How Many Days in Vienna
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How Many Days in Vienna? A Simple Guide for First-timers

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So, you’re heading off to the lovely city of Vienna? You’ll need to find out how many days in Vienna to spend because this lively city has much to offer! When I went in 2018, I spent 5 days in Vienna, but I’ll break down here how I’d lay out an itinerary whether you’re spending only 2 days in Vienna or more. I’ll explain below why I listed each attraction as such, but know that I put the experiences I enjoyed most at the top so that you have the best trip to Vienna possible, even with limited time. So, is Vienna worth visiting?

The Upper Belvedere at the Belvedere Palace in Vienna, how many days in Vienna

Is Vienna Worth Visiting?

Before planning a trip, the first question you should ask is, is Vienna worth visiting? I’ll give you a wholehearted yes! I had a blast in Vienna, as it’s a city filled with history, baroque architecture, and palaces! I also found it to be a very safe city.

When I visited, it just so happened that a friend lived there, and I asked her if it was safe to go out at night solo. She gave me a very confident yes, and even from my own experience, I can sincerely agree.

Another wonderful thing about Vienna is that the public transport is excellent, which you can add to your Vienna Pass. I had no issues getting around, even when the train acted wonky. One night, when I was going out solo, I took the train to my destination, but about halfway through, an announcement came on and said something in German. My German wasn’t good enough to translate, and no one around me seemed bothered, so I stayed put. The train then went in the opposite direction, back toward my hotel. I got off at the next stop, changed trains, rode back one stop, got off, and followed the crowd to a bus the transportation company had provided.

Granted, at the time, this was a bit nerve-wracking. However, I think of it as a testament to how well their system is run, as plenty of buses were waiting for us to take us to the next viable station and continue our journeys. I should also note that this hardly delayed me. My experiences like this in other cities usually resulted in delays and frustration; this did not.

2 Days in Vienna

If you’re short on time and looking to spend 2 days in Vienna, here’s what I’d recommend checking out!

The Hofburg Palace and Sisi Museum

A tour of the Hofburg Palace included viewing the Silver Collection and the Imperial Apartments in Vienna. For over 600 years, up until 1918, the Hofburg Imperial Palace was the political center of the monarchy and the residence of Austrian royalty.

The Sisi Museum provides an incredible look into the life of Empress Elisabeth of Austria (aka Sisi). Before going to Vienna, I knew little about her, so I appreciated that this Hofburg Palace tour was detailed and informative about this extraordinary woman who dealt with many of the same issues we deal with as women today. I recommend adding the Sisi Museum to your itinerary when deciding on how many days in Vienna.

You can also visit the Hofburg Treasury; however, the day I was there, it was closed. There’s also the Imperial Crypt, Imperial Carriage Museum, and Spanish Riding School, neither of which I visited, unfortunately, but I wanted to mention should you fall in love with the Hofburg as I did.

ITINERARY INFO FOR the Hofburg palace & sisi museum

If you have the Vienna Pass, these attractions are covered.

(as of March 2024)

Day Ticket (Hofburg & Sisi Museum)

– Audioguide included
– €19.50 – Adults
– €12.00 – Children (from age 6)
– Duration: 1.5 hours

Day Ticket with Guided Tour

– €24.50 – Adults
– €14.50 – Children (from age 6)
– Duration: 1.5 hours

Sisi Ticket (Schönbrunn Palace, Sisi Museum + Hofburg, & the Vienna Furniture Museum)

– Audioguide included
– €49.00 – Adults
– €33.00 – Children (from age 6)
– Duration: 3 hours

Interior of Austrian National Library in Vienna
Image by Hernán Piñera

State Hall of the Austrian National Library

All my Beauty and the Beast girlies, you’re about to die over this library! The Austrian National Library is the largest library in Austria and is absolutely gorgeous. It’s part of the Hofburg Imperial Palace, making it easy to get to after visiting the Imperial Apartments and Sisi Museum.

