48 Hours In Vienna

Oh, Vienna…

Voted as the city with the best quality of life in the world FOUR times, and descended upon by 13 million tourist every year – I wonder what has taken me so long to go and see what the fuss is all about.

Vienna is known for its rich history, opulent architecture, and cultural attractions, such as the Vienna State Opera, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and the Hofburg Palace. As well a the iconic giant ferris wheel that has been operating since 1897.

Additionally, it was home to Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss as well as many other composers, giving Vienna it’s name as ‘The City of Music’.

It is famous for its coffee and cake culture including the classic Sachertorte and Apfelstrudel, as well as traditional Austrian dishes such as the Käsekrainer, Käsespätzle, and Wiener Schnitzel.

All of the above make the perfect blend of history, culture, and cuisine – everything I want from a city break! So I went…

Here are the highlights of my short but sweet (literally) 48 fun and food filled hours in Vienna, and my top 10 recommendations for your next visit…


I arrived just in time for dinner and Schnitzel was top of my list of Viennese delicacies to feed myself.

The Sunnhof passage is a pretty little umbrella lined street where you will find Im Sünnhof – a charming restaurant serving delicious Viennese cuisine and 10/10 Schnitzel. I have tried many on my travels through Austria and this was by far the BEST!


It’s no surprise to find one of the world’s most prestigious Opera Houses in the City that was home to so many world renowned opera composers and musicians.

The state opera house on Vienna’s Ringstrassen boulevard is absolutely magnificent and has recently celebrated its 150th anniversary.

For €13 you can book a 40 minute guided tour inside and see behind the scenes of the world’s largest repertory operation and discover much that otherwise remains hidden from the evening opera-goer. The tour includes information on the history of the house, its architecture and the opera business, and a chance to see the grand staircase, the tea salon, marble hall, Schwindfoyer, Gustav Mahler Hall, and the auditorium with a view of the stage.


By far the most elegant of all the café interiors in Vienna, the Kunsthistorisches Museum café décor is seriously incredible. From the high tables by the window you have a magnificent view of Maria-Theresien-Platz. We had the best seat in the house with the view below (The Natural History Museum) and the breakfast was stunning.


St. Stephen’s Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral located in the city centre. It is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vienna and one of the most important landmarks of the city. It’s huge!

Once you’ve done a lap, you can go inside, head up the tower, or admire its beauty from the very cool Lamee Rooftop Bar with a cocktail in hand. I chose the latter!


Vienna is famous for its coffee and cake culture. The city is home to hundreds of coffee houses, where people can relax and enjoy a cup of coffee and a pastry.

The tradition of coffee drinking in Vienna dates back to the 17th century, when coffee was first introduced to the city by the Turks. The first coffee house in Vienna was opened in 1683, and soon after, coffee houses became popular among the city’s intellectuals and artists.

Today, coffee houses are still an important part of Viennese culture. They are a place where people can relax and enjoy the simple things in life. Coffee houses are also a great place to experience Viennese culture, as they often have live music or readings.

Aside from the incredible decor of the cafe inside the Art musuem that I mentioned above, my two favourite Cafe’s were Gerstner – for its incredible confectionary displays, amazing view of the Opera House, and very delicious cake, and Cafe Schwarzenberg – for it’s delicious coffee, great breakfast, and live piano music.


The Wiener Riesenrad is a 65 metre tall Ferris wheel at the entrance of the Prater amusement park in the 2nd district of Vienna. Constructed in 1879 to honour the 50th anniversary of emperor Franz Joseph’s ascension to the throne, it is one of Vienna’s most popular tourist attractions, and is a recognisable feature of Vienna’s skyline.

It’s a great way to se the views over the City and the Danube.


In addition to that epic Schnitzel I mentioned above, and the cake, my Viennese food highlights include the most incredible potato and bacon soup at Hinterholz, followed by an amazing plate of Käsespätzle. This restaurant serves traditional Austrian cuisine in a cosy setting with rustic decor – I absolutely loved it and can’t recommend it enough if you’re heading to Vienna soon.

Of course, no trip to Vienna would be complete without trying the famous Käsekrainer from one of the many street vendors. We headed to the Bitzinger stand at the Albertina for our cheesy sausage based mid-afternoon snack which did not disappoint.


Stadtpark is a beautiful and tranquil oasis in the heart of Vienna. It is a great place to relax, escape the hustle and bustle of the city, and enjoy a bit of nature. The park is home to a number of statues and monuments, including a gilded statue of Johann Strauss II, the “Waltz King”. There are also several pavilions and buildings in the park, including the Kursalon, a former concert hall that is now a restaurant.


This wasn’t actually on our agenda for the weekend until we were offered tickets to a concert that featured classical music, ballet, and opera – the highlights of all the famous Vienna based composers, all inside 1.5 hours at a traditional concert house. It was hard to say no and I am so glad we said yes. This was an experience I will recommend forever to anyone who visits Vienna. It was magical!


This was one of my favourite experiences – touring inside the Sisi Museum which is dedicated to the life of Empress Elisabeth of Austria, also known as Sisi. The museum houses a collection of Sisi’s personal belongings, as well as exhibits on her life and reign which you can learn about whilst walking through the Imperial Apartments.

Aside from the Sisi Museum, the Hofburg Palace is home to two other popular tourist attractions – the Spanish Riding School & the Imperial Treasury with the crown jewels. The architecture is magnificent.

If the combination of impressive architecture, classical music, and Austrian cuisine floats your boat, in a city that is compact, clean, friendly, and efficient – head to Vienna, you won’t be disappointed.

If you need a hand with flights and hotels – feel free to get in touch here.

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