One day in Vienna introduces you to a fascinating world of culture, history, and magic.
Vienna is a beautiful city with a rich history and culture. Even if you only have one day, there are many things to see and do in Vienna.
For a city with such a deep and rich history, we recommend 2 or 3 days, but only if you are on short time, this article is designed to help you find the must-sees in Vienna in one day and buy your tickets online so that you can spend a perfect 24 hours without the risk of standing in line or running out of tickets. We've also included the most popular and must-see event tickets, which you can instantly purchase online for select attractions.
If you only have 24 hours and want to learn the top things to do in Vienna in one day, this guide will be very helpful to plan time and budget planning for you.
While preparing this article, we assume that you have already arrived in Vienna and have a place to stay.
If you are not sure where to stay, you can take a look at the where to stay in Vienna for first timers that we have carefully selected and recommended for you, as well as other helpful articles like our airport guide,
If you're ready, let your perfect day in Vienna begin!
How To Get Around in Vienna
The central area of Vienna’s historic downtown can be easily walked, however not all of the city’s sites are clustered together, so just planning on walking the city isn’t very practical. However, there are several sites that can easily be walked between, and it’s a great way to experience the ambiance of Vienna.
2. By Bicycle
The city center of Vienna, and the majority of tourist attractions, are reachable by bicycle.
Your accommodation should be able to arrange 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.
Here are very popular bike tours:
3. By Public Transport
The most convenient way to explore Vienna is to use the S-Bahn, U-Bahn, buses and trams.
- U-Bahn: 5 underground lines run in Vienna. The network has a route length of 83 kilometers with a total of 109 stops.
- S-Bahn: also called Schnellbahn, connects Vienna with the surrounding area
- Trams and Buses: 28 tram lines and 129 bus lines operate in Vienna every day.
Taking public transportation is the most convenient method to get around Vienna (Single ticket: €2.40, 24-hour ticket €8)
Tickets are available at:
- The multilingual ticket machines (subway stations)
- All advance sales points and the online shop of the Vienna Lines
- In most tobacco shops
- On a smartphone via the WienMobil app
This permits unlimited use of the city’s metro, tram, and bus lines, which can be purchased in advance.
You can also check our
Do not attempt to travel to or from the airport with Vienna transport tickets. Vienna airport lies outside the tariff zone, and you will need to purchase a separate ticket to travel on the trains to and from the airport.
Instead, use the CAT ticket and travel on board the City Airport Train between Vienna Airport and the city center. Travel with the CAT ticket safely, and relaxed, without hitting the traffic in just 16 minutes. You can buy your
4. Vienna City Pass
A city pass is a wise investment that gives you access to the best attractions, activities, and public transportation while saving you time and money.
Vienna City Card is available for 1, 2, or 3 consecutive days, and prices range from 24 hours for €17, to 3 days of use + airport transfer for €29
The Vienna City Card also discounts over 210 popular attractions, so it’s worth the investment.
- You can purchase your
Vienna City Card here.
5. By Hop On Hop Off Bus
Standard buses and Hop-on, Hop-off Sightseeing buses are available in Vienna with the City Card.
This bus lets you jump on and off throughout the city, and explore monuments such as the Hofburg, House of Music, or the Schönbrunn Palace.
This option is always popular among tourists, and it's a great way to see many famous landmarks around Vienna at ease.
You can purchase your tickets online in advance below:
6. By Guided Tour
Some of the best experiences we had in Vienna have been on private tours.
For those who are short on time, or prefer everything to be organized, we picked the best and most popular guided tours.
From food tours to river cruises and pub crawls, there’s plenty to keep you busy in the Austrian capital:
- Guided Walking Tour of City Center Highlights
- Tickets for Vienna: Jewish Quarter Self-Guided Audio Tour
- Tickets for Museum Quarter Vienna: Guided Tour
- Boat Cruise on the Danube Canal with Optional Lunch
- Tickets for Self-Guided Music Walking Tour Vienna
- Vienna Welcome Tour: Private Tour with a Local Guide
- Skip the Line: Schönbrunn Palace & Vienna City Tour
- World War II Historical Walking Tour
- 1.5-Hour Underground Walking Tour
One Day in Vienna Itinerary
Welcome to Vienna, Austria's cultural golden jewel, where history, art, and gastronomic delights converge. With only one day in this wonderful city, we made the most of your time by planning an itinerary that includes all of Vienna's greatest attractions for you.
With this well-planned itinerary, you can experience some of its most iconic sights in just 24 hours.
