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First time to Austria, two days

Hi all!

I have an extended layover in Vienna next week. I land next Friday morning and have an afternoon departure on Sunday. I figure that is not a lot of time but I can make the most of it. Any suggestions on sights, must-do, little cafe's and live music? I'm a pretty seasoned traveler but this will be my first time to Vienna. Thanks!

Posted by
6847 posts

Vienna is an incredible museum town, and so many travel sights are in The Ring downtown. The Schoenbrunn Palace is an incredible place to visit in the southwest portion of town.
I would suggest you either get a travel guide that covers Vienna. Or, sign into Wikipedia and print yourself a copy of their writeup on this great city. It's one of those places you could spend a week and not see all the important sights.
Vienna is The Music City of Europe, and there are just so many places to see all kinds of music. I especially like going out to the Vienna Woods (northwest of town) and spending a night in the wine gardens listening to OmPah music.

You'll really enjoy your time there. We're getting ready to visit next month for the 3rd time.

Posted by
527 posts

I would suggest you take a ride on one of the Ring trams and make the circuit. Make an early AM visit to Schonbrun Palace and do a tour before the hordes of tourists arrive. Have a meal somewhere in the center, Figlmueller's for the Wienerschnitzel, unless you want something less tourist then PM me. Maybe have a meal at Witwe Bolte over in the Spittleberg area for some traditional Austrian cuisine. Take the D tram out to its end in Nussdorf and enjoy an heuriger (many there to choose from) . I do not ever recommend Grinzing (it is overrun with tourists). I have heard what the Viennese call Schrammel music in some of the heurigen, but I do not ever recall any Ompah music. Emily you ever heard of this???
Just take a nice walk down the Graben and all of the side streets in the center...always something to discover. Enjoy the wine, the Austrians produce some of the best you'll ever taste(they produce excellent schnapps also). It is a wonderful city that you will probably wish to return to again for a longer visit. We have been many times and still return for more.

Posted by
12767 posts


If I had a choice in choosing where to have an extended layover in Europe given your time span, ie, basically two whole days, Vienna would be one of my top two choices. You'll find the eateries and restaurants in Nussdorf cheaper than those in the center (Ringstrasse, etc) and Westbahnhof. Take the U-Bahn to Nußdorferstraße.

Posted by
4639 posts

Too bad you aren't in town this weekend. It was in the 50s and sunny, which is very, very unusual for this time of year. Looking at the extended forecast, however, it looks like next weekend might be nice too.

So here is what I would do:

Friday: Walk around the first district; start at the Opera and walk up Kaerntnerstrasse to Stephansplatz. Check out the cathedral; walk down the Graben, turn left o Kohlmarkt. Stop in Cafe Central on Herrengasse; walk through the Hofburg; cross the street and walk the Ring in the direction of the Rathaus. Once at the Rathaus, rent a pair of ice skates and make a few laps on the ice path, which runs through the trees and garden. Atmosphere is great. Get on Tram D in the direction of Nussdorf; take it to the end and have dinner at Scheubel-Auer, a heuriger (never heard oomph-pa music at one of these as that is really an alpine/bavarian thing).

Saturday: Go to the Naschmarkt for breakfast. I like Neni. Explore the market and be sure to check out the building in the area, such as the Majolikahaus and the Secession building. Art Nouveau Marvels. Go have a coffee at Cafe Sperl. Take the U4 to Schonbrunn and explore the gardens and palace. Not really necessary to go inside, in my opinion. Have dinner at Figlmuller, Huth or Palmenhaus; go to the Opera.

Sunday: Go to the Belvedere Palace/Museum; see the Klimt pieces at least. On the way back into town look at the Karlskirche.

Posted by
2 posts

I am so grateful for all your wonderful suggestions. Of all the communities I could turn to for advice, I knew this would be the best one. I'll be sure to let everyone know how it goes! Please don't let this be the end though. I don't land until Friday so there is still time to offer up ideas. Thanks again! -Eric

Posted by
3399 posts

@ Alex , Schrammelmusik , composed by two brothers , Johann and Josef ,in the the latter part of the nineteenth century , is a staple part of what is essentially Austrian folk music . It usually calls for a group that includes two violins , a contra guitar ( double necked instrument that is capable of playing a simultaneous bass line ) and a diatonic or button accordion . Frequently there is also the addition of a sopranino clarinet in A flat pitched a ninth ( nearly a full octave ) above a standard clarinet in B flat . Playing one of these things requires wearing a steel athletic supporter ( just kidding ) here is a great example :

Posted by
527 posts

Ja, I have an album of some of it...between that and my Anton Karas albums I can sit and remember drinking some fine Gruner Veltliner in an Heurigen garden on a spring or summer's eve.