Small, but very comfortable and cozy, Hotel Schani Salon boasts four stars and a fantastic location. It is on Mariahilfer Strasse, which is Vienna’s main shopping destination. Not only that, but it also has a metro station right in front of it and is just 10 minutes away from the Ringstrasse boulevard. The rooms are airy with plenty of natural light, and they serve continental and buffet breakfasts here.

wombat's CITY Hostels

wombat’s CITY Hostels Vienna – Naschmarkt

Rechte Wienzeile 35, 04. Wieden, 1040 Vienna

In a great location and just a couple of minutes away from a metro station, wombat’s CITY Hostels Vienna – Naschmarkt is a perfect place to stay for young travelers who want to explore the city. They will even throw in a map free of charge! Apart from that, you get comfortable beds, great breakfast and the chance to meet people from all over the world at the hostel’s bar. What more could you ask for?

Extra tips for visiting Vienna

Even though most of Vienna’s main attractions are within walking distance , it’s good to know that Vienna’s public transportation is very efficient, so use metro and trams instead of spending loads of money on taxi rides.

Vienna is considered to be an expensive city , especially for travelers from Eastern Europe. However, there are many free things to do in Vienna , some of them covered in this itinerary (Belvedere gardens, Naschmarkt, Christmas Market, a night out at the MuseumQuarter).

Tipping in bars and restaurants is not mandatory, but it’s customary to round up the bill or to tip 7-12%.

Should you need help with getting around town, booking tickets, tips on what to visit or anything of the sort, don’t hesitate to contact Welcome . They offer a superb service which is guaranteed to make your visit to Vienna a fantastic one.

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If you have any other propositions for this One Day in Vienna Itinerary, feel free to share it in the comments below!

Make sure you have everything you need

What to pack for your next trip.

Make your next trip as simple and as enjoyable as possible by packing smart. It’s amazing how much stress top travel items can save you, so choose carefully. Things like lightweight travel backpacks, for example, are ideal for short trips and allow you to move around with ease, and a passport holder will make sure you keep your documents safe at all times. Check our travel checklist guide for 2021 to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and travel to your next destination in style and with maximum comfort.

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Anca One Day Itinerary

Anca is a travel writer and the founder of One Day Itinerary - the biggest collection of travel itineraries for those who are time-limited or just want to maximize their time while traveling. Although she easily becomes homesick for Croatia, she thinks travel is essential to her happiness. She has traveled to more countries than she is years old and doesn’t plan on changing that fact. In her travel guides she aims to inspire people to travel whenever they have a spare day (or two).

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1 Day In Vienna Itinerary – The Perfect Guide

Posted on Last updated: 13 December 2023

Categories Austria , Itineraries

The Austrian capital is a tourist haven. So here’s a complete one day in Vienna itinerary, for those looking to do Vienna in a day.

Table of Contents

How To Get Around Vienna

Getting around Vienna couldn’t be easier. There are generally 4 options:

Before we start, if you’re looking for transfers from the airport to the city, the best option is to book a  CAT Transfer: Vienna Airport – Wien Mitte .

The city centre of Vienna, and the majority of tourists attractions, are reachable by bicycle.

Your accommodation should be able to arrange you a bicycle rental for 24 hours, otherwise Citybike Wien is the most popular bike sharing service.

Simply register online, find a terminal and insert your card to unlock a bike.

There is also the very popular  Classic Vienna: 3-Hour Guided Bike Tour  available to book in advance.

Public Transport

The most convenient way to explore Vienna, is to use the U-Bahn or underground railway.

You can buy a Vienna City Card in advance, which allows unlimited use of the city’s metro, tram, and bus lines.

Vienna City Cards are available for 1, 2, or 3 consecutive days, and prices range from 24 hours for £14.70, to 3 days use + airport transfer for £39.79.

The Vienna City Card also gives discount to over 210 popular attractions, so it’s certainly worth the investment.

Hop On Hop Off Bus

Standard buses are available around Vienna with the City Card.

However, there is also of course the famous  Vienna Hop-on, Hop-off Sightseeing Bus .

This bus lets you jump on and off throughout the city, and explore monuments such as the Museums-Hofburg, House of Music, or the Schönbrunn Palace.

This option is always popular among tourists, and a is great way to see many famous landmarks around Vienna at ease.

Some of the best experiences we had in Vienna have been on private tours.

For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on  Get Your Guide  available to book in advance.

From food tours, to river cruises and pub crawls, there’s plenty to keep you busy in the Austrian capital!

Best Time To Visit Vienna

The warmest time of year in Vienna is during the summer months of June, July and August. However, this is also the busiest.

If you prefer to avoid the crowds, the Spring and Autumn months of April/May and September/October are quieter and the weather is warm. Perfect for enjoying all the outdoor activities on offer in Vienna.

Remember, this is just a guide, so you may want to mix it up and add/subtract different attractions.

What To Pack 

Photography Camera

Reusable Water Bottle

Lightweight Rain Jacket

Naschmarkt Vienna Naschmarkt Wie Vienna Markets Best Markets In Vienna

1 Day In Vienna Itinerary

Prater amusement park.

The first stop on our one day in Vienna itinerary had to be Prater Amusement Park!

Prater Amusement Park is a whole world of adventure and entertainment within the capital.

It’s located on the East side of the city centre, so we recommend starting out near the Danube river, and working your way in.

The closest underground to Prater Amusement Park is Messe-Prater, so use your Vienna City Card  and jump on the metro.

The park radiates so much energy, with Wiener Riesenrad at its forefront.

The famous ferris wheel is located at the entrance to the park and it carries a traditional Viennese charm. With its huge revolving viewing boxes, it creates a truly memorable experience for tourists and locals alike.

We recommend booking a Skip-the-Line Giant Ferris Wheel Ride in advance if you are looking to take to the sky.

Prater Amusement Park is a place where time flies, happiness spreads and fears are conquered.

Prater Amusement Park Vienna Prater Vienna In A Day Things To Do In Vienna

Hundertwasser House

If amusement parks aren’t really your thing, then you can skip past Prater and head straight to Hundertwasser House.

Just a 15 minute walk from Prater, or one stop on the tram, The Hundertwasser House area is one of our top recommendations for you Vienna in a day trip.

Its colourful architecture, created by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, draws the attention of all walks of life.

You can only view the main building from the outside, because people actually live in the Hundertwasser House, however they are not allowed to decorate their apartments.

With all the trees that lives amongst the balconies and terraces, the Hundertwasser House is a green oasis in the heart of the city.

Opposites the Hundertwasser House the same artist created his own shopping centre from a tyre workshop. It has a bar and a handful of stores too. All in the typical Hundertwasser style.

There’s also the Kunst Haus Wien, a museum designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser. The museum houses the world’s only permanent exhibition of Hundertwasser’s works.

It’s best to book Tickets for Kunst Haus Wien in advance.

Explore the area and pick up some quirky souvenirs, before heading onto the next destination on your one day in Vienna itinerary.

Hundertwasser House Vienna Hundertwasserhaus Vienna In A Day Things To Do In Vienna

Stephansplatz

Stephansplatz is the central square that sits right in the heart of Vienna.

Easily accessible from anywhere around the capital, simply jump on the underground and head to Stephansplatz Station.

The square is named after St. Stephen’s Cathedral, which happens to be one of the tallest churches in the world. It is also one of the most important Gothic structures in Austria.

You’ll likely see a few ‘Fiaker’ rides available in the Old Town. A fiaker is a form of hackney coach, a horse-drawn four-wheeled carriage for hire.

You can even pre-book a 30-Minute Fiaker Ride in the Old Town if you wish.

As well as the cathedral in Stephansplatz, you can find plenty of shopping, bars and cafes – so it’s an easy way to kill a couple of hours in the city.

Here is a great spot to grab some lunch or a bite to eat and refuel on your one day in Vienna itinerary.

St Stephen's Cathedral Vienna In A Day Things To Do In Vienna

Museumsquartier

From Stephansplatz jump back on the underground, and it’s an easy 2 stop ride on the U3 line to Volkstheater Station. This will lead you out into Museumsquartier.

The Museumsquartier in Vienna, is one of the largest districts for contemporary art and culture in the world.

The district is spread over 90,000 square metres, so there’s certainly plenty to see.

There are a few options of tours such as the  1–Hour MuseumsQuartier Guided Site Tour or you could book your  Skip-the-Line Tickets to Leopold Museum tickets in advance.

From music and fashion to theatre and dance, it doesn’t end there. Photography, street art and fine art make this place a creative heaven.

However, if you’re not much of an museum fan, or short on time, then you could possibly drop this spot from your one day in Vienna itinerary.

If you do try and squeeze it into your Vienna in a day trip, it’s probably best to pre arrange which parts of Museumsquartier you’d like to see specifically.

Museums Quartier Vienna In A Day Things To Do In Vienna

Onto another of our favourite spots on the one day in Vienna itinerary. Probably due to the sheer amount of food on offer!

Naschmarkt is the most popular things to do in Vienna ! And it’s just a 5 minute walk from Museumsquartier.

It has all the best foods and local produce, and those that are not available in other parts of the city or even the country.

There’s so much to see, eat and drink at the market. Not only does it serve the locals who complete their weekly food shops, it also attracts visitors from all over the world.

Tourists tend to visit the Naschmarkt to experience the atmosphere, the sounds of the Austrian market and to pick up some cheap snacks.

If you’re looking for a cheap and reputable guided tour of Naschmarkt, you should check out the  Naschmarkt Food Tasting Tour .

Otherwise there is a full 4 hour food tasting tour of Vienna , which includes a broader experience of the Austrian food culture. Visiting a coffee house, a traditional market, a bakery, and an artisan chocolate shop. Whilst enjoying tastings of cheese, sausages, wine, and many other Austrian delicacies.

The market is full of foreign fruits, colourful foods, cheese and humous and lots of local herbs and spices.

If you’re visiting Vienna in a day, then you have to visit the Naschmarkt.

Naschmarkt Vienna In A Day Things To Do In Vienna

Try Sachertorte

One thing you must cram into your Vienna itinerary, as and when you can, is to try a slice of fresh Sachertorte.

Sachertorte is a specific type of chocolate cake, or torte, invented by Austrian Franz Sacher in 1832.

It may look like just the ordinary chocolate cake, but don’t let the Austrians hear you say that.

Topped and held together with an apricot jam it is one of the most famous Viennese desserts, and it certainly kicked our cravings for something sweet in the mid-afternoon.

Sachertorte Vienna In A Day Things To Do In Vienna

Schonbrunn Palace

The final stop on our one day in Vienna itinerary is one we chose to save for the evening.

It’s a little out of the way of the city centre, so you may want to go back to your accommodation and freshen up. Then either ride the metro out to Schönbrunn or grab a taxi.

Schonbrunn Palace was the main summer residence of the Habsburg rulers, and is now possibly the most photographed building in the country.

The palace gardens are now a beautifully symmetrical park open to the public and flooding with tourists and joggers everyday.

Inside has been transformed into a huge museum full of history and story telling throughout the ages.

We recommend booking the Schonbrunn Palace & Gardens Skip-the-Line Tour . Where you’ll see the palace’s marvellous interiors and learn about its fascinating history on a guided walking tour.

Otherwise there are plenty of tours online such as the City Bus Tour and Schonbrunn Palace , which guarantees a delightful taste of Vienna’s cultural landmarks.

Schönbrunn Palace Vienna In A Day Things To Do In Vienna

Where To Stay In Vienna

Grand Hotel Wien

Only a 3-minute walk from the Vienna State Opera and the famous Kärntner Straße Shopping Street, the luxurious Grand Hotel Wien offers 5 restaurants, 2 bars, a spa area, and a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of Vienna.

Valet parking and free WiFi are available as well. 

The luxuriously-furnished rooms and suites in the Grand Hotel’s impressive historic building are equipped with elegant furniture, large modern flat-screen TVs with a selection of international channels, and coffee making facilities .

Bathrobes and slippers can be found in the marble bathroom with 2 washbasins.

City Pension Stephansplatz

The family-run City Pension is located in Vienna city centre, a 2-minute walk from Saint Stephen’s Square, Schwedenplatz and Kärtner Straße Shopping Street.

The U1 and U3 metro stops are only 50 yards away, and the U4 metro stop is 150 yards away. Free WiFi is also available.

The newly-renovated rooms in Viennese style provide a flat-screen satellite TV, air conditioning, a minibar, an electric kettle and a bathroom with shower, hairdryer and free toiletries.

Boutique Hostel – Zum Goldenen Kegel

Set in the 16. Ottakring district in Vienna and occupying a 300-year old building, 1,000 yards from Wiener Stadthalle, Boutique Hostel, Zum Goldenen Kegel features free WiFi access.

The Thaliastraße Metro and Tram Stop (U6 and 46) is 250 yards away. 

This family-run hostel provides comfort in a quiet and calm location with a garden and a yard for social interactions. 

All rooms come with a flat-screen TV and a shared bathroom.

For more places to stay in Vienna, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com .

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Vienna

One Day in Vienna – How to Explore Austria’s Capital When Time Is Short

Last Modified: January 22, 2024 //  by  Anda //   23 Comments

Is one day in Vienna enough to see the city? After spending almost two weeks there, I’ll have to say it probably isn’t. Nonetheless, Vienna’s city center is very compact and with the right itinerary you can cover a lot in one day.

Some people visit Vienna as a day trip from Salzburg , or another European city . Others have a long lay-over, or a cruise ship stop. Ideally you should spend at least 3 days in Vienna , but one day is still better than nothing.

One day in Vienna itinerary

Table of Contents

Admire the Hofburg Palace Complex

  • Learn About the Spanish Riding School (Spanische Hofreitschule)

Visit Stephansplatz and St. Stephen’s Cathedral

Walk along the graben.

  • Step Inside St. Peter’s Church (Peterskirche)

Visit the Vienna Opera House

  • Try Vienna’s Famous Sacher Cake (Sachertorte)

Stroll through Prater Amusement Park

How to make the most of your day in vienna, one-day in vienna itinerary.

The best way to discover Vienna’s architectural wanders and historical sites is to walk through its city center ( Innere Stadt) . This itinerary will take you through the city’s most important landmarks and help you discover the best of Vienna in a day.

Vienna’s historic center is encircled by the  Ring Road  (Ringstraße), a grand boulevard constructed along the old city walls. The walls have been torn down in 1857, when Emperor Franz Joseph I ordered the erection of a grand boulevard in their place. 

One Day in Vienna

The historic center of Vienna is jam-packed with grandiose structures and architectural masterpieces. The most impressive one of all is the Hofburg Palace. For centuries, Vienna’s Imperial Palace was the seat of the Habsburgs who ruled Austria until the end of the 1st World War.

Hofburg Palace main gate

The palace complex, which is one of the largest in the world, displays many architectural styles, from Gothic to Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo. That is explained by the fact that almost every monarch who ever lived in this palace made changes or additions to it.

Hofburg Palace

Take your time and admire the grandiose building structures that make up the palace. Notice the intricate details of the windows, doorways and the multitude of statues that adorn the building roofs and terraces.

Hofburg Palace detail

The palace houses many museums, among which are the Imperial Apartments, Sisi Museum, and The Silver and Tableware Collection. All three can be accessed with a single ticket and are worth visiting if you have more than one day in Vienna.

Learn About the Spanish Riding School ( Spanische Hofreitschule )

Next to the Imperial Apartments, also in the Hofburg Palace, is the famous Spanish Riding School. You’ve probably heard of this equestrian school and its Lipizzaner stallions before. For over 450 years, the Spanish Riding School has kept alive classical equitation and the  haute école  movements of classical dressage.

The Spanish Riding School / 1 Day in Vienna

Watching the Lipizzaner stallions perform was one of the highlights of our trip to Vienna. Some of the movements presented in the show had a high degree of difficulty, yet they made it look so easy. There was an amazing connection between horse and rider, like they were one single body.

Performance at the Spanish Riding School Vienna

Performances at the Spanish Riding School are a big deal and difficult to catch. They only take place on weekends, between May and September, so it will be difficult to include one in your Vienna itinerary. However, you can still see what it’s all about if you take a tour of the school.

You’ll learn about the history behind the beautiful Baroque structure of the Riding School and about the Lipizzaner horses. You also have the option to watch the 10am training session and see the horses do some of their tricks.

The Spanish Riding School is located in the Hofburg Palace, between Michaelerplatz and Josefsplatz.  To avoid the long lines, book your visit here :

Stephanplatz is Vienna’s busiest square. Always full of people and street vendors! The Time Square of Europe, as some jokingly call it. The square is surrounded by shops and cafés and is a good place for people watching. From here you can easily navigate to the other parts of the city that you may wish to see.

View of Stephenplatz

In the middle of the Stephanplatz is St. Stephen’s Cathedral , which marks the very center of Vienna. The 700 years old cathedral is one of the most important and most beloved landmarks in the country.  

st. Stephen's Cathedral

The cathedral is as beautiful inside as it is outside, decorated with Baroque altarpieces and tall marble columns. There are many treasures inside which you can see if you take a guided tour. Like the tomb of of Prince Eugene of Savoy, dating from 1754, or a red-marble sepulcher that took 46 years to sculpt.

inside St. Stephen's Cathedral

And if these vestiges are not enough to impress you, think about the fact that you are standing in the same church where Mozart was married in 1782 and Joseph Haydn sang as a choir boy.

inside St. Stephen's cathedral in Vienna

The most famous feature of the Cathedral is the Gothic South Tower, which took 65 years to build. If you are not claustrophobic (like me), you can climb the 343 steps of the tight spiral staircase to the lookout point. I was too scared to climb up there, but they say the view from the top is absolutely spectacular!

West of Stephansplatz is the Graben. Graben is a pedestrian street with upscale retailer stores, souvenir shops, cafés and restaurants. Most of the buildings in this area date back to the 17th and 18th century. Here you can find here some finest traditional shops in Austria, like the porcelain store Augarten, Heldwein Jewelry, or Nägele & Strubell perfumery.

Graben Strasse

There is so much to see during this walk! Looking at all the beautiful old buildings really makes you appreciate all the history and beauty of this city.  This area is extremely crowded during the day, but the street is very wide and spacious. Walking down the Graben is an experience you shouldn’t miss if you are in Vienna.

The Plague Column on Graben, in Vienna

There are several beautiful landmarks to watch for on Graben, like the fountains Josefs and Leopoldsbrunnen. Look also for the Plague Column which was built in 1679, at the peak of the plague epidemic.

Step Inside St. Peter’s Church ( Peterskirche )

Just off the busy Graben, surrounded by 18th century buildings, is the beautiful St.Peter’s Church ( Peterskirche ). Peterskirche is the most significant Baroque churches in Vienna , after Karlskirche. 

St. Peter's Church in Vienna

The church is not big, but it’s unusually bright and beautiful. Everywhere you look inside you’ll see a rich, multicolored ornamental design. Just behind the main altar you’ll see the Baroque organ built in 1751.

The sound of this organ is particularly beautiful. If you are in this area around 3 pm, make sure to step inside. The church offers free concerts every Monday to Friday at 3 pm. We were fortunate to hear Mozart’s Laudate Dominum here. Divine!

Iside St.Stephen's Church in Vienna

The central dome has a small windowed tower at its center, with a dove as the representation of the Holy Spirit/Trinity at the very top. 

Interior view of St. Peter's Church cupola

Just a short walk from Stephansplatz is the famous State Opera House. Seeing an opera in Vienna may be on your bucket list, but since you only have a day in Vienna you’ll have to settle for a tour.

Opera House in Vienna

The guided tour will take approximately 40 minutes. You will hear many interesting facts about the building’s history, its architecture and how an opera house runs. You will get to see the foyer, the grand staircase, the state rooms (Tea Salon, Marble Hall, Schwind Foyer, Gustav Mahler Hall) and the auditorium.

