Best of Vienna 4 Day Itinerary & Guide 2023
Using my Italy and Austria in 2 Weeks Solo Itinerary you’re now ready to plan 4 days in Vienna, right? Fabulous, because Vienna can easily be the highlight of your 2 weeks in Italy and Austria. Here’s a Vienna 4 day itinerary, with the Wachau Valley. It’s a perfect Vienna itinerary because it’s also flexible for doing Vienna in 4 days.
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- All You Need for 4 Days in Vienna
- Vienna Solo Travel Packing Essentials
- What's Vienna Famous For?
- Getting To Vienna
- Getting Around Vienna
- Is Vienna Safe to Travel Alone?
- Where to Stay in Vienna
- Top Things to Do in Vienna Alone
- Vienna Dining
- Day Trips from Vienna Austria
- Vienna 4 Day Itinerary
- Have 5 Days in Vienna?
All You Need for 4 Days in Vienna
Here are all of the sites you need to successfully book this perfect 4 days in Vienna itinerary. I even give you my Vienna hotel pick as a sustainable, budget friendly and centrally located option for Vienna solo travel.
I recommend you bookmark and use these sites early to lock in your 4 day Vienna itinerary and get the best Vienna travel deals.
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Vienna on a Budget (or Not)
It is possible to see Vienna on a budget as a single traveler. To help provide more Vienna budgeting options, peruse my Guide to Budget European Accommodations for additional accommodation-planning.
Let me state here that when I say “budget”, I mean your daily travel expenses could total €150 or less, which is possible. It’s up to you on where you wish to budget (accommodations, excursions, etc.), and how far in advance you book. Some attractions can be seen without a tour, which will save you money, of course.
This Vienna itinerary and travel guide can work for anyone, however, budget or not.
Ok, now let’s get you to Vienna.
Vienna Solo Travel Packing Essentials
Popular 1 and 2 Hour Tours of Vienna
What’s Vienna Famous For?
The capital of Austria, Vienna rests on the Danube River, which runs for 1770 miles and through 10 countries. Vienna is famous for many things such as its opera and the Vienna State Opera House, stunning baroque architecture, music, and tasty schnitzel, strudel and coffee. The historic center of Vienna is also a UNESCO world heritage site.
Depending on the time of year you visit Vienna, you can experience cold, rainy (or snowy) days to beautiful, warm sunny days.
Vienna is diverse, so it provides for plenty of indoor and outdoor activities to enjoy so you can work your Vienna sightseeing around the weather.
Is Vienna Worth Visiting?
Undoubtedly yes. Personally, Vienna blew me away. I can’t wait to go back, but see it for yourself. Vienna will prove to you why it was ranked the top city in the world to live ten years in a row.
Getting To Vienna
Flying into Vienna
If you happen to be using my 14 day Austria and Germany itinerary, you could be flying into Vienna to start your itinerary.
On a budget, a better option would be to take the CAT train transfer or the bus to your Vienna accommodation. Rides should take about 20 minutes.
Arriving Vienna by Train
Trains arrive Vienna at either the Wien Hauptbahnhof or Wien Westbahnhof train station. If you’re using my Italy and Austria 2 week solo itinerary, you’re arriving by train into Wien Hauptbahnhof (Central Station) from Salzburg.
Arriving by train, consider purchasing a Weekly Travel Pass (covers the bus and U Bahn) at the station (or buy online). A Weekly Travel Pass will take you all around the city. Another option is purchasing the Vienna Card, which I’ll discuss below.
If you don’t wish to purchase the weekly pass, you could purchase a 24-, 48-, 72-hour-ticket if this better suits your 4 days in Vienna Austria. Personally, I like to know my general plans in advance, like this Vienna 4 day itinerary provides, so I can do one purchase up front and forget about transportation for the remainder of my stay.
Eco Travel Tips
Getting Around Vienna
Vienna is Walkable
Depending on where you stay, much of Vienna is walkable. Combined with public transportation, however, you are sure to see more of Vienna in 4 days more quickly. Some Vienna attractions do require taking either the bus or U-Bahn.
