HOW TO CREATE YOUR VIENNA 2-DAY ITINERARY
Are you planning your 2-day Vienna itinerary and wondering about the best things to do in 2 days in Vienna? Then this post is for you.
Vienna is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Renowned for its architecture, Vienna is home to some of the most beautiful buildings in Europe. It is also one of the most romantic cities I have been to. I actually go as far as claiming it is at least as romantic as Paris.
Vienna is also the city of museums, Vienna is the city of international organizations, Vienna is the city of Mozart, and Vienna is the city of Sacher cake.
You could spend weeks in Vienna without getting bored – but most of us have limited time, so I share this itinerary for Vienna in 2 days.
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TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR 2 DAYS IN VIENNA ITINERARY
Before jumping to the best places to visit in 2 days, here are some travel tips.
Vienna: General information
- Country: Austria
- Location: Austria is located in the country’s east on the Danube River. It is close to the border of Slovakia (Bratislava is just about 70km away) and Hungary (Budapest is about 250km southeast of Vienna).
- Language: German
- Currency: Euro
How to get from the Vienna airport to the city center
- The airport is just around 15 km outside of the city center, so getting from and to Vienna airport is super easy.
- Buses and trains are getting to and from the airport – of course. Buses are a bit slower, take about 40 minutes, and cost less than $3 one way. The train takes just around 15 minutes, and prices are a bit more than $20 for return tickets.
- You can book your private transport or hop on a taxi.
- Still, unless you are exhausted, or money does not play a role, I suggest using buses or trains.
How to get around Vienna for 2 days
- Austria’s capital is the perfect place for nice strolls and endless walks – so I recommend walking as much as possible. This way, you will most likely not miss out on one of the many gorgeous buildings on the side streets.
- Most attractions are located in the 1. district (city center), so you can explore Vienna mostly on foot. Only a few attractions are further away so you might need public transport/taxi.
- The public transport is also excellent and cheap (8€ for a 24-hour ticket or 14,10€ for a 48-hour ticket).
- There are also Hop On and Hop Off buses in Vienna, which is super convenient.
Is Vienna safe?
Vienna is quite safe though pickpocketing is very common. It is good to be aware of your belongings and be attentive. Avoid side and dark streets at night and exercise common sense.
Where to stay in Vienna
- HOTEL SACHER: Find luxury at its best at Hotel Sacher near Hofburg. The hotel is rated the best in the city – its central location makes it a perfect hotel for your Vienna trip. Find out more about the rates for staying in this hotel here.
- MERCURE VIENNA FIRST: One good medium-priced accommodation to stay in Vienna is Mercure Vienna First – it was the place I stayed in when I visited Vienna on my last trip. Find out more about that particular hotel by clicking here.
- I have a full Vienna accommodation guide. Just click here to find your perfect hotel in Vienna.
2 Days Vienna Pass vs. Vienna Card
- The Vienna Pass gives you free access to more than 60 attractions around Vienna. In addition, you can skip the line entry to popular Vienna attractions, including the Vienna Hop On Hop Off sightseeing tours.
- Tickets are a bit more expensive than the Vienna City Card but give you unlimited free public transport in downtown Vienna (public transportation is in general quite affordable in Vienna), and good discounts on Vienna’s major attractions.
- Check out prices for the Vienna Pass and The Vienna City Card, and you can see if you can save money with it and if one of the cards makes sense to you!
PLACES TO VISIT IN VIENNA IN 2 DAYS
Vienna is geographically not very big and many sights are close to each other. So, it might look like a very busy itinerary – and it is – but it is doable! Feel free to skip any activities that are not appealing to you.
DAY 1 OF 2 DAYS IN VIENNA
Here are some places to see on your first day in Vienna.
Stop 1: Stephansdom Cathedral
Vienna sightseeing wouldn’t be complete without heading to Stephansdom Cathedral. Behold, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the dazzling symbol of Vienna, standing right smack-dab in the heart of the city!
CATHERDRAL & TOWERS
St. Stephen’s Cathedral in the bustling inner city is a whopping 107 meters long of glorious architecture. That south tower stands tall at 136 meters – making it Austria’s highest church! Now that’s what we call reaching for the heavens!
Ever wanted to feel like a medieval Rapunzel? Climb up 343 steps at the tower room to gaze upon Vienna’s breathtaking splendor! Endure this mini gym workout to discover 13 melodious bells waiting to serenade your victorious ascent!
Did you know the famous Pummerin, chilling in its 68-meter penthouse (aka the north tower), is the second-biggest free-swinging church bell in Europe? Get ready to rock ‘n’ chime with the best of them!