One day in Vienna - Opera House

Try Vienna’s Famous Sacher Cake ( Sachertorte )

No trip to Vienna would be complete without trying a slice of the famous sachertorte . The cake is available in many Vienna coffee houses, but you have to try it at Café Sacher, where it was first created in 1832. The café is located next to the State Opera House, in the grandiose building of Sacher Hotel.

Cafe Sacher in Vienna

However, there’s more to this coffee house than just the chocolate cake. Café Sacher is a Vienna trademark. This was the imperial café and a meeting place for many famous artists and political figures of the time.

As you sit in its plush salon lined with red damask, you’ll understand why this place has built such a fame. As for the dense and delectable chocolate cake made with apricot jam and a rich chocolate glaze, you are not likely to forget it soon!

one day trip vienna

I left a visit to Prater – the amusement park of Vienna – for last, in case you think your itinerary is too busy. I personally don’t think this is a must-see, although it’s a nice place to spend a couple of hours.

The park was built on a piece of land that was donated to the public by Emperor Joseph II, in 1766. In the years that followed, swings, carousels and cafés began moving in and soon Prater became the favorite recreation area of the Viennese.

The park has many attractions, but is especially known for the giant Ferris wheel built here in 1897. Many people argue that no visit to Vienna is complete without a ride in the giant Ferris wheel.

The wheel itself is really impressive and offers some spectacular views of the city. However, if amusement parks are not your thing, you may skip this one and finish your day with a relaxing evening cruise through the Danube Canal.

View of the Giant Ferris wheel in Prater, Vienna

Prater is a little far from the historical city center, but it’s a nice place to visit in the late afternoon. The park stays open till midnight and is particularly attractive for families with children.

To get to Prater take metro line U2 (Direction Seestadt). Or use the Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus red line which stops at Prater. To skip the line, book your ticket to the Giant Ferris Wheel here:

Start Early

If you only have a day in Vienna, you should get an early start. Vienna’s Inner Stadt is not very big, but it’s packed with attractions. Starting early will allow you to see more and beat the crowds. At 9 o’clock in the morning the city streets are still empty and quite enchanting to visit.

Use the Hop-on Hop-Off Bus for Getting Around

A great way to see Vienna when time is short is to use the Hop-on Hop-Off Big Bus . The Big Bus company has two main routes: the red and the blue. The red route will take you around the centre of the city and up to Danube Island. The blue route goes to the magnificent Schönbrunn Palace. However, I would skip Schönbrunn for this one day trip.

View of the Big Bus in Vienna

The bus passes by many of the famous landmarks in Vienna. You can hop-off the buss to visit them and then hop back on, which is very practical. The tour has a very informative audioguide that tells you about each point of interest you pass by. The first tours starts at 9:30 am in front of Votive Church, at Rooseveltplatz. You can buy your Big Bus tour ticket online and save 10%.

Sample Some of Vienna’s Culinary Highlights

If you thought Vienna was all about crispy, golden Schnitzel, think again. The city’s food scene is varied and creative, so don’t leave without trying spaetzle, roasted chestnuts, venison and pumpkin, or the Viennese Goulash. Vienna is also famous for its wide variety of coffee specialties and scrumptious desserts.

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Anda is an award winning travel writer, avid globetrotter and passionate photographer. She is the voice behind "Travel Notes & Beyond," a collection of stories and travel impressions from her wanderings around the world. When she is not busy writing, traveling, or editing photographs, you can find her hiking in the foothills behind her house together with her husband and their dog.

View of Salzburg old town

Reader Interactions

Gary Francis

August 5, 2019 at 2:17 am

We had the best Christmas Day in Vienna a couple of years back. Breakfast at the markets at Schönbrunn Palace, then ice skating at the big outdoor rink near the gardens, and finishing at Prate amusement park. My kids loved it.

Anda Galffy

August 6, 2019 at 10:59 am

I love Vienna too, Gary.

June 30, 2019 at 12:33 pm

We’re yet to visit Vienna, but I’ll certainly refer to your comprehensive guide when we do. The Spanish Riding School is something I’ve always wanted to see

June 30, 2019 at 2:45 pm

Hope you’ll get to see it, Suze.

June 28, 2019 at 4:04 am

One of the things I love most about one day itineraries is that they highlight the most essential things to see and do at a destination. You’ve done a fantastic job here focusing on the best attractions. Those with more time can enjoy them at a more leisurely pace, but at least no one will leave with regrets that they didn’t see one of Vienna’s icons.

Rhonda Albom

June 27, 2019 at 4:56 pm

There is so much to see in Vienna. Your one-day itinerary is perfect and packs so much in for the short amount of time. I think I missed the Sachertorte when I was there.

June 27, 2019 at 11:23 pm

Ah, big mistake, Rhonda. Time to go back, hahaha!

June 27, 2019 at 2:30 pm

The goal is always for slow travel but since we’re still dealing with vacation days, we sometimes only have a day here and there. Will definitely use this itinerary for Vienna if we only have a day. But hopefully we’ll have more!

June 27, 2019 at 3:14 pm

I agree, Jill. We all love slow travel, but for many this is a luxury they can’t afford.

June 26, 2019 at 1:25 pm

Vienna is beautiful city and also one of the best cities to live (in Europe). Architecture is amazing but my favourite thing is to go to a caffe in one of the old ones, sip my coffee, eat sacher cake and do some people watching! If you find the right place you can get in this feeling of traveling in time! Old people, drinking caffee and reading newspapers – that was my absolutely favourite part of Vienna!

June 26, 2019 at 10:25 am

I was in Vienna last summer and was so disappointed that I was not able to tour the city due to a bad bout of food poisoning. Your post has definitely inspired me to book a trip back ASAP! This is a perfect quintessential guide because you covered many different areas: architecture, history, culture and even food. I think I’m most excited to visit Vienna’s riding school and St. Stephen’s Basicila. Both look immaculate and so regal.

Annick Lenoir-Peek

June 25, 2019 at 6:57 pm

I’m planning a trip to Vienna this fall so this is perfect timing. I haven’t completed my itinerary so it’s good to know that at least three days is ideal though I can see it in one if need be. I’m intrigued by the Spanish horses though I better go in September if I want to see it. And I’m definitely trying the chocolate cake!

June 26, 2019 at 1:45 am

Hahaha, you should. It’s delicious!

Arnav Mathur

June 25, 2019 at 10:15 am

This is exactly what I did when I had a day in Vienna back in January 2018. But it was snowing at that time ,making Vienna look extremely beautiful too. And yeah I agree, 1 day is rather too less for Vienna.

June 25, 2019 at 12:17 am

I have visited Vienna many times and yet could not write about it. When I read your lovely article – I realized that its because Vienna is such a big place with many sights and so what you have here is so very useful to travellers to get an overview. I will definitely be sending this page along for my friends with limited time to see Vienna.

June 25, 2019 at 10:11 am

Thank you, Adele

June 24, 2019 at 7:13 pm

We have plans to go to Austria/Vienna soon. This is an excellent one day guide! St. Peter’s Church looks stunning. That would be a must-see for me!

Jane Dempster-Smith

June 24, 2019 at 5:21 pm

This has been a dream of mine to visit Vienna and in particular the Spanish Riding School. And of course to try their delicious cakes. The architecture is simply stunning. That’s a great tip using the Hop On Hop Off Bus to get around Vienna, we have used them many times and find them great for transport and history of the city we are visiting. Love your photos.

June 25, 2019 at 12:10 am

I was under the impression you have been in Vienna already.

Bhushavali N

June 24, 2019 at 2:50 pm

I’m planning to spend an extended weekend in Austria to visit Vienna and Salzburg. So, thanks for this detailed guide. I’d really like to visit the palace of the Habsburgs. There are so many things in Belgium & Luxembourg that were built/created by them. To see what they’ve done in their own country would be an interesting thing to do. St.Peter’s church looks so unique in its architecture. I’d totally love to see it with my own eyes!

June 24, 2019 at 4:20 pm

Hope you’ll have a wonderful stay in Vienna.

June 23, 2019 at 11:51 pm

I visited Vienna multiple times and I think to fully explore this city, one would need a lot more time. However, time is something most people don’t have most of the time 🙂 This is a great guide for everyone that wants to take a quick stroll around the city and I really enjoyed reading your article.

June 24, 2019 at 4:24 pm

I totally agree,Daniel. Vienna, like many other European capitals, has endless possibilities for sightseeing.

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One Day in Vienna: How to Spend Perfect 24 Hours

one day in Vienna - Austria Vienna tourist information

One day in Vienna introduces you to a fascinating world of culture, history, and magic.

Vienna is a beautiful city with a  rich history  and  culture.  Even if you only have  one day , there are many things to see and do in Vienna.

For a city with such a deep and rich history, we recommend 2 or 3 days , but only if you are on short time, this article is designed to help you find  the must-sees in Vienna in one day and buy your tickets online so that you can spend a perfect 24 hours  without the risk of standing in line or running out of tickets . We've also included the most popular and must-see event tickets, which you can  instantly purchase online for select attractions.

If you only have 24 hours   and  want to learn the top things to do in Vienna in one day , this guide will be very helpful to plan time and budget planning  for you.

While preparing this article, we assume that  you have already arrived in Vienna  and have a  place to stay . 

If you are not sure where to stay, you can take a look at the where to stay in Vienna for first timers that we have carefully selected and recommended for you, as well as other helpful articles like our  airport guide ,  Food Guide ,  or our  Vienna shopping guide . Most importantly, check out our Sim card article to ensure your communication.

If you're ready, let your perfect day in Vienna begin!

How To Get Around in Vienna

walking in vienna - viennatouristinformation

The central area of  Vienna’s historic downtown  can be  easily walked , however not all of the city’s sites are clustered together, so just planning on walking the city  isn’t very practical . However, there are  several sites that can  easily be   walked between, and it’s a great way to experience the ambiance of Vienna. 

2. By Bicycle

bicycle viennatouristinformation

The city center of Vienna, and the majority of tourist attractions, are reachable by bicycle.

Your accommodation should be able to arrange a bicycle rental for 24 hours, otherwise,  Citybike Wien  is the  most popular bike-sharing service .

Simply register online, find a terminal and insert your card to unlock a bike.

Here  are very popular  bike tours:

  • 3-Hour Guided Bike Tour
  • 75-Minute Guided E-Bike Tour
  • Classic Vienna Bike Tour

3. By Public Transport

public transportation vienna - viennatouristinformation

The most convenient way to explore Vienna is to use the S-Bahn, U-Bahn, buses and trams .

  • U -Bahn: 5 underground lines run in Vienna. The network has a route length of 83 kilometers with a total of 109 stops. 
  • S-Bahn: also called Schnellbahn , connects Vienna with the surrounding area
  • Trams and Buses: 28 tram lines and 129 bus lines operate in Vienna every day.  

Taking public transportation is the most convenient method to get around Vienna ( Single ticket: €2.40 , 24-hour ticket  €8)

Tickets are available at:

  • The multilingual ticket machines (subway stations)
  • All advance sales points and the online shop of the Vienna Lines
  • In most tobacco shops
  • On a smartphone via the WienMobil app 

This permits unlimited use of the city’s metro, tram, and bus lines, which can be purchased in advance.

You can also check our  complete public transport guide via this link.

INSIDER TIP

Do not attempt to travel to or from the airport with Vienna transport tickets . Vienna airport lies outside the tariff zone, and  you will need to purchase a separate ticket to travel on the trains to and from the airport.

Instead, use the CAT ticket and travel on board the City Airport Train between Vienna Airport and the city center. Travel with the CAT ticket safely, and relaxed, without hitting the traffic in just 16 minutes. You can buy your CAT tickets via this link.

4. Vienna City Pass

one day trip vienna

A city pass is a wise investment  that gives you access to the  best attractions, activities, and public transportation  while  saving you time and money .

Vienna City Card  is  available  for  1, 2, or 3 consecutive days , and prices range from  24 hours for €17 , to  3 days of use + airport transfer for €29

The Vienna City Card also discounts over 210 popular attractions, so it’s worth the investment.

  • You can purchase your Vienna City Card here .

5. By Hop On Hop Off Bus

one day trip vienna

Standard buses  and  Hop-on, Hop-off Sightseeing buses are available in Vienna with the City Card.

This bus lets you jump on and off throughout the city, and explore monuments such as the Hofburg, House of Music, or the Schönbrunn Palace.

This option is  always popular among tourists , and it's a great way to see many famous landmarks around Vienna at ease.

  • We prepared  a Hop On Hop Off Bus Tours guide that you can check here.

You can purchase your tickets online in advance below:

  • Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour  
  • Vienna Panoramic N ight  B us

6. By Guided Tour

guided tour viennatouristinformation

Some of the best experiences we had in Vienna have been on private tours .

For those who are short on time, or prefer everything to be organized , we picked the  best and most popular guided tours.

From food tours to river cruises and pub crawls, there’s plenty to keep you busy in the Austrian capital:

  • Guided Walking Tour of City Center Highlights
  • Tickets for Vienna: Jewish Quarter Self-Guided Audio Tour
  • Tickets for Museum Quarter Vienna: Guided Tour  
  • Boat Cruise on the Danube Canal with Optional Lunch
  • Tickets for Self-Guided Music Walking Tour Vienna
  • Vienna Welcome Tour: Private Tour with a Local Guide
  • Skip the Line: Schönbrunn Palace & Vienna City Tour
  • World War II Historical Walking Tour
  • 1.5-Hour Underground Walking Tour

One Day in Vienna Itinerary

vienna city vienna tourist information

Welcome to Vienna,  Austria's cultural golden jewel , where  history, art, and gastronomic delights converge . With only one day in this wonderful city, we made the most of your time by  planning an itinerary that includes all of  Vienna's greatest attractions  for you.

With this well-planned itinerary , you can experience some of its  most iconic sights in just 24 hours.

While Schönbrunn Palace  is a gorgeous location and an  important Vienna landmark , seeing the palace complex in one day is  not practicable . Schönbrunn Palace would take roughly 4 hours to tour at a quick pace, that's why we have not included it in our itinerary. You can learn more about Schönbrunn Palace here.

Furthermore, because Schönbrunn is located  near the outside of the city , you'd need to travel at least an hour on public transport to get there and back, if you want to visit the palace.

We recommend that you extend your stay to at least two days; nonetheless, we have included s ome of the most popular Schönbrunn tickets below:

  • Schönbrunn Palace Tickets
  • Schönbrunn Palace: Concert at the Orangerie Tickets

Let's go  on an  unforgettable trip  to view the  must-see landmarks in Vienna .

1. Breakfast

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Cafe Frauenhuber | Wiener Kaffeehaus (@cafefrauenhuber)

Cafés in Vienna are more than just classic coffee shops . The Viennese coffee house tradition has been declared a UNESCO  World Heritage. That’s why you should start  your day  at a traditional Viennese coffee house.

The Café Frauenhuber   building in which the traditional Frauenhuber coffee house is located dates  back to 1746.  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  and  Ludwig van Beethoven  personally played table music for the guests here in  November 1788.

With its  extensive cuisine ,  stylish and cozy interior design , and  clean,   kind service,  it is the  perfect place to  start the day with an  extensive or light breakfast and say welcome to the day with delicious coffee. In summer, chairs are set up in front of the café.

2. St. Stephen's Cathedral

History of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna in Austria

After your breakfast, reach St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna's crowning jewel and an architectural marvel, within a 6-minute walk . 

This  awe-inspiring Gothic cathedral  is a  UNESCO World Heritage Site , and stands majestically at the heart of the city , with its  colorful tiled roof  and  towering spires drawing you in from afar. 

Step inside to explore the interior adorned with intricate carvings , stunning stained-glass windows,  and  historical artifacts . For a breathtaking view of Vienna,  climb the South Tower , but be prepared for a few hundred steps - the  panorama of the cityscape is well worth the effort.

  • More : You can find everything about St. Stephen's Cathedral here .
  • Get Tickets for St. Stephen's Cathedral & Dom Museum Wien + Audio Guides here.

3. Graben Vienna

Graben in Vienna in Austria

After experiencing  St. Stephen's Cathedral's spiritual and historical significance , head to Graben after a 3 -minute walk.  It is one of Vienna's most bustling and stylish locations .

Graben Square is a famous pedestrianized shopping street in Vienna . It is home to a number of high-end stores ,  restaurants, and cafes . The square is also known for its  iconic Pestsäule , or  Plague Column , which was erected in 1683   to commemorate the plague epidemic in 1679. 

This pedestrian-friendly boulevard,  lined with numerous stores , vibrant cafés, and  spectacular architecture , provides a pleasant shopping experience. 

4. Hofburg Imperial Palace

Hofburg in Wien

A 10 minute-walk from Graben will take you to one of the most important landmarks of Vienna .

Be sure to add Hofburg Palace to your list of  must-see attractions . This magnificent palace is a  UNESCO World Heritage Site , and it is a truly unforgettable sight.

Hofburg Palace is one of the  largest palaces in the world , and it is  located in the heart of Vienna , Austria. The palace has been the seat of the Habsburg dynasty for centuries, and it is  now home to a number of museums , including the  Imperial Apartments , the  Sisi Museum , and the  Spanish Riding School .

  • You can find a guide and tips about Hofburg Imperial Palace via this link.

If you want to see the whole palace , you need to spend an average of 3 hours , but if you want to fit more activities into one day in Vienna, you can visit only the parts that interest you instead of visiting the whole palace.

You can find the best Hofburg Palace and Spanish Riding School tours and tickets below:

  • Tickets for Hofburg Palace and Sisi Museum: Guided Tour
  • Tickets for Hofburg Palace and Konzerthaus Strauss & Mozart Concert
  • Tickets for Vienna: Skip-the-Line Sisi Museum, Hofburg Palace and Gardens Tour
  • Skip-the-Line Hofburg Ticket & Sisi Museum Tour
  • Sisi Museum Tickets
  • Imperial Treasury Tickets
  • Tickets for Guided Tour at the Spanish Riding School
  • Performance Of The Lipizzans At Spanish Riding School
  • Spanish Riding School + Spanish Riding School
  • Spanish Riding School Training
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Hotel Imperial, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Vienna (@imperialvienna)

For a  regal dining experience , treat yourself to lunch at  Café Imperial Wien , an  elegant   establishment  that has been serving Viennese delicacies for  over a century .

Taste traditional dishes like Wiener Schnitzel  or  Tafelspitz , and don't forget to try the  famous Sachertorte , a rich chocolate cake that's a true Viennese classic.

The traditional Viennese café has been located in Palais Ferstel since 1896  and was a meeting place for  poets ,  thinkers  and  revolutionaries  of old  Vienna for decades . Sigmund Freud,  Stefan Zweig , and  Leon Trotsky  were often guests in what was then the  Literature Café.   In summer  you can sit in the  small garden  in front of the café.  

  • Read More: Here are Viennese food culture tips

6. Karlskirche

one day trip vienna

After satisfying your palate, it is  only a 4-minute walk to Karlskirche (St. Charles Church).

Karlskirche is a  Baroque church located in the center of Vienna . It was built in the early 18th century  by  Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach , and it is dedicated to Saint Charles Borromeo. 

The church is  famous for its two towering columns , which are decorated with  bas-reliefs depicting the life of Saint Charles. 

Karlskirche is a  popular tourist destination , and it is estimated that  over 2 million people  visit the church  each year.  The church  is open  to visitors from  9 am to 6 pm , and there is no  admission fee.

  • You can learn everything about St. Charles Church (Karlskirche) here.

7. Naschmarkt 

Wie komme ich zum Naschmarkt

As the sun starts to set, make your way to  Vienna's oldest and most famous open-air market ,  Naschmarkt . There are many shops selling  fresh vegetables ,  spices , unusual fruits,  handmade crafts , and  international cuisine . 

Take a leisurely stroll through the market, taking in the lively ambience and eating delectable foods from all over the world . Whether you're a  foodie  or  just looking for souvenirs ,  Naschmarkt is a sensory experience  that  embodies the spirit of Vienna's culinary culture .

