Last updated on November 9th, 2023 at 02:16 pm

If you’re planning to see Vienna in 3 days, this guide is all you need to plan the perfect Vienna itinerary, no matter which month you’re travelling to the Austrian capital.

Vienna is one of the most sought-after destinations during the Christmas holidays and for good reason. The city’s glistening Christmas markets render Vienna even dreamier and more beautiful during the festive season. However, with its magnificent architecture, fascinating history and rich musical heritage, Vienna is a lot more than its Christmas markets.

Therefore, even if you won’t be visiting Vienna at Christmas, the Austrian capital is well worth a trip any other time of the year too. The 3-day Vienna itinerary you’re about to read is made up of amazing suggestions and incredible things to do in Vienna all year round. Here’s what to do in Vienna in 3 days.

The Ferris wheel with its retro red wagons in Prater.
Hello Vienna

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Vienna Travel Tips

Before going into more detail about what to see in Vienna in 3 days, we would like to share with you some valuable tips and information to help you plan your trip to Vienna.

  • Where is Vienna: Vienna is the capital city of Austria. Situated in the eastern part of the country, Vienna is near the borders with the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. If you’re planning a longer trip across Central Europe, it’s easy to travel from Vienna to Brno, Prague, Bratislava and Budapest or vice versa. Vienna is also the largest of the cities built along the Danube River.
  • Best time to visit Vienna: Vienna is popular for its Christmas Markets. Therefore, November and December are considered the best months to travel to Vienna to enjoy the festive season. However, from May to late September you can enjoy better temperatures and sunny days. Try to avoid July and August as the city is packed with tourists.
  • How many days in Vienna: As our itinerary suggests, try to spend at least 3 days in Vienna. Anything less, such as a weekend in Vienna, wouldn’t do the city justice.
  • How to get to Vienna: You can get to Vienna by plane. Vienna’s airport lies about 20 kilometres from the city centre. The City Airport Train (CAT) takes you to the city centre in just 16 minutes. Vienna is also connected by train to other major cities in Central Europe. These include Brno (one and a half hours), Prague (four hours), Bratislava (one hour) and Budapest (two and a half hours).
  • Where to stay in Vienna: The best area to stay in Vienna is InnerStadt, the city centre. However, our favourite hotel in Vienna is Beethoven Hotel with a convenient location near Naschmarkt. Another great accommodation option in Vienna is 25Hours Hotel Vienna in Neubau. You can read our detailed article about the best areas to stay in Vienna.
  • How to get around Vienna: Vienna is a flat city. Therefore, it’s very easy to explore the city centre on foot. Yet, you will need to use public transport to visit places like Schönbrunn, Belvedere and Prater. This is why purchasing a Vienna City Card is a very good idea.
  • Language spoken: The official language is German. That said, the Viennese speak very good English.
  • An alternative way to visit Vienna: If you’d rather have someone else plan a tailor-made trip to Vienna and Central Europe for youJayWay Travel is our favourite boutique tour operator and we can’t recommend them enough.
Several passengers with luggage on the main train station's platform. A yellow train has arrived at the railway on the platfrom's right side.
Vienna’s main train station

Is The Vienna City Card Worth It?

The Vienna City Card and the Vienna Pass are the two discount city cards available to Vienna visitors. During our recent trip to Vienna, we tried the Vienna City Card. Before answering the question if it’s worth buying the Vienna City Card, let’s see what it offers:

  • Unlimited public transport including bus, tram and metro.
  • Discounts on museums, tourist attractions, restaurants and more.
  • Optional add-ons for airport transfers and/or hop-on hop-off buses.
  • The card is available for one, two or three days.
  • You can purchase the card online and use it through the official mobile app.
  • For families, one child under 15 travels for free for each Vienna City Card holder.

We used the Vienna City Card during our 3 days in Vienna trip. Although the discounts for the attractions seemed relatively small at first – ranging around 10% to 20% off the full ticket prices – we found the card very handy in the end.

