Last Updated on May 28, 2023 by gregor
If you’re planning a short trip and have just one day to explore this magnificent city, fear not! In this blog post, I’ll provide you with valuable tips and an engaging One-Day Vienna itinerary to help you make the most of your time in Vienna. So, let’s dive in and discover how to spend the perfect 24 hours in Vienna!
Here’s a complete one day in Vienna itinerary, for those looking the Best things to do in Vienna in a day.
One Day in Vienna Itinerary – What to Do in 24 Hours in Vienna
Why Visit Vienna in Austria? Day Trip to Vienna
- Vienna is known for its stunning architecture, including the iconic Schönbrunn Palace, Hofburg Palace, and St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
- The city is a haven for art enthusiasts, with world-class museums such as the Belvedere Museum and the Albertina Museum.
- Vienna’s coffeehouse culture is legendary, offering a cozy atmosphere to relax and indulge in delicious pastries like Sachertorte and Apfelstrudel.
- The city is a hub for classical music, boasting a rich musical heritage with famous composers like Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss having called Vienna home.
- Vienna hosts several vibrant festivals throughout the year, including the Vienna Opera Ball and the Christmas markets, adding an extra dose of charm to your visit.
Where is Vienna Located?
Vienna is situated in the northeastern part of Austria, close to the country’s borders with Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. Its central location makes it easily accessible from various European cities, either by air, train, or road.
Plan your Trip to Vienna?
The Best Time to Visit Vienna in a Day
Vienna offers a delightful experience in every season, but the best time to visit largely depends on your preferences. Here’s a breakdown of each season:
- Spring (April to June): Pleasant weather, blooming gardens, and fewer crowds make it an ideal time to explore Vienna.
- Summer (July to August): The city comes alive with numerous outdoor events, festivals, and open-air concerts. However, expect larger crowds during this peak tourist season.
- Autumn (September to October): Mild temperatures, colorful foliage, and cultural events, such as the Vienna Design Week, make autumn an enchanting time to visit.
- Winter (November to February): Vienna’s Christmas markets, beautifully adorned with lights and decorations, create a magical atmosphere. It’s also the perfect time to savor Viennese Christmas traditions. Read my Blog post here 👇
How to Get to Vienna
Vienna is well-connected to major international cities and offers various transportation options:
- By Air: Vienna International Airport (VIE) serves as the main gateway to the city. From the airport, you can easily reach the city center via the City Airport Train (CAT), the S-Bahn (suburban railway), or taxis.
Vienna is notoriously known for its expensive taxi drivers, so getting to the city center could be stressful if you aren’t prepared. I have collected all the reasonable Vienna airport transfer options and put them down for you. Read this Blog Post 👇
- By Train: Vienna is well-connected to other European cities by train. The main train station, Wien Hauptbahnhof, offers excellent rail connections.
- By Road: If you prefer a road trip, Vienna can be easily reached by car or bus. The city is connected to major highways, and there are several bus services that operate within Europe.
There are 4 Ways to get around Vienna.
When you are ready to explore Vienna in one day you need to decide how you want to get around the city.
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.
Simply register online, find a terminal, and scan the QR code to unlock a bike.
Detailed Information on How to Rent a bike in Vienna on my Blog: 👇
Top Tip! 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.
Here is all you need to know about Sightseeing Bus Tours in Vienna
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!
Before you start your One Day in Vienna Tour you need to start with a Traditional Viennese Café visit.
Plan your Trip to Vienna?
The most famous cafe in Vienna is Cafe Central, a few steps away from the St. Stephens Cathedral.
My favorite, however, is Cafe Pruckel, close to the Stadtpark and next to the U3 Stubentor subway station.
For other Cafe House recommendations, please read my Blog Post:
Stephansplatz + St. Stephens Cathedral
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.
I have collected all visitor’s Information and top Tips about St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Read this Blog Post 👇
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.
Hofburg Palace – Michaeler Tor
Set in the old town, the palace is one of the best places to spend your day. However, when you have only one day at hand, we suggest you head over there early in the morning and take in as much as possible.
Dripping with luxury and style the palace represents the Habsburg Dynasty in every way. A place where you are dazzled just walking towards the establishment, which will continue as you walk through the place. Just thinking about all the history can take you back in time, covered over 59 acres the Hofburg Palace offers eighteen group buildings, twenty courtyards, and around twenty-six hundred rooms.
I have collected all visitor’s Information and top Tips about Hofburg Palace in Vienna. Read this Blog Post 👇
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 meters, so there’s certainly plenty to see.
From music and fashion to theatre and dance, it doesn’t end there. Photography, street art, and fine art make this place creative heaven.
