I’ve been told long ago that Vienna, and Austria in general, are a highly recommended destination. When I saw relatively cheap plane tickets going there, I decided that’s the next stop for our trip. From the research I’ve done prior to the trip, I discovered that Vienna is a city with rich history, interesting architecture, beautiful palaces offering many fascinating tours, lots of wine and a culture rich with music and art. I can now say everything turned out to be true and exceeded expectations. We visited for a week, but I narrowed it down to a 6-day itinerary for you. During our trip, we took two full-day trips outside of Vienna.
One tour is a bike tour in the Wachau region, while the other is to further away places – Admont and Hallsttat.
Places to stay in Vienna
We started the trip in an Airbnb apartment (Link to apt.), then stayed three nights at the boutique Harmonie hotel, which had a modern design and a great organic breakfast. It’s located in a central but less touristic area (Post about Harmonie) . Then, we moved into the charming Beethoven Hotel, with a classic vintage design, a concert on Sundays, a good breakfast and a central location by the local food market (Post about Beethoven) . We chose to stay at several places in order to experience different areas of Vienna.
Flight to Vienna
Our flight cost 250 dollars each, but there are also low-cost flights with Wizzair for lower prices. Your best bet is looking for flgiths on a search engine which compares prices amongst all companies, such as Jetradar.
Sim cards in Vienna
After some in-depth research, we discovered the store A1 (store branches) offers the cheapest sim cards. A card only cost 10 euros per person, compared to 20 euros in other places. The sim card worked wonderfully for us during our week there.
From the airport we took a cab using the Uber app to the city center, costing us 30 euros. During our stay we used light trains, busses and the metro as our main means of transportation. Vienna’s lovely tourism office supports bloggers who visit the city, and were generous enough to give us 4 city cards (For both of us, for 6 days).
A city card allows for three days of public transportation, and also includes discounts for museums and different attractions. The card itself is very recommended, as it costs 10 euros a day and allows unlimited use of public transport, as well as all sorts of discounts. For example, when we visited the labyrinth in the Schonbrunn palace and the Freud museum, we were given a small discount with the card.
Vienna trip itinerary
Light pretzel breakfast at the Bitzinger stall (Map) at Albertinaplatz.
Free city tour (Tip based)
The tour starts at Albertinaplatz, in front of the tourist information, at 11:00 every day. We took the tour through Prime Tours. It lasted roughly two hours, during which we passed Vienna’s main sites and the guide told us the history and stories behind each one, and about Vienna as a whole. We like taking these tours at every destination we travel to, since they help to view the city and learn about it. This tour wasn’t as good as the ones we’ve been on in other cities (The guide wasn’t interesting enough in my opinion), but it was informative and taught me about Vienna. There are many companies offering free tours.
Modern local meal at Café Depot restaurant (Map)
A really nice restaurant with a yard you can eat in. They have a changing daily local dish and a menu with options of local food, fish and vegan dishes. Roman ordered the daily special, which was chicken broth and a Viennese dish with cheese. I ordered a vegan dish of curry vegetables, which was particularly good.
We don’t usually shop during travels, but this time we brought a large suitcase – so we decided to do some shopping for the summer. We went to the main, and largest branch of C&A (Map), which is a clothing and accessories company known for good prices and value.
We found ourselves filling bag after bag 🙂 and were really pleased with the store.
Address: Mariahilfer Str. 96, 1070 Wien, Austria
Not only was C&A a great store, the whole Mariahilfer avenue is a great place to shop, where you can spend hours between stores.
By the Harmonie hotel is the 1090 restaurant. It’s a bar restaurant with good food and atmosphere. We sat inside (Outside was a bit chilly). I ordered a chicken breast sandwich with avocado and Roman had hamburger. I must admit it was one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had. I really enjoyed the seasoning, the bun and the mixture of ingredients.
Inside the restaurant is also a bar area (It’s closed off and smoking is allowed in it).
We had coffee with a pastry at the train station before our ride to Wachau.
Bike tour among vineyards in the Wachau valley from 08:00 to 19:00
The tour was in a beautiful, pastoralic area with great wines – about an hour away from Vienna by train. We took the tour through Pedal Power company. We rode between cartoonish villages and towns, stopped in two vineyards for wine tastings, had a good local lunch, stopped for an apricot schnapps break (A highly intoxicating, 40% alcohol schnapps, unlike what I’m used to from back home :))
on the beach. Overall, we pedaled 25 km and were constantly blown away by the incredible view. The entire ride is on calm bike trails, with hardly any cars around.
The Wachau area is also known for apricot beverages and really good wines, so it was a good alcoholic experience. We were six people on the tour, Roman and I, a couple from California, a guy from Japan and the guide. Anyone who loves wine, bike riding and breathtaking views will love this tour 🙂
Read more about our experience on the bike tour.
