3 days in Vienna Itinerary: Travel and Sightseeing Guide
Visiting Vienna in 3 days is a fantastic option to explore the exciting city and all the amazing sights. In that amount of time you can visit all the best parts of the city including the main sights and top attractions. For sure, you will love this old new city, the vibrant life and the delicious Austrian food. There is so much to see and to do and definitely, this 3-day itinerary will give you a great overview of the must-see sights and the travel highlights. Vienna is an incredible beautiful city and three days can be enough time to see the capital of Austria.
In this blog article we are going to share our ultimate 3 days itinerary for an unforgettable trip to Vienna and additionally we show you what to see and what to do while staying in this wonderful austrian city.
Here is our suggestion for a 3-day itinerary in Vienna:
Vienna itinerary, DAY 1
Start your Vienna trip with exploring the beautiful Belvedere Palace and the magnificent baroque gardens. At first walk from the Upper Belvedere down to the Lower Belvedere and enjoy the outstanding beautiful scenery. We really loved the flower gardens and the reflecting pool in front of the palace. Even though the Belvedere is one of Vienna’s most impressive palaces, at morning time you will have all the area nearly to yourself. In case you are a fan of art you definitely should consider a visit of the Belvedere museums too: A permanent exhibition at the Upper Belvedere displays among others the world-famous Klimt´s Kiss.
At early lunch time we recommend a visit to Vienna’s most popular market, the Naschmarkt which is just a short walk from Karlsplatz. Make a stop at the St. Charles Church, an eye-catching religious building with a magnificent blue cupula. Not just in summer, but also in winter the Karlsplatz is really worth a visit at this time a traditional Christmas market is taking place in front of the church.
Without a doubt the Naschmarkt is one of the coolest places to have lunch in Vienna and a popular meeting point for young and old. In generally, the market has around 120 market stands and restaurants, selling exotic products and delicacies from all over the world.
The Ringstrasse is a 5,3 km long road that circles Vienna’s city centre. On that street, you are going to pass some of the most remarkable and breath-taking buildings of the town. The most noteworthy sights are the Parliament, the City Hall, the Imperial Palace (Hofburg) and the Burgtheater. A lovely option is to tour the Ringstrasse on the tourist Ring Tram or you can also catch the public city tram (Nr.1 & Nr. 2).
If you have some time left we recommend a visit inside the glorious Burgtheater. You can visit this theatre without seeing a performance by taking a guided tour (daily 15:00). There you will learn a lot about the fascinating history of the Burgtheater and you will get a look behind the scenes. On top you are going to see the breath-taking beautiful grand staircase and the famous ceiling paintings by Gustav Klimt.
For the evening we round of our first day of sight-seeing with a visit to Vienna’s amusement park the Prater. Why not dine out at the Schweizerhaus restaurant for tasting its famous Schweizerhaus Stelze or a traditional Wiener Schnitzel?! It is famous for serving the best Schnitzel in Vienna! For entering the Wiener Prater you won`t have to pay any entrance fee, you just have to pay for the attractions you would like to ride. Even if you are not that kind of adrenal junkie you will love exploring the nostalgic Prater with its unique atmosphere. Recommended is a ride with the Giant Ferries Wheel which is Vienna’s landmark.
Vienna itinerary, DAY 2
A trip to Vienna won’t be complete without visiting one of the numerous museums. Actually, we loved visiting the Museum of Natural History. The huge museum exhibits over 30 million objects and we had been fascinating by the dimension. Also, the Art History museum located at the opposite is well worth seeing. Absolutely interesting is the MuseumsQuartier, spreading over 90,000m2 encompassing 60 cultural institutions.
If you are around also take the chance to look inside the Palace of Justice! Step inside and you will find yourself in one of the most impressive locations you will find in Vienna. The grand staircase dominates the huge hall and the imposing interior will take your breath away! Most of the people don`t know that the building is open for the public and the entrance is for free. Furthermore from the roof-top Cafè you will have an amazing view.
After spending the morning inside a museum, you should hit off to see the world-famous Lipizzaner horses. Best you cross the picturesque square Michaelaplatz to buy tickets for the Spanish riding school. Just take a rest at the baroque square and watch the traditional Vienna Fiaker passing by. Visiting the white Lipizzaner show was just lovely. It was so interesting to watch the horsemanship accompanied by classical music. Good to know: This noble horse and the traditional stallions can be seen for free, just peep in at Reitschulgasse 2.
