The Austrian capital is one of the largest contemporary art and cultural hub of Europe. The capital of Palaces, home to art collections from renowned artists including Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka, Egon Schiele and admirable architecture, Vienna has it all! I also included a weekend trip to Prague in my Vienna Itinerary and I can assure you’ll have a memorable trip from the Prague Budapest (Read: Budapest for free) Vienna itinerary! So, you’re planning to spend 2 days in Vienna? I have jotted down this 2 day Vienna itinerary with the best places to visit in Vienna in 2 days or more. A day in Vienna is enough to love Vienna but I recommend spending at least 2 days in Vienna for a lifetime memory!
The Viennese capital has German as a primary language but if you speak English then you’re good to go. Vienna continuously manages to rank in the top European cities in the quality of living index survey done by Mercer and indubitably it is the classiest city on the European continent. From the moment I landed in Vienna, Austria, I never looked down. I cherished its architectural beauty residing not only in the palaces but precisely everywhere. It’s easy to love the city, despite that, I present the prime places to visit in Vienna in 2 days. If you’re heading to Austria in winters, do check out these amazing things to do in Vienna in winters.
A Perfect Vienna 2 days Itinerary
Places to visit in Vienna in 2 days – Day 1
A historic site from the Austrian capital built during the period of Habsburg empire characterized by the iconic Baroque style stemming from Rome from the 16th century. The Belvedere palace complex consists of two main palaces – *Upper Belvedere* and *Lower Belvedere* and a garden separating them. I suggest seeing Belvedere Palace first as it tops my list of places to visit in Vienna in 2 days.
Upper Belvedere was actually the first place I visited in the capital and it easily got to my heart with its glittering white building and green dome. It was my photographic gem with a pond on the entrance and views of the capital on the rear. Upper Belvedere houses the famous painting from Gustav Klimt’s – ‘The Kiss’. Although all the paintings in the palace were jaw-dropping gorgeous it was ‘The Kiss’ which caught the attraction of tourists.
There are two ticket options – one for either of the Boroques and the second one for both the Palaces. Still a beginner in art discovery I opted only for the Upper Belvedere which arose my ever-growing interest in art.
Upon exiting from the Upper Belvedere, the St. Stephan’s Cathedral can be clearly seen from the gardens of the complex. Although I didn’t see the lower Belvedere Palace Museum which had distinctive looks with red rooftops on the white facade. Photography is allowed in The Belvedere museum, but no touchings to paintings & sculptures.
The 18th century imperial Schönbrunn Palace from Vienna attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists every year easily topping the top position in the must-visit places in Vienna in 2 days. Even occupied by Napoleon in the early 18th century, the architecture of the Palace had undergone major restorations since then. The Schönbrunn Palace is a former summer residence of various monarchs of the Habsburgs dynasty. The palace is now a historical, cultural and an architectural marvel.
The Schönbrunn palace holds 1400+ rooms holding different styles indicating the different styles from the rulers Austria once held. The Schönbrunn Palace holds a variety of tours – Imperial Tour, Grand Tour, Sisi Ticket, Classic Pass among a few others. The Imperial tour is the most basic one out of the lot and will give you an insight into the grandeur of the Palace including the staterooms and private apartments of Frank Joseph and Sisi. Grand Tour includes the parts from Imperial Tour along with centuries-old interiors & furniture. Sisi Ticket gives you access to the Sisi museum holding the detailed life story about the most beautiful Empress of Europe ‘Sisi’ along with the ones clubbed in the grand tour.
I chose the Imperial pass which included an audio tour of the apartments in the Schönbrunn Palace. Photography is not allowed inside the Palace and they don’t deposit your mobiles/cameras. But they keep a routine check at every nook and corner to prevent tourists from clicking. Yet, when I went through a huge sculpture of Sisi looking into the mirror, I couldn’t resist myself from clicking. Considering it was a memory worth capturing in my camera roll so not posting it here. Wouldn’t it be unfair to all those who want to go and see it themselves?
Apart from the Schönbrunn Palace, the complex also holds an enormous garden area on the rear side of the Palace going up till the Gloriette – a facade on one end of the gardens. In the spring season, the Schönbrunn Palace gardens are blooming with flowers all over making it a pleasing site and also the garden worth capturing. No matter how many days you have in the Austrian capital, Schönbrunn Palace is one of the best places to visit in Vienna in 2 days.
Tiergarten Schönbrunn – Zoo
Raise your hands if you love Pandas 🙂 A part of Schönbrunn Palace Complex, the Tiergarten zoo is the world’s oldest zoo and is not to be missed if visiting Vienna for 2 days. Schönbrunn is the Palace no tourist would miss, then I recommend visiting the zoo highly as it’s a part of Schönbrunn complex and I can be sure you won’t leave disappointed. Even I was sceptical about visiting the zoo as an adult and a solo traveller but isn’t that the plus point of travelling solo that you can go where your heart takes you.
I must admit, I went in there primarily for my love for Panda, but let me tell you honestly after my personal experience…the zoo is much more than just Pandas. Yes, undeniably, Pandas are a hit with every generation and a huge number of tourists literally line up to get a glance of Pandas. Admittingly, the Tiergarten Schönbrunn zoo was not something I didn’t initially intended to include in my Vienna itinerary but went for it knowing that it actually provides a natural habitat for a variety of species. I actually hopped on to the opportunity and took a chance, which by the way turned out to be great. I think a sub-post like this won’t even do justice to the experience I had. You’ll see a dedicated post *soon* with more pictures & videos from the mindboggling experience I had which in turn got a position on my recommendation list 😉 So, surely a place to visit in Vienna in 2 days or more.
