3 days in Vienna, an itinerary for first time visitors

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.

How to spend 3 days in Vienna things to do and see

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means that should you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission.

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.

Private Transfer

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.

Railjet

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).

Bus

The Vienna Airport line connects the airport with city centre and vice versa. For bus connections, timetables and tickets you can check here.

Upper Belvedere
Upper Belvedere

Useful Resourses

Vienna Pass

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.

Click here for more info and to buy your Vienna Pass.

Vienna Card

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.

Click here for more information and to buy your Vienna City Card.

3 Days in Vienna: Day One

Belvedere Vienna

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.

Lower Belvedere - 3 days in Vienna
Lower Belvedere

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.

Opening Hours:

Upper Belvedere:

Daily 9 am to 6 pm, Friday 9 am to 9 pm

Lower Belvedere/ Orangery:

Daily 10 am to 6 pm, Friday 10 am to 9 pm

Palace Stables:

Daily 10 am to noon

Belvedere 21:

Wednesday to Sunday 11 am to 6 pm

Long Evenings Wednesday and Friday 11 am to 9 pm

Atelier Herbert Boeckl:

Thursday 4 pm to 5 pm upon reservation

Tickets:

Klimt Ticket – Upper & Lower Belvedere (Upper Belvedere: Permanent Collection, Gustav Klimt, Kiss Current Exhibitions – This ticket is valid for 30 days after the first visit.)

Full Price: 20

Reduced Price: Students (0-26 years) 19 €, Seniors (65 years and above) 19 €, Children & Teenagers (up to and including 18 years) free

Discounted Price with Vienna Card: 19 €

Upper Belvedere (Permanent Collection, Marble Hall, Kiss)

Full Price: 15

Reduced Price: Students (0-26 years) 12.50 €, Seniors (65 years and above) 12.50 €, Children & Teenagers (up to and including 18 years) free

Discounted Price with Vienna Card: 13.50 €

Free with Vienna Pass

Lower Belvedere (Special exhibitions, Orangery, Palace Stables)

Full Price: 13 €

Reduced Price: Students (0-26 years) 10 €, Seniors (65 years and above) 10 €, Children & Teenagers (up to and including 18 years) free

Discounted Price with Vienna Card: 11 €

Free with Vienna Pass

Belvedere 21 (Museum of Contemporary Art)

Full Price: 8 €

Reduced Price: Students (0-26 years) 6 €, Seniors (65 years and above) 6 €, Children & Teenagers (up to and including 18 years) free

Discounted Price with Vienna Card: 6 €

Free with Vienna Pass

Belvedere Ticket (Combined Ticket Upper Belvedere and Lower Belvedere
This ticket is valid for 30 days after the first visit)

Full Price: 22 €

Reduced Price: Students (0-26 years) 19 €, Seniors (65 years and above) 19 €, Children & Teenagers (up to and including 18 years) free

Discounted Price with Vienna Card: 19 €

3-Combi-Ticket (Combined Ticket Upper & Lower Belvedere and Belvedere 21
This ticket is valid for 30 days after the first visit)

Full Price: 25 €

Reduced Price: Students (0-26 years) 21 €, Seniors (65 years and above) 21 €, Children & Teenagers (up to and including 18 years) free

Discounted Price with Vienna Card: 21 €

For more information click here.

Karlskirche

Karlskirche - 3 day Vienna itinerary

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!

Opening Hours:

Monday to Saturday 9 am to 6 pm

Sunday & Holidays 12am to 7 pm

Tickets:

(visit of church + panoramic lift)

Full Price: 8 €

Reduced Price: Young people and students 6 €, Children aged ten and under free

Discounted Price with Vienna Card 5 €

You can also attend a Vivaldi’s Four Seasons concert in Karlskirche, click here to book your tickets.

Naschmarkt

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.

Opening Hours:

Monday to Friday 6 am to 7:30 pm

Saturday 6 am to 5 pm

Sunday Closed

Albertina

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.

Opening Hours:

Daily 10 am to 6 pm

Wednesdays and Fridays 10 am to 9 pm

Tickets:

Full Price: 12,90 €

Reduced Price: Young adults under 26 8.50 €, Seniors (65 years and above) 9.50 €, Children under 19 free

Discounted Price with Vienna Card: 13.50 €

Free with Vienna Pass

For more information click here.

Climb St. Stephen Cathedral

St. Stephen's Cathedral - 3 days in Vienna
St. Stephen’s 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.

North Tower

Opening Hours

Daily 9.00 am – 5.30 pm

Tickets

Adults: 6 €

Children (6-14 yrs) 2.50 €

Kindergarten children in the party 0.50 €

South Tower

Opening Hours

Daily 9.00 am – 5.30 pm

Tickets

Adults: 5 €

Children (6-14 yrs) 2 €

Please note that due to renovations the view is somewhat restricted at the moment that is why I chose the North tower during my recent visit. Check the website for updates here.