Another must do in Vienna is a visiting an original Viennese coffee house. You are going to find plenty of them inside Vienna’s Old town. All along, the Viennese coffee house is a typical institution of Vienna that plays an important role in Viennese culture. Have a break, enjoy a delicious “Melange” coffee and soak in this elegant and very specific atmosphere.
Later, we recommend to have a look inside the Austrian National Library, the State Hall. The imposing baroque hall impressed us a lot! More than 200.000 tomes are exhibited and four picturesque Venetian baroque globes grace the ancient library.
Most surprising for us was the visit inside the Imperial Crypt also named the Capuchin Cryp. That place contains the bodies of the Habsburg rulers: 149 Habsburgs, including 12 emperors as well as 19 empresses and queens, have their final resting inside the crypt. Popular examples are Franz Joseph I., Empress Elisabeth and Crown Prince Rudolf and visitors can observe their magnificent free-standing tombs.
Don`t leave the town without window shopping at the Graben, the Kohlmarkt and the Kärntnerstraße, Viennas most exclusive shopping streets! Even if you don`t likes shopping, walking down the Graben street towards the St. Stephen´s Cathedral. With its beautiful architecture like the Peterskirche the short walk is really pleasureable.
St. Stephen´s Cathedral is one of the main attractions of Vienna and the inside as well as the outside are worth a visit. But also recommendable is the view from the top of the Cathedral. You are going to have the best view of Vienna at the northern tower (Pummerin).
As few of the main sights are located along the Ringstrasse, for example, the Opera house and the Burggarten. Take a break at the wonderful Palmenhouse at Burggarten and enjoy the picturesque scenery. As soon as the sun goes down head of to see the Opera house: At night the Opera is stunningly lit and looks drop-dead gorgeous!
Vienna itinerary, DAY 3
After breakfast, set off to Schönbrunn Palace! Because it’s Austria’s most visited tourist attraction you should be there early. That’s why at morning time you will find a calm and peaceful location. Take a stroll along the magnificent Schönbrunn Gardens and inhale the grand imperial atmosphere. Also you shouldn’t miss to walk up to the Gloriette and get rewarded with one of Vienna’s most breathtaking views. Take some time to explore the Schönbrunn Palace. We had been surprised about all the picturesque smaller gardens, fountains and statues.
There’s even a Palmenhaus and the world’s oldest zoo, the Schönbrunn Zoo to explore. The entire area is part of the imperial summer residence and is even listed as an UNESCO world heritage site. The palaces itself is enormous, with a total of 1,441 rooms. Certain parts of the castle and exhibitions can be visited.
If you are interested in outstanding architecture you should definitely go and see the popular Hundertwasserhouse. This architectural masterpiece was designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser and constructed between 1983 – 1985. You have to know that The Hundertwasserhouse can only be viewed from outside but the exterior façade draws attention to itself and gives a fantastic foto motif. Our tip: Hundertwasser also transferred the incinerator at Spittelau in something extraordinary!
Where to stay in Vienna?
For our latest city trip to Vienna we had been guests at the hotel Altstadt Vienna. It’s located in Vienna’s hippest and fashionable 7.th district “Neubau” in Spittelberg also named as Boboville. In fact the hotel is a venerable traditional Viennese patrician house that offers around 60 hotel rooms. All of the rooms are held in a unique design, each of them is different and so inspiring. Different designers and architects created the interior of this unique boutique hotel and we really loved our stay in the beautiful Lilli Hollein Suite.
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Everything felt so much like home and even better. There are so many nice touches like free afternoon tea and sweets-buffet, outstanding breakfast, free homemade ice-tea for hotel guests to the helpfulness of the staff and free newspapers and magazines galore. Also unique was having the excellent breakfast inside the lovely salon area: An incredible delicious buffet with different kind of cheeses, hearty breads and rolls with all kinds of spreads, healthy cereal, smoked salmon, smoothies, Viennese coffee, high quality tea and even prosecco – in the background classical music – a great way to start the day!
On top the hotel is conveniently located just a short walk from the subway and tram. Museumsquartier, Natural History Museum & Art History Museum, Rathaus and Burgtheater are all in walking distance and great restaurants and bars are just around the hotels corner.
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And that’s it for our guide to spending 3 days in Vienna – if you would like to read more about Vienna, check out -> 15 Top Things To Do In Vienna
If you like to learn more about traveling in Central Europe, you should check out “the epic central europe itinerary“.
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Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. Meaning that if you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Transparency: For this stay we were invited by Hotel Altstadt Vienna. As usual, our opinion remains unaffected.