Behold the mighty rooftop of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, where vibrant tiles flock together to form the majestic double-headed eagle – the symbol of royal and imperial power! But wait, there’s more! They also assemble proudly to showcase the dashing coat of arms of the lovely city of Vienna. Now, isn’t that a sight worth climbing up some stairs for?
FUN FACT: Did you know that St. Stephen’s Cathedral is not only a symbol of Vienna’s rich history, but also the guardian angel of delectable treats? Yup, it majestically graces the Manner Schnitten’s pink-red packaging like a tantalizing cherry on top of a mouthwatering dessert! That’s how sweet Vienna can be!
As a non-Christian who appreciates fine architecture, I can’t help but swoon over the church’s dazzling beauty – both inside and out! Though typically, I swing more Baroque than Gothic (variety is the spice of life, right?), it’s absolutely worth pulling over and feasting your eyes on this gem!
Step into Vienna’s Stephansdom cathedral, where you’ll find more than just your typical ancient goodies like altars, organs, and relics – you’ll also come face-to-skull with the remains of 11,000 dearly departed in super spooky catacombs!
This is if you are looking for a more thrilling guided tour of this historic site – Bone-a-fide excitement awaits!
- Just remember to dress appropriately (cover shoulders and knees) and learn about its myth – and many more European myths.
- You can even climb the towers (south and north tower) and admire the view of the city (each tower charges you a fee of around $5,50 and $6.50).
- You can also visit the catacombs and do a guided tour for around $6.50 (kids under 6 are free). The tours take place several times a day and last about 30 minutes.
Timetable for guided tours of the catacombs:
- Monday to Saturday from 10.00 am to 11.30 am and then from 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm
- Sundays and public holidays from 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm.
Stop 2: The Hofburg
From the Cathedral, you can walk towards the Hofburg,
What a sight. Get ready to feast your eyes on one of the world’s largest and fanciest palace complexes! Once upon a time, in a land filled with empires and royalty, the Habsburgs ruled the roost for a whopping seven centuries! Talk about a dynasty, am I right? It’s now THE place to be for museum lovers, political enthusiasts, and event connoisseurs!
Unleash your inner royal in the city’s core: Get dazzled by the swanky chambers and jaw-dropping halls where the imperial family jam used to spend their evenings, while you embark on an epic journey exploring the treasure trove of museums and eclectic collections hidden within the Imperial Palace.
In a comedy of palatial proportions, the Habsburgs decided to play an architectural game of Tetris in the 13th century, expanding their uber-chic palace into a whopping 300,000 m2 party pad. Vienna’s Imperial Palace became one of the globe’s largest monarchical mazes, perfect for hide-and-seek with visiting dignitaries!
The Hofburg dates back to the 13th century, and was extended by each emperor! It is now an area of over 240,000 m² consisting of 18 wings, 19 courtyards, and 2,600 rooms in which nearly 5,000 people still work and live today.
Who says monarchies have all the fun? Austria’s federal president can now call this palace his official residence and workplace, even without a royal title.
For history buffs and art enthusiasts – Vienna’s Imperial Palace is THE hotspot for some of the city’s most swoon-worthy museums and collections. With a royal twist, you’ll be feeling like an emperor or empress just strolling through these majestic halls!
Are you ready to unravel the secret life of the famous Empress Elisabeth – known as Sisi? Well, buckle up, dear friends, because the Sisi Museum is here to spill the tea! Toss aside those silly “Sissi” film series tales (which I actually have never watched), we’re about to dive deep into the enchanting, unfiltered world of the real Sisi!
Discover the many layers of Sisi at the Hofburg through a delightful array of personal knick-knacks that give you a sneak peek into her double life as a royalty and regular girl!
GRAND HALL OF THE AUSTRIAN NATIONAL LIBRARY
Did you know that Vienna’s Imperial Palace is home to the fabulous Austrian National Library? Step inside and let your imagination run wild as you explore its wonderful world of words!
Get ready to jump into a time machine because this colossal Baroque treasure trove is home to an insane 200,000 ancient books!
With shelves that are more dressed up than a Mardi Gras float, the jaw-dropping Grand Hall will show you why it’s coined as one of the most gorgeous library rooms around the globe!
Among the many wonders of a former court library is its grandly impressive Grand Hall – an almost 80-meter-long and 30-meter-high space crowned with a majestic dome. Here, books play second fiddle to this extraordinary architectural spectacle!
Stop 3: Museum District
From the Hofburg walk towards the Museums District. It is a 15-minute walk, but I suggest taking your time and even making some small detours and visiting places like the Burggarten, which is on the way. The area is so beautiful in the city that you will not think it is a wasted time to stroll.
Covering a whopping 90,000m2 with 60 cultural playgrounds to explore, the Museums District is like Disneyland for culture vultures.
