For Day 1, see the "In One Day" tour. On Day 2, tackle two of the finest museums of Austria with an afternoon visit to a great imperial palace topped off by a night at Vienna's New York's Coney Island.
Take the U-Bahn to Mariahilferstrasse to see:
1. Kumsthistorisches Museum
Across from the Hofburg Palace stands one of Europe's greatest art museums, which owes its existence largely to the Habsburgs. Their "loot" came from all corners of Europe, even from Egypt. Most visitors flock here to see the paintings, including the world's largest collection of Bruegels, along with the works of old masters such as Dürer, Rubens, and Rembrandt.
Before your feet grow museum tired, head for the:
2. Liechtenstein Museum
Since its opening in 2004, this museum housing the princely collection of the Liechtenstein family has almost become a mandatory stopover for first-time visitors to Vienna. It's housed in a spectacular baroque mansion from the 18th century. Works on display range from the Renaissance to the baroque, among other periods, including masterpieces by Van Dyck, Raphael, and Rembrandt. The collection also displays one of the world's greatest collections of Rubens, along with decorative arts, porcelain, and even the most stunning exhibit of ceremonial carriages in Austria.
After lunch, plan to spend an afternoon at:
3. Schönbrunn Palace
This was the baroque summer palace of the Habsburgs. Built between 1696 and 1730, it contains a staggering 1,441 rooms. Empress Maria Theresa and her 16 children left the greatest impact on the palace. Franz Josef I, who was born in the palace and reigned for 68 years, was the last emperor to live here. The greatest attraction are the stunning State Apartments, followed by the Gloriette, a marble summerhouse, and the palace's Imperial Gardens.
Take A Break -- To the west of Gloriette lies Tiroler House, Schönbrunner Schlosspark (no phone). This was the favorite retreat of the Empress Elilsabeth, but today is a small restaurant and cafe. It's actually open in fair weather but may close in heavy rains.
For a night of fun and revelry, head for:
4. The Prater
This is the great amusement park of Mitteleuropa. It was opened in 1766 on the former grounds of the Emperor Maximilian II's game preserve. Its most celebrated attraction is its gigantic ferris wheel, originally built in 1896 but reconstructed after allied bombings in 1945. Come here for the most panoramic view of Vienna at night from a distance of 200 feet (60m) high.