  • Check our  Guide to Naschmarkt in Vienna for more information.

You can find guided tours below:

  • Naschmarkt Culinary Tour
  • Naschmarkt Food Tasting Tour

Don't leave your shopping till Sunday . Just like in a lot of Western European countries, shops here are closed on Sundays . And we mean all of them - even grocery shops.

So be sure to  get everything you need on Saturday at the latest.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Schweizerhaus Biergarten Wien (@schweizerhaus)

For dinner, we recommend a traditional Viennese restaurant like Schweizerhaus , located directly in  Prater .  The restaurant with the large beer garden is open from March 15th to October 31st.  The cuisine is classic Viennese and of course, there are the typical snacks that should not be missing in any beer garden. 

The Biergarten is divided into several areas, which are named after the districts of Vienna for better orientation for the guests.  A special feature is the Budweiser Budvar, a draft beer , and the Schweizerhauser beer chocolate , which is made with bock beer.

  • Whether you want to dine in a specific part of town, try a particular Viennese cuisine, or explore more culinary ideas from Austria that you may not have heard of,  our list with 22 Selected Restaurants in Vienna has the perfect answer for you .

Be sure to take a look at our other food articles:

  • The complete Vienna Restaurant Guide: Dining, Typical Dishes & Best Restaurants
  • Top 10 Michelin Star Restaurants in Vienna

9. Evening in Vienna: Culture or Fun?

We have two suggestions for the best way to finish your day in Vienna:  a night of music and culture at a classical concert, or a fun-filled night at the Prater amusement park.

9.1  Attempt a Classical Concert

one day trip vienna

Music is an essential part of cultural life in Vienna and has a significant impact on the city and its identity. Throughout the year, classical concerts are held at historic venues.

Even though 24 hours may seem too short to explore such a magnificent city and attend a concert, you can be sure that you will experience some of Vienna's most enchanting and historically significant attractions.

After a delicious dinner, you can enjoy a classical concert in one of Vienna's centuries-old palaces or opera buildings.

To save you time, we   have listed the most popular and current concert guides and concert tickets below:

  • Guide to Mozarthaus Vienna: Tickets, Concerts & Tips
  • 15 Classical Concerts in Vienna [Compare Tickets]
  • Guide to St. Charles Church (Karlskirche) in Vienna: Concerts, Tickets & History

Unique Concert Tickets:

  • Tickets for Vienna Mozart Orchestra at the Musikverein with Pre- or Post-Concert Dinner
  • Tickets for St. Anne's Church Vienna: Classical Concert
  • Tickets for Kursalon Vienna: Strauss and Mozart Concert
  • Tickets for Vienna Mozart Orchestra at the Musikverein
  • Tickets for Vivaldi's Four Seasons concert at Karlskirche - St. Charles' Church
  • Mozart Concert at the Golden Hall
  • Classical Concert in St. Anne's Church
  • Classic Ensemble Vienna in St. Peter's Church Ticket
  • Entry Tickets to Mozart and Strauss Concert
  • Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Concert in Karlskirche

As previously mentioned, we suggest purchasing all of your tickets online to avoid waiting in line or the risk of tickets being sold out.

9.2 Prater Amusement Park

Prater & Ferrys wheel vienna tourist information

Looking for an alternative evening activity in Vienna with kids ? Look no further than the well-known Prater! Take an exciting journey on the Giant Ferris Wheel, which offers stunning city views as the day sets.  Enjoy the attractions of the amusement park, which will keep the kids interested for hours . 

As the night falls, after enjoying a delicious dinner in the cozy environment of the aforementioned Schweizerhaus, the   Prater guarantees an entertaining  evening  in Vienna with its dynamic atmosphere and historic charm . 

You can embrace the magic of this iconic landmark with the whole family. F ascinating vistas , laughter-filled moments , and wonderful treat s make for cherished memories that will last long after the night is over.

  • If you never heard about the Vienna Ferris Wheel you should check this guide as well as our complete guide about the Prater amusement park .

Popular Ticket Options:

  • Skip-the-cashier-desk-line Ticket for a Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel ride: Secure your ticket now!  (Most popular option)
  • Ticket to Madame Tussauds in the Prater:  Get your ticket online!
  • Ticket to the Chocolate Museum in the Prater with Chocolate Workshop and Free Tasting:  Book now!

More Things About Vienna

one day trip vienna

As your day in Vienna draws to a close, reflect on the myriad of experiences you've encountered. 

Vienna, a city of grandeur and elegance, has captivated travelers for centuries with its rich history, architectural wonders, and cultural treasures. Although a one-day trip to Vienna may only show the surface of what Vienna has to offer , it can still leave a lasting impression. 

From the Gothic splendor of St. Stephen's Cathedral  to the  imperial opulence of Hofburg Palace , and the  culinary delights of Naschmarkt , every moment in Vienna is an opportunity to immerse yourself in its timeless charm.

If you don't have any further details or plans for the city, don't forget to check out our comprehensive Vienna guide.

If you want to do something different in the city, meet new people, possibly explore your own city again, or avoid returning to previously visited areas, we've gathered some of the most popular and recommended tours and tickets below.

One day in Vienna must-see experiences await you - purchase your tickets online and make it a memorable visit:

  • Tickets for Museum Quarter Vienna: Guided Tour
  • Austrian Folklore Dinner + Show in City Hall
  • Tickets for Vienna's Giant Ferris Wheel: Skip The Line
  • Tickets for KHM Kunsthistorischesmuseum: Skip The Line
  • Spanish Riding School Tickets
  • Vienna panoramic Night Bus
  • Tickets for Vienna: City Segway Tour
  • Skip-the-line Tickets for Schönbrunn Zoo
  • 3-Course Evening Dinner Cruise
  • Skip-the-cashier-desk-line Giant Ferris Wheel Ride

Related Articles

65 best things to do in vienna [with tickets & map], 10 best markets in vienna: from food to flea markets [with hours], 28 best 4-star hotels in the center of vienna [by rating], 21 best 5-star hotels in vienna [by rating], 10 most beautiful palaces and castles in vienna [with tickets & map], top 10 things to do in vienna: with online tickets & tours.

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1 day in vienna — suggested vienna 1 day itinerary & best places to see in vienna in 1 day.

one day trip vienna

If anyone has ever been to Vienna probably share a common sense that this city is not inferior to anywhere in Europe in terms of ancient, beautiful and majestic. Vienna is a combination of romantic beauty blending with a bit of nostalgia and indispensable flavor of music. However, travelers, especially backpackers or self-sufficient travelers often shorten their journey to Vienna because Austria has many other beautiful places are Salzburg and especially Hallstatt, so there is not much time for Vienna. If you had only one day in Vienna, where would you go? So, what to do in Vienna for 1 day (Vienna in a day) and how to spend 1 day in Vienna (24 hours in Vienna)? Let’s check it out our suggested Vienna one day trip with best places to see in Vienna in 1 day (must see Vienna one day, Vienna 1 day itinerary, Vienna one day itinerary) to find out the answer!

  • Vienna travel blog — The fullest vienna travel guide & How to spend 1 day in vienna perfectly?
  • One day in Vienna — What to see in Vienna in one day?
  • Salzburg travel blog — The fullest Salzburg travel guide for first-timers
  • Salzburg blog — Sleeping heaven of Austria
  • What to buy in Austria? — 17+ best souvenirs from Austria & best things to buy in Austria

one day trip vienna

1 day in Vienna: Top places to see in Vienna in 1 day (must see Vienna one day)

one day trip vienna

Vienna is likened to an elegant and successful gentleman, because of the richness but equally ancient of this city. So many poets, writers have fallen in love with Vienna, letting go of the most beautiful words to praise its beauty. But there is nothing like coming here, feeling the rhythm and breath of Vienna, taking a leisurely ride on horse carriage riding like in fairy tales or getting on trams with two distinctive red-and-white colors throughout the city and wandering around Vienna …

Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour, Walking Tour & Carriage Ride

one day trip vienna

Schönbrunn Palace – Summer Palace

Not surprisingly, if this is the first place that comes to mind of every visitor when coming to Vienna. Although a bit far from the city center, you can easily getting here because the palace is located quite near the subway station. Schönbrunn Palace, also known as the Summer Palace, is a favorite resort on the hot summer days of the Austrian royal family before and a hunting ground for nobility. But the most famous for this palace is the romantic story of Emperor Franz Josef I and the beautiful Bavarian young woman – Elizabeth, later is Queen Sissi. Although the queen was not a fan of Vienna, she accepted stay at the palace because of her gratitude for the King.

one day trip vienna

Schönbrunn Palace was built in a large ground with modern Baroque architecture during the Renaissance period. Honestly, I found the design here quite simple, gentle, a large building and surrounded by lots of trees and many people take care of everyday. One thing that will bother that visitors are not allowed to take photos inside the palace but are only allowed to take photos at outside areas.

one day trip vienna

Right next to the palace, take a walk up the hill to visit the Gloriette (a tower-like two storeyed pavilion built around 1775) by Architect Fisher. From this pavilion you can see the whole beautiful city of Vienna, highlighting the magnificent and splendid of the Palace and the vibrant flower gardens surrounding it. You should note that Schönbrunn is very large, it takes all day to explore all, so you should detailp plan to go to other places.

one day trip vienna

Address: Schönbrunner Schloßstraße 47, 1130 Wien, Austria

St. Stephen’s Cathedral

one day trip vienna

Goodbye Summer Palace, take Metro to return to downtown. Fortunately, almost all the attractions are concentrated in an area not too far from each other that you can walk to visit. Exit at Stephansplatz Metro Station and you’ll immediately see St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the symbol of Vienna is like the Eiffel of Paris .

one day trip vienna

St. Stephen’s Cathedral is 145m high, built in a magnificent Gothic style to every angle and every detail, sharp windows and soaring towers to make the whole building solid and strong. The people of Vienna called Stephen by the intimate name “Steffl” because it was so long associated with the city, to the point that people felt a little aversion to the Hass Haus architecture that was built right opposite from it later.

one day trip vienna

On occasions when visiting ancient European cities, I like to wander the alleys and corners of the city where daily activities of indigenous people take place, but with strange light direction and unique camera spot for my camera. In Stephansdom there are such streets, I have been learning somewhere about the Rosensteingasse road where Mozart died, the intact relics for hundreds of years about an ancient and deep Vienna.

one day trip vienna

Address: Stephansplatz 3, 1010 Wien, Austria

Hofburg Imperial Palace

If Schönbrunn Palace is the Summer Palace, Hofburg is known as the Winter Palace. It is also a huge, vast complex that has been the residence of the Habsburg royal family for centuries. Today the palace is divided into sections with works such as the National Library and the Presidential Palace.

one day trip vienna

Together with Hungary, the Austro-Hungarian Empire used to be a powerful empire before, so Austria has a lot of monumental works that Hofburg Palace is a typical architecture. Coming here, you will see a lot of horse carts, much more than other areas because they do travel services by this means. Another strange thing about this palace is that the complex lacks a palace on the left that looks a bit unbalanced compared to the central palace in the middle and an extra palace on the right, but it makes perfect from that imbalance itself.

one day trip vienna

Leaving the Palace and walking a few steps are the Museum of Natural History Vienna (Address: Burgring 7, 1010 Wien, Austria) and the Museum of Art History (Museum of Fine Arts) (Address: Maria-Theresien-Platz, 1010 Wien, Austria) displaying numerous works of art from Habsburg dynasty. For me, the museum is not a very interesting place, so I just stop by.

one day trip vienna

Address: Michaelerkuppel, 1010 Wien, Austria

Wiener Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera)

Vienna’s Opera House is also a symbol because it represents the quintessence, art, music of Austria, for those who love classical music. Wandering here you will easily catch the Ticket touts invite to come to listen to a concert held here. This theater is located right next to the relatively large road so it feels quite rough and does not attract eyes like other architectural works.

one day trip vienna

Actually the ticket price is not too high, only 15-20 EUR for a seat inside, but there are also tickets up to hundreds of euros. Coming to Vienna and buy tickets to see a performance in the Opera House is also a memorable experience, but if you have too little budget for this, there is a discount tip that you should buy a standing ticket , only 3-4 EUR . Although a bit hard, but what brings surely will be well worth it. In addition to the Opera House, Vienna has many other old theaters scattered throughout the city.

one day trip vienna

Address: Opernring 2, 1010 Wien, Austria

one day trip vienna

Vienna 1 day itinerary: Other places

In addition to the architectures and places mentioned above you can take a tour around to visit some other places. It is the Belvedere Palace, Hundertwasser , or an apartment complex designed by an architect of the same name with many colors and different protruding blocks creating a magnificent picture. And the new Danube Tower was built in the 20th century in a modern style, you can go to the top of the tower to see the whole city, the gentle Danube river and the modern street with the UN building on the other river side. In addition, the above has a very unique cafe. This cafe is created by 2 golden towers with many angles and rotates every 30 minutes.

one day trip vienna

Vienna is not only famous for its magnificent architectural works, but also coming to Vienna is an opportunity to take a stroll to admire the peaceful scenery, walking along the banks of the Danube river flowing through many major European cities such as Prague or Budapest. Vienna is known as the capital of music, home to musical geniuses like Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert… with many immortal compositions. In order to enjoy music in Vienna, not only in the national theaters, but you can see anywhere on the road, or the Karntner Strasse walking street where the gathering of street artists that are showing their talent…

one day trip vienna

If you have more time and want to learn deeper into life in Vienna, you should go to Kohlmarkt walking street. This is a street selling coal before, so it was named affectionately as Coal Market, and Michaelerplatz square at the end of the road with many ancient architectural houses, colorful windows …

one day trip vienna

Vienna 1 day itinerary: Where to stay in Vienna?

Traveling to Vienna and convenient for traveling, visiting, you should stay in the central district, also known as District 1 (District one). Staying here, you can easily walk to visit the most famous places around there without having to travel far. If you want to go to more remote areas, metro is the optimal solution and is extremely convenient because the public transport system in Vienna is too good.

Of course the room rates in the center will be quite expensive, and I found that hotel price in Vienna are also in the top expensive compared to other cities in Europe. You can book hotels in Vienna via Booking.com , Agoda.com or Hostelworld . The old town of Stephansdom and Stephansplatz is a good choice because it is home to many attractions, and there are quite a lot of bars, pubs and eateries, the evening is very beautiful and bustling. If you have a good financial condition and prefer subtle, Das Triest Hotel ( Agoda.com or Booking.com ) can not be ignored designed with gentle and extremely luxurious architecture. Staying here you can go to the balcony to enjoy a hot cup of coffee and admire the whole of ancient Vienna.

one day trip vienna

If you are a backpacker, you should choose an economical accommodation, but usually a hostel is not located in the most central neighborhoods but on the edge of the city. You can refer to Westbahnhof Hostel One ( Agoda.com or Booking.com ) , located right next to the quite clean and beautiful Westbahnhof train station, with a self-catering kitchen, especially near the bustling shopping district of Mariahilfer Straße. If you want cheaper, you should choose a&t Holiday Hostel ( Agoda.com or Booking.com ) is also quite ok, bunk beds only 15-20 Euro.

one day trip vienna

Vienna one day trip: Shopping in Vienna

For shopping in Vienna you can go to the neighborhoods selling a lot of souvenirs, brands or jewelry such as Naschmarkt, Kärntner Strasse, Graben and Kohlmarkt.

The most famous market is Naschmarkt (Address: 1060 Vienna, Austria / Hours: 6AM–9PM; Sunday: Closed) , also known as the oldest market in Vienna. Here you can find many kinds of traditional food, Austrian food or even Asian and European foods. On Saturdays this area also has a large flea market meeting here, the opportunity for those who want to buy cheap miscellaneous items. There are also a number of smaller markets in Vienna that sell fruits and vegetables, such as Rochus Markt , Freyung and Karmelitermarkt .

one day trip vienna

For the shopping lovers, Mariahilfer Straße is not to be missed, many shops sell clothes, accessories, and luxury brands. For smaller shops you should look to Lindengasse, Siebensterngasse and Kirchengasse .

one day trip vienna

Events that take place throughout the year in Vienna / Austria

In Vienna, you should learn some holidays and festivals in Vienna so that you can harmonize the city beats, better understand the culture of the indigenous people. Some major events in Vienna take place throughout the year such as:

Christmas Market

Taking place from November 27 to December 24, this is an occasion that you can go to the ornately decorated Christmas markets, buy souvenirs, enjoy traditional dishes and live in peaceful Christmas atmosphere. The feeling of a warm Christmas in the cold weather always makes travelers remember forever. The Christmas markets in Vienna are usually located quite close to the main stations.

one day trip vienna

Donau Insel Fest

Taking place from June 24 to June 26 every year, it is a music festival in Vienna that attracts many tourists to the Danube island where the festival is held. You take the Metro to Donauinsel station to come to the road leading to the island and participate in the festival, free entrance.

one day trip vienna

Salzburger Festspiele

Taking place from July 22 to August 31, this music festival takes place in Salzburg and specializes in classical music.

one day trip vienna

1 day in Vienna: Some useful tips when traveling to Vienna

one day trip vienna

  • The good time to visit Vienna is from May to July because it is a time when the weather is still cool with light sunshine. At the peak of summer in August, it is sometimes very hot and uncomfortable. I don’t suggest to visit in the winter, but it’s great for those who come here at Christmas. Christmas atmosphere comes in every corner of Vienna, the city is dressed in new colors, more gorgeous and more charm, especially not to be missed the Christmas markets.
  • In Vienna there are many public water taps that you can easily get without having to buy bottled water at the supermarkets, it’s better when keep a large plastic bottle to store water. The water here also feels cleaner than in other cities.
  • Transportation in Vienna is very convenient and easy to traveling, you do not have to worry too much about this.
  • Unlike some other countries like France, Italy or Spain, Austrian people are quite good at English, you can easily communicate with them.
  • Coming to Vienna, you can not help but visit a cafe to enjoy not only the flavorful cup of coffee but also a lot of delicious food here. Visit the old town cafe to experience centuries-old life, scenery and culture, where poets and composers of Vienna often hang out to talk and share their ideas.
  • In Vienna most of the places are free to enter, for example St. Stephan’s Cathedral, Schonbrunn Palace flower garden area (if you visit the Schonbrunn palace the ticket price is € 13.30) and Belvedere Palace, Naschmarkt market.
  • Vienna has lots of places to go, play and enjoy but with just one day you can go to the main attractions above. If not because the time is too tight you should spend about 2-4 days to visit this city.

one day trip vienna

Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Vienna you can refer to

  • Private Vienna International Airport (VIE) Transfers for Vienna
  • Vienna City Card
  • Vienna PASS
  • Vienna City Airport Train Tickets
  • Salzburg Day Tour from Vienna
  • Hallstatt Day Tour from Salzburg
  • Hallstatt Day Tour from Vienna
  • Vienna Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Tours (Open-Top)
  • Schönbrunn Palace (Skip-the-Line) and Vienna City Tour

Are you looking for more top things to do in Vienna: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Read more: Vienna travel blog — The fullest vienna travel guide & How to spend 1 day in vienna perfectly? And let’s check it out here.

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One day in Vienna – how to see the most in the Austrian capital

Vienna was the first city in Europe I fell in love with. I went there for a school trip back when I was 16 and even if we spent only one day in Vienna I knew I will be returning there.

And I did, there were always some good reasons to visit Vienna !

Over the years I went to the capital of Austria so many times I’ve lost the count. At some point I even knew the city so much better than Warsaw !

In many cases I’ve spent one day in Vienna only, taking a night train there and back, so by now I’ve mastered the skill how to have the most of the little time you might have there!

My recent trip was also rather short so again I’ve squeezed all the best things to see in Vienna in just one day. I know the city deserves so much more, there were trips when I’ve spent a week or so there (including Vienna in winter ) and still haven’t seen everything.