The library is as vast as it is breathtaking, with over 12 million items in its collections stretching high up around you. Originally called the Imperial Court Library, the Baroque Library changed its name in 1920. I could have stayed here longer as this library includes four museums, as well as several special collections and archives; however, I only visited this one section because my Mother wasn’t as whooed as I was. But if you are a library lover, you should allot more time here than I did when laying out how many days in Vienna.

ITINERARY INFO FOR the austrian national library

If you have the Vienna Pass, the State Hall is covered.

(as of March 2024)

State Hall Ticket
– €10 – Adults
– Free – Children (under 19)
– €16 – Family (2 Adults + 1 child)
– Duration: .5 hour

Audio guides are an additional fee. Guided tours are available in German only every Thursday at 6 p.m. and every Sunday at 3 p.m.

Tickets are also available for the Literature Museum, Papyrus Museum, as well as the Globe and Esperanto Museum.

Schonbrunn Palace and Gardens

Schönbrunn Palace was the last attraction my Mother and I visited in Vienna. That is simply because it was closest to our hotel after we returned from visiting Germany, Slovenia, and Croatia. Because my trip was split, that’s partly why I wanted to lay out how many days in Vienna for you to decide.

Schönbrunn Palace is one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture and a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. Under the reign of Maria Theresia in the 18th century, Schönbrunn Palace became the focus of court life and continued to be so for many years.

The State Apartments Tour

At Schönbrunn Palace, I took the State Apartments Tour, but you can also explore others, such as the Grand Tour, Imperial Tour, Maria Theresia Guided Tour, and the Franz Joseph Guided Tour. I took the State Apartments tour as that is included with the Vienna Pass, but I encourage you to check out what intrigues you most, as Schönbrunn has so much to offer.

On the State Apartments tour, you see the Great and Small Galleries. From the time of Maria Theresa until the 20th century, the two halls were used for ceremonial events, balls, and private family celebrations. Paintings depict the famous monarch’s important events, which shaped European politics and royalty. Remember, she not only ruled, but many of her children went on to be Kings and Queens, most famously Marie Antoinette. If I recall, you can’t take photos inside, which is why I haven’t posted any here.

With the Vienna Pass, you cannot only do the State Apartments tour at Schönbrunn Palace but also visit the maze, privy garden, zoo, orangery garden, desert house, gloriette, children’s museum, and Apple Strudel Show. Depending on how many of these attractions you wish to visit will greatly influence how many days in Vienna to spend.

Baker at the Apple Strudel Show at Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, is Vienna worth visiting?

Apple Strudel Show

The Apple Strudel Show was important for me to visit as my Mother recalls her Grandmother, who lived in Vienna for a little while, making the flaky pastry. We had visited Slovenia to reconnect with our family roots, so this was an excellent way to end the trip.

The oldest strudel recipe dates back to 1696. It’s now one of Vienna’s most iconic dishes and a must-try when visiting. At the show, you can learn how this delicious dessert is made. Sharing the secrets of making Viennese apple strudel, visitors learn under the guidance of experienced bakers who share stories, techniques, and a recipe you can take home to make on your own.

In a live demonstration, visitors experience the production of Viennese apple strudel, from the preparation of the dough to the finished pastry. The baking show ends with a tasting of the freshly baked apple strudel. This experience is one of the many reasons why I say yes to the question, “Is Vienna worth visiting?”

ITINERARY INFO FOR Schoönbrunn Palace

If you have the Vienna Pass, the State Apartments tour, maze, privy garden, zoo, orangery garden, desert house, gloriette, children’s museum, and Apple Strudel Show are covered. Below is just a listing for palace tours. There are additional costs for the aforementioned other attractions on the premises.

