Austria is one of the most picturesque countries to visit in Europe and one that is often overlooked by first-time visitors. Last year I had the chance to enjoy visiting Vienna and other major cities in Austria on a solo trip, and it was one of my favorite travel experiences to date. Here I’m going to share with you my best suggestions for a 7-Day Vienna Itinerary, and try and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about this destination. I’ll go through with you day-by-day how to spend one week in Vienna, to help you see as much as possible in your time in this stunning city.
Vienna is Austria’s capital and lies to the east of the Danube river. It’s a city of art, culture, and history, with an incredible musical legacy from composers including Mozart and Beethoven. The city is well known for its beautiful architecture, palaces, and museums. However, visitors can also enjoy contrasting contemporary buildings and amazing dining and shopping options.
Keep in mind that I can’t upload all of my photos to my blog post because it will become too long, so if you want to see more beautiful photos from all around the world, check out my Instagram page. I also share all of my adventures on there in real time.
How many days to spend in Vienna?
At a minimum, I’d recommend spending at least three days in Vienna. If you are only there for a weekend break, you will be able to see some of the main highlights in that time.
However, if you can afford one week, I highly recommend spending more time in Vienna, so you have enough time to explore it properly. I’ll highlight how to create the best Vienna 7 day itinerary, and you’ll be able to see the huge amount of attractions even in a shorter amount of time.
What is the best time to visit Vienna?
One of the most significant considerations for visiting Austria is the weather at the time of your visit. Vienna has warm summers, but the winters here can be very cold. Summers in Vienna can reach a high temperature of 27°C/80°F in July. Winters are cold, but if you are looking for a white winter, there is a chance of snow. January often sees temperatures below zero. In my opinion, spring and fall are the best times to visit, as that way you’ll avoid extreme temperatures and huge crowds.
If you are looking to experience different events and activities during your visit, I’d highly recommend visiting in December to enjoy the Christmas markets and decorations. If you enjoy music, consider visiting in July for the Vienna Popfest or June for the Danube Island Festival. Art lovers will enjoy visiting the International Art Fair each fall, and each October Vienna is home to the Viennale International Film Festival. It’s always nice to enjoy a special event during any trip, so I’d highly recommend trying to time your visit with one of these, especially if you are planning a week-long trip to Vienna.
The Vienna Pass – is it worth the money?
If you are planning to do a lot of sightseeing and make the most of your time in Vienna, consider buying a Vienna City Card or Vienna Pass Card.
The Vienna City Card offers free travel on public transport throughout the city, as well as discounts on museums and tourist attractions.
However, the one that I chose was the Vienna Pass Card.
It includes tickets to sixty attractions in the city including the hop on hop off bus tour and city walking tour.
A 1 Day pass costs 70€, 2 Days is 95€, and 3 Days is 125€. As you can see, the longer the pass you buy, the better value you will be able to get out of it. Click here and you’ll see the whole list of all the attractions that are included. It’s not possible to visit all of the 60 attractions in such a short time but if you choose and create your itinerary wisely, you’ll be able to make the most of it.
I’m sure that when you finish reading this post you’ll be convinced of its value. When I counted all the attractions that I visited in those 2 days, I would have paid 207€ if I hadn’t purchased the pass.
So, as you can see, it’s totally worth the price and convenience of pre-paying for your entrance tickets! I bought mine at the tourist information desk at the airport after landing.
You can read more information about it and buy it on Vienna Pass official website.
It doesn’t matter which day you buy it. It will be simply activated on its first use. So, don’t use it on your first day if you’re not planning on doing a lot of exploring.
How to get around Vienna?
Vienna is easy to travel around by public transport, bike rental, or walking. Personally, I love to walk in new cities to fully see and feel the atmosphere of the city. That way you can easily admire the architecture and you never know what hidden gem you may find.
In Vienna, you can get a Transportation ticket for your visit which covers all buses, subways, and trams. A 24-hour pass costs 8€, 48 hours is 14€ and 72 hours is 17€. Alternatively, if you just need a single trip ticket, that will cost €2,40.
One Pro Travel Tip for you, which I didn’t see on any other travel blog or Vienna guide before my visit. There is a ticket for public transport which is valid for One Day for only 5€. It’s not sold on ticket machines or in ticket offices – the only way to get it is through the mobile app.
Also, if you want to see the popular Ringstrasse, you have several options. Either you can get on the hop on hop off bus for 29€ or take a ring tram for 10€.
However, if you are traveling Vienna on a budget there is a cheaper option; just catch a public tram #2 or #1, which goes on the same route. You’ll have the same experience for a much lower price!
How to get to the city center of Vienna from the airport?
There are several ways to get to the city from the airport, depending on where exactly you want to go:
- Taxis are available, but obviously, it will be the most expensive option.
