Last Updated on May 4, 2022 by gregor
It usually takes several days to one week to fully embrace Vienna’s most beautiful places. But what if you have only a short stay in Vienna like a business trip or a stopover and you want to super-fast embrace the very best of Vienna’s history, culture, architecture, lifestyle, and food. Yes, it’s possible! Here are the best things to discover in Vienna in the summer within only 4 hours. At the End of this blog post, I have attached a google map of the walking route for your convenience.
Vienna – Top things to see and do in 4 hours
How to get from the Vienna Airport to the City Center?
The best starting point is obviously the Vienna State Opera in the City Center of Vienna You can get there in about 25-35min by taxi from the airport. The next option would get the CAT Train.
Book your CAT Airport Ticket now: TRAIN TICKET VIENNA AIRPORT TO CITY CENTER
There are 4 Ways to get around Vienna.
By Public Transport – Vienna City Card
Taking public transportation is the most convenient method to get around Vienna (Euro 8.- for a 24-hour ticket).
A Vienna City Card, which permits unlimited use of the city’s metro, tram, and bus lines, can be purchased in advance.
Vienna City Cards are available for 1, 2, or 3 consecutive days, and prices range from 24 hours for Euro 17, to 3 days of use + airport transfer for Euro 46.-.
The Vienna City Card also offers discounts at over 210 major attractions, making it an excellent value.
By Bicycle – Rent a Bike in Vienna
The city center of Vienna, and the majority of tourist attractions, are reachable by bicycle.
WienMobil Rad is the most popular bike-sharing service in Vienna. (CityBike is replaced by WienMobil Rad)
Simply register online, find a terminal and scan the QRCode to unlock a bike.
Detailed Information on How to Rent a bike in Vienna on my Blog:
There is also the very popular Classic Vienna: 3-Hour Guided Bike Tour available to book in advance.
By Hop On Hop Off Bus
The City Card provides access to standard buses throughout Vienna. There is, of course, the well-known Vienna Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus.
This Hop On Hop Off bus allows you to hop on and off at many locations throughout the city, including the Museums of the Hofburg, the House of Music, and the Schönbrunn Palace.
This choice is always popular amongst travelers, and it is a great way to see many of Vienna’s famous attractions.
By Guided Tour
There are some amazing tours available to book in advance on Get Your Guide for people who are short on time or prefer everything to be organized for them.
There’s much to do in the Austrian capital, from food tours to river cruises and bar crawls!
Starting Point – VIENNA STATE OPERA
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, Watching over the city for more than 300 years, the cathedral is an iconic landmark. The stunning gates date back to the 13th century and are said to be the oldest part of the cathedral. The cathedral was named after St. Stephen, the first martyr of Christendom, and is the burial place of the Founder, Duke Rudolph, and other members of the Habsburg family.
Additionally, the cathedral is home to the largest bell known as the Boomer Bell, and the red-marble sepulcher. Whereas the south tower offers you a complete view of the city.
You’ll likely see a few Fiaker rides available in the Old Town. A FIAKER is a form of a hackney-coach, a horse-drawn four-wheeled carriage for hire.
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 a bite to eat and refuel on your One Day in Vienna itinerary.
Vienna Tourist Info Center
Located very close to the Vienna Opera at the Albertinaplatz is the Vienna Tourist Info Center. Here you can get a lot of Information, free brochures and leverage the Free WIFI.
To keep time schedule you probably won’t have time for entering the Albertina museum itself, but the view from the Albertinaplatz to the Opera is glorious, time to take your first picture or video. The Albertina museum itself has a very elegant entrance and make sure you visit the museum’s shop. See also my blog post “Top 5 reasons why we love the Albertina any you should too”
Book your Albertina Museum Ticket here: Tickets for the Albertina Exhibitions and Staterooms
*) Experience the permanent exhibition of Monet-Picasso: the only nonstop display of Modernist art in Austria. Explore the Habsburg state apartments as well as Albertina’s diverse selection of exhibitions.