(as of March 2024)

Grand Tour
– Audioguide
– €32 – Adults
– €23 – Children (from age 6)
– Duration: 1 hour

Imperial Tour
– Audioguide
– €27 – Adults
– €19 – Children (from age 6)
– Duration: 40 minutes

State Apartments Tour
– Audioguide
– €22 – Adults
– €14 – Children (from age 6)
– Duration: 25 minutes

Maria Theresa Guided Tour
– €37 – Adults
– €25.50 – Children (from age 6)
– Duration: 50-60 minutes

Franz Joseph Guided Tour
– €37 – Adults
– €25.50 – Children (from age 6)
– Duration: 50-60 minutes

Sisi Ticket (Schönbrunn Palace, Sisi Museum + Hofburg, & the Vienna Furniture Museum)
– Audioguide
– €49 – Adults
– €33 – Children (from age 6)
– Duration: 3 hours

3 Days in Vienna

How many days in Vienna? Well with another day, I recommend the following church as well as some wine and shopping!

Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s Cathedral)

Stephansplatz is a busy square in the center of Vienna, Austria, that you’ve likely seen many times on social media due to the Stephansdom (aka St. Stephen’s Cathedral). The square is named after its most prominent building, the Stephansdom, a cathedral and one of the tallest churches in the world. In this area are several shopping streets as well as new and old architecture.

ITINERARY INFO FOR Stephansdom

Stephansdom isn’t included on the Vienna Pass, however, Dom Museum Wien is which houses the most valuable historic treasures of St. Stephen’s Cathedral as well as classic modernity and contemporary art.

(as of March 2024)

All-Inclusive-Ticket (South and North towers, Catacomb tour, Cathedral museum, and  Treasury of the Teutonic Order)
– Audioguide
– €25 – Adults
– €7 – Children (Age 6-14)

Self-Guided Tour of Cathedral
– €5 – Adults
– €3.50 – Children (from age 14-18)
– €2 – Children (from age 10-14)

Guided Tour of Cathedral
– €7 – Adults
– €2.50 – Children (Age 6-14)

Guided Catacomb Tour
– €7 – Adults
– €2.50 – Children (Age 6-14)

North Tower Tour
– €7 – Adults
– €4 – Children (from age 14-18)
– €2.50 – Children (from age 6-14)

South Tower Tour
– €6.50 – Adults
– €3.50 – Children (from age 14-18)
– €2 – Children (from age 6-14)

Duration: 1 hour

Wine and food at Grinzing in Vienna Austria

Grinzing

Before visiting, one of my Mother’s co-workers who grew up in Vienna recommended visiting Grinzing as my Mom likes wine. Grinzing is an old wine village on the edge of the city. Here, you can try local wine and food in a traditional Heuriger (Wine Tavern) while listening to live music.

To get to Grinzing, you can take the Green Line on the Hop Off Hop On bus, which is included with the Vienna Pass. The other nice thing about the bus, besides being included in the price of the Pass, is that it provides an audioguide available in 16 languages you can listen to along the way. It took us about an hour to get there, but much like my answer to “Is Vienna worth visiting?” Grinzing is also worth a visit if you’re a fan of wine.

You can also check out vineyards and a cemetery, but my Mom and I stuck to eating and drinking.
Vienna’s vineyards in Grinzing make it the only capital city in the world to grow and supply its own wine. A trip up Kahlenberg Hill also provides some stunning views of the city. We didn’t make it up the hill too far because my Mom has bad knees, but even the view from where we did go was gorgeous!

Because it took an hour to get there and back, and then we spent about 1.5-2 hours eating and drinking, I’d allot 4 hours for this excursion. Obviously, this depends on where you’re staying, but it’s something to consider when deciding how many days in Vienna to spend.

Shop at Naschmarkt in Vienna Austria

Naschmarkt

My Mom is a big shopper, I am not, but being a good daughter, I put Naschmarkt on our list. If you aren’t interested in shopping, you can skip adding this to your decision on how many days in Vienna to spend. However, it is also a place for some local bites and you can find great culinary tours in Vienna, so consider that when deciding is Vienna worth visiting.

