2 Days In Vienna Austria : Everything You Need To Know
Some may call it a ‘City of Music’, others may know it as a ‘city of dreams’, Vienna for me is a ‘city of grandeur and elegance’. As you walk around, you can see different architectural styles from baroque to art nouveau, from romanesque to karlskirche. Austria’s capital is super proud of its imperial heritage and it could be very well seen through its ostentatious palaces, museums, and century-old cafes. I do feel this city deserves more time but you can still cover maximum sights in 2 days in Vienna.
Despite all this, Vienna sometimes has a reputation for being old and boring. I, however, found it extremely charming and enduring. With many UNESCO- world heritage sites, one could easily spend a few days meandering through this gorgeous city. It is also a great destination for solo female travelers as Austria is among the safest countries in the world. In this 2 days in Vienna travel guide, I have covered all the essentials you will need to know for an amazing trip to Vienna.
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Some Practical Info and Facts
- Currency; Euro (€)
- Official Language; Austrian German
- Best Known For; Cultural Events, Music, Imperial sights, Opera and Coffee Houses.
- Wifi; Available At Most Of Tourist Attractions, Shops and Coffee Houses.
- Safety; Extremely Safe
- Money-wise; Moderately Expensive
- Interesting Lesser Known Facts; Voted among the topmost liveable city in the world. Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, lived and worked in Vienna, thus it’s named as ‘city of dreams’. Also called as World’s Capital of Music, as more famous composers have lived here than in any other city in the world.
Get Insured Before Travelling To Vienna
I never travel abroad without travel insurance. Really! In case something goes wrong, you must have travel insurance. Frankly speaking, it will be stupid to head off to a new destination without one.
I will recommend World Nomads. Simply because they are backed by reputable insurers, 24-hour assistance providers and offer travel insurance to travelers from over 140 countries.
Even if you don’t get one from World Nomads, make sure to get your travel insurance sorted before you actually start traveling.
Best Time To Visit
I think the number of tourists and good weather can break or make any trip. I try to avoid high tourist seasons. Here these are between June-August and November-March. Though Christmas in Vienna is special, they do come at a price of a high surge of tourists coming to Vienna for its wintertime festivities.
I will recommend visiting either in September-October or April-May. These are shoulder months which means you won’t have to stand in long lines for almost all attractions, the weather is quite pleasant and won’t have to pay inflated prices on accommodation.
How To Reach Vienna?
- By Air✈️; Vienna’s airport is located 18km east of the city centre and is very well connected via public transport to the main city. You can either take a CAT( airport train) which will cost 12€ or S7 which takes slightly longer but is much cheaper. A single ticket is for 4.20€. There are also direct bus connections from the airport to main Vienna’s stations. Find the details here.
Get $30 off on your air tickets here CheapOair.com
- By Bus🚌; There are many bus stations but the main bus station lies next to the Hauptbahnhof train station. If you are traveling from surrounding cities or a nearby country, the bus probably will be the cheapest way to reach Vienna.
- By Train🚆; The main railway station is the Wien Hauptbahnhof. It is very well connected via other public transport. If you are coming from Bratislava or Prague, your train will most likely terminate here.
For most economical tickets, check Omio. I use it all the time.
How To Get Around In Vienna?
The best way to get around Vienna is via public transport. The City has an excellent network of buses, trains, trams, and subways. Just like any other European city, Vienna’s city centre is easily accessible on foot and probably is best explored while walking.
Few sights like Schönbrunn Palace, Belvedere Palace, Hundertwasser, and Prater are located outside the main centre. It’s here when public transport will come handy.
The same ticket can be used for buses, trains, subways, and trams. One way ticket costs 1.70€ ( 2€ if bought onboard). You can buy them from any store selling tobacco and newspapers. They are plenty in number and won’t be difficult to find one. Just look for the ” TABAK ” sign outside. Or could be purchased from any public transport centers. Don’t forget to validate (get stamped) your ticket, once boarded.
