Unravel Vienna in 4 days

06 July 2021

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We want to be as accurate as possible, but given these challenging times, we urge you to recheck that the venues are open when you decide to visit.

Austria’s capital, and its largest city, brims with imperial splendour, world-class museums, opera theatres, and a classical heritage of art, music and culture.   Vienna in essence is a unique modernist legacy with a cosmopolitan flair. Walk down its sprawling parks and palace-lined Ringstrasse, experience its centuries-old cafe tradition and admire the astonishing architecture of this modern yet historic capital, with our four day Vienna itinerary.

 

Unravelog tip:   The Vienna pass provides free access to more than 60 attractions across the city.

Vienna 4-day itinerary at a glance

Day 1  

 

Begin your first day in Vienna with a stroll through its vibrant heart at Stephansplatz. Once there, visit the St Stephen’s Cathedral, a magnificent gothic structure that survived the ravages of World War II.  Make your way towards the Hofburg palace, a majestic Baroque structure rich in culture and history, before heading towards the Austrian National Library, amongst the most beautiful in the world. Continue towards the  Schmetterling Haus, an art nouveau palm house, home to more than 400 butterflies. Witness the works of Monet and other legendary artists at the Albertina Museum. Finish off your day with a cup of coffee and other Viennese delicacies at Café Central, an iconic café once frequented by stalwarts like Freud and Trotsky.

 

  • Stephansplatz 
  • St Stephen’s Cathedral 
  • Hofburg Palace 
  • Austrian National Library
  • Shcmetterlinghaus
  • Albertina Museum 
  • Cafe Central 

 

 

Day 2 

 

Your second day begins with the Vienna state opera, considered the busiest opera house in the world with more than 60 annual productions. Find yourself in the Museumsquartier, one of the world’s largest cultural quarters, with iconic museums. Once here, start with the  Leopold Museum, which houses a prominent collection of Austrian art, followed by MUMOK with over 10,000 modern and contemporary artworks. Examine the remains of prehistoric animals at the Natural History Museum and call it a day with the Museum of Fine Arts whose building is as ornate as the masterpieces it displays. 

 

  • Vienna State Opera
  • Leopold Museum
  • MUMOK – Museum of Modern Art
  • Natural History Museum
  • Museum of Art History

 

 

Day 3 

 

Begin your day at the Schonbrunn Palace, the summer palace of the fabulous Habsburg monarchs and witness a classical music concert at its impressive palatial grounds.  Follow it up with the world’s oldest zoo: the Schonbrunn Zoo. Later, visit the Belvedere Palace, a fine specimen of Baroque architecture and go on a shopping spree at Naschmarkt, a 1 km long open-air market offering fresh gourmet food, spices and fresh produce. 

 

  • Schonberg Palace
  • Schonberg Zoo
  • Belvedere Palace
  • Naschmarkt

 

 

Day 4 

 

For your final day in Vienna, take a stroll across the Stadtpark and have an immersive musical experience at the House of Music. At Café Sperl, take a break and enjoy a delicious slice of sacher torte with a cup of coffee. Continue towards the Karlskirche, a European baroque masterpiece with symbolic design and classical architectural elements. Later in the evening, enjoy a panoramic view of the Vienna skyline from the giant Ferris wheel at Prater ending your 4-day adventure in Vienna on a high note.

 

  • Stadtpark
  • House of Music
  • Café Sperl 
  • Karlskirche
  • Prater

 

Detailed 4 day Vienna itinerary

Day 1

Visit the heart of Vienna at Stephansplatz

Stephansplatz Vienna
By Gugerell/WikiCommons

Located at the geographical centre of the city is Vienna’s oldest square, Stephansplatz. Named after its most prominent building, the Stephansdom, or the St. Stephen’s Cathedral, it is abuzz with activity, day and night!

 

Things to do: 

  • Spot the 100-year-old Anchor clock at noon to catch a special procession by its historical figurines with musical accompaniment. 
  • The Dom Museum right next to the cathedral showcases the church’s treasures and contemporary art. 
  • Haas-Haus a postmodern building and an architectural wonder currently has several retail chains, restaurants and cafes. 
  • Enjoy some people-watching in cafes or catch a street performance during the summer months.
  • Shop at Kärntner Street and Graben – Vienna’s most popular streets offering luxury fashion brands, including street vendors selling souvenirs and artwork.
  • Visit Stock-im-Eisen (Staff in Iron) popularly known as thenail tree’ into which hundreds of nails have been pounded for good luck, over the centuries.