We activated the card before our arrival. Once we arrived in Vienna, we started using public transport without restrictions whenever we needed to cover longer distances or when it rained. As it turned out, the total amount of discounts wasn’t bad at all. But most of all, we enjoyed the ease of getting on and off public transport without worrying about buying single tickets all the time.

All in all, if you’re planning to see Vienna in 3 days like we did, we would recommend buying a Vienna City Card for a hassle-free experience. Everything is in the mobile app, making the card a lot easier to use.

Buy your Vienna City Card here.

The City Airport Train's lounge. There are ticket vending machines inside.
We can safely say that Vienna has one of the best Airport Express services in Europe and the CAT is one of the add-ons available with the Vienna City Card

Travel Resources To Help You Plan The Best 3-Day Vienna Itinerary

Our other itineraries in Central Europe:
Prague in 4 Days: The Best Prague Itinerary
Budapest in 3 Days: The Best Budapest Itinerary

Watch our Vienna YouTube video

Vienna in 3 Days: The Best Vienna Itinerary For Any Time of The Year

Day 1: A Look Into The History of The Habsburgs

The House of Habsburg is one of the most important dynasties in history. The Habsburgs ruled Austria for centuries on end and their history is inextricably linked to Vienna’s very essence.

This is why it makes sense to spend your first of 3 days in Vienna learning more about this mighty dynasty. However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be stumbling upon bits of Habsburg history throughout your entire trip to Vienna anyway.

Hofburg Vienna – Sisi Museum & The Imperial Apartments

Start your 3 days in Vienna in Hofburg and the Imperial Apartments where Sisi, the beloved Empress of Austria, lived.

Built in the 13th century, Hofburg was a massive palace that the Habsburg monarchs called home for 600 years until 1918. That was the year that the Habsburg monarchy came to an end. When Schönbrunn Palace was built in the 18th century, Hofburg Palace served as the Habsburgs’ winter residence.

The most interesting sections of the palace are the Sisi Museum and the Imperial Apartments complex. This was where the famous imperial couple of Austria, Franz Joseph and Elisabeth, used to live. Elisabeth, Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary – affectionately known as Sisi – was a Duchess in Bavaria before she got married to her cousin Franz Joseph in 1854 at the age of 16.

Sisi – or Sissi – became the most famous of the Habsburgs for her free spirit and independence, her endless travels and her beauty. Throughout her reign, she was loved by the Hungarians for her contribution to the dual monarchy. Even to this day, in Budapest, you can visit Sisi’s favourite pastry shop and try the dessert she liked the most.

Empress Elisabeth was assassinated in 1898 in Geneva. At the Sisi Museum, you will have the opportunity to see 300 exhibits about Sisi’s life that will help you get a better understanding of her controversial personality.

This image shows a busy street in Vienna with the Hofburg Palace in the background. If you're seeing Vienna in 3 days, Hofburg is an essential stop.
Hofburg Palace dominates its surroundings

After the Sisi Museum, the tour continues to the 24 rooms of the Imperial Apartments. There, you will see the room where Emperor Franz Joseph received people, his plain bedroom and study as well as Sisi’s apartments. Among these, the exercise room is the highlight.

Although the Sisi Museum is fascinating, it has narrow exhibition spaces and it can get overwhelming and chaotic with the crowds. Therefore, consider joining a small-group guided tour with skip-the-line tickets.

The Hofburg's facade with its green imposing dome.
The beautiful facade of Hofburg Palace, one of the best places to visit in Vienna in 3 days

Demel Café

After visiting the Sisi Museum and the Imperial Apartments, it’s time to recharge your batteries by savouring Sachertorte, the renowned Viennese cake. But before polishing off this divine cake, a bit of history first.

Sachertorte is named after Franz Sacher. In 1832, when Sacher was a 16-year-old apprentice chef, he stood in for the chef who was ill. His mission wasn’t an easy one. He had to impress Chancellor Metternich’s guests.

