48 Hours in Vienna: Top 10 Things To Do

48 Hours Vienna Things to Do weekend Vienna travel guide. Vienna top 10 things

Vienna has got to be one of the most cultured capital cities in Europe. It’s sophisticated in in simplicity and boasts two castles, classical music masters and some of the most beautiful architecture you’re ever likely to see, all without leaving the town center. But this is one place you will be rewarded for going further afield, because only a short drive away is the wine region of Wachau – and a wine tour is  always great way to spend a day! Weekend Vienna Travel Guide

Vienna 48 Hours Highlights Things 

RELATED: This is the sixth stop on my ‘Europe By Rail in 25 Days‘ Tour. Click the link to find out all about it! weekend Vienna travel guide

So you have a booked a weekend in Vienna and don’t have a clue where to start. Well I’m here to help you pack as much as possible into 48 hours. Obviously more time would be better – but I know longer trips are not possible for all – so lets work with what we have!

RELATED: Want to read about other cities you can hit in 48 hours – and the other stops on this Eurotrip? Read my posts on Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Krakow  and Budapest to get you started!

1. Schönbrunn Palace 48 hours Vienna highlights things weekend Vienna travel guide. Vienna Top 10 Things

Vienna 48 Hours Highlights Things

Oh to have a summer home! This 1441 room Baroque beauty used to be the Imperial Summer Residence for the Habsburg emperors and is one of the most important architectural, cultural and historical sites in Austria. Open daily, the are various types of tours available and if you want to spend a night like royalty you can spend a night in one of the palace suites!

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2. St Stephens Cathedral Vienna 48 hours highlights things

48 Hours Vienna Highlights Things

St Stephen’s Cathedral is a stunning Gothic structure that stands tall (136.44m tall!) above the rest of the city. If you’re feeling energetic, the 343 step climb to the top rewards you with spectacular views, or for the less active, guided tours of the cathedral and the catacombs are available for a small fee.

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3. Vienna Ring View weekend Vienna travel guide

48 Hours Vienna Highlights Things

A lot of Vienna’s main attractions are conveniently located on the Ringstrasse – a 5.3km road circling through the city and makes for the perfect walking route for those that like to wander around – and for those less active, the ringstrasse tram is a great alternative.

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4. Wiener Rathaus 48 hours Vienna highlights things weekend Vienna Travel Guide. Vienna Top 10 Things

48 Hours Vienna Highlights Things

The Rathaus is absolutely my favorite building in Vienna. The Wiener Rathaus (City Hall) is just stunning – like a fairy-tale castle in the middle of a city! Guided tours are available, and in winter, the forecourt is turned into an ice-rink. weekend Vienna travel guide Vienna top 10 things

**Tip – If you are planning on taking several guided tours – such as the ones referred to in this guide, the Vienna Card offers great savings**

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5. Church of Assisi 48 hours Vienna highlights things

48 Hours Vienna Highlights Things

Now this is like something out of a fairy-tale! And worth the walk for a quick pic if beautiful buildings peak your interest! If you’re struggling to find it, locals also refer to it as Kaiser Jubilee Church or the Mexico Church.

related: Looking for accommodation? Check out these recommendations of where to stay in Vienna

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6. Belvedere weekend vienna travel guide vienna top 10 things

48 Hours Vienna Highlights Things

Two palaces in one – the Belvedere complex is made up of The Orangery and the Palace Stables, which are home to Vienna largest medieval art collection, along with the worlds largest collection of works by Klimt.

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7. Prater 48 hours Vienna highlights things weekend Vienna travel guide. Vienna top 10 things

48 Hours Vienna Highlights Things

Prater is the largest – and most famous – public park in Vienna, and which in one corner is home to ‘Wurstelprater’ – the oldest amusement park in the world.  Boasting the famous Ferris wheel, the Weiner Riesenrad, built in 1897, it is one of Vienna’s most famous landmarks. Open between 10:00am – 01:00am each day, there is a nominal fee to ride this great attraction. It’s also a great alternative for that panoramic city shot if you didn’t feel like climbing the 343 steps to the top of St Stephen’s Cathedral! Weekend Vienna Travel Guide. Vienna Top 10 Things

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8. MUSEUMSQUARTIER 48 hours Vienna highlights things

48 Hours Vienna Highlights Things

Spread over an area of 60,000m2, there are over 70 cultural institutions and together they make up the 8th largest cultural area of the world. (Didn’t I say Vienna was all about the culture?!) Take your pick from art throughout the ages and in summer don’t forget to take a seat on the ‘Enzis‘ – the epitome of modern outdoor furniture – the latest incarnations now offer wifi and power points! – and are a ‘must-have experience’ when visiting the MuseumsQuartier.

