48 Hours in Vienna: Things To Do, Where To Stay & Where To Eat

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

Thinking about a weekend break in Vienna? You won’t be disappointed! My city guides cover what to do in 48 hours – but don’t include travel time. So make sure you you book and extra night (or a super early flight! – Momondo is my fave if you’re looking!) to make sure you have the best 48 Hours in Vienna that you can! Long Weekend Vienna 48 Hours Vienna

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

48 Hours in Vienna 

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 guide48 hours in Vienna

long weekend Guide to 48 hours in Vienna

– Things To Do, Where To Stay & Where to Eat!

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. (Or a long weekend!) 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!


Top things to do in Vienna

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!

Click to find out more about  this UNESCO World Heritage Site


2. St Stephens Cathedral 48 hours Vienna

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.


3. Vienna Ring View weekend Vienna travel guide

48 Hours Vienna Highlights Things

A lot of Vienna’s main attractions, such as the Vienna State Opera, Rathaus and Imperial Palace  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.


4. Wiener Rathaus 48 hours Vienna 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**


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.

The Church of Assisi isn’t the only beautiful Religious building in Vienna, if you have any extra time, why not visit Melk Abbey? It’s a photographers dream!


6. Belvedere weekend Vienna  Vienna top 10 things to do

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. 48 Hours in Vienna



7. Prater 48 hours Vienna 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


8. MUSEUMSQUARTIER 48 hours Vienna highlights

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

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


10. go on a Winery Tour! 48 hours Vienna

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


Where to Stay 48 Hours Vienna

These are my top 3 options in each price bracket, to read the full post head on over to my ULTIMATE GUIDE TO WHERE TO STAY IN VIENNA – THE BEST HOTELS AND HOSTELS TO SUIT EVERY BUDGET. We’ll have the perfect hotel for you picked out in no time!

Where to Stay In Vienna - Best Hotels in Vienna

The Gueshouse - Luxury Stay ($200+ per night)

If you are looking for contemporary luxury, this design hotel oozes the simple elegance that only clean lines, beautiful interiors and state of the art in-room appliances can offer. Each room comes complete with a Bang & Olufsen TV and audio system, an espresso machine and wine fridge. And beer, wine and soft drinks are complimentary throughout your stay.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews
Where to Stay In Vienna - Best Hotels in Vienna

Ruby Marie Hotel - Mid-Range Stay ($100-$200 per night)

The modern rooms are air-conditioned and come with a tablet computer, a flat-screen satellite TV, a modern sound system with Marshall amplifiers, a safe, and a bathroom with a rain shower. The Ruby Marie Hotel´s laid back bar and rooftop terrace is open 24/7 and also functions as the property's reception.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews
Where to Stay In Vienna - Budget Hotels in Vienna

Motel One Wien-Hauptbahnhof - Budget Stay (<$100 per night)

Opened in May 2015, Motel One Wien-Hauptbahnhof is located right next to Vienna's Main Train Station. The modern rooms are air-conditioned and equipped with a flat-screen TV and a bathroom and guests can enjoy the on-site bar and benefit from free WiFi. The public areas are spacious, well decorated and offer opportunities for guests to relax in the bar, lounge and terrace areas without every feeling crowded.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews


Where to Eat 48 Hours in Vienna

Day-to-Day Eats Where to eat
  • Tunnel – Young and laid back, this restaurant-live music hybrid offers a large menu with reasonable prices.
  • Pizzeria Mafiosi – Looking for an Italian bite to eat, Piazza Mafiosi offers pizza and pasta dishes for as low as 6 Euro! (the website is only available in German, luckily pizza can be easily translated)
  • Esterházykeller Another menu to translate – but with Austrian meals at under 8 Euro, it definitely worth the effort!
  • Schachtelwirt – Traditional Austria fare with a contemporary twist, their dishes are a work of art, and they offer a new creative menu each week.
  • Zur Eisernen Zeit – A Small menu filled with local specialties, many say this place serves the best beef goulash in all of Vienna.
Luxury Eats where to eat
  • LocaMichelin Star dining in the heart of Vienna – reservations in advance are a must!
  • Steirereck 2 Michelin Stars and a varied menu showcasing diverse Austrian Fare.
  • Restaurant Rote Bar –  With sumptuous red decor and some of the most attentive service in Austria, Restaurant Rote Bar is perfect for special occasion dining – or whenever you want to feel like royalty!

