St. Stephan's in Vienna

One Day In Vienna – The Top 6 Things To Do

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If you are short on time and can only spend one day in Vienna, then here is your must do list.

I have been to Vienna  several times and absolutely love this city!

As the stunning capital of Austria, rich with history and culture, Vienna is a must see on your European trip.

Vienna was home to some of the world’s most brilliant talents such as Beethoven, Mozart, and Freud, and was the seat of the Habsburg royal family who ruled until 1918. 

Here are the top 6 things to do in one day in Vienna for the traveler who need sa quick trip. And if you have more time, here are more Must See Vienna sites!

You’ll fall in love with the architecture, art, food, music, and royalty. I always find it to be very safe and clean. (Actually, a kind of clean like I’ve never seen in a city before!)

Here’s how to enjoy one day in Vienna.

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The Top 6 things to do on your
One Day In Vienna

St.Stephens Vienna

#1. The Stephansplatz & Heldenplatz

The Innere Stadt is the city center and is flanked by two of the most important places in Vienna.

On one side is Stephansplatz, home to Stephansdom, or St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and on the other side is The Heldenplatz, home of The Hofburg, the winter palace of the Habsburg dynasty.

The cathedral, originally built in 1147, is one of the tallest churches in the world and is famous for its catacomb burial sites, church treasures, and Gothic architecture.

The palace, built in the 13th century, is filled with art, silver, and stories of the iconic Elizabeth and Franz Joseph Habsburg.

Tours of the church and the palace are well worth it, when you have more time.

Vienna Art Museum
Must See Vienna

#2 Visit the Albertina Museum

No trip to Vienna is complete without at least a short visit to an art museum.With not much time, you want to choose your museum wisely.

I’m recommending the Albertina Museum because it offers important masterpieces from favorites, such as Picasso and Monet, as well as Klimt, but it’s not overwhelming and has pieces the whole family will enjoy. 

The World Heritage Site complex of the Belvedere or the Kunsthistorisches Museum are also fantastic because the palace architecture is as important as the art within. You’ll be able to see Klimt, Rembrandt, and Caravaggio. The most famous work of Klimt, The Kiss, is in the Belvedere. 

Mozart House

#3. Mozart’s House

The Mozarthaus Museum is a small and simple look into the genius’ life for the three years he lived in Vienna.

Visiting the modest apartments gives you a glimpse into Mozart’s world and his music.

It’s a small museum and doesn’t take that long to wander through. The ticket price is €12 per adult or €25 for the whole family. 

ST. Stephens Vienna
St. Stephens Vienna

#4. The Strudel Show at Schloss Schönbrunn Palace

Schloss Schönbrunn Palace was the summer home for the royal Habsburg family. It is a 15 minute ride outside the city center. You can take a taxi, rideshare app, or the subway. 

Pro Tip: For a family of 4 it’s cheaper, quicker, and much more convenient to call an Uber.

Short on time? Skip the palace and make a beeline for the kitchen!

The Strudel Show at the Schönbrunn Palace is not to be missed.

Watch and learn how to make the traditional apple strudel, Vienna’s most famous desert.

Every hour a professional strudel chef bakes an apple strudel for a small audience in the palace.

For only €11.50 p/person you can watch a delightful show, eat a delicious piece of fresh apple strudel, and sip coffee or hot cocoa!

It’s a legendary hoot! More fun than you can imagine.

Strudel Show Vienna

Palace Add-On

If you decide you have more time, the Habsburg’s winter and summer homes are everything you want in palaces!

Regal, Rococo, and Rich! With thousands of rooms, you could be touring all day seeing furniture, silver, apartments, art, gardens, etc.

For €36 p/adult and €23 p/child you can have a grand tour of either palace.

Vienna at Christmas

#5. Café Central

Café Central is inside the Palais Ferstel, a Venetian mansion.

Trotsky and Freud and friends would gather there for coffee and strudel and conversation.

There are many wonderful cafes in Vienna, but this is the most famous and the most beautiful. Well worth the wait in line to be seated.

Go for a full meal, or just coffee and desert, just go!

Cafe Central
Cafe Central Vienna
Cafe Central Vienna
Cafe Central Vienna

#6. The Vienna State Opera

The world famous Vienna State Opera is unlike anything you have experienced. Make your plans early enough to buy tickets to the opera.

Whether you are a fan of opera or not, make this your last stop on your one day in Vienna. Dress up and enjoy the show. You will not be sorry!

Ticket prices range from €15 – €215. 

Vienna State Opera

Where is the best place to stay in Vienna?

→ Best Luxury HotelHotel Bristol Vienna
This is a 5 star old world elegant hotel directly across from the Opera House. Prices start at $407

→ Best Mid Range HotelAustria Classic Hotel Wien
This is a 200 year old hotel with modern upgrades, centrally located and filled with charm. Prices start at $192

→ Most Historic HotelDas Tigre Hotel
This is one of the homes where Mozart lived in 1762. Lots of history and located in the City Center. Prices start at $203

Vienna has 23 districts, but as a first time visitor, you should stay in Vienna’s city center, Innere Stadt where most of the main tourist attractions are.

From there, you’ll be able to walk to the sites and will be in the heart of one of Europe’s most revered cultural cities.

Vienna State Opera
Vienna State Opera
Cafe Central Vienna

If you are lucky enough to visit Vienna during the holiday season, be sure to spend time in the Christmas markets shopping and eating your way through town!


Vienna Markets

When is the best time to visit Vienna?

Vienna is gorgeous all year round.

I visited in December and highly recommend being there for the Christmas markets, the cold air on your face, and the festive lights lining the streets.

The spring is a wonderful time because Vienna is less busy and the temps are very mild.

The fall is also a great time to visit Vienna because the temperatures are in the high 60’s and the height of the tourist season is over.

The summer is beautiful, but can be hot and difficult to book a place to stay.


What is the best way to get around Vienna?

Your one day in Vienna will include a lot of walking, but you have choices for transportation, including rideshare apps.

Vienna Hop On and Hop Off sightseeing bus tours allow access to many attractions.

A Vienna City Card will give you free public transportation for the day, and offers discounts to some attractions.

Travel Tips for visiting Vienna

~ The Euro is the official currency of Austria.

~ Plug types are types C and F. Type C is the one with two round pins and Type F is the plug with two round pins and two earth clips on the side. 

~ The language of Vienna is German. Many people speak English, and other European languages, however.

~ Cafes, coffee, pastries, cafes, coffee, pastries.

~ Take a Free Walking Tour. (Actually, a pay-what-you-can tour). There are over 100 guided walking tours offered in Vienna! Some with themes and others are more basic. I chose the Vienna City Classic Walk.

Now you’ve got a full itinerary for spending one day in Vienna

In a nutshell…

Vienna is one of Europe’s most beloved cities for good reason. It continues to contribute to the creative spirit and refined culture that Europe is kown for. 

From the art, the music, the food, and the architecture, Vienna offers everything you want from a charming city.

One day in Vienna will leave you wanting more! Enjoy!



Hi There! I’m Carrie.

Carrie Green-Zinn Bio Page

I’m a native New Englander, turned New Yorker, turned California girl! Following a dance career, working as a dance therapist, and being a school psychologist, I’m now ready to share my passion for photography and travel with you! I absolutely love seeing the world with my family and friends. I know you feel the same! Let’s go! 

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