We had a light meal at the train station when we got back
Breakfast at the Harmonie hotel
Polaroid cameras tour – 09:30 – 12:30
I’ve never had the chance to take photos with a Polaroid camera before and when I suddenly came across this tour in Vienna – I decided it as something we had to try. There was a choice between a regular tour of Vienna’s famous sites or an urban tour.
We chose the urban tour, which sounded more unique. We were the only ones on tour that day, so we enjoyed a private tour with our guide, Nora. Nora is a professional photographer, which added a lot to the tour, as she constantly gave us tips regarding special angles or things we could photograph using the camera which we hadn’t necessarily considered before.
Read more about our experience on the polaroid cameras tour.
Viennese schnitzel. Of course, if you’re in Vienna, you have to try the flag dish – the Viennese schnitzel. Personally, I don’t favor deep fried dishes, but decided this was worth a try. We tried the schnitzel in two establishments considered the best according to reviews by locals and tourists. One was Figlmüller and the other was Schnitzelwir.
At Figlmüller it was slightly too expensive, in my opinion, and wasn’t that good. At Schnitzelwir it was slightly cheaper and a little bit tastier, but I still wasn’t blown away by it. However, the dishs is really big and can easily be split between two people. Both places were full of customers, and if you feel like trying a schnitzel they might be the places to do so.
After lunch – a walk in the park and the giant Ferris wheel
Strolling in Prater park. It’s a pretty park you can have a walk in and just rest and it also has a large amusement park. It has a giant Ferris wheel with large passenger cars in which, for a symbolic payment, you can view Vienna from above and take pictures – but those looking for something special can rent a private booth with coffee and cake, or cocktails or a large meal. We got the private booth for half an hour with coffee and cake, so we can share the experience with our readers. Read more about our experience at the Ferris wheel.
We like Indian food a lot and jump on every opportunity to eat at an Indian restaurant.
We went to Tulsi Indian Cuisine restaurant (Map) and ordered two dishes of Tully (Which include several dishes and rice). One was vegan and the other had meat. The food was extremely tasty and did not disappoint. The meal was very filling, and we enjoyed it a lot.
If the owner approaches you after the meal and asks how the food was, and you want to try the schnapps they make – know it isn’t free. We naively thought he was very generous and was offering it on the house and asked for a glass each. When we got the bill, we found out it wasn’t.
Breakfast at the Harmonie hotel
Move to the Beethoven hotel
Visit to stunning Viennese sites
Beyond the tours and attractions we went to, we also walked around the city a lot and I have to say Vienna has many amazing sites, and is very impressive at night.
Visit to the Belvedere palace
The Belvedere palace (Map) was simply hypnotic. The colors of the flowers, the little lake and the palace itself are just wonderful. Next to the palace are botanic gardens, some are free and some aren’t. We went to the free ones and just sat on a bench and enjoyed the quiet ther
Lunch at Vietnamese restaurant
Besides Indian food, we are great admirers of Asian cuisine. By the Beethoven hotel was Bep Viet Restaurant (Map), a Vietnamese restaurant with cheap prices and great food. Roman ordered Pho soup and I ordered a noodle dish with meat wrapped in leaves and eggrolls. For our first course we had mango salad and a type of rice dumplings, and everything was really good.
Strolling Kärntner avenue
Kärntner shopping avenue (Map) is a luxurious avenue for shopping where you can find every brand store you could think of.
Vegan hamburger (that you don’t have to be vegan to enjoy) at Swing Kitchen (Map). This is a chain but we ate at the restaurant close to our hotel. By the way, they have the most delicious vegan cheesecake ever.
Quick breakfast at the Beethoven hotel
Day trip to Admont and Hallsttat – A trip from eight in the morning to nine in the evening
This day trip we chose for one clear reason. Halsttat is considered one of the most beautiful places in Austria and in the whole of Europe. Although it’s three and a half hours away from Vienna and we were on a tight schedule, but we decided it’s better to take a day trip there rather than miss it, despite everything.
In retrospect, it would have been better to rent a car and make the trip on our own, then again we got to see other amazing locations along the way, such as a breathtaking lake and the Admont library – With Hallsttat being the crown jewel of the trip.
Dinner at the Naschmarkt (Map) by the Beethoven hotel
We ate at an Italian restaurant there. It was good but nothing particularly special. The area itself is really fun, even if just for a beer or some wine, or a full meal –
So It’s highly recommended to sit down at one of the bars or restaurants there.
Breakfast at the Beethoven hotel
Karlskirche church (Map) – a church that looks like a palace, with charming surroundings. Many come there to read a book, listen to music or just relax.
Wurst at the Bitezinger stand (Map). Anyone looking for a way to save on food, Vienna’s street food is both cheap and very nice. We really liked the smoked, spicy sausage.
The Happy Noodles stand (Map) offers both really tasty wursts and cheap noodles.