Young Sacher came up with Sachertorte, a chocolate cake with two thin layers of apricot jam and dark chocolate icing on top. As you can imagine, everybody was thrilled that day. Since then, Sachertorte has become viral and remains one of the best cakes in the world.

A Sachertorte with whipped cream on the side served on a small plate at Café Sacher.
The Sachertorte at Café Sacher

The two most famous places to try Sachertorte are Café Sacher with its Original Sachertorte and Demel with its Eduard Sachertorte variation. By the way, both cafés feature elegant historic interiors that make them worth a visit in their own right, regardless of the cake.

Demel’s Sachertorte is slightly different than Café Sacher’s original one. In our humble opinion, Demel’s version is better. Therefore, if you can only have a single piece of Sachertorte during your trip to Vienna, brace the queues at Demel and try it there.

If you have a sweet tooth like Maria who mainly travelled to Vienna for the Sachertorte, check out this Sweet Vienna Tour to discover more about the cake and coffee culture of Vienna.

A woman prepares the dough for Kaiserschmarrn at Demel café. If you're seeing Vienna in 3 days, you have to try this delicious dessert.
At Demel, you must also try the scrumptious Kaiserschmarrn (Emperor’s Pancakes) that’s freshly prepared before your hungry eyes

Imperial Crypt (Capuchin Crypt)

After this sweet break, it’s time to continue your journey into the depths of the Habsburgs’ history. The vaulted crypt below the Capuchin Church at the busy Neuer Markt is the resting place of 150 Habsburg royals, including several emperors, empresses and queens. The monarchs’ remains are kept in sarcophagi. The most impressive among them is the double sarcophagus of Maria Theresia and Emperor Franz I.

Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth are among those who rest in peace in the depths of the Capuchins’ Crypt. Sisi’s tomb is often filled with letters of love from people from all over the world who come to pay their respects to the late Empress.

For more information about opening hours and admission fees, click here or book your tickets directly through this link.

Two iron sarcophagi at the Imperial Crypt, one of the best places to visit in Vienna in 3 days.
Inside the Imperial Crypt, one of the best things to see in Vienna in 3 days

Augustinian Church

A few steps from the Imperial Crypt, the 14th-century Augustinian Church is another religious site connected to the Habsburg monarchy. All of the Habsburgs you saw in their sarcophagi in the Capuchin Crypt got married in the Augustinian Church, back in happier times.

The weddings of Franz Joseph and Sisi in 1854 and Emperor of France Napoleon with Marie Louise in 1810 were among the most glamorous royal weddings that took place within the walls of the Augustinian Church.

However, the true highlight of the Augustinian Church is the Herzgruft. This is a crypt where urns with the hearts of 54 Habsburgs are kept. You can visit the crypt on a tour on specific days and hours.

For more information have a look at the Augustinian Church website.

The Augustinian Church's interior with several chandeliers hanging from the vaulted ceiling.
Inside the Augustinian Church, one of the most impressive places to visit in Vienna in 3 days


Vienna has no shortage of parks and green spaces. Burggarten is the ideal place to relax after a morning of sightseeing in Vienna. While strolling around the park, you will come across a statue of Franz Joseph and a marble monument dedicated to Mozart.

At the edge of the park, the stunning Palmenhaus, constructed in Judenstil (Art Nouveau) style, reminded us of the Crystal Palace in Madrid. It’s home to a brasserie and the Schmetterlinghaus, a tropical house where hundreds of butterflies live.

The Mozart Statue and the Sol Key made of pink flowers on the grass in Burggarten.
The musical heritage of Vienna is reflected in Burggarten

Vienna State Opera Tour

Completed in 1869 and inaugurated by Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth, the Vienna State Opera is one of the most significant opera houses in the world. In the evening, you can watch one of the 350 performances of more than 60 operas and ballets that are held at the Vienna State Opera every year.

