Vienna is the capital of Austria and the largest city. I visited the city around 6 years ago in a triple combination where I should have started in Budapest, Bratislava and Vienna. Budapest unfortunately did not happen (not yet) but Vienna and Bratislava happened. Bratislava will be for another post. For now, I will show you what you can visit, how and my memories of those times.
It is a city full of life, never stops and each place you look to, something is happening. You just need to pay attention. You can breathe culture as you walk; a world where being an artist compensates and gives a sense to your life. The sensation I got was that I wanted to perform in any form of arts. Instead of fresh air, you breathe culture. The eyes sparkle with the shinning environment. It is since 2017 UNESCO patrimony and its architecture is incredible.
What do do there?
- Schönbrunn Palace – Part of old Austrian Royalty, the palace is from the XVII century and together with the city is also a UNESCO patrimony, but from 1996. You have different types of tickets and according to the season. In the Schonbrunn palace website you will find all the types and what is the best for you, however, I expect that you should take a full day in the palace together with the gardens. By the time I was there, I did the Sisi Tour, which costed 36 eur. These prices are updated on the website and according to the season.
- Schonbrunn Gardens – The park was opened to visitation in XVIII century and it opens at 06.30 am. The gardens are free of charge and a common spot for relaxing and it stays open till 09.00 pm till the end of July. I recommend to combine the gardens with the palace, but in case your time is tight, visiting the garden is already beautiful and worth it.
- St Stephen’s Cathedral – Established above 2 churches; from XII century and XIII and has been through 2 fires during its time. One in 1258 and the other in 1945. This last one was a consequence of the end of the II WW, as sparks of burning buildings caught the wooden roof. You do not need much time in the cathedral, however, it might take whole afternoon/morning depending on your interest. The towers are now closed in June, but with plans to reopen in July. As the Schonbrunn palace you will find different types of tickets. To visit the cathedral it will cost 5,50 eur and the catacombs will cost 6 eur.
- Rathaus – Located at Rathausplatz, which means the City Hall Square is a building from the beginning of the XIX century and if you have been in Brussels you notice the similarity. Normally, it is possible to book guided tours, but due to the circunstances, it is not happening. Without guided tour, not being able to go in, I would use the visitation to combine with a drink/lunch/dinner in the square. So you should take the time you want.
- Vienna State Opera – If you are in Vienna, you must certainly assist to a opera and imerse yourself into the art. I have assisted one opera/ballet spectacle. It is magnificent and dreamy. Without a doubt something you should do. The Vienna State Opera, is now streaming their spectacles, due to Covid-19 and you can assist them upon buying the ticket. Guided visitations are also possible, but from the 30 of june. It costs 9 eur.
- Vienna Ring Road – It is the road around the historic center. It is full of medieval architecture and places like State Opera, Rathaus will be found in the surroundings. It was build to replace the city walls back in the XIX century. Commonly called as the “Lord of the Ring Roads” due to its historical value. As curiosity, Freud was known to walk in the Ring and Hitler was big admirer of the architecture, so much that influenced the Nazi Architecture. With a lenth of a bit more of 5 km and if you prefer not to walk, you will find The Vienna Ring Tram that will cost you 12 eur.
Depending of where you choose to stay, everything can be done walking. But as I mentioned in the previous post about Innsbruck, there is also here, a city card. I highly recommend to take good advantage of it, as you might save money, time and prevent stress. It has a duration from 24 to 72 hours and it adapts to the time you are staying and what kind of travel you are doing. If you are using more or less the public transportation. The basic Vienna City Card costs 17 eur and includes: Free public transportation, Sisi ticket at the palace will cost 3 eur and many other discounts. I find it very useful not to pay for public transportation as I walk so much, so I use it as summary of all I have seen and rested.
Hope you enjoyed this post, in the next one I will talk about Belgium!