But if you’re short on time and have only one day in Vienna this little guide might help you to plan your whereabouts!

Vienna essentials

  • Airport transfer: Pre-book the airport transfer from Vienna airport to your accommodation in Vienna here .
  • Where to stay in Vienna: Hotel Indigo Vienna – Naschmarkt (9.2/10) / ARTIST Boutique Hotel (9.3/10)
  • Best Vienna tour: Vienna City Center Small-Group Walking Tour
  • Best day trip from Vienna: Hallstatt Small-Group Day Trip from Vienna
  • Get insured for your trip to Austria with SafetyWing

one day in Vienna

Before you set off to explore Vienna in one day you need to decide how you want to get around the city.

You might use the public transport (8€ for 24 hours ticket) or you can use the convenient hop-on, hop-off bus that will take you directly to all the Vienna highlights, without the hassle of navigating through the metro, tram and bus network. Click here to read the details and book the ticket for the hop-on, hop-off bus!

Now, that you’re settled with the transportation let’s see how to use the best the one day in Vienna!

Table of Contents

Start your one day in Vienna at traditional cafe

Vienna is famous for its traditional coffee houses that eventually spread all over former Habsburg Empire .

I can’t imagine a better place to quietly sip a strong coffee while reading the newspaper or to have a discussion about literature. It feels like the time has stopped there but no one really minds.

The most famous one is Cafe Havelka, hidden in Dorotheergasse, few steps away from St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

My favorite, however, is Cafe Pruckel, in front of the Stadtpark and next to Stubentor subway station. Even if you do the budget travel to Vienna you should stop in one of the cafes!

one day in Vienna

Explore the Inner City

The center of Vienna is closed within Ring Road – everything you find inside is the Inner City. After you’re done with your morning coffee that’s where you should head to.

The very center is Stephansplatz with magnificent St. Stephen’s Cathedral – it’s definitely worth stepping inside as the interior is as breathtaking as the building itself. Be sure to visit the tower and the catacombs too!

Now from Stephansplatz you have two main options: Kartnerstrasse – the main shopping street in this area or Graben – the street with stunning houses along the way. I always choose the second option and go to Hofburg that way.

But before heading that way you can also look for traces of art nouveau architecture in the Inner City!

My recent discoveries were Ankeruhr – an art nouveau clock that gives a show at noon (kind of like astronomical clocks in Prague or Olomouc ) and the building of Austrian Postal Savings Bank designed by the most famous Viennese architect of that time Otto Wagner.

Since your time in Vienna is limited you might also want to join the highly rated walking tour with the professional guide to get to know the Inner City and to learn more about the capital of Austria. The tour lasts up to 2 hours and gives you a great overview of the place. Click here to read more about it and to reserve your spot!

one day in Vienna

Hofburg – the imperial residence

A majestic imperial palace that used to be home to the rulers of the country. Hofburg was rebuilt numerous time and now it’s a real mix of styles, with baroque and classicism being the dominant ones.

When you cross the inner yard pay attention to the renaissance Swiss Gate as it’s really beautiful!

If you’d like to see the incredible Imperial Treasury you’re in the right place as all those beauties are on display in Hofburg! You can book your ticket for a visit here (click!).

one day in Vienna - Hofburg

Ring Road – where to find the most important buildings in Vienna

The Inner Town is surrounded by Ring Road (with couple of different names, always with -ring at the end).

That’s where you will find the most important and most spectacular buildings in Vienna: the Opera House, the Parliament, the State Theater, the Town Hall or the University – just to name the few.

The most interesting part is between the Opera and Votivkirche. You can walk it (highly recommended as the sidewalk is broad and hidden in the shadow of trees) or if you feel lazy you might take the tram and look at all these beauties while moving around.

one day in Vienna

Karlsplatz and Naschmarkt – the art nouveau hub

Vienna is famous for its art nouveau and even if there aren’t as many amazing buildings as in Riga you can still find some real gems around.

The most amazing ones are located around Karlsplatz and Naschmarkt – the metro station, the Secession building with the Museum inside (not worth the money in my opinion) or three houses at Linke Wienzeile 38, 40, and 42.

While you’re at Karlsplatz make sure to visit beautiful Karlskirche – probably the most beautiful church in Vienna with two massive columns on both sides.

You should also walk through Naschmarkt – the most popular market in the city. While the first part is full of small restaurants serving food from all over the world, the further you go the more down to earth it gets and eventually it turns out into the flea market.

one day in Vienna

Schönbrunn Palace – where Empress Sissi used to live

This is one of the most important landmarks in Vienna and whole Austria. A beautiful baroque palace that used to be the summer residence of Habsburgs, including the famous Empress Sissi .

If you manage to get some extra time it’s worth to visit in inside – you will see only a small part of over 1.000 rooms but they are just stunning! But even if you’ll stay outside only you’re in for a treat!

The gardens surrounding the palace are equally beautiful and wandering around is a pure pleasure! Be sure to go up to the Gloriette too as the view from there is really good!

To use your time as best as possible I highly recommend booking the tour of the palace and the gardens with the skip-the-line ticket. The guide will show you all the best corners of the premises and tell you all about Schönbrunn Palace. Click here to read more details about the tour and to book it!

one day in Vienna

Hundertwasserhaus – the funky side of Vienna

The capital of Austria isn’t only about imperial, Habsburg remnants. In your one day in Vienna you can see also its funky side with its best example – Hundertwasserhaus.

This is probably the most famous work of the Austrian / New Zealand artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser and you will see how popular it is when you get there. There always seems to be tours visiting the place, opposite Hunderwasserthouse you will also find a big souvenirs shops.

But even with the hype, it is a really lovely place to visit as the house is just the cutest, with all these strong colors and unusual shapes!

Not too far from Hunderwasserthouse you will find KunstHausWien, designed by the same artist but with way less people around!

That’s where the Museum Hundertwasser is located – if you are intrigued by the funky artist and his work you can’t miss this place! Click here to book your ticket!

one day in Vienna

Prater – a fun ending of your one day in Vienna

Prater – a huge park that used to be Habsburg’s hunting area – is especially known for the amusement park with the big wheel built in 1897.

Your one day in Vienna wouldn’t be completed without riding the famous ferris wheel, with spectacular views of the city! Click here to book your ticket for the ride!

Besides the Ferris wheel, there are so many attractions to choose from and some of them are really terrifying (I’m speaking from my own experience).

The amusement park is open till midnight which makes a perfect and fun end of your one day in Vienna!

If you’re tired with Prater amusement park you might choose another activity to finish your day – a relaxing evening cruise through Danube Canal with the dinner included. Click here to read more details and book the cruise!

one day in Vienna

Travel resources

You can find the best accommodation options at Booking . They have many discounts and excellent customer service. Click here to look for the place to stay in Vienna

Never travel without travel insurance , you never know what might happen and better safe than sorry. You can check the insurance policy for Vienna here.

I recommend joining organized tours to get to know the place better and to visit more places during your trip. You can find a great selection of tours at Get Your Guide – click here .

Further reading

If you liked this article you might be also interested in other articles I wrote about Vienna and nearby location:

  • 10 reasons to visit Vienna, the amazing capital of Austria
  • Visit Graz, Austria – a picture-perfect city
  • The ultimate list of things to do in Bratislava, Slovakia
  • 50 pictures that will make you want to visit Budapest
  • Visit Brno – a perfect Central European city

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How to spend one day in Vienna Austria

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29 Comments

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“Best” is subjective, of course. However did you achieve this itinerary in one day? Did you tour either Hofburg, Schönbrunn, or Peterskirche, or just take photos of the exterior? (And just for reference, the flea market at Naschmarkt only occurs on Saturdays.)

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of course it is subjective but so are blogs (or most of the websites in the internet actually). I started my day fairly early so that could have been the key to success. Also it was mid July so the day was pretty long (although the weather wasn’t much on my side). I did went inside the Secession Museum and Schoenbrunn and I didn’t rushed from one place to another. Thank you for telling me about flea market, I was there on Saturday so I thought it’s a regular thing!

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Stefania - The Italian Backpacker

I love those zucchini pictures, ahahahah! By the away, weird to think that Warsaw to Vienna by train is almost the same time as Venice to Vienna…

It’s pretty close actually, just looks distant on the map as it’s a striaght line and you need to cross one more country on the way :)

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Magdalena Broda

Vienna is a glorious city. I lived there for a couple of months. The day I moved there I was just walking around the Ring Road mindlessly and smiling at how beautiful everything was :D

Kami and the rest of the world

I can imagine! I would probably do the same thing :)

Joshua Cummings

My wife and I made a return trip to Vienna back in June. The highlight for us was booking tickets to swan lake at the Vienna state opera house. Love the metro system there! It was a pleasure to have day passes and just jump on and go where you want.

the metro system in Vienna is great! I just adore art nouveau stations on U4 line!

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Patrząc na zdjęcia, aż mi się zachciało wrócić do Wiednia. A ja z Wiedniem za bardzo romansu nie czuję. Był to weekend w bardzo ładnym mieście, ale bardzo sztywnym jak dla mnie. Może jednak powinnam odłożyć wspomnienia na półkę i zrobię drugie podejście.

zdecydowanie! Czasami te kolejne podejścia dają zupełnie inny pogląd na miasto (ja tak z Ryga miałam, za czwartym razem naprawdę ją polubiłam). Nie jestes pierwszą osobą, która tak o Wiedniu mówi! Ja trochę lubię przez historię bo Habsburgowie, a trochę przez sentyment, bo to jedno z pierwszych dużych miast jakie zagranica odwiedziłam

Tamara Vrielink-Ferwerda

Thank you! I’m in Vienna at the moment. :-D

I hope you had a great time!

Yes, I had a beautifull end very hot time.

Pauline McCarthy

Yes! The city was so stately!! Loved all the architecture on the Ring Road!! My favorite place was Schonbrunn Palace!!

I adore Schonbrunn too! :)

Jennifer Deborah Walker

Perfect timing, as I’m going for one day next Friday :P

perfect! :D hope you will enjoy it!

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One day will never be enough but I think you made the most out of it in this Vienna trip.. and that’s a skill. Thanks for sharing this.

Thank you! I agree that one day is not enough, in many places, but sometimes we have a limited time and need to take out as much of it as possible!

Kata Niksic

Voted the most livable city in the world.

I can understand why, it’s such a pleasant place!

' data-src=

Vienna is one of my favorite cities. There is so much elegance and aristocracy in it. I have already been to Vienna twice and will return indeed. From my experience there I can recommend to visit the crypt of Stefansdom. It is very interesting.

Thank you for the recommendation, I will make sure to make it there next time! And elegance is the perfect word to describe Vienna!

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Jeśli lubisz secesyjne budynki, polecam Ci następnym razem udać się również do mniej znanych miejsc w Wiedniu takich jak Willa Wagner I i II oraz Kirche am Steinhof. Rzadko docierają tam turyści, a architektura robi wrażenie.

miałam oba na liście, ale czasu nie starczyło niestety. Ale skoro mówisz, że robią wrażenie to kolejnym razem obowiązkowo tam jadę! Dzięki!! :)

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how I can get 24 hrs ticket. is there any public transport stop near airport?

There are ticket machines where you can buy the ticket. The airport is served by the sbahn trains

' data-src=

great post! we also have 1 full day in Viena this coming December. Do you recommend getting the 1 day train pass? or just Uber/taxi ? thanks!

I think a pass for public transport will be better, you can easily get everywhere by metro or tram and they are often faster than taxis since they don’t get stuck in the traffic.

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Parenthood and Passports

One Day in Vienna | The Perfect 1-Day Itinerary to See it All!

  • Post author By Melissa
  • Post date October 25, 2023
  • 23 Comments on One Day in Vienna | The Perfect 1-Day Itinerary to See it All!

Parenthood and Passports -One Day in Vienna itinerary

Vienna, Austria is known worldwide as one of the greatest cultural experiences in Europe. The Austrian capital has a rich and royal history, and it was once home to some of the greatest artists and musical composers of all time.

While there are so many things to do in Vienna, most of the popular sightseeing spots are located in the city center and are within walking distance from each other. So, if you only have one day in Vienna, you can see a lot of the top attractions in Vienna in a short time.

This guide details how to spend one day in Vienna, where to stay to maximize your time, and provides a suggested one-day Vienna itinerary to follow.

Our personal experience in Vienna, Austria

Standing outside the St Stephens Cathedral during our Vienna itinerary for one day

We visited Vienna, Austria as part of a multi-city, multi-country road trip across Europe . Our trip included a couple stops in Austria , German y , Poland , and the Czech Republic . While we were able to visit a lot of different places, we only had a short amount of time in each city.

We actually spent two days in the Austrian capital , but we did most of our sightseeing on the first day. So, we wanted to lay out an itinerary for one day in Vienna to show you what you can feasibly see and do in a short  time.

Although admittedly, you will not be able to see every palace or tour every museum, if you plan your day right, you can see a good amount of the city, even if you only have 24 hours in Vienna.

Because there is so much to do in Vienna, you may want to give yourself an extra day or two, as well. In fact, a full three days in Vienna would be a good amount of time to explore this amazing city. With a couple extra days on your Vienna itinerary, you would be able to see more of the popular tourist attractions in Vienna and even some of the lesser known places that are more off-the-beaten path.

Another option would be to use Vienna as a base city and take a few day trips to places like Brno, Czech Republic or Bratislava, Slovakia . Both cities are incredible, accessible by train, and within 2 hours from Vienna.

Where to stay in Vienna

Whether spending just one day in Vienna or many more, choose a hotel that is conveniently located.

We stayed at the Hotel Beethoven Wien . The hotel is perfectly located near many of the popular tourist sites and metro stations. It also has nearby parking included if you are getting a rental car or driving like we did.

The hotel has a really cool vibe, and is one of the more memorable hotels in which we have stayed.

CHECK OUT OUR FULL POST ON WHERE TO STAY IN VIENNA HERE OR SEARCH FOR HOTELS AND APARTMENTS NEAR VIENNA’S CITY CENTER HERE .

How to see Vienna in one day

The Graben in Vienna

You will be able to see much more of Vienna in one day if you start your day early . This is a lesson we learned from our toddler . If you get up and leave the hotel shortly after the sun comes up, you will miss all of the long lines and be able to fit much more into your schedule.

Here are a few travel tips when sightseeing in Vienna that will help you maximize your day in Vienna.

Utilize public transportation or rent a car

Vienna is well connected and easy to navigate using public transportation. Their metro system is reliable and simple to use for anyone familiar with metros.

Although many of the main tourist sites in Vienna are within walking distance, several of them, like the Prater Amusement Park and Schonbrunn Palace, are easier to get to via the metro, especially if you are only in Vienna for a day.

Although public transportation is easy to use, if you are exploring Austria by car , having a rental car will help you maximize your time in Vienna.

For example, in a rental car, we were able to get from our hotel, near Naschmarkt to Schonbrunn Palace in about 10 minutes, whereas it would take approximately 30 minutes by public transport.

Compare prices and book a rental car on DiscoverCars

Map out your day

Any trip that we have a limited amount of time to spend in a city, we always map out the attractions we want to see using Google Maps.

Mapping our our route helps us plan out our day efficiently and not miss anything unknowingly.

With only one day in Vienna, mapping out your itinerary is a must! We’ve saved you this step, by mapping out our complete one day Vienna itinerary for you.

one day trip vienna

Buy Tourist Passes

Standing in a long queue or line of people to purchase tickets for a museum or attraction is a huge waste of time.

The Vienna Pass includes admission to most of the city’s most popular sites. So, it not only saves you time, it saves you money! 

Before you visit Vienna, check out this comprehensive guide to help you plan your trip.

Vienna one-day itinerary

As indicated above, Vienna is a city of culture and incredible European history, not to mention it has awesome food and coffee! There are a lot of things to do in Vienna, so a word of warning: this itinerary packs a whole lot into one day in Vienna.

You will not be able to linger or have as much time at each location as you probably would like if you follow this one day Vienna itinerary. 

If you prefer to enjoy your day at a slower pace, cut out the Prater or Schonbrunn Palace and spend more time in the historic city center.

Here is a look at what you can feasibly see in Vienna in one day and a look at how to best spend your day.

  • 7:00 a.m. Breakfast at Naschmarkt (or at hotel before visiting Naschmarkt)
  • 8:00 a.m. Photo opportunity outside the State Opera House
  • 8:30 a.m. Stroll through Karntner Stasse without 4 million people
  • 9:00 a.m. Tour Stephansplatz and St. Stephan’s Cathedral
  • 10:00 a.m. Tour Mozart’s House
  • 10:45 a.m. Stroll down the Graben and marvel at the Plague Pillar (grab a snack along the way if hungry)
  • 11:00 a.m. Peek inside St. Peter’s Catholic Church
  • 11:30 p.m. Visit Hofburg Imperial Palace
  • 1:30 p.m. Leisure stroll through Volksgarten
  • 1:45 p.m. Late lunch at Rathausplatz
  • 2:30 p.m. Walk through the Museum quarter
  • 3:30 p.m. Head to The Prater or Schonbrunn Palace
  • 7:00 p.m. late dinner then bed

Things to do with just one day in Vienna 

If you follow our suggested itinerary above, you will start sightseeing early and finish your day in Vienna fairly late, not even eating dinner until after 7pm. But you’ll be able to hit most of the top attractions in Vienna in a short time. 

Here is a detailed look at the things you’ll see and do if following our one-day Vienna itinerary.

Our day in Vienna began at Nachmarkt where locals shopped for fresh fruits

Any solid one-day itinerary for Vienna should start with breakfast and a strong cup of coffee (especially if you take our advice and get an early start to your day).

Naschmarkt is the perfect place to begin your day. It is Vienna’s most popular street market. You will find more than 100 vendor stalls and restaurants selling produce, meats, and fresh baked breads.

In the morning, it’s fun to get to Naschmarkt early and watch the market workers lay out the fresh fish and other daily specials.

By evening, this is a bustling area with tourists and locals alike coming to enjoy dinner, a glass of wine, a light snack, or dessert. 

Naschmarkt has been a Vienna staple since the 16th century. It is one of the best places in the city to get a true taste of Austria, not only with the food, but with the local culture.

Unlike many of the tourist sites that specifically cater to travelers, Naschmarkt is a popular place for locals in Vienna to do their daily food shopping.

You’ll find a good mix of people and food at this open-air market. While some shoppers are coming to purchase fresh meats and produce to take home and cook, there is also the option of seated dining. 

Saturdays are particularly great for visiting Naschmarkt, as there is a flea market that takes place on the western edge. So, you can shop for unique souvenirs and handcrafted goods, as well.

Vienna State Opera House

Walking past the Vienna Opera House during our 1 Day in Vienna itinerary

The Vienna State Opera House was the first major building on the Vienna Ring Road. 

Completed in 1869, it is one of the most famous and important opera houses in the world. Many of the greatest opera stars of all time have performed in this iconic venue. 

While it has had many glory days, the opera house has also seen many dark times. It fell under Nazi rule during World World II and many of the performers were driven out of Austria or killed.

The building was even bombed in 1945 causing devastating damage. It was subsequently restored during the following decade and reopened in 1955 with a new auditorium and modern technology. 

The auditorium features seating for 1,709 and offers nightly performance.

If you start your day early, chances are you won’t get to go inside the Vienna State Opera House . Going inside the opera house does require you to book a tour or see a performance.

Guided tours do not start until 9 a.m. so unfortunately, we missed out on seeing the inside. While we didn’t get to tour the Vienna Opera House, the exterior of the building is beautiful, as well.

Although the opera house was still closed when we stopped by at 8 a.m., you could always fit this into your afternoon if you stay in the 6th District or 7th District , in the area where we stayed. The opera house was just a short walk from our hotel.

The next experience made up for missing out on a guided tour of the opera house though.

