Baroque streetscapes juxtapose gorgeous palaces; magnificent charms seduce you into the magic of the city, a vibrant culture emanates through the streets and an undeniable sense of grandeur is unmistakably present. Spending three days in Vienna means you’ll be exposed to artistic masterpieces, musical legends, and a charm that will grow more and more the longer you stay.
There is plenty to see in 3 days in Vienna, and whether you’re into slow-paced sightseeing or cramming everything in a day or two, you’ll have gotten enough of an overview of the city.
Splendid attractions, ongoing events, carefully preserved traditions and of course – the spirit of some of the world’s best artists including Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. From the gothic St. Stephen’s Cathedral to the Musseumquartier to the Haus der Musik – you’ll be visiting a lot of places in 3 days in Vienna.
What to do in Vienna in 3 days, things to do and see
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How to get from and to the airport of Vienna
Viienna’s international airport is just 16 km outside the city cenre. Here are the best ways to travel from and to the airport.
The easiest and most comfortable way to get to the city centre is by a private transfer service like KiwiTaxi. You can book your transfer online before your departure and a driver will be waiting for you at the arrivals. He will take your luggage in the luxury car and drive you comfortably to your destination. Trip duration up to 20 minutes depending on traffic. Check here for your airport transfers in Vienna.
City Airport Train
This train connects Vienna’s airport with the city centre (Wien Mitte) in just 16 minutes. The train runs from the airport to the city centre daily from 6.09 am to 11.39 pm every 30 minutes and from the city centre to the airport from 5.37 am to 11.07 pm every 30 minutes. Tickets cost Single: €11, return: €19.
Express Train S7
This train travels between Vienna’s airport and Floridsdorf making a lot of stops along the way. The journey takes 37 minutes. The train runs from the airport to the city centre daily from 5.18 am to 0.18 am and from the city centre to the airport from 4.36 am to 11.36 pm. You will need two tickets one for the zone up to the Vienna city limits for €1.70 (outer zone) and a ticket for the Vienna city zone for €2.40. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket machine and must be stamped before entering the train
For more information: click here.
The Österreichische Bundesbahnen offers 2 connections per hour between the airport and Vienna’s Meidling Station and Main Station. The train runs from the airport to Wien Meidling and Vienna Main Station daily from 6.33 am – 11.03 pm; every hour at .03 and .33 and from the Wien Meidling to the airport from 7 am – 10 pm ; every hour at .0 and .25. and from Vienna Main Station to the airport from 5.42 am – 10.12 pm; every hour at .12 and .42. The journey between Vienna airport and Wien Meidling is 27 minutes and between the airport and the Vienna Main station is 15 minutes. Ticket price: €4.10 (€1.70 for the outer zone + €2.40 for the Vienna city zone).
The Vienna Airport line connects the airport with city centre and vice versa. For bus connections, timetables and tickets you can check here.
The Vienna Pass gives you free access to more than 60 attractions around Vienna, skip the line entry to popular Vienna attractions and it includes the Vienna Hop On Hop Off sightseeing tours. You have a choice between 1, 2, 3 and 6 day Vienna Passes.
The Vienna City Card gives you unlimited free public transport in downtown Vienna, great discounts in Vienna’s major attractions. You have a choice between a 24 hour card, a 48 hour card and a 72 hour card.
3 Days in Vienna: Day One
There are two Belvedere palaces that were both built way back in the early eighteenth century. The famous Baroque artist, Johann Lucas created proudly one of the best Baroque architecturally magnificent landmarks in all of Europe. Consisting of both, the Upper Belvedere and the Lower Belvedere – you’ll find every reason to fall in love with those palaces. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and inside you’ll find everything from the best Austrian art (we’re talking Vincent Van Gogh, Gustav Klimt, and Max Beckmann) and works of French Impressionism and much more.
Here are things you can’t miss out there:
- Upper Belvedere: Gorgeous views, a place of prestige, and masterpieces that range from the Middle Ages up until this day. Of course, if there’s one painting you need to see, you need to check out the paintings by Klimt. Most importantly the Kiss.
- Lower Belvedere: Here you’ll find a central gate decorated with coats of arms and initials, and it was previously a residence as well. The most important collection there is definitely the prince’s collection.
- Orangery: The previous winter garden is now the place you go to watch the modern cube exhibition space.
- Palace Stables.
- Atelier Herbert Boeckl.
Free standing columns soaring into the sky, an incredibly unique architecture, a Baroque sense of style that is boastfully shown, and a direct view of the Hofburg palace – who can ask for more? This is one of the most famous tourist attractions in all of Vienna, and you can either enjoy the panoramic vistas from the roof, check out the incredible architectural detailing and check out the frescoes!