However, it’s worth joining one of the guided tours the Opera House organises in the afternoons. During the tour, you will have the opportunity to go behind the scenes, learn the building’s history, discover interesting facts and take in the splendour of the opera’s auditorium.

You can book a guided tour either in English or German. We recommend booking this tour in advance as it’s in high demand.

Check out available times and buy your tickets here.

The Opera's opulent auditorium with red seats and balconies.
The interior of the Vienna State Opera is gorgeous

St. Charles Church (Karlskirche) & Karlspatz

After visiting the Vienna State Opera, head south and cross Ringstrasse, the physical boundary of Innere Stadt, to reach Karlsplatz and Karlskirche.

With its imposing green dome, Karlskirche (St. Charles Church) is one of the most graceful Baroque churches in Vienna. Karlskirche was completed in 1739. It was commissioned by Emperor Charles VI in honour of St. Charles when a plague devastated the city a few decades before.

Apart from admiring its architecture and interior, Karlskirche is also the ideal place to enjoy a classical music concert. Vivaldi concerts take place periodically in Karlskirche in his honour since the famous composer died in Vienna and was buried next to the church. Second only to the Vienna State Opera, Karlskirche is the best place to experience the magic of classical music in a divine setting.

You can book your tickets for an evening Vivaldi concert at Karlskirche here.

Karlskirche behind a pond with a modern sculpture.
St. Charles Church on a cloudy day

St. Charles Church dominates Karlsplatz, one of Vienna’s largest squares and a major public transport hub. Just a few steps from the church, you can admire two rail station pavilions, both fine examples of Art Nouveau. They are the works of Otto Wagner, a Viennese architect, designer and urban planner who was assigned to design Vienna’s Stadtbahn, the city’s rail-based public transport, in the 1890s.

This image shows the Otto Wagner Pavillon on Karlsplatz.
One of the two stunning pavilions on Karlsplatz


End your first day on this 3-day Vienna itinerary at one of Vienna’s oldest markets.

Dating back to the 16th century, the Naschmarkt initially had stalls selling milk and dairy products alone. From 1793 onwards, according to the laws of the time, fruit and vegetables that didn’t arrive in Vienna via the Danube had to be sold at the Naschmarkt. When Vienna’s second river, the Wien River, was covered around 1900, the Naschmarkt was expanded to its current form.

Today, the Naschmarkt features around 120 stands with fruit, vegetables, spices, sweets and other treats from all over the world. The market stalls are not open in the evenings. However, you can have dinner or drinks at one of the market’s bars and restaurants. The latter offer dishes from traditional Viennese cuisine to Asian specialities.

If you happen to be in Vienna on a Saturday morning, don’t miss the flea market at the end of the Naschmarkt. For a culinary experience across Vienna’s multicultural food scene, check out this Naschmarkt Food Tasting Tour.

Stalls with fruit and vegetables in front of a green kiosk with a red and white tent in Naschmarkt.
The Naschmarkt early in the morning

Where To Eat Or Drink on Your First of 3 Days in Vienna:

  • Café Sacher Wien: Next to the Vienna State Opera, you will find the café of Hotel Sacher that serves the Original Sachertorte mentioned above. We loved the imperial setting more than the cake.
  • Vollpension: Situated near Naschmarkt, Vollpension is a retro café run by grandmas and grandpas who work to support their small pension. Ideal for a coffee-and-cake kind of afternoon.
  • Veggiezz: A few steps from Burggarten on the Ringstrasse, Veggiezz is one of the best options if you are vegan or vegetarian. We tried the seitan steak and the tofu club sandwich and they were both delicious.
The retro interior of Vollpension with a few tables at a corner. A Vollpension neon sign and several frames are hanging on the white brick wall.
Its admirable social mission aside, Vollpension is also insanely cosy

Day 2: Habsburgs, Classical Music & Fun

As we said before, seeing Vienna in 3 days means that you’ll inevitably have your share of Habsburg history on a daily basis. That said, your second day on this Vienna itinerary also touches upon the city’s unique musical heritage, before exploring Vienna’s quirky side and fun character.

