3-Day Vienna Itinerary Options – Classic, Food + Museums

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Vienna, the capital of Austria, is a beautiful city with a long and interesting history dating back to the 11th century. You will find many museums, palaces, and historical sites to visit so there is no chance you will be bored. The city has a thriving cafe culture and the cakes served with steaming cups of Viennese coffee are to die for. Vienna lies on the Danube River and is a green area, with many parks and other open spaces making it feel as if you’re not in a bustling city. However, it has all the perks of city life, such as an excellent public transportation system.

Vienna is a popular tourist destination and is visited year-round, especially for city breaks. Some come for the history, while others for the music and art scene. Food is an important part of Vienna life and although it leans on the heavy side, fusion, vegetarian, and vegan cuisine are all becoming common. I have put together three itineraries for three-day city breaks in Vienna which will hopefully please different tastes. If you want to visit for longer, you can put two of the itineraries together.

Vienna Itinerary Options

Vienna Itinerary Tips

Best Places To Stay in Vienna

If you want to be close to museums, palaces, and monuments, you will need to be in the central part of the city, and the best place to stay is Innere Stadt, Vienna’s first district.

Here, you will find around 60 museums, the opera, and major monuments.

It is mainly pedestrianised with a maze of narrow streets and impressive squares which you can explore.

Circling the district is a spectacular boulevard called ‘The Ring’.


It is where the old city walls were situated and now houses museums, the Town Hall, and the Parliament Building.

If you are looking for a dynamic nightlife scene with restaurants, bars, cafes, and clubs, stay in the Neubau district.

It also is a place for culture lovers as here you will find the Museumquartier which houses modern art museums, music venues, a theatre, and cinemas.

If you like to shop ‘til you drop, the Mariahilf & Wieden district, which is close to the city centre, is the best place to stay.

Here, you will find the Mariahilferstrasse, a 5 km (3.1 mile) shopping street. You could easily spend a day exploring it.

Best Way To Get Around Vienna

Young Woman In Vienna Outdoors During Holidays
Wandering around on foot is a great way to explore Vienna on an itinerary 4 days is a good amount of time.

You can rent a car if you feel confident driving in a foreign city but it is difficult to park in Vienna.

You are better off taking public transport which is efficient and reasonably priced.

There are four types of transport, the metro, the local train, the tram, and the bus.

Most are run by the Wiener Linien municipal organisation, so the same tickets apply to all modes of transport.

You can buy single tickets, but if you plan to use public transport a lot, you can get a network card which lasts for 24, 48, or 72 hours.

It works out cheaper the longer you take it out for.

If you plan to visit many historical sites, palaces, and museums, the Vienna City Card is a useful purchase.

You can get it for 24, 48, or 72 hours of public transportation and as well as giving you access to all modes of transport, you can visit various sites with a small discount for up to seven days.

How To Pay In Vienna

The currency in Vienna is the euro.

Most credit cards are accepted in the city but sometimes you have to make a minimum purchase, such as 10 or 20 euros.

Always have a little cash with you to be on the safe side.

It is normal to tip in restaurants, bars and cafes. 10 – 15% is the accepted amount.

Classic Vienna Itinerary

Day 1 – Cathedrals and Palaces

St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom)
St. Stephen’s Cathedral is a must-see on any Vienna itinerary of less than 3 days.

Get acquainted with the city by taking a two-hour historical walking tour.

You will get to see sites such as the Austrian National Library, the Albertina Museum, and the church where Hapsburg weddings took place.

While you stroll through the beautiful streets and alleyways, your local guide will tell you stories about the city and its history.

Recommended tour: Vienna: 2-Hour Historical Sightseeing Tour.

The tour ends at St. Stephen’s Cathedral and Tower which I suggest you visit after the walking tour.

Climb the South Tower, which, at 136 metres (446 ft), is the highest point in mediaeval Vienna.

It is a tight climb of 343 steps, but it is well worth the effort for the views across the city.