The Tiergarten Schönbrunn zoo is gigantic in the area and you will need 2-3 hours to cover it all and if you want to photograph the wonderful creatures too then add an hour into that. You will come across Sea Lions, Zebras, Leopards, Kangaroos, Penguins, Polar Bears and Pandas (of course) amongst a lot of others. Visiting the zoo brought the child out of me and there were times when I literally laughing like a child and added this to my good decision-making skills 😉 Children below the age of 12 can not visit alone and may need adult supervision as per the Zoo rules. If you’re heading to the world’s capital of Music with the family and especially kids, don’t miss the zoo!!
Quick Tip – Phone cameras are good, but you might need a DSLR with a good zoom lens to capture the animals in your camera roll. I didn’t have one hence the picture quality isn’t as good as I wanted them to be.
Places to visit in Vienna in 2 days – Day 2
St. Stephan’s Cathedral
St. Stephan’s cathedral – bearing the brunt of over 7 centuries is one of the most distinctive buildings from the capital of Austria. The St. Stephan Church’s spire is clearly visible from Belvedere Gardens. Located in the historic city centre, the St. Stephan cathedral is not only an architectural landmark but also the *only* Roman Catholic church of the city. The Cathedral attracts as much as million tourists around the year.
The St. Stephan church embraces the peculiar Gothic architecture with highly gracious rooftop and a distinctive 137 meters high spire. The entire city can be viewed from the top of the cathedral including 343 steps. For those fit ones out there, this should be a must-do, as I don’t fall under those so I gave it a pass. I enjoyed the gorgeous city views from Prater about which you’ll hear from me soon.
The St. Stephan church is also a historical landmark as it was almost destroyed completely during WWII but was reconstructed during the 1960s. St. Stephan Cathedral is easily accessible by U-Bahn or the underground rail network and the nearest station is Stephansplatz. As the church is located in the city centre, you can not drive/board cabs till there. Either a walk or the subway is the best way to head to the St. Stephan Church. The first time, I walked to the Church from the Belvedere Gardens, but that wasn’t a very optimized way. Also, I tried to ask locals for the right way which didn’t help because of language constraint. So on the second visit, I chose U-Bahn taking me directly to the church so a win-win 🙂
Historic City Center
The centre of the capital not only holds the famous St. Stephan’s Cathedral, but also will give you an amazing vibe of Viennese culture. Vienna’s historic city centre is buzzing with all sorts of activities, artists & locals shopping. The tourists enjoying the culture of the city, and typical Viennese food and wine culture is eminent on the street.
The cafes on the road add to the hustle bustle of the Vienna city centre. The city centre can get really crowded as a prime spot for tourists and locals equally. It might even feel annihilating to some but it is still the best way to get a hint of the city’s culture.
Check out my must have European delicacies
Fancy a ride on the fiaker a medieval style horse carriage?? They’re easily spotted in the city centre and primarily around the St. Stephan Cathedral. I was on a budget so didn’t ride them. One can try them at 40-70 Euros and cover Stephansplatz and some other historic sites of Vienna.
Prater amusement park
Think amusement parks are only for kids? What if I say you can ride a giant wheel to get an amazing 360-degree view of Vienna’s skyline – still you’d want to skip it?
Dating back to 19th centuries & destroyed heavily during World War II, the Ferris wheel still attracts millions of tourists. And if you’re visiting Vienna with kids, they will enjoy this amusement park too. This certainly tops my list of top places to visit in Vienna in 2 days. If you have 3 days or more, I’d recommend enjoying the entire amusement park.
Hofburg Palace is for those love lavish palaces although usually doesn’t come in top places to visit in Vienna. Another 12th-century icon from Vienna is the Hofburg Imperial Palace which bore the brunt of every ruler Austria had. A unique palace, currently the Seat of Austrian Federal President – flaunts different architectural styles ranging from Gothic to Baroque. Having said that, Hofburg Palace is one of the best places to visit in Vienna in 2 days.
If you have 3 days in Vienna I advice visiting Hofburg Palace. If you have 2 days or less in Vienna, then covering this 50-acre palace might leave you with crunching moments.
Where to Stay in Vienna
I stayed in Aparthotel Adagio – ‘A home away from Home’ – a stay I can proudly convey. The hotel was not exactly in the city centre of Vienna but near some residential and office complexes. It was another feel of Vienna. A superior room on the 5th floor from Aparthotel gave me views like this in the mornings –
The room was wonderfully spacious, with a mini kitchen and literally all the required utensils. The cupboards were unimaginably huge with not only an iron but also iron board. I mean it was truly home away for me. I would recommend Aparthotel Adagio to anyone visiting Vienna as this is truly the best place to stay in Vienna. If you’d like more options, you may check out these amazing places to stay in Vienna catering every budget.
Where to eat in Vienna
Fancy authentic Indian food? Wondering where to eat in Vienna? I strongly recommend trying the Nirvana restaurant in Vienna. An authentic Indian/ Asian restaurant serving vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals both. Although the restaurant is priced slightly on the higher side, so if on a budget you can skip this one. Else you should give it a try.
Although I visited other spots in the city also, these are my recommended spots from the Austrian capital for which I can even go back for & always love them! Don’t miss these places from Vienna for a lifetime of memories and a city to cherish forever.
Have only one day in Vienna? Check out this itinerary for spending a perfect day in Vienna.
Have you been Vienna yet? Would you like to see these places to visit in Vienna in 2 days? Do share your experience with me.
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– The Wanderer
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