2 Day Itinerary in Vienna: Things to Do
Vienna has an important geographical location. Founded south of the Danube River, the city has grown and grown with the addition of new buildings over time. Since Vienna has been the center of various empires and dynasties throughout its history, it has inherited many artistic elements.
- How to visit Vienna?
- Albertina Museum
- Imperial Crypt Royal Crypt
- Hofburg Imperial Palace
- Neue Burg
- Austrian Parliament Building
- 2. Day
- Votiv Church
- Museum of the Institute of Pathological Anatomy
- Things to Know Before Traveling to Vienna
- How is transportation in Vienna?
- Getting from Vienna Airport to the city center:
- When to visit Vienna and how many days to stay?
- Where to stay in Vienna?
- Where is Vienna?
Great palaces are among the most important legacies of the dynasty. The association of important names in painting, sculpture and music with Vienna has made it a preferred city for art.
How to visit Vienna?
Vienna is a big art city and of course you have to make your own plan according to the number of days you will stay and where you will stay. There are some palaces or art museums that can take a day. Even in 6 days you may not finish your Vienna trip. This route is completely shaped according to your interest. I hope these two-day Vienna travel guide articles will be useful for you.
Vienna is about 1.5 hours away by plane from Istanbul. When we land at Flughafen Wien Vienna Airport, located in the south of Vienna, we get a Vienna Pass card, which we purchased online while planning our trip to Vienna. The Vienna Pass card, together with the transportation card, allows you to enter more than 60 museums for free and use public transportation for as long as the day you purchase it.
The first stop of the day is the Albertina Museum. The museum is located next to a popular square called Albertplatz. The museum contains many paintings, so if you like art, painting and paintings, Vienna will satisfy you completely.
Imperial Crypt Royal Crypt
This cemetery, which is a 3-minute walk from Albertina, is a cemetery where only members of the House of Habsburg are buried. In the Imperial Crypt, located under a church, you can see the sarcophagi of important figures such as emperors and empresses of the period. The sarcophagi are very ornate and flamboyant, reflecting the importance of the people.
St. Stephan’s Cathedral (Stephansdom), one of the most important buildings in the center of Vienna, is a must-see for its exterior architecture. During the Ottoman siege of Vienna, it served as a refuge for the people of Vienna. When the Ottomans withdrew from Vienna, they erected a statue reflecting this in the garden. The roof of the cathedral, which has many carriages waiting in front of it, is also worth seeing, because instead of a standard roof we can see in a cathedral, this one has a roof decorated with different motifs.
After Stephansdom, we head towards the area where the palaces of the old dynasties are located, among the ornate buildings. Our destination is Michaelerplatz. On the way we see the plague monument, which seems to have a complex structure. The plague monument is a monument that you can see in many parts of Austria, because the plague took many lives in these lands in the 17th century. In order for the people not to forget the plague, sculptures like this were built in the plague-stricken lands.
As we walk along Kohlmarkt street to Michaelerplatz, we can’t not mention the Demel Patisserie on the right. This place is one of the Viennese rituals. The first floor is the kitchen and chocolate section. We had a coffee and something to eat upstairs. The prices seem expensive because they are in euro. For example, an earl grey tea is 4,50€, cafe latte is 5€, annatorte is 4,70€. If you like cafes and wonder where to eat in Vienna, we recommend this place. Cafe Demel, one of the most preferred cafes in Vienna, was founded in the 18th century and served the Hofburg palace kitchen. Among the places to go in Vienna, there is also Cafe Central on Herrengasse, which is very popular and can have long queues. Since we are talking about the famous cafes in Vienna, we should not miss Cafe Mozart, which is close to the Albertina Museum. At least have a coffee here. Of course, the coffee shops in Vienna are endless, you can come across many different coffee shops, each one more elegant than the other. Coffee was introduced to western culture thanks to the Ottomans. After the Siege of Vienna, the Ottomans left all their ammunition in Vienna, including coffee sacks.