Schönbrunn Palace

Located less than ten kilometres from Vienna’s city centre, Schönbrunn Palace is one of the best attractions in Vienna. Spend the morning at the former summer residence of the Habsburgs to learn more about the glorious past of the renowned monarchs.

Remodelled in the 18th century at its present form by Emperors Maria Theresia and Franz I, Shönbrunn Palace features 1441 rooms. You can visit 22 of them by choosing the Imperial Tour or 40 with the Grand Tour.

A panoramic view of the Schönbrunn Palace and the city from the Gloriette.
Schönbrunn Palace preparing for the annual Summer Night Concert

Decorated in Rococo style, the palace’s elaborate interior has hosted prominent personalities like Mozart and Napoleon. Like in Hofburg, at Schönbrunn, you will have the opportunity to explore the apartments of the most adored imperial couple, Franz Joseph and Elisabeth. Within the palace’s grounds, you can also visit the Imperial Carriage Museum.

Besides the palace itself, it’s worth spending a few hours at the Shönbrunn Gardens. Take a stroll from the imperial palace to the Gloriette, a true symbol of the Habsburg power, for fantastic views of Schönbrunn Palace.

View of the Gloriette and its reflection on the pond in the foreground.
The Gloriette in all its glory – pan intended

The gardens also offer several other attractions. Among them is the zoo, which we don’t recommend visiting as it’s against our commitment to responsible travel. However, we recommend visiting the Schönbrunn Maze, the perfect place to have a few laughs for kids and grown-ups alike. Keep in mind that you need an extra ticket to visit the attractions of the gardens.

For more information about opening hours and admission fees, click here.

If you prefer to visit Schönbrunn Palace on a guided tour with skip-the-line tickets, check out this tour.

A panoramic view of the maze from a higher viewpoint at the Schönbrunn gardens.
We had a lot of fun trying to reach the end of the maze

St. Stephen’s Cathedral

With its gorgeous colourful tiled roof, St. Stephen’s Cathedral dominates Vienna’s skyline. St. Stephen’s Cathedral is Vienna’s ultimate religious symbol and the most recognisable building in the city.

It was remodelled in Gothic and Romanesque style in its present form between 1339 and 1365. With its splendid Gothic stone pulpit and the high altar that represents St. Stephen’s stoning, the Cathedral’s interior is equally impressive.

Among the Cathedral’s highlights are the Catacombs. These were constructed after Charles VI closed the Cathedral’s cemetery to protect the city from the 1730 plague. What’s more, you can climb the 343 steps of the 136-metre-high South Tower for fantastic panoramic views of Vienna. At the North Tower, you can see Austria’s largest bell that has been hanging there since 1957.

From St. Stephen’s Cathedral starts Graben Steet, Vienna’s main pedestrianised shopping street. Walk along Graben Steet and take a look at the Plague Column or Trinity Column. The elaborate column was built in Baroque style when Leopold I pledged to construct a memorial to the victims of the Great Plague of 1679.

Book your tickets for your visit to St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the South and North Tower, the Dom Museum Wien and a guided tour of the Cathedral’s Catacombs.

A distant view of St. Stephen's Cathedral with its colourful tiled roof between modern buildings.
It’s always busy around St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna

Mozart’s Apartment

A few steps from St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Mozart’s Apartment or Mozarthaus is one of quite a few apartments – and the only surviving in Vienna – where the famous composer lived.

The apartment on the building’s first floor used to be Mozart’s residence from 1784 to 1787. In this apartment, Mozart composed one of his masterpieces, Le Nozze di Figaro. The building has five floors, four of which belong to Mozarthaus Vienna.

Book your tickets for an audio guide visit to the only preserved Mozart apartment in Vienna.