 

Useful information:  

  • Location: Stephansplatz 
  • Timings: Always open 
  • Cost:  Free entry
  • How to reach:
    • Metro: U1 or U3 subway lines, at the Stephansplatz station
    • Tram: Take a 1A, 2A 
    • Bus: 3A bus (the stop is also called Stephansplatz)

Admire fine Gothic architecture at St Stephen’s Cathedral

 

The Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s Cathedral) is a prominent tourist site and an iconic symbol of Vienna. Over the past 700 years, this landmark edifice has witnessed significant historical events and now serves as a spectacular venue for classical music concerts, amazing city views, and breathtakingly gorgeous baroque architecture.

 

Useful information 

  • Timings: 
    • Monday to Saturday: 9:00 am to 11:30 am and 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm.
    • Sundays and public holidays: 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm.
  • Cost:  Entry into the Cathedral is free.
    • Some areas namely the catacombs and north and south towers require tickets 
    • An all-inclusive ticket to see the catacombs and towers with an audio tour of the cathedral, costs €14.50 for adults and €4 for children.
  • How to reach:
    • Metro:  Stephansplatz, U1 or U3 subway lines
    • Tram: Take a 1A, 2A or
    • Bus:  Stephansplatz, 3A bus 

Witness the Grandeur of the Hofburg Palace

Hofburg palace
By Leonhard Niederwimmer/Pixabay

The Hofburg Palace, the seat of the Habsburg monarchy, is among Vienna’s most beautiful baroque palaces and a world heritage site. This majestic palace, rich in history and heritage, is now a lasting tribute to the glory of the Habsburg empire. Also home to a variety of museums such as the Imperial Treasury, art galleries and prestigious collections, there is plenty to discover at the Hofburg Palace.

 

Things to do

  • Tour the imperial apartments, famous for their lavish baroque interiors.
  • The medieval part of the Imperial Palace contains the unique treasures of the Habsburgs, including the Austrian imperial crown and the crown jewels of the Holy Roman Empire.
  • Visit the Sisi Museum, dedicated to the legendary empress Sisi, which houses her personal items and poetry collection.

 

Useful information 

    • September to June: 9 am to 5:30 pm.
    • July and August: 9 am to 6 pm.
  • How to reach: 
    • Metro: Herrengasse, line U3 (orange).
    • Tram: Burgring, lines 1, 2 and D.
    • Bus: Burgring, lines 2A and 57A.

Uncover secrets at the Austrian National Library

Formerly the court library to the Habsburgs, the Austrian National Library is one of the world’s major libraries, with an extraordinary collection that dates back to the 14th century. The current collection contains around 2.5 million books. 

 

Things to do:

  •  Enjoy discovering the many special collections, which include prints, maps, papyri, portraits, music, and theatre.
  • In this magnificent library, look for two exquisite exhibits: the Venetian baroque globes, one for the earth and one for the sky, each with a diameter of more than one meter. 

Unravelog Tip: Keep your eye out for library employees slipping through secret passages hidden behind certain bookcases!

 

Useful information : 

  • Location:  Austrian National Library  
  • Timing:
    • Tuesday to Wednesday and Friday to Sunday:  10 am to 6 pm 
    • Thursdays:10 am to 9 pm. 
    • Closed on Mondays
  • How to reach:
    • Metro: Herrengasse line U3; or  Stephansplatz lines U1 and U3.
    • Bus: Albertinaplatz line 3A

Lose yourself in the Schmetterlinghaus

The Imperial Butterfly House is one of the most beautiful art nouveau palm houses in the world, home to hundreds of butterflies in a tropical rainforest setting.

 

Useful information

    • Monday to Friday:  10.00 am to 3.30 pm 
    • Saturday, Sunday & Holidays:  10.00 am to 4 pm
  • Cost: €7 (Regular entry ticket)  
  • How to reach
    • Metro: Herrengasse, line U3.
    • Tram: lines 1, 2 and D.
    • Bus: Albertinaplatz, line 3A

Admire the impressive collection of the Albertina Museum

Albertina museum Vienna
By Julius Silver/Pixabay

Albertina is an art museum of international renown housing an enormous collection of approximately 65,000 drawings, 1 million old master prints and graphic arts. These include works by legendary artists including Monet, Picasso, Klimt, Kokoschka and Reubens.

