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So you have 2 days in Vienna and you are wondering what to do? Well you have come to the right place. Vienna is an absolute must on any trip to Europe. It’s a city of sophistication, culture, and immense beauty. It’s not all Mozart and Opera, it’s also grand architecture, culinary delights, and a really rocking pub scene. Vienna is certainly a mixed bag and you are sure to find a little something for everyone in this amazing city.
In this guide we wanted to look at some of the quirky things to do in Vienna as well as some of the more traditional. We also provide you with all the information you need on where to stay, what to eat, and much more.
Here is our 2 day Vienna itinerary to help you plan your own trip to this spectacular city.
- Vienna Factsheet
- Best time to plan your 2 day Vienna itinerary
- 2 days in Vienna – Is it expensive?
- What currency do I need in Vienna?
- For 2 days in Vienna is it worth getting a Vienna Pass?
- Getting from the airport
- Is 2 days in Vienna enough?
- Where to stay during your 2 days in Vienna
- Getting around during your 2 days in Vienna
- What to pack for your 2 days in Vienna
- Things to do in 2 days in Vienna
- Schonbrunn Palace
- Hofburg Palace
- Prater amusement park
- St Stephen’s Cathedral
- Explore the MuseumQuartier
- The Vineyards
- Spittelau waste incineration plant
- Eating and drinking during your 2 days in Vienna
- Must eat food during your 2 days in Vienna
- 2 day Vienna itinerary – Romantic things to do
- 2 day Vienna Itinerary
- So should I spend 2 days in Vienna
- More than 2 days in Vienna – day trip ideas
- 2 days in Vienna – A recap
Languages Spoken: German (a lot of people speak English though)
Famous for: Food (wiener schnitzel), culture, music, and history
Visit if you like: Classical music, architecture, palaces, history and food
Also, in case you are interested, Vienna is a hugely multicultural city and over 30% of the population are not Austrian. It’s probably unsurprising because Vienna is constantly winning awards for the best city in the world to live in.
If you like balls, you are also in lucky because Vienna hosts over 300 balls annually. So if you are visiting between January and March, and have packed a ballgown and tuxedo in your carry on then you should try and get yourself to one of these spectacular events.
If balls aren’t your thing, don’t worry, Vienna is also known as the ‘city of music’ because a number of classic composers worked in Vienna. That is also why you will see a number of people dressed up as Mozart in case you were wondering.
And if you are wondering is Vienna worth visiting here is a guide to help you.
Or if you are tossing up between Vienna and Prague here is a helpful guide.
Best time to plan your 2 day Vienna itinerary
If you are wondering when to play your 2 days in Vienna, we will say as with most European destinations, June, July, and August are the most popular months to visit. The weather is dry and the temperature sits at around 20 – 27 degrees Celsius. December is also a popular time to spend 2 days in Vienna as the Christmas Markets open. The temperature on average is between 1 – 4 degrees Celsius and it can snow too, turning the city into a winter fairytale.
We visited in October though, which was perfect. The city is not as crowded with tourists, and the weather is really mild. We had temperatures of around 15 degrees Celsius and because the sun was out only really needed a light jacket in the evenings. We would not recommend visiting in August due to school holidays. Accommodation prices increase, and you will find yourself queuing up for tourist attractions for quite a while. If you are wanting to avoid peak tourist season we recommend either April or October. The weather is pleasant and the city is vibrant, but not quite at peak tourist season.
2 days in Vienna – Is it expensive?
One thing we get asked a lot is, is Vienna expensive? We actually thought the prices we quite reasonable especially in comparison to other capital cities like London or Paris. On average you are looking at paying around €10 – €15 for a main meal in a restaurant. A pint of beer will probably set you back around €4 or €5 depending on where you are drinking.
All in all not including accommodation you should budget around 120 Euros per day per person in Vienna. This will cover things like public transport, tourist attractions, food, and nightlife. On average a mid range hotel room will set you back around 120 Euros a night. But this depends on location, and hotel quality.
What currency do I need in Vienna?
Vienna is part of the EU and therefore the currency is Euro. One Euro is equivalent to 100 Cents. Euros are made up of a mixture of coins and notes. The coins tend to be Cents so you get 1,2,5,10,20 and 50 Cent coins, as well as a 1 and 2 Euro coin. Notes are made up of 5,10,20,50,100,200, and 500 Euros. With the notes we don’t recommend carrying around the higher denominations as some places won’t take anything over a 50 for security purposes. And honestly, I don’t think we have ever seen a 200 or 500 Euro note! So if you do find one let us know.