The facade of the building that houses Mozart's apartment.
The charming street where Mozarthaus is situated


On your way to the eastern part of the city, take a relaxing walk through Stadtpark.

Opened in 1862, Stadtpark was Vienna’s first public park. While there, you will come across several statues of famous Viennese artists, such as Johann Strauss and Franz Schubert. The massive building at the southwestern edge of the park is the Kursalon, a venue where the Strauss brothers gave concerts. It’s used for balls and concerts up to this day.

Walk along the uncovered part of the Wien River before you make your way out through the ornate U-Bahn station designed by Otto Wagner for the remodelling of the park at the beginning of the 20th century.

The park with several tents and benches in front of the Kursalon building in Stadtpark.
Stadtpark is a relaxing space in the heart of Vienna

Hundertwasser House

From Stadtpark, you can walk or take public transport to one of Vienna’s quirkiest buildings. Constructed in 1985, Hundertwasser House is a residential building with offices, terraces and trees. It was designed by Hundertwasser, an Austrian architect and visual artist. This colourful wavy building reminded us of the modernist structures in Barcelona.

You are not allowed to visit the apartments as they are private properties. However, you can visit Hundertwasser Village, a small shopping centre with bars and restaurants. It’s just across the street from Hundertwasser House.

The colourful facade of Hundertwasser House. The facade is divided into blue, yellow, red and green boxes with wavy lines.
A colourful touch on Vienna’s skyline


Finish your day at one of the largest parks in Vienna where fun and relaxation await. Prater is famous for its amusement park, Würstelprater, which offers about 250 entertaining attractions. Constructed in 1897, the giant Ferris Wheel or Riesenrad is the indisputable highlight of Prater and one of Vienna’s very symbols. Take a slow ride on the 64.75-metre Ferris Wheel for jaw-dropping views of Vienna.

Book your skip-the-line tickets for the iconic Ferris Wheel.

Besides the famed amusement park, Prater is also home to several beer gardens and restaurants where you can relax and unwind at the end of your second full day in Vienna.

A retro red wagon of the Ferris Wheel at the Prater.
Jaw-dropping views that only Vienna’s giant Ferris Wheel can offer

Where To Eat Or Drink on Your Second of 3 Days in Vienna:

  • Kleines Café: Tucked away in a small square near St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Kleines Café is a cute small café featured in the film Before Sunrise.
  • Schweizerhaus: Situated in the heart of Prater Park, Schweizerhaus is a lovely yet loud beer garden where you can have dinner or just a couple of pre-dinner beers.
  • AIDA Café: With their distinct pink logo, Aida is a chain of confectioneries in Vienna, ideal for trying Topfenstrudel (Viennese curd strudel), Punschkrapfen (Vienna’s signature pink dessert) and of course the famous Viennese coffee.
The traditional pink Viennese cake called Punschkrapfen at AIDA café.
Punschkrapfen is the queen of photogenic things to eat in Vienna

Day 3: Spectacular Art & More Vienna Landmarks

Vienna is home to more spectacular museums than we can count. Yet, if you’re planning to see Vienna in 3 days, it’s impossible to have time for all of them. This is why your last day on this Vienna 3-day itinerary starts with the art collection we believe no one should miss. From there, continue with some of the city’s landmarks before you end your Vienna trip in style.

Belvedere Palace

Located slightly outside the city centre, the Belvedere is a Baroque palace complex built on a gentle slope. Inspired by the Versailles, the complex consists of the Upper Belvedere, the Lower Belvedere and the gardens that link the two palaces. The Belvedere was the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy, an eminent general who gained his fame from his battles against the Ottomans.

Built between 1717 and 1723, the Upper Belvedere houses collections of medieval to modern art. Beyond doubt, the ultimate highlight of the Upper Belvedere is the room on the first floor that features 24 paintings of Gustav Klimt, the renowned Austrian painter and main representative of the Vienna Secession Movement. Among his works, you can see his masterpieces The Kiss, Judith and Adam & Eve.

