Vienna, Austria is known as the City of Music, with musical influences such as Mozart and Beethoven weaved through the city. Vienna has so much to see and do that putting together 2 days in Vienna itinerary can be overwhelming. But, we have outlined the best things to do in Vienna for a weekend or 48 hours in Vienna to hopefully make your trip planning easier.
Vienna is the capital of Austria and situated along the Danube river. This city is full of history, museums, architecture and a massive amount of places to visit. We tried to narrow it down in this Vienna itinerary to hit all the highlights of what to see in Vienna with kids!
What You'll Find in This Post
- Top 10 Things to Do in Vienna with Kids
- Day 1: Schonbrunn Palace, Old Town, Butterfly House, and State Opera House
- Day 2: House of Music, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Burggarten, and Museum Quarter
- Where to Stay in Vienna
- Map of 2 Day Vienna Itinerary
- Other Vienna Attractions
- Vienna Travel Tips
- Day Trips from Vienna
- Best time to visit Vienna
Top 10 Things to Do in Vienna with Kids
Day 1: Schonbrunn Palace, Old Town, Butterfly House, and State Opera House
1. Schönbrunn Palace
Schonbrunn Palace is one of the top things to do in Vienna! Step back in time at this UNESCO World Heritage site to see what life was like for the imperial monarchy living in this grand palace. The palace is magnificent in every way that you could imagine, with top to bottom elegant details as you go through every room.
2. Schönbrunn Botanical Gardens
After you have finished viewing the inside of the Schönbrunn Palace, there are huge gardens behind for you to walk around and explore with your palace admission ticket. Walk among carefully manicured gardens and water features scatter throughout the walking paths.
3. Children’s Museum at Schönbrunn Palace
Located right beside the Palace is a very cool interactive museum for kids to explore, play and dress up like the monarchs of the time. The children’s museum was one of the fun things to do in Vienna with kids, so much so that they didn’t want to leave.
I highly recommend to do this with kids in Vienna, and do this after you have seen the Palace so they have something to look forward to since sometimes the Palace itself can be less entertaining for kids. Little ones will love that they can touch everything in the museum and not get in trouble.
You can spend all day at the Palace exploring other places like the Maze with the Labyrinth and Labyrinthikon playground and Schloss Hof in the Marchfeld (they have a shuttle service to take you to this location.) One thing I wish I knew about before was the Strudel Show and tastings! But, we only spent the morning exploring the palace, museum and gardens to make the most of our Vienna 2 day itinerary.
Schönbrunn Palace Tips:
- There are a couple of different options for seeing the Schönbrunn Palace, either on your own through the Imperial tour of 22 rooms or the Grand tour of 40 rooms, these are both with audio tours.
- We went with the family pass to get entrance into Schonbrunn Palace (22 rooms) and the Children’s Museum at Schönbrunn Palace. Get your tickets here in advance and save time with the queue that can sometimes take up to 3-4 hours for your tickets.
- Another option is to go with a guided tour around the Palace and the gardens, which you can check out some options here.
- If you have purchased tickets ahead of time with BigBus or the Vienna Pass, you will go to a different entrance to retrieve your passes for admission, just look for the signs at the palace.
Going to Schonbrunn Palace is one of the best places to visit in Vienna, and a must see while visiting the city.
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4. Vienna’s Old Town (Innere Stadt)
Head down toward the Innere Stadt (Inner City) by the Vienna State Opera house and enjoy the center of the city. Walk along the streets and enjoy the architecture and buildings located in the city center.
5. Butterfly House (Schmetterlinghaus)
Located within walking distance is the Butterfly House at the Palm House in Burggarten which a beautiful art nouveau structure. This indoor buttery house has hundreds of butterflies in this tropical rainforest. So many different kinds to find and see in this little oasis.
6. Vienna State Opera
In the city of music, you need to go to some type of event that involves music. If you are lucky enough you will be able to attend a performance at the Vienna State Opera house! We attended a medley of performance from various musicians and amazing to watch it inside the state opera house.
