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How to Spend One Day in Vienna, Austria - What to Do, See, & Eat in Wien!



Welcome to Vienna! Nestled along the banks of the Danube River, Vienna is a perfect blend of rich history, vibrant culture, and timeless elegance. And while there’s more than enough to do, see, and eat to keep you busy for weeks, we’re going to share how in just twenty-four hours, you can immerse yourself in the opulent grandeur of palaces, wander through charming streets brimming with history, and treat your taste buds with some of the most delicious treats this side of the Danube. From iconic landmarks like the Hofburg Palace and St. Stephen's Cathedral to delicious gems like Naschmarkt and Figlmüller at Wollzeile, this whirlwind itinerary is your ticket to experiencing the very best that Vienna has to offer in a single day!


Be sure to watch our “How to Spend One Day in Vienna” video for a closer look at our time in Vienna!




 

Book the best Tours and Experiences in Vienna with GetYourGuide!


 

Still in need of the perfect accommodations for your time in Vienna? Check out these recommendations!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Grand Hotel Wien

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The Ritz-Carlton

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Schlosshotel Römischer Kaiser

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ O11 Boutique Hotel

⭐️⭐️⭐️ Living Hotel an der Oper

⭐️⭐️⭐️ Hotel Kaiserin Elisabeth


Or use this search tool to find the perfect accommodations for your needs and preferences!



 

Now, lace up your walking shoes, prepare your appetite, and let's dive into the magic of Vienna!


8:00am: Experience the iconic Viennese Cafe Culture

Vienna's cafe culture is nothing short of legendary, captivating visitors with its unique blend of history, elegance, and indulgence. Stepping into one of the city's historic coffeehouses feels like stepping back in time, where plush velvet chairs and marble tabletops invite you to linger over a cup of rich, aromatic coffee and decadent treats. From the ornate grandeur of Café Central to the cozy charm of Café Hawelka, each cafe tells its own story, serving as a beloved hub for intellectuals, artists, and locals alike. But it's not just about the coffee and cakes – it's the ambiance, the sense of leisure, and the tradition of conversation that make Vienna's cafe culture truly special. Whether you're savoring a slice of Sachertorte or simply watching the world go by, Vienna's cafes offer a glimpse into the city's soul like no other.


Where to go:

  • Café Central (where we went - Herrengasse 14, 1010)

  • Café Hawelka (Dorotheergasse 6, 1010)

  • Café Sacher (Philharmoniker Str. 4, 1010)


Café Central in Vienna, Austria


9:30am: Visit the Sisi Museum at the Imperial Palace (Hofburg)

Located within the majestic Hofburg Palace, the Sisi Museum offers a captivating glimpse into the life and legacy of Empress Elisabeth of Austria, affectionately known as Sisi. Step into the world of this enigmatic figure, famed for her beauty, intelligence, and free spirit, as you explore a collection of personal artifacts, including her exquisite gowns, jewelry, and even her private correspondence. Through immersive displays and multimedia presentations, visitors can uncover the fascinating story of Sisi's life, from her fairy-tale marriage to Emperor Franz Joseph to her struggles with fame and longing for freedom. The Sisi Museum is a must-visit for history enthusiasts and romantics alike, offering a poignant and intimate portrait of one of Austria's most beloved and iconic figures.


Pro Tip: Purchase tickets in advance to ensure entry at your desired time slot! You can skip the line by purchasing your self-guided tickets to the Sisi Museum HERE! Or if you prefer a guided tour, purchase your tickets HERE!


Sisi Museum at the Imperial Palace in Vienna, Austria


11:45am: Experience the Glory of St. Stephen's Cathedral

Dating back to the 12th century, St. Stephen's Cathedral has witnessed centuries of change and transformation, yet its timeless beauty remains unchanged. Its striking Gothic spire pierces the sky beckoning visitors to explore its storied halls. A step inside reveals its awe-inspiring stained glass windows, intricate stone carvings, and majestic altar. And no visit to St. Stephen's Cathedral is complete without visiting one of its towers, the South Tower (AKA Südturm) or North Tower (AKA Nordturm). Just note that reaching the top of the south tower requires climbing up 343 stairs while the north tower is accessed by a lift. Either one is a fine choice and worth a visit.


Purchase your tickets to explore St. Stephen’s Cathedral HERE!


St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, Austria


1:00pm: Get a Taste of Vienna’s Most Iconic Dish!

No visit to Vienna would be complete without relishing in Vienna's culinary crown jewel and a dish that embodies the city's rich gastronomic heritage… The Wiener Schnitzel! Originating in the heart of Austria's capital, this iconic delight consists of thinly pounded veal, coated in breadcrumbs and fried to golden perfection. Each crispy bite offers a symphony of flavors, with the tender meat enveloped in a crunchy crust that's both satisfying and indulgent. Served traditionally with a squeeze of lemon and a side of potato salad or lingonberry jam, the Wiener Schnitzel is a beloved staple of Viennese cuisine, celebrated by locals and visitors alike for its simplicity and sublime taste. Whether enjoyed in a cozy tavern or a refined restaurant, this timeless dish is a must-try for anyone seeking to experience the true essence of Vienna's culinary delights.