 

Useful information

  • Location: Albertina Museum 
  • Timings:  10 am to 6 pm
  • Cost
    • Adults: € 16 (US$ 19.10)
    • Students under 26 years old and seniors over 65 years old-  € 11 (US$ 13.10)
    • Children under 19 years old- free entry.
  • How to Reach:
    • Metro: Herrengasse, line U3.
    • Tram: Oper, lines 1, 2 and D.
    • Bus: Albertinaplatz, line 3A

Experience the best of cafe culture at Cafe Central

Cafe Central has been the long-standing venue for Viennese cuisine, with famous historic links. Its patrons include stalwarts such as Trotsky and Freud. With its gothic revival columns, vaulted ceilings, decor, excellent coffee and food, Cafe Central is a landmark and a true embodiment of Viennese coffee house culture.

 

Things to do:  Although the cafe offers Classic Austrian dishes, including goulash soup, schnitzel, apple strudel, and other savoury treats, its exceptional selection of desserts including tortes and cakes are what sets it apart. The Osterhase, Sisi’s Favorite, Honey bee and Altenbergtorte are some of the must-try items if you have a sweet tooth.

 

Useful information

Day 2

Go behind the scenes at the Vienna State Opera

The Wiener Staatsoper is one of the world’s most prestigious opera theatres. It has a long and illustrious history. Each season, it schedules a diverse range of activities – with 350 performances of more than 60 different operas and ballets.

 

Things to do: You can catch a glimpse of what goes on backstage and admire the architectural magnificence of this neo-Renaissance masterpiece with one of their 40-minute guided tours. 

 

Useful information

  • Location: Vienna State Opera 
  • Timings: 8 am to 11 pm
  • Cost:  
    • Guided tour + Museum (Tuesday – Sunday)
      • Adults: € 7.50
      • Seniors: € 6 
      • Students: € 3.50 
    • Opera museum (Tuesday -Sunday)
      • Adults: € 3 
      • Seniors: € 2.50 
      • Students: € 2 
  • Website:   https://www.wiener-staatsoper.at/
  • How to reach:
    •  Metro: Herrengasse, line U3.
    • Tram: Wien Oper, lines 1, 2 and D.
    • Bus: Albertinaplatz, line 3A

Appreciate fine art at Leopold Museum

By Manfreeed/WikiCommons
By Manfreeed/WikiCommons

The Leopold Museum in Vienna houses the world’s largest and most important collection of art, with 41 paintings and 188 works on paper. Large-scale presentations of work by internationally renowned artists such as Egon Schiele are also featured here. 

 

Things to do: Visitors can take a peek into the well-curated museum shop and cafe with a patio overlooking the main courtyard of the Museumsquartier.

 

Unravelog tip:  Look for little surprises around the complex, especially the ceiling frescoes in the various passageways and the MQ Art Box in front of the Leopold Museum. 

 

Useful information:

  • Location: The Leopold Museum 
  • Timings:  Wednesday to Sunday  10 am to 6 pm 
  • Cost
    •  Regular ticket €14.00
    •  Students €10

See the best of modern art at the MUMOK

MUMOK museum vienna
By Gryffindor/WikiCommons

This huge basalt stone building houses art, from the 20th century to the present day, with changing exhibits from classic modern art to the essential artistic genres of the 1960s and 1970s, right up to contemporary artworks from the world of films, photography and video. The museum has a collection of 10,000 modern and contemporary artworks, including major works from Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Joseph Beuys, Nam June Paik, Wolf Vostell. 

 

Useful information : 

  • Location:  MUMOK 
  • Timings: Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm. Closed on Mondays.
  • Cost: €13 per adult
  • Website   https://www.mumok.at/
  • How to reach –  
    • Museumsquartier station U 2 line City Bus 2B (MuseumsQuartier), 
    • Tram 49 (Volkstheater).

Go back in time at the Natural History Museum

This museum has a wide range of exhibitions that allow visitors to experience the incredible diversity of nature and to travel back in time through the history of our planet. It houses extensive collections of minerals, dinosaur remains, prehistoric animals, and much more. 

 

Useful information : 

    • A short walk from the Volkstheater station with a stop on both  U2 and U3 subway lines
    • Tram: Lines 1, D, 71, 46, 49 and 2 

Be mesmerized by the Museum of Fine Arts

Museum of Fine Arts Vienna
By Arrival Guides

Emperor Franz Joseph constructed the Vienna Museum of Fine Arts for the imperial collections and its treasures. It now ranks as one of the most important museums in the world, with objects spread over five centuries, from ancient Egypt and Greece to the end of the 18th century. 

