Vienna, the capital of Austria, has a rich artistic and intellectual history. No matter where you go in Vienna, you will notice its opulent and elegant buildings. The rich culture was influenced by notable residents including Mozart, Beethoven and Sigmund Freud.
This city has enough attractions to keep you entertained for days, but in this Vienna guide we have selected our favorite things to do in Vienna in 2 days to help you plan the ultimate vacation.
➳ Where to stay in Vienna? Find all the Hotels in Vienna
Most of the attractions are located in the historic old town in the 1st District, making it a city that can easily be explored on foot. In this 2 day itinerary to Vienna we have included the main attractions in the city as well as some hidden gems you must visit in Vienna.
Is 2 days enough for Vienna?
Are you wondering how many days in Vienna are required to fully enjoy what there is to see in Vienna? Vienna is a city you can spend a month and still not visit all the museums and attractions the city has to offer. With 2 days in Vienna you can visit the main landmarks of the city and get a feel for the vibe.
While you can visit the best things to do in Vienna in 2 days, a 3 day Vienna itinerary will allow you to enjoy the city at a more relaxed rate.
If you are traveling to Vienna with kids make sure to arrange your itinerary to fit their needs. Vienna is a city that has so much to offer to any type of traveler regarding their ages, interest or budget.
However, if you are short on time, do not miss any of the highlights with this one day guide to Vienna.
Where to stay in Vienna?
Want to know where is the best area to stay in Vienna? With only 2 days in Vienna, we recommend staying downtown near the MuseumsQuartier to easily visit the main attractions and focus on visiting the best things to do in Vienna, rather than worrying about transportation.
The coolest and most unique boutique hotel in Vienna is 25hours Hotel. As soon as you walk in the lobby, you will be transported to a new world! Each cozy room has its own personality and was obviously designed with love.
The hotel has a circus theme which is awesome and unique for a hotel. Each room’s decor is tied to this theme and a vintage vibe. Our favorite decor is the entrance to the hotel where you are walking into what looks like a red carpet with many vintage cameras that are flashing. You feel famous!
➳ Read more: Our experience staying at the 25hour hotel in Vienna
How to get from Vienna Central Station to airport?
There are several transportation options to get from Vienna International Airport to the city center. The best ways to travel from and to the airport are:
- Private Transfer: It is the easiest and most comfortable way to get to the city centre but it is also the most expensive option. If you are not on a budget then you can book your transfer online before your departure and a driver will be waiting for you at arrival. It takes 20 minutes depending on traffic and cost €45. Book your transfers in Vienna.
- City Airport Train: The train from Vienna airport to the city centre takes 16 minutes. The train runs from the airport to the city centre every day from 6:09 AM to 11:39 PM every 30 minutes. From the city centre to the airport it runs from 5:37 AM to 11:07 PM every 30 minutes as well. The tickets cost €11 for a one way ticket and €19 for roundtrip. It is the fastest but most expensive way to get from and to the airport.
- Express Train S7: This train takes about 37 minutes and it runs from the airport to the city centre every day from 5:18 AM to 0:18 AM and from the city centre to the airport from 4:36 AM to 11:36 PM. You will need two tickets and the total will be €4.10 each way. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket machine and must be stamped before entering the train.
- Uber or Taxi: It cost anywhere between €30 to €40 and the journey can take up to 30 minutes.
How to get around in Vienna?
Vienna is a very walkable city and it has a well-connected public transit that includes: buses, trains, trams, and subways. The majority of attractions in this 2 day itinerary to Vienna are located in the city center.
If you need to take the metro just head to the station and purchase your ticket at the kiosk. You can use either cash or card to buy a single ticket. Make sure to validate your ticket at one of the machines before walking to the platform. Always keep your ticket with you in case of a random check.
If you are thinking about using public transportation a lot, it might be best to get a Vienna City Card. It allows you to use all forms of public transportation. You can choose from 24, 48 or 72-hour cards, which is a fantastic option for your 2 day trip to Vienna.
