24 hours in Vienna
Just a short stay? Vienna in a few hours.
At the reception at Hotel Stefanie, guests often ask us what they can do in Vienna. Especially if they do not have much time between appointments or because they have a bit of time between appointments or before their departure. Imagine that you have 24 hours, one afternoon, one evening, one morning. You want to see as much as possible of Vienna – but how can you do it all?
Ann-Kathrin Labschütz completed her apprenticeship as a hotel clerk at the reception in Hotel Stefanie. She has put herself in the shoes of our guests and thought about how she could make the most of 24 hours in Vienna.
Arrived in Vienna
The flight is over, the appointment is finished, you finally arrive in Vienna for a few hours of free time. My taxi stops in front of the building with the golden letters “Hotel Stefanie”. As I get out of the car a porter is already waiting to welcome me warmly and take my bags. The “Stefanie” is the oldest hotel in Vienna. I am curious and surprised. No sign of “old” here! Everywhere I look I see well-polished furniture, antiques and silverware. Everything is shiny and sparkly. Wow, what a great atmosphere. As I enter the hotel I am immediately transported back in time to the glorious age of the Austrian empire.
While the formalities are taken care of at the reception, I have a nice chat with the concierge. He has some great tips, and recommends the first thing I do is buy a 24-hour ticket for a city tour with the BigBus. He also tells me a few stories about the city. In the meantime, my suitcase has already been brought to my room. I follow and quickly freshen up before heading out again right away. After all, I only have 24 hours in Vienna. It is 11:30 in the morning.
Ready to discover
The next hop on point for the city tour with the “red line” is at Schwedenbrücke, just a 3 minute walk away. The weather is good and I get to see a lot, especially on the drive along the Vienna Ringstraße where I am impressed by the Opera, the Museumsquartier, the University, the Rathausplatz and the Votivkirche.
I get off at Schwedenbrücke again and walk from there for ten minutes to Stephansplatz. There I climb the North Tower. I remember the concierge telling me that this used to be the watchtower, because it offers a view over almost all of Vienna. When I reach the top, I look out over the rooftops of Vienna and I enjoy the beauty of the city all the more.
Back down on the street, I walk along Stock-im-Eisen-Platz towards Graben. Strolling down Graben is something very special and I see, among other things, the Vienna Plague Column. A few minutes later I reach Kohlmarkt, a magnificent and expensive shopping street with shops like Moncler, Prada, etc. I continue on to Michaeler Platz to the beautiful Hofburg. There I have to look at the crown jewels on display in the collection of the Habsburgs.
Now I really need something to eat and I choose Viennese fast food. From the Imperial Treasury I walk for about 10 minutes to Albertina Platz, to the sausage stand “Bitzinger”. The moment I place my sausage on the small bar table and the sun shines in my face, I realize that the Viennese truly have class.
A good Viennese mélange and a slice of Sachertorte would hit the spot now. It is too far to walk back to Café Demel. So I cross the street to the Café Mozart, with a view of the back of the Vienna State Opera.
From the Opernring, directly in front of the imposing Vienna State Opera House, I take the D tram towards Alfred-Adler-Straße to Belvedere Palace. Belvedere Palace is open until 6 p.m., so it is worth buying a ticket. I am soon standing in front of the famous “Kiss” by Gustav Klimt. I finish my visit with a walk through the beautifully landscaped castle garden, stopping for a little rest on one of the park benches, where I take in the many impressions before making my way back to the hotel.
An evening in Vienna
I take the D tram to Schwarzenberg Platz and then the 2 tram to Gredlerstraße, which is only a few minutes’ walk from the hotel.Back in the “Stefanie” I am greeted warmly by the receptionist who remembers me and hands me the right room key and also confirms my table reservation in the restaurant for the “A Taste of Imperial Vienna”.
I am really looking forward to my meal and the service staff is extremely friendly and accommodating. This meal should introduce me to Viennese cuisine with 7 delicacies. A beef soup with pancake strips and Kaiser Schöberl starts my journey. It continues with a veal stew and a “Salzstangerl” bread stick followed by a small schnitzel with a potato salad. The next dish is boiled beef with potato “Gröstel”, chive sauce and apple horse radish. I treat myself to a small beer and then a glass of wine. The meal is topped off with a mixed dessert plate with powidltascherl, apple strudel and kaiserschmarren with a coffee of my choice. Now I am really full.
The evening is far too gorgeous to go to bed. Besides, I am interested in a taste of Vienna’s night life. The receptionist recommends a nice bar and shows me the best way to get there on the map. Once again I cross the Schwedenbrücke bridge into the city center. On the way to Stephansplatz in a side street I find the bar “Roter Engel”. I wind down the evening with good music and nice people.
A few hours left for Vienna
I start the next day with a huge selection at the breakfast buffet. Believe it or not I am actually hungry again. It must be the Viennese air. I leave my luggage with the reception, because I still want to take advantage of this morning to visit the Schönbrunn Palace.
My 24 hour ticket for the BigBus is still valid, so I hop on and make my way to Schönbrunn. I have already booked my tickets for the palace tour in advance online. I visit the imperial apartments and get an inside look at the living and life of Emperor Franz Joseph and his Sissi. There is still time for a walk through the gardens to the Gloriette, which offers a beautiful view of the castle garden, perfect for a final coffee before returning to the hotel.
There I am given my luggage and while I wait for my airport transfer, I thank the receptionist for the helpful tips which gave me a good impression of Vienna, even though I had “just” 24 hours.