Kärntner Straße 

1 Day Vienna itinerary beginning on Karntner Strasse

From the Vienna Opera House, take a stroll down Karntner Stasse , which is a bustling shopping district when everything is open. In fact, it is the most famous shopping street in Central Vienna and has been a significant thoroughfare in the city since the Middle Ages.

The pedestrian street runs from Ring Road (Ringstrasse) to Stephansplatz. 

This area is usually swarming with tourists. But if you start your day early, you will be the first people there. There’s just something magical about getting to experience a city before the throngs of people descend for the day.

Stephansplatz and Stephansdom

one day trip vienna

If you plan your day right, you should arrive at Stephansplatz right as St. Stephen’s Cathedral opens to the public at 9 a.m. Stephansdom, as it is known in German, is a gothic cathedral that stands on the ruins of two earlier churches.

It is the most significant religious building in Vienna and is one of the most famous churches in Europe .

The cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna and the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vienna.  

This beautiful church is perhaps most noted for its tiled roof. The ornate, colorful tiles form a mosaic double-headed eagle, a symbol of the Habsburg dynasty which ruled Vienna in the second millennium. 

St Stephen's Cathedral one of the top Vienna tourist attractions

Getting to Stephansdom right when the cathedral opens will give you a rare glimpse of this magnificent church while it is empty.

Be sure to climb the spiral staircase of the cathedral’s south tower. The tower has a total of 343 steps and boasts a serene view over the city, as it is one of the most prominent features of Vienna’s skyline. 

If you are lucky and get there right when the cathedral opens you may even get the viewing platform at the top all to yourself!

Mozart’s House

Mozart House - Vienna one day itinerary

After you climb the tower at St. Stephen’s Cathedral head around the corner to Mozart’s House . This is where the esteemed composer lived from 1784 to 1787 and where he produced some of his most famous masterpieces.

Mozart’s House is one of the must-visit attractions in Vienna for music lovers, as the famous composer has become such a big part of Vienna’s history.

You could easily walk right by Mozart’s House without realizing what it is since the outside is somewhat nondescript. But it’s worth a quick tour, even if you have only one day in Vienna. It will be especially interesting if you are a lover of music, the arts, or history. 

The museum also has special audio guides for kids to keep them more entertained during the tour.

Mozart’s House opens at 10 a.m., so this Vienna itinerary gives you one hour to spend at St. Stephen’s Cathedral and in Stephansplatz and puts you at Mozart’s House right when it opens – again beating the crowds to maximize your visit.  

Graben and Plague Column

Plague Pillar along The Graben

The Graben is one of the busiest pedestrian streets in Vienna and one of the most famous. 

Dating back to Roman times, the shopping street in the city center takes you from Stephansplatz to Kohlmarkt, which will take you to the entrance to Hofburg Palace. 

There are lots of cafes and restaurants which line the Graben. At this point in the itinerary you may want to grab a coffee and perhaps a cake or strudel. 

Along the famous street, pause and appreciate the Plague Column , also known as the Column of Pest. In the late 1600’s, Emperor Leopold I vowed to build a pillar of gratitude to God if the Lord would spare Vienna and end the plague that was killing so many people across Europe. 

The pillar is interesting and intricate and the backstory only adds to its appeal, making it one of the most famous sculptures in all of Europe .

Take your time to really study this particular sculpture. There is so much detail in this piece of public art, and it really does tell the story perfectly.

St. Peter’s Catholic Church

St Peter's Church in Vienna

St. Peter’s Catholic Church is another quick stop on the way to Hofburg Palace. The Baroque Roman Catholic parish church features a large teal-colored dome on the exterior, which you will notice as you approach the street it is seemingly tucked down.

The inside of the church is like a wave of color and shimmering gold statues. It is beautiful on the inside, and small enough that it doesn’t take much time to visit. 

If you like touring churches in different European cities, as we do, you will enjoy a quick stop to St. Peter’s Cathedral in Vienna. It is free to visit, making it all the more appealing!

Hofburg Imperial Palace

Hofburg Palace

Hofburg Imperial Palace is the official residence and workplace of the President of Austria. Formerly a medieval fortified castle and royal imperial palace, the Hofburg is huge.

There are 18 wings, 19 courtyards, and 2,600 rooms within the Hofburg Imperial Palace. Understandably not all of them are open to the public to tour and explore. 

The imperial apartments are perhaps of most interest, and what we recommend touring during your one day in Vienna. The 24 rooms in the apartments give you a glimpse into the lives of royalty more than 600 years ago. You’ll learn about the lives of Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife, Empress Elisabeth.

Elisabeth was particularly fascinating, as she was a unique, modern woman in an age of antiquity. She loved to travel and was ultimately murdered during one of her many trips she took alone.

Hofburg Palace is also home to the world-famous Spanish Riding School . For more than 450 years, the institution has practiced a highly stylized form of classical horseback riding called Haute Ecole. You can buy a ticket in advance to watch them train , or if you’re lucky enough, maybe even catch a performance while you’re in Vienna. However, if you plan to watch them train, you’ll likely need an extra day in Vienna.

Located in the center of Vienna, the oldest part of the Hofburg palace dates back to the 13th century. You could spend hours touring the palace, reading about the history, and exploring the gardens and grounds.

Courtyard at Hofburg Palace during our one day in Vienna tour

We spent a couple of hours at the palace, although you could spend more if you have more than one day in Vienna. 

There are large courtyards around the palace grounds and small cafes if you want to enjoy another delicious Viennese coffee, a snack, or even lunch.

Hofburg Palace opens up to Heldenplatz, or Hero’s Square, which you will walk through to get to your next stop on our Vienna Itinerary.

Volksgarten

Is one Day in Vienna enough - Volksgarten

A leisurely stroll through the Volksgarten is a great late morning or early afternoon break from all of the sightseeing packed into this itinerary. If you’re traveling with kids, Volksgarten gives them plenty of green space to run around and burn some energy. 

The Volksgarten was the first public park in Vienna and houses the famous rose garden, which contains more than 3,000 rose bushes of hundreds of different varieties. 

Part of the Hofburg Palace complex, the park was originally laid out in 1821 and opened to the public in 1823. It was built over an area that was once fortifications for the city. But the French emperor, Napoleon, destroyed them, which left a large area of empty space. The area was eventually turned into two parks as well as Heldenplatz Square .

At the center of the park, you’ll find a smaller version of the Temple of Hephaestus in Athens, Greece. The neoclassical temple surrounded by its white pillars routinely hosts small art exhibitions.

The triangular park runs adjacent to Ring Road connects Heldenplatz, Austria’s National Theater , and your next stop, Rathausplatz.

Rathausplatz

City hall at Rathuesplatz Vienna in a day itinerary

By this point in the day, you will probably start to get hungry, even if you have stopped for coffee and cakes. Luckily, Rathausplatz is a great place to grab a quick lunch.

The square outside the lovely Rathaus, or city hall, is a popular place for outdoor festivals, concerts, and events. 

On a nice day, it’s great to sit outside the beautiful neo-Gothic city hall and have lunch in the plaza. There are numerous vendors selling crepes, Viennese sausage, and various types of cuisines. While you’re there, enjoy a radler, a refreshing drink that is half wheat beer/half lemonade. 

If you are visiting Vienna in winter , the plaza also hosts one of Europe’s finest Christmas markets and is a popular place for outdoor ice skating.

Museum Quarter

Things to do in Vienna in a day - Hero's Square and the museum quarter

The Museum Quarter is another area of Vienna where you could spend hours, if not days! After a relaxing lunch, begin walking back down Ring Road toward the area known as Museum Quarter.

The Museum Quarter is on the way back toward the hotel that we recommended above, so by this point in your day, you will have essentially walked in a large square. 

If you love museums, art, and history, you could choose to spend the rest of the afternoon here enjoying the museums. 

If you plan to visit at least one of the museums, by this point in the itinerary it is well worth getting the Vienna Pass , as it provides admission to many of the attractions, plus free transportation on the hop-on hop-off buses and skip-the-line access.

The museums are especially great places to spend a rainy, snowy, or cold day in Vienna. 

In Vienna’s Museum Quarter you’ll find the Museum of Modern Art , The ZOOM Children’s Museum , and the Natural History Museum , among others.

The giant ferris wheel at the Prater in Vienna

Your next stop on your Vienna itinerary will be at either Schonbrunn Palace or the Prater . Either stop will require a short metro ride or drive, and both are great if visiting Vienna with kids. However, you will not have time for both, so you will have to make a choice which one you would like to see.

We decided to visit Prater Amusement Park , which was only about a 10-minute metro ride and a $2 charge because our child had enough of historical sites, palaces and gardens by this point.

The main attraction at the amusement park is the Viennese Giant Ferris Wheel , which is one of Vienna’s most famous symbols. The Ferris Wheel has been a Viennese icon since 1827.

Although not as towering as the London Eye in London , the Prater Ferris Wheel offers great views over the city and nearby Stadtpark.

The amusement park, while fun for kids, pales in comparison to theme parks like Tivoli Gardens in Denmark, or Busch Gardens or Disney World in the United States.

With dozens of rides, roller coasters, and carnival-style games and booths, there are plenty of activities at the Prater to keep a family entertained for an afternoon. However, if theme parks aren’t your thing you will likely prefer a visit to Schloss Schonbrunn Palace instead.

Schonbrunn Palace

one day trip vienna

Schloss Schonbrunn Palace is perhaps the best palace to visit in Vienna. Getting there also requires a 30 minute metro ride or 10 minute drive from the city center.

The former summer residence of the Habsburg dynasty, the impressive palace and its magnificent gardens really showcases what a powerful royal empire the Habsburgs built.

Unlike Hofburg Palace, Schonbrunn Palace is not currently used as a government building. Instead, the palace which was built and designed over a span of 300 years, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the most popular tourist attraction in the city.  

There are 45 rooms in the palace that are open to visitors for tours, as well as a children’s museum where kids can learn how the kids of the imperial family lived, dressed, and played. 

While the interior of the palace is mesmerizing and elegant, the Baroque Garden is perhaps an even greater gem!

With a labyrinth maze and fun games for kids and adults this is one of the best areas of the palace grounds to explore with children. Kids can play, climb, and even challenge their mind with puzzles located in the labyrinth playground.

If time allows, the complex also includes the Schonbrunn Zoo , the oldest zoo in the world! 

You’ll need to be at Schonbrunn Palace by 4 p.m., as the last ticketed time is 4:15. This will give you about an hour and a half to tour the palace before it closes for the day. 

Other sightseeing options for one day in Vienna itinerary

If time allows, there are plenty of other great things to do in Vienna. However, if you only have one day in Vienna, it is likely you will not fit much more into your itinerary.

Still, here are a few other options for things to see and do in Vienna if you have an extra day to explore the capital city.

Austrian National Library

The Austrian National Library is one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. With more than 12 million items of literature, it is also Austria’s largest library .

It is easy to stop into the National Library right before your visit to Hofburg Palace, as it is part of the Hofburg complex located in the Neue Burg Wing.

Belvedere Palace

If you can’t get enough of the glorious palaces in Vienna, here is another to add to the list! A visit to Belvedere Palace makes a great addition to your day in Vienna or a good stop on day two or three if you plan to spend more time in Vienna.

Also a designated World Heritage Site, this Baroque palace is one of the oldest museums in the world.

The complex consists of the Upper Belvedere and Lower Belvedere buildings, and like other Viennese palaces, beautifully manicured gardens. 

Day trips from Vienna

Vienna, Austria is a great place to base yourself if you prefer to stay in one place and venture out on day trips.

Here are a few popular day trips from Vienna.

Bratislava, Slovakia

Old Town Bratislava

One of the most popular Vienna day trips, Bratislava is only an hour’s drive or shortly longer train ride. From Vienna, you could easily take a day trip to Bratislava, Slovakia and spend 8-12 hours exploring the capital of Slovakia.

Bratislava’s Old Town is absolutely charming. Kids will enjoy finding and posing next to all of the fun statues around Old Town and venturing up the UFO bridge, one of the most famous bridges in Europe .

Slovakian food is definitely worth trying, as well.

Brno, Czech Republic

Brno, Czech Republic is another great day trip from Vienna. There are a lot of great things to do in Brno , including a visit to Europe’s second largest ossuary, home to more than 50,000 skeletons!

If you want to spend a little extra time in Brno to explore this unique city in Czechia’s Moravia region, it offers relatively affordable lodging in the heart of the city. 

Salzburg, Austria

salzburg shopping street

Finally, although a bit further away from Vienna than Brno or Bratislava, Salzburg is a great city to explore with kids . The Austrian city is a classic movie-lover’s dream destination. 

You’ll find many Sound of Music filming sites in Salzburg , as well as in the nearby lake community of Mondsee, Austria .

Is one day in Vienna enough?

One day in Vienna is not enough to see all of the world-class museums, tour the palaces and cathedrals, relax in the delectable coffee houses, and have fun exploring. There is just too much to do in the Austrian capital for one day.

We spent two full days in Vienna and still didn’t get to see everything that we wanted to. 

But 24 hours in Vienna will give you a beautiful taste of this city.

If you have more time, plan to spend at least 2-3 days in Vienna, or better yet, stay for a week and add on a few day trips to the nearby cities. 

Do you have a question or comment about this one day in Vienna guide? We’d love to hear from you. Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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23 comments on “One Day in Vienna | The Perfect 1-Day Itinerary to See it All!”

I’ve never been to Vienna so this is great – you’ve covered so much. I would love to see Mozart’s house and the rose garden sounds amazing!

Thanks! Vienna was awesome. My husband wasn’t as big a fan. He likes smaller towns and villages way more than big cities, but I loved it!

Great info!! I have Vienna on my list for 2017 so this is perfect timing. That crepe looks to die for – I think I need ten of them 🙂 Bratislava’s Old Town looks amazing too, assuming the pic above the piece about it is of that. I love any place with a lot of color! Thank you for sharing.

Yes, that is a pic of Bratislava’s Old Town (maybe I should caption it?) .. eventually, I will get around to writing a post about it. But it is definitely worth the day trip to Slovakia from Vienna. It’s awesome.

What a fun day! Did you try the Sacher torte? I saw a show about it yesterday and now want to go to Vienna to try it!

We didn’t!! I didn’t even know about it until we got back home. I guess that’s an excuse to return soon!

I hate when that happens!! Happened to me in Bangkok. I was so focused on the Hello Kitty cafe that I didn’t research the others and they had a unicorn cafe!! My daughter would have been in heaven.

WOW! Thats a lot to do in one day and to have a toddler with you at the same time too! I would love to go and climb the 343 steps to St. Stephens Cathedral! Getting up early is probably the best thing to do if you want to skip the masses and get great photos. This is the one thing I always curse myself for not doing haha!

I would have loved to climb to the top! But the toddler stage doesn’t last forever, and then we will be back to doing those things. For now, we are enjoying afternoon naps and stopping at every ice cream shop along the tourist routes. 🙂

We just got back from Vienna and made the climb! It’s actually only half way up to the top!

I don’t have a kid yet but I have traveled with my sister’s family. She has a 3-year old son. You are right that they should definitely take a nap or else they will be loud and feel miserable. I love crepes. Is that Nutella crepe? I want it to be really crispy. You look like that you enjoyed your trip to Vienna. I would also love to visit it someday.

It is a Nutella crepe! My favorite, and something I only have when in Europe.

I love exploring European cities. So much intricate work is taken on these buildings. I’m now tempted to go to the Plague Pilar!

I’ve never been to Vienna, but this is a good guide to tour around Vienna for a day especially with a kid. I can see some sausage around the table, hmm hungry! I heard they good at hotdog?

The food is great and yes, you can find so many different types of sausage just about anywhere in Vienna.

I lived for some time in Vienna, but you did it quite good for a day! I admire 😀

Vienna has been on my travel wishlist for quite some time now. I’d love to explore in winter one time. It seems you covered quite some ground in 1 day! Excellent

Vienna is amazing. We actually spent a weekend there, but we saw the most on day 1 and then relaxed, wandered around and took our time on the other days.

I’ve always thought that I would love Vienna! I’m definitely going to save this itinerary in hopes that I can use it one day 🙂 Your pictures make the city seem gorgeous.

Did you visit Schonbrunn? It was my favourite! I liked the museum quarter as well…. and the tour to the opera was so good!

Not on the first day. It is definitely the best for kids, too, in my opinion.

Vienna is my dream city. I love that city a lot. I have spent some valuable times there. I will never forget that city.

By the way, thanks for your amazing travel guide.

That is super useful! Thanks

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Home » Travel Guides » Austria » 15 Best Day Trips from Vienna

15 Best Day Trips from Vienna

Vienna truly is a fairytale European capital city that is bursting at the seams with intriguing history whilst remaining impossibly beautiful and well preserved at the same time.

The historical depth of the area means there are a variety of enviable day trips you can embark on from town, from exploring the breathtaking nature of Austria’s alpine foothills, to exploring ancient sites and magnificent castles.

The always reliable European rail lines grant easy access to a number of daytime destinations and the beautiful countryside adds to the overall experience.

Here are the 15 best and most sought-after day trips to take from the city of Vienna.

Prague

Just under 300 km away from Vienna is the fairytale city of Prague, full of evocative architecture, towers and spires reaching up to the sky and a fascinating amount to see and do if you’re willing to undertake the journey.

One of the unmissable highlights is the famous old town, known for the level of its preservation and a great place to embark on a walking tour from.

Amongst the many magnificent castles and basilicas to visit, make sure you get to see the Old Royal Palace and the St Vitus Basilica.

Both are traveller favourites and incredibly worth the time.

To squeeze in the most you can with your few hours in Prague on a day trip from Vienna, it’s a good idea to think about booking a city tour that’ll give you the chance to see the highlights in the space of a day.

2. Bratislava

Bratislava Castle

Another border that is well worth crossing is the Austrian-Slovakian one.

When you do, you’ll have the chance to experience the intriguing and perfectly picturesque city of Bratislava, a conveniently close 60 minutes away from Vienna.

Make sure you don’t pass up the opportunity to visit Bratislava’s Old Town where the neo-Renaissance style houses, mansions and palaces paint an attractive picture of the Slovakian capital.

If you want a taste of some authentic Slovakian cuisine and drink, St. Michael’s Street is full of restaurants and cafes that will satisfy your hunger.

A Vienna to Bratislava day trip is an ideal way to spend the day away from the city and introduce you to another and the possibility of a whole other trip one day in the future.

3. Budapest

Budapest

For those who aren’t fazed by the idea of spending a few hours each way journeying, the opportunity to visit the incredibly beautiful city of Budapest should not be passed up if you find yourself with time on your hands in Vienna.

You can arrive by train or car, both stunningly scenic ways to get there and allowing you enough to time to explore.

Known as the “Paris of the East”, Budapest is a veritable wealth of UNESCO World Heritage sites like Matthias Church and Vajdahunyad Castle to name but a few.

Other highlights include the City Woodland Park and the various Parliament buildings; though if you want a concise introduction to the city’s many attractions then join a day trip tour that’ll show you the best bits in a few hours.

4. Lainzer Wildlife Park

Lainzer Wildlife Park

Nestled into a small area of the Vienna Woods, Lainzer Wildlife Park is famed for its abundance of deer and boar and its reputation for being an enchanting haven of incredibly old beech and oak trees.

Not only an important area of conservation, it’s also a beautiful place to lose yourself for a day and stroll along one of the numerous footpaths where Emperors and Empresses once walked and hunted.

For unrestricted views, head up to the Hubertuswarte observation tower on the Kaltbründlberg which stands at 14 metres high and offers breathtaking panoramas of the natural reserve.

5. Melk Abbey

Melk Abbey

Owning the enviable accolade of the “Best Historical Destination in the World”, Melk Abbey is one of those attractions that you really do have to visit if you happen to be in Vienna.