I encourage you to take the Vienna public transportation. It is extensive, efficient, inexpensive and eco-friendly.
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Is Vienna Safe to Travel Alone?
Vienna has a low crime rate and is a safe city to visit as a solo traveler. When I last visited Vienna, I never felt uneasy walking alone, day or night. Police are visible, but not overbearing. Vienna knows how to make all feel welcome.
ECO TRAVEL PICKS
Where to Stay in Vienna
Vienna is comprised of 23 districts, discernable by its four-number zip code. Vienna zip codes start with a “1”, but the third number tells you what district you are in, for example, 1010 is the 1st District (aka Innenstadt, Inner Stadt, or historic city center), 1020 is the 2nd District, 1030 is the 3rd District, and so on. Street signs also start with the district number.
The centralized historic center is surrounded by the Ringsrtrasse. The further you get away from the historic center, the higher the district number goes. The historic center holds a great number of top Vienna attractions, but not all.
Where Should a First-time Tourist Stay in Vienna?
For optimum ease of walking and seeing the sights on a Vienna 3 day to 5 day visit, I recommend staying within, or as close to, the historic district (No.1) as possible. This will also provide you access to many tram, bus and train stations so no need to rent a car for budget and eco-friendly solo travel.
As such, I recommend staying within the circle on the Vienna city centre map:
Vienna’s city centre map is full of hotel, hostel and other accommodations across all budget types. Going in the off season, or booking well in advance, will get you the best Vienna prices. Consider booking at a property that either is eco-friendly or sustainably rated, or at least employs these methods into their business.
Many accommodations may not let you check in until 2-4pm, but if available, have them store your luggage until your room is ready so you can get out and enjoy Vienna.
For location, price, amenities (including no pre-payment and free-cancellation), employing eco-friendly and/or sustainable operations, and customer reviews and ratings, my Vienna hotel recommendation for over 50 solo travel is Hotel Sans Souci Wien.
If you want the same in a hotel but save a bit of money, stay just outside the city center. For these hotels in great locations and close to metro stations, my Vienna hotel recommendations are: NH Collection Wien Zentrum, NH Wien City, and the Boutique Hotel Kugel.
For the best in budget accommodations, my hotel recommendation/value for the money with breakfast and taxes included is Time Out City Center. I last stayed at Time Out City Center. They had a very friendly, accommodating staff, great restaurant with breakfast available, and great prices – all within a fabulous location. Plus, Time Out employs just as many environmental sustainable initiatives as a Travel Sustainable rated hotel. Why Time Out is not ‘Travel Sustainable’, I don’t know. I would definitely stay there again for the value.
If you want cheaper accommodations, Hostelworld has some great Vienna hostel listings to choose from.
Vienna Budget Tip
Vienna hostels could start from around €20/night, depending on what amenities and location you want. Note, these are usually a bed in a dorm room. Private rooms in Vienna hostels can cost the same, if not more, than a budget hotel.
Top Things to Do in Vienna Alone
Hands down, Vienna is amazing, and you just can’t see it all in one trip. Depending on your stamina, and your tastes, much of the Vienna highlights can be seen in a short period of time. Of course, the longer you have in Vienna, the better.
My top Vienna attractions list is prioritized so the Vienna must see attractions can be done in four days. If you have 5 days in Vienna, you can pick and choose which attractions to forego or add to your Vienna itinerary.
Keep in mind most of these attractions are popular tourist draws, which could draw long lines, especially April to October and on the weekends. If your Vienna solo travel falls within, I suggest getting the Vienna Pass to save time.
Café Gloriette – sits on the top of the hill overlooking the Schloss Schönbrunn. Try the incredible Viennese coffee here.
Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s Cathedral) – Completed in 1160, this church is considered the most important religious building in Vienna.
The Hofburg Palace – Currently the official residence and workplace of the President of Austria, this palace was originally home to Habsburg emperors. Allow for 1.5 hours for audio tour (you can pre-download the audio guide file to your smartphone).