Where to eat in Vienna?
Even though we do not normally recommend places to eat, you must visit the Cafe Central. Yes, it is pricey but the food is delicious and the building is super beautiful. It is worth going in and order a dessert. Make sure to go early in the morning as in the afternoon there is a long line to get in.
Three of the best places to eat in Vienna are Cafe Demel, Hotel Sacher, and Figlmüller.
You should try the following food in each restaurant:
- Cafe Demel: Eat any of the delicious pastries and watch the chefs creating the delicious chocolatey treats.
- Hotel Sacher: Make sure to eat the original Sacher-Torte. It is one of Vienna’s most popular desserts. Sacher-Torte is a delicious cake with dark chocolate and a slither of apricot in the middle.
- Figlmüller: Try the schnitzel as it is known as the birthplace of one of Austria’s national dishes. The Wiener Schnitzel is a breaded pan-fried thinly cut piece of meat.
The Perfect 2 Days in Vienna Map:
In this Vienna tourist map we have added all the locations you must visit in Vienna. In this map you will find all the attractions you must visit in your 2 day Vienna itinerary. Make sure to plan your day accordingly.
What to see in Vienna in 2 days Travel Video:
Important information to plan your 2 day itinerary to Vienna:
- Budget for 2 days/2 nights in a mid range hotel including activities and transportation would be around €350. The Vienna pass and the travel card cost €95 per person for two days. Accommodation can range from €60 to €300 depending on your preferences, season and location.
- Currency: The currency used in Vienna and all of Austria is the Euro (€). Although Vienna is very credit card-friendly, you should always have a few euros on hand.
- Language: German is the official language in all of Austria, but do not worry as pretty much everyone speaks English. For your two days in Vienna make sure to download the Google Translate app and download the German dictionary on the app, so you can translate words even if you are not connected to the internet.
Vienna Card vs Vienna Pass?
Nearly all the things to do in Vienna have an entrance fee. A good way to save money but still enjoy some of the best attractions in Vienna is by purchasing an attractions pass. There are 3 different type of passes in Vienna to chose from depending on your budget and preferences.
The Vienna Pass includes access to over 60 different attractions and allows you to skip the line at the majority of the popular attractions in Vienna. The price for the Vienna Pass ranges from $93 USD for one day to $202 for 6 days.
The Vienna Pass includes unlimited use of the Vienna tourist buses (Hop On Hop Off sightseeing tours). You can also add a TRAVELCARD that includes all the public transportation in the city. The TRAVELCARD cost €8 for 24 hours, €14 for 48 hours and €17 for 72 hours.
The Vienna Flexi Pass gives you access to 2, 3, 4 or 5 tourist attractions out of more than 30 options. The pass also lets you skip the line at the some of the attractions. The Flexi Pass with 2 sights cost $50, with 3 sights it is $62, with 4 sights $80 and with 5 sights $95.
The Vienna City Card provides unlimited access to all public transportation in Vienna including trams, busses and subways. As an added bonus the card offers discounts in museums and tourist attractions during a 7 day period and a 20% discount at participating hotels and restaurants.
The Vienna City Card costs €17 for 24 hours, €25 for 48 hours and €29 for 72 hours. On top of that you can add for an extra fee the following add ons: 24-hour Hop-On Hop-Off and transfer on all modes of transport to and from Vienna Airport.
Vienna Card or Vienna Pass: Which Is Better Option For You?
It really comes down to how you want to explore Vienna and what type of vacation and attractions you enjoy. The Vienna Pass may sound enticing
Our advice is to add up the cost of each attraction you want to visit to figure out which pass is best for your two day visit to Vienna
How to spend 2 days in Vienna:
Vienna is one of the greatest and most beautiful cities in Europe. It is classy and elegant. I have visited Vienna three times and each time I find the city even more stunning. The weather though, is not always the best.
Every time we have visited Vienna it has been either snowing or raining. Vienna can get really cold during the winter and late fall, so make sure to bring enough clothes to keep you warm. On the other hand, during summer the weather is warmer with plenty of sunny days.
