Updated: Oct 22
The city of Vienna undoubtedly is one of the most historic and culturally rich cities in Europe. The city has uncountable mesmerizing landmarks like Palaces, Churches, and Opera houses.
Vienna used to be the capital of the Habsburg dynasty. It was one of the strongest Royal families in European history and also played an important role in European culture, politics, and economic life.
The Austrian capital is also famous for its cuisine, coffeehouses, charming old town, Museums, and incredible architecture. As a traveler, you need at least 3 days to visit the main iconic landmarks.
Let’s find out how you should plan out your 3 day trip to Vienna so you can visit all the different flavors of the city.
How to reach Vienna:
As Vienna - the Austrian capital is located in the heart of Europe, it’s quite easy to reach it by different means of transport.
How to reach Vienna by Air:
The Vienna International Airport is well-connected by public transport (e.g., Trains, buses, and direct airport shuttle) to the city center. It's around 18 km in southeast of Vienna’s center. There are many big airlines, like Lufthansa, Air France, British Airways, and Turkish Airlines, etc., that have direct flights to Vienna.
How to reach Vienna by Train:
There are many different high-speed train connections from various European countries/cities to Vienna. We took a direct train from Munich, Germany, to Vienna, and it took us around 4 hours. If you are coming from another country, check Omio for a suitable connection. It would be better to book the train in advance. Otherwise, the prices of the train tickets are much higher if you book it on the spot or a day prior.
How to reach Vienna by Bus:
Various International bus companies like Flixbus, Eurolines, and Regiojet offer journeys to Vienna from several cities in Europe. The Center bus terminal is locally around 5 KM from the city center. The buses are normally cheaper than trains but take a longer time to reach the destination.
When you're going to Vienna, you can choose from different ways to get there, like trains, buses, and flights. What's best for you depends on where you're starting your trip. When we went from Munich, we took a fast train. If you want to find the cheapest tickets from different places, just click the link below.
How to reach Vienna by Car:
The journey to Vienna by Car is also very convenient as there are Autobahns (motorways) connected to all of Europe. But sometimes, on the weekend, the Motorway gets crowded. It’s also recommended to use public transport within the city as finding parking near the city center is a little challenging.
Where to stay in Vienna:
There are uncountable opinions about staying in Vienna, including, Hotels, Airbnb, and vacation apartments. We prefer to stay in the Hotels as they have to offer easy check-in along with breakfast options. The best place to stay in Vienna is Old Town and Neschmarkt.
Do you want to know more about Austrian cities? Explore 2nd Largest Austrian City, Graz.
Indigo Hotel Vienna, Neschmarkt:
The Indigo Hotel Vienna, Neschmarkt, is located in the heart of Vienna - a lively neighborhood of Neschmarkt. The hotel is highly accessible by Public transport. It's one minute's walking distance from a bus station and an underground tram. The hotel has a wonderful and stylish ambiance and has 118 designed rooms and suites in unique colors and furnishing.
You can start your morning with a lavish breakfast buffet at the restaurant and enjoy dinner and drinks at Pigment bar. Indigo Hotel Neschmarkt Vienna is a fantastic choice for travelers looking for a comfortable and convenient stay in Vienna.
Best way to commute within Vienna:
Vienna is well-connected and has efficient public transportation thorough out the city. It has buses, trams, underground trains (U-bahn), and trains. You can either buy a single journey ticket, day pass, or weekly pass by which you can use all the public transportation unlimited. There are ticket machines inside the train stations, or you can also buy them Online here.
You can also use a Taxi to commute, but of course, it's much more expensive than public transport. You can also use Uber, Bolt, and Free now.
Vienna is also a bike-friendly city. You can easily rent out bikes from different spots in Vienna. Another way to quickly commute within Vienna is by E-scooter. Download the App on your phone and enjoy the scooter ride in Vienna.
Vienna City Card:
As we stayed in the city for 3 days, we bought a Basic Vienna City Card for 3 days for 29 Euro. With the Vienna City Card, we are allowed to use public transportation and get discounts on many attractions and activities.
There are many other packages offered in Vienna City Card, which are more expensive with more free activities like sightseeing bus. Check out the website to find more information.
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Things to do in Vienna:
1. St. Stephen's Cathedral:
St.Stephen's Cathedral is one of the top tourist attractions in Vienna, the Austrian capital. The cathedral is located in the heart of Vienna’s Old town. It’s a magnificent example of Gothic architecture, and it was constructed in 1137 and had several renovations.