- The City Airport Train (CAT) costs 12€ for a one-way ticket or 21€ for a return.
- The Subway is a great value option at just 4,20€.
- Personally, I chose to take the bus which costs 8€ for a one-way ticket or 13€ for a return. I had to get to Westbanhof, where my accommodation was. And that’s exactly the location where the bus stops. Buses are running every 30 minutes from the airport.
Vienna 7 Day Itinerary
Here are my top suggestions for how to spend one week in Vienna in order to have an amazing time.
Day 1: Arriving in Vienna
After you arrive in Vienna by plane or train, transfer to your accommodation and check-in. Enjoy the evening without any plans to get acquainted with the local area, take a stroll around, enjoy a relaxing dinner, and soak in the atmosphere of the city.
Day 2: Explore the markets and top sights of the city!
First thing this morning I’d recommend heading to the Tourist information office to buy your Vienna Pass if you still haven’t. This will act as your entrance for all the activities you will take part in the next few days!
If you are visiting at Christmas time, head to the Maria-Theresien-Platz Christmas market, and don’t miss the incredible puff pastry here for breakfast or a mid-morning snack. Also, that way you’ll be able to enjoy a more peaceful market and experience It before the crowds arrive.
The rest of your morning should be spent at the Natural History Museum, located right on that square.
It’s one of the most interesting museums that you can visit with its collection of over 30 million specimens and artifacts. The whole museum is separated into 39 themed rooms and I’m sure you’ll be able to find something that you’re interested in. Visit the official website of the Natural History Museum Vienna to see more.
The ticket price is €12 but it will be free with the Vienna Pass.
Thursday-Monday: 9 a.m. – 6.30 p.m.
Wednesday: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
The last entrance is half an hour before closing time!
Then I’d recommend following that with a visit to the Kunsthistorisches Museum or Museum of Art History. It’s located right across from the Natural History Museum and houses incredible imperial collections. There is also a coin collection that you can see inside, which is one of the five largest and most important in the world. Official Website
Ticket Price €16. Free if using the Vienna Pass.
Tuesday–Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
When you are done with your museum visits make sure you get your photo taken with the Mozart monument, which is located in the Burggarten in the Innere Stadt district. It will take you 5 minutes to get there by foot from the museums. It has been located there since 1953.
The Popp & Kretschmer store is another highlight for tourists during Christmas time. Here, you can take a photo with the beautiful red ribbon bow that you’ve probably seen on Instagram.
For the rest of the day and evening, enjoy walking around the city and taking in the Christmas markets if you are lucky enough to visit at that time of the year.
Walk on Graben street, which is the city’s main shopping street, and don’t miss seeing the St. Peter Cathedral.
You will be spoilt for choice with markets and delicious food options in the city at Christmas, so make the most of this special time of the year. In this area, I’d highly recommend visiting The Am Hof Christmas Market and the Altwiener Christkindlmarkt.
The Christkindlmarkt on the Rathausplatz is the city’s largest market, with 150 stalls and a big ice skating rink. You can buy a huge amount of beautiful decorations and ornaments here. Make sure you try the kartoffelpuffer, which I’ve eaten at least 5 more times after that, and chocolate fruit here. The market is full of bright light decorations and that’s also where the most adorable tree decorated in small red hearts is located.
The number of different snacks, desserts, drinks, and foods that you’ll find here is endless. Keep in mind that due to its popularity this Christmas Market is a little bit more expensive than the other lesser-known ones.
Also, don’t forget that whenever you buy a drink at the Christmas markets, it will be served in a regular mug. You will have to pay 5 Euros extra for the mug, which you can either take home with you as a souvenir or return it to get your deposit refunded. I honestly consider this to be a great way to reduce trash and it helps you enjoy your drink even more.
If you want to learn even more useful tips about traveling in Austria, click here.
Day 3: A day of cultural exploration
Today I recommend starting the day at Café Central, but go as early as you can as it’s a very popular spot. This café was opened in 1876 and was a meeting place of the Viennese intellectual scene. I enjoyed some tea and a delicious dessert while there. Needless to say, they were out of this world, and I highly recommend this place, even though it’s a little bit overpriced.
After you’ve had your breakfast it’s time to continue our exploring. Our next stop will be the Hofburg Palace, a must-see when visiting Vienna.
Hofburg is the former principal imperial palace and today serves as the official residence and workplace of the President of Austria. There are variety of museums and art galleries located on its grounds to discover.
I’d recommend in particular visiting the Silver room, Sisi Museum and the Imperial Apartments. Taking pictures inside was not allowed but you can find them online if you would like to see it first. The architecture inside is simply gorgeous and there is much history to learn. Make sure to grab an audio guide, so you can fully immerse yourself back in time.
Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm
After that catch the morning exercises of the Lipizzan horses by the Spanish Riding School . It’s located at Hofburg palace as well so you won’t even have to walk anywhere. Being a horse lover myself it was amazing to be able to watch some parts of their practice.
The practice takes place Tuesday – Friday from 10:00 until 12:00. You can enter and leave at any time in that period. So, it’s up to you if you would like to spend 5 minutes or 2 hours there watching. Even if the line is huge outside, don’t get discouraged as It moves pretty quickly.
And you guessed it right, all of these are also included in your Vienna Pass. You don’t even need to buy a ticket because you can simply scan your pass on the entrance.
Next up, we will continue our cultural exploration with a visit to the Imperial Treasury. It houses the Crown of the Holy Roman Empire, the Austrian Imperial Crown, and other Habsburg treasures. Even if you are not interested in that much history, I truly consider all of these places worth visiting.
Free with Vienna Pass.
Also, while you’re here pay a quick visit to the State Hall of the Austrian National Library. It’s one of the most beautiful libraries that I’ve ever visited. It’s a home to 200,000 valuable books published between 1501 and 1850.
By now, I’m sure you’ll be working up an appetite, and so I’d recommend heading to a market or lunch stop. Some great food options for lunch today include Holzofenbäckerei Gragger & Cie bakery and the Buffet Trzesniewski, which offers very unique and delicious sandwiches. Or just head to one of the many Christmas markets where you must try the Kaiserschmarrn. This is a lightly sweetened pancake and is one of my favorite treats in Austria.
This afternoon I’d recommend either a walking tour of the city, to learn more about the history and architecture, or if you have had enough of walking around, take the hop on and hop off bus around the city. Simply pop in the earphones and enjoy the view from your window while listening to the interesting information about the places you’re going by.
There are two lines, the blue and red lines, and you can jump on and off at the stops you are most interested in during your journey.
Finish off the afternoon with a relaxing river cruise, where you can see the city from a different perspective. The route will take you along the Danube Canal and you will be able to see the Spittelau waste incineration plant designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser.
I’m sure by now you’ll be pretty tired from a full day of exploring and so for dinner I’d highly recommend eating at the Knodel Manufaktur. They serve the best Knodel, and Austrian dumplings here and they really taste incredible! I tried the two sweet and one savory option.
Day 4: Feel like Royalty
Today is all about the royal experience.
I recommend starting the day at Schonbrunn Palace. It was the main summer residence for the Habsburg rulers. Schonbrunn Palace is one of the most popular historical attractions in Vienna. The Grand Tour of the Palace is included in your Vienna Pass and don’t forget to listen to the audio guide.
After that, most of the people continue to the Schonbrunn Zoo & Desert House experience. Honestly, I would skip those two. I simply can’t support keeping animals in such small cages.
While at Schonbrunn Palace, attend an Apple Strudel Show to see and learn how the world-famous Austrian dessert is made.
Stop by at the Christmas market at the Palace for lunch and try their amazing warm punch, delicious kasespatzle, or a baked potato.
After your time spent in the palace get on the hop on hop off bus and get to the Belvedere Palace.
It’s not as big as the Schonbrunn Palace but it’s worth visiting for sure. There are Upper and Lower Belvedere palaces on the opposite sides of the garden that you can visit.
It is the former residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage. It is one of the most beautiful baroque sites in the world. It is also home to the largest collection of Gustav Klimt’s paintings.
Free entry with the Vienna Pass
After that continue to Hundertwasserhaus and the Kunst Haus Wien Museum to learn more art history. It was founded by the Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, and this museum houses the biggest collection of his work. It also shows international photography exhibitions of renowned artists. If you’re not very into the art, you can probably skip going inside the museum.
Open daily from 10 am to 6 pm.
Free entry with the Vienna Pass
Also, consider visiting the Danube Tower. It is the tallest structure in Austria at 826,7 feet/252 meters.
As you can see, there is much to see in Vienna, and with the Vienna pass, you’ll be able to do all this without paying anything extra.
If you still have energy left this evening then head to Prater Park. It will guarantee you a great, fun time especially if you’re traveling with little ones. There is also another great Christmas market located in the park.
Enjoy a ride on a Viennese Giant Ferris Wheel and admire the views from the top. The ticket is included in your Vienna Pass as well or €12 without it.
You can also visit Madame Tussauds Museum included in your pass. Ticket price €20.
Don’t forget to try Langos while you’re there. It’s a Hungarian deep-fried dough that is incredibly delicious!
By the end of today I’m sure your feet will be aching again, so enjoy a dinner and a drink near your hotel and call it a night. Get ready for another day of adventures tomorrow!
