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Everybody has that certain amount of days where they believe it’s just enough time to check out a city and maybe it’s surrounding areas. I say 3-4 days is good enough. As someone who spends a minimum of month in most countries, I clearly don’t always abide by this rule, but I swear by it. Because I recently traveled to Austria for a short amount of time, I decided to share what to do in Vienna in 3 days. It’s easy to arrive in this city and immediately become overwhelmed, but no worries, this 3 day Vienna itinerary should help.
How I Navigated the City
I caught a bus from Budapest to Vienna that took me to a popular metro station. From there it was extremely easy to simply hop on the train to the city center, where I happened to be staying. While it was quite easy for me to get everywhere I needed to on foot, I know that’s not always possible. The Vienna City Card will not only gain you access to the metro, busses, and trams, but you receive discounted access to over 200 attractions. If you’re spending even more than 3 days in Vienna then you’ll definitely want this card.
I didn’t get the chance to do this in this city but biking is quite popular. As with everything else, bike tours are a great option but I think you’ll manage on your own by renting a bike by using an app or kiosk and setting off on your own.
I recommend visiting Naschmarkt for the first time via a tour as it can be overwhelming. I made the mistake of eating an amazing and filling breakfast at my hotel and then heading to the market. Big mistake. You should definitely arrive at Naschmarkt with an appetite as there are not only plenty of food options, but plenty or samples to be enjoyed as well.
Naschmarkt is also a great place to go thrifting. This marketplace allows locals to sell items and about 80% of the vendors I passed were selling vintage items. There were things like jewelry, old appliances, and an odd number of vintage binoculars. I won’t lie, I truly wanted a pair but what if they were haunted? Besides, I didn’t want to be tempted to spend unnecessary euros.
During my first day anywhere I like to roam around and get a feel for the city on foot. While I do this on my own, I found that Vienna’s main attractions didn’t pop out at me like they would in cities such as Budapest or Paris. And that’s okay. This Walking Tour of Vienna allows you to explore Central Vienna and learn everything from the city’s traditional coffee houses to checking out the Hofbauer complex.
I wouldn’t normally recommend two tours in one day but getting a feel for the city and areas is a great way to immediately scope out what things you definitely want and don’t want to see during your stay.
The Danube Tower
While visiting my last few cities I’ve unintentionally stumbled upon many a panoramic view. While it’s always a nice surprise, it’s become something that I seek out. This time I want you to purposely get a glimpse of the views from the tallest landmark in all of Vienna, the Danube Tower. My favorite time to check out landmarks such as this is right at sunset. The photos are breathtaking so you can imagine what it’s like in real life. Well, you won’t have to imagine since you’ll be there, but you get my drift.
Day Trip to Bratislava
I can’t be the only one that loves ducking off to nearby cities and countries while I’m supposed to be exploring another. Bratislava, Slovakia is barely an hour away from Vienna by train and a must see! While there is a tour from Vienna to Bratislava, I recommend going on your own, and at your own pace. I happened to purchase my tickets the day before for around 30€ roundtrip and the best part was that I could hop on an earlier or later train with no problems. That’s one thing I love about most European trains!
Bratislava may have been my favorite part of this region due to the super cheap beer! You’ll find 0.5 liters for less than 2€ without much effort. I was all too happy to roam the Old Town and take two million photos, but there was also no shortage of places to eat or stop and have a drink.
Depending on when you return to Vienna, you may be looking for something simple to do. If you’ve not yet tired of walking (impossible, I know) then you may want to window-shop along Kaerntnerstrasse. You’ll find everything from Zara to the best kebab’s in the city. This shopping promenade will also connect you to the Vienna State Opera and even St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
This trip back to Naschmarkt is to have a quick (or not-so-quick) bite to eat of whatever you enjoyed during your first visit. Sometimes we have a sample from a place and don’t have time to enjoy a real visit, and other times we don’t have time to eat everywhere we’d like in one day.
Located in the 7th district of Vienna, this art complex offers several museums in one convenient location. This is my version of saving the best for last. I could spend hours and hours in the museum and because there are several in this area, you’re liable to spend at least an hour per museum. I was upset that I didn’t get the chance to visit any so do me a favor and check out at least one museum.
Where I Stayed
On my first night I stayed at Wombats City Hostel Vienna – The Lounge and on my last two nights I stayed at the gorgeous 25Hours Hotel Vienna at MuseumsQuartier. You can read what I think of the hotel here. Both of these locations were near the city center and I walked between the two, luggage and all.
Have you been to Vienna and done any of these activities? Which was your favorite?