Michaelerplatz square has is a great place to get many photos in one place. Around the square is the Hofburg Palace, the Sisi Museum, the Imperial Treasury and St. Michael’s Church, with its vast white Romanesque architecture.
It is also just next to the Spanish Riding School, where you can watch the morning exercises, take guided tours or watch the horses rest in their stables.
- Hofburg Palace: The former imperial palace is now the home to the Austrian president. This stunning building is the place to go for an insight into the royal family’s life.
- The Sisi Museum: It holds the collection of the Austrian empress’s belongings throughout her life until her early demise.
- Imperial Treasury: In this museum you can see the jewels of the Habsburgs and some of the original jewelry of Empress Elisabeth.
Vienna State Opera House
You cannot visit Vienna and not visit the Vienna State Opera. The best way to visit this world famous Opera venue is by either taking a guided tour or/and attend any of their opera and ballet performances. Currently, the opera house is presenting different performances including over 60 different operas and ballets. Without a doubt the best thing to do in 2 days in Vienna is to attend to an opera concert.
➳ Tip: Show up 90 minutes before each concert and score cheaper tickets if you do not mind standing.
Hundertwasserhaus Vienna is a bit out of the way from the other main attractions. The Hundertwasser House is actually an apartment house that was conceptualized on the ideas of Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. The Hundertwasser House and the arts village are worth the walk to get a photo of the brightly painted building and cute indoor village.
St Stephen’s Cathedral
St. Stephen’s Cathedral is one of the most iconic landmarks of the city and a must see in Vienna. This 12th century church has beautiful colored tile roof and impressive religious relics. The best thing to do is climb the 343 steps to the tower room, for a panoramic view across Vienna or take a tour down into the crypt.
St. Peter’s Church
Peterskirche is one of the most beautiful churches we have ever seen. Inside the church you will feel like you have entered a gallery. The church stands right in the middle of one of the busiest streets in Vienna.
➳ Tip: Get the best photo of this Baroque church from the Habsburgergasse.
The Anker Clock, completed in 1914 stands at the edge of the Hoher Markt. Throughout the day twelve historical figures move across the bridge of the clock. At noon the parade of the figures on the Ankeruhr clock happens, each accompanied by music from its own era.
Graben Street is now a beautiful pedestrian promenade with many places to shop. It also has a rich history still present to this day. At the start of the street is Stock Im Eisen, a “nail-tree” dating back to the Middle Ages.
What makes this street super interesting is that there are several statues referring to the Great Plague of Vienna that occurred in the 17th century. One of this statues is the Pestsaule Monument, a surprisingly golden sculpture.
The two Belvedere palaces are surrounded by a beautiful park complex in the south east of Vienna. The magnificent Baroque buildings and ornate state rooms now serve as public museums. Several of the buildings in the complex hold exhibits, so it can take a while to make it through them all.
The gardens are on the top of the best places to visit in Vienna as they are in the middle of a beautiful place with sculpted hedges, beautiful sculptures, iron gates, graceful fountains, and cherubic statues, creating a real historical movie feeling.
Inside the palace there is the famous painting of Gustav Klimt called “The Kiss”. You will also find a number of artworks from Monet, Van Gogh, Renoir, Cezanne, and Max Beckmann.
The Museum Quarter, MuseumsQuartier Wien, is one of the largest art and culture complexes in the world, with over 70 cultural facilities to explore. There is a museum or exhibit hall for everyone, and something always going on, so make sure to check out their calendar.
Some of the most visited museums in the Museum Quarter are the Leopold Museum, the MUMOK (Museum of Modern Art), and the children’s museum.
St. Francis of Assisi Church
The St. Francis of Assisi Church is built in a Basilica-style. This large church complex makes for great photos, and if you have the opportunity watch the church glow bright gold in the sunset.
Maria Theresien Platz
Walking through the burgtor takes you to Maria Theresien Platz, which is a big large public square built in honor of the Habsburg Empress – Maria Theresa.