However, if you’re not much of a 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 specifics.
There a several Food markets in Vienna, but this is by far my favorite spot you must explore on the one-day in Vienna itinerary. Probably due to the sheer amount of food on offer!
Naschmarkt is the most popular market in Vienna! And it’s just a 10-minute walk from the Vienna Opera House.
It offers all of the best foods and local products, including some that aren’t found anywhere else in the city or even the country.
At the market, there’s a lot to see, eat, and drink. It not only caters to locals who need to finish their weekly grocery shopping, but it also draws visitors from all over the world.
Tourists come to the Naschmarkt to soak up the ambiance, hear the noises of an Austrian market, and buy cheap refreshments.
If you’re searching for a low-cost, well-respected guided tour of Naschmarkt, go no further than the Naschmarkt Food Tasting Tour. Book online now
Otherwise, there is a full 4-hour food tasting tour of Vienna available here, which provides a more comprehensive understanding of Austrian cuisine. A coffee shop, a traditional market, a bakery, and an artisan chocolate shop are all on the itinerary. While sampling cheese, sausages, wine, and a variety of other Austrian goodies.
Exotic fruits, colorful food, cheese, and hummus, as well as a variety of local spices, abound in the market.
If you’re visiting Vienna in a day, then you have to visit the Naschmarkt.
For more information, please read my blog post: 👇
The Hundertwasser House area, which is only a 15-minute walk from the City Center is one of our top recommendations for a day trip to Vienna. The Hundertwasser House is a green oasis in the center of the city, with all the trees that flourish among the balconies and terraces. Its brightly colored architecture, designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, attracts visitors from all walks of life.
For more information and Hundertwasser House visitors Tips, please read my blog post: 👇
In the other direction from the Hundertwasser House, the same artist built his own shopping mall out of a tire factory. It also has a bar and a few stores. All in the style of Hundertwasser.
The KunstHausWien, a museum designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, is also worth a visit. The museum is home to the only permanent exhibition of Hundertwasser’s work in the world.
For more information and Kunsthaus Wien visitors Tips, please read my blog post: 👇
Before continuing on to the next item on your one-day Vienna itinerary, explore the area and pick up some unique gifts.
The Hundertwasser House is a must-see! If you’re planning to Vienna in a day, don’t miss this one.
The final stop on the one-day Vienna itinerary is one you save the best for the last.
Schönbrunn Palace was the Habsburg emperor’s major summer residence, and it is today, possibly the most photographed building in the country. The interior has been turned into a massive museum filled with history and tales from the past.
The Schönbrunn Palace’s opening hours are daily 6.30am – 7pm.
It is highly advised to book your Schönbrunn Tickets upfront Online so book your Schönbrunn Palace & Gardens: Skip-the-Line Guided Tour here.
Alternatively, there are plenty of tours online such as this one, which guarantees a delightful taste of Vienna’s cultural landmarks, taking in the Opera and many other attractions by bus, then skip the line for a special tour of the glorious Schönbrunn Palace.
Book your Schonbrunn Palace Tours: Schonbrunn Palace: Top Tours & Activities
For more information, please read this blog post: 👇
The Schönbrunn Palace Gardens is now a beautifully symmetrical public park that attracts tourists and joggers on a frequent basis.
Schönbrunn Palace is a great way to end your trip to Vienna, so make sure to include it in your one-day in Vienna itinerary.
More suggestions for a one-day visit to Vienna Itinerary
Maria Theresia Platz
The largest public square was built to honor the Hapsburg Empress Maria Theresa. There is a statue of the Empress that is considered to be one of the most important monuments of its time. The statue took 13 years in the making, is 19 meters high, and is surrounded by four horseman statues to amplify the impact. Just walking toward the setting you will be able to take in its gorgeous craftsmanship.
A UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site is called the Legacy of Maria Theresa. Celebrating her stories of tact and grit is a marvelous wonder. The way she reformed the schools, handled state affairs, and took care of her 16 children is marvelous.
Inner City Lunch
At lunchtime, we suggest you stay put in the inner city and grab a bite at one of the local cafes or restaurants. The best part about the inner city is that you will find endless options based on your taste and budget, making sure you don’t skip a meal. However, if you are not in the mood for a full lunch, you can at least grab a cup of coffee and a delicious treat to go with it. Read my Blog post here 👇
While the Belvedere Palace is one of the top wonders of Vienna, if you are stretched for the time we suggest you make a quick stop at the Belvedere museum. A place where you will be able to find 150 sacred medieval art pieces, Gustav Klimt paintings, sculptures, fountains, cascades, and so much more. If you have time we suggest you take on the temporary exhibit as well.