Built atop a rocky mountainside with views across the whole of the breathtaking Danube Valley, the abbey is a majestic Baroque style building that is overflowing with priceless art and contains impeccable gardens and is filled to the brim with enough history to excite history buffs to no end.

6. Klosterneuburg Abbey

Klosterneuburg Abbey

Upon arriving, you’ll find a huge network of magnificent buildings, each more majestic than the last and all full to the brim of Austrian history that is sure to fascinate each and every traveller.

Just north of Vienna and dating back to the 12th Century, Klosterneuburg Abbey contains attractions like the Verduner Altar, the Leopold Chapel and courtyard and The Marble Hall to name a few.

Full of domes, copper, frescoes and staircases, the complex of buildings is truly a sight to behold and worth a visit to the Vienna Woods where its located.

7. Danube Valley

Danube Valley

Considering its only an hour away from Vienna, the Danube Valley is a world away from city life and is considered to be so attractive that it’s been officially named as a World Heritage Site on account of its aesthetic beauty.

The best part is between the towns of Krems and Melk that has unfettered views of the Alpine valley in all its natural glory.

8. The Roman Town of Carnuntum

Carnuntum

Its most recent discovery being made in 2011, the Roman Town of Carnuntum is still uncovering intriguing artefacts that continue to grow its fame as a fascinating day trip from Vienna.

Surrounded by the vast expanses of the fields of the March-Donauland region, Carnuntum was fought over numerous times by Roman.

Today its known as the Archaeological Park Carnuntum, featuring some incredibly impressive reconstructed Roman buildings and containing museums, re-enactments and original ruins.

9. Laxenburg Castle

Laxenburg Castle

Originally built as a market town, Laxenburg Castle is alluring and breathtaking at the same time.

Only 40 minutes from Vienna, it’s the ideal location for a brief but fascinating day trip.

Wander through postcard perfect gardens and wild forests or find tranquillity in floating along in the boats available at the lake.

When you get hungry, make the most of the various restaurants peppered around the grounds or pack your own lunch and eat in one of the many peaceful, sunlit spots.

10. Salzburg

Salzburg

Home to some of the largest castles in Europe, surrounded by the Alps and its forests, Salzburg is undoubtedly one of the prettiest destinations in Europe and easily one of the most sought after day trips in Vienna.

With a journey that takes less than 3 hours, there are endless attractions for the historically inclined traveller.

Wander the banks of the River Salzach, lose yourself in the streets of the World Heritage-listed Old Town and visit the positively huge Hohensalzburg Castle.

It’s also worth noting that Salzburg is the birth home of the world renowned composer Mozart and anyone with an interest should visit the aptly named, Mozart’s Birthplace museum, one of the most famous in the world.

11. The Vienna Woods

Wienerwald

Loved by the Viennese people just as much as visiting travellers, the Vienna Woods offer a perfect getaway a mere stone’s throw from the center of the capital.

Here you’ll find a number of historic sites, one of the most famous of which is a beautiful monastery – the Cistercian Abbey of Heiligenkreuz.

If its stunning scenery you’re after, then make the journey up Vienna’s very own miniature mountain, the Kahleberg, which can also be found in the Vienna Woods.

Finally, take some time to visit the largest underground lake in Europe and learn about the fascinating way the former mine turned into the attraction it is today.

12. Baden Bei Wien

Baden Bei Wien

Formerly an ancient Roman town named Aquae, the settlement known as Baden Bei Wien is now a spa-town that is the perfect way to relax on a day trip from Vienna that is incredibly easy to get to.

The town is famous for its curative and therapeutic waters and has been for a staggering 2000 years, meaning its a popular spot for visitors and locals looking to soak up their benefits.

13. Grinzing

Grinzing

The charming little village of Grinzing lies less than 20km to the northeast of Vienna and the allure of its location surrounded by forests draws in many travellers to explore its winding streets.

Peppered with gardens and no small amount of history of its survival of the war, Grinzing is an interesting place to explore whilst feeling suitably removed from big city life.

Containing an impressive number of Austrian restaurants, the village is also ideal for sampling truly authentic, not to mention delicious Austrian cuisine.

If you want to walk off all that food, then head up one of the hiking trails in the nearby Kahlenberg and Leopoldsberg hills.

14. Laa an der Thaya

Laa an der Thaya

A perfect and fascinating insight into the medieval era experienced in the area, Laa an der Thaya is a settlement just over 60km away from Vienna on the Czech frontier.

Filled with wonderfully preserved snippets of history, not to mention beautiful Gothic architecture, the town is an excellent day trip for history enthusiasts.

Highlights include the huge Laa Castle, full of towers and still-standing original battlements.

For more medieval attractions, head to the outer walls of the town and walk the ramparts that once protected its people.

Finally, as with many Viennese towns and villages, you can’t pass up a trip to the beautiful Old Town.

15. Kreuzenstein Castle

Kreuzenstein Castle, Austria

Looking impossibly reminiscent to Hogwarts, Kreuzenstein Castle was built in medieval times and with all its turrets, towers and spires is about as fairytale in its appearance as it’s possible for a castle to be.

Only a few kilometres north of Vienna, the castle is well elevated and overlooks the village of Leobendorf.

Its location snugly nestled between the Vienna Woods and the Danube River makes for some truly beautiful panoramic views when looking out from one of the many vantage points.

As far as castles go, Kreuzenstein is probably one of the most impressive in Vienna.

15 Best Day Trips from Vienna:

  • Lainzer Wildlife Park
  • Klosterneuburg Abbey
  • Danube Valley
  • The Roman Town of Carnuntum
  • Laxenburg Castle
  • The Vienna Woods
  • Baden Bei Wien
  • Laa an der Thaya
  • Kreuzenstein Castle

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Hofburg Royal Palace

One Day In Vienna: Itinerary

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Austria’s capital, Vienna has a very special charm. It also has a lot of names, like the city of music or art. Because this city got famous for its cultural events, imperial sights, cozy coffee houses, and wine taverns. There are many places with a historical heritage that got to define the city. But even if you only have one day in Vienna, I will help you make the most of your time.

In this post, I’m going to share with your my idea of how the perfect itinerary for one day in Vienna should look like. I will cover all the key attractions I think you’ll enjoy visiting and some travel advice for your trip, including tips on where to eat and how to get around Vienna.

Hofburg Royal Palace

Start your exploration in the old city and visit the Hofburg, the former Imperial Palace. From the 13th century until the end of WWI, this enormous complex sat at the center of the Habsburg Empire. You can visit the interiors filled with beautiful paintings and decors.

After that, you can walk to visit St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the symbol of Vienna. The construction is still one of the most important Gothic structures in the country, since it was built in the 12 th century. The entrance is free of charge, but there are some areas to which there is only paid access.

Inside St Stephan's Cathedral

You can hang out in this area and walk along some beautiful monuments, like the Opera House and Albertina.

At lunch I recommend  stopping at the Figlmüller. For over 110 years this place was seen as the home of the schnitzel, the traditional vienese specialty. After, if you want to try the famous Sacher Torte there is no place like the Café Sacher, in the heart of Vienna.

Viennese Schnitzel, the best food to try in Vienna

Even if you are only for one day in Vienna, there is another place that you must check out. The Hundertwasser House in Vienna is a unique apartment house and one of the first buildings where Hundertwasser was involved in the design. Everything about it is different than what you have seen before. Walls have different colors, stairs with different sizes, and are not aligned. It makes you feel like you are in a crazy architectural world.

Prater amusement park

A must visit is also the Prater Park, an old traditional amusement park, a couple of metro stops from the old town center, which is home to Vienna’s iconic Giant Ferris Wheel. I definitely recommend taking a tour which lasts around twenty minutes and offers lovely views of the city.

You can end the day by enjoying the traditional Austrian dessert the Apfelstrudel- apple strudel with vanilla sauce. It is really good!

Best dessert in Vienna

How to get around Vienna

There are many options to travel around the city. I find it walkable and definitely easy to go on foot from one attraction to the other. But if you prefer one of the best is the tram.

These are my recommendations for a One day in Vienna Itinerary. If you need some help with planning your trip, I am more than happy to help. Just send me an email.

Carrie Green-Zinn

One Day In Vienna - The Top 6 Things To Do

One day in vienna – the top 6 things to do.

If you are short on time and can only spend one day in Vienna, then here is your must do list.

I have been to Vienna  several times and absolutely love this city!

As the stunning capital of Austria, rich with history and culture, Vienna is a must see on your European trip.

Vienna was home to some of the world’s most brilliant talents such as Beethoven, Mozart, and Freud, and was the seat of the Habsburg royal family who ruled until 1918. 

Here are the top 6 things to do in one day in Vienna for the traveler who need sa quick trip . And if you have more time, here are more Must See Vienna sites!

You’ll fall in love with the architecture, art, food, music, and royalty. I always find it to be very safe and clean. (Actually, a kind of clean like I’ve never seen in a city before!)

Here’s how to enjoy one day in Vienna .

Quick & Easy Links

  Flights & Hotels: I recommend Expedia   Vacation rentals: I recommend VRBO

  Car Rental: I recommend Hertz

  Tours: I recommend Viator

  Gear: Check out my Travel Stuff

  Create Your Travel Memory Books with MILK

The Top 6 things to do on your One Day In Vienna

#1. the stephansplatz & heldenplatz.

The Innere Stadt is the city center and is flanked by two of the most important places in Vienna.

On one side is Stephansplatz , home to Stephansdom, or St. Stephen’s Cathedral , and on the other side is The Heldenplatz, home of The Hofburg, the winter palace of the Habsburg dynasty.

The cathedral, originally built in 1147, is one of the tallest churches in the world and is famous for its catacomb burial sites, church treasures, and Gothic architecture.

The palace, built in the 13th century, is filled with art, silver, and stories of the iconic Elizabeth and Franz Joseph Habsburg.

Tours of the church and the palace are well worth it, when you have more time.

#2 Visit the Albertina Museum

No trip to Vienna is complete without at least a short visit to an art museum.With not much time, you want to choose your museum wisely.

I’m recommending the Albertina Museum because it offers important masterpieces from favorites, such as Picasso and Monet, as well as Klimt, but it’s not overwhelming and has pieces the whole family will enjoy. 

The World Heritage Site complex of the Belvedere or the Kunsthistorisches Museum are also fantastic because the palace architecture is as important as the art within. You’ll be able to see Klimt, Rembrandt, and Caravaggio. The most famous work of Klimt, The Kiss, is in the Belvedere. 

#3. Mozart’s House

The Mozarthaus Museum is a small and simple look into the genius’ life for the three years he lived in Vienna.

Visiting the modest apartments gives you a glimpse into Mozart’s world and his music.

It’s a small museum and doesn’t take that long to wander through. The ticket price is €12 per adult or €25 for the whole family. 

#4. The Strudel Show at Schloss Schönbrunn Palace

Schloss Schönbrunn Palace was the summer home for the royal Habsburg family. It is a 15 minute ride outside the city center. You can take a taxi, rideshare app, or the subway. 

Pro Tip : For a family of 4 it’s cheaper, quicker, and much more convenient to call an Uber.

Short on time? Skip the palace and make a beeline for the kitchen!

The Strudel Show at the Schönbrunn Palace is not to be missed.

Watch and learn how to make the traditional apple strudel, Vienna’s most famous desert.

Every hour a professional strudel chef bakes an apple strudel for a small audience in the palace.

For only €11.50 p/person you can watch a delightful show, eat a delicious piece of fresh apple strudel, and sip coffee or hot cocoa!

It’s a legendary hoot! More fun than you can imagine.

Palace Add-On

If you decide you have more time, the Habsburg’s winter and summer homes are everything you want in palaces!

Regal, Rococo, and Rich! With thousands of rooms, you could be touring all day seeing furniture, silver, apartments, art, gardens, etc.

For €36 p/adult and €23 p/child you can have a grand tour of either palace.

#5. Café Central

Café Central is inside the Palais Ferstel, a Venetian mansion.

Trotsky and Freud and friends would gather there for coffee and strudel and conversation.

There are many wonderful cafes in Vienna, but this is the most famous and the most beautiful. Well worth the wait in line to be seated.

Go for a full meal, or just coffee and desert, just go!

Book a Vienna Highlights Walking Tour Here!

#6. The Vienna State Opera

The world famous Vienna State Opera is unlike anything you have experienced. Make your plans early enough to buy tickets to the opera.

Whether you are a fan of opera or not, make this your last stop on your o ne day in Vienna . Dress up and enjoy the show. You will not be sorry!

Ticket prices range from €15 – €215. 

Where is the best place to stay in Vienna?

→ Best Luxury Hotel – Hotel Bristol Vienna This is a 5 star old world elegant hotel directly across from the Opera House. Prices start at $407

→ Best Mid Range Hotel – Austria Classic Hotel Wien

This is a 200 year old hotel with modern upgrades, centrally located and filled with charm. Prices start at $192

→ Most Historic Hotel – Das Tigre Hotel

This is one of the homes where Mozart lived in 1762. Lots of history and located in the City Center. Prices start at $203

Vienna has 23 districts, but as a first time visitor, you should stay in Vienna’s city center, Innere Stadt where most of the main tourist attractions are.

From there, you’ll be able to walk to the sites and will be in the heart of one of Europe’s most revered cultural cities.

If you are lucky enough to visit Vienna during the holiday season , be sure to spend time in the Christmas markets shopping and eating your way through town!

When is the best time to visit Vienna?

Vienna is gorgeous all year round.

I visited in December and highly recommend being there for the Christmas markets, the cold air on your face, and the festive lights lining the streets.

The spring is a wonderful time because Vienna is less busy and the temps are very mild.

The fall is also a great time to visit Vienna because the temperatures are in the high 60’s and the height of the tourist season is over.

The summer is beautiful, but can be hot and difficult to book a place to stay.

What is the best way to get around Vienna?

Your one day in Vienna will include a lot of walking, but you have choices for transportation, including rideshare apps.

Vienna Hop On and Hop Off sightseeing bus tours allow access to many attractions.

A Vienna City Card will give you free public transportation for the day, and offers discounts to some attractions.

Travel Tips for visiting Vienna

~ The Euro is the official currency of Austria.

~ Plug types are types C and F . Type C is the one with two round pins and Type F is the plug with two round pins and two earth clips on the side. 

~ The language of Vienna is German. Many people speak English, and other European languages, however.

~ Cafes, coffee, pastries, cafes, coffee, pastries.

~ Take a Free Walking Tour. (Actually, a pay-what-you-can tour). There are over 100 guided walking tours offered in Vienna! Some with themes and others are more basic. I chose the Vienna City Classic Walk .

Now you’ve got a full itinerary for spending one day in Vienna

In a nutshell…

Vienna is one of Europe’s most beloved cities for good reason. It continues to contribute to the creative spirit and refined culture that Europe is kown for. 

From the art, the music, the food, and the architecture, Vienna offers everything you want from a charming city.

One day in Vienna will leave you wanting more! Enjoy!

Spend at least one day in Vienna! Vienna is the stunning capital of Austria, rich with history and culture, and it’s a must see on your European trip.

LIFESTYLE & TRAVEL BLOG IN VIENNA

Planning a trip to vienna best vienna holiday itinerary.

ViennaItinerary Planning a trip to Vienna Schönbrunn Castle

Last Updated on January 26, 2023 by gregor

This Travel Guide helps you plan your trip to Vienna and enjoy all the Must-See attractions and Must-Do activities Vienna has to offer in just a few days. We also include Practical Tips for visiting Vienna and 1, 2, 3, and 4 Days Vienna Itineraries.

If you are looking for a great holiday destination, Vienna (Austria) is the perfect destination for your next vacation. Enjoy iconic attractions like the Hofburg Palace , Empress Sisi Museum , and Schönbrunn Palace as you explore Vienna’s rich history and culture. Indulge in local delicacies while taking in the breathtaking views of Vienna’s historic cityscape. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a returning traveler, this guide will help you plan an unforgettable trip to Vienna!

Here are the TOP 10 Reasons why you must visit Vienna.

Planning your First Trip to Vienna – What to do in Vienna – Best Vienna Itinerary

When is the best time to visit vienna.

There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on what you are looking to get out of your trip. If you are interested in experiencing the city’s rich cultural history, then the best time to visit Vienna would be during the  spring  or  autumn months . However, if you are more interested in enjoying the city’s nightlife and attractions, then summer would be a better time to visit. Ultimately, it all comes down to what you want to experience during your stay in Vienna. 

See also the detailed review: WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT VIENNA, AUSTRIA

How Long Should You Stay In Vienna?

Visiting Vienna can be a great experience, and it can take you anywhere from three to five days to get the most out of your trip.

When someone tells me that they’re going to spend just 1-2 days in Vienna I feel like they’re most likely not going to love it. I mean, it’s possible to have a great time but if you do it right and prioritize what you want to see. During such a short visit most tourists head to see St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Hofburg Palace, Schönbrunn, and some other tourist attractions, and therefore experience crowds, long lines, and not the real local Vienna.

Take your pick and spend some time actually enjoying these things instead of rushing through everything.

Here are some valuable Vienna Itineraries for visiting Vienna

HOW MANY DAYS DO YOU NEED TO VISIT VIENNA?

  • Best of Vienna in 4 hours – Layover in Vienna
  • The Perfect 1-Day Vienna Itinerary
  • The Perfect 2-Days Vienna Itinerary
  • The Perfect 3-Days Vienna Itinerary
  • 4 DAYS IN VIENNA – BEST VIENNA TRAVEL ITINERARY

What you need to know before traveling to Vienna Austria

Before any trip, it is always good to have some essential information. Check out these tips to be prepared for your trip to Vienna:

  • Currency: Euro(€)
  • Language: German
  • Voltage: 230V
  • Power sockets: Type F

As seen above, Austria uses the Euro therefore, if you need to change currency, be aware of the exchange rates.

The  official language in Austria is German , and even though most people can communicate in English, it is always useful to learn a few words or phrases. Some of them are danke, meaning thank you, and bitte, meaning you’re welcome or please.

  • Another useful tip is that in Austria, the  standard voltage is 230V while the power sockets are Type F,  so be sure to have the right travel adaptor.

Austria’s entry requirements

Austria is  part of the European Union (EU)  and the  Schengen area . 

Non-EU travelers can only  stay in the Schengen region for up to 90 days within a period of 180 days . And you will need a  valid passport for at least 3 months after the date you intend to leave the EU country  and it  must be issued within the last 10 years . 

Check if you need to apply for a Schengen visa  from an Austrian consulate or embassy and apply for a visa before you leave your home country.

How To Travel To Vienna: Arriving By Plane

Traveling to Vienna by plane is a great way to get to the city. You can easily find flights from most major airports in the world and they are often reasonably priced. Once you arrive at the airport, your journey to Vienna begins! Most flights will land at Vienna International Airport, which is well connected with public transportation services like buses, trains, and taxis. F

Landing at the Vienna Airport and not sure of the best way to get from the  Vienna airport to the city center in Vienna ? We’ve collected all the reasonable  Vienna airport transfer  options and put them down for you.

BEST WAYS TO GET FROM VIENNA AIRPORT TO THE CITY CENTER

How to get around Vienna

Metro in Vienna (U-Bahn) is very easy and safe to use. It might be slightly intimidating at first due to the huge amount of different lines, but once you figure it out you’ll use it all the time.

Keep your Vienna metro ticket until you’ve exited the metro system at your final destination because the police might be checking your tickets inside the station.

Where to buy a Public Transportation ticket in Vienna

  • there are ticket machines at most underground stations
  • points of advance sale
  • Tobacconists also sell tickets
  • Onboard the tram at an increased rate of EUR 2.60 per ticket
  • Buy tickets online:  Wiener Linien Online Shop

On many Metro lines, the doors to the train do not open unless you press a button or lift a handle. Remember it if you don’t want to miss your station or look funny.

Where to Stay in Vienna

Options for accommodations in vienna.

