I like to travel quite slowly, and I hate being rushed for anything BUT sometimes circumstances are out of our control and we have to travel fast. My mum is meeting me in Prague, Czech Republic next week so I have to rattle through Austria to Slovakia and then on to Prague to meet her as she arrives.
With that being the case then, I only had 2 nights in Vienna. To be honest though, I was expecting it to be quite a dull city, full of museums and old tourists, over priced and under delivered, and how wrong I was.
Vienna is funky, young, jam packed with great sights. The atmosphere is so friendly, people are great and they have an awesome bar scene. It’s not cheap, but in comparison to its Swiss brother, your euros go a lot, lot further.
Anyways, here’s my rough itinerary of my time in Vienna, so if you wanna how to spend a day in Vienna, here are my tips:
No crazy early wake up, but try to be out of the hostel by 9 or 10. Head down to Vienna’s UNESCO world heritage site old town and wander around the most beautiful section of the city.
You’ll easy spend an hour or two getting lost, grabbing some brekky at a local bakery and stopping for coffee. Be sure to check out the Pestsaule monument, a tribute to the 75, 000 sufferers of black death. And if you’re an art lover, pay the extortionate 10 euro into the Albertina museum where you’ll see pieces by Picasso, Rembrand, Michelangelo amongst a lot, lot more.
When it starts getting near lunch time earn your food by checking out Stephansdom Cathedral. The cathedral is free to enter and walk around, quite nice. But the coolest thing is to go outside and climb the 343 steps to the top of the south tower (3.50 euro/$5), great views of the city.
Lunch time so walk over to the museum quarter, whether you like museums or not, this place is awesome. Inside the courtyard will be buzzing with 15 restaurants/cafes where you can pick up some delicious lunch. Weiner Schnitzel is the local speciality but it will be more than 10 Euro, well worth it though.
The architecture around the Museum quarter is great, huge old buildings and a real contemporary atmosphere, really funky. There are lots of museums dotted around, personally I skipped those.
Now on foot head over to the Hofburg Imperial Palace, the icon for Austrian heritage. The buildings are impressive, but if you’re prepared to part with the 10 euro, the opulent buildings inside are something else.
From here you can waltz over to both Parliament and Rathaus, two very impressive buildings just 10 minutes walk away.
It should be around 3pm now so time for the Summer Palace (and its hedge labyrinth). Schloss Schonbrunn is another UNESCO world heritage site, the grounds are massive and full of things to see.
The palace has more than 1400 rooms and if you ever wondered what true wealth was, you’re looking at it right here. The grounds offer great views of the city if you can face the steep walk, also in the grounds is the world’s oldest zoo (about 15 euro) and even cooler, a fully functional hedge labyrinth (3.50 euro/$5). I paid my money happily, I’ve always wanted to do that! I thought I’d be much to smart for a stupid maze, how wrong I was as I got ridiculously lost, going round in circles, much to the amusement of the people who had finished, the finishing point is on a platform where you can watch others struggle around. Brilliant fun, and a real highlight in my opinion.
As early evening kicks in, head over to Naschmarkt where you might still catch some stall open. If not, the place turns into a makeshift bar area where you can get food and drinks for countless cafes, the atmosphere is lively everyday.
By that time you’ll be ready for bed, this is a perfect way to see Vienna, sure I wish I had longer but I have to cut my coat according to my cloth, and I think I cut it just right here. Happy travels!