3 Days in Vienna: Suggested Itineraries

By Viator, February 2015

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Home to the Habsburg dynasty since the 15th century and once the de facto capital of the Holy Roman Empire, Vienna is one of the finest and most historic cities in Europe.  In addition to its vast imperial history, Vienna’s impressive musical legacy is evident in the city’s many theaters, opera houses and concert venues. The capital of Austria is also famous for its lively coffeehouse culture and boasts an active independent music scene and vibrant night life.

Day One: The Heart of Vienna

Kick off your visit by picking up the Vienna Card at your hotel or the tourist information center.  Just 20 Euros, it provides free rides on public transportation and over 200 discounts at museums, historic sights, restaurants, theaters and concerts for 72 hours. Then, get a feel for the city by circling the Ringstrasse via the Vienna Ring Tram. As you do, you will pass some of Vienna’s most significant sights, including City Hall, the Parliament Building, the State Opera House and the famous Hofburg Palace. End your tour of the Ringstrasse near the end of the Kärntnerstrasse closest to the 12th century gothic St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Take time to explore the Cathedral’s catacombs before climbing the 343 steps to the top of the bell tower for a sweeping view of Vienna. Stroll down the Kärntnerstrasse, Vienna’s grand pedestrian mall, on your way to the Hofburg Palace, the winter home of the Habsburg Court. Don’t miss the lavishly decorated Kaiserappartements with the impressive Imperial Silver and Porcelain collections or the Schatzkammer – the Imperial Treasury, which showcases the crown jewels. Those wishing to spend even more time at the Hofburg might also visit the Spanish Riding School, the Burgkapelle (home of the Vienna Boys’ Choir) and the 14th century Augustinerkirche. After dinner, wind up your first day in Vienna with a trip to the opera or catch some live music at one of the city’s concert cafes.

Day Two: Museum-Hopping

Today, dig a little deeper by visiting some of the city’s top museums. Start with the Kumsthistorisches Museum (Art History Museum), built in 1891 to house the art collection of the royal family, and the neighboring Museum of Natural History. Take a break for a stroll through the Stadtpark, Vienna’s first public park, where you’ll find the often-photographed monument to Johann Strauss. Stop at the Café Sacher to sample the famous sachertorte and  then head to the MuseumsQuartier Complex, one of the largest cultural quarters in the world. With a vast array of museums, restaurants, shops and cafes, this can easily keep you occupied well into the evening. Three must-sees include the Kunsthalle, featuring international contemporary and modern art; the Leopold Museum showcasing modern art, including the works of Gustav Klimt; and MUMOK, focusing on 20th and 21st century art, including pop art, nouveau realism and photorealism.

Day Three:  Vienna’s Imperial Past

Start your third morning with a visit to the Naschmarket, an open air market on the edge of town that has been around since the Middle Ages. Then, explore more of Vienna’s imperial past at the enchanting Schoenbrunn Palace and Park. Take a guided tour through the opulent rooms of Empress Elizabeth’s former summer residence, explore the Baroque palace gardens and get lost in the vast 17th century Maze. Wrap up your afternoon with a visit to the Vienna Zoo at Schoenbrunn, the oldest zoo in the world and one of the best in Europe. To celebrate your last evening in Vienna, treat yourself to dinner at the zoo’s Kaiserpavilion or the Café-Restaurant Residenz on the palace grounds before enjoying the works of Mozart and Strauss in a concert at the Palace Orangery.

Tours & Tickets

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Schonbrunn Palace Evening: Palace Tour, Dinner and Concert

4 star rating: Recommended 404 Reviews

Enjoy a royal package with a self-guided audio Schonbrunn Palace walking tour followed by a three course dinner at Cafe-Restaurant Residenz. Within walking ...  Read more

Location: Vienna, Austria
Duration: Flexible

From USD $92.32

Kursalon Vienna: Johann Strauss and Mozart Concert Including 4-Course Dinner

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 23 Reviews

Enjoy a gourmet dinner and classical Viennese concert at the Kursalon Vienna with this dinner and performance combo. Savor a 4-course meal of fine Austrian ...  Read more

Location: Vienna, Austria
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $85.49

Vienna Historical City Tour with Schonbrunn Palace Visit

4 star rating: Recommended 413 Reviews

From the magnificent buildings of the Ring to the splendor of Schonbrunn Palace, you'll see all the highlights of Vienna on this three-hour city tour. The tour ...  Read more

Location: Vienna, Austria
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $50.15

Vienna Mozart Concert at the Musikverein

4.5 star rating: Recommended 177 Reviews

For a special evening out in Vienna, book your tickets for the Vienna Mozart Concert at the Musikverein. Dressed in historical costumes and wigs, the Vienna ...  Read more

Location: Vienna, Austria
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $55.85

Vienna City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 450 Reviews

Experience the highlights of Austria's capital in a fun, relaxing way on this Vienna hop-on hop-off bus tour. Hop off at any of the 15 stops around the city ...  Read more

Location: Vienna, Austria
Duration: Valid for 24 or 48 hours

From USD $28.50

Wachau Valley Small-Group Tour and Wine Tasting from Vienna

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 70 Reviews

Spend a day away from Vienna to discover the picturesque Wachau Valley in the Austrian countryside on this small-group, fully guided tour. Satisfy your ...  Read more

Location: Vienna, Austria
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $131.08

Kursalon Vienna: Johann Strauss and Mozart Concert

4 star rating: Recommended 2 Reviews

Delight in an evening of classical Viennese music at the acclaimed Kursalon Vienna concert hall, where the waltz was popularized in the 19th century thanks to ...  Read more

Location: Vienna, Austria
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $45.59

Big Bus Vienna Hop-on Hop-off Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 7 Reviews

Discover the sights of Vienna aboard an open-top, double-decker Big Bus as you admire 360-degree views of top attractions and listen to entertaining audio ...  Read more

Location: Vienna, Austria
Duration: Varies

From USD $28.50

Private Tour: Vienna Schönbrunn Palace Including Schönbrunn Gardens

Get a taste of royal life at Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace Gardens (Schlosspark Schoenbrunn) on a private 3-hour tour. Choose from a morning or afternoon ...  Read more

Location: Vienna, Austria
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $143.96

Experience Vienna: Viennese Waltz Dance Lesson for Couples

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 13 Reviews

When you’re in Vienna, don’t miss out on the chance to learn the Viennese waltz, created in – where else? – Vienna! The Viennese waltz became famous mostly due ...  Read more

Location: Vienna, Austria
Duration: 60 minutes (approx.)

From USD $58.13

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