If you’re visiting Vienna and in dire need of an in-depth itinerary – you’ve hit the jackpot. Our ultimate 4 days in Vienna itinerary helps you find incredible historical landmarks and explore this Austrian city via walking tours and day trips.
Vienna is one of Europe’s best places to visit for a cultural experience like no other. The city boasts a range of stunning Baroque architecture, world-class museums, art galleries, and fabulous Christmas markets, serving a classic European vibe.
4 days in Vienna itinerary: at a glance
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
As the capital city of Austria, Vienna boasts an extensive amount of historical monuments, art museums, and some of the best things to do in a central Europe itinerary.
Here’s a quick rundown of your epic 4 days in Vienna itinerary,
- Day 1 of 4 days in Vienna itinerary: Take the day to explore Vienna’s Old Town or Innere Stadt. This UNESCO site offers a range of activities, from shopping to visiting famous museums. Visit Karlskirche, Vienna Opera House, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Hofburg Palace, Austrian National Library, Burgtheater, or Golden Hall.
- Day 2 of 4 days in Vienna itinerary: See how many of Vienna’s 100 museums you can visit in a day by strolling through the Museumsquartier. During the holidays, Miss Spittelberg’s Christmas Market is the star of the show. Check off Kunsthistorisches, Natural History Museum, Leopold Museum, Sisi Museum, and Albertina Museum.
- Day 3 of 4 days in Vienna itinerary: Let your hair down and enjoy some of Vienna’s more adventurous attractions. The giant Ferris wheel gives sweeping views of the city and is an excellent place for a photo op. Visit Spanish Riding School, Butterfly House, and Mozart House.
- Day 4 of 4 days in Vienna itinerary: Your final day in Vienna is dedicated to visiting the most notable landmarks in the city starting with the Belvedere Palace. Next, the Schönbrunn Palace complex is a three-in-one package with the Palm House and Cafe Gloriette within walking distance.
Getting around Vienna
Getting around Vienna is super easy.
You can use the city airport train, which is centrally located about 10 minutes from St. Stephen’s Cathedral, to get around town without any hassle. It costs about €12 for a single trip and €21 for a return.
Vienna is a very walkable city, so there’s no need to hire a car unless you want to venture out on a day trip to nearby places like Prague or Budapest.
The first two days in Vienna of this itinerary can all be done by walking or hopping on the readily available public transport.
Another great thing to have is the Vienna City Card. It gives you access to more than 60 museums, unlimited access to the city’s yellow hop-on-hop-off buses, and priority access to popular sights.
You can personalize the city card to your itinerary and choose whether you’d like a 24-hour (€17), 48-hour (€25), or 72-hour (€29) pass.
Alternate Option: You can also get the Vienna Pass which is great for sightseeing. You can buy it for 1, 2, 3, and 6 days, and it provides you free admission to over 70 attractions to explore in your Vienna travel itinerary.
Plus it has unlimited rides on the hop-on hop-off buses. Get your Vienna Pass here!
Where to stay for the perfect Vienna itinerary
To conquer Vienna in 4 days, you’ll need a great place to stay that offers all the amenities that will facilitate a seamless trip. Vienna boasts numerous hotels that suit every traveler’s budget.
Here are a few options to consider when choosing where to stay in Vienna:
- Hilton Vienna Park — Get all you need, from a buffet breakfast to a luxe room with a 40-inch TV and amazing city views at the Hilton Vienna Park Hotel. Located in the city center across from a huge park, the hotel offers easy access to the most popular attractions. Book your stay here
- Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof — Enjoy modern comforts at Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof, with stunning Baroque and Art Déco furnishings, two saunas, and a spa where you can get various special treatments. This hotel is steps away from the Imperial Palace, giving views of its iconic domes. Check availability here
- The Leo Grand — Step back in time at Old Town’s elegant Leo Grand hotel. The hotel offers charming rooms with beamed ceilings, Austrian decor elements, and access to historical landmarks such as St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Book your stay here
Day 1 of 4 days in Vienna itinerary: Explore Vienna’s historic city centre
Kickstart your Vienna itinerary with a guided tour around the historic centre – a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Old Town, or “Innere Stadt,” is located at the heart of Vienna and lined with upscale shops and cafes along the pedestrian-only Kärntner Strasse and Graben.
You’ll also find Vienna city hall, a handful of museums, churches, and art galleries.
Marvel at the Karlskirche
The Karlskirche is one of Vienna’s symbolic landmarks. The outstanding Baroque church boasts a stunning white exterior and an iconic blue oval-shaped dome.
