What to do when you have 2 days in Vienna
After having a wild time at the Eurovision Song Contest when it was hosted in Austria’s bustling capital, we had 2 days in Vienna to explore the elegance of one of Europe’s most picturesque cities.
Vienna isn’t an enormous city and the transport system allows easy exploration to all of the main sites. Here are our top things to do in Vienna when you’re short on time.
See the Schönbrunn Palace
One of the top things to see in Vienna is the Schönbrunn Palace which is Vienna’s most visited tourist attraction attracting over 2 million people per year. Schönbrunn translates to ‘beautiful spring’, and the palace has over 1,441-rooms. The building was used as a former imperial summer residence.
The vast yellow building is regarded as an important architectural, cultural, and historical monument throughout Austria.
Since the mid-1950s, the Palace opened its doors to tourists. The history of the palace and its vast gardens spans over 300 years.
The continuous changes of the Palace grounds reflect the aspirations of successive Habsburg monarchs.
The grounds of the Palace are free to enter and the spectacular gardens are also free to roam around.
The gardens complex contain many attractions such as the Tiergarten, an orangerie, a palm house and over 32 sculptures which are scattered around the maze-like path.
In addition to tours of the palace grounds, visitors can attend many classical concerts that feature the music of Mozart
The Summer Night Concert Schönbrunn is held every year.
We spent around two hours exploring the grounds ourselves. The gardens are beautiful on a Spring/Summer’s day and it’s a great place to relax while you explore.
Tickets for official tours and concerts can be purchased at the official Schönbrunn Palace website.
Did you know Vienna is home to the world’s oldest amusement park? Enjoy Prater’s fun carnival atmosphere and spend one of the 2 days in Vienna exploring the area and having fun.
It is easy to refer to the “Wurstelprater” as ‘Prater’, probably because it’s easier for native English speakers.
The Wiener Prater is a large public park in Vienna’s 2nd district (Leopoldstadt). Wiener Parter refers to a wide park area consisting of Hauptallee (the main alley), the Krieau and the Praterstadium (Ernst Happel Stadium).
After opening its doors in 1766, the Wurstelprater is officially the oldest amusement park in the world.
Fees for individual attractions vary between €1.50 and € 5.00 depending on the size and the genre.
The giant Ferris wheel is known as the Wiener Riesenrad. It was built in 1897 and is one of Vienna’s well known landmarks.
The Viennese Ferris Wheel can be seen from a long distance and a ride on the irreplaceable structure is a must-do for Vienna visitors.
Get whipped upside down on the popular ‘Boomerang’ ride.
Have lots of fun at the Calypso Shop of Laughter.
Enjoy the colorful and historical decor as you soak in the sights and sounds of an almost 300 year old amusement park.
Built in 2010, the Praterturm is a new landmark at the Prater. The height of 117 meters makes the Praterturm the highest flying swing in the world making it a must-do for lovers of height and speed.
There’s even a traditional stein bar built out of logs at the back of the fairground attractions. A perfect pit stop for a relaxing refuel.
We visited Prater right after the Eurovision Song Contest and the Prater management had hopped on board the Conchita Wurst bandwagon by decorating their mermaid with a beard.
Enjoy being spooked on the Alt Wiener Ghost Train!
Get soaked on the number of exhilarating water rides throughout the park.
Enjoy cooling off on a hot day in the city. There really is something for everyone at Prater, Vienna.
The best time to go to Wurstelprater is out of season when all the children are at school. We stopped by in Mid-May and almost had the entire park to ourselves.
Visit the official Wurstelprater website for more information.
Pop along to Rathausplatz
Wiener Rathaus, The City Hall
Located on Rathausplatz in the Innere Stadt district, Vienna’s iconic City Hall was built in 1883 in a Neo-Gothic style. It’s a spectacular structure and the building houses the office of the Mayor of Vienna as well as the chambers of the city council.
Austrian Parliament Building
See the Austrian Parliament Building which is a significant structure housing the Austrian Parliament meeting. Four bronze statues of horse tamers line the entry outside along with the Athena Fountain (Pallas-Athene-Brunnen) which was built in the late 1800s.
Stop by the internationally renowned Burgtheater, formally known as K.K. Theater an der Burg. The Burgtheater was built in 1741 and is the National Theater of Austria. It is known as one of the most important German language theaters and locals refer to it as “die Burg” and missing it during your 2 days in Vienna would be a shame. The history and development of the performance arts has spawned a traditional style and speech which are globally recognized as Burgtheater performances.
Admire Michaelerplatz and the Hofburg Palace
Michalerplatz is an area in the center of Vienna shaped like a star. There are a number of remarkable baroque buildings here are well as public excavated ruins of a Roman wall and a historic village settlement.
The Michaelerplatz was designed around 1725 Around Michaelerplatz are a number of remarkable buildings. The 13th Century Hofburg Palace is among the beautiful buildings in the area which was once the the seat of power of the Habsburg dynasty rulers.
The strong architectural masterpieces have been reused over the centuries and now house modern companies such as the Wustenrot building.
Architecture of Stephansplatz and the Domkirche St. Stephan
Stephansplatz is a square at the geographical center of Vienna. It is named after the Stephansdom, which is Vienna’s cathedral and one of the tallest churches in the world.
The Baroque Pestsäule statue was erected after the Great Plague epidemic in 1679 and it is one of the most recognized sculptural pieces of art in the city.
Stephanplatz is also home to occasional market stalls with traditional wooden stands offering everything from craft work to Austria delicacies and beer.
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