You can pay on card for most things in Vienna, but we do recommend carrying some cash on you. And coins are very useful especially if you need to use a public bathroom!
For 2 days in Vienna is it worth getting a Vienna Pass?
We are usually quite dubious about buying city passes when we visit a new place. But if you are thinking of getting the Vienna Pass do your research in advance. Is everything you want to see covered in the Vienna Pass? Yes public transport is included but will be using it much anyway?
The Vienna Pass in a nutshell gives you use of the Hop on Hop Off Bus network, access to public transport, free admission to some attractions, discounted admission to others, and in many places means you can skip the queues. It is definitely worth it if you are planning on visiting a lot of tourist attractions. But not so much if you are looking for some of the quirkier things to do in the city.
Plan what you want to do as part of your 2 day Vienna Itinerary in advance, look at the entry costs online and work out if it worth buying the pass or not. I know that sounds so obvious, but a lot of people panic and think they have to buy the pass to get around cheaply or get free entry to attractions and that isn’t always the case. Think about if you want to see these attractions in the first place, or are you just doing it because you paid for the card and now you need to get your money’s worth?
Getting from the airport
Now that we have gotten the formalities out of the way, you might be wondering how you even get to Vienna. For most, your 2 day Vienna itinerary will start at Vienna International Airport. The airport is probably one of the easier ones we have negotiated, with clear signage and it is also super easy to get into the centre.
The quickest and easiest way to start your 2 days in Vienna is to get the train from the Airport into the centre. You can either hop on the CAT – or the City Airport Train which will take you directly into the centre. It’s around 11 Euros for a single or 19 Euros for a return. In around 16 minutes you will arriving at Wien Mitte. From here you can get a bus, tram, or subway to your onward destination. The CAT is the dedicated Airport Service, so there is plenty of room for luggage, and the trains are pretty frequent too.
Alternatively, if you are looking for a cheaper option you can get a standard train into the centre, at half the price, but keep in mind they stop at way more stops and your travel time will be longer.
If you want to save yourself the hassle of buying tickets and waiting for your train, you can also get a taxi or an Uber. You are looking at about 35 Euros for the luxury, but on the plus side you will be taken straight to your hotel.
Is 2 days in Vienna enough?
2 days in Vienna is a decent amount of time to see the attractions, eat some delicious food, and relax with a few drinks, but you won’t realistically be able to see everything. Also if you are wanting to attend any concerts or things like that you might be a bit rushed. In an ideal world we would recommend about 4 days in Vienna, this will give you time to see the main attractions, get to grips with the culture, and even experience some of the hidden gems in the city.
If you do only have 2 days in Vienna though, or if you are visiting as part of a larger European trip all is not lost. If you follow our 2 day Vienna itinerary you will be able to see some of the famous attractions, do a few of the quirkier activities, and still have time for a drink or two. You just have to make sure that you plan things in advance.
Where to stay during your 2 days in Vienna
When you only have 2 days in Vienna, we think it is important to choose the right accommodation. You want something close to transport and some of the main attractions. These are our top areas that are best suited to our 2 day Vienna itinerary.
Innere Stadt (Dirstrict 1)
This is in the very centre of historic Vienna, and it is close to a lot of the main attractions like St Stephen’s and the Spanish Riding School. Accommodation can be a bit more expensive here, but transport links are excellent. If you are a first time visitor or if like us you only have 2 days in Vienna, this is probably the best area to stay in.
Leopoldstadt (District 2)
Slightly cheaper and a little less touristy is District 2. This is still close to the main attractions, and also just a stones throw away from the Prater Amusement Park. It’s also ideal for those on a budget, so this is another good choice for your 2 days in Vienna.
MuseumsQuartier (District 7)
If you are into culture then this might be the area for you. I’m sure you can tell by the name that this is where the city’s museums are located, but you might not know that it is also good for restaurants and bars too. If you are wanting to visit some awesome bars at night this is a good option in terms of accommodation.
These are our three districts that we recommend. Because 2 days in Vienna is such a short amount of time, you definitely want to be close to the main attractions so District 1 or 2 are your best bet.
Getting around during your 2 days in Vienna
When planning your 2 day Vienna itinerary you are going to need to know how to get around. The good news is that the public transport system in Vienna is cheap and efficient. You can purchase a 2 day travel card for around €15 per person. These are valid on trains and trams. You don’t have to show your ticket when entering the train station but will need to present it if asked by ticket inspectors. We had 1 ticket inspection in our 2 days in Vienna, although I am told these inspections are pretty rare. That’s not to say you shouldn’t buy a ticket. You absolutely should! Here is a good article on using the public transport in Vienna.
