24 Hours In Vienna: See A Stunning European City Without Taking Annual Leave

By Éadaoin Fitzmaurice

December 18, 2019 at 9:42am


Annual leave days are some of the most precious things in existence.

Thing is, between festivals, weddings, vacations and family bits, they seem to disappear in the blink of an eye. When they're gone, they're gone. I feel proper crappy when I get to the point of only having one or two left for the whole year.

I'm one of these people that needs to have some kind of holiday or break away lined up to be excited about - even if it's a boat trip down the Shannon, it's something.

One thing I've learnt over the last while, having only a few precious annual leave days, is that you can still travel without using them.

Imagine that!

No, but seriously, you can see some amazing places in Europe so easily during the weekend. Flights are cheap and short so you can see a lot of the city in a day. If you really want to push the boat out, you can fly out on a Friday evening and come back on a Sunday. I've actually been to a city and back on the same day though, so it's really up to you.

Taking in all of the above, some cities are ideal for just this kind of trip and Vienna in Austria is one of them.

Here are the best things to see and do in Austria's capital city.

Where To Stay:


Wombats City Hostel

I've travelled to a lot of European cities and Wombats Hostels are some of my favourites. You always know what you're going to get.

The hostels have a great atmosphere, they are always in a great location, they're super affordable and they include breakfast. Most have cool hang out areas as well as bars on site, so it's a great place to go if you want to socialise. This hostel, in particular, has a really cool bar downstairs where you can play Jenga, have a bop and sip some tasty cocktails.

Grand Hotel Wien

The Grand Hotel Wien is an iconic part of Vienna's tourism industry. The high-end 19th century building located in the city centre will accommodate the boujee travellers who are looking to go all out for 24 hours.

House Boat

This modern houseboat is located in the 2nd district of Vienna in the Danube Arina. It's ideal for a group of travellers who want to experience the beautiful city of Vienna and are looking for unusual accommodation.

The connection to public transport is perfect, with the subway around the corner.


What To Do:

Walking Tour

I say this time and time again: the best way to really see and learn about a city in a short amount of time is a walking tour. I frickin ADORE them.

There are quite a few different companies that host them; you'll find them in the tourist centres as well as booklets in your hotel and hostel. The guides know everything about the city and can point out things you'd walk right past without realising how important they are.

They will also give you tips along the way of the best places to eat and extra tours to do.


If you're a foodie, stop off at the Naschmarkt for a sensory overload. You'll be able to pick up everything from fresh fruit to sweet treats.

If you're visiting, go hungry!


Also, don't forget cash as there are no card machines at the stalls.

Where To Eat:

The Palmenhaus

Eat in Vienna's stunning botanical gardens.

The Palmenhaus is Austrian-meets-Mediterranean, with an extensive wine list. Tuck into delicious dumplings as you're surrounded by incredible tropical trees and plants. 

What To See:

Schönbrunn Palace

This huge 1,441-room palace has been of major cultural importance in Austria and is now its most popular tourist attraction.


It's incredible just to walk around and look at all of the statues, courtyards and features surrounding it.

Inside is an assortment of fully furnished and decorated rooms in the original style.

During The Evening:

Go To The Opera

There are three opera houses in Vienna - the Staatsoper, Volksoper and Theater an der Wien.

Wiener Staatsoper is one of the leading opera houses in the world and it's steeped in tradition. Each season, there are around 350 performances of opera and ballet.

What To Drink:

If Dogs Run Free


An atmospheric bar on Gumpendorfer Strasse in the sixth district.

It's open until 4am so you can pop in at any stage of the night.

Now all you need to do is book your flights!