If you want an overload for your senses (a good one, to say the least), then definitely visit the Naschmarkt. A festival for all your five senses – from incredible food, great attractions and a sense of vibrancy unlike any other – you will love it. It’s a must do for both locals and tourists alike due to the unreal diversity of the stalls and the markets. This place is a culinary adventure with all types of traditional Viennese food and exotic foods as well – from oriental food to organic cuisine and much more. Being in that market beats any type of restaurant or café – it’s a historical landmark and one of the main things to do if you’re staying 3 days in Vienna.
The Albertina is one of the most popular museums in Vienna as it houses one of the largest and most important print rooms in the world with more 65.000 drawings and 1 million old master prints.
Things to see inside:
- The 20 staterooms are a must visit with their Empire style architecture, their luxury, royal furnishings and much more.
- Graphic Art Collection
- The permanent collection at the Albertina Museum has a huge collection of art that span French Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and much more.
- There are usually special exhibitions going on around most of the time.
Climb St. Stephen Cathedral
A colorful roof, the world’s second largest church bells and an abundance of things to do – the St Stephen Cathedral is another one of the most important things to see in Vienna. There is an undeniable uniqueness to the details that embody the cathedral. Gothic construction, a meter-high spire, the glorious roof and much more…the elegance of the cathedral with its significant heritage is something you simply cannot miss.
There are two towers you can climb and admire the view of the city both with a fee. The North tower that stands at 68 meters tall where there is an elevator available and the south tower that stands at 136 meters tall only accessible by stairs. Moreover, you can visit the catacombs.
3 Days in Vienna: Day Two
Spanish riding school training
The baroque riding school is a place where you’ll get to experience the classical Viennese atmosphere, with incredible presentations by the riders, fully trained young stallions and multiple performances. Apart from the performances, you can see the horses and riders while they train most of the mornings with a fee.
Hofburg Imperial Palace
The Hofburg or Vienna’s Imperial Palace is a place that experienced a huge part of European history being written, and it’s one of the most interesting complexes in all of Vienna. You’ll find that the architecture is a reflection of over 700 years of history, and the architecture styles differ widely – from Rococo to Renaissance to Baroque.
The Imperial Apartments
The Franz Joseph Apartments are considered some of the most interesting set of apartments. From Flemish art pieces to the incredible décor of the dining room, to the Circle Room that still has untouched tapestries. You’ll find a model for the Hofburg, a crystal candelabrum and a lot more.
The Sisi Museum
This museum is dedicated to Empress Elisabeth who was also known as Sisi. You’ll find that this museum gives you an incredible look into the life of the aristocrats back in the 19th century. You’ll find yourself taken on a journey of discovery where you’ll find personal items and artifacts that date to the 19th century. Discover the gloves, death masks, notes that reflect the Empress’ beauty regimen and a lot more. There is also the copy of the dress she wore when she was 16, and even her christening robes.
The Silver Collection
Here you’ll find a staggering 7000 items from everyday tableware to items that were used in ceremonies. It’s definitely a must visit. From copper vessels to Milanese centerpieces to old kettles, to East Asian porcelain – the collection is incredibly diverse.
Make sure you check out the Vienna City Hall. It’s worth exploring the different staterooms – from the Council Chamber to the Stone Halls, to the staircases to the Senate chambers. There will be plenty to see, and of course – don’t forget to go to the Arcade Courtyard where you’ll be seeing the view up the Rathausmann.
For more information you can check here.
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien
If you’re interested in fine art, then this is most definitely the place to go to. It’s one of the most famous places you can go to experience the fine arts. Make sure you check out:
- Kunstkammer: This has over 2100 objects that reflect art from around the world. Paintings, miniatures, sculptures and a lot more.
- Picture Gallery – Fine art collections that date back a century and house works by Van Dyck, Rembrandt, and Velazquez along with a lot more.
- Cupola Café – take a break from the sight-seeing and have a coffee inside a marble and gold hall on the velvet seating. Does not get more elegant than this!
- The Bruegel Collection – this is the world’s largest Bruegel Collection.
- Klimt Frescoes – The cycle of frescoes is worth checking out since you’ll be able to see them from up close.
Museum of Natural History Vienna
Whether you want to see the biggest collection of real meteorites or you want to get lost in the beauty of a digital planetarium or you want to watch animates dinosaurs or just learn about nature – then you’ve come to the right place.
The Museum of Natural History in Vienna has an incredible collection that will introduce you to the wonders of the world. Here are things you cannot miss:
- The first floor: Explore the beauty of the animal world, learn about species and insects.