People in front of Klimt's famous painting "The Kiss" in Upper Belvedere.
Awe-struck before the most famous Kiss

Built before the Upper Belvedere, the Lower Belvedere was the actual residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy. In its lavish interior, you can learn more about the Prince’s victories. You can also visit special exhibitions held in the Orangery, next to the Lower Belvedere.

If you don’t have enough time for both the Lower and the Upper Belvedere, limit your visit to the Upper Belvedere and a walk through the Baroque gardens designed in French style.

Book your tickets to the Upper Belvedere and its permanent collection.

The Belvedere gardens with the Lower Belvedere in the background.
The manicured gardens of the Belvedere Palace

State Hall of The Austrian National Library

Back to the city centre and time to visit another part of the Hofburg complex. Situated in the Neue Burg Wing of Hofburg, the National Library is the largest library in Austria. The library was constructed in the 18th century during the reign of Emperor Charles VI.

Step into the magnificent Grand Hall of the Library and be mesmerised by the scent of the over 200,000 historic leather-bound books from 1500 to 1850 that fill the old-fashioned wooden bookshelves.

Needless to say, you’re not allowed to read any of these historic books. However, it’s worth visiting the impressive State Hall. The marble statues and Venetian globes that are scattered across the hall, the splendid frescoes on the dome, the vaulted ceilings and the aged books that line the wooden Baroque bookshelves generate an imperial aura.

For more information about opening hours and admission fees, click here.

The National Library's interior with its wooden bookshelves and frescoes on the vaulted ceiling.
Inside the Austrian National Library

Rathaus & The Austrian Parliament Building

Built between 1872 and 1883, the Rathaus or Vienna’s City Hall is the most important secular building in Vienna. The impressive building was designed by the architect Friedrich Von Schmidt in Neo-Gothic style.

If you ever visit Liberec in the Czech Republic, you will notice the resemblance between Liberec Town Hall and Rathaus. What’s more, the City Hall Square hosts the grandest of all Viennese Christmas Markets.

Before heading to your next stop, take a quick look at the Austrian Parliament, right next to the City Hall Park. You can notice another similarity there. This time to the Academy of Athens. The building’s Neo-Greek style with the Pallas Athena fountain in front of the entrance and the Nike on the roof felt like home to us.

The Athena statue in front of the Austrian Parliament.
Vienna or Athens?

Ferstel Passage

A short walk from the City Hall and the Austrian Parliament, Palais Ferstel is one of the few buildings in Vienna with a passage designed as a shopping arcade. The Ferstel Passage used to be a social hub in the 20th century.

Nowadays, it’s lined with small shops, cafés and restaurants, ideal for a quick refreshing stop in between your sightseeing in Vienna. Palais Ferstel was built in 1860 to house the Austrian National Bank and Stockmarket and it’s also home to the famous Café Central.

People take a stroll inside Ferstel Passage.
The Ferstel Passage is almost too beautiful


From Palais Ferstel, walk to Judenplatz, the once vibrant centre of Jews during the Middle Ages. Once there, you will notice the statue of the German poet Lessing at one end of the square.

At the other end, the striking Holocaust Memorial designed by the English artist Rachel Whiteread stands silent and gloomy. This austere concrete block commemorates the 65,000 Austrian Jews who were murdered by the Nazis.

Moreover, if you’re interested in Jewish history, you can visit the Jewish Museum in Judenplatz. The latter showcases the foundations of a medieval synagogue that once stood there.

Alternatively, join this 2-hour walking tour to learn everything about Vienna’s Jewish past.

One of the Holocaust Memorial's facades with flowers in front of the entrance.
Vienna’s Holocaust Memorial


Constructed in 1911 by Franz von Matsch, the Art Nouveau Anker Clock decorates the bridge that links the two buildings of the Anker Insurance Company. Similar to Prague’s Astronomical Clock, the Anker Clock features 12 historic figures, such as Prince Eugene of Savoy with whom you are familiar by now (the Belvedere guy). Each of the 12 figures parades at every hour. Every day at noon they parade all together.

