Things to do in Vienna: Your ultimate city guide

These guys are one of my favorite travel bloggers.  I was thinking about posting my own blog post about Vienna, but once I saw theirs I knew that I would never be able to write one that was as good.  My only suggestion which would differ from the blog post would be to take the OBB train instead of the CAT train.  The OBB train ticket would be for under €5, while the CAT is €15.

we did it our way

Vienna.  The beautiful capital of Austria is said to be the “city of dreams”, for being the birthplace of Sigmund Freud.  To us, Vienna was the start of our epic train trip through Europe, and it couldn’t have been a better place to kick things off.

Without surprise, Vienna has often been voted the most livable city in the world, due to its high quality of life ratings, as well as culture, infrastructure, and many markets.  The city is often cited as a leading example of urban planning and we can totally see why.  It was such a lovely city to walk around!

Wediditourway St Stephen's Cathedral Vienna Asutria We are in awe of the St Stephen’s Cathedral

Although we managed to see everything in 2 days, we would suggest a full 4-day trip to Vienna.  Here are our recommendations for what to see, where to go, how to get around, and where to stay.

When…

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My First Austrian Encounter

March 2000

From the Diary of my 17 year old self (edited):

March 14, 2000: Breakfast is so much better in Österreich than in Italy.  The bread was excellent.  After breakfast we went to Salzburg. We had a tour with this really nice German lady.  I got a 3rd hole in my ears! I think that my mom will probably kill me.  Unfortunately, they didn’t have any rubbing alcohol at the pharmacy.

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Mirabell Garden, Salzburg (March 2000)

March 15, 2000: It’s snowing! The flakes are huge and so much bigger than at home! Last night it was raining…awful weather.  We are going to Vienna tomorrow.  Hopefully we get to go to the disco tonight!  The Mondsee Church (Mondsee Abbey) was so large it makes American churches seem insignificant.  The Monastery was huge! It was as big as 20 High Schools put together, some stacked on top of each other!  The place we ate at for lunch was a total rip off!  They charged us 50 cents per packet of ketchup! Last time we got ketchup it didn’t cost us anything!  We just got back from the pool. We had to pay 60 shilling (to put my 17 year-old self’s annoyance in perspective, this amounted to about €4.40).  We just got back from the disco.  It was so smokey that sometimes I thought I was going to die.

March 16 2000: We just got back from seeing the palace of Maria Theresa (a.k.a. Schönbrunn Palace), the mother of Marie Antoinette.  It is so cold! The wind chill makes it even colder.  The palace was huge! It had something like 1,444 rooms in it (actually 1,441, but close enough).

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Schönbrunn Palace Gardens (March 2000)

Still March 16, 2000: We are now having a bus tour of Vienna.  We just passed a really big porn/erotic dancing shop.  We are talking Cherry and Web big (I have no recollection of how big this is).  We have just passed the winter palace of Maria Theresa (I believe this is the City Palace).  It had like almost 2,500 rooms.  There are so many churches here!  The ones back home are so plain in comparison (thanks 17 year old me, you already said that).  And none of them are less than a few hundred years old.

We just got back from seeing this really weird house.  It is called Hundertwasser.  Don’t ask me why it is called that.  Oh wait, I was just informed that the last name of the guy who built the apartment building meant “hundred waters”.  They named the building after him.

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Hundertwasserhaus (March 2000)

Still March 16, 2000: I am back at the hotel after a nap and a shower.  Everyone went swimming, but I didn’t want to pay the 60 shillings again (get over it 17 year old me, it was like literally €4.40).

March 17, 2000:  Last night we went to a Strauss concert.  It was really good.  The only problem is, was that we missed the first half of the concert because we went to the wrong Lichtenstein Palace.  But I really liked it.  I thought it was going to be boring, but it wasn’t.  Our teacher told us we had to get up this morning at 6:30 a.m., but I was like, yeah, right.  I got up at 7:00 a.m. (what a rebel I was back then).   Last night before bed, !”§$% dyed my hair brown.  I think it looks good.  Everyone likes it here but I wonder how people are going to react at home.  We just crossed the border into Slovakia…(to be continued…)