Hi guys! Hope you’re doing well. I just came back from a trip to Vienna, Austria with my family and I thought I’d share a 4-Day Itinerary to help plan your trip to Vienna. (Where are you going? Chat with me on Instagram!) Stay tuned for things to do, places to eat and activities to try in the heart of Austria!
Taking A Spring Break In Vienna
Call it spring break or whatever, but my daughter was at home and I needed a break. If you are judging me, let me tell you, ALL mothers (working and SAHM) need a break from their children. Especially if they have chosen to have 1 child. Thankfully this time we were going to Vienna, Austria and while my husband and I were looking forward to the trip – my daughter wasn’t. A single child usually starts feeling lonely by the time he/she hits the age of 7.
So, this time around, we decided to change the flavour of the trip and kept it completely kid-centric. My 4-Day Itinerary To Vienna is is ideal for families and active female travellers who are up for a short trip.
It was my birthday week and we weren’t particularly traveling with a set to-do list time.
Day 0 (Travel Day)
This was the day we did our final packing. We were at the airport well in time for our flight to Vienna. As usual, we opted for Easy Jet, a no frills airline that offers a direct flight from Basel to Vienna. It takes around 90 minutes. I spent my time on the plane typing out an Instagram post related to the airline. I had no complaints when on our way to Vienna. However, on our way back to Basel, our flight was delayed by at least 2 hours which is just the last thing you want when you’re finishing a vacation!
Reaching The Wien City, Austria
We checked into Hotel Novotel Wien City, which had a very convenient location (near the downtown). Unfortunately, the room was too small, and the extra bed made it cramped for the 3 of us. What made our experience worst at Hotel Novotel Wien City was the service or the lack of it. There was also a line for breakfast every morning, and the service staff was particularly unhelpful. Some days they would give coffee on the table and on the others, they would just tell you, “to go get it yourself”. So I wouldn’t recommend a hotel with temperamental service staff to any of my readers. You deserve so much better!
Cravings For Indian Food
We ate in this Indian restaurant called The Taste of India. It was a welcome change as the Indian restaurants in Basel are always quite average.
Day 1 In Vienna: Schönbrunn Palace And St. Stephen’s Cathedral
On our first day in Vienna, we visited the top 2 places according to most travel guides and online guides: Schönbrunn Palace and the St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The 1,441-room Baroque palace is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historical monuments in the country. It has been a major tourist attraction since the mid-1950s. No wonder it was flooded with tourists!
The Small Details: Schönbrunn Palace and the St. Stephen’s Cathedral
There is a local Easter market inside the palace that offers tons of collectibles and street food. The palace restaurant which has a high aesthetic value (but is expensive), the palace itself, the kinder museum, the craft room outside and the Schönbrunn Zoo. To be honest, there is so much to do inside the attraction that one can easily spend 2 days just visiting different things.
Of course, we visited the kid’s museum where we could dress up as kings, queens, knights and peasants. This was fun – for all of us. Then we toured the museum and at the end of the trip – my daughter invested around 40 minutes making an Easter craft. Kids love this part; so, if you are traveling with children I do recommend this part of the palace.
Shopping And Local Delights
After spending most part of the day in the palace, we decided to leave the zoo for another day. From here, we went straight to the St. Stephen’s Cathedral which is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vienna. Around that is the market area with all the major shopping, restaurants, cafes and local delights…
We were obviously quite exhausted by evening so we decided to walk back to the hotel, an 11-minute walk which entailed some pictures of the beautiful river Danube and we were in our hotel room. Uber was our mode of transport for all local trave as it was super convenient, however, riding the trams and trains is quite common and comfortable.
As a matter of fact, don’t forget to ride the ancient trams, this is quite a thing and a great photo-op.
Day 2 In Vienna: A day trip to Bratislava
We had heard a lot about Bratislava from our friends who did their ski trip over there these winters and since then we have wanted to go there.
The capital of Slovakia – Bratislava is set along the Danube River by the border with Austria and Hungary. It is surrounded by vineyards and the Little Carpathian mountains, crisscrossed with forested hiking and cycling trails.
Getting There: Vienna to Bratislava
The most common and convenient way to get there is by the twin city liner which takes around 75 minutes one way and has on board services. I wasn’t particularly feeling the best on this day and kept sipping on tea on our way there.