In the middle of the square you will find a big statue of the Empress, which is flanked by the Natural History Museum (Naturhistorisches Museum) and the Museum of Art History (Kunsthistorisches Museum). Both buildings are near identical and considered an UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site.
The Strudlhofstiege is an outdoor staircase of architectural and literary significance, and makes for wonderful photo shoots. It is best to visit in the spring or summer while the plants are in bloom.
Liechtenstein Garden Palace
The recently renovated Lichtenstein Garden Palace also known as the City Palace of Vienna, provides a look into the glamorous high Baroque and Rococo age in Vienna. Guided tours must be ordered online in advance and do sell out well in advance!
➳ Fun Fact: It is a living palace used by the princely family of Liechtenstein.
JudenPlatz is the historic center to Jewish life in Vienna, before its destruction in the early 1400s. In the center of the square is now a solemn Shoah Memorial. At the square is also the Misrachi-Haus, a branch of the Jewish Museum Vienna, with the foundations of one of Europe’s biggest medieval synagogues.
The adjacent Museum Judenplatz is included for free with the Vienna Pass.
Jewish Museum Vienna
With a Jewish long history dating way back to 1190, Vienna has a huge Jewish history to be acknowledged. The vast and informative Jewish Museum of Vienna covers Jewish history, life and religion in Austria. It encompasses many multimedia exhibits covering both history and contemporary Jewish life. Not only does it cover the history of Jews in Austria but information about Judaism as well.
Entrance to the Jewish Museum of Vienna is free with the Vienna Pass.
Votive Church is the second-tallest church in Vienna. Its Neo-Gothic architecture is quite impressive to see.
On the other side of the Hofburg Palace is Heldenplatz, a large public square. On one side of the square is the Neue Burg Museum. Behind the museum is Palmenhaus Wien, a former greenhouse, turned cafe.
This square was set up as a Heroes Square and you will find many important monuments such as the statue of Archduke Charles of Austria, and one of Prince Eugene of Savoy.
Straight across from the palace is the Äußere Burgtor, a wide and shorter triumphal arch. Pass through the burgtor to continue exploring Vienna.
➳ Fun Fact: Adolf Hitler’s ceremonial announcement of the Austrian Anschluss to Nazi Germany occurred here.
Walking back north, you will reach the Volksgarten Park, a continuation of Heldenplatz. This park is famous for its beautiful rose gardens.
Austrian Parliament Building
If you want to learn about the Austrian government look no further than their Parliament Building. The visitor center offers interactive displays about the Parliament, as well as guided tours of the building.
Even if you are not interested in taking a guided tour of the building make sure to check out the exterior of one of Vienna’s most visited attractions. It’s beauty is mind blowing.
Burgtheater has one of the biggest theatre stages in the world an is an important German language theatre. If you are looking to enjoy fine German theatre, this is the place to see a show. The theatre is closed during July and August.
Vienna City Hall (Rathaus)
Vienna City Hall is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. Some of the features of this Neo-Gothic buildings are the 5 towers, the arches, the stain glass windows and a big clock on the central tower.
Today, Vienna City Hall houses the office of the Mayor of Vienna, the chambers of the city council and the Vienna Landtag diet. You are able to take a free guided tour of the building.
The Rathausplatz holds several events throughout the year; during summer there is an open air cinema which screens free movies and in the winter, my favorite, it host the Christkindlmarkt (Christmas market). In your 2 days to Vienna itinerary you must include a visit to Vienna City Hall.
In your 2 day itinerary to Vienna make sure to include the Naschmarkt. It is not only a landmark of Vienna, but it is also a great place to get food. There are over 100 stalls selling meats, cheeses, herbs, and spices.
Every Saturday there is a flea market which sells everything from records to clothes.
City River Cruise
A unique way to explore Vienna in 2 days is with a river cruise. We always recommend to take a boat tour down the Danube after exploring the city on land. A river cruise will give you a different perspective and you can get truly unique photos of the different landmarks in Vienna from the water.
