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How to spend: 48 hours in… Vienna

Christmas market in Vienna, Austria.
Christmas market in Vienna, Austria.


From coffee houses and architecture to historic buildings and museums, Austria’s capital has something to offer everyone.

First-time visitors should opt for accommodation within walking distance of a metro station, or U-Bahn, to ensure they’re well connected to the main hotspots.

The Innere Stadt neighbourhood (1st District) and Museum Quartier (7th District) are ideal, providing easy access to the most popular attractions, restaurants and bars.


One of Vienna’s specialities is the Sachertorte, a type of chocolate cake invented for Prince Metternich in 1832.

The city’s locals are obsessed with cafe culture and spend a lot of time chatting, relaxing and socialising over coffee, so it’s easy to find somewhere for a hot drink and sweet treat.

Follow in the footsteps of Trotsky and Freud by taking a table in Cafe Central, where the tarts are exceeded only by the beautiful surroundings.

While travelling you also don’t want to miss such classic Austrian fare as schnitzel, goulash and käsekrainer sausages.

Gastwirtschaft Wratschko was hailed as the best restaurant in Austria by late chef Anthony Bourdain, and who are we to argue with his recommendation?


Baroque buildings fill Vienna’s skyline, so venture upwards to experience all the city has to offer – and enjoy a drink while you’re there.

Boasting panoramic views, visit Das Schick at the top of Hotel Am Parkring, where you can sip a glass of local wine or a cocktail in a chic setting.


Schönbrunn Palace is the former summer home of the Habsburg rulers, and today the 1,441-room rococo residence is one of Vienna’s most popular sights.

Join a guided tour to discover the building’s 300-year history and marvel at the elegant state rooms, suites and apartments, and their most famous former inhabitant Empress Sisi.

Before you leave, dress up and take in a show at the Vienna State Opera, where performances have been held since 1869.

If you don’t want to buy a ticket in advance, standing room tickets are sold from the box office for €10, 80 minutes before curtain time.