You can go up the North Tower by lift, which is easier, but the views aren’t as good.

Building began on St. Stephen’s Cathedral in the 12th century, but it has been restored many times and is now in the Baroque style.

It is a beautiful building with colourful roof tiles laid out to represent the Royal and Imperial double-headed eagle and the city’s coat of arms.

St. Stephen’s Cathedral is at Stephansplatz, 1010, Vienna.

In the afternoon, visit the Schonbrunn Palace and Gardens.

Taking an organised tour is a good idea as you will learn about the Hapsburg Royal family, in particular the famous Empress Sisi.

There are 22 staterooms to admire and some of the highlights include the Hall of Ceremonies and the 40-metre (131-foot) Great Gallery.

After the tour of the palace, wander around the beautiful gardens at your own pace.

Recommended tour: Vienna: Schönbrunn Palace and Gardens Guided Tour.

Day 2 – Hofburg

Hofburg Palace In Vienna, Austria
Hofburg Palace is a wonderful icon to spend time on a Vienna itinerary 2 days.

In the morning head to the spectacular Hofburg Palace which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Visit the Imperial apartments including the bedrooms and offices of Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife, Sisi of Bavaria.

You will also go to the Sisi Museum where you will be able to see the personal belongings of the Empress.

Recommended tour: Vienna: Skip-the-Line Sisi Museum, Hofburg and Gardens Tour.

In the afternoon, visit the Austrian Gallery Belvedere.

It is a museum housed in the Belvedere Palace, which was the summer home of Prince Eugene of Savoy, Here you will see 400 works covering 800 years of art.

There is artwork going as far back as the Middle Ages, spectacular Baroque art, and modern works by such artists as Monet and Rodin.

The highlight is a collection of 24 paintings by Gustav Klimt, including ‘Judith’ and ‘The Kiss’.

The Austrian Gallery Belvedere is at Prinz Eugen – Strasse 27, 1030, Vienna.

In the evening, spend a night at the opera. The Vienna State Opera offers both opera and ballet, and performances start at 7 p.m.

The Vienna State Opera is at Opernring 2, 1010, Vienna.

If jazz is more your thing, head to Jazzland, the oldest jazz club in Austria, located in a 500-year-old cellar.

Jazzland is at Franz-Josefs-Kai 29, 1010, Vienna.

Day 3 – Spanish Riding School

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In the morning, attend a performance of the Lipizzans at the Spanish Riding School.

These spectacular horses are highly trained and put on an excellent performance.

The school is renowned all over the world, having been around since the Renaissance.

The performance is accompanied by classical Viennese music.

If there isn’t a show on while you are in Vienna, you can watch the training sessions.

Recommended tours:

In the afternoon, visit the Capuchin Crypt underneath the Capuchin Church.

Here you will find tombs of 149 members of the Hapsburg family, including the Empress Sisi.

Highlights include a grinning deathhead wearing a crown and the tombs of Marie Therese and Franz Stephen with scenes from their lives.

The Capuchin Crypt is at Tegetthoffstrasse 2, 1010, Vienna.

Afterwards, head to Mozart’s House which is the only one of his 12 Vienna homes which is still standing.

Here, he composed more work than anywhere else, including the famous ‘Figaro’.

The museum covers three floors.

Mozart’s House is at Domgasse 5, 1010, Vienna.

In the evening, take a panoramic night tour by bus and see the buildings beautifully lit up for the evening.

You will pass by places such as the Burgtheatre, Belvedere Palace, the Giant Ferris Wheel, and the Vienna State Opera.

Recommended tour: Vienna: Panoramic Night Tour by Bus.

Foodie Itinerary In Vienna

Day 1 – Markets

Sausage And Bread
Naschmarkt is a wonderful spot to eat on a 3 days in Vienna itinerary.

To get acquainted with the food scene in Vienna, take a food discovery tour.

It lasts for six hours, and you will have an experienced guide who will tell you all about the food and drink scene in the city.

