80 Days In Europe: Vienna, Austria

Vienna 013

72 Hours in Vienna, Austria & A Day Trip to Bratislava, Slovakia
April 13 – 15, 2016

I finally made it to Vienna! Vienna had been on my travel list for over a year now and I am so happy I was able to visit the classical city during this Euro Trip. From the mesmerizing sounds of Mozart and Schubert to the Viennese Coffee Culture and to the street food where you can have a glass of wine in an actual elegant glass just around the corner of the famed opera house, Vienna was everything I expected – grandiose and opulent.

I spent my time in Vienna roaming the inner city, visiting all the historic monuments such as the Belvedere Palace, Rathausplatz, Austrian Parliament, Hofburg Palace, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Heldenplatz, Schonbrunn Palace, and the State Opera House. I immersed myself into the UNESCO-acknowledge Viennese Coffee Culture and listened to the sounds of Ave Maria at a musical performance in the Karlskirche. The sound of Marelize Gerber’s soprano voice, accompanied by a full string quartet, bouncing off the domed ceiling of the Karlskirche was magical.

The old inner city is small and although I would’ve enjoyed another day sipping coffee and walking the pristine streets of Vienna, I decided to take a day trip to Bratislava in Slovakia, adding another new country to my list! It was relatively easy to get there. I bought my ticket via the Flixbus app, departed from the main train station, Wien Hauptbahnof, and within an hour I had crossed the border into Slovakia and arrived in Bratislava!

Getting Around
Transportation in Vienna is fairly easy. I took the 25-min OBB train from the airport to Wien Hauptbanhof, Vienna’s central station and I walked 5 mins to my hotel, Hotel Schani Wien, which is a modern hotel that uses iPads for check-in and paper card-like keys (with a small chip in them) for the rooms. Right outside of the hotel is the last stop for Tram D which runs along the inner city ring and takes you to the main part of the old city. It’s perfect for visiting the Opera House, Rathausplatz, and Karlsplatz which is the stop needed to transfer to the green line towards Huttledorf get to Schonbrunn Palace. Tickets – 2,30 euros.

Cafe’s & Restaurants.
Here are a few places I dined at while in Vienna.

  • Central Cafe is famous for its high ceilings, grandeur, and history as a Viennese intellectual scene.
  • Kleines Cafe, located in one of Vienna’s oldest quarters in Franziskanerplatz, is a coffee house where you’ll find artists, musicians, and novelists.
  • Figlmueller specializes in wiener schnitzels, but be prepared to pay 18 euros for one serving, real veal is not cheap!
  • Sacher Cafe, in competition with Demel for the best sachertorte, located in Hotel Sacher claims to have been the first to create the delicious cake for the royal family.
  • Bitzinger Wurstelstand – delicious, delicious, delicious – thats all I have to say. Oh, and this is the stand that serves wine and beer in actual glasses just in front of the Albertina.
  • Bier & Bierli is a local traditional restaurant near the Opera House with great service and nice bartenders, and it’s smoke-free! That’s a huge plus for us non-smokers!
  • Schonbrunn Palace Garden Cafe is a beautiful place for an afternoon coffee and cake while visiting the palace.
  • Naschmarkt, which has existed since the 16th century, is a famous mile long market.
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