What to pack for your 2 days in Vienna
No matter what time of year you visit here are some packing essentials for your 2 day Vienna itinerary.
- Comfortable shoes because you will want to walk around a lot!
- At least one nice outfit in case you decide to go to an opera or theatre show
- Ball gown/ tuxedo if you are attending one of the famous balls!
- Comfortable clothing – layer up as weather can vary
- A heavy jacket for the winter, and a light waterproof jacket for the summer (particularly summer nights as they can get quite cool)
Things to do in 2 days in Vienna
2 days in Vienna will fly by. There are so many things to do in this incredible city. Ideally if you are able to spend longer in Vienna then it really is worth it. But if you are like us and you only have a short time then here are some of the best things to do.
Topping the list of attractions is this grandiose palace built in the 1630’s. It is a former imperial summer residence and is definitely very regal. If you only have 2 days in Vienna then we highly recommend making the time to visit. You can do a tour of the inside which gives you an insight into the lives of the palace’s former inhabitants. But if you are looking for something a little different the palace gardens are also a real treat. There is even a life sized maze to get lost in (and hopefully find your way out of again).
Sticking with the palace theme Hofburg Palace is another one to add to your 2 day Vienna itinerary. It was used as a winter residence for rulers of the Austro-Hungarian empire, but these days it serves as a base for the President of Austria. You can do tours of the museum or explore the imperial apartments.
Also good news for those who have purchased the Vienna Pass as the Hop On Hop Off bus stops here making it super easy to get to. Unfortunately for this we didn’t have enough time to visit and we prioritised Schonbrunn Palace for our 2 day Vienna itinerary instead.
Prater amusement park
The park has various rides like bumper cars, roller coasters and all your fair ground games. If you want to visit it is important to note that it is only open March – October every year. The most prominent feature of the park is the Riesenrad, a 212 ft tall ferris wheel. Tickets can be purchased online in advance if you are wanting to skip the queues, or you can buy them on the day.
First constructed in 1897 it was one of the first ferris wheels ever built. It is worth a ride. The gondolas are wooden and really make you feel like you have gone back in time. I will admit it did freak me out a little at first but I can guarantee it is totally solid and you do feel safe. If you are feeling really brave the park is also home to the tallest swing ride in the world. It’s 117 metres tall and apparently offers some amazing views of Vienna. We wouldn’t know because there was no way we were getting on it. We will have to leave you with pictures from the Riesenrad instead.
St Stephen’s Cathedral
2 days in Vienna is not complete without a visit to St Stephen’s Cathedral. Located inStephensplatz in the historic centre of Vienna, the cathedral is the tallest in Austria. It’s opulent design, particularly the hundereds of colourful tiles that make up the roof dominate the Viennese skyline, making it hard to miss.
The church is free to enter or rather a small part of it is, but if you want to do anything extra you will need to pay. Something we do recommend is to climb the 343 steps in the south tower for some incredible city views. It is only a small fee you have to pay (something along the lines of 3 Euro). Alternatively you can do a tour of the catacombs for about 4 Euro.
A quirky thing to add to your 2 day Vienna itinerary is this colourful housing complex. It is a really unusual building which was built after an idea and concept by Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, hence the name. If you are looking for an offbeat experience it is certainly worth a visit. And of course it is a great place to get a few Instagram shots.
Explore the MuseumQuartier
The MuseumQuartier, actually only opened in 2001, but it has since become home to a number of top class museums. 2 days in Vienna isn’t anywhere near enough time to explore the several museums in the city. But if you have the time then we recommend visiting at least one. The Leopold Museum is a good choice as it houses a number of modern art works by Austrian artists.
Nearby the MuseumQuarter you also have the popular Naturhistorisches Museum (Natural History Musuem) with its massive dinosaur hall, which is perfect for kids and adults alike.
We had no idea there were vineyards in Vienna and this was a pleasant surprise. It is a bit of a journey out of town and you will need to take a bus to Kahlenburg. But it really is worth doing and a real quirky thing to do in Vienna.
We had a lovely afternoon walking around and stopping at local vineyards for a sample along the way. The cool thing is you get to walk around in the Vineyards which is such a beautiful experience. The wine here is also pretty cheap, and goes great with a cheese and meat platter.
Make sure you walk down the hill as this gives you the chance to take some incredible photos of the view.