Karlskirche’s interior is even more impressive, with ornate plasterwork and magnificent frescos on the ellipsoid dome.
Apart from the gorgeous architecture, the Karlskirche is also known for hosting classical music concerts and serving some of the best views of Vienna.
Explore the Vienna State Opera House
The Vienna State Opera House is one of the leading opera houses globally. Its fame comes from the long history of amazing performances by the likes of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
This opera house has a whopping 2,284 total capacity, hosts about 70 productions annually, and never repeats a performance for two consecutive nights.
If you’re only spending one day in Vienna, visiting the Vienna State Opera is a must. Missed out on a ticket? Not to worry — the Vienna Music Society or Musikverein is a concert hall nearby where you can catch the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra live (more on that below).
Admire St. Stephen’s Cathedral
Many tourists visit Vienna for its outstanding architecture, and it’s easy to see why. The St. Stephen’s Cathedral is one of Vienna’s most iconic landmarks, with towering pointed arches, stained glass, and an elaborate exterior.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral is a 12th-century Gothic structure that’s seen extensive renovations to attain its original beauty after being bombed several times during World War II.
If you’re up for an adventure, climb up the cathedral’s 343-stair tower, also known as a “Steffl”.
Tip: Book St. Stephen’s Cathedral tickets for a classical music concert here.
Explore the Hofburg Palace complex
The Hofburg Palace is a beautiful Baroque royal residence that housed Austrian sovereigns for more than 600 years. Its apt location in the city center makes Hofburg Palace an unmissable attraction when visiting Vienna.
The 13th-century imperial palace has an interesting history, as it was the seat of power for the Habsburg dynasty.
Currently, the Hofburg is the official residence and office of the president of Austria and a popular tourist attraction.
You’ll also find other Vienna landmarks like the Imperial Treasury, which houses the Holy Roman Empire regalia, the Spanish Riding School, and Sisi Museum.
Tip: See the Hofburg Palace, the Imperial Apartments, Sisi Museum, and the extravagant Silver Collection via this private guided tour.
Visit the Austrian National Library
The Austrian National Library houses more than 12 million items across its various collections, making it the largest library in Austria.
At the heart of the Austrian National Library, you’ll find the State Hall, the largest Baroque library in Europe.
This impressive hall is about 262 feet long and 66 feet high, crowned by a dome with beautiful frescoes. The State Hall alone holds more than 200,000 books, including the most extensive collection of Martin Luther’s Reformation Era writings.
Attend a German-language play at the Burgtheater
The Burgtheater is Austria’s national theater and one of the oldest in Europe. It dates back to 1741 when an entrepreneur asked Empress Maria Theresa’s permission to convert a disused building into a stage.
Burgtheater is dedicated to the art of spoken word and rendering intriguing German plays.
If that’s not your thing, you can also take an English-guided tour through the building. You’ll learn about the theater’s history, personalities, and many entertaining anecdotes.
The artistry in Burgtheater is also one to note; the building boasts two glorious staircases and impressive ceiling murals by Ernst Klimt and Gustav.
Alternate Option: Catch a show at the Golden Hall in Wiener Musikverein
Getting the chance to watch a show or concert at the Golden Hall in Wiener Musikverein is an experience like no other. Beloved by music lovers all around the world, it has a reputation for hosting some of the most amazing and unique shows available.
Its impressive architecture lends to its extraordinary sound and atmosphere, where visitors can lose themselves in the perfect combination of notes, acoustics, and lighting.
The Musikverein is located in Vienna’s famous Innere Stadt district and has been thrilling locals and tourists alike since 1870 – so don’t miss out on your chance to be part of this incredible experience!
Day 2 of 4 days in Vienna itinerary: Check out Vienna’s best museums
Vienna is home to more than just a handful of museums. With about 100 museums and collections dotted across the city, Vienna is a haven for art lovers and history enthusiasts from all walks of life.
Visit the Kunsthistorisches Museum
The Kunsthistorisches is an art history museum located in the iconic Museum Quarter opposite the nearly-identical Natural History Museum.
Built in 1891, the museum hosts twelve out of 40 eminent works of Pieter Bruegel the Elder — making it the world’s largest collection of the artist’s work.
Kunsthistorisches Museum also hosts an array of masterpieces by Europe’s most famous artists like Raphael, Rembrandt, and Durer. This art museum also carries ancient Egyptian relics and artifacts.
Tip: Get a skip-the-line ticket and explore the Kunsthistorisches Museum and its extraordinary collection of imperial-era art.
Explore the Natural History Museum
Just a short walk from the Kunsthistorisches Museum, you’ll stumble upon Vienna’s Natural History Museum. Thanks to the museum’s 20 million objects, you’ll see breathtaking displays of nature.