Book your Belvedere Tour Online Tour here: Belvedere Tour Vienna
(Save time with this Skip The Line Ticket!)
St Peter’s Church
Peterskirche dates back to the Middle Ages and is one of a kind. Featuring a beautiful green-colored dome the church offers intricate details on the inside. Offers you a breathtakingly beautiful high altar, side altars, phenomenal religious artwork, and remarkable frescos.
The Graben – Luxury Shopping Mile in Vienna
An upscale and tending street that is lined with numerous shops and cafes. Set in the heart of the city, the Graben, Vienna dates back to the time of the old Roamans. Making it a historical landmark that comes with a Viennese twist.
Amidst the shops, you will find a plague column that dates back to the 17th century and is constructed using marble. Creating a unique structure that allows the marketplace to stand out from the rest. Paired with beautiful window displays and both local and international designers, you are in for a treat.
Read more about Luxury Shopping in Vienna (Full Guide)
Wiener Prater – Ferris Wheel
Prater is located about 15 minutes away from the city center and is one of the best amusement parks in Vienna. While it offers you a great deal, one of the iconic symbols of Prater Park is its Wiener Riesenrad Ferris Wheel.
Book your Ferries Wheel Skip the Line Ticket here!
Finally, a place where you can indulge in some comfort food, relax and enjoy every moment of your life. A necessary addition for those who are looking to blow off steam.
Vienna State Opera
The state opera is a wonder that only a few get to experience. This is why we suggest you plan your trip in a way that allows you to enjoy a concert. When planning a stop you can check with the local opera house and make sure you are able to enjoy some of the greatest.
Read All the Important information about visiting the Vienna Opera House. 👇
Eat a Wiener Schnitzel
Now that you are in the local mood, it’s time to start eating like a local as well. Forget fancy restaurants and three-course meals. It is time to get down to business and start eating like the locals. Wiener schnitzel is not just a classic, it is a way of life. One that you can easily fall in love with, no matter where you are.
Traditionally a Wiener Schnitzel is made using veal, but with the passage of time, it’s now made using different types of meats as well. While almost every restaurant serves a wiener schnitzel, there are many that focus solely on serving one or a few different types of wiener schnitzel. To a point where you can choose from the type of meat, cooking technique, condiments, and even the side.
That does not mean you can just grab one anywhere, it’s best to do your research beforehand and choose a place that matches your taste and budget. Make sure you can enjoy the most out of everything this world has to offer.
Read my Blog post here 👇
While we have offered you an overall guide, we suggest you tweak the plan based on the season. For instance, if you are in Vienna during the holiday season you cannot miss out on the Christmas Market.
Read my Blog post here 👇
Similarly, when you come to Vienna in the spring season you have to take on a hiking challenge.
Best 15 Food Tours in Vienna. More Information and Book Online here: 👇
Planning ahead can help you make the most of your day you don’t have to plan everything down to the dot, but getting a general idea of what interests you and how to manage your time can help you squeeze in another worthy stop.
*) Disclaimer: This blog post includes affiliate Links
Day Trips from Vienna
If you have extra time, consider taking a day trip from Vienna to explore the surrounding areas. Here are a few recommended options:
Bratislava, Slovakia: Take a short train or boat ride to the charming Slovakian capital, known for its picturesque Old Town and historic landmarks. Read my Blog post here 👇
Wachau Valley: Embark on a scenic journey to the Wachau Valley, famous for its vineyards, charming towns, and medieval castles. Read my Blog post here 👇
Salzburg: Visit the birthplace of Mozart and explore the beautiful city of Salzburg, known for its baroque architecture and stunning Alpine scenery. Read my Blog post here 👇
Should I Buy Travel Insurance for Vienna?
It’s highly recommended to purchase travel insurance before visiting Vienna or any other destination. Travel insurance provides coverage for medical emergencies, trip cancellations or interruptions, lost luggage, and other unforeseen circumstances. It offers peace of mind and ensures that you’re protected throughout your trip.
✅ Don’t forget to book insurance for the trip. It is easy to do online via Visitors Coverage.
Best Vienna Tours
If you prefer guided experiences, Vienna offers a variety of tours that cater to different interests. Here are a few popular tour options:
Walking Tour of Vienna’s Historic Center: Join a knowledgeable guide to explore the highlights of Vienna’s historic center, including St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Hofburg Palace, and the Vienna State Opera.
Schönbrunn Palace Tour: Discover the fascinating history and opulent interiors of Schönbrunn Palace with a guided tour that takes you through the magnificent staterooms.