Welcome to a vibrant playground filled with artistic fiestas, fabulous fashion, melodious symphonies, theatrical wonders, enthralling dance moves, bibliophile-pleasing literature, kiddie coolness, gamer heaven, street art extravaganzas, and snapshot-worthy designs!
I am not into museums, but I remember pretty well that I enjoyed strolling through the museum district, and it is worth walking around there, even if you are not a museum kind of person.
- I did not visit any museums, but you can enjoy some of the finest art museums in Vienna in this area, including the Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation Vienna (MUMOK) or the Leopold Museum.
- So choose the museums you are interested in, and with 2 days in Vienna, you have time to visit a museum or two.
Stop 4: Austrian Parliament
If you are okay with more walking, I recommend doing another 15-minute walk towards the parliament.
Get ready for a trip back in time to the good ol’ 19th century! Waltz on over to Dr. Karl Renner-Ring 3, in Vienna’s fabulous first district, and feast your eyes on the magnificent Parlamentsgebäude.
It’s not just a pretty face, though – this architectural gem is also home to the dynamic duo of Austria’s Parliament!
Don’t just stand and gawk at it! Join a guided adventure through its halls, unleash your inner bookworm in the Library, then sip on a superbly classic Viennese coffee at the charming cafe next door.
Feast your taste buds on scrumptious delights at our rooftop restaurant, where you can also relish stunning views of the bustling downtown below!
Stop 5: Hundertwasser Village
You can either take public transportation to get to the Hundertwasser Village and Hunderwasserhaus or walk for about 30-45 minutes to get there (it is about 3,5km).
The Hundertwasser House is ready to dazzle you with its artsy flamboyance! This wildly unique Austrian gem, dreamed up by creative mastermind Friedensreich Hundertwasser, is a bucket-list must-see that magnetically pulls in visitors from all corners of the globe!
The Hundertwasser Village is a whimsical wonderland where art and architecture collide! Crafted by the fabulous Friedensreich Hundertwasser in 1990 and 1991, this vibrant village is brimming with Character.
From eclectic shops to scrumptious cafes, the Village has it all. But wait, there’s more! Just sneak a peek at the rooftop, where you’ll find a mini-forest of 30 towering trees reaching heights up to 15 meters. Why not come explore this delightful, quirky paradise?
- Though it is an unusual attraction – or maybe because IT is an unusual attraction – about 1,2 million people visit Hundertwassers every year.
- Opposite the Hundertwasser Village, you will find the Hundertwasserhaus – this colorful building can only be admired from the outside.
- Free of admission for the Hundertwasser Village.
Stop 6: Viennese Prater (2. District)
For the late afternoon/evening, I suggest heading to the Prater (either walking there from Hundertwasser or taking public transportation).
This magical land of nostalgic fantasies and unlimited amusement is nestled amidst Vienna’s lush green oasis. Oh, and I mention it’s the home of the Giant Ferris Wheel – a shining star (or should I say wheel?) in Vienna’s crown!
Once upon a time in 1897, the mother of all Ferris Wheels was born! Standing tall at a whopping 64.75 meters, she spun her way into the hearts and the skies, becoming the queen of all things round and high. And the queen is still operating – you can hop on it even these days.
And guess what? You’ll find even more mesmerizing carousels to hop on and a whole smorgasbord of delicious snack stalls to satisfy your munchies! Enjoy, my friend!
- There is no entry fee. You have to pay for each roller coaster/snack, etc.
- If you spend more time in the Museums’ district or travel a bit more slowly, you can skip this and head to the next area.
- While the Ferris wheel is open all year, most stalls are only open from March to October.
Stop 7: Karlskirche / St. Charles Church
EXTRA TIP: If you have more time, I recommend doing a little detour and visiting the Karlskirche.
Behold the glorious emerald crown of Karlskirche, reigning supreme over Karlsplatz! This divine gem is not only a beacon of spirituality in Central Europe but a proud symbol of Vienna, making it worth a visit.
This magnificent church is dedicated to none other than St. Karl Borromäus, the Habsburg emperor’s BFF, namesake, and holy superstar! Gaze in awe at the two humongous, whopping 47-meter tall columns by the entrance, showing off Karl’s life and divine accomplishments!
Who knows, Mozart’s Requiem might just be playing. Even if the stars don’t align for a church concert, remember – there’s awe-inspiring beauty in the architecture alone, so visiting this sight is always worth it!
DAY 2 OF 2 DAYS IN VIENNA
For your second day in Vienna, I suggest exploring two of the most impressive castles in Europe.
Stop 1: Schönbrunn Palace
Okay, this is probably one of the prettiest palaces in the country: Schönbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. It is probably the most popular tourist attraction with more than two million tourists visiting – annually!
