One of the many things we love about the capital of Austria is that it’s an extremely walkable city! Despite it’s massive size, most of the popular sights are close together enough to see even if you only have one day visiting Vienna. This made exploring this enormous city feel much more manageable to us! Yet as we would find out… Just because everything’s close doesn’t mean you can’t easily miss something amazing. This is why we designed a self guided Vienna walking tour so travelers like us could have a stress free afternoon. Join us as we showcase all the historical architecture, markets, and best food in Vienna!
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Vienna Walking Tour Things to Know
In total, this free Vienna walking tour route is 3.5 miles or 5.6 km long. You can start and end at any point!
In no way is this EVERYTHING you should see in Vienna, but simply a fun afternoon walking to give you a feel for the city.
More spots are highlighted at the end of this post that aren’t a part of our free Vienna walking tour.
We included all our favorite places to eat and drink along the way, and what we thought was the best food in Vienna. As always, make sure to share your favorite restaurants in the comments below for future travelers!
Most of the historic center of Vienna is pedestrian only. However, at other points you can get an Uber or use public transportation if you get tired. This is especially important to know for between the Naschmarket and Schnitzelwirt.
This is actually only an hour and fifteen minute walking route. Still, with impromptu photo shoots, snack stops, and museum visits it can easily take 3-4 hours to complete!
→ If you prefer to be guided you can book a 2 hour historical sightseeing tour instead.
Self Guided Free Vienna Walking Tour Route
If you haven’t heard about the famous Vienna Würstelstände you’re in for a real treat! These small food stands are all over the city and pump out different types of sausages from morning to night.
We recommend ordering a Käsekrainer sausage which is traditional to Vienna, and filled with chunks of cheese. Also, make sure to sample a currywurst which is one of our all time favorite sausages. Isn’t it amazing that some of the best food in Vienna is also the cheapest?
Stephansplatz is the official center point of the city, and a large square that you’ll likely end up in multiple times while visiting Vienna. It’s filled with many large shops, cafes, the U-bahn train station, and the giant St. Stephens Cathedral.
When we first got to Stephansplatz all we could do was stand around in awe at the flow of people walking through this square. From here, you can truly see how busy the capital of Austria is!
Climb the St. Stephen’s Cathedral
The obvious star of the show in Vienna’s main square is the beautiful St. Stephen’s Cathedral! Known by its German name of Stephansdom, this 12th century masterpiece is one of the largest churches in the world. The most interesting part about the famous cathedral is that you can actually hike up it via the South Tower.
For the most epic views of the city you’ll just have to make it up the 343 steps to the top! The 10-15 minute climb is quite strenuous, but well worth the 4 Euro entry price for the panoramic views above. If you couldn’t tell, the St. Stephen’s Cathedral is a must visit on your free Vienna walking tour!
Stroll Down Graben Street
Up next, make your way down the colorful Graben Street. This exclusive shopping district is full of expensive clothing brands and department stores while also showcasing incredible architecture.
The beginnings of Graben street go back to the Roman times, and the buildings still standing are mostly from the 17th and 18th centuries.
Like many of the streets on our free Vienna walking tour, there are no cars allowed on Graben. So if you only have one day in Vienna make sure to take a stroll down this street! There’s plenty of great places to grab a cup of coffee and take in the sights and sounds.
Viennese Coffee House
While we’re on the topic of coffee… This magical drink has played an important part in shaping the history of the city! While visiting Vienna it’d be a crime not to stop in for a daily treat at a local coffee house.
With its creative cakes, delicious strudels, and lovely atmosphere, you won’t be able to get enough of the Viennese coffee culture. We actually had some of the best pastries of our lives at a small shop off of Graben Street called Cafe Der Mann. It’s easy to see why they call Vienna the cake capital of the world!
For hundreds of years the imperial palace of Vienna was the home to great rulers, and became a center for political power in Europe. Originally built as a castle in the 13th century, the Hofburg expanded and transformed throughout history.
Each extension built shows how the great architecture molded to the different eras of Austria. You can take a tour of the different rooms and wings inside the Hofburg, or just admire its greatness from the outside. It’s amazing how even today it still serves as the residence of the President of Austria!
