Top Things to do in 2 Days in Vienna

HOW TO CREATE YOUR VIENNA 2-DAY ITINERARY

Are you planning your Vienna trip 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. Vienna is 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. It actually reminds me pretty much of Paris with all the wonderful buildings.

Vienna is also the city of museums, the city of international organizations, Vienna is the city of Mozart, and Vienna is the city of Sacher cake. Nowadays, it seems that Vienna is also the “green” city (more at the end).

You could spend weeks in Vienna without getting bored – but most of us have a limited time, and so I share a great 2-day Vienna itinerary for first-time visitors.

After several visits, spending about one month there in total, I am happy to share some of my favorite places in Vienna with you. I once visited Vienna as a student with my course (I studied politics), and I did all the typical sightseeing but also had the chance to visit many political organizations like the United Nations or OPEC (by the way, OPEC was impressive, which does not mean I am a fan of them).

However, I am not mentioning that political sightseeing with you here, but more like the typical places to visit in 2 days in Vienna.

TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR 2 DAYS IN VIENNA ITINERARY

Before jumping to the best places to visit in 48hours, 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 south-east 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 the Vienna airport is super easy.

Buses and trains are getting to and from the airport – of course. Buses are a bit slower, and 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

Vienna is very walkable, but the public transport is also excellent and cheap (less than 7€ for a 24 hours ticket). There are also Hop On and Hop Off buses in Vienna, which is super convenient.

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) and only a few attractions are further away so that you might need public transport/taxi.

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.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means, I might earn a small commission when you buy a product or service via my link (at no extra cost to you). More about it here.

Where to Stay in Vienna For 2 Days

I have a full accommodation guide on Vienna – for the best areas to stay. 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. You can skip the line entry to popular Vienna attractions, and it includes 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 in 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

Here are the best places to see and top things to do in 2 days in Vienna. Vienna is geographically not very big. Many sights are close to each other (have I mentioned the great public transportation system in the city?) – so you could add all places to your Vienna itinerary.

DAY 1 OF 2 DAYS IN VIENNA

Here are some places to see on your first day in Vienna.

Stop 1: Stephansdom Cathedral

Start your day in the city and visit the Stephansdom Cathedral – because Vienna sightseeing wouldn’t be complete without heading to Stephansdom Cathedral. The cathedral is located directly in the city center and is the seat of the city´s bishop. The creation started back in the 12.th century, but new elements have been added throughout the time.

Stephansdom Cathedral in Vienna @shutterstock
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Stephansdom Cathedral in Vienna @shutterstock

Even as a non-Christian, I love visiting and admiring the beauty inside – and outside. While I often prefer the Baroque style over the Gothic style, it is well worth a visit.

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 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, which used to be a medieval castle and home of the Habsburgs (the Royal family). Until 1918 the extensive palatial complex was the political center of the monarchy.

It dates back to the 13th century – the Hofburg was extended by each emperor and 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.

Now it is the national library and the official residence and workplace of the President of Austria.

Vienna Hofburg one of the best things to do on your Vienna itinerary
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It is also home to the Sisi Museum (you probably have heard of the famous Empress Elisabeth that still fascinates fans worldwide) that you can visit. It conveys a complex picture of Sisi with many, partly very personal objects on display that give you insights into the official and private worlds of Sisi.

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 make some small detours and visit places like the Burggarten, which is on the way. The area is so beautiful in the city that you will not think it is wasted time to stroll.

Vienna - Museum District is a must in 2 days in Vienna
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@Pixabay

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.

No, I did not visit any museum, but you can enjoy some of the finest art museums in Vienna in this area, which include: 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 surely 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. I have always had a thing for this beautiful, yet simple, Austrian parliament. 

Standing in front of the Austrian Parliament, Vienna. 2 days in Vienna Austria
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The Parlamentsgebäude, built in the 19th century, is located in the Dr. Karl Renner-Ring 3 in the first district. The Austrian Parliament Building is where the two houses of the Austrian Parliament conduct their sessions. 