Michaelerplatz is the beginning of many museums and important historical buildings and palaces of the Hofburg Empire, which are among the places to visit in Vienna. Even in the square, if you look around you can see important historical values. While the green-domed royal palace awaits our entrance, we cannot ignore the 13th century St. Michael’s Church. In the middle of Michaelplatz, we come across an excavated archaeological site dating back to Roman times. The archaeological site is open to the public in the middle of the square.
Hofburg Imperial Palace
The Hofburg Imperial Palace was used as a home by the leading people of the Austro Hungarian Empire. Calling it a house is a bit of an understatement, it was used as a winter mansion. Schönbrunn Palace was also used as a summer residence by members of the same dynasty. The Hofburg Imperial Palace, where Marie Antoinette, one of the French queens, was born, is now used as a museum and consists of various sections. The Sisi Museum, dedicated to Empress Elisabeth, popularly known as Sisi, where you can see the empress’s glamorous clothes as well as the knife that led to her tragic death and many other items related to her life, the Silver Collection, where silver, most of which was melted down and sold during the wars, is exhibited, and the not-so-flamboyant decorative rooms belonging to the dynasty. You can enter the Hofburg Imperial Palace for free if you have a Vienna Pass.
The front of the palace is surrounded by horse-drawn carriages, which also serve as taxis and short sightseeing tours. When we entered through the large gate of the palace, we spent a lot of time before going to the back courtyard. There is a very pleasant and ornate gate. You can catch beautiful images as the carriages also pass through here. After passing through the gate, we go to a big courtyard with a statue of the Austrian Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph in the center.
Then we continue through the three-eyed gate and open onto a large square called Heidenplatz. If you are tired of the expensive water in Europe, there is a drinking fountain on the right side of the square. You can fill your water supplies. The big building on the left behind the statue of Prince General Eugen of Savoy is the Neue Burg. This palace was built when Franz Joseph II wanted to expand the Habsburg Palace. Construction continued until World War I, but work was halted when the war broke out. Although it was built as a palace, this building, which was never used as a palace, was used as a museum when it was active.
The building has different collections within itself. One of them is the War Equipment and Armor Collection. It has a large collection of war materials collected from various parts of Europe. In the Historical Musical Instruments Collection, you can see historical musical instruments and musical instruments played by celebrities. And the Ephesus Museum. What’s the connection, right? At the end of the 19th century, Austrian archaeologists brought archaeological artifacts they found from Turkey and Greece. Don’t get me wrong, these are not stolen. They were transported with the permission of those in charge at the time. The majority of these artifacts are sculptures brought from the ancient city of Ephesus, which is why the museum is called the Ephesos Museum. The Parthian Monument and the Amazon statue on the altar of the Temple of Artemis are among the most interesting archaeological artifacts of the museum.
Large areas in this neighborhood are adorned with statues of the names that left their mark on the Austro Hungarian Empire. Continuing on Heidenplatz, we come across a monument of Maria Theresia. Maria Theresia was the sole ruler of the Habsburg Dynasty in the 18th century. On either side of this statue are Vienna’s two great museums. On one side is the Vienna Museum of Natural History, which presents artifacts that are a testament to millions of years of life. Million-year-old animals, dinosaurs, plants, fossils, meteorites that hit the earth, even samples from the surface of the moon and Mars, extinct stuffed animals and much more. It is really a very large-scale museum. On the other side is the Vienna Museum of Art History. One of the world’s leading museums in the field of fine arts, this museum houses paintings by famous names such as Rubens, Johannes Vermeer, Raphael, Jan van Eyck, Pieter Brueghei as well as important collections.
Everywhere you step in this area, you come across a very important museum. Continuing on our way, we arrive at MuseumsQuartier, where two museums and several exhibition halls are located together. Mumok, the black-colored museum on the right, and the Leopold Museum on the left, which mainly features paintings by Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt. Especially in the Leopold Museum, there are important artifacts as in many other museums.
