Vienna 2 day itinerary: Best ways to spend 48 hours in Vienna!
Ah, Vienna Vienna. Thinking about spending 2 days in Vienna Austria? Or possibly just a weekend in Vienna?
The City of Music has plenty to offer, and we have made this Vienna 2 day itinerary to help you plan out the perfect schedule to get around this big city.
Think Romanesque architecture, traditions, deep history and a seemingly limitless supply of coffee, and that’s what Vienna has to offer you as a traveller.
What to do in Vienna for 2 days? There are a wide range of activities available in Vienna, and there is always something available for you whichever season you are travelling here.
So make sure to read on to find all the best things to do in Vienna in 48 hours!
Looking for a place to stay in Vienna? Start your search down below! Or check out our post on the Best Places to Stay in Vienna as we break it down district by district!
If you have time to visit Salzburg, make sure to read out article about a day trip to Salzburg from Vienna! And if you get to Salzburg, make sure to check out the day trip to Hallstatt article!
Save this Google Map before your Vienna trip
Here is a Google Map that contains all the places covered in this Vienna itinerary.
It contains 4 layers, one for each day, one for alternative spots you can visit, and one for the food recommendations.
How to use: Take note you will have to be signed in to your Google Account.
- Click on the image of the map below and it will open in a new window.
- If you are logged into your Google account, the map will be saved to your account automatically.
- Make sure to do this step so that you can easily refer back to the locations even when you are offline.
- Next time, simply open up Google Maps again and find this map under “Your Places” –> “Maps”.
Expert tip: Be sure to download offline maps in Google Maps when you have an internet connection. You might not have data or access to WiFi, and the offline version will come in super handy.
Get to know Vienna a little better first
1. Vienna is the capital of modern day Austria, and also served as the main residence of the Habsburg family, as well as being the center of the Austro Hungarian empire.
For those who are unaware, the Habsburg dynasty was a very powerful family that ruled across vast swathes of land in Europe, for about 500 years!
We encourage you to read up more about its history which is really fascinating, how it intertwines with the other modern countries we know of today such as Croatia, Portugal, Hungary and many more.
2. Vienna Austria was home to many accomplished musicians, including Beethoven, Mozart, Mahler, the Strauss family and countless others, thus earning its moniker of the City of Music.
Viennese waltz anyone?
And being the City of Music, it has one of the most beautiful Opera Houses anywhere and is home to numerous famous plays and ballets.
One of the best parts? You can snag a $2 standing room ticket to get an authentic experience in the Vienna State Opera House!
3. The Old Town of Vienna was inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage list of cultural sites, for very good reasons.
Often described as an open air museum, you will find opulent palaces and stunning imperial designs from the past, almost as if they were vying to show off which can be more impressive than the other.
4. Coffee culture is BIG here, and everywhere you turn you are going to find a cafe where people are chilling out and chatting.
Choice of drink for most people: Melange, which is similar to a cappuccino (not the ones in Starbucks, the real one!). Served in a small cup with a thin layer of foam on top, and you don’t get to choose tall, venti or grande.
You can even say that coffee houses are an institution in Vienna. Back then in the 17th century, coffee houses were important places where intellectuals come together to discuss important matters.
While you don’t have to talk about how to become the next Prime Minister of your country, you definitely should pop into one while in Vienna just to soak in the vibe.
Try out Cafe Landtmann (big price tag though!) for one of the most exquisite, elegant and authentic coffee houses in Vienna, whose clientele included Sigmund Freud and Paul McCartney.
Universitätsring 4, 1010 Wien, Austria
How much money do I need for 2 days in Vienna?
Accommodation: €90 per night, twin sharing
Food: €20 per day, 2 meals, breakfast at hotel
Transport: €3 per day
Total per person per day: €68
Travel Tips before Vienna sightseeing begins
- Vienna has an incredibly walkable city center, and since most of the sights are within the “ring” road, which surrounds the Old Town.
- Bring along Euros, expect to pay around 5-15% in tips at restaurants, bars, hotels and especially taxi drivers.
- Viennese people are pretty friendly, so don’t be shy to start a conversation or ask them for directions etc. They are generally quite well versed in English, although it will be nice to pick up a few German words to let them know your efforts
- Consider getting the Vienna Pass, as it gives you access to many attractions, free of charge! Not only that, you can take a ride in the Hop On Hop Off bus, one of the best ways to explore a city when you have limited time or you want a nice overview of what it has to offer you. Do yourself a favour, click on the link below and see what it has to offer you!
Get your Vienna Pass here now!
2 days Vienna Itinerary: How to plan your Vienna trip
While Vienna is not a huge city, home to only 1.9 million residents, it is filled with a ton of activities to keep you entertained and occupied beyond just 2 days in Vienna.