While I have never gotten to see the inside of the building, it is worth a photo stop, and so it is in my top 10 list of places to visit in Vienna.

Vienna Parliament
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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).

Hundertwasser Village in Austria
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The Hundertwasser Village was built, both on the inside and the exterior, by concepts of artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser in 1990 and 1991 and is free of admission. You´ll find shops, cafes, and restaurants – with a little forest on the roof where 30 trees have grown up to 15 meters high.

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 outside.

Stop 6: Viennese Prater (2. District)

For the late afternoon/evening, I suggest heading to the Prater (either walk from Hundertwasser or take public transportation). The Prater is a kind of amusement park and open 24-hours a day. The huge ferries wheel is the flagship – at the time of its opening (1897), the Ferris Wheel was the tallest of its kind at 64.75 meters. There are some more carousels and lots of snack stalls.

Prater in Vienna in Austria
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 It is probably one of the best places in Vienna with younger kids. While the entry is free, 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.

TIP: While the Ferris wheel is open all year, most stalls, etc., are only open from March to October. 

Stop 7: Karlskirche / St. Charles Church

EXTRA TIP: If you have more time – or you enjoy stunning architecture in general and want to skip one of the places mentioned above – then I recommend doing a little detour and visit the Karlskirche.

St. Charles's Church Vienna where to stay
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@shutterstock

This beautiful Baroque church is located on the south of Stephansdom and not only serves as a religious site, but you can also enjoy church concerts there, like Mozart’s Requiem.

If you have only two days in Vienna, chances aren’t very high that a concert takes place during that time, but you might be lucky. Also, it is just a stunning building, so it is worth a visit regardless of the concert.

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!

Schönbrunn Palace @shutterstock
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Schönbrunn Palace @shutterstock

The palace was built in the 18.th century, but the beauty is still enchanting. It was the former summer residence of the Habsburgs with imperial ceremonial rooms and magnificent gardens. Maria Theresa, Emperor Franz Joseph, Empress Elisabeth (Sisi), and others once resided at Schönbrunn Palace.

Looking at it is impressive – doing a tour and seeing the interior is even more impressive. Schönbrunn Palace has a total of 1,441 rooms, and you can visit 45 of them. 

And the best: The palace is open daily, even on bank holidays. No, wait, the very best is that the Schönbrunn Palace park is free of charge. You have to pay an entrance fee if you visit the Palace only.

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

Schloss Belvedere, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most famous sights in Vienna.

Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736), a successful general and art connoisseur, had the Belvedere garden palace built as his summer residence.

Vienna Schloss Belvedere
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It is in the south-eastern part of the city and definitely worth being checked out. It consists of two Baroque Palaces – The Belvedere is a historic building complex in Vienna, Austria, consisting of two Baroque palaces (Upper and Lower Belvedere). And it is home to an extensive art collection. Even for non-art lovers (aka me), it is a fun place to visit  – look at the pretty gardens! 

Ticket prices: Free with the Vienna Pass and a discount with the Vienna City Card.

Stop 3: Sofitel St. Stephansdom (Best View of Vienna)

More or less spontaneously, I ended up at Sofitel St. Stephansdom, which supposedly has one of the best views over Vienna….And I can assure you it has as you can see from the pictures.

Beat View of Vienna at Loft Sofitel
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 The restaurant also serves food and drinks and 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 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 do not end up with a semi-good table/view.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON THIS 2-DAY VIENNA ITINERARY

2 days in Vienna is a decent amount to get a good glimpse of the beautiful city with stunning architecture and loads of history. I admit, this itinerary is quite busy, and if you do not want to stress, you might want to skip one activity or two, but it is doable.

Vienna is busy at times and not very budget-friendly but surely worth the time and money. Yes, I really love the city, and it 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

PIN ME FOR LATER – HOW TO SPEND 2 DAYS IN VIENNA

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2-day Vienna itinerary pin for Pinterest. places to visit and more tips for 2 days in Vienna
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Stay safe and enjoy!

Safe Travels, Arzo
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