Vienna is the beautiful capital city of Austria – and there’s a lot to see and do here! So if you are planning a 2 day break in Vienna, this guide is for you. This city guide is designed for covering all hot spots within 48 hours in Vienna. This doesn’t include travel time to the city, so make sure you are in Vienna the night before.
FAIR WARNING: Vienna is a rich town in terms of culture and spots to cover, there are also many nearby one day trips which one must take. Hence it’s impossible to cover all of Vienna in 2 days. But you CAN cover all major spots in 2 days!
Here’s my Day 01 Vienna itinerary with a mix of old town sightseeing and some cool urban experiences!
Day 01 is all about the Ringstrasse!
Ringstrasse is the most beautiful boulevard in the world and home to many of Vienna’s best-known sights!
Start the day with a heavy breakfast – this is a walking tour of the city, you need the energy.
You should first visit the Tourist Information Office at Albertinaplatz in Innere Stadt (Old Town). Pick up a free map, mark your route and purchase the Vienna City Card, before beginning your walking tour of the city.
Here’s link to the map for this itinerary. Refer to this as you read ahead.
Also referred to as: The Imperial Palace
The Hofburg is one of the biggest palace complexes in the world! Built in the 13th century, the structure has continued expanding till the 20th century. The Imperial Palace has been the seat of power for the Habsburg dynasty rulers until 1918. Today it serves the seat of the Austrian Federal President.
MUST SEE: The Imperial Apartments, the Sisi Museum, the Imperial Silver Collection and the Imperial Treasury Vienna
2. St. Stephen’s Cathedral
TRIVIA: Thanks to the bells at St Stephen’s Cathedral, Ludwig van Beethoven was able to discern just how completely hard of hearing he was thanks to witnessing birds flying out of the bell tower upon the bells being run, without being able to hear them chime himself
3. Naturhistorisches Museum
Also referred to as: Natural History Museum
MUST SEE: Dinosaur Hall, Venus of Willendorf and Meteorite & Gem Hall.
4. Kunsthistorisches Museum
Also referred to as: Art History Museum
The Kunsthistorisches Museum was built in 1891 and is the largest art museum in Austria. The Natural History Museum is its architectural replica and situated right in front of it. With its unrivalled collection of works by renowned artists and the largest Bruegel collection in the world – it is a must visit. The museum takes you across 5 millennia – from Classical Rome to Egypt and the Renaissance.
MUST SEE: The Picture Gallery – If your time’s limited, skip straight to this section, spend an hour admiring the Old Masters.
Now that we are done with a major chunk of our itinerary, I had recommend that you grab something to eat. Instead of sitting and eating, I would strongly urge you to pick a sandwich or a hot dog and have lunch on the go. This section is all about walking around and just appreciating the vibe and overall feeling of Vienna!
5. Austrian Parliament Building
Also referred to as: Parlamentsgebäude
The Austrian Parliament Building with the Pallas Athene statue in front is one of the most important building on the Ringstrasse. Architect Theophil Hansen took 10 years to build it and was finally opened in 1883. Hansen designed it in the style of ancient Greece, because the connection to the Ancient Greeks and the ideal of democracy was well know. Hence the Parliament resembles a Greek temple!
IMPORTANT: The inside of the Parliament building cannot be viewed due to the extensive refurbishment taking place until 2021.
6. Wiener Rathaus
Also referred to as: Vienna City Hall
It is the official seat of the Mayor of Vienna and the meeting place of the city senate and the Municipal Council. Friedrich Schmidt designed and built Vienna’s City Hall from 1872 to 1883 in the New-Gothic style. It is the most important secular building in the city.
7. Shopping at Stephenplatz
You can find all the mainstream fashion stores as well as many souvenir shops within the city centre. These streets are scattered with cafes and bars; and all being pedestrian zones – it makes shopping a pleasure in Vienna.
I suggest you should finish shopping by 06 pm, and start walking towards the next stop – in order to do everything that’s their on this itinerary. The next stop is a tour highlight and should not be missed under any circumstance.
8. Time Travel
Experience the exciting history of Vienna with 5D cinema, animatronic-figures, various rides, several multimedia shows along with amazing sound and light effects. Enjoy as your personal tour guide takes you through time – starting from the roman camp Vindobona to present time. The show takes 50 minutes and is presented in a humorous manner, which makes it a fascinating experience for young and old. This a Must Do for everybody and worth every penny!
Caption: Experience Vienna with all five senses!
TIP: The last Time Travel show is at 07 pm, but I suggest you catch the one at 06 or 06:20 so that you have ample time to relax later. Be 20 minutes before to purchase ticket.
9. Pamper Your Taste Buds
After a tiring day I needed good dinner, so I ordered some Mushroom Schnitzel with Rice. Not only did it taste nice, the quantity was enough to satisfy my hunger – after a day long walking tour. It is a good option for Vegetarians!
It’s no secret that the Viennese have a sweet tooth. While walking through the city centre one comes across many confectioneries and cafes. Try a selection of cakes, macarons and colourful pastries that are displayed in the window tempting passersby. I took home a Chocolate Coffee Cake to eat at night! 🎂