While Schönbrunn Palace is a gorgeous location and an important Vienna landmark, seeing the palace complex in one day is not practicable. Schönbrunn Palace would take roughly 4 hours to tour at a quick pace, that's why we have not included it in our itinerary. You can learn more about Schönbrunn Palace here.
Furthermore, because Schönbrunn is located near the outside of the city, you'd need to travel at least an hour on public transport to get there and back, if you want to visit the palace.
We recommend that you extend your stay to at least two days; nonetheless, we have included some of the most popular Schönbrunn tickets below:
Let's go on an unforgettable trip to view the must-see landmarks in Vienna.
Cafés in Vienna are more than just classic coffee shops. The
With its extensive cuisine, stylish and cozy interior design, and clean, kind service, it is the perfect place to start the day with an extensive or light breakfast and say welcome to the day with delicious coffee. In summer, chairs are set up in front of the café.
2. St. Stephen's Cathedral
After your breakfast, reach St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna's crowning jewel and an architectural marvel, within a 6-minute walk.
This awe-inspiring Gothic cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and stands majestically at the heart of the city, with its colorful tiled roof and towering spires drawing you in from afar.
Step inside to explore the interior adorned with intricate carvings, stunning stained-glass windows, and historical artifacts. For a breathtaking view of Vienna, climb the South Tower, but be prepared for a few hundred steps - the panorama of the cityscape is well worth the effort.
3. Graben Vienna
After experiencing St. Stephen's Cathedral's spiritual and historical significance, head to Graben after a 3-minute walk. It is one of Vienna's most bustling and stylish locations.
Graben Square is a famous pedestrianized shopping street in Vienna. It is home to a number of high-end stores, restaurants, and cafes. The square is also known for its iconic Pestsäule, or Plague Column, which was erected in 1683 to commemorate the plague epidemic in 1679.
This pedestrian-friendly boulevard, lined with numerous stores, vibrant cafés, and spectacular architecture, provides a pleasant shopping experience.
4. Hofburg Imperial Palace
A 10 minute-walk from Graben will take you to one of the most important landmarks of Vienna.
Be sure to add Hofburg Palace to your list of must-see attractions. This magnificent palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is a truly unforgettable sight.
Hofburg Palace is one of the largest palaces in the world, and it is located in the heart of Vienna, Austria. The palace has been the seat of the Habsburg dynasty for centuries, and it is now home to a number of museums, including the Imperial Apartments, the Sisi Museum, and the Spanish Riding School.
- You can find a guide and tips about Hofburg Imperial Palace via this link.
If you want to see the whole palace, you need to spend an average of 3 hours, but if you want to fit more activities into one day in Vienna, you can visit only the parts that interest you instead of visiting the whole palace.
You can find the best Hofburg Palace and Spanish Riding School tours and tickets below:
- Tickets for Hofburg Palace and Sisi Museum: Guided Tour
- Tickets for Hofburg Palace and Konzerthaus Strauss & Mozart Concert
- Tickets for Vienna: Skip-the-Line Sisi Museum, Hofburg Palace and Gardens Tour
- Skip-the-Line Hofburg Ticket & Sisi Museum Tour
- Sisi Museum Tickets
- Imperial Treasury Tickets
For a regal dining experience, treat yourself to lunch at Café Imperial Wien, an elegant establishment that has been serving Viennese delicacies for over a century.
Taste traditional dishes like Wiener Schnitzel or Tafelspitz, and don't forget to try the famous Sachertorte, a rich chocolate cake that's a true Viennese classic.
The traditional Viennese café has been located in Palais Ferstel since 1896 and was a meeting place for poets, thinkers and revolutionaries of old Vienna for decades. Sigmund Freud, Stefan Zweig, and Leon Trotsky were often guests in what was then the Literature Café. In summer you can sit in the small garden in front of the café.
After satisfying your palate, it is only a 4-minute walk to Karlskirche (St. Charles Church).
Karlskirche is a Baroque church located in the center of Vienna. It was built in the early 18th century by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, and it is dedicated to Saint Charles Borromeo.
The church is famous for its two towering columns, which are decorated with bas-reliefs depicting the life of Saint Charles.
Karlskirche is a popular tourist destination, and it is estimated that over 2 million people visit the church each year. The church is open to visitors from 9 am to 6 pm, and there is no admission fee.
As the sun starts to set, make your way to Vienna's oldest and most famous open-air market, Naschmarkt. There are many shops selling fresh vegetables, spices, unusual fruits, handmade crafts, and international cuisine.
