Vienna is a charming European capital with great architecture, history, food, and much more. You cannot explore this place just in few hours, but sometimes it happens that you have just a day or even few hours between planes to explore a new place. That is what Cody and I had, just an overnight to see the city and leave. Of course, in cases like that people (including us) want to get the most of their time. After thorough research and our experience, I made I list of activities and places to visit if you have one afternoon in Vienna, and still would like to explore the city as much as possible.
After landing in Vienna around 4pm, we got a taxi to our accommodation, took a shower, wore our most comfortable shoes and clothes, and left to explore the city. We took a taxi from the airport since we didn’t want to lose any precious time but if you are trying to save money there is efficient public transportation as well.
If you are arriving in the evening then you may not have too many daylight hours depending on the time of year. Luckily a lot of these things are close together so you can walk and see them in quick procession.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral and Stephansplatz became our number one place to visit but the last stop due to the direction we were coming from. St. Stephen’s Cathedral is one of the most beautiful cathedrals I have ever seen. It is a Gothic style building with colored tiled roof that has become one of the most recognized buildings of Vienna.
If you think you have time then visit inside the cathedral. There are usually lots of people, but the place does not seem crowded. The St. Stephen’s cathedral has two towers (South and North) that you can climb and get a view of the city, or get into the catacombs underneath the cathedral.
Stephansplatz is the charming square around the cathedral of St. Stephen. The square is full of cute stores and cafes. There are usually a lot of people there maybe due to big hotels around this area. Even so, Cody and I found this beautiful square very clean and didn’t seem overcrowded. The square is a place where the city holds different events and concerts. If you will visit Venna around Christmastime, you will find on Stephansplatz a charming Christmas market. Unfortunately, the day we were there it didn’t have any special event, but we still enjoyed this place very much. It is definitely a must-visit place in Vienna.
Price: the main entrance is free, you need to pay for towers and catacombs separate, each of the additional attraction is 6€ (if you want to visit all of them there is one ticket that cost 17€) ;
Hours: Monday – Saturday 6AM to 10 PM, Sunday 7 AM to 10 PM;
Location: Stephansplatz 3, 1010 Wien, Austria;
The Imperial Treasury of Vienna is a place to visit for those who are fascinated by the richest of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The museum is located in the Schweizerhof, the oldest part of the palace, and has a huge collection filled with crowns, swords, jewels, and other treasures.
The Hofburg palace itself is magnificent. The building was built in the 13th century in the centre of Vienna and it has a long history. Nowadays it is the official residence of the president of Austria. Tourists are allowed to visit the palace but not allowed to take pictures of the chambers. The place has a great historical value and must be visited while in Vienna. If you only have one afternoon in Vienna then you will definitely miss a lot of this place, but if you are in the city for longer then you can spend an entire day here.
Price: adults: 12€, children under 19 – free; students and seniors – 9€;
Hours: Wednesday to Monday 9 AM to 17:30 PM; Tuesday – closed;
Location: Hofburg, Schweizerhof, 1010 Wien, Austria;
The Austrian National Library is an extremely beautiful place that we really wanted to visit. Unfortunately when we got to the location it was already closed, which was super disappointing. However Cody and I could enjoy the outside architecture. Not the same I must say according to the pictures from inside the library, however the building is stunning as are most important buildings in Vienna.
I decided to put this location in my list anyway in hope that you will arrive in Vienna earlier and have time to visit this fantastic baroque Austrian National Library.
Price: adults: 8€, students: 6€;
Hours: Daily except for Thursdays: 10 AM to 6 PM, Thursdays: 10 AM to 9 PM, Mondays from October to May: Closed.;
Location: Josefsplatz 1, 1015 Wien, Austria;
Vienna State Opera is a must-see building as well. Even if you can’t go inside due to the late time. The building in the Renaissance style was built in 1869 and was the first major building on the Vienna ring road.
For those who have time, get a guided tour inside (there is a tour in English as well). The guide will take you all over the place and you even can get backstage.
The building is stunning and I highly recommend to visit it for those who like beautiful architecture, history, and art. By the way, if you will get there after the sunset the opera is lit up and it creates a magical atmosphere.
Price: guided tours: adults – €9, children and students (up to 27 years old) – €4, pensioners (65 and older) – €7;
Hours: Monday to Sunday;
Location: Opernring 2, 1010 Wien, Austria;
Another place that I recommend to stop by is Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien. This is probably the most important museum in Vienna. It has an amazingly large collection of old art.
To explore the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, you should be ready to walk a lot, since the place is massive. Pay attention to the entrance hall, it is very impressive and promising.
Price: adults €16, kids and teens are free;
Hours: Tue – Sun: 10 AM – 6 PM, Thu: 10 AM – 9 PM;
Location: Maria-Theresien-Platz, 1010 Wien, Austria;
Rathaus is an administrative building that is located in the heart of Vienna. This building attracts tourists not just because of its fantastic architecture but also because nowadays the Rathaus hosts many events including balls and markets.
Rathaus in Vienna is one of the best ones I have seen. I highly recommend to visit this building and if you are going to Vienna during winter and you like to skate, than you are in luck. There is a magical skating ring next to the Rathaus and a charming Christmas market.
Price: There are Guided Tours for free through the building on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 1 PM;
Hours: Monday to Friday 7:30AM–6PM, Sat, Sun -closed;
Votivkirche is another stunning church in Vienna. This church was built in 1879 in the neo-Gothic style. There is a story behind this church. It was built following the attempt on the Emperor’s life. To honour and thank God, the Emperor’s brother built this church.
Unfortunately due to the lack of time, Cody and I had to admire this magnificent building from afar, but I hope that you would be luckier and get inside the Votivkirche.
Price: free of charge;
Hours: Mon – Sat 9 AM – 6 PM, Sun: 9 AM to 1 PM;
Location: Rooseveltplatz, 1090 Wien, Austria;
And of course, at the end of a tiring but super interesting afternoon in Vienna you absolutely must try Vienna’s famous schnitzel. We found a great restaurant with amazing reviews and went there. The restaurant was all booked but since we came around 8:30 PM – 9 PM and the bookings were mostly for 10 PM we got a table and promised to eat fast. Of course, we would eat fast as we were soooo hungry.
To try everything, we got a wiener schnitzel to split, pork ribs that sounded really good, and of course we had to try Vienna craft beer. The food arrived fairly quickly and I must say we didn’t expect that the portions would be that huge. We had to get half of our meal to go for breakfast the next morning. The food was absolutely amazing and the perfect end to our Vienna experience.
Price: wiener schnitzel, pork ribs and beer cost us €40 ;
Hours: everyday 10 AM to 12 AM;
Location: restaurant “Puerstner”, address: Riemergasse 10, 1010 Wien, Austria;