Are you planning a trip to Vienna and wondering how many days you need to see the city? The first time I visited Vienna was for a weekend getaway and I tried to see everything. I mean really everything and it was exhausting! So my advice is to spare at least 3 days for your trip. The itinerary 3 days in Vienna will show you the most famous sites in the city plus where to eat the most delicious schnitzel in Vienna.
If you decide to try some of the restaurants in this itinerary for dinner, make a reservation in any case.
However if you have only 2 days to see Vienna you will have to skip some of the sites. Check out the itinerary 2 days in Vienna, to see how to plan your time. You can also use the itinerary Vienna in 3 days, just skip the third day.
If you haven’t picked a hotel yet, find out where to stay in Vienna to get the best of the city.
The best way to see the city and save time is by using hop-on hop-off bus tour.
3 days in Vienna itinerary map
08:30 AM – 09:30 AM
Start the first day of the itinerary 3 days in Vienna with a breakfast at Le Bol or L. Heiner.
L. Heiner has the typical atmosphere of a Viennese café. Take a cup of coffee and a delicious piece of cake to sweeten your day.
Le Bol is a French café and it is a great place if you want something substantial for breakfast. Their Croque-monsieur is mouth-watering.
09:30 AM – 11:30 AM
St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom)
The Gothic cathedral, Stephansdom, is one of the most famous sites in the city. You can visit the cathedral itself, the Treasury or to climb the South Tower. The treasury is worth it unless you are also planning to see the Imperial treasury in Hofburg. In this case choose one of them. There is also a guided tour for the cathedral’s catacombs.
11:45 AM – 12:00 PM
Plague Column (Pestsäule)
The Plague Column is erected to celebrate the end of the Great Plague epidemic in 1679. The column is right in the center of the most famous shopping street in Vienna – Graben.
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM
St. Peter’s Church (Peterskirche)
St. Peter’s Church is easy to miss, but don’t! Although this Baroque Roman Catholic church is small, it is a real gem inside.
12:30 PM – 02:30 PM
On the first day of the itinerary 3 days in Vienna you can try Trześniewski or Hopferl.
Trześniewski offers delicious little sandwiches. You can choose from many variations. They go along great with a cold beer.
Hopferl is a traditional Austrian pub and it is a nice option for a longer lunch.
02:30 PM – 04:30 PM
Imperial Palace (Hofburg) and the Imperial Treasury (Schatzkammer)
Hofburg is the former Imperial palace. It houses three museums: the Imperial Apartments, the Sisi Museum and the Silver Collection. Buying a ticket for Hofburg allows you to enter all of them.
You need a separate ticket only for the Imperial Treasury.
04:45 PM – 05:00 PM
Austrian Parliament building
You can’t pass without noticing this beautiful white building in Greek style. Since the 19th century this is the place where the Austrian parliament conducts its sessions.
05:00 PM – 05:15 PM
New City Hall (Rathaus)
The Neo-Gothic building of the Rathaus is outstanding, especially at night. If you have a chance to take a look at it in the evening, do it! In fact many of the buildings in Vienna are illuminated at night. Don’t miss the view!
Take the underground
Take metro line U2 (Direction Seestadt): from station Rathaus to Praterstern Bf – 4 stop.
05:45 PM – 07:00 PM
Vienna Prater and Viennese Giant Ferris Wheel (Wiener Riesenrad)
No visit to Vienna is complete without a ride on the Giant ferris wheel. The 64.75-metre (212 ft) tall Ferris wheel does only one slow turn. The Giant ferris wheel is in the Prater, a huge amusement park. If you are not into such parks, you can skip it. Just go for the Giant ferris wheel.
Combine a visit to Schonbrunn Zoo and Giant Ferris Wheel in one ticket and save money!
Take the underground back to the city center. There are two great places to dine close to St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
If you love spare ribs, go to Ribs of Vienna. They offer more than 20 variations of ribs.
If you prefer a traditional Austrian restaurant, try Gasthaus Pöschl.
08:30 AM – 09:30 AM
Start the second day of the itinerary what to do in 3 days in Vienna with a breakfast at Ulrich.
09:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Natural History Museum (Naturhistorisches Museum) and Kunsthistorisches Museum
These identical buildings from 19th century house the Habsburgs’ collections. It is not possible to see both of them in 2 hours, so choose the one that is more interesting for you. If you are into art and history, Kunsthistorisches Museum is the better choice. I found their Egyptian and art collections fascinating. On the other hand the Natural History Museum houses the unique 29,500-year-old statue of Venus of Willendorf and enormous dinosaur skeletons. It’s a really tough choice.
11:45 AM – 12:15 PM
Burggarten and Mozart Statue
Take a rest in the Burggarten and see the famous Mozart Statue.
12:15 PM – 12:30 PM
Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper)
Pass along the beautiful 19th century old building of the Vienna State Opera.
Enjoy a performance from the Vienna Mozart Orchestra at the Vienna State Opera.
12:30 PM – 02:30 PM
On the second day of the itinerary what to do in 3 days in Vienna choose between Café Museum and Phil.
Café Museum is a traditional Viennese café where you can order a lunch besides the usual cakes and coffee. Or you can eat few pieces of cake instead lunch as I did.
Phil combines a regular coffee shop with a book store.
02:30 PM – 03:00 PM
St. Charles’s Church (Karlskirche)
St. Charles’s Church is an outstanding Baroque church from 18th century. The entrance ticket is also valid for the elevator to the dome.
03:15 PM – 03:30 PM
Schwarzenbergplatz and Soviet War Memorial
The Soviet War Memorial commemorates the soldiers who died in the Battle for Vienna during the World War II.
03:45 PM – 05:30 PM
Belvedere Palace (Belvedere Schloss)
Belvedere palace used to be the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy. The palace is housed in two buildings separated by a huge park. In the Upper Belvedere you can see the world’s largest collection of Gustav Klimt’s paintings. The most interesting part in the Lower Belvedere are few restored rooms.
Finish the last day of the itinerary 3 days in Vienna with dinner at Wiener Wiazhaus or Salm Bräu.
Salm Bräu is a few centuries old brewery. It is worth visiting for the beer.
However I love the food in Wiener Wiazhaus more.
08:30 AM – 09:30 AM
Start the last day of the itinerary with a breakfast at Waldemar Tagesbar.
09:30 AM – 01:30 PM
Schönbrunn Palace (Schloss Schönbrunn) and the gardens
Schönbrunn Palace is the former imperial summer residence. The rooms in the palace are well preserved and you can see about 40 of them. There are different kind of tickets, see all of them here.
Soak up the melodies of Strauss and Mozart with a 2-hour concert in Orangery at Schonbrunn Palace.
The gardens are huge.
There a lot of fearless squirrels you can feed with nuts. I don’t go there without a package of walnuts in my pocket.
The most interesting sites in the gardens are: Gloriette, the Maze and the Palmenhaus. For all of them you will need a ticket.
At the entrance of the palace there is an Imperial Carriage Museum (Kaiserliche Wagenburg).
You can also attend an Apple Strudel Show.
As you see there are a lot of options to choose from and you will have to make a choice. If you want to see all of this you will need a full day, not only the morning. It is up to you.
01:30 PM – 02:30 PM
On the last day of the itinerary Vienna in 3 days have a lunch at Café Restaurant Residenz or Landtmann’s Jausen Station. Both of them are located on the grounds of the palace.
02:30 PM – 06:00 PM
Vienna Zoo (Tiergarten Schönbrunn) or Vienna Danube Tower (Donauturm)
If you are done with the palace and the gardens you have two options for the afternoon. You can visit the amazing zoo in the garden of the palace or the Danube Tower.
The Vienna Zoo is the oldest one in the world and it is huge. You will need hours to see it.
If you stick with this option you can have dinner at Brandauers Schlossbräu or Plachutta. Brandauers Schlossbräu is a typical Austrian pub, while Plachutta is a little more formal.
Vienna Danube Tower
The tower is far away from the palace and you have to use the public transport.
Take metro line U4 (Direction Heiligenstadt): from station Schönbrunn to Schwedenplatz – 9 stops. Then change to metro line U1 (Direction Leopoldau): from station Schwedenplatz to Kaisermühlen – 5 stops. From there you have to walk about 1,5km to reach the Vienna Danube Tower.
A huge calm park surrounds the tower. From the top of the 252 metres (827 ft) you can enjoy spectacular views.
For dinner return to the city center and try Gasthaus Pfudl or Restaurant Pürstner. Both of them serve delicious Austrian food.