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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80 thoughts on “48 Hours in Vienna: Things To Do, Where To Stay & Where To Eat

  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.

    • Vicki says:

      Thanks Tom – I think to think of these posts as a starting point where people can delve a little deeper if there is something they like to look of!

  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.

  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.

    • Vicki says:

      Hi Noel – I’m afraid wine is a weakness of mine, and was probably one of the first things I looked at to do! 😉

  4. Anne says:

    I once went to Vienna on a work convention and somehow managed to miss most of these apart from the wheel. Time to go back maybe?

  5. 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.

  6. Danielle Des says:

    I love beautiful architecture so Mexico Church would be a photo stop for me. Can you go inside? Do you know why it’s also named Mexico Church when its in Vienna, sounds like an interesting back story.

    • 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?!

  7. 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.

  8. Rebecca says:

    Vienna is one of my favorite cities, especially for the music. I remember a night in the park watching couples waltzing. It was just amazing. I would love to see the Church of Assisi.

  9. 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!

  10. Natalie Deduck says:

    My Husband and I are planning our way to Europe on January, and Vienna is on our itinerary. It will be winter, but I hope I can visit the places you mentioned, they look stunning. Really excited to see the city covered in snow.



  11. Mar Pages says:

    The Church of Assisi looks absolutely breathtaking! I can’t believe I haven’t heard of or seen more of it. There is a quiet beauty to Vienna that I loved when I was there.

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. Kenny says:

    The Architecture in Vienna is simply amazing – thanks a lot for the ideas and I am looking forward to riding on the Weiner Riesenrad!

  15. Lolo says:

    Ahh Vienna! Lovely pictures! Vienna will always have a special place in my heart since that’s where my fiance proposed this year! #TheWeeklyPostcard

  16. 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!

    • Vicki says:

      Good Luck Mags! You should be able to get to all the city center ones – think the winery tour might be off the agenda though 😉

  17. 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.

  18. Rob Taylor says:

    Vienna is so grand. Everywhere. It’s really quite impressive that in 48 hours you can peek at so much granduer!

  19. 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.

    • 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.

  20. Gokul Raj says:

    The architecture is just WOW. I am not sure if it is the design or the angle of your shot, those cathedrals are really scary. Looks like houses of supervillians in movies 😛

  21. Only By Land says:

    I was in Vienna and I visited and the places you mentioned except the winery tour and park. I am impressed with your photos,they came out brilliant, I took most of my pics with a fish eye so they are different and it was snowing too. You picked 3 excellent different prices hotels too.

  22. Naomi says:

    Vienna will be one of my stops on my train route to Istanbul and I gave it 2 nights so I hope I have enough time to do all those things! I do need to calculate time for all the wiener melange and wiener sachertorte to eat and drink too! I love the little Assisi Church so I definately need to find that one! thanks for the tips!

  23. Janine Good says:

    I adored Vienna. It is one of my favourite European cities. I spent a bit of leisurely time at Mozart’s statue just relaxing and reading nearby as the weather so nice. I enjoyed seeing Schonbrunn Palace and have some very memorable photos with my husband there. While there I ate many a slice of Sacher torte and had Viennese coffee by the cup. I can’t wait to go back and see more of landmarks you mention, especially the cathedrals.

  24. Jean says:

    OH Vicki your photos are amazing! I’ve always wanted to see Vienna but now I’m desperate too. I don’t know if 48hours would be enough time for me to walk around and embrace all these magical palaces. We just don’t get that kind of beauty in our buildings in Australia.

  25. Ticking the Bucketlist says:

    We spent 2 days in Vienna as well….and did a lot on your list…but missed out some places that we would have loved to go to…like Prater. I guess Prater is super if you have a kid…isnt it? My favourite part was Schonbrunn…it was awesome, with the zoo and the animals and the maze…I spent half an hour there!

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