There are three food stops, including lunch, and a coffee stop.

You will visit local markets and the massive Naschmarkt, one of the best open-air markets in Vienna.

Recommended tour: Vienna: Food, Coffee, and Market Discovery Tour.

In the evening, go on a three-course dinner cruise which offers choices for each course, including vegetarian options.

The food is freshly prepared on the ship.

Recommended tours: Vienna: 3-Course Evening Dinner Cruise.

Day 2 – Chocolate and Wine

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In the morning, learn how to make chocolate in a chocolate museum where you will make three chocolate bars which you can decorate in your own unique way.

You will also make ‘Xocolate’ a hot chocolate drink that the Aztecs created.

Afterwards, visit the interactive chocolate museum.

Recommended tour: Vienna: Chocolate Workshop in Chocolate Museum w/ Tasting.

Spend the afternoon in a Heurigenor wine tavern.

A popular pastime of the locals is to spend a few hours in one of these taverns.

They feature fresh wine and often have gardens reminiscent of German beer gardens.

The best drink to order is the ‘litre litre’ which is a litre of house white wine and a litre of sparkling water.

Make a spritzer out of the two and spend a pleasant afternoon in a convivial atmosphere.

Self-serve food or a buffet is also on offer so you could stay for dinner.

A good tavern to try is Sirbu, which has amazing views of the city centre and the Danube.

Sirbu is at Kahlenberger Str. 210, 1190, Vienna.

Day 3 – Classic Cafes

Mozart Cake
Mozart Cake in Vienna on a 2-day itinerary.

Have breakfast in Cafe Mozart, one of the oldest cafes in Vienna.

It has been around since 1794 and is popular with the locals.

It was used in the classic film, ‘The Third Man’ and the director, author, and star of the film were regulars during filming.

Cafe Mozart is at Albertinaplatz 2, 1010, Vienna.

After breakfast, take a wine tour with lunch.

You will learn about the history of wine production in Austria and visit two or three small wineries.

They generally produce up to 50,000 bottles of wine each year which are sold to a selection of restaurants.

You will be able to taste four wines at each winery and then enjoy a traditional Austrian lunch.

Recommended tour: From Vienna: Half-day Countryside Wine Tour with Meal.

In the evening, enjoy dinner in Restaurant Stefanie, which is in the oldest hotel in Vienna, Hotel Stefanie.

If you take the tour, you will have the opportunity to Indulge in seven courses, including veal goulash, beef soup, and schnitzel.

Vienna Museums Itinerary

Day 1 – Kunsthistorisches Museum

Bronze Elephant And The Kunsthistorisches Museum
The Kunsthistorisches Museum is a must-do on a 3-day itinerary in Vienna.

There are many museums in Vienna so with just three days you might be a little overwhelmed and unsure of which ones to choose.

I have chosen a selection of museums which I think will give you a good introduction to the history of both Vienna and Europe as a whole.

The first museum I think you should visit is the Kunsthistorisches Museum, which exhibits some spectacular artwork from across Europe.

You will find paintings and sculptures dating to ancient Rome and Egypt right up to the Renaissance.

The museum is huge so with limited time, make sure that you go to the Picture Gallery where you will find paintings by the Old Masters, such as Bruegel, Raphael, and Velazquez, Also, don’t miss the works by goldsmiths, such as Benvenuto Cellini.

They include sculptures and filigree works.

Be sure to see the spectacular staircase which has a series of paintings by such artists as Gustav Klint.

The Kunsthistjstorrisches Museum is at Maria-Theresien-Platz, 1010, Vienna

Skip the lines and book your Vienna Kunsthistorisches Museum Day Admission Ticket online.

In the afternoon, head to the Museum of Natural History which is close by.

Here you will learn about the evolution of our planet.

It covers four billion years and has 30 million items on display.

The meteorite collection alone is made up of 1,100 pieces.

Other artefacts include dinosaur bones, fossils, minerals, and taxidermy species.