Take a leisurely stroll through the market, taking in the lively ambience and eating delectable foods from all over the world. Whether you're a foodie or just looking for souvenirs, Naschmarkt is a sensory experience that embodies the spirit of Vienna's culinary culture.
- Check our Guide to Naschmarkt in Vienna for more information.
You can find guided tours below:
Don't leave your shopping till Sunday. Just like in a lot of Western European countries, shops here are closed on Sundays. And we mean all of them - even grocery shops.
So be sure to get everything you need on Saturday at the latest.
For dinner, we recommend a traditional Viennese restaurant like Schweizerhaus, located directly in Prater. The restaurant with the large beer garden is open from March 15th to October 31st. The cuisine is classic Viennese and of course, there are the typical snacks that should not be missing in any beer garden.
The Biergarten is divided into several areas, which are named after the districts of Vienna for better orientation for the guests. A special feature is the Budweiser Budvar, a draft beer, and the Schweizerhauser beer chocolate, which is made with bock beer.
- Whether you want to dine in a specific part of town, try a particular Viennese cuisine, or explore more culinary ideas from Austria that you may not have heard of,
our list with 22 Selected Restaurants in Vienna has the perfect answer for you.
Be sure to take a look at our other food articles:
9. Evening in Vienna: Culture or Fun?
We have two suggestions for the best way to finish your day in Vienna: a night of music and culture at a classical concert, or a fun-filled night at the Prater amusement park.
9.1 Attempt a Classical Concert
Music is an essential part of cultural life in Vienna and has a significant impact on the city and its identity. Throughout the year, classical concerts are held at historic venues.
Even though 24 hours may seem too short to explore such a magnificent city and attend a concert, you can be sure that you will experience some of Vienna's most enchanting and historically significant attractions.
After a delicious dinner, you can enjoy a classical concert in one of Vienna's centuries-old palaces or opera buildings.
To save you time, we have listed the most popular and current concert guides and concert tickets below:
Unique Concert Tickets:
- Tickets for Vienna Mozart Orchestra at the Musikverein with Pre- or Post-Concert Dinner
- Tickets for St. Anne's Church Vienna: Classical Concert
- Tickets for Kursalon Vienna: Strauss and Mozart Concert
- Tickets for Vienna Mozart Orchestra at the Musikverein
- Tickets for Vivaldi's Four Seasons concert at Karlskirche - St. Charles' Church
As previously mentioned, we suggest purchasing all of your tickets online to avoid waiting in line or the risk of tickets being sold out.
9.2 Prater Amusement Park
Looking for an alternative evening activity in Vienna with kids? Look no further than the well-known Prater! Take an exciting journey on the Giant Ferris Wheel, which offers stunning city views as the day sets. Enjoy the attractions of the amusement park, which will keep the kids interested for hours.
As the night falls, after enjoying a delicious dinner in the cozy environment of the aforementioned Schweizerhaus, the Prater guarantees an entertaining evening in Vienna with its dynamic atmosphere and historic charm.
You can embrace the magic of this iconic landmark with the whole family. Fascinating vistas, laughter-filled moments, and wonderful treats make for cherished memories that will last long after the night is over.
- If you never heard about the
Vienna Ferris Wheel you should check this guide as well as our complete guide about the Prater amusement park.
Popular Ticket Options:
More Things About Vienna
As your day in Vienna draws to a close, reflect on the myriad of experiences you've encountered.
Vienna, a city of grandeur and elegance, has captivated travelers for centuries with its rich history, architectural wonders, and cultural treasures. Although a one-day trip to Vienna may only show the surface of what Vienna has to offer, it can still leave a lasting impression.
From the Gothic splendor of St. Stephen's Cathedral to the imperial opulence of Hofburg Palace, and the culinary delights of Naschmarkt, every moment in Vienna is an opportunity to immerse yourself in its timeless charm.
If you don't have any further details or plans for the city, don't forget to check out our comprehensive Vienna guide.
If you want to do something different in the city, meet new people, possibly explore your own city again, or avoid returning to previously visited areas, we've gathered some of the most popular and recommended tours and tickets below.
One day in Vienna must-see experiences await you - purchase your tickets online and make it a memorable visit:
- Tickets for Museum Quarter Vienna: Guided Tour
- Austrian Folklore Dinner + Show in City Hall
- Tickets for Vienna's Giant Ferris Wheel: Skip The Line
- Tickets for KHM Kunsthistorischesmuseum: Skip The Line
- Spanish Riding School Tickets
- Vienna panoramic Night Bus
- Tickets for Vienna: City Segway Tour