The price of admission just to sit in the audience is worth the cost. Check for what performances are playing and book your tickets in advance.
If there are no performance playing you can take a guided tour of the Vienna State Opera House, here is one to consider.
Day 2: House of Music, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Burggarten, and Museum Quarter
7. House of Music (Haus der Musik)
The House of Music is the perfect place to take kids (and adults) to have a greater appreciation of the music and history of music in Vienna. This place is amazing and one of the best things that we did in Vienna with our children. We learned so much and the entire place is a hands-on learning experience for kids so it fun and exciting for them to be engaged.
8. St. Stephen’s Cathedral
A stunning and beautifully constructed cathedral nestled into the streets of Vienna. The roofline and details of the tile roof is memorizing with all the intricate detail.
9. Mozart Monument & Burggarten
Vienna has beautiful parks to walk in and we enjoyed the green space by the Mozart monument which has an amazing open space. We picked up some food for picnic lunch and enjoyed the food in the park with the amazing tranquillity of the flowers, trees and people quietly walking through the park.
There is a lot of building and architecture in Vienna and we found the green space to be a good break from the major landmarks.
10. Heldenplatz & Museum Quarter
Wander around Heldenplatz and view all the amazing monuments, buildings and architecture located in this area. We literally stumbled upon all these monuments all within close walking distance to each other with green space scattered in between.
Travel Tip: An option that we should have done for this day was to take a Vienna sightseeing bus or Hop On Hop Off Bus, to go around to all the different areas. This would have been easier to navigate and less walking for the kids.
There are so many museums in Vienna, you can have your pick from some of the best museums in the world – Natural History, Fine Arts, Contemporary and so many more. Our kids were done with walking around and just wanted to go to the park, but if it would have been a rainy day we would have went and check out one of these museums.
Where to Stay in Vienna
Our accommodations in Vienna was at this hotel in the Wieden area, we choose this hotel because it was walking distance to the main train station for ease of use to get to Budapest in a couple of days. It was clean, basic, budget and worked for 3 night stay.
It was close to Upper Belvedere and the transportation on the tram 6 made it really easy to get to Old Town Vienna with cheaper hotel prices. The area had a few restaurants and grocery stores close by. You can check out more hotels in the Wieden area -District 4 here.
Innere Stadt – District 1 in Vienna is in the heart of the city and perfect for your visit to Vienna. With the close proximity to main attractions prices can be higher for hotels than in other areas, but you save time and in the hub of everything with lots of restaurants and cafes close by. Check out some hotel or apartment options in the city center area of Innere Stadt here.
MuseumsQuartier – District 7 in Vienna is located close to all museums and a little bit further out from Vienna’s old town but can be a little less touristy with great cafes and restaurants. We wandered around this area one evening and really enjoyed the atmosphere. Click here for some hotel or apartment options in the MusuemQuartier area.
There are also many Airbnb apartments in Vienna options. Check out the same areas as mentioned above (Inner Stadt, MuseumQuarteir and Wieden), if you are looking for a more home-based experience or staying longer. I always use the map function when searching in Airbnb to choose by area. Even though Airbnb doesn’t give you an exact address until after booking, the location is very close to the markers in my experience.
Map of 2 Day Vienna Itinerary
Here is an easy map to use for this 2 Day itinerary of Vienna! You can zoom in, hover over and click to find out details, save it for your trip and get a better understanding of where things are in Vienna.
- Day 1 – Marked in Yellow
- Day 2 – Marked in Purple
- Other Vienna Attractions – Marked in Orange
- Airport & Train Station – Marked in Blue
Other Vienna Attractions
If you have more than a 2 day Vienna itinerary, then here are some other Vienna tourist attractions and options that you could add or substitute from the things that we did in Vienna. Add any of these on to your trip to make a 3 day Vienna Itinerary!
- Spanish Riding School – We actually tried to get tickets for this, but the days that we were there they didn’t have any shows occurring. Be sure to plan and get your tickets in advance here and don’t miss out like we did.