Kaiserliche Schatzkammer (Imperial Treasury) – Houses the Crown of the Holy Roman Empire, the Austrian Imperial Crown and other Habsburg treasures of immeasurable value.
Prater Park – A large park with meadows, woodlands and an amusement park (the Würstelprater) and one of the city’s most visible icons, the Riesenrad Ferris Wheel.
Riesenrad Giant Ferris Wheel (Prater Park) – Built in 1897 offers great views of Vienna. You can also dine in the cars.
Schloss Belvedere Palace – Former palace that now hosts great artworks by Klimt, Monet, van Gogh and more.
Wiener Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera House) – One of the leading opera houses in the world, it was completed in 1869 and seats 1709 for regular performances. Guided music tours are available in English. Individual guests do not need to book in advance. Consider also catching an opera performance at night. The opera house has musical events 300 days of the year.
Ringstrasse (Vienna Ring) Tram – The Ringstrasse is one of Europe’s great streets. In Vienna, it arcs around three miles of the City Center. You can walk the Ringstrasse or take the #1 and #2 Trams around the Ringstrasse for a less expensive ride. However, if you want the authentic carriage experience with audio tour, try the official Ringstrasse Tram.
Schmetterlinghaus (Imperial Butterfly House) – Next to the Hofburg Palace, this Art Nouveau palm house is home to a plethora of beautiful butterflies.
Kunsthistorisches Museum – The largest art museum in the country and considered one of the most important museums.
Danube Beach – A 12 mile-long, thin island that runs parallel to the Danube. It’s a popular grassy park with the Viennese to hang out on a beautiful day.
City Center, Ringstrasse, and Danube Canal – Take in the sites walking for free.
Burggarten Park – Beautiful park on the Ringstrasse with the famous Mozart monument.
Marie-Theresien-Platz Square – In between the Art History Museum and the Natural History Museum on the Ringstrasse, this is a lovely park to rest your feet and people watch.
Naschmarkt – This open-aired market with 16th century origins features fresh produce and gourmet goodies from over 100 food stalls and restaurants.
Heurigen Area – If you’re into wine like me, the Heurigen area within the northern Vienna city limits and its more than 1,700 acres of vineyards is bound to get your attention. It’s accessible by tram.
More Things to Do in Vienna
If you passed on some of the above attractions, consider adding some of these if they strike your fancy.
Lipizzaner Horse Show – Enjoy a live training of the famous Spanish-bred stallions at the Spanish Riding School, which is part of the Hofburg Palace (allow 2 hours).
Kaisergruft (Emperors’ Crypt) – Burial place of the Habsburg Emperors. Tours through Capuchins’ Crypt takes you through 400 years of Austrian and European history.
Schönbrunn Zoo – The world’s oldest zoo.
Wagenburg Imperial Carriage Museum – Located at the Schönbrunn Palace, see carriages and vehicles used by the imperial household of the Austrian Empire.
Albertina Art Museum – Houses permanent exhibitions of Monet, Picasso, Chagall and more.
Mozart House – Now a museum to Mozart, this house served as his residence from 1784 to 1787.
Haus des Meeres – Home to over 10,000 fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals.
The Hundertwasserhaus – Funky apartment house designed by artist Friedensreich. It’s free.
The Museumsquartier (MQ) – A 90,000 square meter area in Vienna’s 7th district of the city of Vienna, Austria that contains multiple Baroque buildings and art museums such as the mumok.
mumok – Vienna’s modern art museum.
Vienna Card vs Vienna Pass
If you are like me, the Vienna Card may be something you wish to purchase, especially if you are relying on the public transportation. For the same cost for the Weekly Transportation Pass (I mention above), you get up to 72 hours of free public transportation plus discounts to museums and attractions.
Ultimately, it just depends on how many days you wish to use public transportation, which museums and attractions you wish to see, and how much discount the Vienna City Card will give you.
It’s something to at least look into if you plan ahead and have a general idea of what you wish to see and do in Vienna. Hopefully my suggested itinerary below will help.
