May 8, 2021

3 Days in Vienna: The Perfect Vienna 3 Day Itinerary

Vienna is one of the most underrated cities to visit in Europe and one of the best places to visit in Austria. Plus, 3 days in Vienna is all you need to have a fantastic trip!

From trying tasty local delicacies like bratwurst and sacher torte to exploring three different breathtaking palaces directly within the city, there are so many things to do in Vienna.

Without further ado, here is how to spend three days in Vienna!

How to Get to Vienna

Because Vienna is a big city in Austria, there are multiple ways that you can quickly get there. You have your choice of transportation to visit Vienna in 3 days!

Bus

The most affordable to get to Vienna if you’re already in Europe is to take the bus. While this may not be the most comfortable way to travel, it can save you tons of money. I’m speaking from experience here! 

Flixbus is the most popular bus company, but there are also other options. Be sure to check a website like Omio to compare prices for different companies. This is also a great way to find the time and route that works best for you.

The majority of buses will bring you to either Wien Hauptbahnhof or Vienna International Busterminal.

Train

A more comfortable (yet still affordable) way to get to Vienna is by taking the train. Almost every train will end at Wien Hauptbahnhof, and you can get the train from most bigger cities in the area, even if it’s across Europe.

When it comes to booking trains, keep in mind that it is always worth it to also buy your assigned seating. Otherwise, you’ll have to hop from seat to seat because sometimes a seat you sit in might be booked by someone else for a certain length of your trip. Dishing out the small amount of money for a seat can save you headaches later and make you a lot more comfortable.

Car

Another easy way to get to Vienna if you’re in Europe is to drive a car. This gives you a lot of freedom when it comes to getting to the city because you’ll have the ability to go anywhere you want without relying on public transportation.

You can also rent a car if you’d like, even if you’re from another country. Just be sure to check and see if you need to have an International Driver’s License to be able to rent.

Plane

The most popular way to get to the city for this Vienna 3 day itinerary is to fly there! The Vienna International Airport is technically located right out of the city in Schwechat, but you can easily get public transportation to the city center from the airport.

To get downtown from the airport, you’ll want to take the City Airport Train. This is easily the quickest way to get to the city, especially if you can get on the S7 Express Train.

Transportation in Vienna

Vienna has made transportation within the city easy. Even if you aren’t a big fan of public transport, you’ll be shocked at how simple it is to get from one place to another. 

S-Bahn

The S-Bahn is the regional train, which you will most likely only use to get to the city from the airport. You won’t have to use it otherwise unless you’re traveling a bit further outside of the city.

U-Bahn

The U-Bahn is also known as the subway and is the most popular way to get around the city. There are five different subway lines that have multiple stops throughout the city. You can get almost anywhere riding the U-Bahn, and it will get you there really quickly.

Autobus

City buses can be found throughout Vienna and can provide a quick way to get around if there isn’t traffic. If you aren’t investing in a transportation ticket, tickets for the bus are relatively affordable.

Straßenbahn

I used the straßenbahn most often when getting around the city. It’s essentially a tram that can get you throughout the city. While it’s not as quick as the U-Bahn, it provides you a great ride to get where you want to go. Plus, because it’s above ground, you can enjoy the sights of Vienna during your ride.

24-, 48-, or 72-Hour Ticket

To save money during your 3 days in Vienna, if you know you’ll be using public transportation, you need to purchase one of these tickets! I suggest buying the 72-hour ticket for three days in Vienna, but if you know that you won’t need to use public transportation every day, then purchase one of the other ones.

With these tickets, you can use public transportation pretty freely to get around. Not only does this make it, so you don’t have to keep purchasing tickets every time you want to use public transportation, but it also saves you tons of money.

One thing to keep in mind is to make sure that you validate your ticket before you board. There are blue validation points near the trains’ barriers, so be careful not to miss them. 

A 24-hour pass costs €8 ($10), a 48-hour pass is €14 ($17), and a 72-hour pass is €17 ($21).

When to Visit Vienna 

There is not a bad time to visit Vienna in 3 days. Despite saying that, you can easily plan your trip to the city around when most people visit so that you can best enjoy your trip without the crowds.

The majority of people will visit Vienna in the summer because the weather is perfect. The temperature averages around 75°F, but keep in mind that the summer also gets the most rain. Because so many people visit during the summer, accommodation prices can be higher during this time. Transportation to get to Vienna may also be higher.

If you want to spend 3 days in Vienna during the time that not many people visit, consider going in the winter. The temperature is around 39°F, and they have a lot of fun events, specifically in the winter, like the Christmas markets. You can usually find affordable accommodation if you visit during this time.