I think a better option for your 2 days Vienna visit is getting a Vienna City Card. Not only it provides unlimited access to public transport but over 210 discounts at popular attractions, museums, shops, and much more. I found it a good value for money. You can get one here.
If you are planning to visit tons of museums, major palaces, and other attractions, you might want to consider Vienna Pass. Official website.
Where To Stay In Vienna?
Thanks to its imperial past, classical music and high quality of life, millions of tourists swarm to Austria’s quaint capital every year. Popular attractions are spread out but due to excellent public transport, getting around in Vienna is a breeze. It hardly matters where you stay.
Now it comes down to your personal preference and cost. The city is structured in 23 districts which are mostly allocated circularly around the city centre. District 1 to 9 and 20 are called Inner Districts, while number 10 to 23 make up the Outer ones.
The inner district undoubtedly has some of the city’s coolest neighborhoods while the outer district is more residential. Here you will find the historic city centre surrounded by the very famous Ringstraße road (ring road). City Hall, main University, Parliament, National Theatre, National Opera, the imperial Hofburg residence, beautiful parks and gardens, the National Museums of art and nature are all situated along Ringstraße.
With so many options, choosing the right property can be overwhelming. Well, don’t worry! I made that task easy for you. With intensive internet research and my own experience, I have listed Vienna’s best accommodations for all range of travelers.
Best Treat Yourself Hotels In Inner Circle
Novotel Wien City, is located at Leopoldstadt, overlooking the Ringstraße Boulevard. This is a great choice for travelers interested in convenient public transportation, walking, and monuments.
If you looking to indulge in elegance, class, and comfort, go for Grand Ferdinand Vienna. Located in the city center, this 5-star property has a rooftop pool, 3 restaurants, and free WiFi access.
The luxurious Hotel Ambassador was opened in 1898. It has hosted famous guests such as Marlene Dietrich and Mark Twain. Each room are individually decorated with select antiquities. It is also within a short walking distance from major sights such as St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Hofburg Imperial Palace, and the State Opera.
Radisson Blu Style Hotel is another great option. Just a 3-minute walk from the Hofburg Palace and Kohlmarkt shopping street, this is among top picks by booking.com.
Best Budget Hotels
With a high rating of 8.7, Eurostars Embassy is a good choice if you are looking to stay in the inner circle without having to pay extraordinary money on accommodation.
Koncept Hotel Liebelei is a boutique hotel in the 15th district, just a 10-minute walk away from Schönbrunn Palace and Schönbrunn Zoo. Rated high on booking.com, it is a good value for money.
Austria Trend Hotel Zoo Wien is a great option if you are looking to stay away from the hustle-bustle of inner circle. It is located very close to Schönbrunn Palace. Rooms are bright, clean and spacious.
Best Hostels In Inner Circle
This is no brainer. In terms of excellent location, cleanliness and overall hostel vibe, I will highly recommend Wombats. It is located at Naschmarkt. I thoroughly enjoyed my time and will definitely stay again.
For more hostel options in Vienna check out Booking.com. They continuously offer the best rates and their customer service is on point.
PS- If you are new to Airbnb, you can use my promo code to get a €35 discount on your first booking.
Food In Vienna ( Vegan/Vegetarian Guide)
Any trip to Vienna is incomplete without trying Austria’s royal delicacy. Sacher Torte is a dense chocolate cake, coated with dark chocolate icing, usually served with unsweetened whipped cream.
It is said to be a signature creation of the Sacher Hotel. Demel bakery also has there own version. Both are extremely popular among tourists. Though torte at both these places was delicious but contrary to the popular belief it’s the third cafe, Cafe Pruckel which won my heart.
- Apple Strudel
This is an Austrian take on apple pie. You can find them at almost all bakeries, cafes and restaurants. I had it in Café Landtmann and it was delicious. For a vegan version, you can try these at Anker Brot.