Where to go:

  • Figlmüller at Wollzeile (Bäckerstraße 6, 1010)

  • Schnitzel Wirt (Neubaugasse 52, 1070)

  • Zum Schwarzen Kameel (Bognergasse 5, 1010)

  • Restaurant Meissl & Schadn Wien (Schubertring 10-12, 1010)

  • Plachuttas Gasthaus zur Oper (Walfischgasse 5, 1010)


Figlmüller Wiener Schnitzel in Vienna, Austria


3:00pm: Get to Know Mozart at the Mozarthaus

This meticulously preserved residence, where Mozart lived from 1784 to 1787, offers visitors a glimpse into the maestro's life and work during his time in Vienna. From the intimate setting of his former home, now transformed into a museum, guests can explore original manuscripts, period instruments, and interactive exhibits that shed light on Mozart's genius and enduring legacy. Whether you're a die-hard classical music aficionado or simply curious about one of history's most celebrated composers, a visit to Mozarthaus promises a fascinating journey through the life and times of Mozart in Vienna.


Skip the line and book your Mozarthaus tickets HERE!


Mozarthaus in Vienna, Austria

Or, if Mozart doesn't hold particular interest for you...


Take in the Sights, Smells, & Tastes at Naschmarkt

Stretching over a kilometer, this bustling market tantalizes visitors with a kaleidoscope of colors, aromas, and flavors from around the world. From aromatic spices to exotic fruits, artisanal cheeses, and freshly baked pastries, Naschmarkt offers a treasure trove of culinary delights. But it's not just about food – the market also boasts eclectic boutiques, antique stalls, and cozy cafes, creating a dynamic atmosphere where locals and tourists mingle amidst the lively hustle and bustle. Whether you're on the hunt for gourmet treats, unique souvenirs, or simply soaking in the vibrant ambiance, a visit to Naschmarkt is an essential Viennese experience not to be missed. And if you happen to be visiting on a Saturday, be sure to check out the Flohmarkt Flea Market that is held at Naschmarkt every Saturday from 6:30am in the morning to around 6:30pm!


You can also book a Naschmarkt Food Tour HERE!


Naschmarkt in Vienna, Austria


4:30: Take a City Tour on the Ringstrasse (Ring Road) Tram

Vienna’s Ringstrasse or Ring Street (which is actually a continuous series of streets) marks the border of the old town and essentially builds a ring around it… hence the name, Ringstrasse. Many of Vienna’s top sights border this route, including the Naturhistorisches and Kunsthistorisches museums, the Parliament building, the Rathaus, the Staatsoper, and the Hofburg Palace complex. At only 3.3 miles (5.3 kilometers), you could, of course, walk to the loop, but another option, if you are short on time or the weather isn’t ideal, is to take the bright yellow “Tourist” Tram. This is not a hop-on, hop-off tram as it starts and ends at the Schwedenplatz station. On board, you’ll enjoy a roughly 25-minute guided tour around the Ring, courtesy of headphones in your choice of various languages.


If you do wish to make it more of a hop-on, hop-off experience, check out BigBoyTravel.com for their guide on how to do a DYI Ringstrasse Tour via tram lines #1 and #2. And if a guided walking tour of the Rinstrasse is more up your alley (or should I say strasse?), then book your Ringstrasse Walking Tour HERE


Ringstrasse Tram in Vienna, Austria


5:30pm: Happy Hour Drinks at Palmenhaus!

Housed within a stunning glasshouse reminiscent of a tropical oasis, this brasserie offers a unique dining experience blending Viennese charm with botanical beauty. The original greenhouse was constructed in 1822, offering picturesque views of the sprawling Hofburg palace gardens. Nearly eight decades later, Austrian architect Friedrich Ohmann erected the lavish Jugendstil structure, characterized by its intricate steel-and-glass design, which remains an iconic feature to this day. Following a multimillion-dollar renovation in 1998, the building has been transformed into a botanical paradise, spanning over 22,000 square feet and housing an array of stunning flora, delectable cuisine, and even a fluttering assortment of butterflies. Needless to say, having a drink or two amidst the lush greenery and unique environment is a must when visiting Vienna!


Pro Tip: If your party has more than 5 people, we recommend making reservations so you don’t waste time waiting on a table.


Palmenhaus in Vienna, Austria


7:30pm: Attend a Classical Concert!

Vienna's illustrious music history is a symphony of cultural brilliance that resonates throughout the city's streets and concert halls. As the dwelling place of countless musical maestros, including Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss (born in Vienna), Vienna has long been hailed as the "City of Music." From the grandeur of the Vienna State Opera to the intimate settings of historic concert venues like the Musikverein, the city offers a rich tapestry of classical performances that showcase the timeless beauty and innovation of its musical heritage. Attending a classical concert in Vienna isn't just about hearing exquisite melodies—it's about immersing yourself in a tradition that has shaped the course of Western music. Whether you're a seasoned aficionado or simply curious to experience the magic firsthand, a classical concert in Vienna promises an unforgettable journey through the soul-stirring sounds of the past and present, making it an essential part of any visit to this cultural capital. We had the pleasure of attending a Vienna Symphony concert at The Musikverein’s Golden Hall and to be honest, it was the cherry on top of an already incredible day exploring this magnificent city and we can’t recommend it enough!


If you would like to experience the magic of attending a classical concert in Vienna for yourself, click HERE!


The Musikverein’s Golden Hall in Vienna, Austria


10:00pm: Late Dinner at Bitzinger Sausage Stand

Nestled in the heart of Vienna's bustling Stadtpark, this iconic eatery has been serving up mouthwatering Austrian sausages since 1986, drawing in hungry crowds with its irresistible aroma and flavorful offerings. Whether you're craving a classic Käsekrainer or a traditional Bratwurst, each sausage is grilled to perfection and served with a side of tangy mustard and freshly baked bread. Pair these tasty offerings with the 3am closing time and you’ve got the perfect pitstop for a quick and delicious late-night bite.


Bitzinger Sausage Stand in Vienna, Austria


 

We hope that this guide has helped you make the most of your time in Vienna, and if it has, we hope you’ll consider following us on Instagram and subscribing to our YouTube Channel for more travel content!



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