The Danube Tower is a 252-meter high building with a 360-degree rotating restaurant with the best views in Vienna. You can go up the elevator or climb 775 steps to reach the viewing platform.
➳ Fun Fact: It is the tallest building in Vienna and it is among the top 75 tallest buildings in the world.
If you have more time visit the following Vienna museums:
Vienna has several museums that are worth visiting. In this list I have selected the most visited museums in Vienna. Choose which of these museums is more interesting to you.
- Wien Museum: At the Wien Museum you will learn more about the history of Vienna. The interesting thing about this museum is that there are several buildings spread out around the city. The most popular building is the Karlsplatz, where you will find neolithic finds, roman archaeological discoveries and artwork from Gustav Klimt.
- Albertina: It is the most popular art museum in Vienna with a collection over of over a million master prints, 65,000 drawings, photography and old masters paintings including artwork from Monet, Cezanne, and Picasso. It also houses one of the largest and most important print rooms in the world. The Albertina Museum is open from 10AM to 6PM on Sunday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and until 9PM on Wednesdays and Fridays.
- Natural History Museum: Considered to be one of the most important Natural History Museums in the world, the museum collection contains over 25 million items including dinosaur skeletons. The Natural History Museum is open from Thursday to Monday from 9:00 AM to 6:30 PM and on Wednesday from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM.
- Sigmund Freud Museum: The interesting thing about this museum is that it is hosted in the former apartment and office of Freud himself. The museum is not big but it has many items that belonged to Freud. At the museum you can learn the history of psychoanalysis and its influence on art and society.
- Kunsthistorisches Museum: It is the largest art museum in Austria and one of the most beautiful buildings as well. In the museum you will find paintings from the Habsburg era and Egyptian, Greek and Roman relics.
- Leopold Museum: It is located in the Museumsquartier in Vienna and it host one of the largest collections of modern Austrian art, featuring artists such as Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka and also features the world’s largest collection of Egon Schiele work.
I hope this guide helps you plan the best 2 days in Vienna and that you have a blast exploring this elegant city as much as we did!
The Best Day trips from Vienna, Austria
1. Vienna to Salzburg, Austria
Let’s start with Salzburg, one of the most beautiful cities in the Austrian Alps and it home to Mozart and the Mirabell Gardens & Palace.
In Salzburg make sure to visit the Schloss Hellbrunn, take the Sound of Music Movie Locations Tour, take some amazing photos the Hohensalzburg Fortress and grab a coffee at Café Tomaselli.
Getting to Salzburg from Vienna: Take a direct train from Vienna to Salzburg. The ride takes about 2 hour and 20 minutes. Trains leave every 25-30 minutes starting at 5:30 AM and the last train back to Vienna leaves at 10 PM. Tickets start at 25€ each way if you buy more than a week in advance up to 54€ each way if you buy it the same day.
2. Vienna to Bratislava, Slovakia
Old Town Bratislava is completely different than Vienna, with its charming pastel colored buildings, cobbled streets and a beautiful blue cake church. Bratislava is also super cheap compared to the neighboring cities, making it a great option for budget friendly travel. Bratislava is our favorite day trip from Vienna.
Our favorite panoramic view of the city is from the Bratislava Castle. It is quite a hike to reach the top of the castle so is best to take a taxi to save time. Other top attractions include Michael’s Gate, St. Martin’s Cathedral, old town, UFO bridge (for a city view), the presidential palace, street art, and the blue church.
Getting to Bratislava from Vienna: It takes just under an hour to drive from Vienna to Bratislava. Bus tickets range 5 to 10 euros each way or you can take the train from Vienna to Bratislava from €10, which departs from Wien Sudbanhof and arrives at Bratislava Main Station or Bratislava Petrzalka. Both stations are close to the downtown, and are easily accessible by public transport or taxi.
➳ Continue reading for the full Four Day trips you must take from Vienna, Austria
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