Day 5: A Day Trip
Today, I’d suggest taking a day trip away from the city, as there are many amazing places that you can visit by simply hopping on a train from Vienna.
If you are looking for a great full day out, my top recommendation would be visiting Salzburg.
Salzburg is, of course, well-known for being Mozart’s birthplace. Just like Vienna, there are some great sights to see here, including Hohensalzburg Castle and the city’s Old Town. The Mirabell Palace is a stunning 17th Century palace with perfectly kept gardens, and the city is also home to another palace called, Schloss Hellbrunn, which is a Renaissance palace with landscaped parks surrounding it.
Salzburg is a great option if you have more time in Austria, and could be easily twin-centered with Vienna. It’s only two and a half hours away on the train, so it makes the perfect day trip option. The trains in Austria are clean and comfortable for traveling on and will give you time to rest on your journey there and back.
Day 6: More exploring in Vienna
As this may be your last full day in Vienna, it’s all about making the most of your time and seeing the highlights you may have missed so far.
Start your morning bright and early at Café Sacher, where you can try the world-famous Sacher-Torte.
You can find this delicious dessert all across Austria but Café Sacher is the place where the Original Sacher-Torte is still hand-made using Franz Sacher’s original recipe to this day.
I also ordered the Topfenstrudel here, it was really soft and yummy, and definitely worth the money.
Then head to Anker Clock, which is a very elaborate clock with copper accents that move around on the hour every hour.
Lunchtime today is dedicated to finding the best Wiener Schnitzel, a classic Austrian dish that can be found at most local restaurants. Since I don’t eat meat, I didn’t try it myself but you can read this blog post to see all of your options.
If you are visiting in winter, one of the most enjoyable winter activities I have done in Vienna was ice skating at the Rathaus. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced skater, it’s a magical experience at this time of the year and the whole atmosphere is very difficult to describe.
If you get time today, fit in a trip to St. Stephen’s Cathedral. You can even go to the top of the building to enjoy the spectacular views. There is a great Christmas market located right next to it with delicious food options for an afternoon snack.
Tonight, I’d highly recommend catching an Opera show. Did you know you can visit Opera for only 3 Euros? The Wiener Staatsoper offers standing places, and they sell these tickets for just three or four Euros! Don’t miss this amazing chance to see this Austrian tradition for a bargain price, or of course you could splash out on seated tickets.
If you want to earn even more tips when traveling to Austria click here, to read my other blog posts of all the must-know information before your visit.
Dinner tonight should be at a local Heritage (tavern), where you can experience traditional food and drink, in an authentic atmosphere. Click here to learn what to eat in Austria.
Day 7: An additional day of exploring or time to go home!
Today is either going to be the day when you’re heading back home or another full day of exploring Vienna.
After having such a jam-packed week exploring Vienna, take this final day to simply enjoy this beautiful city and do anything you might have missed or walked by on the previous days.
As with any trip, it’s about creating your own itinerary and finding what’s best for YOU and your needs, rather than copying what the guide books say you must do!
If you are short on ideas for your final day or are spending even longer in the city, consider these options:
- Take a horse carriage ride at Stephansplatz
- Go to see a Mozart concert – enjoy celebrating this renowned composer in his home country
- Enjoy dining in more Viennese cafés. The ones already mentioned and Sperl, Demel, and Café Mozart
- Explore the Innere Stadt – this is Vienna’s old town, circled by the grand Ringstrasse boulevard. Spend even more time here on your last day exploring all of the hidden streets. There is a great selection of shops and cafes that you can find.
- Explore Freyung Passage, an interesting, architectural passage in Strauchgasse 4
- The Stadtpark (City Park) is a large park that is located between the Ringstraße and the Heumarkt. Great for strolling around and enjoying the local atmosphere.
- Karlsplatz – a town square on the border of the first and fourth districts of the city. It’s one of the biggest transportation hubs, so it’s very easy to get to. During Christmas time there is also another beautiful market located in front of the church. There are even some small goats that you can pet.
- Karlskirche – a Baroque church that is situated on the south side of Karlsplatz.
I hope this Vienna 7 Day itinerary has given you plenty of inspiration for your next trip to Vienna. While seven days can seem a long time to spend in a city, as you can see, Vienna offers so much to fill a week, or even longer if you can afford the time. There is so much to see and do there!
With the Vienna Pass, you can see many attractions in a short time, and it allowed me to see much more than I ever thought possible on my last trip. Vienna is an absolutely incredible destination at any time of the year, but visiting it at Christmas really takes it to a different level with the decorations and atmosphere of the Christmas markets.
I hope you have a wonderful time on your next trip to Vienna and Austria! Let me know if you have anything else to add to this Vienna Itinerary.