Vienna is a beautiful city, and there are many options for accommodations. Visitors can choose from a variety of hotels, hostels, and apartments. Hotels range from budget-friendly to luxury, with a wide selection of amenities such as swimming pools and spas. Hostels provide an affordable option for travelers on a budget and often have shared rooms and communal areas.

For longer stays, apartments offer more space and privacy than hotel rooms at comparable prices.

Additionally, Airbnb provides unique listings in Vienna that allow visitors to experience the city like a local. No matter what kind of accommodation you’re looking for, Vienna has something that will suit your needs.

BEST LUXURY BOUTIQUE HOTELS IN VIENNA

Tips for finding the best deals on hotels/hostels/Airbnb’s in Vienna

When it comes to finding the best deals on hotels, hostels, and Airbnb’s in Vienna, there are a few tips that can be useful.

Firstly, you should always compare prices between different websites for the same accommodation.

Secondly, look for special offers or discounts that may be available from certain websites or directly from the hotel.

Thirdly, if you plan to stay in Vienna for a longer period of time, you may want to consider booking an entire apartment instead of just a room in a hotel – this can often work out cheaper and provide more space and privacy as well.

Fourthly, if you are flexible with your dates, try to book during the low season when hotels and hostels offer discounted rates. Finally, do some research online – read reviews from other travelers and visit comparison websites to find out what kind of deals they have available.

With these tips in mind, it should be easy to find great deals on accommodation in Vienna!

What areas of Vienna are best for tourists to stay in

Vienna is a beautiful city full of history, culture, and entertainment. It also offers a variety of areas for tourists to stay in.

One of the best areas for tourists to stay in Vienna is the city center. (Innenstadt = 1st district) This area is full of attractions such as the Stephansdom Cathedral, the Hofburg Palace, and many other museums and galleries. It’s also conveniently located near public transportation, restaurants, and shopping outlets.

Another great option for tourists is the Mariahilf district (6th district) which is known for its vibrant nightlife and wide selection of bars, clubs, pubs, and cafés.

Landstrasse (3rd district) and Wieden (4th district), these districts have a number of interesting cultural sites such as Karlskirche church (St. Charles Cathedral)

Finally, visitors can also choose to stay in the Neubau (7th district) which is home to some popular shopping streets.

Whichever area you decide to stay in Vienna will be sure to provide you with an unforgettable experience!

Best Things to Do and See in Vienna

Must-see tourist attractions and must-do activities in vienna.

Vienna is a beautiful city full of must-see attractions and exciting activities. Take a stroll through the city center’s romantic cobblestone streets to take in the stunning Baroque architecture, such as the centuries-old Schönbrunn Palace.

Enjoy Vienna’s unique old-world charm by taking a ride on one of its iconic horse-drawn carriages , or explore the modern art galleries and boutiques housed inside the historic Ringstrasse.

For a more cultural experience , you can visit Vienna’s famous museums or spend an afternoon at one of its beautiful parks and gardens.

THE BEST 12 MUSEUMS YOU NEED TO VISIT IN VIENNA, AUSTRIA TRAVEL GUIDE (UPDATE 2023)

Famous Viennese Coffee Houses and Viennese Food

Of course, no trip to Vienna would be complete without sampling some of its famous Viennese cafés and restaurants – you’ll find plenty of delicious local dishes to try.

VIENNA FOOD GUIDE – TRADITIONAL VIENNESE FOOD YOU MUST EAT IN VIENNA, AUSTRIA

BEST COFFEEHOUSES IN THE CITY CENTER OF VIENNA, AUSTRIA

Outdoor activities in Vienna

Additionally, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in Vienna, from cycling along its riverside paths to sailing on the Danube Canal. With so much to see and do, Vienna is sure to provide an unforgettable holiday experience for all visitors!

Local favorites that should not be missed while visiting Vienna

Visiting Vienna can be an unforgettable experience, and there are plenty of local favorites that you should not miss. Be sure to enjoy a cup of Viennese coffee at one of the traditional Viennese cafés for a truly authentic experience.

If you’re in the mood for something sweet, try some Sachertorte – a rich chocolate cake with apricot jam and topped with creamy chocolate icing.

17 BEST DESSERTS IN VIENNA YOU MUST KNOW

The famous Wiener Schnitzel is also a must-try. This breaded veal cutlet is served with potatoes and lemon wedges, and it is the perfect comfort food.

WHERE TO EAT THE BEST WIENER SCHNITZEL IN VIENNA (RESTAURANT TIPS + PRICES!)

Be sure to spend some time strolling along the cobblestone streets of Vienna, exploring its many museums, galleries, and historical sites. Finally, end your visit with a night out at one of Vienna’s renowned classical music concerts or Opera performances – you won’t regret it!

ULTIMATE GUIDE VISITING THE VIENNA OPERA HOUSE, AUSTRIA

Day trips and excursions from Vienna that make great additions to your itinerary

Vienna is a great destination for a city break, but there are plenty of interesting day trips and excursions available to make your visit even more special. From exploring the romantic Wachau Valley, visiting Salzburg with its cobbled streets and Baroque architecture, or heading to Hinterbrühl Caves (Seegrotte) , there are lots of places to explore within a few hours of Vienna. For something more active, try cycling along the Danube path or take a cruise along the river itself. There are also plenty of outdoor activities such as hiking and mountain biking in the surrounding hills.

Whatever you decide to do, Vienna is surrounded by some amazing attractions that make great additions to any itinerary!

TOP 10 – DAY TRIPS FROM VIENNA, AUSTRIA

Best 6 City Day Trips Hallstatt, Salzburg, Prague, Budapest Bratislava, and Ljubljana

Vienna is an optimal starting point for day trips to some of the most noteworthy capitals in Europe such as  Bratislava, Budapest, Prague , and  Ljubljana . Additionally, it serves as an incredible base to discover more of Austria. Some of the greatest day trips from Vienna include  Salzburg  and  Hallstatt .

BEST CITY DAY TRIPS FROM VIENNA, AUSTRIA

Where to Eat & Drink in Vienna

Traditional viennese dishes and drinks you must try while there.

When visiting Vienna, Austria, it is essential to try some of the traditional dishes and drinks that the city has to offer. A must-try dish is Wiener Schnitzel, a fried cutlet of veal served with a side of potatoes or salad. Other traditional dishes include Tafelspitz, boiled beef served with applesauce, horseradish, and root vegetables; Gulaschsuppe, a hearty beef-based soup; and Kaiserschmarrn, shredded pancakes with raisins and powdered sugar. For drinks, be sure to sample Austrian wines such as Grüner Veltliner or Blaufränkisch. If beer is more your style, you should try one of the local craft beers like Ottakringer or Ottakringer Radler. With so many delicious traditional Viennese dishes and drinks to choose from your trip will be unforgettable!

The best restaurants and bars in Vienna

Vienna is a city that offers an abundance of fantastic restaurants and bars. Whether you’re looking for traditional Austrian cuisine, world-famous Viennese coffeehouse culture, or trendy and modern bistros, Vienna has it all. For an upscale dining experience, be sure to visit Steiereck, considered one of the best restaurants in Austria. Other top picks include Plachutta Wollzeile, offering delicious Wiener Schnitzel and Tafelspitz; Figlmüller with its famous schnitzel; and Café Diglas for a delightful Kaffee und Kuchen. When it comes to bars and pubs, Zum Schwarzen Kameel stands out as one of the city’s most popular spots. With its traditional food menu, an impressive selection of beers from around the world, and lively atmosphere, it’s sure to please even the pickiest traveler.

Shopping & Other Activities in Vienna

Popular markets and shopping districts in vienna.

Vienna is an incredible city full of interesting places to shop. From the iconic Naschmarkt to the bustling Flea Market, there are plenty of spots to find unique items and explore the city’s culture.

Naschmarkt has been around since the 16th century and is a great place to find traditional Viennese food, souvenirs, and antiques. The Flea Market is held every Saturday morning in what was once Vienna’s Roman city center. Here you can find a variety of handmade jewelry and vintage clothing.

NASCHMARKT VIENNA GUIDE – MOST POPULAR VIENNESE FOOD MARKET

There are also many shopping districts located throughout Vienna where you can find designer boutiques, modern department stores, and international chains. Mariahilfer Strasse is one of the most popular, with over 600 stores ranging from high-end fashion houses to budget-friendly options. There is something for everyone in Vienna’s markets and shopping districts!

Luxury Shopping in Vienna

Vienna is an excellent destination for luxury shopping. There are numerous designer boutiques, shopping galleries and high-end department stores to explore. One of the most famous shopping areas in Vienna is the Kärntnerstrasse, which boasts a wide range of luxury brands such as Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and more. The Golden Quarter is another popular area with many exclusive boutiques, art galleries and jewelry stores. You can also find a variety of international luxury brands at the Vienna International Airport Shopping Center or at one of the city’s many malls. Whether you’re looking for designer apparel, luxury accessories, or exquisite jewelry, Vienna has plenty of options to choose from when it comes to luxury shopping.

LUXURY SHOPPING IN VIENNA GUIDE (STORES, MAP AND VIDEO GUIDE)

Outdoor activities like biking, hiking, etc near Vienna

Vienna is a great place to get out and enjoy the outdoors. With its extensive park system, the city offers plenty of biking, hiking, and other outdoor activities for everyone. The Vienna Woods, located just outside the city center, are a great place to take a leisurely bike ride or go for a hike. For more strenuous activity, there is also an extensive network of mountain biking trails located in the nearby Semmering region. There are also plenty of lakes and rivers nearby that offer excellent opportunities for swimming, fishing, and boating. Whatever your outdoor activity preference may be, Vienna has something available to suit your needs.

TOP 5 VIENNA PICNIC SPOTS WITH A WONDERFUL VIEW

Conclusion for planning a Trip to Vienna!

Planning a trip to Vienna is an exciting process. From researching the best places to stay, the top attractions and activities, and the most delicious food and drinks, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful city. With its rich culture, history, and art, it’s no wonder why Vienna is one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or have planned a longer stay, Vienna has something to offer every traveler. The key to having a successful trip is planning ahead and organizing your itinerary so that you can make the most of your visit. Make sure to research what you would like to do before arriving in Vienna in order to maximize your sightseeing time and experiences. With adequate planning and preparation, you are sure to enjoy all that Vienna has to offer!

Frequently Asked Questions about Planning your holidays in Vienna

How many days do you need for vienna.

Depending on what kind of experience you’re looking for, there are a variety of things to do in Vienna. If you’re looking for culture and history, then exploring the city’s historic landmarks is essential. Viennese architecture is renowned worldwide and many buildings will take your breath away . There are also several museums and art galleries that could keep you occupied for hours . For those who enjoy the outdoors, Vienna has some beautiful parks and gardens that make for pleasant strolls throughout the day. Shopping lovers will have plenty of options in the city center with its many shopping streets and designer stores. Finally, don’t forget about food – Vienna has some fantastic restaurants and cafés offering both traditional Viennese dishes and international cuisine. So no matter what kind of traveler you are, Vienna has something for everyone – just make sure to plan ahead so that you can fit everything into your stay.

How much does a vacation in Vienna cost?

A vacation in Vienna can be just as expensive as in any other big city, but with a little bit of planning you can make it quite affordable.

Accommodation costs vary depending on the type of hotel or apartment you choose, but you can find budget options starting around €60 per night.

Food and drink costs will depend largely on your own preferences, but there are plenty of affordable restaurants and cafés throughout the city.

Sightseeing is also relatively inexpensive compared to other European capitals, with most attractions costing less than €20 for admission.

Depending on your budget and what activities you plan to do, a vacation in Vienna could cost anywhere from €300-€1000 per person for a few days. However, with careful planning, it’s possible to enjoy Vienna without breaking the bank.

What is the best month to go to Vienna?

The best time to visit Vienna is during the months of April, May and September.

During these months, the city is generally at its most pleasant, with temperatures comfortable enough to be able to walk around and explore all that Vienna has to offer. The days are long and sunny, and you can expect plenty of outdoor activities such as walking tours, boat trips on the Danube River or exploring the many parks in Vienna. You’ll also be able to enjoy some of the cultural events like the opera, a concert in one of Vienna’s famous music halls, or take part in one of the festivals that take place throughout the year such as Wiener Festwochen. In short, there’s something for everyone during these months.

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Visiting Vienna, Practical Tips & Things to do (Local Expert Advice)

Why You Should Listen to Me?  

I was born and live in Vienna my whole life. (Not like other “Travel Bloggers & “Travel Websites” who pretend to know Vienna just for visiting 1 or 2 times). I live and work in the City Center of Vienna and have seen and tried most of the things to do in Vienna I recommend, but I have also seen several things you should definitely avoid (making a few mistakes on my way too).

I am very confident to give you the best  Vienna travel tips

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one day trip vienna

The best Vienna day trips for fairytale scenery and stunning centuries-old architecture

Apr 2, 2022 • 8 min read

Beautiful panoramic view of the historic city of Salzburg with traditonal horse-drawn Fiaker carriage and famous Hohensalzburg Fortress on a hill on a sunny day with blue sky and clouds in summer; Shutterstock ID 1038459445; your: Claire Naylor; gl: 65050; netsuite: Online Editorial; full: Best places to visit Austria

Pretty Salzburg is just a two-hour journey from Vienna © canadastock / Shutterstock

The once hallowed seat of the Habsburg Empire,  Vienna spoils travelers rotten with baroque palaces, fabled coffee houses and plenty of cultural pizzazz. 

But  Austria 's stirring, majestic capital also makes a great base for exploring some of the country’s other jewels. These are the best day trips from Vienna.

See storybook settings in Salzburg

Storybook Salzburg could easily steal a week of your time, but even a swift day trip from Vienna will leave you mesmerized. The whopping 900-year-old clifftop fortress  Festung Hohensalzburg  will eat up a whole morning, while a wander through the historic Altstadt will swallow up the rest. 

Not much has changed since Mozart was born and raised here 250 years ago, including St Peter’s Stiftskeller serving food. Allegedly Europe’s oldest restaurant, it's said to have been around since the 13th century. Booking remains essential. 

Don't go home without bingeing on baroque finery in the DomQuartier's cathedral and abbey, or sipping a potent stein of monk-made ale at Augustiner Bräustübl .

How to get to Salzburg: The Railjet express goes direct from Wien Hauptbahnhof to Salzburg in under two hours. Regional trains take around two-and-a-half hours. By car, the journey is around three hours.

The Vienna suburbs at dusk as seen by from a vineyard in the Wienerwald

Go for a stroll in the Vienna Woods

For some superb hiking and a taste of the mountains near Vienna, scamper across to the Wienerwald. Fringing the capital from the northwest to the southeast, this 45km (28-mile) swath of forested hills was immortalized in Tales from the Vienna Woods , Johann Strauss Jr's 1868 concert waltz.

There are 11 walks to choose from, all easy day trips from the city, but the best lead travelers into the forest. You'll need about three hours to complete the 7.2km (4.5-mile) trail No 4, which threads up to the Jubiläumswarte lookout tower. There are sweeping views of Vienna and the 2076m (1.3-mile) hump of Schneeberg from the uppermost platform. 

A slightly longer alternative is trail No 1, an 11km (6.8-mile) loop that starts in Nussdorf and climbs 484m (.3 miles) up Kahlenberg, a vine-streaked hill commanding fine city views.

How to get to the Wienerwald (Vienna Woods): For trail No 1, tram D takes 27 minutes from the Ring to Nussdorf. For trail No 4, tram line 49 takes 34 minutes from the Ring to Rettichgasse.

Hop across the border to Bratislava

A short zip across the border is Bratislava , the capital of Slovakia . Overlooked by a mighty Renaissance castle, it's easy to lose a morning wandering around the delightful old town, which merrily mixes medieval and Gothic architecture. 

The city's nucleus is Hlavné nám (Main Sq), where architectural finery shimmers in almost every direction, particularly the Stará Radnica (Old Town Hall). Across the city, look out for lashings of Soviet design, from scowling statues to the  space-age bridge . 

Try not to miss the art nouveau Blue Church , a powder blue place of worship dedicated to St Elisabeth of Hungary. If you’re in need of food, the city’s cellar restaurants serve huge helpings of dumplings and fried cheese. 

How to get to Bratislava: International trains take one hour from Vienna to Bratislava. The journey takes around the same by car.

The water glows against the caves inside Seegrotte mine in Hinterbrühl

See the subterranean lake at Seegrotte

This former limestone and gypsum mine, just over an hour from Vienna, closed in 1912 after a controlled explosion caused 20 million liters of water to flood its underground tunnels – an incident that created the largest subterranean lake in Europe . 

Now visitors can wander through its echoing chambers and enjoy a short boat ride out on its turquoise waters. There are also military artifacts on display, as the Nazis used the mine’s dry, upper sections to secretly build aircraft during WWII. Small group tours last 45 minutes.

How to get to Seegrotte: Take the Sbahn from Vienna to Meidling, change for bus 364 or 365, and alight at Seegrotte. The journey will take one hour 15 minutes. By car, the journey is around 30 minutes.

Wander the cobbled streets of Melk 

An easy and rewarding day trip from Vienna, Melk is high on the list for many travelers, most of whom call in for its blockbuster abbey-fortress , perched high above the Danube. The twin spires and high octagonal dome of the monastery church dominate the complex, but inside it's baroque gone barmy: a riot of chubby cherubs, barley-sugar twirls and polished faux marble.

Day-trippers stream in from Krems too, so the cobbled streets are busy year-round. Stop in on Schloss Schallaburg to see its remarkable 400 terracotta sculptures, each completed between 1572 and 1573, and wander past the Altes Posthaus, built in 1792. Not only is Mercury, the messenger of the gods, depicted in the stucco reliefs, but so too is postmaster Josef Weber Edler von Fürnberg.

How to get to Melk: The regional train from Wien Westbahnhof to Melk station takes around one hour and 15 minutes. By car, the journey is one hour and 10 minutes. 

The Kunsthaus Graz building in Graz, Austria

Discover the arts and culture of Graz

Graz , Austria’s second-largest city, might be a smidge over two hours from Vienna by car, but it’s an instant heart-stealer: renaissance courtyards, baroque palaces, abundant parkland, sea of red rooftops and a beautiful bluff, connected to the center by steps, a funicular and a glass lift. 

But it's the absorbing architecture of Kunsthaus Graz , the provocative biomorphic art gallery dubbed the “friendly alien,” that takes visitors aback. Its contemporary design and exhibitions are at total odds with the traditional city, which makes it even more arresting.

For something equally striking but not quite as modern, check out Schloss Eggenberg , the elegant 17th-century palace with magnificent courtyard arcades by Italian master builder Giovanni Pietro de Pomis.

How to get to Graz: The train from Vienna to Graz takes around two hours 30 minutes. By car, the same journey is two hours 15 minutes.

People seated on the terrace of a restaurant at Fisherman's Bastion

Survey the scene in Budapest

It may take a couple hours to meander down to Budapest by car, but as the dual capital of the once-great Austro-Hungarian Empire, a day trip from Vienna can make for compelling comparisons. 

Start in the  Castle District , where Castle Hill , the nerve center of Budapest’s history, towers 170m (558ft) above the Danube. Survey the scene from  Fisherman's Bastion , a neo-Gothic viewing platform overlooking the vast blue river, built in 1905. Look north (left) for the Hungarian  Parliament  building, which many believe was inspired by London's Palace of Westminster. 

Spend some time at the Royal Palace , which has been bombed and rebuilt at least half a dozen times since King Béla IV established it in the mid-13th century, before heading across the river for some lunch. Then slowly work your way along Andrássy út and up to Heroes’ Square . Finish with a soak in one of the 18 thermal pools at Széchenyi Baths before heading home.

How to get to Budapest: Direct trains go from Vienna to Budapest in two hours and 37 minutes. By car, the same journey takes two-and-a-half hours.