- The dinosaur room – where you’ll find the skeletons of different types of dinosaurs.
- Prehistoric sculptures – The largest in Europe.
Watching a performance at the Vienna Opera
Spend your night revealing the Viennese culture by catching a performance at the Opera. While there we saw Don Pasquale which tells the story about an elderly single man who wants to try his luck at love again, along with a clumsy friend called Ernesto who has also given up on love. This lively comedy was a great end to our night.
Alternatively, you can attend a Mozart and Strauss concert. You’ll be enjoying a classical concert with Mozart and Strauss played and you’ll be in the same place that Strauss actually directed his orchestra. The Viennese charm will be very evident with the ballerinas, the sounds of a waltz, the charm and the elegance and the incredible artists.
3 Days in Vienna: Day Three
Schönbrunn Palace Grand Tour & Gardens
The Schönbrunn Palace is definitely the best example of Baroque architecture in the world and definitely in Vienna. It’s a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site and it’s a very popular historic attraction that is worth visiting. Strolling around, you’ll be able to experience various bedrooms and ballrooms, along with a zoo, orangery, and over 1441 rooms each with a different style! Make sure you check out the Mirror Room as this is the place Mozart gave his first concert at.
Imperial Carriage Museum
The Imperial Carriage Museum is inside the park of the Schonbrunn Palace and has more than 600 vehicles that were used years.
Things to check out inside:
- Sisi and Diana – This exhibition shows Sisi’s life through her accessories, her carriages and much more, and Lady Di’s life is also showcased in a video so you can see the parallels between both of their lives.
- Imperial Speed – This exhibition shows high-speed vehicles and race cars.
Ferris Wheel & Prater Park
This is definitely one of Vienna’s city symbols and soars 65 meters into the sky. It’s an enchantingly beautiful palace with fantastic views, and you’re bound to get some of the best views of Vienna. This is definitely a cultural and architectural highlight that you simply cannot miss out on.
Check here for opening hours and ticket prices.
Alternatively, book here your Giant Ferris Wheel Ride.
A river cruise is a surefire way to explore Vienna in a completely different way. Instead of exploring the city through walking, you can float into the river and take in the tranquil Viennese atmosphere that has created some of the world’s greatest minds. Take a guided tour and experience the city and its medieval beauty.
Where to Eat in Vienna
If you want some of the best-breaded veal and pork cutlets, then you’ve definitely found yourself the perfect place. Here you get to have the best potato salad, the best Schnitzels, and the best cutlets!
Address: Wollzeile 5, 1010 Wien
You have to visit the Breite Strasse that is located in the Museums Quartier to try out the gem here. Whether you want to try some of the best authentic goulash, or Austrian food classics (pea-soup. Schnitzel, organic beef goulash, and much more) then definitely visit this little haven with its garden!
Address: Breite G. 4, 1070 Wien
Located in one of the last ancient monastery cellars in Vienna, it serves traditional Vienniese Cuisine.
Address: Augustinerstraße 1, 1010 Vienna
Named after the monument to Mozart, this café is nothing less of charming. With its elegant chandeliers that reflect the light and the brass and oak interior and much more – this place boasts elegance. You’ll also find that the Opera is right behind the café so you can visit after one of the performances.
Address: Albertinaplatz 2, 1010 Wien
Sacher Hotel for Sacher Torte
The most famous cake in the world – The Sacher-Torte – is definitely worth a try. If you want to try the actual original recipe that remains a secret until now, then I recommend going to the Sacher Hotel. A chocolate cake with apricot jam and chocolate icing, you simply can’t miss out.
Address: Philharmonikerstrasse 4, Wien
Demel offers a very diverse collection of desserts for your sweet tooth. With mouth-watering desserts, tortes, and cakes – you’ll even get to see them prepare desserts behind the glass!
Address: Kohlmarkt 14, 1010 Wien
Where to stay in Vienna
Hotel Das Capri
We stayed at the eco -friendly hotel Das Capri – a perfectly Viennese hotel where every room tells a different Viennese story. The hotel is very centrally located and from there you can easily visit most of the attractions either through transportation or by foot. The rooms emanate a warm vibe and the hotel has all the amenities that you may need including an amazing breakfast.
Click here for more information about my stay at Das Capri.
Address: Praterstraße 44-46, 1020 Wien
For more options check out the post: Where to stay in Vienna.
Spending three days in Vienna is enough to get you exploring the beauty and the grandeur of the city. It will give you the glimpse you need to actually take in all the majesty and the class that comes with this Austrian city!
Special thanks to the Vienna Tourism Board, Vienna Pass, Hotel Das Capri, and Green Pearls for making this trip possible. As always opinions are my own.