The Anker Clock on the bridge that links the two buildings. One figure is already visible in front of the clock while a few others are waiting to parade.
The eye-catching Anker Clock, one of the best things to see in Vienna in 3 days

Evening Cruise

What better way to end your fantastic 3-day Vienna trip than a romantic evening cruise on the Danube River? Pamper yourself with this evening cruise that offers a 3-course dinner with vegetarian options and enjoy Vienna under the light of the stars.

Where To Eat Or Drink on Your Third of 3 Days in Vienna:

  • Café Central: Opened in 1876, the historic Café Central is part of Palais Ferstel and it was the place to be for the Viennese intellectuals of the time.
  • Glacis Beisl: Right at the back of MuseumsQuartier, Vienna’s large complex of museums and art collections, Glacis Beisl is a typical Viennese bistro with a fantastic garden hidden from the hustle and bustle of the city. We loved the quite a few vegetarian options and the splendid garden.
  • Café Natural Winebar Espresso: If you’re tired of the imperial-looking cafés, we recommend stopping for coffee and cake at this more down-to-earth café.
Dumplings with curd potato filling in Glacis Beisl.
A hearty vegetarian dish at Glacis Beisl, one of the best restaurants in Vienna

If You Have More Than Three Days in Vienna

If you plan to extend your stay to more than 3 days in Vienna, here is a list of some other fantastic places to visit in Vienna:

  • Kunsthistorisches Museum is Vienna’s Museum of Art History. Opposite the identical Natural History Museum and next to MuseumsQuartier, this Art Museum is home to a vast collection of notable paintings that belonged to the Habsburgs. There’s also a picture-perfect on-site café. Buy your tickets here.
  • Sigmund Freud Museum: Located in the Alsergrund district, the Sigmund Freud Museum is housed in the old apartment and practice of Sigmund Freud before he fled to London in 1938. The museum is focused on the history of psychoanalysis. Buy your tickets here.
  • Österreichische Postsparkasse or the former Austrian Postal Savings Bank. Built between 1904 and 1912, this modern building was designed by the famous Viennese Architect Otto Wagner. Don’t miss the former banking hall, transformed into an exhibition space.
  • Vienna Furniture Museum: A unique museum that displays a massive collection of the Habsburgs’ furniture. Also, the museum houses a special permanent exhibition called Sissi in the Movies. The latter is dedicated to the 1950s TV series trilogy that made Empress Elisabeth and her life’s story known across the globe.
  • Therme Wien: Located a short distance by metro from the city centre, Therme Wien is the best place to pamper yourself while in Vienna. The indoor thermal pools are ideal for cold and rainy days, whereas the outdoor pools are refreshing during the hot summer days.
  • Strandbar Herrmann: Austria may be a landlocked country but Vienna’s river beach bars are gaining in popularity. Strandbar Herrmann might just be our favourite among them.
A collection of chairs and a desk in the Vienna Furniture Museum.
Visiting the Vienna Furniture Museum is one of the most unusual things to do in Vienna

If you’re planning to see the best of Vienna in 3 days, we hope that this 3-day Vienna itinerary becomes your go-to guide to planning the Vienna trip of your dreams.

WORDS & IMAGES: Katerina

Disclosure: As media and marketing specialists, we often visit destinations on press tours or as part of marketing campaigns, but under no circumstances does this affect our opinions about the places we visit and the experiences we try. Rest assured that you will find nothing but honest reviews throughout our content. For the needs of writing this Vienna in 3 Days article, we were offered press Vienna City Cards and press passes to and/or tours of the following attractions: Imperial Apartments & Sisi Museum, Imperial Crypt, Vienna State Opera, Schönbrunn Palace, Prater Ferris Wheel, Upper Belvedere, Austrian National Library, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Sigmund Freud Museum, Vienna Furniture Museum.

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