The Natural History Museum also boasts extensive collections of dinosaur skeletons and meteorites, as well as a display of various insects from across the world.
Spend some time admiring the museum’s ornate frescoes and halls.
Marvel at the Maria Theresa Monument
The Maria Theresa Monument is an iconic sculpture of Empress Maria Theresa, who ruled Austria under the Habsburg dynasty from 1740 to 1780. This towering bronze sculpture weighs about 44 tonnes and took 13 years to complete.
You’ll easily spot this monument, as it’s right in the middle of the Kunsthistorische and Vienna’s Natural History Museum.
Stroll through the Leopold Museum
If you’re a fan of modern art, particularly Austrian art, then you’ll love the Leopold Museum. Housing about 6,000 pieces, the Leopold Museum is known for its extensive collection of paintings by the enigmatic Egon Schiele — the largest in the world.
This museum’s plain interior allows you to focus on the artistry and creativity of the artworks. You’ll love strolling through the galleries admiring Jugendstil, Wiener Moderne, and Impressionist art.
Tip: Admire Austrian art from the likes of Oskar Kokoschka, Gustav Klimt, and Richard Gerstl, to name a few, with this Leopold Museum entrance ticket.
Admire Austrian fashion at the Sisi Museum
Head to the Imperial Palace to learn about the life of fashion icon and trendsetter Empress Elisabeth, the wife of Emperor Franz Joseph, at this personalized museum.
The empress, nicknamed Sisi, was famous for her beauty and fashion. This museum takes a deeper look into the private life of the famed empress, with several exhibits displaying her clothes, jewelry, and personal letters.
Tip: Walk through the rooms of Empress Elisabeth’s imperial apartments at Hofburg Palace with this guided walking tour of Vienna.
Walk through Albertina Museum
If you’re looking for a full display of fine art dating back centuries to the modern pieces we see today, you must visit the Albertina Museum. It hosts one of the largest print houses in the world.
The Albertina Museum has over 65,000 drawings, about a million old master prints, modern graphic works, photographs, and architectural drawings to peruse.
You’ll also find permanent exhibitions of Austrian modernist art, including the Monet-Picasso collection.
Day 3 of 4 days in Vienna itinerary: Experience Vienna’s fun and quirky things to do
Apart from numerous museums and galleries, Vienna also offers a range of quirky attractions that show you a different side of the city.
See a show at the Spanish Riding School
Visit the Spanish Riding School for an authentic display of classic equestrian skills preserved and practiced for more than 450 years. Training of the school’s famous Lipizzaner horses and their riders are inseparable.
The show displays equestrian dressage techniques like the “pas-de-deux” — where the stallions perform in an exquisitely-coordinated mirror image.
There are other ways you can visit the Spanish Riding School. You can take a guided tour of the baroque-designed premises or attend a training session — but nothing is as magical as seeing the show.
Tip: Attend a Spanish Riding School classic performance and see the snow-white Lipizzaner stallions in action.
Marvel at the butterflies at Schmetterlinghaus
Escape Vienna’s busy city center and find a peaceful oasis in this butterfly house at the Burggarten. The Schmetterlinghaus is a 1,000-acre zoo housing various butterfly species in artificial tropical conditions.
Located in the Burggarten’s Art Nouveau buildings, this butterfly haven hosts about 500 free-living and flying butterflies in a recreated habitat. You’ll learn about the different butterfly species and their life cycle.
Tip: The recreated rainforest and butterflies make this a scenic attraction so bring your camera to get the best snaps for the socials.
Wien Museum Mozart Apartment
Vienna is known as the “City of Music” thanks to its rich classical music history. The city has been home to many famous musicians like Beethoven and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
So if you’re a music lover, visiting the Mozarthaus Museum during your trip is a must.
This intriguing museum is in an apartment building on Domgasse Street, just a two-minute walk from St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The composer lived here from 1784 to 1787.
As you stroll through the apartment, you’ll see Mozart and his family’s living quarters on the first level. The second floor is centered around Mozart’s operas, while the third floor dives into more details about Mozart’s elegant lifestyle in Vienna.
Alternate option for winter: Vienna City Hall & Festivities
In the winter, consider visiting the Vienna City Hall and the square. It is located about a 15-minute walk or a 5-minute cab ride from the Spanish Riding School or a minute’s drive from Schmetterlinghaus.
Vienna City Hall is a stunning example of architecture that has become a symbol of the city.
Located at Rathausplatz, it is made entirely of bricks and decorated with statues. Besides admiring its exterior facade, you can take a free guided tour inside during certain days of the week.
