It gets dark by 4pm. Walk around historic city and visit a Christmas market.
Arrive late morning at Hauptbahnhof and leave the platform to the rear of the train. – I assume you come without luggage, right. So, you could start emmediately.
I would aim for a hotel around Rathaus – like Josefshof, Stadion. 25hrs.
Buy some tickets (2 each) for a start at the ticket machine - € 2,40 gives you use of U-Bahn/metro, tram and bus for 2 hrs. each – you will need them later.
Now past the Opera/Kaerntnerstr. to the Cathedral amidst the best street decorations.
Next morning you work your way back along the Ring – doing the Hofburg courtyards, and the Museum-Quarter. Pay a short visit to the Mariahilferstraße (1 mile of shopping) and take tram “D” back to the train station.
So, you could even do it with one ticket.
It’s a crime to dedicate to Central Europe’s main tourist destination only two halfdays – but in parts it can be done!
Thank you for that detailed walking tour of Vienna. We have our train tickets to Vienna reserved with Mav Start and our Air BnB booked. We're ready to go.
I do have a question. Budapest is our base for this trip. We have an Air BnB booked there for our entire trip. Once we're in Europe, do we need to carry with us our passports at all times or when we take our side trip to Vienna? Is it better to carry the passport with us, or keep them in the Air BnB for safe keeping?
Thank you again for your suggestions!
You legally need to have your passport within easy reach. I’d leave them at your accommodation in each city and maybe carry a photocopy or a photo idea such as a driving licence with you.