Vienna State Opera
The Vienna State Opera house is not only one of the most famous buildings in Austria, but also known as a leading opera house in the world. Tickets sell out far in advance for the Opera show as well as their guided 9 Euro, 40 minute tour.
If you don’t purchase tickets online we would suggest doing so from the official box office. Unfortunately, we’ve been told by other travelers that they’ve been sold fake tickets outside the opera house. Buying online or from the actual ticket booth is the best way to avoid any issues which come with such a popular attraction.
You can probably tell by now that we devoted a lot of time seeking out the best food in Vienna. Well let me tell you, Leberkas-Pepi is definitely worth a stop! This small shop on Operngasse street is the perfect place to grab a quick lunch or snack.
Here they offer several different flavors of meatloaf served on a roll with mustard or plate by itself. Now some of you might be thinking… Why would I want a meatloaf sandwich?? It’s actually a specialty found in Germany and Austria so make sure to try it and judge for yourself!
When we first set our eyes on this building we were absolutely blown away! The baroque style church was built in the early 1700’s shortly after the great plague swept through this region. Designed by some of Vienna’s greatest architects, you can see how much heart and soul was put into creating this work of art! If you’re visiting Vienna in one day we would highly recommend stopping by to see Karlskirche.
No Vienna walking tour would be complete without stopping into the cities most popular marketplace! The Naschmarkt is not only one of Europe’s largest outdoor markets, but is also home to a diverse group of stands making up the best food in Vienna.
Ranging from mind blowing street food and bakery treats to world class Austrian restaurants, this market really has any type of dish you could imagine. The many stands also offer fresh fruits and vegetables, drinks, and even a clothing selection on the far end. It’s opened every day except Sunday from around 6am-7pm.
Wiener Schnitzel Time
We hope you saved some room in your belly because we may have saved the best food in Vienna for last! To indulge in this famous Vienna specialty we headed a little outside the city center to Schnitzelwirt. You can jump in a cab or if you have time walk through the unique and hip neighborhoods.
This restaurant is packed from open to close, and for good reason! The servings are plentiful and we had hands down the best schnitzel here of anywhere in Europe.
As you can imagine, this meal isn’t the cheapest thing you’ll find if you’re only spending one day in Vienna. Fortunately, the size is so big that one schnitzel can easily be split between two people! Also, for something a little different try your schnitzel Cordon Bleu style!
Not Visiting Vienna in One Day? Consider Exploring…
- Schonbrunn: An 18th century lavish summer palace.
- Belvedere Palace: An incredible baroque structure with a popular Vienna art museum inside.
- Hundertwasser House: Colorful apartment house and great picture spot.
- Museumsquartier: Amazing section of the city filled with museums and over 60 cultural institutions.
- Spanish Riding School: Witness the training of classic equestrian skills for horseback riding in Vienna.
- Donaukanal: Spend the day on the Danube River enjoying a bicycle or boat ride.
- Prater: A massive park close to the city center with vintage style amusement park.
No matter if you only have one day in Vienna or a whole week, you’re in for an amazing trip to this magical European city! Did we miss anything on our Vienna walking tour? Let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
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Where To Stay In Vienna Austria
Ultra Luxury – Park Hyatt Vienna – Set in the city center, this luxury hotel perfectly encapsulates Viennese beauty with all the amenities you’ll need. It features an indoor swimming pool and onsite restaurant, while being within walking distance to all the main attractions.
Fun Vacation – Hotel Am Parkring – The Hotel Am Parkring is on the 11th and 13th floors of one of the tallest buildings in Vienna. Each room has incredible panoramic views of the city, and is perfect for travelers only visiting Vienna in one day.
Hostel Life – Wombat’s City Hostels Vienna – With rooms overlooking the Naschmarkt and some of the best food in Vienna, Wombat’s is widely known as one of the best hostels in the city. Enjoy the perfect location and place to meet other travelers with both private rooms and dorms available.
For more places to stay while visiting Vienna you can explore the latest prices here!
Austria Travel Planning
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for hundreds of activities around the country. You can skip the line at the Schönbrunn Palace & Gardens, attend a classical concert at Mozarthaus in Vienna, or take a two-hour guided walking tour in Hallstatt with a photographer!
Rental Car: We use Discover Cars for vehicles while traveling. Consider renting a car and taking a road trip through Austria and Germany!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without protection! We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
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