Vienna is a popular starting and end point for many European cruises – and for good reason! This Austrian capital abounds with music, art, and architecture to keep any museum lover happy for weeks on end. But if you’re only passing through Vienna or staying just a day or two, how should you spend your time?
For the well-seasoned European traveller we suggest this itinerary to help you get the most out of your brief Vienna stay.
To get the most out of your time (and money), try a hop-on hop-off tour with Big Bus Vienna. You’ll probably see these double-decker sightseeing buses rumbling around many European capitals – and for good reason! These bus tours are reasonably priced (starting at €24), comprehensive (21 stops over two routes), informative (listen to commentary in your preferred language), flexible (hop off whenever you’d like to take a closer look), and convenient (start the tour at any of the hop-on points). Bonus – you won’t have tired feet at the end of it!
Here are just a few of the sights you can expect to see on the complete 100-minute tour:
Vienna State Opera House – This glittering centrepiece of the City of Music dates back to the 1800s and is one of the busiest, most famous opera houses in the world.
Hofburg Palace – Formerly an imperial palace, this imposing Baroque structure now houses the residence and workplace of the Austrian president as well as three museums and a conference centre.
Schönbrunn Palace – While the Hofburg Palace was the official imperial winter residence, Schönbrunn was the summer playground of the Habsburg monarchs. This sprawling, opulent structure has a whopping 1,441 rooms and seemingly endless gardens and grounds.
Votive Church – This striking Neo-Gothic church was built as an offering to God after the attempted assassination of Emperor Franz Joseph in 1853. Its soaring spires and flying buttresses are impossible to miss.
Get a real taste of Austria at Gasthaus zum Rebhuhn in the Serviten Quarter. With such national staples as schnitzel, goulash, tafelspitz, frankfurters, and semmelknödel, you’ll feel like a true Vienna local. Don’t recognise any of these dishes? You will soon!
Berggasse 24 | A-1090 Vienna, Vienna 1090, Austria
Tel: +43 1 3195058
Hours: Sun-Sat 11am-midnight
If you’re any kind of art lover, you simply can’t miss Vienna’s Museum of Fine Arts (or the Kunsthistorisches Museum, as it is known locally). Thanks to the powerful House of Habsburg, which occupied the throne of the Holy Roman Empire from 1438 to 1740, the museum possesses a collection fit for an emperor. With works by such artistic luminaries as Jan van Eyck, Tintoretto, Michaelangelo, Rubens, Raphael, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Veláquez, and Brueghel (we could go on), you’ll be able to feast your eyes on works by some of the most famous painters in Western history. If you need a break, relax with a cup of coffee at the museum’s café!
Maria-Theresien-Platz, 1010 Wien, Austria
Tel: +43 1 525240
Hours: Tues-Sun 10am-6pm (10am-9pm on Thurs)
Prices: €15 for adults, €11 for concessions
After the museum, take a walk through the Stadtpark, a 28-acre lush and grassy respite from the bustling city. As you walk down the park’s broad avenues, you’ll notice several statues of famous Viennese artists, writers, and composers such as Strauss and Schubert.
By now you’ve probably worked up an appetite, so treat yourself to dinner at Steirereck, a two Michelin starred restaurant located right on the edge of the Stadtpark. This elegant spot offers innovative Austrian cuisine on beautiful terraces overlooking the Vienna River. Just be sure to make reservations ahead of time!
Am Heumarkt 2a, Vienna 1030, Austria
Tel: +43 1 713 31 68
Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm, 6:30pm-11:30pm
How to Get to Vienna
Vienna is an extremely popular destination with European river cruises. You can expect to disembark at the Reichsbrücke Dock, not far from the centre of town. If you’ve got heavy luggage in tow, you’ll likely be looking for easy, low-stress transfers to Vienna. Let us handle the hassle (and the luggage) by booking a private transfer from the cruise port straight to your hotel.
Where to Stay:
Opera Suites – If you only have one day in Vienna, you’ll want to be right in the heart of the action. The Opera Suites are – you guessed it – right across from the famous Vienna State Opera. With just twelve rooms, this four-star boutique hotel is a quiet, more intimate accommodation with staff committed to personal service.
Aviano Pension – This family-run guesthouse combines traditional Viennese décor with all the modern amenities and comforts you expect of a four-star hotel. Located right in the middle of the Innere Stadt (central, Old Town Vienna), all the major city sights are right at your doorstep.
Grand Hotel Wien – For a truly sumptuous 24 hours, you can’t do better than the Grand Hotel Wien. This impressive edifice was the first luxury hotel in Vienna, and continues to offer extravagance and sophistication to its guests. With its elegant period furniture, sparkling chandeliers, and rich furnishings, you’ll truly feel like a member of the Viennese aristocracy of old.
About Shuttle Direct
For the most convenient, easy to book airport transfers throughout Europe and North Africa, Shuttle Direct’s fast and friendly service offers peace of mind and exceptional service. Book a shared or private transfer online before you leave home and our experienced drivers will meet you at the airport and transport you to and from your holiday accommodation without delay. Choose Shuttle Direct for the best airport transfers in the business.