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In a week I'll be travelling from Sofia to Copenhagen, but with a transit through Vienna. I'll be arriving at 9:00 and my next flight is at 15:15, which makes a total of 6h15m. I thought this could be enough to grab a quick peak at the city and maybe one or two of the tourist attractions, since I've never been to Vienna before, but I heard it's certainly a place worth visiting.

Are these 6 hours enough to go in the city and check out at least one or two of the most popular tourist attractions, and which of them are closest to the airport?

(I'm an EU citizen, and I'll be travelling with no luggage, so hopefully I won't have to spend too much time at the airport dealing with luggage/passport control).

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    good is a subjective statement. Therefore this question is opinion based and thus ot on this site. You might want to reword it. – JoErNanO Jul 21 '15 at 22:46
  • I too advise against Schönbrunn. I lived in central Vienna for a little while and feel you would be stressing yourself to go there in such limited time. And in any case it is less engaging than the city centre, being yet another (albeit an excellent example) grand palace. – Thewark Jul 22 '15 at 7:54
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I have transited through vienna around 15 times and happy to give you some tips on what to see during your 6 hour layoff.

  1. St.Stephens Platz church (start here. Its the city centre walk around for 2h you will see viennese operas, palace and shopping streets around. If you like cakes be sure to taste Sacher torta (shop not far from main opera)

  2. Schonbrunn palace (takes 2h minimum really nice with museum and zoo!)

  3. Museum Quartier (walk around open space inside people will be chilling out in summer, of course if you are museum fan this is great). From Museum Quartier try to explore long shopping street Mariahilfer strasse (takes about 1 h)

  4. "Hundertwasserhaus" is a very unique beautiful designed apartment houses worth a visit.

Vienna is very well connected by excellent metro system. All the places i mentioned above can be explored through metro/tram lines saving you time.

Last but not the least, have a coffee in viennese style. They will always serve coffee with a small glass of water to drink after the coffee (which i love it).

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    You'll have more like half that by the time you get out of the airport and leave buffer to get back without missing your flight! – JamesRyan Jul 21 '15 at 15:47
  • The "small glass of water with coffee" is a bit widespread in Italy too, though I'm not sure where or when it originated. – o0'. Jul 21 '15 at 16:22
  • IMHO, the Sachertorte of the Hotel Sacher is not as good as the rendition of their competitors. I'd mention Cafe Mozart, although there was another I liked even better whose name escapes me. (Trip 9 years ago.) Visiting a cafe is certainly essential. As for visit, I'd say the Liechtenstein and the Imperial Treasury, but this is certainly a matter of taste. – Andrew Lazarus Jul 22 '15 at 1:34
  • Though I suppose the the Hundertwasserhaus (or houses: There's the colourful non-enterable house, the very interesting Hundertwasser Village nearby, a less prominent Hunderwasser Facade, and the Hundertwasser Museum all in walking distance from another, not to mention the little pavillion at the river bank) are not that easily reachable if you use only subway. A tram ride on the other hand might in itself serve as a little sightseeing tour, though possible problematic under time pressure – Hagen von Eitzen Jul 22 '15 at 9:26
  • @Lohoris it's rather typical in Italy, at least in Rome and in Naples. And one usually drinks it before drinking the coffee, to "wash the mouth" and better appreciate the taste of the coffee even after having eaten other food. For a quick check, I just googled "acqua prima o dopo il caffè" and this was one result coffeeandnews.espresso1882.com/blog_new/lifestyle/… – Francesco Jul 22 '15 at 13:21
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The City Airport Train will take you (close to) the center in just 16 minutes. It is however a lot more expensive than the regular train going the same way in just 10 or so minutes more. Each of the two trains runs every 20-30 minutes, so the fastest option depends on when exactly you arrive at the train station.

From the terminal Wien Mitte-Landstraße you can either continue with the U3 subway line for 2 stations to get to Stephansplatz (the very heart of the city), or just walk there. All of the historical center is really nice and you can find nice and interesting places everywhere. If you want to see as many sights as possible on a short walk (1-2 hours if you want to see stuff), you can follow e.g., this route.

It's certainly possible to do this with a 6 hour overlay, but it will be quite stressful, especially if you need to pick up your luggage after arriving in Vienna.

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    Nope, I'm travelling with no luggage at all, so that's not an issue. Thanks for the walking route, I'll make sure to try it out :) – NorthBridge Jul 21 '15 at 13:04
  • Also, thank you for the advice for changing to the U3 subway, it saved me a good deal of time. – NorthBridge Jul 31 '15 at 16:10
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Yes. For example, only 16 minutes to central Vienna, so sightseeing in that interval is viable but what to see there seems to be a matter of opinion so off topic here.

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    This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post. – Willeke Jul 21 '15 at 19:44
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    @Willeke Q: "enough time for some sightseeing?" A: "Yes. For example only 16 minutes to central Vienna"—looks like an answer to me. – Calchas Jul 21 '15 at 19:51
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    It is the standard text, but I do feel that this is not enough to be a stand alone answer. – Willeke Jul 21 '15 at 19:53
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I would advise against Schloss Schönbrunn, it is in the West of the City, while the airport is in the east. It is quite far away from most of the other sights which are in the City.

So i would suggest a quick tour round St. Stephan, Hofburg, Opera and maybe Museumsquartier.

Another data point regarding the CAT (City Aiport Train), Taking a Taxi is still twice as expensive than taking the CAT.

  • I'm not a fan of using taxis anyway. Thanks for the advice :) – NorthBridge Jul 21 '15 at 22:01
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Note: Vienna is not very efficient airport, and there can be long walks involved between areas since it is badly planned and security can take some time if you are unlucky.

As much as people here advise for the train to get to the city, If you want to go to Schönbrunn you may consider (budget allowing) just grabbing a pre-booked car transfer immediately, since they'll wait for you in the arrival hall and might save you 45 minutes (of average waiting and journey time) compared to the CAT/ S-Bahn and subway journey. From there, take the U4 subway back to Karlsplats (~20 minutes) on the edge of the first district, have a walk through central Vienna past the cathedral, and then walk the short distance to Wien Mitte station where you could take the train back to the airport.

That proposal is a very hectic itinerary. There is more than enough to keep you very busy downtown, and has plenty of good architecture and historical atmosphere. Aside from the Cathedral, try Hofburg, shopping streets Kohlmarkt and Graben, and the countless little streets that are less populated by tourists.

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