Vienna gets across an image of culture and class. Just knowing it was the capital of an empire can speak volumes of the status it must maintain. And it does. From the way it is built to the way it connects to the world and its history, discovering Vienna is traveling both into the future and the past.
June felt like the ideal time to visit Vienna because when we traveled there in December the Christmas Fairs were great, but you can really explore the city when it’s warm and smelling like roses.
Just like Paris and Madrid, which we already covered, Vienna has the great transport system you’ll expect. And here, it really is important for you to use it to the maximum. Just because the trams and trains are amazing and the views while traveling make all trips wonderful trips. Just get the 72 hours pass (24,4 euros in June 2022) and you can travel unlimited from the airport, using any tram, metro or train and back again.
I won’t recommend a hotel, because any place you find and like is fine as long as it is within walking distance of a tram or metro station. The mobility in Vienna is truly impressive.
How to spend 3 days in Viena
Here we go: we recommend the summer months because of the events too. In June, there are two world-class orchestras performing for free: Summer Night classical concert in the gardens of Schönbrunn Palace and The Wiener Symphoniker traditionally appears at the MQ open-air concert.
The 2 experiences you should not miss when in Viena
1. A concert – obviously the Christmas concert that is televised and some of you may know would be ideal, but places are sold out quickly and the tickets are really expensive. But a concert with the classics at the Opera is around 80 euros for 2 in June (of 2022).
2. A ride in the Giant Ferris wheel in Prater – it’s 125 years old but safe and sought after for its history (it is the oldest Ferris wheel of its type still in existence anywhere in the world) and the views.
How to spend 3 days in Viena – 10 (other) Must Do things
1. Start with the beginning and enjoy a coffee (the local melange is great) and a cake or pastry in one of the many cafes. Some are truly design wonders and truly encapsulate the status of the historic city. Cafe Central is a landmark in the city center, inside a palatial mansion house inspired by Venetian Trecento-era architecture. And quoting their website>
”A revolutionary (Trotsky), a psychoanalyst (Freud), several writers and poets (including Polgar, Zweig and Altenberg) and an architect (Loos) walked into a café. What sounds like the start of a joke was an everyday occurrence at Café Central (est. 1876). ”
2. Don’t miss these from the sweets menu: the apfelstrudel, the Sachertorte (Sacher Cake) created in 1832 for Prince Metternich and a symbol for Vienna, some Kaiserschmarren (pancakes for a king) or the Powidltascherl (Plum Jam Turnovers). And if you enjoy them sitting and watching people, or in a park or on the go, make sure to relinquish any thoughts of a diet here.
3. Enjoy lunch at one of the oldest restaurants in Vienna. Griechenbeisl is close to the city center and beside the atmosphere, the food there is great and traditional. try the Tafelspitz (Beef or Veal Boiled in Broth With Vegetables) and of course the schnitzel with Erdäpfelsalat (Austrian-style Potato Salad).
Some other great restaurants in the city:
- Stöckl im Park (near Belvedere Palace) and giant delicious portions.
Brandauer Schlossbräu (near Shonbrunn Palace) with giant ribs.
Try the local Ottakringer beer.
4. After all that eating, go explore in a tram. There’s a special one that makes the nonstop trip along the Ring (the historic center). And another great one is Schottentor tram station, an underground station like a node for various trams. Just take one tram and decide where to come back for later based on what you see.
We traveled, in 3 days, with every one of the 5 lines in Vienna and it makes it so easy to go explore the city. I recommend a quiet place in the North, a quiet and beautiful Japanese garden in Setagaya Park, more than 15 stations from city center but worth it. And on the way, you can stop at the pinkest cafe, the Royal Donuts place.
Or go to the famous and rightly so Hundertwasser House, one of Austria’s architectural highlights, with its almost Gaudi shapes and little details and the 200 trees and shrubs on the balconies and roof terraces. Enjoy a coffee near the fountain here and spy every detail you can find. The streets around it are great too.
5. On the first Sunday of every month, some museums allow free entry and you cannot miss this opportunity, as you can see history unfolding in picturesque locations. We saw the Military Museum close to Belvedere Palace and The clock museum near the city center but based on what you want to discover, you can choose from here or the list below.
6. Take strolls in the beautiful neighborhoods and parks (the park at the Belvedere Palace is great). People really enjoy outside life here and a picnic or a game on the grass is always a good idea.
And even if street food is not as present as in Paris for example, take a pastry or a sandwich from one of the many Anker shops or a Wiener Wurstel and enjoy it contemplating these sights, with a local Otakringer beer.
For a good the shopping spree, chose between the modern Mariahilferstrasse, Ringstrassen Galerien, The Goldenes Quartier or Graben, or the malls, like (Wien Mitte The Mall). Or for a local feel, go to the Naschmarkt, a huge local market.
7. Take a Danube cruise or just have dinner on the boats. We hear it’s great and we’ll have to come back and make it happen next time.
8. Reserve half a day or even a day just for Schonbrunn. Inside it’s extremely lavish, outside the imperial design of gardens and a Zoo is over the top. You’ll get your number of steps here, in the alleys, up to the Gloriette, inside the zoo, or the labyrinth.
9. And if I recommended a must-do with the Giant Ferris wheel in Prater, just take half a day for the rest of the attractions in Prater. Just make sure to go up into the taller ones before eating.
10. And lastly, enjoy the city center. Everything inside ”the Ring” is walk and shop-ready, so enjoy your time here. Get inside some courtyards, because they are famous for the microcosms their create with their design and silence. And maybe discover some of the passages, gems of quiet, and architecture. Get above the city in the Stephansdom and close the day near it, enjoying the local fair here and people watching.
Thank you for reading, have a great time in Vienna, from us, the Gals.
Traveler tip: All the shops are closed on Sunday and on major holidays (even the small groceries ones) so be careful how you plan your trip. And if you can’t help it, then know that some groceries stores are opened in train stations.
Make a map of Vienna objectives*(see under the video): Even with all the trams, we still did 65 km in 3 days, so be prepared to walk.
Free every first Sunday of the month: free Wien Museum Otto Wagner Pavillon Karlsplatz, free Wien Museum Karlsplatz, free Vienna Clock Museum, free Museum of Military History, free Wien Museum Hermesvilla, free Wien Museum Haydnhaus, free Wien Museum Römermuseum.
More pics on my Instagram – click here.
And a symphony that you can trace the birth ar the house of the composer in Vienna and it’s called Farewell. Farewell Vienna, until next time!