The Rathaus or Town Hall is another interesting thing to see as part of your 2 day Vienna itinerary. It was constructed in the 1800s in a Neo-Gothic style to create more space for the city mayor. It’s a really beautiful building to visit, and gives off those opulent European vibes. If you want to go inside you can but only on certain days, and you have to book a specific tour.
Spittelau waste incineration plant
Another really quirky thing to do is to visit Vienna’s waste incineration plant. Artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, who also designed the apartment complex at the top of this list was tasked with designing the new plant. You can do a tour of the plant which seems to be popular with school children who can learn all about the heating and cooling process. Even if that’s not your thing it will probably be the most beautiful waste incineration plant you will ever see.
Eating and drinking during your 2 days in Vienna
There are a lot of really cool places to eat and drink in Vienna, but here are some of our favourites that ware worth a visit when planning your own 2 day Vienna itinerary.
This open air market is a brilliant place to treat your taste buds. For us it was the perfect place to have a traditional breakfast before making our way through the city. You can also buy your fresh produce here and a whole lot of cheese, wine and bratwurst.
No 2 day Vienna itinerary is complete without a visit to a coffee house. They have played a large part in the shaping of Viennese culture. Therefore, visiting one is an absolute must. When you do you should treat yourself to some coffee and cake and maybe read the paper as the Viennese do. The most traditional cake in Vienna is the Sachertorte. It is a chocolate cake with apricot jam and dark chocolate icing. And trust us it is absolutely delicious. Our only regret is that we didn’t get to eat more!
Cafe Hawelka in District 1 is one of our favourites though, and is supposed to be very popular in Vienna, It’s a family run cafe that was big among poets and musicians in the 60’s and 70’s. Cafe Central is another popular cafe, and somewhat an institution in Vienna. It opened in 1876 and was frequented by the likes of Sigmund Freud back in the day. It is a bit pricey, but the atmosphere is spot on.
Must eat food during your 2 days in Vienna
Our favourite thing about travel has to be sampling all the fantastic food and drink on offer. Vienna has an amazing culinary scene so when you spend 2 days in Vienna you definitely will not starve. Here are some of the delights that we think you should sample.
The Weiner Schnitzel is probably one of the more famous foods in Austria. Schnitzel is a thin breaded cutlet made from veal. There is a chicken or a pork alternative but the proper Weiner Schnitzel is made from veal. We decided to go for the chicken as a personal preference and you can find this at a lot of restaurants. It is usually served with a side of potatoes, or a kind of potato salad. It’s really good!
Speaking of potato salad the Austrian version of it is immense. It usually gets served alongside your Schnitzel but we could eat it by itself, it’s that good. It’s also nothing like your classic mayonnaise heavy potato salad you see in US or British supermarkets. Instead it’s got mustard, white wine vinegar and chives and onions. Definitely worth a try.
If you read our Budapest guide, you might also have seen that Goulash is a popular dish there too. It is essentially a beef stew served with onions and delicious sauce. It is the ultimate comfort food.
You only have to walk a few metres in Vienna to know that sausages are a pretty big deal in the country. Purchased from a Würstelstände as they are called, you can opt for hog dogs, or plan sausage served with mustard. We also highly recommend the Kasekrainer, a hot dog with cheese inside the sausage. You can pick one up at the several sausage stands in the city. They are especially good as a late night snack after a night out (this is tried and tested!).
Mozartkugeln chocolates seem to appear everywhere in Vienna. It’s a sweet with a pistachio and marzipan filling and coated in nougat and dark chocolate. I’ll be honest these are not my favourite chocolates by a long stretch. But if you are wondering what’s inside the wrappers/ boxes of chocolate with Mozart’s face on the front, this is probably them.
Sachertorte is definitely a dessert I can get into. The cake was created in 1832 by Franz Sacher, and it is basically a chocolate torte with a layer of apricot jam and some very decadent chocolate icing. Also a good splattering of whipped cream on the side is a must. It is very rich so we wouldn’t recommend eating a whole cake, but if you eat one thing in Vienna make it this. It is best tried at a traditional coffee house, with a cup of coffee whilst reading the newspaper, or at least that is the image that we have in our head when we think of the Sachertorte.
Whilst we are on the subject of dessert let’s not forget the about strudel, another Viennese staple. Our favourite is the apple strudel served with creamy hot custard, but these days you can also get various other fruit and nut strudels. Apparently there are even savoury students served with meat and veg. In fairness it sounds like a winning combination to me whichever way you prefer it.