Bikers riding on the Danube cycle path

Go for a bike ride in the Danube Valley

To see the grand Danube in all its dramatic glory, head to the Wachau. This romantic stretch of the Danube Valley , between Krems an der Donau and Melk, waltzes through poetic landscapes of terraced vineyards, forested slopes and apricot orchards, with the meandering river – and the imposing fortresses that loom over it –nearly always in sight.

Less than an hour by car, it’s a great spot for a cycle ride with children. Start in Krems an der Donau and take the B3 southwest towards Spitz, pedaling past the lovely town of Dürnstein, with its blue-towered Chorherrenstift backed by Kuenringerburg , the castle where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned in 1192.

A couple of kilometers on, just after Wösendorf, you find the church of St Michael, in a hamlet with 13 houses. Get the kids to count the terracotta hares on the church roof. The pretty town of Spitz finally swings into view some 17km (10.6 miles) from Krems. Head to its  heurigen (wine taverns) for a much-deserved glass of wine before heading back.

How to get to the Danube Valley: The journey from Vienna to Krems an der Donau takes one hour 13 minutes by direct train and just under an hour by car.

Young happy man skiing in Kitzbuehel ski resort and enjouing the beautiful weather with blue sky and Alpine mountains in Austria.

Hit the slopes in Semmering 

Come December, when the powder sits plumply across the Austrian Alps, there are a number of easily accessible ski slopes from Vienna that can be visited in a day, including the resorts of Hauereck and Unterberg. 

Semmering , however, is the pick of the bunch. A long-term host of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup races, it has 14km (8.7 miles) of slopes at Zauberberg and 26km (16.2 miles) at Stuhleck, and the night slopes at both are open until 8:30pm. 

How to get to Semmering: The train from Wien Hauptbahnhof to Semmering Bahnhof takes as little as one hour 16 minutes. The journey takes around one hour 50 minutes by car.

Skiers will love these city breaks in Austria and Germany

Evangelical Church of Hallstatt looks out across Lake Hallstatt

Soak up the scenery in Hallstatt

A few hours by car, a day trip from Vienna to Hallstatt is doable, but very taxing. Thought to be one of the inspirations behind the Disney film Frozen , this fairytale town is thronged with visitors who outnumber the locals by more than 10 to one.

Hallstatt’s beauty borders on the surreal and the sublime. Boats glide serenely across the lake from the train station to the village, situated precariously on a narrow stretch of land between mountain and shore.

If you want to visit in a single day, either get the first train from Vienna at 4:55am and arrive before the coaches, or stay overnight and wait for the day-trippers to leave, then enjoy a lakeside dinner in relative peace.

How to get to Hallstatt: Trains from Vienna to Hallstatt usually require a change at Wels or Attnang-Puchheim and take around three hours and 52 minutes. By car, the journey takes three-and-a-half hours.

You may also like: Best free things to do in Vienna 18 top things to do in Vienna The 7 best things to do in Vienna with kids

This article was first published February 2019 and updated April 2022

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PlanetWare.com

16 Top-Rated Day Trips from Vienna

Written by Karen Hastings Updated Mar 9, 2021 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Thanks to its setting on the banks of the Danube in the northeastern foothills of the Alps, the area around Vienna offers an abundance of beautiful scenery to explore. Tall mountain peaks plunge to emerald river valleys, and you'll see quaint villages nestling against this breathtaking backdrop.

The city's central location makes it a convenient base for day trips by train to visit some of the nearby towns and villages. Here, you'll find magnificent abbeys, opulent palaces, and historic attractions.

For a longer rail journey, take the Semmering Railway through picturesque countryside, and a Salzburg day trip from Vienna is another popular addition to your itinerary.

If you're prepared to travel even further afield, you can add a few cross-border cities to your itinerary, such as Prague and Budapest.

From the beautiful Vienna Woods to snowcapped mountain peaks; from lovely old palaces to exciting day trips by boat, rail, and road, the city offers some of the best scenery in Austria right on its doorstep. Discover other rewarding places to visit with our list of the best day trips from Vienna.

1. The Wachau Valley and Melk Abbey

2. budapest, 3. salzburg, 4. hallstatt, 6. bratislava, 7. klosterneuburg abbey, 8. the vienna woods, 9. the roman town of carnuntum, 10. lainzer wildlife park and baden bei wien, 11. the village of grinzing, 12. beethoven's heiligenstadt, 13. haydn's birthplace and rohrau castle, 14. danube boat tours, 15. eisenstadt and schloss esterházy, 16. laa an der thaya, map of day trips from vienna.

The Wachau Valley

About an hour's drive from Vienna, the beautiful Wachau Valley is a World Heritage Site due to its spectacular scenery and rich history and culture. It stretches for about 40 kilometers between the towns of Melk and Krems.

The Danube River snakes through the valley's heart, past picturesque monasteries, grand castles, villages, and vine-draped hills, conjuring a scene from medieval times. The area is also a hot spot for foodies and is one of the most popular places to visit near Vienna.

One of Melk's top attractions is the magnificent Benedictine Melk Abbey , perched high on a hilltop overlooking the Danube River. Highlights include its octagonal domed entrance gate; the Imperial Corridor, lined with priceless art; the museum; the frescoed Marble Hall; and the lovely gardens. The Abbey Church , with its symmetrical twin towers and impressive 18th-century ceiling paintings, is known as one of the finest Baroque churches north of the Alps.

An easy way to explore the Wachau Valley, without the stress of driving and possibly missing the highlights, is the Melk Abbey and Danube Valley Day Trip . This full-day excursion begins with an air-conditioned coach ride through the beautiful Wachau Valley, while an experienced guide shares information about the history and attractions in the area. It continues with a stop at the medieval castle ruins of Burgruine Dürnstein.

In summer, the tour includes a relaxing cruise down the Danube River to Melk, where you can explore the magnificent Benedictine Melk Abbey. In winter, you can enjoy a walking tour and a hearty Austrian lunch in a local restaurant. Pickup from select hotels and entry to the abbey are also included.

Budapest parliament at sunrise

About 240 kilometers from Vienna, Budapest is affectionately known as the "Paris of the East." It sits in a beautiful location astride the Danube River and is one of the most picturesque cities in all of Europe.

Although this is a long day trip, it's worth it for the wealth of UNESCO World Heritage Sites , breathtaking architecture spanning styles from Baroque to Neoclassical and Art Nouveau, and the chance to soak in the city's famous therapeutic springs. Besides, you can always stay longer - Budapest is one of the best weekend trips from Vienna.

Top attractions in Budapest include World Heritage-listed Castle Hill , home to the 18th-century Buda Castle ; the late-19th-century Fisherman's Bastion and Matthias Church ; the magnificent Parliament buildings ; and Heroes' Square .

Amp up your day of sightseeing by visiting multiple tourist attractions in one venue: City Woodland Park is home to an impressive line-up of museums, as well as the stunning Vajdahunyad Castle . You could spend days here exploring all the cultural jewels.

An easy way to visit the city from Vienna without having to relocate is on the Budapest Day Trip , which takes you to many of the city's most famous landmarks. Vajdahunyad Castle, the Parliament Buildings, Heroes' Square, and the Opera House are just some of the highlights. This full-day tour includes pickup from select hotels, a scenic drive through the Hungarian countryside, a walking tour through Buda, and a city tour on an air-conditioned coach.

Mirabell Gardens with Hohensalzburg in the background

About 2.5 hours by train from Vienna, Salzburg is another of Europe's beauty queens. Beset with elegant buildings and surrounded by mountains, this picturesque city straddles the River Salzach and is famous as the birthplace of Mozart, as well as the setting for the film The Sound of Music .

Salzburg's highlights include the World Heritage-listed Old Town , with its beautiful Baroque architecture and the Salzburg Cathedral ; Hohensalzburg Castle; Mozart's Birthplace, one of the world's most popular museums; and the gorgeous Mirabell Palace and gardens, where the Von Trapp children famously frolicked.

A great place to begin a walking tour of the city is from the Residenzplatz , one of the city's largest squares and home to the Residenzbrunnen , an impressive marble fountain by Italian sculptor Tommaso di Garone.

If you are not up for doing this excursion on your own, try the Salzburg Day Trip . This full-day adventure is one of the best day trips from Vienna to Salzburg and includes plenty of photo opportunities on the spectacular drive through the Austrian Alps. You'll stop at Lake Mondsee along the way, and enjoy a walking tour through the Old Town.

Hallstatt

Hallstatt is quite simply one of the most picture-perfect places to visit in Austria. Cute 16th-century cottages with flower-draped balconies cluster along an achingly gorgeous lake, backed by rugged Alpine peaks. Seeming to add an exclamation point to all this beauty is the slender spire of the Evangelical Church of Hallstatt. No wonder both the village and the lake are classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site .

Hallstatt lies about 2.5 hours from Vienna in the Salzkammergut region, but you can relax and enjoy the scenery on an organized Day Trip from Vienna to Hallstatt . Led by an expert guide, you'll visit Orth Castle in Gmuden before joining a walking tour of Hallstatt to learn about its fascinating history and see some of its top attractions . Then embark on a scenic boat ride around Hallstätter See. Your camera will get a workout in this breathtakingly beautiful region.

Aerial view over Charles Bridge and the Vltava river

Bristling with spires and breathtaking architecture, Prague has a beautifully preserved old town, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site . It's about 290 kilometers from Vienna, a long day trip, but you can make it there and back in a day, and get a great feel for the city.

The Old Town Square is a wonderful place to begin a walking tour. From here, you can visit many evocative old churches, including the famous Týn Church, and the Jewish Quarter .

Other top things to do in Prague include visiting Prague Castle , with St. Vitus Basilica , St. George's Basilica, and the Old Royal Palace ; and exploring Wenceslas Square in Prague's New Town, which is also home to the National Museum, as well as fantastic shopping and restaurants.

Also save time for a stroll across the famous Charles Bridge and try to see a performance at the National Theatre .

To squeeze in as much as possible on a visit here, consider the Prague Day Trip from Vienna . This well-planned 14-hour tour takes you through the pretty Moravia countryside to Prague for a 2.5-hour guided city tour to see sights such as Charles Bridge, the Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square, and the National Theatre.

Bratislava

Less than an hour from Vienna by train, Slovakia's capital, Bratislava, is an affordable, fun, and easy day out. Old abuts new in this vibrant city, where 18th-century buildings line the streets of the old town, and Soviet-era architecture sits not far beyond. If you're looking for relatively cheap trips from Vienna, this is a great option.

The Danube slices through the city, and Bratislava Castle is the focal point, perched on a plateau above the river, with its stark white walls and red-tile roof.

Start your tour in the pedestrian-only 18th-century old town, where you'll find the old town hall , home to Bratislava City Museum, and Michael's Gate from the original medieval fortifications, as well as many restaurants and sidewalk cafés.

Another of Bratislava's top attractions is Grassalkovich Palace , where, the president of Slovakia resides, and if you feel like getting back to nature, hiking trails lace the surrounding Little Carpathian mountains, close to the city.

A fun way to travel from Vienna to Bratislava and explore the city without the stress of navigating your way around is the Bratislava Day Trip tour. This full-day excursion includes a comfortable coach trip to the capital, a walking tour of the old town and all its attractions, and a visit to the Rococo-style Grassalkovich Palace. End your day with a high-speed catamaran trip down the Danube on the return journey.

Klosterneuburg Abbey

At the edge of the Vienna Woods on the city's northern outskirts, the Augustinian abbey in the small town of Klosterneuburg attracts many visitors. Perched high above the Danube, Klosterneuburg Abbey (Stiftes Klosterneuburg) was founded in the 12th century, and many newer buildings were added in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Highlights of this sprawling complex are the church, with its Romanesque and Baroque features, the Leopold Courtyard, and the monastery vaults. The famous Verduner Altar in the Leopold Chapel is especially noteworthy and consists of 45 enameled panels dating from 1181. The newer Baroque building has two copper domes, one surmounted by the German Imperial Crown, the other by the Lower Austrian Archducal Bonnet.

Other notable features include the Baroque main staircase; the Marble Hall, with its fine frescoes; the Imperial Apartment; the Tapestry Room; the Treasury; and the Monastery Museum.

Also of interest is the nearby town of Kierling , with its Kafka Memorial set up in the very room of the sanatorium where the famed writer spent his last days.

Address: Stiftsplatz 1, 3400 Klosterneuburg

Official site: www.stift-klosterneuburg.at/en

Liechtenstein Castle in the Vienna Woods

Fabled in song and a favorite getaway for the Viennese, the Vienna Woods also hold a number of interesting attractions for tourists, including a beautiful monastery, historic sites, and natural wonders.

A good place to begin is atop the 484-meter Kahlenberg . This is Vienna's own "mini-mountain," with magnificent views across the city and the Danube all the way to the Little Carpathians and the Schneeberg region.

The Baroque Kahlenberg Church (St. Josef auf dem Kahlenberg) was built on the spot where Polish Prince Sobieski beat the Turkish army besieging Vienna. The Cistercian Abbey of Heiligenkreuz , constructed in 1133, is the oldest continuously occupied Cistercian monastery in the world and one of the most beautiful medieval monasteries. Its highlights include the vaulted Romanesque nave (1187); the 13th-century ribbed vaulting; and the 13th-century choir, considered a masterpiece of Austrian Gothic.

Also in the Vienna Woods is Mayerling , a former imperial hunting lodge. Here, in 1889 the only son of Emperor Franz Joseph and the Empress Elizabeth, Crown Prince Rudolph, was found dead with his mistress Baroness Vetsera, an event that rocked the imperial court.

The largest underground lake in Europe, the Seegrotte was formed when a former gypsum mine was flooded, and you can take a boat ride through its subterranean caverns and passages.

A good way to combine many of these sights is on the Vienna Woods and Mayerling Half Day Trip , which includes guided visits to the Abbey of Heiligenkreuz and Mayerling hunting lodge; a guided walk through the city of Baden; and a scenic ride through the Vienna Woods, past the fairy-tale Liechtenstein Castle .

Address: Kahlenberg, 1190 Wien

The Roman Town of Carnuntum

Fields, meadows, vines, and woodland are the distinctive features of the pretty March-Donauland region to the east of Vienna. It was here that many famous battles were fought, including one against the Romans and, centuries later, against the Hungarians, the Turks, and the French under Napoleon.

The region was perhaps most important to the Roman Empire, as witnessed in the spectacular ruins of the fortified town they built here, once home to a population of more than 50,000. Now part of a superb historic attraction, Archaeological Park Carnuntum is a reconstruction of the key buildings from the 1st-century town, including a city mansion, a citizen's house, and Roman baths, as well as a semi-reconstructed practice arena of a gladiator school that was discovered in 2011. The park offers fun events and programs for the whole family.

Address: Hauptstrasse 1a, 2404 Petronell-Carnuntum

Official site: http://www.carnuntum.at/en

Hermes Villa in the Lainzer Wildlife Park

The Lainzer Wildlife Park (Lainzer Tiergarten) occupies 24 square kilometers of the Vienna Woods. Famous as a place of relaxation and escape from the big city, it's a haven for old oak and beech trees (some more than 350 years old), as well as wildlife such as deer and boar. Once the hunting reserve of Emperor Joseph II, it was fenced off with a 24-kilometer-long stonewall in 1787 on the orders of Empress Maria Theresa.

Opened to the public in 1921, this important conservation area includes more than 80 kilometers of footpaths and the 14-meter-high Hubertuswarte observation tower on the Kaltbründlberg.

Another tourist attraction on the edge of the Vienna Woods is Baden bei Wien , a spa town famous for its curative waters (the Romans called the town Aquae). Today, nearly 2,000 years later, the town's sulfur springs still spew out six-and-a-half million liters of therapeutic warm water every day.

Address: Hietzing-West, 1130 Wien

The Village of Grinzing

Just 17 kilometers northeast of Vienna, the pretty little village of Grinzing was first mentioned in 1114. Destroyed numerous times by war, the current structures in the village date predominantly from the 19th century, and its wooded setting, quaint gardens, and winding streets, make it a fun place to explore.

Grinzing is also unique in that local laws allow individuals to purchase tiny plots of land where vines may be grown. It's also well known for its many typical Austrian restaurants (Heuriger), famous for indicating whether they're open by placing branches of spruce over their entrances. The area is also popular among hikers, especially for the trails around the nearby Kahlenberg and Leopoldsberg hills.

Beethoven's Heiligenstadt

The oldest of the "Viennese villages" on the city's outskirts, Heiligenstadt was incorporated into the district of Döbling in 1892 and is famous for its quiet, narrow winding streets, especially around the historic homes of Probusgasse and Armbrustergasse.

Be sure to roam around St. Jacob's Church on the Pfarrplatz, built in Romanesque style on Roman foundations.

Heiligenstadt's most important claim to fame, however, was the fact it was visited several times by Ludwig von Beethoven, including in the autumn of 1802 while working on his Second Symphony. It was here, at 6 Probusgasse, that he wrote his Heiligenstadt Testament, a letter to his brothers in which he bemoans his increasing deafness (and which he never sent). The home is now a museum - the Beethoven Wohnung Heiligenstadt - dedicated to this period in the composer's life. (Later a resident of Vienna, Beethoven is buried in the Zentralfriedhof , the city's largest cemetery.)

Address: Probusgasse 6, 1190 Vienna

Rohrau Castle

Famous as the birthplace of composer Joseph Haydn in 1732, a trip to Rohrau - just 46 kilometers east of Vienna - is a pleasant way to spend a day. A museum dedicated to the great composer is now housed in the small thatched farmhouse where he was born, and boasts numerous fascinating exhibits and artifacts relating to his life.

Also open is the actual room in which he was born, refurbished as it would have been at the time. Another highlight of a visit to Rohrau is the castle that once belonged to Count von Harrach. This splendid attraction is now a fine arts museum possessing the Count's vast collection of paintings - all told, more than 200 paintings are held here, including works by Rubens and Van Dyck.

Address: Schloss Rohrau 1, 2471 Rohrau

A boat tour on the Danube

A trip along the Danube by boat, through the Danube Valley, offers you the chance to see some of the most beautiful scenery around Vienna. Destinations include cities such as Budapest and Bratislava (up to four days round-trip), or simply a short one- or two-hour jaunt.

In the other direction (upstream) the Danube leads to the Wachau Valley or to Melk with its famous abbey. A variety of fun themed cruises are also available, from fine dining to classic ballroom dancing in the evenings. Alternatively, visitors can hire a boat taxi to explore Vienna from the water.

The Bergkirche in Eisenstadt

About an hour south of Vienna, picturesque Eisenstadt is famous for its connection to one of Austria's greatest composers: Joseph Haydn. Haydn lived here for many years, and today his house serves as a museum celebrating his life and times (he was buried in the Bergkirche above the town).

Be sure to explore the lovely Old Town , also known as Freistadt (Free Town), traversed by three long streets opening off the main square: Hauptstrasse, Pfarrgasse, and Haydngasse. It's here you'll find the 17th-century Town Hall (Rathaus).

Afterwards, head to Schloss Esterházy , the former palace of Prince Esterházy. Originally a medieval stronghold, it was rebuilt in Baroque style in 1672, with its stunning rear façade remodeled in neoclassical style between 1797 and 1805. Highlights of a visit include the exquisite Haydn Room, with its colorful frescoes and busts (English language guided tours are available).

Eisenstadt Map - Tourist Attractions

Laa an der Thaya lies about 68 kilometers north of Vienna on the Czech frontier. Highlights of a visit include the remains of the town's medieval walls and the massive moated 13th-century castle - Laa Castle - with its well-preserved battlements and towers, and fine panoramic views.

Try to visit the Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus), home of the Südmährermuseum Thayaland , an informative local history museum with displays of artifacts and traditional clothing.

Other notable highlights include the 13th-century Gothic parish church of St. Vitus, with its High Altar dating from 1740, and the Plague and Trinity columns from 1680.

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