The highlight is the 25,000-year-old Venus of Willendorf statue which is possibly the oldest piece of art ever created.

The building is stunning with stuccoed and frescoed halls and the roof gives amazing views of Vienna,

The Natural History is at Burgring 7, 1010, Vienna.

Day 2 – Albertina

Albertina Museum In Vienna, Austria
Albertina Museum is another popular museum to add to a Vienna 3-day itinerary.

In the morning, visit the Albertina Museum which houses a magnificent art collection begun in 1776 by Duke Albert of Saxe-Teschen.

The artwork ranges from the Renaissance to Modernism, and the permanent exhibition includes more than 100 paintings including works by Monet and Picasso.

There are also some stunning avant-garde works from Russia and paintings by Klimt and Matisse.

The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions.

There is a restaurant in the museum so you can have lunch here.

The Albertina Museum is at Albertinaplatz 1, 1010, Vienna. It’s worth booking tickets for the Albertina Exhibitions in advance to save time.

In the afternoon, continue your art exploration with a visit to the Leopold Museum, which is heaven for modernist art lovers, especially those from Austria.

You will find works by the Austrian expressionist, Kokoschka as well as a large collection of paintings by Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele.

It houses the biggest collection of Schiele’s work in the world.

The Leopold Museum is at Museumsplatz, 1010, Vienna.

Day 3 – Jewish Museum

Neo-Byzantine Tower In Vienna Arsenal
Neo-Byzantine Tower of the Jewish Museum – Vienna itinerary.

In the morning, visit the Jewish Museum which is close to St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

It tells you about Jewish history, traditions, and religion.

It is a very moving exhibition which opens your eyes to the trials the Jewish people went through.

The exhibition begins with the history of the Jews in Vienna from 1945 until the present day, telling you how an almost eliminated Jewish population grew again.

The exhibition then takes you back further in history, showing what life was like for Jews in Vienna from medieval times until the Second World War and the Holocaust.

A highlight of the exhibition is the foundation of a synagogue from the Middle Ages.

The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions.

The Jewish Museum is at Dorotheergasse 11, 1010, Vienna.

Afterwards, visit the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum, another interesting history museum with a bias towards Austrian military history.

The museum is located in a neo-Byzantine barracks and munitions depot and covers two floors.

The exhibition details major wars which have affected Austria, beginning with the 30 Years War which lasted from 1618 until 1648.

It tells you about the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, the Hungarian Uprising, the Napoleonic wars, the Turkish wars, and the Second World War.

You will gain an insight into the country by seeing how they defended it.

The Heeresgeschichtliches Museum is at Arsenal 1, 1010, Vienna.

You can’t visit Vienna without learning more about the beloved Empress Sisi so the final museum to explore is the Sisi Museum which is in the Hofburg Palace.

It takes an in-depth look at her life within the palace where she lived.

You will be able to see many of her personal possessions as well as some famous portraits of her.

Among the exhibits are original items of her clothing, her watercolour painting box, and a first-aid kit.

In addition, some more macabre objects can be viewed such as the death mask of the murdered Empress and the black coat with egret feathers that covered her after her death.

While you are at the palace, take advantage of visiting the apartments and the gardens,

The Sisi Museum is at Michaelerplatz, 1010, Vienna.

Recommended tour: Vienna: Hofburg and Empress Sisi Museum Guided Tour.

Looking for more itineraries? Try these:

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Irena Nieslony
Irena Nieslony was born in Windsor, England but now lives on the island of Crete, Greece, in a small village called Modi near the city of Chania. She has visited 32 countries in Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Africa. Her favourite country is Tanzania as she loves wildlife and was lucky enough to see ‘The Big Five”. She also loves Egypt, as ancient history intrigues her, the southern states of the US and the cities of Memphis, Nashville, and New Orleans for music. She has a B.A. Honours degree in English and Drama from Westfield College, University of London. She has been writing for over 13 years and has 13 novels, 7 short stories and thousands of articles published.