Viennese Coffeehouse Tour: Immerse yourself in Vienna’s coffeehouse culture with a guided tour that introduces you to the city’s most iconic coffeehouses and their specialties.
I always use GetYourGuide to book activities and attractions while traveling through Europe. You can search through over 400 Vienna attractions on their website here 👇
FAQs about One Day in Vienna Itinerary
Vienna is a city that is filled with so many things to see and do but if you only have one day there are a few must-see sights that you cannot miss. Start your day with a visit to the majestic Schönbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site that was the summer residence of the Habsburgs. Next, head to St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a stunning Gothic cathedral that is the heart of Vienna’s Old Town. You can then stroll through the charming streets of the city center, admiring the beautiful architecture visiting the famous Hofburg Palace, and stopping for a coffee and slice of Sachertorte at one of the many cafes. End your day with a visit to the Vienna State Opera, one of the most famous opera houses in the world
There are a few things in Vienna that you simply cannot miss. One of the most iconic sights is the Schönbrunn Palace, a magnificent Baroque palace that was once the summer residence of the Habsburgs. Another must-see is St. Stephen’s Cathedral a stunning Gothic cathedral that is the heart of Vienna’s Old Town. The Hofburg Palace is another important landmark once the imperial palace of the Habsburg dynasty, and today home to the offices of the Austrian President. A visit to Vienna wouldn’t be complete without seeing the famous Lipizzaner horses at the Spanish Riding School or enjoying a slice of Sachertorte at one of the city’s famous cafes.
If you only have 4 hours in Vienna, don’t worry there’s still plenty to see and do! Start by visiting St. Stephen’s Cathedral where you can admire the stunning Gothic architecture and climb the tower for a panoramic view of the city. Next, head to the Hofburg Palace where you can explore the imperial apartments and learn about the fascinating history of the Habsburg dynasty. Finish your visit with a stroll through the charming streets of the city center admiring the beautiful architecture and stopping for a coffee and pastry at one of Vienna’s famous cafés.
VIENNA – TOP THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN 4 HOURS IN VIENNA, AUSTRIA (UPDATE 2023)
With 10 hours in Vienna, you have enough time to see many of the city’s most famous sights. Start your day with a visit to the Schönbrunn Palace, where you can explore the beautiful gardens tour the palace, and learn about the history of the Habsburg dynasty. Next head to St. Stephen’s Cathedral, where you can climb the tower for a panoramic view of the city. Take a stroll through the charming streets of the city center, stopping at the Hofburg Palace to see the imperial apartments and visiting the Spanish Riding School to see the famous Lipizzaner horses. Finish your day with a visit to the Vienna State Opera where you can enjoy a world-class performance in one of the most famous opera houses in the world.
Vienna is a city that is easy to explore on your own. Start your day with a visit to St. Stephen’s Cathedral where you can admire the stunning Gothic architecture and climb the tower for a panoramic view of the city. Next take a stroll through the charming streets of the city center stopping at the Hofburg Palace to see the imperial apartments and visiting the famous cafes for coffee and pastry. Explore the Museum Quarter home to some of Vienna’s best museums and art galleries and take a walk through the beautiful parks and gardens that dot the city. Finish your day with a visit to the Vienna State Opera or a concert at one of the city’s many music venues
Vienna is a city that is filled with so much history, culture, and beauty that one day is simply not enough to see it all. However, if you only have one day in Vienna here is a sample itinerary to make the most of your time:
Start your day with a visit to the Schönbrunn Palace, the former summer residence of the Habsburgs. Take a guided tour of the palace to see the opulent staterooms, including the stunning Great Gallery, where the emperor would hold court.
Next, head to St. Stephen’s Cathedral the iconic symbol of Vienna’s Old Town. Take a guided tour of the cathedral and climb the tower for panoramic views of the city. Wander the charming streets of the city center admiring the beautiful architecture and stopping for a coffee and pastry at one of the famous cafes.
In the evening, visit the Vienna State Opera one of the most famous opera houses in the world. If you’re lucky you may be able to catch a performance or even take a guided tour of the opera house.
You could also visit one of Vienna’s many museums, such as the Kunsthistorisches Museum or the Albertina to see some of the world’s finest art collections or head to the Prater, an amusement park that features the iconic Riesenrad Ferris wheel and a variety of rides and attractions.
Plan your Trip to Vienna?
Other One Day in a City Itineraries
If you enjoy exploring cities in a day, you might also be interested in our other “One Day in a City” itineraries.
Be sure to check out some more One Day Itineraries from the most popular cities in Europe!