Okay, but what is the Schönbrunn Palace?
The royal Habsburgs have been holding onto this gem since 1569 because let’s be honest, who’d ever part with such gorgeous digs voluntarily?
Once upon a time in 1642, Eleonore von Gonzaga, wife of Emperor Ferdinand II, fancied a little pleasure palace for herself. She chose the perfect spot and named it “Schönbrunn,” which soon became the talk of the town!
After Vienna’s epic siege back in 1696, Maria Theresa went all out pimping up that palace and garden ensemble starting in 1743. No kidding! Quite the property glow-up, right?
Schönbrunn Palace dazzles with fancy-schmancy rooms, glorious gardens, and a virtual reality show to make your jaw drop. Maria Theresa, Emperor Franz Joseph, and Empress Elisabeth (we already spoke about Sisi) once called this place home – talk about living the high life!
Once upon a summertime, the Habsburgs frolicked in their extravagant playground, filled with grandiose chambers for fancy shindigs and dazzling gardens where they sipped tea like royalty!
Out of the 1,441 (!!!) rooms of Schönbrunn Palace, you can see 45 of them during a tour – it’s an experience you won’t forget!
Schönnbrun Maze – Also, once upon a time, royal folks frolicked among these twisty bushes. Now, the Schönbrunn Maze welcomes all to a jolly good time! Spot the cosmic clan of zodiac signs hiding within, and then, with a devilish grin, enjoy a bird’s-eye view of befuddled wanderers losing their way from your exclusive perch. Cheeky, we know!
- The palace is open daily, even on bank holidays.
- No, wait, the very best is that Schönbrunn Palace park is free of charge. However, you have to pay an entrance fee if you visit the Palace.
- You can do different kinds of tours.
- However, as fascinating as it is, I suggest spending max. half a day here as there is another fantastic castle that awaits your visit!
- Ticket prices: Free with the Vienna Pass and a discount with the Vienna City Card.
Stop 2: Schloss Belvedere
Oh, Vienna! Land of infinite palaces and architectural wonders! Is there a limit to your magnificence? Seems not! Prepare to be wowed by even more majestic delights.
Schloss Belvedere, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most famous sights in Vienna.
Let me tell you the tale of Prince Eugene of Savoy, a legendary military mastermind and artsy fellow. This dashing prince had the grand Belvedere garden palace, his swanky summer residence, built on a whim to indulge in his love for art ‘n’ relaxation while escaping the heat.
Behold the majestic duo of Baroque Palaces – Upper and Lower Belvedere! These fantastic houses are a time travel ticket to explore the best Austrian art from the Middle Ages to today! Yup, it’s like walking through a fun art timeline.
They’re not just fancy architectural marvels, but treasure troves of magnificent art! Trust me, even if you’re an art novice (like yours truly), this place is a blast. And oh, did I mention the absolutely gorgeous gardens?
Once upon a time, the Palace was just beyond the city gates, in a mystical land of wonder and adventure… now, it is in the southeastern part of the city and definitely worth being checked out.
- Ticket prices: Free with the Vienna Pass and a discount with the Vienna City Card.
Stop 3: Sofitel St. Stephansdom (Best View of Vienna)
Oh weary traveler, you’ve gazed upon Vienna’s majestic wonders, and now it’s time to treat yourself! Kick back with a heavenly drink as the city skyline twinkles before you, or indulge in a divine dinner as the breathtaking views gently serenade your senses.
Cheers to a well-deserved break, intrepid explorer!
So there I was, strolling around when BAM! I stumbled upon the legendary Sofitel St. Stephansdom. The views of Vienna from there are mind-blowing.
The restaurant is the perfect place to end your 2 days in Vienna. If you are lucky, you have better weather than I did and the view should be even better.
If you visit during the high season and want to be sure to get an extra good view, call and book a table with a view in advance, so you get the best views in town!
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FINAL THOUGHTS ON THIS 2-DAY VIENNA ITINERARY
After two unforgettable days in Vienna, I know that the city will stay with you for years to come. From exploring some of the most breathtaking historical landmarks to indulging in exquisite meals and drinks, it is a magical experience that you’ll not quickly forget.
Okay, I won’t sugarcoat it – this 2-day Vienna itinerary is a wild ride! You might need to ditch an activity (or two) for the sake of sanity, but trust me, it’s totally conquerable. Just buckle up and enjoy the whirlwind!
Cheers to the best two days ever spent in Vienna! 🥂🍾👏🏼
- Vienna is a must-see on any Austria itinerary.
- Visiting Vienna in winter? Then check out my Vienna winter guide here.
- If you need more reasons to visit, Vienna read Rachel´s blog post on why she fell in love with Vienna.
- And read this, if you are looking for the top things to do in Vienna