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Short breaks in Vienna. 48 hours with the palaces of the Habsburgs, the opera and lavish coffee houses

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Imperial palaces, royal parks and landmark art galleries will captivate your senses during your short break in Vienna. This guide is designed to inspire you to get the very best from your stay in one of Vienna's hotels.

Short break in Vienna, Day 1, Morning

Start your short break in Vienna with an Austrian-style espresso and an original Sachertorte chocolate cake in the chandelier-adorned Café Sacher. After a short stroll, you come to the magnificent Hofburg Palace, home to the royal Habsburg dynasty for 600 years. Gaze at the Imperial Apartments with their Bohemian crystal and the sparkling jewels of the Holy Roman Empire in the Imperial Treasury. Opposite lies the Palace Garden with its myriad of sculptures. From here, you can enjoy a stunning view and take snapshots of the palace. Take a stroll through the flower beds to the Butterfly House, a splendid greenhouse in art nouveau where you can see butterflies fluttering through the foliage.

Start: Café Sacher.
Nearest tube stop: Karlsplatz



Under the same roof as the Butterfly House, fine salads are served at midday in the Palm House. Sit on the terrace and take in the sun with a view of the Hofburg Palace. Take a walk east of the Butterfly House in the Kohlmarkt pedestrian area , where you will find numerous fashion labels such as Bulgari and Chanel. At Demel, buy candied violets wrapped up in gift paper and then head on to cobbled Graben past carriages and street artists. The delicate spires will point you in the direction of the nearby Gothic Stephansdom. Climb the 173-metre high tower and stand opposite the gargoyles. Here, you can enjoy a stunning view across Vienna.

Start: Palm House.
Nearest tube station: Karlsplatz


Take the number 1 tram at nightfall and set off in a circle around the Ring Road. A two-minute walk from the Stubenring tram stop brings you to the medieval meat market and tavern, Griechenbeisl, which dates back to the 15th century. Take a seat under the arch and enjoy a hearty golden Wiener Schnitzel.

Start: Ring Road.
Nearest tram stop: Kärntner Ring

Short break in Vienna, Day 2, Morning

Start your day in the lively Naschmarkt, and buy cheese, spices and fresh goods from the stalls. Watch the hustle and bustle from a street café. Walk 10 minutes north to the huge MuseumsQuartier, a group of world-class art galleries situated around the former Imperial Stables. The MUMOK, which is made of basalt rock, has Pop Art by Warhol on display, and the Leopold Museum also hosts an outstanding art collection by Viennese expressionists, such as Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele. Enjoy a light lunch in the avant-garde Café Leopold

Start: Naschmarkt.
Nearest tube station: Kettenbrückengasse ‎


A short ride on the tube takes you eastwards to the quirky KunstHausWien. The round walls and colourful mosaics were hand-made by the eccentric Viennese artist and architect, Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Next, cross the Danube canal to walk along the chestnut tree-lined avenues of the Prater. Carousel music and the smell of candy floss will draw you to the fairground, which is where the symbolic 65 metre high Riesenrad slowly turns. Go for a ride and see the whole city from above.

Start: KunstHausWien.
Nearest tube station: Wien-Mitte


Freshen yourself up in your hotel to get ready for a classy evening with top-quality opera and ballet in the neo-Renaissance style Vienna State Opera. Book your tickets plenty of time in advance. After the performance, wander northwards for a champagne cocktail in the violin-shaped bar, La Divina - a theatre bar dedicated to the soprano Maria Callas.

Start: Vienna State Opera.
Nearest tram stop: Wien Oper-Kärntner Ring

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