However, we will attempt to point out the best things to do in Vienna for those of you spending two days in Vienna.
Vienna itinerary 2 days? Here we go!
Vienna Itinerary Day 1: Old Town in Vienna
Kick start your day in Vienna by taking the metro to the Karlsplatz station, one of its busiest stations and right in the middle of all the main attractions.
Stroll around Karlskirche
Getting out of the Karlsplatz station, you are a short walk away to Karlskirche, or St Charles Church, which is a masterpiece of Baroque architecture.
It was constructed in the early 1700s, and has withstood the test of time and remains one of the most beautiful and grand churches in Austria, though it might not be the most well known.
Surrounding the church is a small park that is perfect to take short walks and get yourself a coffee from one of the many stands spread out in the park.
Outside the church, you will find a charming little fountain where street musicians hone their craft amongst future X-Games skaters.
Entrance fees: $8 per adult
Bonus: If you have never watched a concert as grand as this before, we encourage you to return in the evening to catch Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Tickets sell out fast, so get yours now right below.
Get your Vivaldi concert tickets here now!
Watch a performance at the Vienna State Opera House
Next stop, retrace your steps back towards Karlsplatz station and cross over the Vienna State Opera House (Wien Staatsoper), one of the busiest in the world, with more than 300+ performances each year.
This historic opera house has its beginnings in 1869, a 150 years ago, to not much fanfare, ironically.
The people felt that the building was not grand enough when compared to the Heinrichshof, and was kind of cursed as both its architects did not live to see its opening.
As far as performances go, there are no shortage of options for you, but do take note that there is a break in July and August each year before the new season returns in September.
For the latest schedule, always check its official website.
If you are not watching a performance, you can consider taking a guided tour through these hallowed grounds.
Tickets priced at $9 per adult. Check details here.
Visit Albertina Museum
If you are a museum lover, Vienna is perfect for you. Guess how many museums there are in just Vienna alone?
More than 100! Yes, crazy right?
And the Albertina is in our opinion somewhat of a dark horse, since it is regularly overshadowed by its counterparts such as Leopold Museum in Museumquartier, or the Natural History Museum.
Home to numerous masterpieces from different art disciplines such as photography, paintings and even architecture, this is the place to see it all.
Masters such as Michelangelo, Picasso and Monet all have their art pieces held in permanent display here.
Entrance fees: $17.90 per adult. Get your tickets below!
Get your Albertina Museum tickets here now!
Have a break at Hotel Sacher Wien
It’s hard to miss out visiting Hotel Sacher since it is such a popular and recognisable landmark, right in front of the Albertina.
As a luxury five star hotel, you can expect to see and experience some of the best hospitality in Vienna, but people from far and wide come here for another reason: the Sachertorte, or the Sacher cake.
Essentially, it is a chocolate cake filled with apricot. Today, there are new flavours available to suit different taste buds.
We think it is kind of touristy, and would skip the cakes here, but the hotel itself is worth a visit or stay.
Tip: Don’t miss out on the art gallery with works from the 19th century
Another tip: If you have sufficient time, take a walk through the Burggarten right behind Albertina. Not only can you take a really nice photo of Mozart’s statue, you will see many locals having a picnic or just sun bathing there!
Book your rooms in Hotel Sacher Wien here now!
Admire the imposing St Stephen Cathedral
The unmistakable outlines of the St Stephen Cathedral dominates the skyline in Vienna.
The Gothic design, the imposing Heathen Towers, and its massive gates welcomes you as you will be awe struck by this beauty.
Sadly, the church that stands on Stephansplatz today has gone through a lot of destruction and rebuilding, due to past wars, but today has emerged to become a symbol of Austria and reminder of its rich heritage.
On the outside, its ornate and colourful tiles sets a cool tone, while the south tower soar 136 metres above the ground, and inside the cathedral, your eyes will feast on some of the most intricate designs they will ever see.
Visiting the cathedral is free, but there are options to expand your visit to include guided walks, see the catacombs and climbing the towers.
Check out the details at its website.
Stroll along the Donaukanal
Continuing Northwards, you will come to the Donaukanal, which is connected to the massive Danube river.
Along the waterfront, people flock here to enjoy a day out in the sun, practice yoga, or explore the street art scene.
If you are keen, you can easily spend a full day lazing away on this idyllic stretch, but we think a drink or two is suitable for our one day Vienna itinerary.
One of the quirkiest sights you will find here is the Hundertwasser incinerator, of blue and gold fame.
Make sure to recharge with a spritzer or two before the next spot!