When we arrived in Vienna we were told that after a hearty meal you are supposed to have a shot of schnaps to help you digest. Whether it helps or not it’s always fun to try and test the theory.
The Wiener melange is the perfect drink to wash down your delicious Sachertorte. It’s kind of a mix between a cappuccino and a latte (although closer to a latte due to the amount of milk).
2 day Vienna itinerary – Romantic things to do
If you are looking for some romantic things to do as part of your 2 day Vienna itinerary here are some of our top suggestions.
- Go to a show or listen to some Opera
- Ride the Reisenrad at sunset, or even better book a candle lit dinner in one of the carriages
- Spend the day sipping wine and go vineyard hopping
- Visit the royal palace
- Have coffee and cake at one of Vienna’s beautiful coffee houses
- Sip drinks at one of the trendy bars along the Danube
2 day Vienna Itinerary
Here is our suggested itinerary when you only have 2 days in Vienna:
2 day Vienna itinerary – Day 1
This is only applicable on a Saturday morning but if you are in Vienna at this time head to the Naschtmarkt, they open early only on Saturday and you can enjoy a scrumptious breakfast. Otherwise the markets open at 3pm (but are closed on Sunday and Monday) so you will need to visit late afternoon.
After breakfast head to the Schonbrunn Palace and take your time walking around the gardens. By the afternoon when you are looking for a break make your way into the city and head to a traditional cafe and try some Sachertorte. The coffee is pretty darn good in Vienna too so make sure you take your time and even read a paper as the Viennese do.
Afterwards head over to the Prater amusement park and ride the Riesenrad. This is a great place to soak up the jovial atmosphere and there are some great places to eat here where you can try the traditional pork knuckle.
2 day Vienna itinerary – Day 2
Grab some breakfast from a bakery on the go and visit the Hundertwasser a colourful apartment block in the city. You don’t need to spend long here, but it is a great place to get some quirky pictures.
Then visit and explore the vineyards. This vast space includes several vineyards you can stop in and sip wine. It is also a great place for a light lunch. Take your time here it really is beautiful and you get some sweeping views of the city.
As you return to the city checkout the Spittelau, one of the most interesting waste incineration plants you will ever see. In the evening make your way into town for a traditional schnitzel dinner finished with some schnaps.
So should I spend 2 days in Vienna
Yes! Even writing this post it made us think about how much we would love to go back to Vienna. It is such a beautiful place with so much to offer, which is why we definitely think you should visit. 2 days in Vienna doesn’t do it justice but if you plan accordingly you can really make the most of your time here.
More than 2 days in Vienna – day trip ideas
If you are looking to spend more than 2 days in Vienna, or just looking for day trip ideas the good news is, Vienna is really well connected. Here are some of the best day trip ideas to give you a bit of inspiration.
Hallstatt is basically what we think of when we think of Austria. This picturesque and quaint village at the foot of some very impressive mountains is a must when visiting Austria. It’s your quintessential fairy tale village. Admittedly it is a bit of a trek so if you do decide to visit it’s probably worth doing a guided tour to make things easier. Or you could just stay for a few days!
Another popular Austrian destination is Salzburg. It is where Mozart was born and raised, and it still has that old world feel to it. It’s also a lot easier to get to compared to Hallstatt, as it is under 2 hours on the train.
If you want to add another country to your belt then you can also do a day trip to Bratislava. The Slovakian capital is really magical with its Gothic architecture, cobbled streets, and a touch of medieval style. It’s also only an hour on the train, so definitely doable in terms of a day trip.
If you are an architecture fan you will love Austria’s second largest city Graz. The city is filled with baroque palaces, gorgeous parks, red rooftops, and much more. It’s about an hour and a half away from Vienna, but definitely worth it for the architecture, and beauty alone.
Budapest is another option if you want to visit a completely different country. Although we recommend visiting for longer than a day trip. You can get a direct train from Vienna to Budapest in under 3 hours (so an early start is definitely needed), but it is worth it when you see how incredible Budapest is. We have a guide to the most instagrammable spots in Budapest which might be useful if you do plan a day trip.
If you are trying to decide between Vienna or Budapest here is a helpful guide.
2 days in Vienna – A recap
Hopefully this 2 day Vienna itinerary will help you plan your trip to the city. There are so many beautiful places in Vienna that you won’t want to miss so make sure you plan accordingly. If you have longer then there are a number of day trips from Vienna that you can take including to the ever beautiful Prague which you can read about in the following post. Or if you have longer do checkout our guide to Prague, Vienna, and Budapest.
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