Recently we had the opportunity to spend just 24 hours in Vienna, Austria. While we couldn’t possibly see everything this amazing city has to offer, we found a few spots that are worth highlighting. These are great spots for family, friends, and solo travelers alike!
First, the basics.
Vienna uses the Euro. For more info, see our post on currency exchange.
Plugs and Adapters.
Vienna uses Type F adapters, with Type C still in use in some areas. We offer some tips on which adapters and converters you will need.
Using the Wiener Linien train system (the “Ubahn”) was very easy and cheap. You can purchase tickets for a single trip, or 1-day, 3-day, week, and month passes, with discounted rates for children and students.
We found it handy to have a paper map to supplement using our phones to navigate, as cell service can be spotty and wi-fi not always handy. Luckily with an international travel plan, using our cell phones in Vienna was super easy. Find out more about using your cell phone overseas in our post.
Things to See and Do
Naschmarkt. This international food market is Vienna’s largest marketplace. Naschmarkt has been operating since the 16th century and now features products from all over the world. We saw lots of fun, colorful sights everywhere – spices, dried fruit, clothes. There is no shortage of amazing food. You can either choose one of the fantastic restaurants situated right in the middle of the marketplace, or just graze on fresh produce and bakery items as you peruse through the hundreds of vendors. There is also a flea market on Saturdays. The entire market is free and easily walkable, but be sure to bring a shopping bag or tote to make your purchases easier to carry. Bring currency and coins for small purchase that don’t require a credit card. Naschmarkt is a short walk from the Station Kettenbrückengasse (lines U4) and Station Karlsplatz (lines U1, U2, and U4). Here it is in 1900, and it still looks and feels very much the same today!
The Hero’s Monument. The Hero’s Monument of the Red Army, also known as Heldenplatz, a monument and fountain built in honor of fallen Russian soldiers in WWII. Located at Schwarzenbergerplatz, the monument is worth a visit after dusk, when the fountains are lit up in colorful display.
Café Central. Rumored to have been frequented by many famous characters, including Adolf Hitler and Sigmund Freud), Café Central is the place to for the Viennese traditional pastime of “coffee and cake.” With a grandiose, operatic setting, live piano music echoing through the halls, traditional Viennese coffee, and a mouth-watering dessert menu, get ready for a memorable experience. Also memorable, but less desirable, is the line at the entrance. Get ready to wait. An easy walk from Station Herrengasse (U3), or Station Schottentor (U2).
Not far from Café Central is the Jewish Quarter. Judenplatz was historically the heart of the Jewish ghetto in the 13th through 15th centuries. With its gorgeous Baroque architecture, it is now also home to several museums, including Museum Judenplatz and a Holocaust memorial. Don’t miss the Roman ruins and Roman Museum at nearby Hoher Markt.
If you want a break from the hustle and bustle, Vienna is home to several large palaces situated right in the heart of its metropolitan areas. Most are free to wander the grounds, which you can do for hours. Paid admission is required for the more historical or guided tour aspects of the sites. Be sure to purchase tickets online in advance to avoid some of the lines. Popular destinations include Schönbrunn Palace, Belvedere Palace, and Hofburg Palace.
Hot tip: Visit the palaces close to the “golden hour” for some spectacular photos.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Serving as the heart of the Roman Catholic Church, St. Stephen’s Cathedral is situated in a bustling part of town at Stephansplatz. Near several popular shopping outlets, you also find several places to enjoy a fantastic meal. Fair warning, it’s also one of Vienna’s most popular tourist attractions, so be sure to avoid the tourist traps! With its elaborate chapels, bell towers, and historic catacombs, this cathedral is certainly worth a visit.
Volksgarten Wien. This park is another beautiful stroll, with an impressive rose garden. Located near Station Herrengasse (U3).
MuseumsQuartier Wien. This part of Vienna is full of amazing architecture, culture, upscale living, and pleasant, tree-lined streets. Right in the heart of the city, the MQ is one of the largest cultural centers in the world. The museums alone can keep you busy for days!
Not to Miss – the Food!
Have Wiener Schnitzel, with a side of german potato salad. Wiener schnitzel, from the German phrase for “Viennese cutlet,” is a thin, breaded and pan fried cutlet. Many countries have their own variation. Wiener schnitzel is a national dish of Austria and the Viennese variety is made with veal. Usually served with German potato salad, a warm, tangy treat!
We have presented information here that compiles tidbits from several different sites and from our own experience. Our hope is that our work will save others countless hours of searching to find the answers they need. Please remember that we cannot make any guarantees or promises regarding the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the information. This website is for informational purposes only, and not a substitute for professional advice. Travel safely!