Vienna, the capital city of Austria – which is adorned by the legacy of its popular residents such as Mozart and Freud – is a must-visit destination in Europe. This guide is for a short Vienna two day visit to the city, which in reality is not at all enough to take in everything that the city has to offer during your 48 hours in Vienna.
I tried to add the biggest highlights of the city that will give you a good taste of the city without exhausting yourself as well. Vienna is filled with stunning architecture, imperial sights, rich and interesting history along with many activities to keep you entertained during your 2 days in Vienna. We will also put together more widely detailed itineraries when you have more time to spend in this artistic city.
When To Visit Vienna
Vienna is lovely city to visit all year around since the many Baroque palaces which are the major attractions can be visited in any weather. May to September, however, would be the ideal time if you want to enjoy some strolls outdoors in the warm but not too hot weather for Vienna in 2 days. Pack a light raincoat in case a rain decides to fall, which is not too uncommon for the city.
How To Get Around Vienna
If you love exploring a city by simply walking in its streets, central Vienna is one of the best places you can visit when in Vienna for 48 hours. Most of the major attractions listed above are in walking distance in the “ring road” which is located in the city central following the routes of the old city. The public transportation system of the city is also quite efficient and will get you to all the attractions easily and affordably. (Get the public transport cards valid for 24,48 and 72 hours for the best prices)
Since you are only in the Vienna for 2 days, getting in the hop-on hop-off city tour bus is also a good way to go. It is included in the Vienna Pass which covers all the major sightseeing attractions in the city including the places I mentioned above.
The Perfect 2 Day Vienna Itinerary
Day 1 In Vienna
As a city filled with museums, a visit to Vienna is not complete without dropping by some museums. The artistic and intellectual legacy of its former residents like Mozart has made sure you get a variety of museums in the city. You can take your pick according to your interests, whether it is music, psychology or simply city history.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral
The mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vienna, St. Stephen’s Cathedral should definitely be your first stop when exploring the city. This 12th century architectural wonder has gone through many changes over time, with its signature multi colored roof added in the 16th century.
The entrance to the church is free, however, you should expect a big crowd lining up to enter due to the sheer popularity of his attraction. The treasury area in the cathedral is a paid attraction which will take you a floor above the main church, and there will be fewer people there. The South and North towers in the cathedral which are respectively 136m and 68m high are also worth dropping by. (You will need to take entrance tickets separately for each tower) The higher South tower will need some energy and fitness to climb on to due to its height, but the view from on top of the tower will surely be worth it.
Giant Ferris Wheel Ride
The Giant Ferris Wheel located at the entrance of the Prater Amusement Park will give you perfect sunset views above the city of Vienna in the evening.
Time Travel Vienna
Moving on to a more “modern” experience of the history of Vienna, you can take the guided tour which feature a fun 5D cinema experience with many animated mannequins and a guide to take you through the commentary and a lot of interesting information about what you see.
City River Cruise
The Danube River – Europe’s second largest river – that flows across Vienna is the perfect place to spend the evening of your first day in the city. You can book a river cruise that will take you along the Danube Canal, and will give you stunning views of the well-lit Vienna city at night.
Natural History Museum & Kunsthistorische Museum
Now that you had a wholesome Viennese meal for lunch, time to walk a little more into seeing more of Viennese culture. The Natural History Museum of Vienna and the Kunsthistorische Museum shares the same exterior and filled with many historic artifacts that will tell you the story of Vienna in all its grandeur. The earliest collections of the museum are dated close to 150 years ago. The museums are located beside Hofburg Palace, and is a part of Vienna’s Museum Quarter.
Viennese Food At The Augustiner- Keller
To enjoy authentic and traditional Viennese cuisine, you should drop by Augustiner- Keller, a landmark restaurant in the city known for its excellent Viennese food and beers. It is located in the site of the city’s few remaining monastery cellars. With close to 5000 seats around, the ambience in the restaurant is very much friendly and welcoming.
Day 2 In Vienna
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site that you will get to see in the bus route is the Belvedere Palace complex. The Palace has the world´s largest collection of Gustav Klimt’s paintings, for the art lover in you.
Schönbrunn Palace – one of the most important historical monuments in the city is a former imperial summer residence built 300 years ago is a must-visit when in Vienna. Due to the sheer magnitude of the Palace with its reportedly 1441 rooms and the vast garden, it is likely that you will spend the best part of morning here. In 1996 the Palace was declared a UNESCO Heritage site.
Dinner At Zwolf Apostelkeller
To end your two perfect days in Vienna, visit Zwolf Apostelkeller, a popular ancient cellar venue with classic Viennese food in a beautiful candle lit setting.
Military History Museum
The Hop on Hop off bus that will take you through the city (which is included in the Vienna Pass) is a great way to spend the rest of your day effectively after visiting the Schönbrunn Palace in the morning. Military History Museum of Vienna is one of the first places you will visit in this tour.