Head via the Operngasse to the Wiener Secession building. Built in 1897 gives you a very nice impression of the Jugendstil area of Vienna (a branch of Art Nouveau)
Book your Ticket here: Vienna Art Nouveau: 3-Hour Guided Walking Tour
*) Embark on a 3-hour guided tour of Vienna’s Art Nouveau metro stations and other iconic Jugendstil buildings with a professional guide. Learn about the design elements and the political and aesthetic philosophy of this elegant turn-of-the-century style.
The Naschmarkt is Vienna’s most popular food market. Located at the Wienzeile over the Wien River, it’s about 1,5km long. Enjoy the exotic herbs, cheese, baked goods, and small restaurants.
Hofburg Palace & Michaelerplatz
Head back via the Albertinaplatz and walk via the Augustinerstrasse – Joseph square and Reitschulgasse until you finally arrive at the beautiful Michaelerplatz where you can see Roman ruins as well as several other architectural masterpieces from several centuries, like the Looshouse and the Neo-rococo Hofburg entrance and various Hercules statues.
Book Your Ticket here: Vienna: Skip-the-Line Hofburg Ticket & Sisi Museum Tour
*) Save yourself hours of time with a skip-the-line ticket to the Hofburg Imperial Palace. Enjoy a guided tour to see the Imperial Apartments and the Sisi Museum, and learn about Austrian heritage.
Walk down the famous elegant shopping mile the Vienna Kohlmarkt. Please make sure you have a quick sneak into the famous DEMEL bakery.
Enjoy the walk on the elegant Wiener Graben (click to see my Blogpost) towards the St. Stephens Cathedral with a lot of luxury shopping possibilities. On the left side, you see the wonderful baroque St. Peter’s Church which was built by JL, von Hildebrandt in 1703 and inspired by the St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in Rome. The inside of the church makes a stunning impression with its rich interior filled with golden stucco.
St. Stephens Cathedral
Founded in the 12th century, this gigantic gothic-style cathedral with its 18 altars and various chapels is overwhelming. Well, worth spending a few minutes inside. It’s pretty amazing, so let yourself be inspired by the interior, including one of the greatest treasures the Wiener Neustadt altarpiece (1447) on the left side. There is Free Entry to the St. Stephens Cathedral.
Book your Ticket for a Concert at the Stephens Church here: Vienna: Classical Concert at St. Stephen’s Cathedral
The Mozarthaus Vienna is located in the Domgasse on the backside of the St. Stephens Cathedral. It’s one of Mozart’s apartments in Vienna that still exists today. Mozart lived there from 1784-to 1787.
Book Your Ticket here: Tickets for Mozarthaus Vienna with Audio Guide
Franziskanerplatz and lovely Vienna old backyard
One of the loveliest places in Vienna is the Franziskanerplatz hosting the famous “Kleines Cafe”. Make sure you take some nice pictures here. Continue on Weihburggasse 21 and have a look at the little old Vienna Backyard.
Stadtpark and the Atmosphere rooftop bar at The Ritz-Carlton Vienna
Congrats! You made it! Awesome! If still some time left and you want to enjoy summer in the Vienna parks I would suggest you stroll through the famous Vienna Stadtpark. Finally, embrace the beautiful view over Vienna with a delicious drink or Viennese coffee. You need to check out the Atmosphere rooftop bar at the Ritz Carlton Hotel Vienna.
Hope you enjoyed it! If you need some more details let me know in the comments below. I am always happy to support you!
Albertinaplatz (Vienna Tourist Center)
St. Peters’s Church
St. Stephen’s Cathedral
Lovely old Vienna backyard (Weihburggasse 21)
The Ritz-Carlton Vienna glorious view from the Atmosphere Rooftop bar
More Travel Tips and Guides of Vienna
Where to go in Vienna?
TheViennaBlog has thoroughly studied all the attractions but also hidden secrets to uncover in Vienna. (Click the Links below to get to the information)
Here is the Vienna Ultimate Top 50 Bucket List
Here is the Best of Vienna in 4 hours
Here are the Vienna Old Streets in Historic Center
Here is the Spittelberg Village in Vienna
*Disclosure: This post contains a few affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through my link.*