Visit the Hofburg Palace, residence of the Hapsburgs
What used to be the main residence of the Habsburg empire is today the office of the President of Austria.
Within the grand Hofburg palace also lies the Sisi Museum, dedicated to the empress Sisi, who still lives on in the memory of many.
Sisi’s real name is Elisabeth, and was made the wife of Franz Joseph over her sister who was supposed to be the bride in the first place.
Later on, she would become involved in politics and became the Queen of Hungary. During this time, she was influential and liberal and supported the poor, which made her extremely popular, even till today.
Consider going on a guided tour as the history of the palace is really intriguing, and it is best to learn from someone well versed in the subject.
There are a total of 3 tour options available, and if you choose not to use one, there are many other attractions worth a visit, such as the Library, Spanish Riding School and Imperial Chapel.
In all, the Hofburg palace is spread across 59 acres, so choose wisely!
Prices start from $15, view options here.
Take a short walk through Volksgarten
After the Hofburg Palace, you can check out the Volksgarten that is part of the estate.
A large manicured park tucked away near the Parliament, this is a quiet spot to relax and rest your feet, while at the same time admiring the lovely architecture around it.
The rose garden within it is beautiful, perfect place for couples to talk about love!
Rathaus, City Hall of Vienna
From Volksgarten, it is a short walk over to Rathaus, also known as the City Hall of Vienna.
For most parts of the year, there are numerous events that take place here, such as film festivals and concerts.
Not only that, the city hall is also an impressive building to admire. With a unique design, it is made up bricks and covered with a variety of natural stones, and its size is makes it stand out even more among the buildings surround it.
Did you know there are over 1500 rooms in this building alone? Pretty damm impressive.
2 days in Vienna: Schönbrunn Palace and Prater Area
On the second day of this Vienna itinerary, you will spend a few hours exploring (or getting lost) in the massive Schönbrunn Palace and get some recreational time in the Prater area.
Explore Schönbrunn Palace
Massive, colossal, gargantuan.
No we did not use those words when we walked around Schönbrunn Palace, but those are probably the right words to describe it.
The sheer size of this Habsburg summer residence is certainly its highlight, but within this compound, you will find lots of spaces to call your own, away from the crowds.
It is not the most popular attraction in Vienna for no good reason, and we can give you 5 more:
The Palace, the Privy Garden, the Maze and Labyrinth, Orangery Garden and the Gloriette.
All 5 are part of the palace complex, and each one will give you insights of how the royal couple spent their time here and grant you access to the delightful gardens that occupies part of the 186 hectares of space here.
You can do this by getting the Classic Pass at the gate, and the whole tour takes approximately 3-4 hours.
Price per adult: $26.50, $30.50 including guide
Or alternatively, for those short on time, you can go on the Imperial tour with a licensed guide.
This includes a skip the queue ticket, which is really useful especially during the high seasons since this is a really popular attraction.
You can get your tickets online from the link down below.
Get your Schönbrunn Palace tickets here!
Last Vienna itinerary activity: Have fun in the sun at Prater
Not far from the entrance of Schönbrunn Palace, you will find the metro station, which you can use to get to Prater in about 40 minutes, requiring only 1 change at Schottenring.
So what is the Prater?
In short, this is the energy center of Vienna, the playground for Viennese.
You will find a large public park, an amusement park, countless recreational activities, the Giant Ferris Wheel (Riesenrad), ghost trains and much more. What else could you ask for?
How about green meadows, long tree lined avenues and some of the best pubs and restaurants all in one place?
Certainly, there is something for everyone in the family here.
Tip: take the Giant Ferris Wheel in the evening for the best views over Vienna at the most romantic hour!
Get your Giant Ferris Wheel skip the queue tickets here!
Alternatives to the 2 day Vienna itinerary
Of course we understand that no plan is perfect, and you might be looking for something else beyond what’s written above.
We round up some of the other top activities that you can easily swap out with those above:
– Belvedere Palace
A stunning historical building complex situated just outside of the Vienna Ring Road, the Belvedere Palace is split into 2 halves, the Upper and Lower Belvedere.
These buildings were constructed during the 18th century, and takes on a Baroque style, with massive manicured gardens flanking its surrounds.
We suggest starting from the Upper Belvedere as the walk will be easier downhill.
– Liechtenstein City Palace
Add this to your collection of palaces as this evergreen City Palace shines brightly among its equals in Vienna.
Visitors flock here to witness the best Baroque grand staircases in Vienna, as well as admire the art collection on exhibit.
Although it was badly damaged during the Second World War, restoration efforts have returned it to its glamour.
Why visit MuseumQuartier? Well, some of the top museums in the world are conveniently gathered here, right next to each other within walking distances.