Austrian Parliament Building
Located on the Dr. Karl Renner Ring, the former parliament building of Austria is one of the historical buildings that can be seen on the way. Reminiscent of the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument in Rome, the building serves as the Museum of Living Political History. It is possible to see the former parliament inside. The building was completed in 1883. It was used as a parliament for many years, but it was first decided to demolish it because the new parliament building would overshadow the new one with its majesty, but then it was decided to preserve it and the new building should be built in another location. The outside is beautiful, but the inside is not worth spending time in my opinion.
The park opposite the parliament building is actually part of the Hofburg Palace. Its name is Volksgarten, which means Garden of the People. Before this park was built in the 1820s, there were fortifications here, but they were destroyed by Napoleon’s French troops. The park is an ordinary park with flowers, but it is one of the parks where you can breathe and rest your legs tired from walking. There are several buildings to see inside. One of them is the Temple of Theseus, a replica of the Temple of Hephaestus in Athens.
The places we visited today were the lands where the royal family that ruled the Austro Hungarian Empire lived. We can say that it was a fast and tiring trip for the first day. For our second day in Vienna, let’s take you to our Vienna Travel Guide Day 2 page.
On the second day of this Vienna travel guide, we will do some sightseeing, but not too far from the center. Our route will start from Schönbrunn Palace on this second day. Schönbrunn is the farthest historical building from the center among the places we will visit in Vienna.
Schönbrunn and Belvedere Palaces
Schönbrunn Palace is one of the biggest palaces in Vienna and you should spend a couple of hours here. Because it is more than a palace, there is the Schönbrunn Zoo, the famous ornate gardens of the palace and a building called Gloriette 750 meters away from the palace. You can experience both history and nature at the same time.
After Schönbrunn Palace, the next destination is Belvedere Palace, another grand palace. This palace is where the Ottomans signed the Treaty of Carlofça. This palace also has beautiful gardens. The palace is divided into two parts, the Lower Belvedere and the Upper Belvedere. Palace objects, paintings by important artists are the most important artifacts of the palace, of course we cannot ignore the magnificent architecture of the palace.
From the Belvedere Palace, we go close to the historical buildings we visited on the first day of the Vienna tour. There are some objects that stand out and become popular in Vienna. One of them is Mozart. In every souvenir shop, you will definitely see toys representing Mozart. Because Vienna hosted Mozart for a few years. The house where Mozart lived is open to visitors today as a museum. Apart from a few documents and objects, the only thing you can see about Mozart is the apartment where Mozart lived. You need to lower your expectations about Mozart House Museum.
Let’s stop by the Votiv Church behind the University of Vienna, because it has a nice architecture. It was built by the then Emperor Franz Joseph’s brother Archduke Ferdinand to thank God after an assassination in which he survived. The church’s slender and naive towers, nearly 100 meters long, are the most striking structures. Be sure to see this Gothic style church on your trip to Vienna. If you want to enter the church located at Rooseveltplatz 8, you have to pay 4€. The church is next to Sigmund Freud Park.
Museum of the Institute of Pathological Anatomy
When we move towards the back of the church, we see a building with a rounded facade right next to what used to be the Vienna Hospital, but is now a university campus. The building is called Narrenturm and today it is used as the Museum of the Institute of Pathological Anatomy (Federal Pathologic-Anatomical Museum). Built during the reign of Emperor Franz II, the building was originally intended to be a hospital or prison for the mentally ill. As the name suggests, the museum is more focused on diseases. It is possible to see the dimensions of diseases in detail. The museum can only be visited on Wednesdays and Saturdays. If you don’t know Germany, you may have difficulty understanding what is what.
Speaking of Sigmund Freud; Sigmund Freud has the same popularity as Mozart. Sigmund Freud’s house and office on Berggasse in the Innere Stadt district are open to visitors. In the Sigmund Freud Museum you can see Freud’s books, his belongings and some of the furniture he used.