Naschmarkt is Vienna’s best-known market. It has around 120 market stands and restaurants featuring cuisines such as Viennese, Indian, Vietnamese, and Italian. The Market is open every day except Sundays. Stalls selling food are open every morning by 6 a.m. They don’t close until around 7:30 p.m. on Monday to Friday but close early on Saturday at around 5 p.m. Restaurants and cafes are open later, until almost midnight, Monday to Saturday. They also have a Flea Market on Saturday.

4 Days in Vienna

Are you figuring out how many days in Vienna you should spend yet? Well let me add some more options to the list while you’re deciding is Vienna worth visiting.

Peterskirche (St. Peter's Church) is a Baroque Roman Catholic parish church in Vienna Austria

Peterskirche (St. Peter’s Church)

The Peterskirche (St. Peter’s Church) is a Baroque Roman Catholic parish church. The oldest church building on this site (of which nothing remains today) dates back to the Early Middle Ages, and it is speculated that it could be the oldest church in Vienna as that Roman church was built on the site of a Roman encampment.

The church is free to visit and open daily. However, it is an active church, so be aware of that. I’d estimate a half-hour duration for a visit to Peterskirche (St. Peter’s Church).

Belvedere Palace

The history of the Belvedere Palace begins as the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663–1736) and now houses many famous pieces of artwork you can visit today—namely several Gustav Klimt paintings. Encompassing the Upper and Lower Belvedere buildings on either side of the gorgeous gardens, it is a marvelous example of art and architecture.

You can rent an audioguide with commentary about the artwork to learn even more about the Belvedere. That’s what my Mother and I did. They are available in German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Korean and Russian. A multimedia tour in Austrian sign language is also on offer.

If you’re not a big art museum fan, skip this when deciding how many days in Vienna.

ITINERARY INFO FOR the Belvedere Palace

If you have the Vienna Pass, the Belvedere Palace is covered and gets you Fast Track Entry.

(as of March 2024)

Upper Belvedere Ticket
– €17.50 – Adults
– €14.10 – Seniors/Students under 26
– Free – Under 19

Lower Belvedere Ticket
– €14.60 – Adults
– €10.90 – Seniors/Students under 26
– Free – Under 19

Combo Upper & Lower Belvedere Ticket
– €25.90 – Adults
– €21.60 – Seniors/Students under 26
– Free – Under 19

Duration: 2.5 – 3 hours

Woman on City Cruise in Vienna Austria

City Cruise

Besides the Hop On Hop Off bus, my Mother and I took advantage of another perk of the Vienna Pass, a City Cruise. As my Mom needs breaks from walking, we found it to be a great way to sit down, relax, and see a bit of Vienna for about an hour and 15 minutes.

On a recently refurbished MS Blue Danube, the cruise takes you along the Danube Canal, which was the main branch of the Danube in the Middle Ages. Along the shore, you can see the Urania observatory, Jean Nouvel’s hotel, Hans Hollein’s Media Tower, Otto Wagner’s Schützenhaus, and the Spittelau waste incineration plant designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser.

We also got some drinks while on the cruise, which made it even more enjoyable! The Vienna Pass website states that the standard price for the cruise is €29,50 for Adults and €14,75 for Children. However, there were no significant sights to see on the cruise, so if you’re looking for something to skip when deciding how many days in Vienna, this is one to consider.

How Many Days in Vienna? Is 5 too much?

As I mentioned, we started our trip to Vienna and wrapped it up there after visiting Germany, Slovenia, and Croatia. If this hadn’t been the case, I don’t know if we’d have done 5 days in Vienna. But since we didn’t, I’ll finish this post with my final recommendations on things to do with 5 days in Vienna.

Time Travel Vienna Austria

Time Travel Vienna

When we visited Time Travel, Vienna was part of the Vienna Pass. Honestly, we were just trying to kill time by visiting, so I wouldn’t highly recommend this unless you have children or are looking for something low-key when deciding how many days in Vienna.