Essentially, the quartier is a large area housing a number of institutions, including the influential Leopold Museum, home to the largest collection of Austrian art.
Vienna walking tour
One of the best ways to explore a city is to do so on a walking tour.
You can a local guide who will tell you the secrets and history of the places you set foot on, and show you things that you don’t usually find in standard guide books or websites.
With this Vienna walking tour, you get a guide who will show you the side of Vienna that not many have seen, and escape to the least explored alleyways.
The guide will bring you to a deep underground, which we feel makes for a highlight reel itself. If you find yourself unable to decide on using our Vienna itinerary, try this out instead. Come back and thank us later.
Book your Vienna Walking Tour here!
Best places to eat in Vienna
During your 2 days here, you will get many chances to taste the culinary expertise of the Austrians.
Austrian cuisine, unsurprisingly draws a lot of influence from its Central European neighbours, as well as its close friend Germany.
Some of the best things to eat in Vienna are:
- Viennese or Wiener Schnitzel
- Knodel (Dumplings)
- Tafelspitz (typical Austrian dish of boiled beef or veal, served with minced apples and horseradish)
- Vienna Sausage
- Goulash (although originated from Hungary, still a really popular dish here)
We have discovered a few gems that we think you should absolutely not miss while visiting Vienna:
We believe this is the number one place to go to if you want delicious, cheap and huge servings of pizza.
The place is slightly hidden (but not difficult to find, just follow Google), and has a nice cosy outdoor sitting area to enjoy your pie.
Although the price is low, the quality and taste is high on this one.
Our advice: Order one pizza plus side dish, or just one to start before deciding if you want more. It is HUGE!
Check their facebook page for updates.
Address: Reindorfgasse 15, 1150 Wien, Austria
Getting here: 8 minutes walk from Gumpendorfer Straße station
Fee: From €4
Opening hours: Daily 11 am – 12 midnight
Located just steps away from the MuseumQuartier, this is a regular haunt for students and the working crowd alike, all in need of reasonably priced and tasty food.
The atmosphere is great, tavern style, and in the evenings, you can drop by for some drinks too. There are promotions daily and prices are easy on the wallet.
In total, there are 4 branches, so check out their website to learn more.
Be warned though, as with most cafes/bars, smoking is allowed indoors, so make sure to pick an outdoor seat if this is not good for you.
Address: Stiftgasse 4, 1070 Wien, Austria
Getting here: 5 minutes walk from Volkstheater U Tram or 7 minutes walk from Volkstheater Metro
Fee: From €6
Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday 8.30 am – 12 midnight, Friday and Saturday, 8.30 am – 1 am
Kolar Beisl – Kleeblattgasse
This has to be our favourite dining spot in Vienna, thanks to the excellent pita dishes and its charming looks.
There are not a ton of options, but the dishes are excellent and value for money!
Tucked away in a quiet street in the Old Town, it is a fantastic place to chill out with friends over cheap beer and superb pita. Service was excellent too.
Check their website for more info.
Address: Kleeblattgasse 5, 1010 Wien, Austria
Getting here: 5 minutes walk from Stephensplatz station
Fee: From €3
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, 11 am – 1 am, Sunday 3 pm – 12 am
Is 2 days enough in Vienna? Our conclusion
So there you have it, an itinerary that will keep you entertained and occupied, seeing that best places to visit in Vienna in 2 days, the top things to do, and the most delicious food to eat!
If you want to visit Vienna in 2 days, frankly it is not the most optimal amount of time, but hopefully this guide will help you figure out the best things to do.
Let us know if you have tried this out or if you have other recommendations in the comments down below.
If you have extra time to spare, consider day trips from Vienna, such as this one to Salzburg. or this day trip to Bratislava too.
For more travel inspiration, check out our other posts here:
- 19 Travel Bucket List places
- 50 Family Trip Quotes
- Travel packing checklist
- List of 21 free things you can do in any city
- Travel Destinations Guide
- Funny Travel Books
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Logistics before visiting Vienna Austria
Find cheap flights.
Air tickets are usually the bulk of your expenses. Set up an alert and snag cheap fares with Skyscanner.
Find the best accommodation.
Book a place ahead of time to get good rates. Booking.com has transparent fees and excellent rates.
Handy travel guide.
For the old school kid in you, get a travel guide book and get lost exploring the city.
Your mobile phone can do a pretty good job, but if you need an upgrade, we recommend the Sony A6000 (US) (International)
You don’t need us to teach you to be a responsible adult, do you? Get a quote here.
Planned for you activities in Vienna.
Need a guide to show you and your group around? Lots of operators here to choose from here. You know who they are and how they are reviewed.
More resources to help you.
All other useful travel resources we use when we book our trips.
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