The absolute best time to visit Vienna (in my opinion) is in the spring or fall! I visited during the spring, and the whole city was buzzing, but it was not very busy. The average temperature is around 60°F, so the weather is truly beautiful. 

Where to Stay in Vienna

No matter your budget, you can find a great place to stay for your 3 days in Vienna.

Wombats City Hostel Naschmarkt

The Wombats City Hostel Naschmarkt is the perfect place to stay if you’re traveling on a strict budget. The hotel is right next to Naschmarkt, which is a great weekend market in the city. Plus, you can walk to Hofburg Palace from here. Staying at hostels is also great if you’re a solo traveler or know you want to meet other travelers. 

Hotel ibis budget Wien Messe

This is the hotel that I stayed at during my 3 days in Vienna, and it’s in the perfect location! It’s right next to the Prater Amusement Park and Anker Cafe, which is my favorite place to get chocolate croissants in the city. The hotel is relatively affordable, and it’s next to a U-Bahn station that can get you almost right to the airport.

Boutique Hotel Donauwalzer

For a nicer stay, consider booking your accommodation at the Boutique Hotel Donauwalzer. It has a cafe, breakfast buffet, spa, and even a pool. It’s also located pretty centrally, so you can get almost anywhere that you want in the city pretty easily.

Vienna Day 1

Your first of 3 days in Vienna, you’ll probably be tired since you just landed there! So, today, there aren’t a whole lot of things to do on the itinerary in case you’re genuinely exhausted. Of course, you can add in some more stops if you feel up to it!

Bitzinger

After you first land, you’ll probably be in the mood to get a delicious meal! Arguably, if you’re wondering what to do in Vienna during your first day, you do not want to miss out on heading straight to Bitzinger. This is the most popular wurstel stand in the city.

You might be wondering what is wurst? Well, it’s essentially a sausage that’s made with pork and beef as the main ingredients. It’s one of the best foods to try when visiting Vienna. At Bitzinger, you can get this in many different flavors!

Arguably, the most popular kind to try here is called Kasekrainer, a wurst filled with cheese. Be sure also to try some of the fries that they sell, which are available in a few flavors.

There are two different locations in the city. If you’re staying near Prater Amusement Park, then you can go to the stand there. The other location is at the Albertina, which is more downtown Vienna! 

Rathaus

From the Albertina Bitzinger stand, make your way to Rathaus. It’s only twenty minutes away by foot, or you can take the U2, which will get you there in ten minutes.

Rathaus is the city hall in Vienna, which was built in the nineteenth century. It’s a great example of Gothic-style architecture, and it’s stunning.

This is also a popular meeting place throughout the year, especially for city-wide events. For example, if you visit in the winter, this is actually where the Christkindlmarkt is held! In the summer, they host lots of fun markets and other local vendors.

Free tours of the building are available on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 1 p.m.

Sigmund Freud Museum

Make your way to the Sigmund Freud Museum after exploring Rathaus! If you weren’t able to go inside Rathaus, you’ll be able to go inside the Freud Museum. To get there, go on a fifteen-minute walk. Along the way, if you have time, be sure to walk through Sigmund Freud Park!

The museum opened in 1971 and is dedicated to the psychologist Sigmund Freud. All of the exhibits tell his life story and feature artifacts from his own home. 

Tickets cost €14 ($17) and can be purchased either online or right at the museum. Because the museum is pretty small, you most likely won’t need more than an hour to explore it fully!

Dinner at a Local Restaurant

To end your first day, go out to eat at a local restaurant. There are tons of great options, so here are a few top-rated restaurants in the city!

Rinderwahn is the perfect place to go if you love burgers. It’s tasteful fast food, and they also have vegetarian options.

Cafe Anzengruber is an excellent option if you want to try classic Austrian dishes at an affordable price. This is a favorite among both locals and tourists.

The Palmenahus is situated inside of a botanical garden and will genuinely take your breath away. The menu has tons of different options and even great cocktails.

Vienna Day 2

Welcome to day two on this Vienna 3 day itinerary! Hopefully, you got a good night’s sleep, because day two is filled with lots of activities you won’t want to miss.

Breakfast at Anker Cafe

Start your morning off right by heading to a cafe. My personal favorite is the Anker Cafe which has a few locations around the city. There’s even one next to the Prater Amusement Park.

While Anker Cafe is a bit of a regional chain, they have so many great treats. You’ll want to try the chocolate croissants. The inside tastes a lot like brownie batter, and it’s the best chocolate croissant I’ve ever had!

While you’re eating breakfast, there’s no need to worry about what to do in Vienna for the rest of the day. Read on for what to do next!