 

Things to do: 

  • Visit the art gallery with paintings by Rubens, Rembrandt, Raphael, Vermeer, and the largest Bruegel collection in the world. 
  • Spot the series of paintings created by Gustav Klimt in collaboration with his brother Ernst and Franz Matsch, along the magnificent staircase located twelve meters above the museum lobby. 
  • Enjoy a snack in the cafe located in the spectacular domed hall.

 

Useful information

  • LocationKunsthistorisches Museum Wien
  • Timings:  Daily, 10 am to 6 pm, Thursday, 10 am to 9 pm
    • Cost : Adults: € 16 (Combined ticket with Treasures of the Habsburgs: € 20 
    • Students and over 65s: € 11 (US$ 13.10)
  • Website  https://www.khm.at/
  • How to reach
    • Metro: Volkstheater on lines U2 and U3; Museumsquartier on line U2
    • Tram: Schmerlingplatz on line 46; Dr Karl Renner Ring on lines 1, 2, 46, 49 and D.
    • Bus: Heldenplatz on line 2A; Burgring on line 57A; Drevery day Karl Renner Ring line 48A.

Day 3

Attend a classical music concert at the Schönbrunn palace

Schönbrunn_palace
By Simon Matzinger/WikiCommons

This was the summer residence of the Habsburg Dynasty, built in the  18th-century with 1441 lavish Rococo ceremonial rooms, for 40 members of the imperial family. 

 

Things to do :

  • Go on a guided tour of the palace, witness the elaborate Neptune fountain and explore the maze which is a part of the palace gardens
  • Visit the palm house which is a three-storied greenhouse, home to rare and exotic plants
  • Attend a classical music performance in the orangery, which happens every day at 7:30 pm

Useful information

  • How to reach: 
    • Metro: Schönbrunn, line U4 (green).
    • Tram: Schönbrunn, lines 10 and 58.
    • Bus: Schönbrunn, line 10A.

Visit the world’s oldest zoo at the Schönbrunn Zoo

Schonberg Zoo Vienna
By M. Kreuschitz 2010/WikiCommons

Forming part of the Schönbrunn Palace and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Schonbrunn is the world’s oldest zoo. Spot giant pandas, Siberian tigers, orangutans, and elephants, or immerse yourself in the Amazon experience of a tropical rainforest. A visit offers young and old an incomparable experience and interesting insights into its nature and species conservation work. 

 

Useful information

  • How to reach:  A 5-minute walk from Schönbrunn palace complex

Be enchanted by the Belvedere Palace

Belvedere palace Vienna
By Anemone123/Pixabay

With its magnificent gardens, this former residence of Prince Eugen Von Savoyen is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Upper Belvedere has the world’s largest collection of paintings by Renoir, Van Gogh and Klimt, apart from other Art Nouveau icons. It also contains masterpieces by Schiele, Kokoschka, as well as important collections from the 19th and 20th centuries, the Baroque and  Middle Ages. 

 

Things to do: 

  • Top-quality special exhibitions are displayed in the Lower Belvedere and Orangery.
  • The exquisite Baroque garden between the two palaces offers an extraordinary view of Vienna. 

 

Useful information

  • Cost:
    • Adults: € 22 
    • Students and those over 65 years: € 19
  • Websitehttps://www.belvedere.at/
  • How to reach
    • Tram Schloss Belvedere
    • Metro line D; Unteres Belvedere,

Enjoy fresh gourmet delicacies at the Naschmarkt

The Naschmarkt is one of the most famous markets in Vienna with rows of open stalls selling teas, sweetmeat, produce, flowers, snacks, and full sit-down meals. An ideal place to just sit, eat, people-watch, buy ready-made dishes to take away, or purchase fresh produce to create your culinary masterpieces back home. 

 

Things to do: Some of the must-try items include cheese-stuffed goodies at La Bottega del Gusto, falafels from Dr Falafel, tea leaves from Republic of Teas, Austrian wine at Urbanek and choose from more than 200 varieties of cheese at Käseland. 