The church is named after St.Stephen, the first Christian Martyr. The church has a high altar and a beautiful interior with glass windows, carvings, and sculptures. The church witnessed many important events in Austria's history, like the wedding of the Habsburg dynasty.
To enjoy the best view of Vienna, we climbed up to the top of the south tower. It has 343 steps, and the ticket costs Euro 5.5 per person, and it’s only possible to pay with cash. There’s also a small souvenir shop at the top of the tower, and you can enjoy the view of the North, West, East, and South of Vienna from the windows.
2. Stroll around Vienna's Old town:
Vienna’s Old town called, known as Innere Stadt, is home to many landmarks and attractions. The Austrian capital has such a charming and historic old town, and it’s a perfect place to stroll around and enjoy the beautiful architecture of the city.
The most important place from where you can start your strolling is St. Stephenplatz. From there, you can take the route to different narrow streets and alleys. The old town also has a variety of local Viennese, high-end, and international outlets, which promises you an ultimate shopping experience.
The old town also has uncountable charming restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy delicious Viennese cuisine, including Wiener Schnitzel and Sachertorte.
There are also significant landmarks like Hofburg Palace and Vienna State Opera are also located in the old town. If you are interested in arts and culture, there are also many museums and galleries, such as Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Albertina, which are also located in Vienna’s Old town.
Every corner of Vienna’s old town comes with a great historical background, so that is why we chose to get a guided walking tour to learn more about the history of the great city, which used to be the capital of the Habsburg dynasty. It was around 2 hours and 30 minutes tour, and our guide narrated the history of different landmarks.
One of the oldest cafes in Vienna's Old town is Cafe Central. The cafe was founded in 1876 and was a gathering palace of artists, intellectuals, and politicians. The cafe has a stunning interior with ceilings, marble columns, and chandeliers. The Cafe is also famous for its coffee, cakes, and pastries. The cafe also hosts lively cultural events with live music and readings by local artists and writers.
3. Schönbrunn Palace (Schloss Schönbrunn):
The famous Schönbrunn Palace was built in the 17th century as a summer palace and hunting lodge for the Habsburgs Empire. It’s a Baroque palace surrounded by beautiful gardens, fountains, and sculptures. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most visited tourist attractions in Vienna. Here you can buy the ticket online here.
Behind the Schönbrunn Palace, there’s a stunning structure of Gloriette on the hilltop. Glorietta is a Neoclassical architect and the best place to enjoy the beautiful view of the Palace. There’s a charming Café Gloriette to relax and enjoy the view of the Palace. We were lucky to get the spot near the window and enjoyed the view with amazing Coffee. The cafe also used to host the Habsburg family back in time.
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We also attended the Opera at Baroque architecture’s Schönbrunn Schlosstheater, and it was truly an unforgettable experience which beautiful music and rich history.
If you are interested in visiting different Castles in Germany, Then read about Fairy-Tale Castle in Germany.
The MuseumsQuartier is heaven for art lovers, and it’s the largest cultural complex with museums, galleries, restaurants, and cafes. Back in the 1990s, the Quarter was designed by architects. A few of the famous museums are the Museum of Modern Art, the Leopold Museum, and Kunsthalle Vienna in this quarter. There are also many theaters, performances, and host events like the Vienna Film festival.
One of the prominent parts of the Museum quarter is the Maria-Theresien-Denkmal. It’s a statue of the greatest Empress of Austria, Maria Theresa.
The Michaelerplatz is the most famous and iconic square in Vienna, and it has a stunning Baroque church, Michelerkirche, which was built in the 18th century. Nowadays, it’s always crowded with the hustle and bustle of people.
There are also Horse carriage rides n the square, which take you on a tour of the city. There are also many cafes and restaurants around the square. It’s also an entrance to Hofburg Palace.
6. Hofburg Palace:
The Hofburg Palace is located in the Old town of Vienna. The Palace used to be a residence of Habsburgs for 600 years. It was built in the 13th century and displayed the rich history and culture of the Habsburgs.
Now, the palace has different museums, such as Sisi Museum, Imperial apartments, and the Silver collection. It's one of the top landmarks and cultural attractions of Vienna. The Palace also has a Chapel and a famous Spanish Riding school.
Heldenplatz is a famous square surrounded by Grand buildings like Hofburg Palace and Neue Burg.
7. Horse carriage tour:
Do you want to stroll around Vienna like how Emperor and Empress used to be back in time?