- Natural History Museum – If you have a rainy day or more time this is a great option.
- Walking Tour -There is so much history and information that can be explained in this amazing city, so maybe consider looking into a walking tour to get a better understanding of the history of Vienna.
- Giant Ferris Wheel – Fun for families or anyone for that matter! You will find it at the entrance of Praters Amusement Park. We knew we weren’t going to take the kids to the amusement park, so we didn’t want to just go to the ferries wheel and then leave. Looks very cool to check out! Don’t forget to get your Skip the Line tickets for the Giant Ferris Wheel here!
- Hofburg Palace – If your family loves history this could be another option to visit.
- Schönbrunn Zoo – It was honestly too hot for our kids to be outside when we went, otherwise we would have tagged this onto the end of visiting the Schönbrunn Palace since it is right there.
- Upper Belvedere & Lower Belvedere – Another UNESCO World Heritage Site in Vienna is the Belvedere. Check out this interesting tour if you are thinking of finding out more info from a historian.
Vienna Travel Tips
- Vienna PASS – Seriously look into this Vienna PASS if you are going to be going to any of the places above most likely these will be part of this pass and save you money and time. The best part of the Vienna PASS is the Skip the Line passes for the major attractions in Vienna.
- The main language spoken and written is German in Vienna. Also, don’t be surprised that Vienna is referred to as Wien, as that is how it is in German.
- Austria’s currency is Euro, so this makes it very easy while travelling from other European countries.
- Visitors visas – Austria is part of the Schengen Area, so most don’t need a tourist visa. But, as part of the Schengen Area, you have up to 90 days in any 180-day period in these countries included.
- Be sure to try a few of the local food specialties such as Wiener Schnitzel, Apple Strudel and a proper coffee.
- The airport in Vienna – There is only one airport in Vienna. You can either look into booking a shuttle service for your family or look into the City Airport Train (CAT). You can get your CAT tickets here in advance from the Airport to Wien Mitt (just 16 minutes). For a family of 4, I sometimes find the best price is a booked car service.
- Vienna has a great tram system and Ringstrasse (Ring Road) is a great path to take to go around the heart of inner Vienna.
- Check the days when museums and attractions are open, most are NOT open on Mondays.
- Stores are typically closed on Sundays for shopping.
- Don’t forget to have travel insurance for your vacation in Vienna. We used World Nomads for the time that we spent in Europe.
- If you are looking for more details or research on Vienna, we always bring or get more inspiration in travel guides. Here are a few we recommend:
Day Trips from Vienna
Vienna can be a great central hub for some all-day tours and plan some Vienna day trips. There are many options to consider if you want to stay in one spot and visit other locations during the day. I wish we would have considered this and seen so many other places close by without having to move our luggage! These would be really easy day trips to enjoy and check out places close by.
- Vienna to Bratislava day trip along the Danube River
- Budapest, Hungary for the day
- Salzburg, Austria for the day
Best time to visit Vienna
We visited at the end of August and it was over 30C, and incredibly hot one day for our kids in the heat at Schonbrunn Palace, plus it was extremely busy with tourists. If you have the option I would suggest the shoulder months of May & June in the spring or September & October in the autumn; these would be perfect months for comfortable walking and touring temperatures to visit Vienna.
The month of December for the Christmas markets, decorations, lights and festivities would also be a great time to visit Vienna if you are okay with a bit of cold.
Two days in Vienna will just scratch the surface to the amount of history and places there are to visit in this great city. But, for our first visit to the city as a family, we thought these 2 days in Vienna were enough to explore a few places and get a feel for what to do in Vienna.
We went to Vienna on our 10 day visit to Prague, Vienna and Budapest on our 1 year trip around the world with our family. We couldn’t decide which city to visit so we decided to visit each for two days to get a sample of each city. These three cities and countries are an easy 10 day trip to Central Europe (Prague, Vienna, Budapest Itinerary).
A weekend in Vienna is a great idea for the family to see some of the highlights and great places here! If you have been to Vienna, Austria is there anything you would add?