 

Useful information 

  • Location: Naschmarkt 
  • Timings: Monday to Saturday: between 9 am and 6:30 pm (Saturday until around 5 pm). Closed on Sundays.
  • Cost: Free entry 
  • How to reach: 
    • Metro: Kettenbrückengasse, line U4.
    • Bus: Verkehrsbüro, line 59A

Day 4

Take a stroll at Stadtpark

Stadtpark vienna
By Jules Verne Times Two/WikiCommons

Stadtpark is one of the most popular green spaces in Vienna. Opened in 1914,  Stadtpark is an important example of German landscape design and transformation. It’s known for its greenery and the beautiful views of its lake which connects to the lake Alster situated in the middle of the city. The Stadtpark is home to countless monuments and statues, including the Otto Wagner designed U-Bahn station, the Johann Strauss Monument, and the Franz Shubert statue. 

 

Things to do: 

  • Take a picture with composer Johan Strauss’s statue – one of the most photographed monuments in the park 
  • Catch a concert at the Kursalon   

 

Useful information

  • LocationStadtpark  
  • Cost: Entry is free. More about tickets and timings of concerts in Stadtpark here  
  • How to reach: 
    • Metro: Stadtpark, line U4.
    • Tram: Weihburggasse, line 2.
    • Bus: Stubentor, line 1A

Immerse yourself at the House of Music

House of music vienna
By Arrival Guides

Embark on a musical journey in Vienna’s House of Music. The museum has rooms dedicated to the greatest music composers of all time such as Mozart, Strauss and Hayden. Its interactive multimedia exhibits allow you to create your own musical compositions. 

 

Things to do 

  • Paint sound with your fingers as you control an audiovisual operatic artwork with your body movements
  • Virtually conduct the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra 
  • Experience prenatal hearing as you experience the development of the human ear 
  • Make music as you climb the stairs in the house which doubles as a piano
  • Enjoy wonderful views and fine Austrian cuisine at Restaurant Huth. 

 

Useful information

  • LocationThe House of Music 
  • Timings: every day 10 am to 7 pm
  • Cost:  Find out about the various tickets and timings offered by the House of Music here
  • Website:   http://www.hdm.at/
  • How to reach:  Metro Karlsplatz Line  (U1, U2)

Have a delicious Viennese dessert at Café Sperl

Built in 1880, this coffeehouse offers homemade pastries, excellent coffee along with regular live music, and splendid views of its garden. The decor is reminiscent of Vienna’s elegant Ringstrasse Cafés with parquet floors, bentwood Thonet chairs, marble tables, crystal chandeliers and billiards tables.

 

Things to do: Try out signature coffee specialities like Maria Theresia, Fiaker, Pharisäer. The Salzburger cheesecake and the Topefenstrudel.  For more delectable Viennese goodness, check out our list of 5 places to savor authentic Sachertorte in Vienna.

 

Useful information

Witness the grand architecture of Karlskirche

Karlskirche_Vienna
By Ranzpeter/WikiCommons

Karlskirche is a  sacred baroque masterpiece,  with a large cupola and two giant twin columns standing at its sides – a symbolic design using classical architectural elements. This church is the last great work of Baroque city architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach.

 

Things to do: Take the elevator to the dome for a close-up of the fresco-decorated interiors.

 

Useful information 

  • Location: Karlskirche 
  • Timings:
    • Monday to Saturday: from 9 am to 6 pm.
    • Sunday and holidays: 12 pm to 7 pm.
  • Cost :  
    • Adults: € 8 
    • Students and young people: € 4 
    • Children under 10 years old: free entry

Enjoy a panoramic ride at Prater

prater Vienna
By andreas from Pixabay

Guaranteeing entertainment for both the young and old, Vienna Prater is an amusement park with turbulent roller coasters, spooky ghost trains and attractions of all sorts. However, its most iconic attraction is the Giant Ferris Wheel, one of Vienna’ most iconic symbols that offers panoramic views of the city. 

 

Things to do 

  • Get a spectacular view of Vienna, on the Giant Ferris Wheel first built in 1897
  • Experience indoor diving. timings and tickets here
  • Visit popular rides like Prater Turm, Black Mamba, Wildalpenbahn, Hotel Psycho, Boomerang and Blumenrath

 

Useful information

  • Location: Prater 
  • Timings: The Prater is in season from March to October, 10 am to 12 midnight daily. The Giant Ferris Wheel, however, is open all year round. 
  • How to reach :  
    • Metro: Praterstern, lines U1 and U2.
    • Tram: Praterstern, lines 5 and O.
    • Bus: Praterstern, line 80A.

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