- Best Budget Vegan Places
The vegan scene in Vienna is fantastic. There are plenty of eateries, cafes, and restaurants that serve good vegan-friendly food. Like Anker Brot. It is located at Stephansplatz in the U-Bahn underground station. You can buy fresh vegan bread, sandwiches, pastries and much more at a decent price. I had a cinnamon roll with a soy latte. It was quite yummy.
Another place I will recommend is the Schillingers’ Swing Kitchen. I went there in the evening. The atmosphere was very lively. Quite delicious food at a good price. Try one of their’s highly recommend vegan burgers. Probably the best I had in a long time.
If you are looking for ‘all you can eat’ menu, go to Vegetasia. I spent €13 for a vegan Chinese buffet. It was worth every penny.
Although I didn’t have a chance to try Indian food while my time in Vienna but I have heard good things about Tulsi Indian Cuisine and Indus. Maybe on my next visit.
How To Spend 2 Days In Vienna?
Vienna has a plethora of renowned establishments, palaces, architectural heritages and gorgeous gardens located in and around the inner circle. We will start the first day of our 2 days in Vienna by venturing into outer districts.
- Explore Schönbrunn Palace
Located in the outer suburbs of Vienna, this baroque-style imperial palace defines elegance in every sense. Listed under UNESCO World Heritage Site, Schönbrunn draws millions of tourists every year. There is plenty to see and you can easily spend 3-4 hours exploring this magnificent piece of architecture.
Due to a high number of tourists all year round, I recommend buying skip the line tickets in advance.
Palace’s gardens are treated in themselves. Plan on spending at least an hour strolling around. Entrance to the park is free but for special attractions like the Privy Garden, the Orangery Garden or the Maze as well as the Zoo, the Palm House and the Desert House you need to purchase individual admission tickets.
- Visit Karlskirche
Built-in the 17th century, Karlskirche is Vienna’s finest baroque church. Many travelers skip this but I feel it is a must. With its exquisite twin carved spiral columns and a huge huge elliptical copper dome, it is any photographer’s dream come true.
Tip; Locals love to spend evenings outside Karlskriche. Often you will find street artists, dancers, and performers outside the church, sitting by a reflecting pool. The atmosphere is very romantic.
- Indulge In Local Culture At Naschmarkt
Visiting local markets is probably my favorite part of traveling. They are a good representation of heritage and culture. And give one an authentic slice of local life.
Naschmarket is a huge 1.5 km long local market on the Wienzeile street, selling everything from fruits, fresh vegetables, herbs, sweets, meat, and seafood. There are tons of cafes, bars, and restaurants.
I had often heard good things about multi-culturalism in Austria but experienced it for real in this market. As you walk down, you will notice a rich mix of ethnic foods, from Eastern Europe to Middle Eastern spices, from Austrian staples such as the humble potatoes, the carrot, the swede to exotic fruits and vegetables from New Zealand and Holland.
Even if you don’t plan on shopping, taking a stroll down the Naschmarkt is a must.
- Admire The Colourful Facade Of Hundertwasser House
Vienna is not all grand, elegant, and typical classical architecture. It has a colorful, funky and almost a hip side to it too. Designed by the renowned native artist, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Hundertwasser House is an extraordinary building famous for its colorful facade where plants grow out of windows and large trees growing inside the rooms. It’s hard to describe it completely with words. It is an exceptional piece of expression art.
Tip; Although one can only view colorful facades from outside, right opposite the Hundertwasserhaus is the Hundertwasser Village which is open to the public. There are bars, restaurants and plenty of typical Hundertwasser style stores.
- Ride A Giant Ferris Wheel At The Prater Park
Located in Vienna’s second district, Prater was once an imperial hunting ground of Habsburgs, today it’s a gargantuan park. The premise includes beer gardens, railway tracks, chestnut blossoms, museums, lush green forest and more.