The Vienna Pass comes in 1-Day, 2-Day and 3-Day Adult pass options. It’s also available for 6 days. It allows you access to over 60 attractions and museums with fast-track entry, unlimited use of the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus, and a free guidebook. The travel pass for Vienna’s public transportation (I covered this above) is extra.
Note, this Vienna Pass is not ideal for large groups (groups of 10 or more may be refused entry at some attractions.
When you look at my 4 days in Vienna itinerary below, even on the most expensive day of attractions, it’s still a reasonably priced day of fun in Vienna. Adding the travel pass could decrease daily costs.
Personally, I have not purchased the Vienna Pass. I don’t think it’s worth it. Even if you have an itinerary, you could change your mind on what you want to see. What if you feel ill one day, heaven forbid, and miss some attractions? Whatever the case, I leave it up to you on if you feel this is a good option for you.
Vienna Events Calendar
If it helps in planning what you would like to see, here is a list of annual events held in Vienna.
What Should You Eat in Vienna?
As with all solo vacations, chuck the diet out the window, especially in Vienna. How else can you enjoy the wine and beer, pastries with Viennese coffee, apfelstrudel, wiener schnitzel, spare ribs, zwiebelrostbraten, würstel, topfenstrudel (shall I go on?) that Vienna is famous for?
How Should You Dine in Vienna?
The Viennese love their coffee houses and slow dining. It’s a relaxing experience to dine in Vienna – breakfast to dinner time So, don’t feel rushed. Enjoy the experience. Take time to unwind from at an outdoor café people watching with a café in hand.
The Viennese also typically do dinner around 7 to 8pm, which is perfect after a long day of sightseeing.
For dining recommendations, here are some of mine to get you started:
Coffee and Pastries
- Café Mozart – a must for Viennese coffee and pastry in the Inner City.
- The Demel – café, bakery and chocolate shop. It’s loved for its cakes and pastries.
- Café Sperl – another famous Viennese coffeehouse I recommend trying.
On a Budget
- Trześniewski – for a quick lunch, Vienna buffet style.
- Naschmarkt – here you can meander the stalls for a nibble or bite to go. YUM.
- Wiener Wia z’ haus – for traditional Viennese fare with relaxed atmosphere.
Italian in Vienna
- Why not Ristorante Fritelli? Great Italian food.
My Vienna Dinner Recommendation
- Go all out for dinner at Figlmuller, “Home of the Schnitzel” (and they’re not kidding). This recommendation came from someone I met in Munich, and I’m so glad it did. I would get there a little early as they do tend to have waits.
Wine in Vienna
- Remember the Heurigen wine district? Why not take a tram north to enjoy the local grüner Veltliner with a plate of cold meat and cheeses with potato salad and sip the day away?
Day Trips from Vienna Austria
Speaking of wine… If you’re feeling adventurous or want a break from museums, get out of the Vienna city limits altogether for a wine tasting day trip to the Wachau Valley with the Melk Abbey. I did a wonderful Wachau Valley day trip and highly recommend it.
Wachau Valley Wine and Melk Abbey
The Wachau Valley, about an hour west of Vienna, is a UNESCO world heritage landscape valley famous for its peaches from which it makes wine and schnapps. The Danube River runs through the Valley’s rolling hills and vineyards between the towns of Melk and Krems, and is also home to famous, historic towns like Dürnstein.
Adjoining the Wachau Valley is the Baroque Melk Abbey, a Benedictine abbey that sits on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Danube river and town of Melk, Austria. April to October, it offers group and individual guided tours in English and German.
The guided tour, which comprises the Abbey museum in the former Imperial Rooms, the Marble Hall and the library, lasts an hour but feel free to spend a couple of hours walking the Abbey.
The Melk Abbey is located directly on the bike path Passau-Vienna. Bike stands with lockers are at the abbey entrance.