Stadtpark (City Park)

Head to Stadtpark as your first stop of the day after breakfast. This is a big park in the Innere Stadt in the city. 

The park won’t take long for you to explore, but it’s peaceful early in the morning. If you’re lucky enough to be visiting in the spring or the summer, you’ll be able to see the gorgeous colors of the garden throughout the park. There are even great statues, like fun penguins.

St. Stephen’s Cathedral

With a quick thirteen-minute walk, head to St. Stephen’s Cathedral. From Stadtpark, it can also be reached with a seven-minute ride on the U3 towards Wien Ottakring if you get off at Stephansplatz. If you’re wondering what to do in Vienna in 3 days, this is one experience you won’t want to miss out on.

The church was built in the twelfth century but was rebuilt recently because it was destroyed during World War II.

What makes this church so gorgeous is the mosaic roof. It will take your breath away the second you see it. The roof is made up of around 200,000 mosaic tiles.

While you can go inside the church for free, you’ll want to pay €6 ($7) to climb to the top of the South Tower. There are 343 steps to get to the top, and they do wind all the way up. As you’re walking up, other people are walking down using the same small stairwell. If you’re claustrophobic, this is not the kind of climb for you. This is by no means an easy climb, but the view is well worth it. It’s one of the best views in Europe from above.

If you know that you won’t want to climb those stairs, you can still see a beautiful view from the North Tower, which can be reached by elevator. This costs just €6.50 ($8).

The whole experience at the cathedral will probably take you a minimum of two hours, so plan wisely. 

Lunch

Begin to walk down the famous Graben shopping street, which is filled with historical sights. Make sure you walk towards St. Peter’s Church. Along the way, stop for lunch somewhere. There are lots of great cafes and restaurants in this area, so no matter what you’re in the mood for after your tower climb, you’ll be able to find something tasty.

Be sure also to explore Graben a bit because the architecture here is beautiful.

St. Peter’s Catholic Church

Even though you just saw a church before lunch, this is another one that you will want to stop by and see. It’s breathtaking and was built in the eighteenth century.

While the outside is pretty and unique with its great green dome, the inside is even more striking. Guests are welcome to go inside and explore. Be sure to pay close attention to the detailing throughout.

Be sure to check the church’s schedule because it hosts lots of events throughout the year, including shows with the organs.

Austrian National Library

Next, for your 3 days in Vienna, head to the Austrian National Library. This is truly one of the most beautiful libraries in the entire world, and the inside will take you back in time.

The library opened in the fourteenth century and is a stunning example of Austrian Baroque architecture.

The interior has excellent frescoes on the ceiling, and everywhere you look are more books. There is a small entrance fee of €3 ($4), but it’s well worth it.

Keep in mind that the library is unfortunately closed on Mondays. Don’t make the mistake of trying to visit on a Monday as I did!

Hofburg Palace

Right after exploring the library, walk around the corner to visit Hofburg Palace. This palace was first built in the thirteenth century and is most famous for being the home for the Hapsburg family. Inside, there are more than 2,500 different rooms! Today, it’s the Austrian president’s home.

Visitors can purchase tickets to go inside for €15 ($18) with an audio guide. You can also buy a €36 ($44) for your ticket to include the Sisi Museum. Each ticket also includes access to the Silver Collection and the Imperial Apartments.

Prater Amusement Park

For your last attraction of the day, hop on the U2 from Volkstheater to the Prater Amusement Park. This is one of the most fun attractions in the city, and if you’re wondering what to do in Vienna in 3 days, this is one that you’re not going to want to miss.

The amusement park is open to the public to visit for free! So, anyone can go inside and walk around to view all of the fun. However, if you want to go on any of the rides, you have to pay per ride.

Of course, the prized ride at the amusement park is the Ferris wheel, Wiener Riesenrad! It was built in 1894 and was even the most giant Ferrismany wheel in the world for a while. It stands at 212 feet tall.

While many people opt to ride the Ferris wheel during the day, it’s even better if you ride it at night. You can see the entirety of Vienna lit up from above when the sun starts to go down, which is truly magical. It costs €12 ($15) to ride the Ferris wheel, which may seem like a lot, but it’s well worth it. 

Tickets can be purchased online in advance (which is recommended if you’ll be traveling during peak season), or you can purchase them right at the park when you get there.

Dinner in Prater

For dinner, since you’ll already be in the Prater Amusement Park, you will definitely want just to grab dinner there. Many different restaurants can be found throughout the park, and they serve pretty good food!
A great one that I ate at personally is Zum Englischen Reiter. They serve classic Austrian dishes, and their wiener schnitzel is genuinely the best schnitzel I had during my entire trip in Austria. Plus, they have lots of seating.

