3 Days in Vienna: What to Do and See

Vienna is the capital of Austria and a wonderful baroque city. I had the chance to spend 3 days in Vienna on vacation last year. From Salzburg we took the train and arrived in around 2 hrs 40 minutes. I love their amazing designed architecture, the interesting history of the Austrian empire, their palaces, cafes and the countless fascinating things you can do here.

Vienna is not a cheap city, and you need to be prepared to pay for entrance to all attractions. You can save on a Vienna pass if you decide to visit a lot of attractions. The official language of Austria is German, but most people speaks English.

Modern side of Vienna

Where to Stay

Vienna is made of 22 districts. The public transport system is very efficient so if you stayed close to it, will get you anywhere quick. We stayed at Alma Hotel located in First district. The hotel is close to trains and walking distance to great bars and restaurants and great location for exploring Vienna. We were on the top floors, and has access to the roof. The room has a hot tub. The hotel’s rooftop terrace also for the guests on the top floor called Sweet floor. The hotel was very quiet and the room is very modern and I liked how they made good use of their space. The bed was comfortable. All amenities were good and useful. Wifi worked fast. Their free breakfast is from 7am to 10am. They had varieties of deli meats, coffee, boiled eggs, yogurts, fruits etc. The gentleman who checked us in was friendly and welcoming.

Let’s explore the best thing to do and see in Vienna:

Day 1
~ Schonbrunn Palace and Gardens – At first glance looking from the outside of the entrance, I had no idea how massive the area was. There are so many impressive fountains, statues and monuments. The special attractions at Schlosspark Schönbrunn include the Palm house, Kronprinzengarten, the Orangeriegarten, the Maze and the Schönbrunn Zoo, and the Wüstenhaus.

At Schonbrunn Palace and Gardens

We were here in May and it was quite hot. Make sure you wear good walking shoes and take water although you can get it at the restaurant there. The maze and the labyrinth are quite fun. There are also restaurants, a zoo with pandas and other entertainments. The entrance to the park is free. Since 1996, the castle park together with the castle Schönbrunn is in the list of World Heritage by UNESCO.

~ The Hofburg/ Imperial Hofburg Palace
The Hofburg has been the official home of Austria’s rulers since 12th century and now its is today’s seat of government. The Hofburg is huge and includes various attractions such as its Imperial Apartments, Hofburg Treasury, and revered Sisi Museum.

Imperial Hofburg Palace

~ Naschmarkt – The largest outdoor market in Vienna existed since the 16th century. We took Naschmarkt Tasting Tour. Our guide, a native of Vienna told us about the history of the market and why it is so special. There are a few older and more traditional market stands who sell Austrian products, as well as to the stands which have a more Eastern-European flair. The tour was pleasant and includes tastings of cheese, ham, wine, olive oil tastings etc and also time for making purchases.


Day 2

~ Big bus Tour and cruise – We took the Big Bus Tours to save time and enjoy the views of Vienna’s best landmarks and attractions. You can hop off as much as you wish, and enjoy over 20 stops located at iconic landmarks. The deluxe tour also includes the night tour and Danube River Cruise which was my favorite part of the visit. The cruise goes through river locks, fishing villages and interesting mural on the bridges of the canals.

Photo taken from Big Bus Tour

~ Stadtpark – This is a beautiful park in the heart of Vienna. A canal runs through the park, buskers playing good music and there is a lovely wooden walkway bridge one can walk across to access the pond with ducks, swans etc. There are lovely flowers and statues dotted around the walkways.


Day 3

~ Mozarthaus

Vienna is very much associated with Mozart, one of the most well known composers of Classical music. Vienna was his home for many years during his career, and he lived at a number of properties during his time in the city. You can visit one of these homes that survived today – the Mozarthaus, which you’ll find in Vienna’s Old Town on Domgasse. 

~ St. Stephen’s Cathedral

One of the most beloved landmarks of Vienna, St. Stephen’s Cathedral has guarded the city for more than 700 years now.  It is a short walk from the Mozarthaus.

St. Stephen’s Cathedral

Restaurants and Cafe

Varieties of restaurants and cafes are found in Vienna. Below are my two favorite eateries.

Motto am Fluss – This is an upscale restaurant with a beautiful view of the Danube. A reservation is a must.
There is a cafe upstair and we ate at the restaurant downstairs on the ”ship.” It is very fancy, chic and tastefully decorated in modern design. The drinks vary from a large selection of cocktails, coffee to their homemade soda and teas. I ordered Pretty in Pink and was very tasty.

We liked their Variation of Starters for 2 Persons (Beef Tartar, Trout, Asparagus, Milk Cheese) and Lamb Chops (Leek, Morels, Blackberries, Crispy Lamb). The food was deliciously prepared. The staff was very attentive.

Motto am Fluss

The Demel Cafe – The Demel Cafe is the most famous pastry shops in Vienna. Prepare to wait in lines but once you are seated, the food came out quick. Menu includes cream cakes, scones, strudels and sandwiches. You can also have a look into the bakery/ preparation hall to see how everything is prepared.

The Demel Cafe

Photos below are dining at various restaurants

What Did You Think?

Do you have any questions or suggestions? Leave a comment below.


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