Vienna to Wachau Valley by Train
You can do a self-guided trip to Melk from Vienna by train. Daily trains leave Wien Hauptbahnhof, with a train switch at Wien Franz-Josefs-Bahnhof, to the Melk Bahnhof. Train tickets round trip are inexpensive.
On a beautiful day, rent a bike, or take a bike tour, to explore the Wachau Valley, towns and vineyards at your own pace. Stop for lunch and wine tasting. Ride along on the south side of the Danube for better views. Catch an early evening train back to Vienna in time for dinner.
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Vienna to Wachau Valley by Danube River Cruise
Vienna to Wachau Valley Group Tour
If the weather hadn’t turned so chilly when I last visited, I would have taken the train to the Wachau Valley and rented a bike or done a bike tour. Thankfully, there are small group tours from Vienna.
The one that saved me was the Wachau Valley Wine Tour. I loved it. It provided me all that I was looking for: the Melk Abbey, lunch and wine tasting. I met some fabulous people. Group excursions are great for anyone, especially solo travelers looking to meet people.
Vienna to Bratislava by Train
Not into wine tasting or the Wachau Valley? How about a self-guided day trip to Bratislava, Slovakia? Bratislava has beautiful architecture, ambience and food. Check out what might be happening in Bratislava on your trip – you might catch something special.
Just an hour’s train ride east of Vienna, you will cross over into Slovakia (confirm in advance if a travel visa is required for you) and wander another town in another country for the afternoon.
About 30 trains leave Vienna daily and a round trip train ticket costs depend on time, day, and how far in advance you purchase.
Vienna to Bratislava Group Tour
Vienna 4 Day Itinerary
Here is my recommended itinerary so you know what to do in Vienna in 4 days. Mix and match the attractions and excursions to meet your tastes and budget, if need be.
Depending on how much you want to see (and spend) is completely up to you. A Vienna 4 day itinerary, however, is the minimum time recommended for a better solo travel over 50 experience in Vienna.
Vienna Budget Tip
The itinerary below includes staying at a Vienna budget hotel or hostel, but does not include lunch, dinner, day trip tours, or using the Vienna Pass, which could possibly save more money.
This itinerary is an example of how single travelers can see Vienna on a budget with top Vienna attractions, for possibly at €150 a day, if booked well in advance and the right tour or entry tickets are chosen.
Day 1 – City Center
- Arrive Vienna
- Buy Weekly Travel Pass, Vienna Card or Vienna Pass
- Check into city center hotel (or check bags)
- Lunch, café – Café Mozart
- City Center walking and shopping
- Ringstrasse (Tram 1 and 2 or Ringstrasse Tram)
- Prater Park – free entrance
- Riesenrad Giant Ferris wheel
- Dinner / Nightlife (Jazzland)
Day 2 – Schönbrunn & Danube
- Early hotel breakfast
- Schloss Schönbrunn Palace (Grand Tour)
- Lunch, café – Café Glordiette
- Stephansdom (free or all-inclusive tour)
- Danube Beach (weather permitting)
- Dinner / Nightlife on Danube Waterfront
Day 3 – Art, Opera & Butterflies
- Early hotel breakfast
- Schloss Belvedere Palace (combined ticket)
- Lunch – Naschmarkt
- Vienna State Opera House (guided tour)
- Burggarten Park
- Butterfly House
- Marie-Theresien-Platz Square
Day 4 – Palaces, Cafés & Shopping
- Hotel breakfast
- Hofburg Palace with audio guide
- Imperial Treasury
- Café and pastry – The Demel
- Walk and shop City Center
- Dinner – Café Spell
Have 5 Days in Vienna?
Day 5 – Museums, Mozart & Local Wine
- Hotel breakfast
- Kunsthistorisches Museum
- Mozart House
- Heurigen wine district afternoon (lunch, wine, dinner, wine)
Alternatively, if you wish to take a self-guided or guided day trip from Vienna to Wachau Valley or Bratislava.
Let Me Hear From You
I would love to hear if my Vienna 4 day itinerary was helpful to you. Post me your thoughts or questions in the Comment section below. Thank you!