The Austrian capital is a tourist haven. So here’s a complete one day in Vienna itinerary, for those looking to do Vienna in a day.
Getting around Vienna couldn’t be easier. There are generally 4 options:
Before we start, if you’re looking for transfers from the airport to the city, the best option is to book a CAT Transfer: Vienna Airport – Wien Mitte in advance here.
The city centre of Vienna, and the majority of tourists attractions, are reachable by bicycle.
Your accommodation should be able to arrange you a bicycle rental for 24 hours, otherwise Citybike Wien is the most popular bike sharing service.
Simply register online, find a terminal and insert your card to unlock a bike.
There is also the very popular Classic Vienna: 3-Hour Guided Bike Tour available to book in advance.
By Public Transport:
The most convenient way to explore Vienna, is to use the U-Bahn or underground railway.
You can buy a Vienna City Card in advance here, which allows unlimited use of the city’s metro, tram, and bus lines.
Vienna City Cards are available for 1, 2, or 3 consecutive days, and prices range from 24 hours for £14.70, to 3 days use + airport transfer for £39.79.
The Vienna City Card also gives discount to over 210 popular attractions, so it’s certainly worth the investment.
By Hop On Hop Off Bus:
Standard buses are available around Vienna with the City Card.
However, there is also of course the famous Vienna Hop-on, Hop-off Sightseeing Bus.
This bus lets you jump on and off throughout the city, and explore monuments such as the Museums-Hofburg, House of Music, or the Schönbrunn Palace.
This option is always popular among tourists, and a is great way to see many famous landmarks around Vienna at ease.
Some of the best days out we’ve had in Vienna have been on private tours.
For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.
From food tours, to river cruises and pub crawls, there’s plenty to keep you busy in the Austrian capital!
Book your Vienna Tours: Vienna: Top Tours & Activities
WHAT TO PACK
DSLR Camera: Canon EOS 90D
Tripod: Zomei Z666 Tripod
Day Bag: Manfrotto Manhattan Mover-50
Reusable Water Bottle: Hydro Flask Water Bottle
Rain Jacket: Columbia Lightweight Rain Jacket
The first stop on our one day in Vienna itinerary had to be Prater Amusement Park!
Prater Amusement Park is a whole world of adventure and entertainment within the capital.
It’s located on the East side of the city centre, so we recommend starting out near the Danube river, and working your way in.
The closest underground to Prater Amusement Park is Messe-Prater, so use your Vienna City Card and jump on the metro.
The park radiates so much energy, with Wiener Riesenrad at its forefront.
The famous ferris wheel is located at the entrance to the park and it carries a traditional Viennese charm. With its huge revolving viewing boxes, it creates a truly memorable experience for tourists and locals alike. Skip the line and book your tickets in advance here.
Prater Amusement Park is a place where time flies, happiness spreads and fears are conquered.
Book your Ferris Wheel Tickets: Skip-the-Line Giant Ferris Wheel Ride
If amusement parks aren’t really your thing, then you can skip past Prater and head straight to Hundertwasser House.
Just a 15 minute walk from Prater, or one stop on the tram, The Hundertwasser House area is one of our top recommendations for you Vienna in a day trip.
Its colourful architecture, created by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, draws the attention of all walks of life.
You can only view the main building from the outside, because people actually live in the Hundertwasser House, however they are not allowed to decorate their apartments.
With all the trees that lives amongst the balconies and terraces, the Hundertwasser House is a green oasis in the heart of the city.
Opposites the Hundertwasser House the same artist created his own shopping centre from a tyre workshop. It has a bar and a handful of stores too. All in the typical Hundertwasser style.
There’s also the KunstHausWien, a museum designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser. The museum houses the world’s only permanent exhibition of Hundertwasser’s works and tickets can be booked in advance here.
Explore the area and pick up some quirky souvenirs, before heading onto the next destination on your one day in Vienna itinerary.
Book your Museum Tickets: Museum Hundertwasser in KunstHausWien Tickets
Stephansplatz is the central square that sits right in the heart of Vienna.
Easily accessible from anywhere around the capital, simply jump on the underground and head to Stephansplatz Station.
The square is named after St. Stephen’s Cathedral, which happens to be one of the tallest churches in the world. It is also one of the most important Gothic structures in Austria.
You’ll likely see a few Fiaker rides available in the Old Town. A fiacre is a form of hackney coach, a horse-drawn four-wheeled carriage for hire.
As well as the cathedral in Stephansplatz, you can find plenty of shopping, bars and cafes – so it’s an easy way to kill a couple of hours in the city.
Here is a great spot to grab some lunch or a bite to eat and refuel on your one day in Vienna itinerary.
Book your Fiaker Ride: 30-Minute Fiaker Ride in the Old Town
From Stephansplatz jump back on the underground, and it’s an easy 2 stop ride on the U3 line to Volkstheater Station. This will lead you out into Museumsquartier.
