Destinations Europe

24 Hours In Vienna

Imperial Vienna, the majestic capital city of Austria. Firstly, I will suppress the urge to make the obvious Ultravox pun, so you can now relax and read on.

Although we have visited Austria on a number of occasions this was our first visit to Vienna. What usually happens before you visit a new city is that people tell you over and over how wonderful it is. However, when you actually arrive at the destination it often underwhelms and does not live up to these heightened expectations.

Fortunately Vienna is not one of those places, it does live up to its reputation.

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien

Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Vienna Arrival

We arrived in Vienna by train from Budapest. There is something romantic about travelling through Europe by train compared to flying. Also the train station is in the city itself whereas the airport is about 25 minutes away.

Carriage Ride

A carriage ride around the Hofburg Palace

Sightseeing In Vienna

The centre of Vienna is quite compact and it is really easy to explore on foot. By walking, you often stumble across the strange and unusual places that you miss when taking public transport or taxis.

The Albertina Museum, Vienna State Opera, Hofburg Palace, St Stephens Cathedral and the Museum Quarter are all within walking distance of each other, between 5 to 15 minutes. If you are feeling especially romantic you can splash out on a carriage ride around the old town. Although the smell of horses isn’t an aroma that we were particularly fond of.

Then of course there are the famous Viennese coffeehouses. Our favourite was Café Central, 14 Herrengasse because of it’s historic past. Its former clientele ranged from the intellectual to the infamous including the likes of Sigmund Freud, Leon Trotsky, Theodor Herzl, Lenin and Hitler.

To explore slightly further afield such as the Belvedere Museum or the Schönbrunn Palace there is an efficient underground and tram service. On this occasion we did not have time to visit the Imperial Schönbrunn summer palace but if you have time, it is definitely worth a visit.

St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna

St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna

We visited during the Autumn and as you can see from the video the parks looked stunning with their golden leaves. This time of year is perfect for exploring the city as it’s not too cold and the summer crowds have subsided.

There were also a lot of food and drink stalls around the impressive Rathaus ‘City Hall‘ as it was just before the Austrian National Day, the date Austria regained status as an independent and sovereign nation after WWII. We tried the “Sturm” a young fermented grape drink popular during the Autumn months, possibly an acquired taste.

Hofburg Palace At Night

The Hofburg Palace at night

Staying In Vienna

We stayed at the centrally located Guest House Vienna, a stylish boutique hotel which was very close to the Albertina. The Terrance Conran designed hotel was a pleasant contrast to the surrounding imperial grandeur, you can read more about our stay at the hotel here – The Guest House Vienna.

Romantic Vienna at Night

Romantic Vienna at Night

We really enjoyed our first visit to Vienna, soaking up the atmosphere, walking through the parks and streets. It was really atmospheric as the sun went down. With the sound of the horses and the dimly lit backstreets you could imagine bumping into Mozart and his friends on a night out.

We would love to go back to Vienna soon, maybe try a river cruise. I (Mr W), am a big fan the film ‘The Third Man‘ and would love to go on ‘The Third Man Sewer Tour‘. Understandably Mrs W is not so keen!

Have you been to Vienna, maybe you are a regular visitor. What are your ‘must see’ recommendations for our next visit.

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  • Amelie
    December 3, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Vienna looks absolutely majestic, it’s been on my bucket list for quite a while. I really like the video too! Do you have some sort of stabilizer or just a very steady hand?

  • Mr and Mrs W
    December 3, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    The video is filmed on a iPhone 6s and the steady shots are recorded on a DJI Osmo, a 3-axis stabilized handheld camera.

  • Rhonda Albom
    December 4, 2016 at 9:49 am

    Vienna looks beautiful and opulent. I would love to do some sort of Mozart tour of the city.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 4, 2016 at 10:14 pm

      They have a lot of venues playing Mozart and there’s also the wonderful Opera House.

  • Christina
    December 4, 2016 at 11:21 am

    Vienna is such a picturesque city and Hofburg Palace is a fairytale place. I always enjoy visiting Vienna as well as looking at photos of this lovely city. Vienna also has a modern side that is pretty funky.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 4, 2016 at 10:16 pm

      Yes it is wonderful place to visit. As you mentioned there is a modern side too, we stayed in a contemporary boutique hotel designed by Terrance Conran.

  • Cristina
    December 4, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    I spent Christmas in Vienna a few years ago, and although I was freezing most of the time, I really loved it, especially the Christmas market. Great article!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 4, 2016 at 10:17 pm

      We were there too early for Christmas but it was the national holiday so there were a lot of street food and drink stalls. Luckily it was not too cold when we went in the Autumn.

  • Anita Hendrieka
    December 5, 2016 at 10:50 am

    Vienna looks like such a clean and pretty city! I think I would love it here as I am huge fan of spectacular architecture and I by the looks of it, Vienna has some beautiful buildings!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 5, 2016 at 1:17 pm

      Yes, Vienna is a very picturesque and clean city.

  • Elisa
    December 5, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Vienna is such a picturesque city. I visited this year, your are so right! And the street life is also very colorful.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 5, 2016 at 5:01 pm

      Yes Vienna is a ‘must see’ place on any European trip.

  • Marlene Marques
    December 7, 2016 at 12:31 am

    Vienna is chasing me!! And with this photos is so hard not to put it on my traveling plans. Glad you opted to show some pictures of the city by night. Gorgeous !!

  • Mr and Mrs W
    December 7, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    The city is beautiful at night, also it is very quiet at night so you really get the old world charm and atmosphere.

  • Destination Round-Up: European Holidays | Trips100
    February 21, 2017 at 11:16 am

    […] AUSTRIA Mel and Marcus from Fly, Drive, Explore recently enjoyed a memorable weekend in Vienna.  They have shared their tips for making the most of the capital of Austria below in a video titled – 24 hours in Vienna. […]