What is the best way to see Vienna in one day?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Joseph Reaney

Vienna is far too large to see in one day, but if you start early, finish late and are happy to do plenty of walking, Forbes Travel Guide editors say you can take in most of the Altstadt (Old Town).
Start your day inside St. Stephen’s Cathedral in the heart of the city: a 12th century house of God with one of the most beautiful interiors in Vienna. Climb the high south tower for a spectacular panoramic view of the city, then come back to earth for a quick bakery breakfast in Stefansplatz.
From here, head south through the shopping district to see the imposing Staatsoper — Austria’s leading opera house and a prime example of French Renaissance-style architecture — then head across the Burggarten to take in the Hofburg Palace Complex. The winter palace of the all-powerful Hapsburgs (Habsburg in Vienna) is far too large to see in one day, so choose between the Kaiserappartments (Imperial Apartments) and the stunning Schatzkammer (Imperial Treasury). If you want to spend a little longer here, you can also visit the Augustinerkirche (Augustinian Church). Regardless, you can then break for lunch in the nearby Café Tirolerhof on Führichgasse.
In the afternoon, take in some more Old Town sights, like the spectacular Jesuit Church and the magnificent Burgtheater, or you can head just outside Vienna to experience the MuseumsQuartier and its plethora of fantastic exhibitions. Either way, finish the day back in the heart of the Old Town, with an authentic meal at the historic Esterházykeller, a quiet cocktail in the upmarket Dino’s and, if you still have energy, a long night of dancing in Volksgarten Disco.

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