Vienna - Stephansdom Cathedral
How many days in Vienna

Globetrotters

3 days

Vacationers

4 days

Culture buffs

5+ days

Vienna is a cultural powerhouse. A bit like the New York City of Europe, it offers so much for travellers to see that it’s impossible to cover it all within a single trip. It’s also a difficult city to construct a set itinerary for given that so many of its sights, museums and galleries appeal to specific interests. Everyone essentially becomes a bit of a ‘culture buff’ when in Vienna. One travellers itinerary here may look completely unlike the next. So, whilst the Globetrotters will be able to get a good glimpse of the different regions of the city and sample the culture and history in 3 days, vacationers and culture buffs have a much broader range of sights that they will be able to choose from depending on their interests and how they wish to fill their time.

Globetrotters – 72 hours in Vienna

DAY 1 – Altstadt

Morning Stephansdom
Afternoon Hofburg complex
Evening Ringstrasse
Vienna - Stephansdom Cathedral

Stephansdom Cathedral

Your first day in Austria’s capital will be based in the Altstadt (Old city) region. A good starting point is massive Stephansdom Catedral which is a symbol of Vienna and is also a common meeting spot, being in the social heart of the city. Once exploring its interior and catacombs, take the lift up to the top to get a closer look at the colourful tiled patterns and graphics on the roof, not to mention the great view overlooking the center of the city.

Follow Graben, one of the cities main pedestrian thoroughfares to the Hofburg Palace complex. This was the winter palace of the Habsburgs dynasty built in the 13th century and has been expanded over the centuries many times. It’s now a collection of multiple palaces and includes numerous museums, galleries, courtyards, the National Library, as well as being the residence of the President of Austria. You couldn’t possibly see all of its sights in a single day, and not all may be of interest to you (especially if on a budget). Just some of the popular attractions are:

- Schatzkammer (Imperial Treasury) which houses the Habsburgs collection of jewels
- Kunsthistorisches museum
- Naturhistorisches Museum
- Albertina Museum
- Imperial Silver Collection
- Sisi Museum
- Kaiserappartments (Imperial Apartments)
- National Library

….wow, as  you can see  there’s a lot there! If you’ve booked ahead, you could check out the Spanish Riding School.

In the afternoon, walk across the Volksgarten to the Austrain Parliament, next to which is the Rathaus (Town Hall) where there are often events in the Rathausplatz – check www.wien.info/en to see what’s on or take a guided tour of the Rathaus. From there take a tram side around the Ringstrasse which circles around the Altstadt. Stop off at an authentic coffee house of your choice for a drink and some sachertorte, it’s a right of passage in Vienna.

 

DAY 2 – Schönbrunn

Day Schönbrunn
Evening Prater
Vienna - Shonbrunn Palace

Shonbrunn Palace

Get the Metro out to the Schönbrunn Palace. Yesterday you would have seen the Habsburgs winter palace, but they spent the summer here. It’s a fairly modest palace with only 1,441 rooms! You can get a glimpse of it on a tour of the State Apartments. Enjoy a wander around the beautiful Imperial Gardens and a walk up to the Gloriette pavilion where there’s a great view of the city center in the distance.

Next to the gardens is the world’s oldest zoo, the Schönbrunn Tiergarten which was founded by the Habsburg’s in 1752. There’s tons to see inside, but their main drawcards are the pandas and polar bears.

Vienna - Prater

Riesenrad at Wurstelprater

Back on the Metro, head out to the Prater area for Wurstelprater, the world’s oldest amusement park which has free entry. The most iconic ride is the huge Riesenrad ferris wheel which has been a must-do Vienna experience for well over a century. Be prepared to stand in line for a while. There’s lots of other rides here too including a rollercoaster, as well as a Madame Tussauds and cinema to keep all ages entertained into the evening.

 

DAY 3

Morning Hundertwasser & Naschmarkt
Afternoon Belvedere
Evening See a performance
Vienna - Hundertwasserhaus

Hundertwasserhaus

Some of the most unexpected and intriguing sights in the city in my opinion are the architectural works of Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Three of his impressive and fantasy-like creations are all close to eachother: the Hundertwasserhaus apartments, directly opposite are the shops at Kalke Village, and a short walk away is the KunstHausWien museum.

Next, make your way to the mile long Naschmarkt. This is Vienna’s largest inner city food market, with an array of sit-down restaurants as well. On Saturday’s there’s an additional flea market. After stopping for some food, a short walk away is the baroque Karlskirche church, mainly worth a visit for the colourful frescoes in the cupola.

If you haven’t got your fix of grandiose palaces yet, there’s two more to see at the nearby Belvedere complex. This was the summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy and consists of the Oberes (Upper) palace housing Gustav Klimt’s classic painting ‘The Kiss’. There’s also the Unteres (Lower) palace and an expansive garden separating the Oberes and Unteres.

If classical music is your thing (or even if it’s not… you’re in Vienna after all), the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra often perform at Musikverein. Try your luck at getting some last-minute standing room tickets, or you could look into seeing an opera at the Vienna State Opera House. Alternatively, to get an understanding of Vienna’s musical past, present and future, a visit to the interactive Haus der Musik is worthwhile for anyone with an interest in music. Have a go at virtually conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra!

Vacationers

Cover the same ground as the Globetrotters on Days 1-3.


DAY 4 – MuseumsQuartier

Morning MuseumsQuartier
Afternoon Stadtpark
Evening Altstadt / Grinzing

Culture, art, events, shopping… all of the above? Start your fourth day in the city at the MuseumsQuartier, which describes itself as “one of the largest art and culture complexes in the world”. This urban living room consists of numerous buildings, museums, shops, cafes and courtyards, so it’s easy to see how you could spend a lot of time here. There’s quite a mix of different styles and the sights cater to many different tastes, so take you pick of the following popular museums that take your interest:

- Kunsthalle Wien – clasic and modern art
- MUMOK – modern art
- Kunsthalle Wien – photography
- Leopold Museum
Been on your feet long enough? Head over to the Stadtpark for a break and a bit of relaxation before heading back along Kärntnerstrasse, one of the city’s main shopping streets.

Either stick to the Altstadt in the evening or consider heading out to the Grinzing district to check out some traditional heurigen wine taverns.

Culture Buffs

Cover the same ground as the Vacationers on Days 1-4.

DAY 5 – More Hofburg

It’s likely that a Culture Buff will find enough sights among the Hofburg complex that takes their interest to spread across 2 days at a leisurely pace. Therefore on Day 5 head back to the Hofburg and check out what you didn’t have time for on Day 1.

DAY 6

The same can be said for the MuseumsQuartier Complex. It’s possible that a Culture Buff may not fit everything MuseumsQuartier has to offer into a single day, so it worth returning on Day 6. For art buffs there is also the Liechtenstein Palace. History buffs might like to visit the Jewish Museum. Music buffs can visit Beethoven’s Grave and/or head to Mozarthaus Vienna.

Days mapped out

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1 Response to “How many days in Vienna”


  1. 1 ces Dec 2nd, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    hello! i just want to say a huge thank you. i came across your blog after countless searches of how many cities i can comfortably squeeze in an itinerary (for now, it’s central europe) given the fixed amount of vacation leave days i have to spare (i mean let’s face it, we would all like to go on longer vacations always, but the real world is limiting, haha). i nod in agreement to your ‘About’ page, i really feel you. I find how you formatted your blog, arranged the info, and your content very very helpful. keep up the good work. i’m a fan.

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