Time Travel Vienna is a bit like a Disneyland ride as it features 5D cinema, VR glasses, animatronic wax figures, various rides, multimedia shows, sound, and light effects. Bringing Vienna’s eventful history to life in a unique way is why I think it’s perfect for kids to learn in an engaging way. Visitors learn about the Habsburgs, the plague, art, Mozart and Strauss, the Viennese waltz, air raids, occupied Vienna, and more. They’ve even added a new attraction focusing on Sisi.

Their setup starts every 20 minutes and provides audioguides in 10 languages.

ITINERARY INFO FOR Time Travel Vienna

Discounts are available for booking online.

(as of March 2024)

€20.90 – Adults
€17.10 – Children and young people

€23 – Combi ticket Time Travel + Sisi
€19 – Students and seniors

Duration: 1 hour

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Karlskirche St Charles Church in Vienna Austria
Photo by Heinz Klier from Pexels

Karlskirche (St Charles Church)

I only saw Karlskirche (St. Charles Church) from the outside on the Hop On Hop Off bus tour. But even that was enough for it to land on this list, asking, “Is Vienna worth it?”

The Karlskirche is a Baroque church that is widely considered the most outstanding Baroque church in Vienna and one of the city’s most remarkable buildings. It is dedicated to Saint Charles Borromeo, one of the great counter-reformers of the sixteenth century. Its green dome towers over Karlsplatz as a symbol of Vienna.

ITINERARY INFO FOR Karlskirche (St Charles Church)

(as of March 2024)

€9.50 – Adults
€7.50 – Groups (six or more persons)

€5 – Young people and students
Free – Children aged 10 and under

Duration: 1 – 2 hours

Walking Tour of Vienna

One of the other things we took advantage of with the Vienna Pass was a walking tour. However, that tour no longer appears to be on offer as the link I had now leads to an error and a search of their webpage results in nothing. However, I’ll post some suggestions on walking tours of Vienna through Get Your Guide below, as I’ve taken many Get Your Guide tours that I’ve loved.

Note, when deciding how many days in Vienna, a walking tour is a wonderful idea if you’re looking to learn and see a lot in a short amount of time.

Vienna Walking Tour Suggestions

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Café Sacher in Vienna Austria
Image by jirikraus

Where to Eat in Vienna

Spittelberg Quarter

Located near the Museums Quarter, the Spittelberg Quarter has a load of cafes, restaurants, garden bars, and live music. It is a perfect place to grab lunch or dinner during your trip to Vienna as you walk along cobblestone streets lined with Baroque townhouses. The quarter offers you the chance to see what 18th-century Vienna looked like. Around the holidays, particularly Easter and Christmas, the Spittelberg Quarter also hosts a seasonal market.

Schweizerhaus

I first tasted Viennese food at Schweizerhaus, located in Prater, an amusement park in Vienna. The restaurant has a large beer garden, which is lovely to spend an afternoon in. In addition to classic Viennese cuisine specialties such as goulash or schnitzel, the pork stilts offered and the potato buffers are trademarks of the restaurant. Another special feature is the Budweiser Budvar beer, which is served with less CO2 than usual on tap. I’m no beer fan, but I even went in for one!

Cafe Sacher

If you want a traditional Viennese coffee experience, visit Café Sacher. The Café Sacher offers an ornate setting to sample the typical Viennese coffeehouse atmosphere – complete with a slice of Original Sacher-Torte. When my Mom and I visited, we got a coffee and a slice of the Sacher-Torte, which is chocolate cake. My Mother didn’t like the cake much as it was dryer than we had before. I went for the experience as many famous faces have graced the café. If that doesn’t interest you, pass on a visit to Café Sacher as there are many other coffee houses in Vienna with cheaper experiences.

How Many Days in Vienna?

When deciding how many days in Vienna to spend, I recommend 4, as that’ll give you enough time to see the main attractions without rushing. If you’re quick, you can do 3 days in Vienna, but that depends on how much time you want to spend at certain locations. I hope I’ve answered your question, “Is Vienna worth visiting?” If you have any questions when planning how many days in Vienna do comment below!

Header image by domeckopol

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