Vienna Day 3

For your last of 3 days in Vienna, you’ll be finally visiting two of the most beautiful palaces in the country! If you don’t have a car, this is one day that you will want to make sure you at least have a 24-hour public transportation pass.

Volksgarten

Begin your morning by heading back downtown and strolling the Volksgarten. Similar to yesterday, starting your day off in the garden is just so peaceful. Plus, not many people opt to visit the gardens or public parks in the early morning.

Volksgarten opened in the nineteenth century and was built on top of a city-fortress that Napoleon unfortunately destroyed. Today, it’s a lovely park near Hofburg Palace.

Belvedere Palace

After exploring the palace, hop onto the D tram towards Wien Absberggasse and get off at Schloss Belvedere. This is one palace that you’re not going to want to miss out on!

This palace was built in the early eighteenth century under Prince Eugene of Savoy. Ass you may be able to tell by the architecture, he was heavily inspired by the beauty of Versailles on the outskirts of Paris, France.

Belvedere Palace is technically made up of two different palaces. There is Upper Belvedere, which is more popularly visited, and Lower Belvedere.

If you want to go inside and explore the palaces, it costs €16 ($19) per person. However, if you’re traveling on a budget, then you can just come and explore the illustrious gardens for free! They’re stunning and will take your breath away. 

Cafe Hofburg

After exploring Belvedere Palace, make your way to Cafe Hofburg. You can get there by taking the D tram. This is an excellent place to try Sachertorte, which is essentially a chocolate cake with chocolate icing and apricot jam filling.

While the most popular place to try this is at Hotel Sacher, I can’t recommend enough that you go to Cafe Hofburg instead. The lines to get into Hotel Sacher take hours, especially if you visit during a popular time to eat (such as lunch). However, if you go to Cafe Hofburg, there is usually no line at all. Plus, outdoor seating is abundant, and it’s located right in Hofburg.

While here, you can also order yourself lunch and maybe even an apple strudel!

Schonbrunn Palace

The last stop on your final day in Vienna is Schonbrunn Palace! Save the best attraction for last.

You can easily take the U4 to get to Schonbrunn Palace and note that it is a little out of the city, so it will take close to forty minutes to get there.

Schonbrunn Palace served as the summer home for the Hapsburg family. Yes, this means they had a separate palace besides Hofburg Palace to stay at!

It has 1,441 rooms and is beautiful. The gardens are immaculate and free to visit. If you want the best sunset view in all of Vienna, you’ll want to climb up to the top of the gardens and sit down to watch it set over the palace.

There are many different tickets available, but the most popularly purchased one is the Classic Pass for €28.50 ($35).

After the palace, be sure to go out to grab dinner nearby and even consider hitting up some local bars to celebrate and think back on your 3 days in Vienna!

3 Days in Vienna is Perfect!

If you follow this Vienna 3 day itinerary, you’ll truly have one of the best trips of your life. In fact, Vienna is my favorite city I’ve ever visited, so I know you will have a great time.

Is there anything else that you think should be included on this 3 days in Vienna post? Have you ever been to this magical city? Leave a comment below!

  1. Megan says:

    This looks so wonderful. I saw a deal for visiting Vienna a while back, and I was so tempted to get it except for not knowing what travel would look like. Even though I can’t go this year, I do plan on it in the next couple years and this is so helpful, especially for figuring out how to get around!

  2. Jamie Sharpe says:

    Vienna is so incredible. I miss going to the museums there – will be back after lockdown!

  3. Krista says:

    Vienna is an amazing city to visit! This is a great guide you’ve put together for 3 days. We spent a week there and still feel like we didn’t see everything.

  4. Josy A says:

    I have flown through Vienna sooo many times – I would LOVE to visit properly, see that beautiful architecture and try the tasty treats. I knew I wanted to try the cakes, but I am now VERY tempted to eat a Bitzinger too!

  5. Ildiko says:

    I live, love, love Vienna and have been there several times. I’m always curious to read posts like this to see if there are places that are recommended that I may not have seen yet. There was… I haven’t been to the Freud Museum yet, nor St Peter’s Catholic Church. Next time! My favorite place to visit is the Belvedere with its amazing Klimt exhibition and the secession building. I am a huge Klimt fan!

  6. Anne Betts says:

    Thank you for describing so many interesting things to do in Vienna. I, too, like buying unlimited transit passes. They make it easier to get around a city. I love your photo of the Prater ferris wheel. When I was there it wasn’t operating and I had to console myself with bratwurst in a bun.

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