Since we were quite hungry decided to stop at the first possible decent looking restaurant only to be disappointed. Pro Tip: Before stepping into a restaurant, check the reviews, finding Wi-Fi is not hard.
We ate at a place called Bratislava 1 in Old Town. I would never suggest anyone to go there, ever! The food is below average, and the service was quite terrible. Again, the service in this region surprised us. The waiter almost threw the bill on our table when we asked him for the cheque.
Things To Do In Bratislava: Bratislava castle, Devin castle, St. Martin’s Cathedral
Make most of your day by walking through the lanes of the beautiful old town, Bratislava castle, Devin castle, St. Martin’s cathedral and the Michael’s gate. A good way to cover all the sights and attractions is to take the 1 hour short bus ride around the beautiful town.
Konditorei Kormuth is a notable place for coffee and cake in the lanes of the small town is called it has palatial interiors, amazing aesthetics and an experience that I will remember.
Day 3 In Vienna: Celebrating My Birthday With Cafe Hopping And A Classical Music Concert
A day full of surprises, I really wanted to keep it minimal on this day. I felt much better and wore a new dress and was very touched with all the love I received. I think this was the first time I was on a trip on a birthday – and it was fun! We were together, the 3 of us.
We did fun stuff on this day and hung out in the city of Wien. First, we rode the Ferris wheel in the famous amusement part of Prater. My daughter referred to it as Vienna’s version of Disneyworld as it was quite an attraction. Yea, she is growing up fast to make all these fabulous comments.
Then we decided to have lunch at the Hardrock Cafe because we do like to check out the HR in cities we visit – this is our thing. They also have a welcoming kid’s menu so it really works for us. Also, visited this noteworthy cafe for croissants and coffee called Balthasar which always has a space crunch.
Highlight Of Our Vienna Trip: Imperial Classic Orchestra
We rested for a bit at the hotel, took a nap and went for a classical music concert in the evening to the house of music. I am going to regard this as the highlight of our trip! The popular Viennese ensemble “Imperial Classic Orchestra” features 4 singers and 1 ballerina who present selected works from the classical repertoire, dreamy waltzes and the most celebrated melodies from operetta. It was such a unique experience and since live classical music is one of the big highlights in Vienna, you wouldn’t want to miss it.
Day 4: Last Day In Vienna
Schönbrunn Zoo and Gardens
It was one of the best days of the trip because we ended up doing a lot more than we had planned. We first went to Schönbrunn Zoo which is a perfect activity for kids.
The place was crowded with families and kids of all sizes. The three of us spotted a lot of animals and as usual, what was precious was the joy on my 8-year old’s face. We paid 50 euros for a day ticket for the 3 of us which is a bit extravagant for a zoo but we’re always OK to pay a little extra for a great experience.
Where To Eat In Vienna: Cafe Central
Then it was time for a late lunch (followed by coffee and cake) at Cafe Central, so there was a Long-standing venue for Viennese cuisine, with famous historic links including to Freud & Trotsky.
The café occupies the ground floor of the former Bank and Stockmarket Building, today called the Palais Ferstel. The café opened in 1876, and in the late 19th century it became a key meeting place of the Viennese intellectual scene.
It is a very popular tourist spot, and we did not mind waiting for 20 minutes to get in. The food and the coffee (along with dessert options to die for) were quite an experience in this palatial cafe.
Walking In Vienna: Vienna State Opera, The Rathaus, Belvedere Palace
As we finished eating at the cafe, we walked around for another 2 hours. We saw the Vienna State Opera, the Rathaus, Belvedere Palace and the historic Ringstrasse. Ringstrasse, one of the most beautiful streets in the world. Encircling the Old Town of Vienna you can find plenty of grand palaces, hotels and stately buildings on this land once used for walls to protect against invaders.
Concluding the trip
Because there is still a lot to see and do around the city and to cover it all, we will surely be going again. Things like the most beautiful museums, Mariahilferstraße (for shopping), the Glitzy Krapfenwald Pool, the Nachmarket, an opera and the uber cool lounges. We saved it for next time.
Have you been to Vienna?
We’d love to hear all about in the comments section!