Everything to Know about Visiting Vienna

· Including the best things to do in Vienna, how to get to Vienna, how to get around, and more. ·

Oct, 07, 2022

Year after year, Vienna is ranked as one of the best cities in the world, both to live in and visit. From its elegant architecture to its high quality of life, there are many reasons that Vienna makes these lists. This post will contain everything you need to know to effectively plan your trip to Vienna, including the best things to do, some logistics for your trip, and more.

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Best Things to Do in Vienna

1. Join a Guided Tour of Schonbrunn Palace and Gardens

Shonbrunn Palace was the main summer home of the Hapsburg rulers. As Vienna was the seat of the powerful Austro-Hungarian Empire, this royal family was once one of the wealthiest and most powerful families on earth. Nowadays, Shonbrunn Palace is a stunning place to tour to see how Austrian royalty used to live, and the gardens behind the palace are a marvel, too.

Beautiful American woman posing in front of Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna

Tickets start at €22 and rise in price depending on how many attractions you want to visit. I recommend purchasing the Sisi Ticket for €40, as it grants you access to three of the attractions on the grounds. Schonbrunn Palace is located about 40 minutes outside of the heart of Vienna, but it is perfectly accessible by public transportation. Buy your tickets ahead of time to guarantee entry.

2. Attend Mass in St. Stephen’s Cathedral

St. Stephen’s Cathedral is one of the most iconic buildings in all of Vienna, and it is unmistakable. This Gothic masterpiece is known for its ornate spires and stunning roof. Through all of our travels, it remains one of the most impressive Catholic churches that we have ever seen. Visitors can attend the sacraments, tour the catacombs, or simply admire the ornate chapels and decor on the inside of the cathedral. As the most important Catholic church in Vienna, there are masses all day, every day offered in St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

3. Catch a Performance in the Vienna State Opera

Whether performing arts are your thing or not, there are few things you can do in Vienna more epic than attending an opera. Vienna State Opera, also referred to as the Vienna Opera House, is one of the most ornate, gold-laden opera houses I have ever seen. Built at the height of Hapsburg power, this building is a true testament to their class and wealth. For information on events and tickets, be sure to check out their official website.

Vienna Opera House in Autumn

4. Spend a Day at Prater Amusement Park

Prater Amusement Park is a Vienna icon that has been up and running since the 18th century. This park is filled with rides and food vendors, and spending a day here is hands down one of the best things to do in Vienna. The park has a really unique charm that reminds you exactly where you are, they run events all year long, and the prices for everything within the park are pretty affordable. For more information on Prater Park, check out their official website.

Children playing games in front of roller coaster at Prater Park in Vienna

5. Admire the Architecture on the Ring Road

The Ring Road is a 3-mile long beltway that wraps around the inner part of Vienna. This road acts as a sort of promenade around all of the city’s most important buildings and structures. While there are many great places to go out of your way to see along the Ring Road, my favorite thing to do is just go for an aimless stroll while admiring the beauty of the buildings, taking in the fresh air, and listening to the sounds of the city.

If you want to optimize your time and use the Ring Road for sightseeing, you will stumble across the Hofburg Palace, the Vienna Opera House, the Vienna Art History Museum, the Rathaus (municipal building), the Vienna Butterfly House, and the iconic Ritz Carlton hotel.

Stunning green roof and entrance of the Vienna Butterfly House

6. Wander around Hofburg Palace

While Shonbrunn Palace is larger and grander in my opinion, it is not the main Hapsburg palace in Vienna. The Hofburg Palace was actually the main palace used by the Hapsburg dynasty, and it is located right along the Ring Road in the heart of Vienna. This palace is currently filled with several great museums, and it is also home to the president of Austria.

woman in black winter coat standing in front of Hofburg Palace in Vienna

How to Get to Vienna

Flying to Vienna

Vienna International Airport (VIE) is the best airport to use to get to Vienna. Austria’s capital is not located very close to any other major cities, so there is no real hub airport in the area. Vienna International Airport is a moderately big airport, and it is easily the biggest airport within a 4 hour drive of Vienna.