Then, you shouldn’t miss the Horse carriage tour. You can find the Horse carriage near St. Stephanplatz and Michealerplatz. There are several tour types. We opted for a 1-hour tour, and the price of the tour was 120 euros. Due to the Vienna City card, we got a discount of 20 euros, but you need to make a booking in advance. The horse carriage took us on a tour of the old tour and showed us different landmarks of Vienna.
8. Belvedere Palace:
As Vienna was the capital of the Habsburg Empire, you can find several palaces in the city. Another beautiful palace called Belvedere was built in the 18th century for the Prince Eugene of Savoy, who was the commander of the Habsburg Empire. The Palace is surrounded by a beautiful garden, fountain, sculpture, and flowers. You can find the ticket here.
9. Viennese Giant Ferris Wheel at Prater:
The famous and most iconic Ferris wheel is located in the largest public park in Vienna called Prater. The Ferris wheel was built in 1897 for the Golden Jubilee of Emperor Franz Joseph I, and it has small wooden cabins with large windows to offer Vienna’s beautiful view.
There are also a few other attractions like Roller coasters, bumper cars, and games, and there are also cafes and restaurants.
10. Danube Tower:
Danube Tower is a 360-degree panoramic view observatory deck in Vienna. It’s one of the tallest towers in Europe and was built in 1964 for the Vienna International Garden show. The tower offers a stunning view of Vienna’s skyline, and you can see famous landmarks like St Stephen Cathedrals and Vienna State Opera. There’s also a revolving restaurant called ‘Donauturm Restaurant’. There are also other activities like Bungee jumping, which you can do from the top of the tower.
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11. Vienna State Opera:
Vienna undoubtedly has the world’s leading Opera houses and one of the most symbolic representations of Vienna’s heritage and rich culture. The State opera house hosts performances of the composition of Mozart, Wagner, Verdi, and many others. The shows are always booked in advance, but you do get an opportunity to enjoy the show in the standing area.
If you haven’t got the chance to buy the ticket, you can still book the guided tour of the Opera house, learn about its history, and visit different sections of the house. You need to buy the ticket in advance for the guided tour.
One of the most beautiful churches, called Karlskirche located in Vienna’s fourth district. The church has a 72-meter-high dome in baroque architecture. The church is also famous among Worshippers and considers one of the prominent landmarks in Vienna.
13. Museum of Natural History Vienna:
Do you want to experience one of the World’s most important Natural History museums?
It’s located in the heart of Vienna and home to specimens from the natural world, like minerals, fossils, animals, and plants. The museum depicts the evolution of life on Earth and different species of animals. It also exhibits the 29-meter-long skeleton of a Dinosaur.
Albertina is one of the most mesmerizing museums in the heart of Vienna near the State Opera. It was built as a palace for Duke Albert of Saxen-Teschen. He was a huge admiral of Art, and now, the museum has over 60,000 master art pieces by Albrecht Dürer, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and Claude Mone.
In the exhibition, you can find work by artists worldwide. If you are looking for the best view of Vienna’s sky, the museum’s rooftop is the must-place to go and enjoy the stunning view of the city.
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The city has a lot to offer, but Due to lack of time, we weren’t able to visit all the main landmarks. Here are a few more places to visit in Vienna that you shouldn’t miss. We are sure that we will be going back again.
The world’s famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's house is also located in the old town of Vienna. The house is turned into a museum and depicts Mozart’s life and work.
b. Hundertwasser House:
Hundertwasser House is a colorful and vibrant apartment designed by architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser. It’s a beautiful display of modern and innovative Viennese art, which makes it one of the most famous landmarks for tourists in Vienna.
c. Vienna Rathaus:
The Vienna Rathaus is a neo-gothic architecture and was built in 1883. You can take a guided tour and enjoy the beautiful interior of the Rathaus. The Rathaus courtyard also hosts Vienna Christmas Market every year.
d. Cruising in the Danube River in Vienna:
One of the best ways to explore the fantastic City of Vienna is by cruising the Danube River and exploring the beautiful landmarks of the city. The cruise also takes to the beautiful forest around the city.
e. Hop on Hop off tour:
You can also take hop-on, hop-off tours in Vienna and experience the rich cultural heritage and stunning architecture conveniently. There are different routes of different buses, and you can stop at any of the landmarks and explore it and then hop on to another bus. You can also buy a ticket with a Vienna city card.