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Couple of hours layover in Vienna - what to see/do?

Hi all,

My SO and I will be traveling from Prague to Venice, with a 5hr layover in Vienna (from approx 12 noon to 5PM, assuming flights are on time).

What would be your recommendations on what we can see/do/eat during this period? I figure we probably have at least 1-2 hours we can use for sight-seeing, leaving enough buffer time to get to/from the airport.

Any suggestions? :)

Posted by
16883 posts

Most methods of transport to the city are estimated to take a half hour, not including time wait time or transfer time, so call that an hour. The [CAT]( is a little faster, if it's ready to leave, taking you to Wien Mitte Bahnhof, where you can transfer two more stops by U-Bahn yellow to Stephansplatz. You could pop into St. Stephen's cathedral and stroll the city center, but not enter any musuems. The plan is not without risk; such as the risk of getting distracted at a pastry shop and losing track of time.

Posted by
4694 posts

To maximize your time, take a taxi, not the train. Taxi will take you about 20 minutes to the center and cost you 29 Euro. With the train, you could be standing on the track waiting for 30 minutes - a waste of your precious time. Personally, I always use red cab from the airport - they are waiting for you at arrivals. You must book and pay for the fare online and in advance. Go to To get back to the airport, take a taxi as well, if you think you know the time and where you will be, book with red cab again.

Once in the center, assuming you will have 1-2 hours, I would have the driver drop you as close to Stephansplatz as possible. Look at the cathedral, walk down the Graben, turn left on Kohlmarkt where you will have a view of the Hofburg. Turn right on Herrengasse and have lunch/coffee/cake at Cafe Central. Walk down Herrengasse back towards the Hofburg and head towards the Opera. At the Opera take your taxi back to the airport.

I want to comment as well on the directions given above - there is no "yellow" line in Vienna. People won't know what you are talking about. I believe what the poster is referring to is the U3 line (which is color coded orange, but no one calls it the "orange" line).

Posted by
22 posts

Thanks both for your advice!

Emily, good idea to take a taxi, would rather spend a little more and SEE more than just a train platform :)
Looking at the website, it appears that it should cost no more than 29 euro, correct? Does one tip in such a case, rounding up to 30euro? (sorry, I live in Japan, and am completely unused to the idea of tipping...)

Posted by
4694 posts

For the red cab service, you pay in advance with your credit card. When I have used their service, I have offered the driver a Euro for each bag, so about 4 Euros total. In your case, as you will be without bags, I would offer 2-3 Euros.