The most popular attraction among visitors is, however the Prater Amusement Park. I am sure you must have seen a picture of a giant Ferris Wheel, one of Vienna’s most famous symbols. Erected in 1897, this 65 meters tall Ferris wheel offers a breathtaking view of the city and the praters.
Riesenrad or the giant Ferris wheel became popular after having featured in several Hollywood films, such as “The Third Man” or in the James Bond adventure “The Living Daylights”.
- End Your Evening At A Musical Concert
Vienna is known as the world’s music capital for a reason. Music literally is in the air here. With a wide range of music halls and stages, there are unforgettable live performances throughout the year. From pop and rock to jazz, from classical to progressive, you are bound to find something you are into. I will recommend doing a little research in advance to know what is playing where. Don’t miss this opportunity. After-all you are in a pedigree of music.
- Concert of Mozart’s Requiem in Karlskirche
- Vienna Hofburg Orchestra
- Mozart Concert at the Golden Hall
- Concert By The Vienna Residence Orchestra
- Mozart & Strauss Concert in Kursalon
How To Spend 2 Days In Vienna?
On the second day of our 2 days in Vienna, we will explore a more classical and typical side of Vienna. In and around the historic city centre.
- Breakfast at Traditional Cozy Coffee House
Coffee-houses are an absolute staple of Viennese culture. Unlike regular cafes, coffeehouses here are grand, ostentatious and elegant. They entice with a wide variety of coffee drinks, international newspapers, and small food dishes like sausages, desserts, cakes, and tarts.
Fun Fact; Vienna’s Coffeehouses are part of the cultural heritage of UNESCO.
There are dozens of cafes in and around the city centre. Most notable ones are Café Museum, Aida, Café Sacher, Café Central, and my most favorite off-course Café Prückel.
- Tour The Iconic St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom)
Located at the heart of the city centre is Vienna’s important landmark, The St. Stephen’s Cathedral. With the initial foundation laid in the 11th century, Stephansdom even today stands tall as Austria’s most important gothic structure.
While the entrance to the front nave and some parts of the northern side are free, you need an entrance ticket to climb the towers, visit the altar, and to view the catacombs. Tickets can be purchased here.
- Visit Michaelerplatz
Michaelerplatz is an important square, mainly due to its proximity to the city’s important landmarks like an elegant St Michael’s Church, historic Café Klimt and the grand Hofburg Palace.
The centre of the square is an open area with Roman and Medieval remains. Streets surrounding the square are filled with high-end shopping, buzzing cafes and restaurants. You can also catch a popular carriage ride from here.
- Walk and Explore Graben
Certainly, the most popular and busy pedestrian street in the centre of Vienna is Graben. Starting from Palais Equitable it ends at the junction of Kohlmarkt and Tuchlauben. Along the way, you will find many picturesque buildings like St. Peter’s Church and the Baroque Trinity Column.
- Visit Hofburg Palace
Among many Vienna’s palaces, Hofburg palace is a little extra special as it has one of the largest palace complexes in the world. Until 1918 it served as the imperial residence of the Habsburg emperors. Today, it is the official residence and workplace of the President of Austria.
The complex has numerous museums, a Spanish riding school, and a congress centre. You can visit the Spanish Riding School & Imperial Treasury with a combination ticket. Purchase Here.
Have More Than 2 Days In Vienna?
- Visit Vienna’s Town Hall (Rathaus)
The city hall of Vienna is a stunning 19th-century neo-gothic style building. All year round you can find some sort of festival or market in-front of the town hall. If you happen to visit during November-December, you can enjoy the city’s biggest Christmas market here.
- Take A Day Trip To Bratislava
The quaint capital of Slovakia is located very near to Vienna making it a perfect day trip destination. Bratislava is cheap, colorful, full of old-world charm and could be easily covered in a day.
Read Next; 6 Amazing Reasons To Visit Slovakia Today!
Hopefully, this will give you a good idea on how to spend perfect 2 days in Vienna! Have a wonderful time!
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