Looking for a getaway weekend in Europe? Vienna is your answer. I confess that I visited because it was close to other places on the route. The plan was to visit Krakow, Prague, Český Krumlov and Budapest, so we made the most of it and spent a day in Vienna. We had great expectations for Prague and Budapest and we really loved Budapest, on the other hand, Prague did not impress me at the level of its fame. I will give it another try eventually. But with no doubt, the city that exceeded our expectations was Vienna.
To be honest I have realised that the more you expect from a place the most likely to disappoint you. It also works the other way around, if you do not expect much sometimes the results are better.
After Krakow we spent 3 days in Prague, in all honesty it was not that bad, but we had some bad experiences with local people and overpriced things in the town centre. Issues aside, I still expected something greater than what I saw, it is a beautiful city as many other beautiful places in the world. We left Prague with a bittersweet taste and we headed to Vienna.
Vienna impressed me since the very first moment we put our feet there. We walked to the hostel from the station, and I enjoyed every single step. Vienna has an imperial look all over the place, you do not need to be around the most iconic buildings in order to get the impression that you are in the heart of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. White color reigns in the city and lordly buildings are spread around the Austrian capital. At some point it reminded me to the classical Madrid, with those great white buildings that cover from Gran Via to Parque del Retiro. I am a big fan of this architecture so I was absorbed in the beauty of the landscape.
Once we left our backpacks in the hostel, we decided to eat at a local street market with delicious food The Naschmarkt, Cheap, fast and yummy, we were worried about the cost of life in Vienna, and to be honest it was not a burden. We were surprised that the public transport a ticket is not strictly needed, the gates were open but nobody skip the payment. We were amazed by the different philosophy that Austrian society has compared with the situations we were used to in Spain. Inevitably, the question “Would it even be possible in Spain?” Came out to discussion, we do not know the answer but it was a refreshing feeling seeing that people still remains honest and civilised.
Once we started exploring the city we were amazed by The Rathaus the city hall of Vienna, no doubt the most beautiful city hall I have ever seen in my life. With the look of a gothic cathedral you cannot believe that indeed it is the city hall. Then we came across The Hofburg Palace the residence of the president of Austria. It's also the former principal imperial palace of the Habsburg dynasty rulers. It's one of the largest palace complexes in the world and the size of it is daunting. After admiring this fantastic palace for half an hour, we wanted to see the famous Wiener Staatsoper The State opera house. A beautiful building where you can enjoy the famous vals from Vienna. If you are interested in attending one of these festivals, or even better, dancing in one of these events, you can find more information here.
After the sunset, we went for a walk to the heart of Vienna. It was great to walk around the old classic streets of this city. I was particularly impressed with St Stephen's Cathedral. We decided to rest that night before heading to The Schönbrunn Palace one of the most beautiful spots in Vienna. The palace itself is gorgeous, but the gardens are espectacular. Climb the hill and enjoy the view, it is amazing. It was a great visit before heading to Budapest. We absolutely fell in love with Vienna.
Airbnb prices in Vienna for the whole apartment goes between 50 euros and 130 euros per night. Private room can be between 25 and 80 euros.
Booking offers nights between 80-140 euros. Or hostels in shared rooms from 15 euros.
Getting to Vienna
To fly to Vienna, contact us for the best prices depending on your departure airport, or just check on skyscanner.
Vienna Airport to Vienna city
At Vienna airport, don't follow the obvious signs to get the City Airport Train, Platforms 1-2 S-Bahn 7 or long distances trains will take you for only 4 euros to the city. The airport train connection only takes you there 9 minutes earlier and cost 8 euros more. Remember you need to buy your ticket before boarding the train.
Going around the city
Everything is within 30 mins walk distance in Vienna, but also it has an excellent public transportation system operated by by trams, buses, underground, taxis and Über.
If you plan to visit several attractions, have a look to The Vienna PASS (starting price 13.99) It offers visitors free entry many Vienna’s top attractions, tourist bus and skipping lines. Book online. It is not worthy if you do not plan to pay for many attractions, and it does not include the airport train link to the city.