The Museumsquartier in Vienna, is one of the largest districts for contemporary art and culture in the world.
The district is spread over 90,000 square metres, so there’s certainly plenty to see.
From music and fashion to theatre and dance, it doesn’t end there. Photography, street art and fine art make this place a creative heaven.
However, if you’re not much of an museum fan, or short on time, then you could possibly drop this spot from your one day in Vienna itinerary.
If you do try and squeeze it into your Vienna in a day trip, it’s probably best to pre arrange which parts of Museumsquartier you’d like to see specifically.
Book your Museumsquartier Tours: Museumsquartier: Top Tours & Activities
Onto another of our favourite spots on the one day in Vienna itinerary. Probably due to the sheer amount of food on offer!
Naschmarkt is the most popular market in Vienna! And it’s just a 5 minute walk from Museumsquartier.
It has all the best foods and local produce, and those that are not available in other parts of the city or even the country.
There’s so much to see, eat and drink at the market. Not only does it serve the locals who complete their weekly food shops, it also attracts visitors from all over the world.
Tourists tend to visit the Naschmarkt to experience the atmosphere, the sounds of the Austrian market and to pick up some cheap snacks.
If you’re looking for a cheap and reputable guided tour of Naschmarkt, you should check out the Naschmarkt Food Tasting Tour.
Otherwise there is a full 4 hour food tasting tour of Vienna available here, which includes a broader experience of the Austrian food culture. Visiting a coffee house, a traditional market, a bakery, and an artisan chocolate shop. Whilst enjoying tastings of cheese, sausages, wine, and many other Austrian delicacies.
The market is full of exotic fruits, colourful foods, cheese and humous and lots of local herbs and spices.
If you’re visiting Vienna in a day, then you have to visit the Naschmarkt.
Book your Naschmarkt Tour: Vienna 4-Hour Food Tour
One thing you must cram into your Vienna itinerary, as and when you can, is to try a slice of fresh Sachertorte.
Sachertorte is a specific type of chocolate cake, or torte, invented by Austrian Franz Sacher in 1832.
It may look like just the ordinary chocolate cake, but don’t let the Austrians hear you say that.
Topped and held together with an apricot jam it is one of the most famous Viennese desserts, and it certainly kicked our cravings for something sweet in the mid-afternoon.
The final stop on our one day in Vienna itinerary is one we chose to save for the evening.
It’s a little out of the way of the city centre, so you may want to go back to your accommodation and freshen up. Then either ride the metro out to Schönbrunn or grab a taxi.
Schonbrunn Palace was the main summer residence of the Habsburg rulers, and is now possibly the most photographed building in the country.
The palace gardens are now a beautifully symmetrical park open to the public and flooding with tourists and joggers everyday.
Inside has been transformed into a huge museum full of history and story telling throughout the ages.
You do have to pay to enter and you can book your Schönbrunn Palace & Gardens: Skip-the-Line Guided Tour here.
Otherwise there are plenty of tours online such as this one, which garantees a delightful taste of Vienna’s cultural landmarks, taking in the Opera and many other attractions by bus, then skip the line for a special tour of the glorious Schönbrunn Palace.
The Palace opening hours are daily 6.30am – 7pm.
It makes for a lovely end to the trip, so be sure to save a place on your one day in Vienna itinerary for Schonbrunn Palace.
Book your Schonbrunn Palace Tours: Schonbrunn Palace: Top Tours & Activities
Luxury – Grand Hotel Wien – Only a 3-minute walk from the State and the famous Kärntner Straße Shopping Street, the luxurious Grand Hotel Wien offers 5 restaurants, 2 bars, a spa area, and a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of Vienna. Valet parking and free WiFi are available as well. The luxuriously-furnished rooms and suites in the Grand Hotel’s impressive historic building are equipped with elegant furniture, large modern flat-screen TVs with a selection of international channels, and coffee making . Bathrobes and slippers can be found in the marble with 2 washbasins.
Mid-Budget – City Pension Stephansplatz – The family-run is located in centre, a 2-minute walk from Saint Stephen’s Square, Schwedenplatz and Kärtner Straße Shopping Street. Free WiFi is available. The U1 and U3 metro stops are only 50 yards away, and the U4 metro stop is 150 yards away. The newly-renovated rooms in Viennese style provide a flat-screen satellite TV, air conditioning, a minibar, an electric kettle and a bathroom with shower, hairdryer and free toiletries.
Budget – Boutique Hostel – Zum Goldenen Kegel – Set in the 16. Ottakring district in Vienna and occupying a 300-year old building, 1,000 yards from Wiener Stadthalle, Boutique Hostel – zum Goldenen Kegel features free WiFi access. The Thaliastraße Metro and Tram Stop (U6 and 46) is 250 yards away. This family-run hostel provides comfort in a quiet and calm location with a garden and a yard for social interactions. All rooms come with a flat-screen TV and a shared bathroom.
For more places to stay in Vienna you can check the latest prices here.