24 hours in: Vienna

Hofburg Palace, Vienna
Hofburg Palace, Vienna
Vienna, home to some of Europe's finest architectureVienna, home to some of Europe's finest architecture Got a day to spare in the Austrian capital? Here’s how to make the most of it, without resorting to a tourist bus. 8am: Time to hit the streets! Most hotels provide a decadent buffet for breakfast – but remember to leave some space for the extravagant foodie delights of Vienna’s Naschmarkt – literally translated to ‘snack market’. This food heaven is a colourful, social, welcoming event of chocolate, antipasto, seasonal fruit and vegetables - and of course, coffee. The vendors love giving visitors a taste of their delicacies, good-heartedly competing with each other for your attention. Make sure you get to Dr Falafel to taste the most golden falafel in town, dipped in their signature lemony hummus. It’s also the perfect place to stock up on some fresh bread, cheese and fruit for lunch. Antipasto galore at NaschmarktAntipasto galore at Naschmarkt 10 am: Grab one of Vienna’s free hire bikes and take it for a cruise, getting your bearings and a feel for the city with the sun on your face and wind in your hair. Vienna has over 1000kms of cycle-path… make the most of it! There are bike hire stands near all the main tourist attractions, so you can pick one up and drop it off whenever you’re finished. Vienna bike hire standVienna bike hire stand 12 pm: Park your bike at Vienna’s MuseumsQuartier – a huge, open-air, relaxing urban space ringed by famous museums. You could spend days here admiring artifacts, contemporary art, paintings, and photographs but with only one day to spare we recommend the Leopold Museum. The friendly staff will point you in the right direction: Gustav Klimt’s art is a definite highlight. If you feel like a spot of moral-questioning, across the Quarter is the modern-art museum MUMOK. The MuseumsQuartier in ViennaThe MuseumsQuartier in Vienna 3 pm: Time for afternoon tea and my goodness, the cafe options are endless!  A good bet is to pedal north over the Danube (with a short cycling detour down the famous river) to Leopoldstadt. Here you’ll find the best gelato we’ve ever tasted at Isola – complete with jolly staff, and owner out the back churning the ice-cream to perfection. Leopoldstadt is a quieter part of town – a great place to catch some downtime. Augarten, one of Vienna’s large, baroque-style parks is close to the ice-cream shop; take a recuperating nap on the grass, or join the locals for an afternoon Pilates class. 5 pm: A walking tour through the city-centre (can be booked from your hotel) is the best way to see Vienna’s stunning ancient architecture. Gaze in awe at the UNESCO World Heritage palace Schloss Schonbrunn, and the graceful Hofburg Palace. Make sure you climb the 343 stairs to the top of the gorgeously gothic Stephansdom for views over Vienna. Walking about here you will be flagged down by budding young actors and actresses selling concert and opera tickets. If you have some extra night-oil to burn then why not say yes! Stephansdom CathedralStephansdom Cathedral 8 pm: The evening is upon us. The mass of crowds has thinned out, restaurants are serving piping hot schnitzel and tall, golden ales to happy customers in leafy outdoor beer-gardens (not in winter!). Take yourself to Griechenbeisl Vienna’s oldest guest house (dating from 1447). A Beisl is Vienna’s delightful equivalent of a tavern and this one was once frequented by Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert… What a place to “prost” a successful day in one of the world’s most beautiful cities! The sites of ViennaThe sites of Vienna Visit Vienna on one of our walking or cycling trips in Austria.
Austria, things to do, travel, Vienna

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