Visiting the capital of Austria on a time crunch!
Where to Stay
We stayed in two hotels in Vienna during our short stay, the Hotel 1060 which we booked ourselves and the Hotel Arcotel Kaiserwasser which was included in our cycling tour. We booked a superior double room with balcony at the Hotel 1060 and what a surprise it was when we got there to find that the balcony was in fact the fire escape! Also the other patrons were using theirs to smoke on at other levels, so that was the window shut for the duration of our stay.
Vienna is a large city, for example the two hotels we stayed in were 9km apart. The Hotel 1060 is better located for city tourism but the Arcotel Kaiserwasser is right on the Danube which meant we didn’t have to cycle through the centre of Vienna to start our trip to Budapest – great!
What to Eat
Lets cut to the chase, if you’ve only got a day you can only try a few things so what should you eat? Sachertorte is a famous chocolate cake invented in Vienna and so for me it was a must try. It’s not particularly hard to find, although invented for the Prince in the 1830s you can now find it for sale in most cafes – and it’s pretty good.
Other great food can be found at the Naschmarkt – do not miss this. We spent a couple of hours here but could have easily spent half a day. There are plenty of stalls to explore but you will also find cafes and restaurants perfect for any meal or snack or even just a drink. It is very popular so will be busy whenever you go, there is a real buzz about the place, it is only closed on Sundays and although the stalls start to close down in the early evening many of the restaurants remain open until midnight.
What to See
You will find many grand buildings in Vienna, it’s a popular place for exploring museums and perhaps attending an opera. We don’t often seek out these places and prefer exploring areas and attractions which are more offbeat. However to give it a chance we visited the Schönbrunn Palace which is one of the most popular attractions in Vienna.
Vienna has a U-Bahn system, very similar to Germany’s, making it very easy to get around the city. The Schönbrunn Palace has it’s own stop minutes from the city centre stations.
The Schönbrunn Palace is beautiful, it has huge gardens for strolling, a very impressive greenhouse – the Palm House, and even the zoo is located on it’s grounds. We spent an hour or so within the grounds of the Palace, walking around the gardens, sitting by the Neptune Fountain and we paid to go inside the Palm House to take some photos of the many tropical plants inside.
Near the Palm House you will find the Desert House which is worth a look inside, you will find cactus, birds and reptiles in here as you work your way around the different exhibits.
All in all we did enjoy our 24 hours in Vienna, although it’s not really our scene. We probably wouldn’t go back soon unless it’s conveniently on the way to somewhere else we’re going.
Do you think we missed anything in Vienna? Can you suggest a reason for us to go back, something cool we overlooked? If so leave us a comment below.