The building mainly serves as Vienna’s administrative office but also holds major celebrations like New Year’s concerts and festive events.
During the winter months, the city hall square hosts the largest traditional Christmas market in Vienna, and parts of it turn into a giant ice skating rink for family fun and activities.
Every year, tens of thousands of people visit this public event to experience the festive atmosphere in Austria’s capital!
Viennese giant Ferris wheel
Get your adrenaline pumping at one of Vienna’s popular tourist attractions. Located at the entrance of The Prater Amusement Park, the giant Ferris wheel stands at about 212.4 feet and has a diameter of 200 feet.
The giant Ferris wheel symbolizes the city and is a great place to have some fun in the sun.
Take a spin on the wheel and get stunning views of Vienna’s skyline and surrounding sights like the Pannonian Basin, Danube River, and Vienna woods.
Prater Amusement Park is a place you can spend hours exploring. It offers so many fun rides and activities, such as an arcade room, a cinema, and a few eateries to curb any hunger that may come your way.
Day 4 of 4 days in Vienna itinerary: Explore Vienna’s incredible historical landmarks
Wrap up your conquest of Vienna in 4 days by exploring some of the city’s famous historical landmarks. If you’ve visited Vienna before and didn’t see these monuments — you missed out.
Stroll through the Belvedere Palace Complex
The Belvedere Palace consists of three beautiful components — the Upper Belvedere, the Lower Belvedere, and the impressive palace gardens.
Built in the early 1700s, Belvedere Palace was built on request by Prince Eugene of Savoy. The prince used this palace as his summer residence.
The Upper Belvedere is where you’ll find the Belvedere Museum, with temporary art exhibitions of paintings, sculptures, and ornate frescoes by prominent artists. You’ll also see the largest Gustav Klimt collection — including the world-renowned painting “The Kiss.”
On the other hand, the Lower Belvedere primarily acted as the prince’s residential quarters. But there are also temporary exhibitions for you to peruse.
Tip: See the best of both the Upper and Lower Belvedere with this two-hour tour through the palace.
Admire the beauty of Schönbrunn Palace
Another must-see Vienna landmark is the Baroque royal residence of Schönbrunn Palace. This stunning palace boasts gorgeous gardens, courtyards, and fountains.
Schönbrunn Palace was built in 1700 and was the main summer residence for the Habsburg monarchy.
In addition to being a royal residence, Schönbrunn Palace was also a popular events venue that hosted a six-year-old Mozart. The palace was also Napoleon’s headquarters during the French occupation.
A guided tour through the palace and its grounds will take you through the 22 staterooms of Schönbrunn Palace, the Orangery, and the French-style gardens.
You’ll end your tour at the Gloriette, giving you the sprawling sights of Vienna.
Tip: If you’re visiting Vienna in the holiday season, how does attending the Christmas market and classical concert at Schönbrunn Palace sound?
Marvel at the Palm House
Before you leave Schönbrunn Palace, stop by the dazzling Palm House. This airy greenhouse is the largest of its kind in Europe, boasting dozens of tropical, subtropical, and Mediterranean plants and shrubs.
Commissioned in 1882 by Emperor Franz Joseph, the Palm House consists of three pavilions, each with a unique climate zone. In the tallest room, you’ll find plants from South Africa, America, Australia, and one of the most beautiful places in Spain, the Canary Islands.
Historic Cafe Gloriette
Wrap up Vienna in 4 days with lunch at the Historical Cafe Gloriette at Schönbrunn Palace. This is a great spot to wind down after a busy day of exploring; try the cafe’s fresh apple strudel or variations of traditional Viennese cake.
If you’re not hungry, you can also stop by for just the amazing coffee.
Tip: You can also start your tour of Schönbrunn Palace at Cafe Gloriette. If you’re there early enough, you may even get incredible views of the sun rising over Vienna. The cafe opens at 9 am.
On your last evening in Vienna, enjoy a lovely dinner and stroll the Inner District of this gorgeous city!
Alternate Itinerary Idea: Day trip to Wachau Valley
Wachau Valley is a dream weekend getaway. It’s about an hour and 30 minutes drive from Vienna and ideally situated along the Danube River. Besides the stunning natural scenery, Wachau Valley is also known for its many wineries.
It is an easy day trip from Vienna where you learn about the region’s intriguing history, from small family-owned wineries to famous wine houses like the Domäne Wachau, all while riding a bike through the scenic valley.
You can also explore some of the region’s notable attractions, like Melk Abbey — a clifftop Benedictine monastery with views of the Dunabe.