For tours at the Catacombs check here.

You might be interested in a St. Stephen’s Cathedral Audio Guide, Tower & Catacombs visit.

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.

Morning Exercise 

please check the website for the program of the morning exercises.

10:00 am to noon

Within this period you can enter and leave at any time. It is very busy at 10:00 so arrive earlier or arrive after 11 when a lot of people will have left.

Tickets

Full Price: 15 €

Reduced Price: Senior Citizens (over 65 years)/ Students (up to 27 years) 10.50 €, Children 6-18 years 7.50 €, children 3-6 years free (seated on their parent’s lap) under 3 years entrance is not allowed

Discounted Price with Vienna Card: 13 €

Free with Vienna Pass

You can also book a Spanish Riding School Guided Tour.

Hofburg Imperial Palace

3 days in Vienna - Hofburg 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.

Opening Hours:

September to June 9 am to 5:30 pm

July and August 9 am to 6 pm

Tickets:

With audioguide: (includes admission to the Sisi Museum, the Imperial Apartments and the Silver Collection)

Adults: 13,90 €, Children (aged 6-18) 8,20 €, Students (aged 19-25) , Disabled persons 12,90 €

Discounted price with Vienna Card 12,90 €

Free with Vienna Pass

With guided tour: (includes admission to the Sisi Museum, the Imperial Apartments and the Silver Collection)

Adults: 16,90 €, Children (aged 6-18) 9,70 €, Students (aged 19-25) , Disabled persons 15,90 €

Discounted price with Vienna Card 15,90 €

Sisi Ticket: (includes admission to the Schönbrunn, the Hofburg and the Imperial Furniture Collection)

Adults: 29,90 €, Children (aged 6-18) 18 €, Students (aged 19-25) , Disabled persons 27 €

Discounted price with Vienna Card 27 €

Rathaus

Rathaus - Vienna City Hall - Things to see in Vienna in 3 days

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.

Opening Hours:June to August: Daily, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Thu, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

September to May: Tue-Sun, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Thu, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Tickets:

Adults: 15 €, Senior Citizens (over 65) 11 €, Students 11 €, Children and teens under 19 free

Discounted price with Vienna Card: 14 €

Free with Vienna Pass

For more information on ticket prices and opening hours you can check here.

Museum of Natural History Vienna

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.

Opening Hours:

Thursday -Monday 9 a.m – 6.30 p.m. Wednesday 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Tuesday: Closed

Tickets:

Adults: 10 €, Senior Citizens (over 65) 8 €, Students 5 €, Children and teens under 19 free

Discounted price with Vienna Card: 8 €

Free with Vienna Pass

For more information on ticket prices and opening hours you can check here.

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.

Vienna State Opera at night - 3 day Vienna itinenary

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- watch a perfomance at the State Opera

Click here for more information and to book a Mozart & Strauss concert at the Vienna State Opera.

3 Days in Vienna: Day Three

Schönbrunn Palace Grand Tour & Gardens

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.

Schönbrunn Palace Grand Tour & Gardens

Opening Hours:

1 April to 30 June:  8 am – 5.30 pm, 1 July to 31 August: 8 am – 6.30 pm,

1 September to 4 November: 8 am – 5.30 pm, 5 November to 31 March: 8 am – 5.00 pm

Tickets:

Click here to check out the ticket prices and tours available.

Free with Vienna Pass

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.

Opening Hours:15.3.–30.11.2018:  daily 9 am–5 pm, 1.–31.12.2018: daily 10 am–4 pm

Tickets:

Adults: 9.50 €, Children and teens under 19 free

Discounted price with Vienna Card: 8,50 €

Free with Vienna Pass

For more information on ticket prices and opening hours you can check here.

Ferris Wheel & Prater Park

3 days in Vienna - Vienna Giant Wheel

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.

Free with Vienna Pass

Alternatively, book here your Giant Ferris Wheel Ride.

River Cruise

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.

Free with Vienna Pass

Click here for more information and to book your river cruise.

Where to Eat in Vienna

Figlmüller

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!

3 days in Vienna Figlmüller

Address: Wollzeile 5, 1010 Wien

Website: https://figlmueller.at/en/

Glacis Beisl

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

Website: https://www.glacisbeisl.at/info/

Augustinen keller

Located in one of the last ancient monastery cellars in Vienna, it serves traditional Vienniese Cuisine.

Augustinen keller - Vienna

Address: Augustinerstraße 1, 1010 Vienna

Website: https://www.bitzinger.at/de/augustinerkeller-2/

Café Mozart

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

Website: https://www.cafe-mozart.at/

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

Website: https://www.sacher.com/en/original-sacher-cake/sacher-cafe-en/cafe-sacher-wien-3/

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

Website: https://www.demel.com/en/home/

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

Website: https://www.dascapri.at/en/

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.