From the Innere Stadt district we head towards the Leopoldstadt district. Here is the Madame Tussauds Museum Vienna, a branch of which has recently opened in Istanbul. The area where the museum is located used to be a royal park. Then it was opened to the public and an amusement park was built, we will get there. Madame Tussauds Museum has an entrance fee of over 20€. If you don’t have a Vienna Pass card, there is no need to spend that much money. There are very realistic wax statues of celebrities inside. In keeping with the Madame Tussauds concept, there are world famous people as well as Viennese artists, athletes or scientists.
When you leave the museum, you will find your city in a state of great excitement. Prater Amusement Park is an amusement park with spectacular lighting at night. There are many kinds of rides from Ferris wheel to water slides, from high swings to roller coasters, entrance to Prater is free, but if you want to use the rides inside you need to buy separate tickets for each one. We rode the historic Ferris wheel at the beginning of the Prater Amusement Park. It is 65 meters high, which is a good height. I can’t say that you can watch the view of Vienna, because when you get to the top, what you see are just buildings, the amusement park looks much more fun from above. Oh, and the water skiing was quite enjoyable.
When we finished our entertainment in Prater, I would like to mention two buildings on the Weissgerber side with different architecture from the architecture of the city. These are KunstHausWien and HundertwasserHaus. Both buildings were designed by an Austrian artist named Hundertwasser. With its unusual decorative elements and trapezoidal facade, it has become one of the must-see places for tourists when they visit Vienna. Imagine a building with trees coming out of the windows, it’s like that. Since you can see this place from the outside, you don’t have to worry about the time and catching up.
If you have a Vienna Pass, you can enjoy many museums and events in Vienna for free. One of them is City Cruises Vienna. The normal price is around 22€ for adults. You take a ferry trip on a canal of the Danube River. Since we have a Vienna Pass city card, we decided to check it out, but we didn’t enjoy this trip very much, I can say that we wasted about two hours. I definitely don’t recommend it, you have to reach Schwedenplatz to get to where the ferry departs.
I would like to emphasize again that if you are planning a two-day plan like this, you should not enter some museums and palaces. Depending on your interest, you can eliminate some of the palaces where palace objects are exhibited or some of the art museums. You need to spend at least 3 days and divide this two-day plan into 3 days.
Things to Know Before Traveling to Vienna
If you are planning a trip to Vienna, it is worth taking a look at what you need to know about Vienna. Vienna is the capital of Austria. It is the smallest but the most crowded city in Austria. But if you go in spring, you can visit it comfortably. Most of its streets are lined with historical buildings. With its ornate apartments, statues of important figures in Vienna’s history and world-famous museums, it can be a place you can love.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, there was a failed siege attempt by the Ottomans. Vienna accepted the retreat of the Ottoman Empire as a defeat, and to immortalize this defeat, you can see the statue depicting an Ottoman soldier trampling underfoot next to St. Stephan’s Cathedral. After the Siege of Vienna II, the Ottoman Empire entered a period of decline.
Vienna’s historic city center is the Innere Stadt, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This district is where history lives. Except for a few palaces in the neighborhood, if we consider the historical streets, everything from the royal period is in this region. The first district of Vienna, the Innere Stadt district, where the Hofburg Imperial Palace and its surroundings are located, started to be expanded after 1850. Leopoldstadt, where Prater Park and the amusement park are located, Landstrasse, where Belvedere Palace is located, and Wieden, where Karl’s Church is located. In this way, it has become a city of 23 districts today.
Turks are really numerous in Vienna. In cafes, in taxis, on the streets, you are likely to come across both local Turks and Turks who have gone on a trip like us. Their official language is German. This city full of art is also passionate about opera. Opera events are always full, and if you want to follow the opera in Vienna and buy tickets, you can follow the opera shows at Vienna Concerts and Wiener Staatsoper. But since the prices are in euros, they are very expensive. There is also the option to watch standing instead of sitting, this is the cheapest option, keep in mind. But if you are going, make your reservation in advance. The people of Vienna show great interest in the opera. In front of the opera house, for those who don’t have money, can’t find a seat or somehow can’t get inside, the show is broadcasted on big TVs. People can also sit on the sidewalk and watch these plays. Do you see the appreciation of art? Maybe it is the passion for art, Vienna has been ranked by Mercer, the world’s largest HR consultancy, as one of the world’s most livable cities, ranking first in the Standard of Living Ranking 8 times in 19 years.
