2 days to visit Vienna, it's possible!

Visiting Vienna in two days is a challenge: there's so much culture, cafés and activities to discover in the Austrian capital! But there's no need to turn this into a Cornelian choice: to get a good overview of the city, you need to vary the pleasures. Enjoying the banks of the Danube, visiting a legendary landmark and sampling Vienna's culinary specialities all in the space of 48 hours is perfectly possible with a little organisation. The city is not overly large, and with the help of a good pair of shoes and a map, you can easily make the most of your stay. And if your accommodation is a bit far from the city centre, don't panic! The capital has excellent public transport links, with 5 metro lines, 127 bus routes and 29 tram lines.

© Mistervlad / Shutterstock

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Day 1: In the shoes of the imperial family

Morning at the Hofburg Palace followed by lunch on the go

A symbol par excellence of the splendour of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Hofburg Palace was the residence and seat of power of Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Sissi. Once inside, you can explore the monarchs' flats and offices. Their most beautiful outfits are also on display for visitors to see. In the Sisi Museum, you can even discover almost 300 objects that once belonged to the empress, so you really feel as if you are walking in her footsteps...

The Hofburg Palace A true city within a city, it has 18 buildings and houses the presidency of the Republic and the imperial flats.

- © Sina Ettmer Photography / Shutterstock

The ticket also includes a visit to the Court's silver collection, which features a variety of everyday objects and handicrafts. Finally, visitors who wish to do so can attend the elegant equestrian demonstration by the Spanish Riding School, at an additional cost. It's an institution that the town is trying to perpetuate.

A horse from the Spanish Riding School.

- © Igor Tichonow / Shutterstock

We still have a little time before lunch, so we're off to the magnificent Burggarten gardens. This lush park offers a breath of fresh air on hot, sunny summer days. We stopped in front of the majestic statue of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Impossible to miss, a flowerbed in the shape of a treble clef sits proudly in front of this sublime monument.

The Mozart statue in the Burggarten gardens.

- © hans engbers / Shutterstock

Walking through the luxurious corridors of the Hofburg Palace and the gardens of the Burggarten is a must! We decided to have dinner on the famous town hall square, Rathausplatz, which is packed with small bars and restaurants during the summer. Locals and tourists alike come here to sip a cold beer (in moderation, of course) and eat a delicious sausage on the go.

Rathausplatz during the Vienna International Film Festival.

- © Maciej Bledowski / Shutterstock

Afternoon at Schönbrunn Palace, the Viennese Versailles

Having become an icon thanks to Romy Schneider's brilliant performance, Empress Sissi left an indelible mark on the Austrian capital. Schönbrunn Palace was home to her and her husband Franz Joseph. A visit here is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the extraordinary life of one of history's most legendary couples! From the Empress's drawing room to her husband's study, via the castle grounds and its majestic gardens, the Austrian Versailles is a must-see when visiting Vienna.

Schönbrunn Palace.

- © Mistervlad / Shutterstock

Visitors in search of a sweet snack can head to Café Gloriette, where exceptional pastries and coffees await you in an ideal, atypical setting.

The Gloriette at Schönbrunn Palace.

- © Triff / Shutterstock

After the tour, return to the city centre via the Karlskirche, built between 1713 and 1737 at the request of Emperor Charles VI, to admire its imposing Baroque architecture. While we were in the area, we took the opportunity to admire the façade of the sumptuous Vienna Opera House. Unfortunately, we don't have time to visit it today, but we promise to come back.

The Vienna Opera.

- © TTstudio / Shutterstock

To round off the day, head to the 'Rote bar' restaurant at the 5*Hotel Sacher for dinner. A veritable institution, it will delight your taste buds with breathtaking Viennese sweet and savoury specialities, some of which were eaten by the Habsburgs! The Sacher company also owns other cafés and restaurants in the city, but we chose this one because it's where we'll be spending the night.

Hotel Sacher Wien 5* Vienna

Hotel Sacher Wien 5*

This 5-star hotel is one of the most legendary in Vienna! Restaurant, spa and incredible rooms await you.
9.5 Exceptional
£522 / night

Day 2: Discovering "modern" Vienna

A colourful morning at the Hundertwasserhaus

Now that we've had our fill of historical culture, we're ready to immerse ourselves in a more modern Vienna that's always on the move. To get the day off to a good start, it's time to visit the Hundertwasserhaus, undoubtedlyone of the city's greatest sights. This house may remind you of certain masterpieces by the Catalan architect Gaudí, but the Hundertwasserhaus was actually designed by an Austrian architect, the Viennese painter Friedensreich Hundertwasser, who wanted to protest against the monotony of urban construction and break away from an overly 'serious' style.

La Hundertwasser House.

- © Mistervlad / Shutterstock

We took the opportunity to visit KunstHaus Wien, Hundertwasser's museum, which exhibits many of the artist' s works as well as temporary exhibitions. It's not far from the banks of the Danube, so we decided to take a quick look around before having lunch at the Kunst und Café, on the ground floor of the Hundertwasserhaus.

The banks of the Danube in Vienna.

- © Cristi Croitoru / Shutterstock

Afternoon shopping and museums

After lunch, head to the not-to-be-missed Naschmarkt for some shopping and souvenirs. Located between Karlsplatz and Kettenbrückengasse underground stations, this is Vienna's best-known market, with 120 stalls, bars and restaurants. At weekends, DJs provide the entertainment. This is the place to be if you want to get a glimpse of everyday Viennese life.

Le Naschmarkt.

- © 4kclips / Shutterstock

Then it's on to the MuseumsQuartier, where you can satisfy all your cultural desires. Straddling historic buildings such as the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Austrian Art History, and more recent buildings such as the Mumok, home to the finest works ofmodern art, it's impossible not to find something to suit your taste! Of course, it's impossible to visit all these museums in just a few hours, but we won't tell you which one we chose... we wouldn't want to influence your choice!

Le MuseumsQuartier.

- © Radu Bercan / Shutterstock

To round off the day in style, head to a rooftop with a panoramic view for a drink. Just a stone's throw from the MuseumsQuartier is the25 hours 4*hotel, home to the Der Dachboden bar. Here, guests can sip top-quality cocktails in a warm atmosphere. The Viennese love to frequent this highly successful bar. It is in this modern and comfortable hotel that we will spend our second and last night in Vienna.

25hours 4* Hotel Vienna

25hours 4* Hotel

With its restaurant, spa and retro yet modern décor combined with circus-themed decorative elements, this 4-star hotel offers a unique experience in Vienna.
8.6 Superb
£127 / night
by Jude JONES
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Further reading
Where to stay in Vienna? Our top 9 accommodation options
Where to stay in Vienna? Our top 9 accommodation options
Are you wondering where to stay during your next visit to Austria's capital? It's not always easy to find a place that suits you, with the myriad choices on offer. As in all capitals,...
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