One of the tips I mentioned in my post on finding cheap airfare was that being flexible about the airports that you use can save you hundreds of dollars on airfare. In the case of Vienna, this probably won’t apply, as there simply isn’t a better airport anywhere nearby. However, one comparable airport that might occasionally offer a better flight price or route is Budapest Airport (BUD). Budapest is less than three hours from Vienna by bus, which is nothing if you can find a direct flight that you couldn’t find into Vienna.

Private Transport in Vienna

If you have luggage, the best way to get from the Vienna airport to your hotel is by booking a private transfer with our partners at Welcome Pickups.

Welcome Pickups offers personalized, private, comfortable rides from the airport into the city for about the same price as a standard taxi. They monitor your flight status while you are in the air, and a driver will be waiting for you holding a sign with your name on it as soon as you arrive.

Other Transportation

If you are more of a budget traveler and don’t have much luggage to haul around, there are trains that link directly from the airport to the center of Vienna, and you can either Uber or use public transportation to get to your accommodation.

How to Get around Vienna


Vienna is a fairly large city, but it feels quite accessible and walkable. While Vienna is not entirely walkable, many of the best things to see and do in central Vienna are within walking distance of one another.

To access anything that is not walkable, or to get into the city from your accommodation, Vienna has a very robust public transportation network. From buses and trams to trains and subways, Vienna’s vast public transportation network will probably get you anywhere that you need to go. Single tickets cost €2,40, and 24-hour, 48-hour, and 72-hour passes can all be purchased as well.

If you are in a bit more of a hurry, Vienna is filled with shareable electric scooters and is also served by Uber. If you are hesitant to use Uber during your trip, be sure to read my post explaining why Uber is safer to use abroad than taxis.

How Many Days Should You Spend in Vienna?

Vienna, like most capitals in Europe, is loaded with awesome things to do. From stunning architecture to thorough museums, you could spend weeks in Vienna without getting bored! This is a big part of what makes it one of the best cities to live in in the world. While this is true, visiting a city and living in it are very different things.

People traveling to Austria’s capital often ask the question “how many days should you spend in Vienna?” While the answer to this question does depend on what you intend on doing while you visit, most people can spend three full days in Vienna and feel fully satisfied. This gives you enough time to check out all of the top sightseeing and dining without the need to hurry. A couple more days would provide you the opportunity to relax in Vienna’s famed cafes and restaurants, but spending more than three days in Vienna is unnecessary if you have other places you intend to visit.

Cute American girl sitting on a street in Vienna

Is Vienna Worth Visiting?

Vienna is an incredible city. But with all of the incredible cities in Europe, is Vienna worth visiting? Is Vienna on the same level as a city like Munich? Does it even come close to a place like Paris?

man standing in front european palace


Vienna is a world-class city that is exploding with charm and elegance. It is also extremely easy to navigate and loaded with great English speakers, making it a perfect city to visit on your first trip to Europe. The cultural attractions are world-class, the food is incredible (we haven’t even mentioned the Wienerschnitzel), and the vibe of the city is extremely happy and friendly. If you ask me “is Vienna worth visiting?” my answer is a resounding yes – especially for first-time visitors to Europe, families, and history lovers. For those people, this city is unmissable.

That’s all we have for you about Vienna! Hopefully this post is helpful as you start planning your journey to one of the world’s finest and most historic cities. If you were wondering if Vienna is worth visiting, I hope this post cleared up any doubt!


Hi! I’m Greg, a Pittsburgh-based dad who juggles a 9-5 with a passion for traveling the world. I've spent time living in Mexico, Italy, and China, have traveled to nearly 50 countries, and make a habit of scratching epic experiences off of my bucket list.

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We're a family who seeks adventure both in our backyard and also around the world. We've spent time living in Mexico, Italy, and China, have traveled to nearly 50 countries. Life is short! All we have is this present moment to fulfill the dreams God has given us.