We keep saying everywhere that Vienna is a city of art. For this reason, there are some names you should know and research before going to Vienna. Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, Beethoven and Mozart, the masters of classical music, Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele, the kings of art… These are the people who were born in Vienna, some of whom moved to Vienna and spent a significant part of their lives here and contributed to the history of art.
How is transportation in Vienna?
Since Vienna is one of the most developed cities in Europe, transportation is not a problem. Every place to visit and see in Vienna is easily accessible by public transportation. The main lines can be reached quickly with the U-bahn, a subway with 5 lines from U1 to U5, and less popular spots can be reached by tram or bus depending on the condition of the roads. But you rarely need public transportation in Vienna. Most places are within walking distance of each other. You can buy a single ticket for Vienna city transportation for €2,20, or you can buy a 24h, 48h or 72h card. You can buy these tickets from the ticket machines at the metro stations or from tobacco shops that sell tobacco products labeled Tabacco like Tekel in our country.
Once you get on the public transportation, you have to scan the tickets into the devices in the vehicles and make sure that the date and time are printed on the tickets. No one checked us during our trip to Vienna, but if you are caught with an unprinted ticket or without a ticket, you may be fined. Therefore, do not throw your ticket away. Do not print the ticket every time you get on, otherwise the date and time on it will be unreadable due to the overlapping of the letters, print it once. You have the right to use it as long as it is valid. You can get free or discounted entrance to museums by purchasing the Vienna City Card and Vienna Pass, and you can use the transportation unlimitedly for the validity period of the card.
Getting from Vienna Airport to the city center:
Vienna International Airport is Flughafen Wien in Schwechat. If you are flying to Vienna from Istanbul, this is where you will land. You can use the S-Bahn (subway) to get from Vienna Airport to the city center. For a fare of 4€, you can reach the center in about half an hour. You can take the CAT (City Airport Train), which is a fast train, but the ticket price of the fast train is about 3 times more expensive. It costs 11€ one way and 19€ two ways. Bus transportation is also possible. After leaving the airport, you can take the buses similar to Havabus in our country and reach the city center for 8€.
When to visit Vienna and how many days to stay?
Like every big city in Europe, visiting Vienna around Christmas and New Year’s Eve will give you the chance to see more color and beauty than you will see all year round. The streets of Vienna are lively with Christmas Markets, and the snow on the ground will make it even better. Spring is the most comfortable time in Vienna. Since people around the world generally prefer summer for their vacations, the crowds of people in the summer months are not seen in other months.
Vienna is the center of schnitzel in Europe, and your stay may vary depending on the museums you visit. But if you are a good museum traveler or even if you like to visit the palaces without going inside, 1 day is not enough. You need to spend at least two days. If you are planning a 2-day tour, you need to get some museums out of the way quickly. If you are planning to visit in 4 days, I can say that 4 days is enough. If you want to know what to do and where to visit in Vienna, you can check our Vienna places to visit page.
Where to stay in Vienna?
Vienna is an expensive city and if you are going to stay in Vienna, you need to spend some money. While the city center is higher, prices drop as you move away from the city. But don’t expect a super drop. You can use tent camping or caravan sites to make your accommodation cheaper. If you go with your tent or caravan, take a look at Camping Wien campground.
Where is Vienna?
Actually, Vienna is in an ideal location for those traveling around Europe. Just east of it is Bratislava. Budapest, Prague, Cesky Krumlov, Salzburg, Linz, Graz and Hallsstatt in Austria are all within a few hours by bus. Therefore, if you are going to Vienna, you can prepare a comprehensive tour program. We rented a car for a 9-day tour of Austria and had the chance to see many parts of Austria and Brasitlava.