Tip: Spend the day bike riding through one of Vienna’s most prominent wine-producing regions, visit the Dürnstein UNESCO World Heritage Site, and hike up to the castle ruins with this biking tour.
Sightseeing Map for 4 day Vienna Itinerary
Vienna Travel Tips
Vienna is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. From its world-famous art galleries and museums to its wonderful restaurants, there are plenty of things to do when you visit this incredible city.
The key to making the most of your trip is planning ahead. Here’s a guide on how to make the most out of your trip to Vienna!
Vienna is located in Austria, which is a European Union member. If you require a visa to enter most European countries, then you will likely need a Schengen Visa to get to Vienna.
Visitors with US and Canadian passports do not require a visa to enter the country and stay for 90 days; however from 2023, an online authorization – ETIAS – is required prior to travel.
The main or official language of Austria is German. But English is spoken in Vienna and beyond.
When looking for accommodation in Vienna, it is best to stay at a centrally located hotel for sightseeing and access to shops and cafes!
Food in Vienna:
Vienna is a foodie paradise!
From traditional Austrian dishes like Wiener Schnitzel (breaded veal cutlet), Apfelstrudel – aka apple strudel, and Tafelspitz (boiled beef with horseradish cream) to international cuisine such as Indian or Turkish food, there are plenty of delicious options for every taste.
Get off the beaten track by exploring local cafes, street food stalls, and markets.
Don’t forget about dessert—Viennese pastries are renowned all over the world!
Tours in Vienna:
Vienna has numerous free sightseeing tours available for tourists who want an insider perspective on the city without breaking their budget. These walking tours will take you through some of the city’s best-known attractions while providing insights into its history, architecture, culture, and more.
There are also bike tours available which allow you to explore Vienna at a faster pace while still learning about its fascinating history. Just make sure you plan ahead so that you don’t miss out on any opportunities!
There are many attractions and activities available in Vienna that suit different interests and budgets – and the Vienna Pass makes it worth it.
With 4 full days in Vienna, you must intimately explore some of their palaces and museums and the Pass makes it easy.
The top places that you must visit are Schonbrunn Palace, Giant Ferris Wheel, Hofburg Imperial Palace, Vienna State Opera – Guided Tour, Winter Palace, and Liechtenstein Castle.
Although no transportation is included, you can use the hop-on and hop-off bus ride to get to the attractions, and this is an unlimited ride. We were able to check out the Hundertwasserhaus, built on the concept of artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser from the outside using the sightseeing bus tour.
Plus once you are at the heart of the city centre you can walk to shops and restaurants, or your centrally located hotel.
Vienna is amazing all year round. To save money on accommodation and beat the crowds, consider visiting Vienna in the late spring months of April to May or in the fall from September to October.
Summer months are warm, but also crowded and accommodation prices are very high. Winters are amazing to hop Christmas Markets, but it is also cold if you are not used to the chilly weather!
Yes, Vienna is walkable! Especially the city centre of Vienna is very small and impact and you can easily cover the prime attractions. The historic city centre is pedestrian access only, which makes it easy to navigate the city, relax and also take in the vibes of Vienna.
Vienna is one of the most expensive cities to visit in Europe.
As compared to its neighbors like Prague, and Budapest Vienna will be pricey in terms of attractions entry, and city centre hotels. Food is also expensive, but you can save money by doing groceries (pre-packed meals) or eating in small cafes.
For sightseeing on a budget, you can join a free walking tour (tip-based).
Shops are closed on Sundays, and on Saturdays. They close after 06:00 pm.
Are 4 days in Vienna enough?
Vienna is an incredible city with plenty to offer. Although four days may seem like a short amount of time, you can still get a good taste of all that this city has to offer if you plan ahead and know what places are must-see spots.
Choose the attractions that are most important to you, and make sure to leave yourself plenty of time to enjoy them. Get the Vienna Pass to visit your favorites.
With 4 days in Vienna, you can also explore Vienna’s many parks and gardens, take one day trip, eat your way out and soak up some local culture.
4 days in Vienna itinerary | Wrap up
Vienna may be known as the city of music and modern art, thanks to its abundance of museums and galleries. But there’s much more to this city than what meets the eye.
You’ll have plenty of things to do in this city. From attending a classical music concert to pursuing art collections, admiring the Baroque architecture, or enjoying the city’s green spaces, there’s something in Vienna for everyone.
Read more of our Europe travel guides on our website
- Vienna: Vienna in March | What to wear in Vienna in March
- Vienna Prague and Budapest Itinerary
- Austria Itinerary 7 days
- Salzburg Itinerary 2 days