A Vienna city break offers an exciting mix of imperial grandeur, cultural gems and lively nightlife. It’s one of the great European cities and enchants its visitors with an endless list of attractions and iconic sights. If you’re planning to visit for a few days, you’ll want to explore as much as you can. For some inspiration, we’ve put together the perfect three day itinerary.
Long Weekend in Vienna Day 1
Visiting the city’s major sights and landmarks is a great introduction to Vienna, best done at the start of your long weekend in Vienna when you’ve got plenty of energy. Sightseeing tours are an easy and affordable way to cram in as many activities as possible in a short space of time.
A bus tour departs daily from the city opera house with many stops along the way, where you can hop on and off at your own leisure.
One of the most popular attractions includes St. Stephen’s Cathedral. This dramatic piece of architecture was started during the 12th century, but wasn’t fully completed until almost 300 years later. It houses some precious works of art and you can even experience one of the daily church services.
The square in front of the cathedral, known as Stephansplatz, is a great place to relax and take the weight off your feet. Marvel at the unique street performers or indulge in one the city’s most famous culinary delights, Sachertorte. All of the cafes serve up this heavenly chocolate cake dessert with apricot jam, usually served with lashings of whipped cream. It’s just the sugar rush you’ll need to continue with your sightseeing extravaganza.
From here, visit another spectacular feat of architecture, the Hofburg Imperial Palace which was built in the 13th century. This opulent building has been home to some of Europe’s most influential royal families, and is now home to a museum which showcases a collection of imperial household objects.
Now you’ve got all the sightseeing out of the way, it’s time to enjoy a cold drink at one of city’s watering holes. Some of the best can be found in the trendy area, Bermudadreieck.
It’s also known as the Bermuda Triangle, where patrons are known to get lost in the many bars, only to stumble out a few days later sporting a very bad hangover.
Of course, you can practice moderation at one of the many pubs which play live music into the early hours.
Long Weekend in Vienna Day 2
It’s now time to explore some of the city’s vibrant culture with a visit to some of its famed museums. Located close to the Imperial Palace, you’ll find one of the ten largest cultural quarters in the world, MuseumsQuartier. This sprawling complex is home to The Museum of Natural History, which has some impressive exhibits including fossils from the ice age and a digital planetarium.
Art fanatics will love an afternoon at the Museum of Modern Art or the Leopold Museum—a treasure-trove of masterpieces including the largest Egon Schiele collection in the world.
Once you’ve got your cultural fix, you can enjoy a late lunch or early dinner at the museum’s hip and urbane Café Leopold. During the summer, the terrace has stunning views over a picturesque courtyard. In the evenings, the venue transforms into a funky hangout complete with DJ’s and a dance floor.
If you’re looking for something a little more refined, head to the Vienna State Opera House, which hosts a huge range of world-renowned productions.
With a different program every day of either ballet or opera, there’s plenty to choose from but be sure to book in advance so you don’t miss out. Alternatively, head to the beautiful concert hall Musikverein for a night of classical music from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
Long Weekend in Vienna Day 3
For the last day of your long weekend in Vienna, to get an authentic taste of Vienna, explore the city by bicycle, like many of the locals. The city boasts over 1000 kilometers of bike paths and there’s plenty of tour operators providing rental.
It’s a great way to explore the old city and visit some of the attractions you may have missed on day one, including the Parliament building and the national theatre of Vienna.
Be sure to stop at one of the street food stands or cafe which are common throughout the city. Your trip won’t be complete without sampling one of the local delicacies, Käsekrainer. This sausage oozes with melted cheese and is best washed down with a cold beer.
If you’re looking for a healthier option, head to the famed deli, Tongues. Organic veg and locally sourced produce is at the forefront of their menu of hearty, healthful dishes for surprisingly low prices.
To finish your city break in style, why not treat yourself to a shopping splurge. Mariahilfer Straße is the best spot—a mile of boutique retailers alongside sprawling department stores and high end designers. Alternatively, pay a visit to the city’s largest open-air market, the Naschmarkt, to grab yourself a bargain.
There’s plenty of food stalls selling delicious produce or you can do your best to find an antique treasure. It’s also a great place to find that quirky souvenir.
It’s now time to relax, enjoy one last slice of cake and reflect on your awesome break in Vienna. Three days isn’t a long time to explore Austria’s capital but with this itinerary you can’t go wrong.