Vienna 48 Hours Highlights Things

(c) https://www.mqw.at/en/about/mq-courtyards/

related: Traveling as a couple? Check out this post for tips on having a Romantic weekend in Vienna for Couples

9. Take in some Music History

48 Hours Vienna Highlights Things

Between Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn and Schubert, Austria has got your classical music needs covered! With museums dedicated to all, you could easily spend a few hours brushing up on your knowledge, or just wander through the perfectly manicured gardens that are dedicated to these masters. weekend Vienna travel guide. Vienna top 10 things

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10. go on a Winery Tour! 48 hours Vienna highlights things

With only 48 hours, I would ordinarily not suggest taking a 6-8 hour tour, but as Vienna is quite compact, it is easy to fit all of the above in (with planning and effort!) leaving you free to enjoy a taste of some great wines in the nearby Wachau Region. Tours can be taken either by bus – or if you are feeling energetic – by bicycle – and make for a great day out.

Related: Like wine? Check out my wine routes of Melbourne’s Yarra Valley – Did somebody say free wine and my ULTIMATE TOUR OF THE YARRA VALLEy! weekend Vienna travel guide Vienna top 10 things

48 Hours Vienna Highlights Things

So there you have it – my top picks and highlights for 48 hours in Vienna! Let me know if I have included your favorite spots – and let me know if there are any that I’ve missed!

Ready for the Next Stop: Venice top 10 highlights & things to do!

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Vienna 48 Hours Highlights Things  Vienna 48 Hours Highlights Things

Vienna 48 Hours Highlights ThingsVienna 48 Hours Highlights Things


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67 thoughts on “48 Hours in Vienna: Top 10 Things To Do

  1. Tom says:

    I like the way you included links, in every one of the items, to more information about that particular item, a somewhat no-brainer that I’ve seen so many fail to do. More importantly, you surveyed a wide variety of interests in that wonderful city.

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  2. Erika Bisbocci says:

    This post made me relive a trip I took to Vienna about 5 years ago and also made me realize how many places are already fading from my memory. Great recommendations! What a beautiful city! Another place I’d recommend if spending two days in the city is the Hundertwasserhaus for its unique architecture.

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  3. noel says:

    I love visiting Vienna and all the cultural treasures. I would have never thought of visiting wineries so that sounds like a novel idea to explore the areas outside of the city.

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  4. Sia says:

    Wow you’ve managed to do a lot in 48 hours! Vienna’s city center and most of the main sites are very conveniently located. I loved the rathaus and the palaces and.. well everything in my two visits.

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    • Vicki says:

      Hi Danielle – I do know the backstory to why it is called Mexico Church – but thought it might be a bit too wordy for the post! Basically, the square where the church sits was renamed Mexico Square in recognition of Mexico being the only country – apart from the Soviet Union – who protested the Anschluss of Austria to Nazi Germany. And so as that is where the church was located, it quickly became referred to as the ‘Mexico Church’. Interesting huh?!

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  5. Jem says:

    Wow! I love that picture of the garden with G-clef! Vienna is on top of my shortlist but I’m scheduling my Austrian visit in August next year because I also want to see the Salzburg Music Festival.

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  6. melody pittman says:

    This looks so awesome and I cannot wait to visit Vienna in the spring.I’ll be going via river cruise so not sure what activities our tour will include. You’ve given me wonderful things to look forward to and a great quick overview of what they all offer. Your pictures are fabulous!

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  7. Aimee says:

    I’ve never been to Vienna, but it’s always interested me especially since it continually comes up as one of the best cities in the world for expats. Also, had no idea it had such a great wine region (just googled Wachau). Thanks for the tips, will definitely use it if I ever visit.

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  8. John M. says:

    Vienna is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and you have definitely crossed off all of the must-see things to do. I’m hoping I’ll have the time to dedicate to a winery tour next time I visit. One can never have enough wine!

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  9. Mags says:

    Vienna looks amazing! I’ll be there soon. Unfortunately, I don’t have 48 hours, but only an 8 hour layover. I’m going to see how many of these spots I can hit in my limited time!

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  10. Anda says:

    I too spend only 48 hours in Vienna, Vicki, but I’d love to go back for more. There is so much to see and do there. Even if it’s just to walk on the streets and I’d still like to be there for at least a week.

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  11. Vyjay says:

    Vienna is absolutely fascinating. Vienna along with other cities of Eastern Europe have been on our bucket list for some time and we hope to embark on a tour of Eastern Europe soon. The scenes from the classic Sound of Music bring alive the charm of Vienna . There is so much to see, I think I would stay there at least for 3-4 days.

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    • Vicki says:

      Vienna is a lovely city – but if you’re looking to relive the Sound of Music, you’ll have to go to Salzburg. You can go to Sound of Music concerts in the famous music halls in Vienna, but there’s no scenes from the movies there.

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