Vienna will be a new visit for us and with three days following our Fall ETBD tour which ends in Vienna (the tour has 1 1/2 days in Vienna) . Please suggest 3 or 4 sites (perhaps an out of the main stream site to visit), a coffee house, a unique resturant/cafe (maybe a small local) and an chocolate/dessert shop. Our ETBD tour in Vienna includes: A free evening, a free afternoon, and will include two walking tours and the Kunsthistorisches Museum. On our own we think we will visit the Spanish Riding School and Opera. We are searching the Travelers Help Line and will have Ricks Vienna Guide Book to begin planning our itinerary.
Your questions is a little difficult to answer, as we don't know what tourist sights you've seen before.
There's enough in Vienna to take 2 weeks' time, and very few people, including those that live there, will have seen it all.
And when you've seen it all, move 75 minutes via hydrofoil to Bratislava.
What usual attractions have you seen there? We have been to Vienna many times ranging from 10 days to over a month and still have more to come back to see and experience.
Just because you saw a particular sight in Vienna before doesn't preclude revisiting the place depending on your schedule. Vienna ia city magnetic enough, worthy of repeated visits. What you did not see last time, catch it this time.
Aside fom the obvious the Hofburg, Schönbrunn, Kunsthistorisches Museum, etc, go to Gloriette (above Schönbrunn), Soviet Memorial, Heldenplatz (very historical), the Heeresgeschichtlichesmuseum (the Army Museum), Schwarzenberg Platz, or the Zentralfriedhof to see the grave sites of the famous composers as well the the WW I and II cemeteries and that of the Soviet presence in a divided Vienna, like Berlin, etc., etc. Get out to the non-tourist districts using the U-Bahn and S-Bahn. Even the newly enpanded train stations, Westbahnhof and Wien Hbf are interesting to explore. And, I've not even mentioned the food and coffee. All in all I never tire of going back to that captivating city. Also, consult Rough Guide Vienna.
Fred, I can't believe you left out the Riesenrad at the Prater. Harry Lime and Holly Martins would be very disappointed. (:-)
Yes, the Prater... I saw it once during the day a couple of years ago, glad I was there but wasn't all that thrilled. But, nonetheless, it should be visited since it is a traditional Vienna landmark..
Hi Fred, Thank you for taking the time to offer these suggestions. We're looking forward to the Vienna Visit.
I am going to go ahead and assume and that you will already be seeing the main sights on your guided tours, so I'll propose some other ideas. I tend to gravitate towards beautiful architecture and food, so if the items listed above (graves, military history and train stations) aren't you thing, here are my choices:
Naschmarkt and surrounding area - This is the primary market in Vienna and includes many good restaurants. Very nice for a stroll - there is a flea market on Saturday morning. Be sure to stop by the Gegenbauer vinegar seller (http://www.gegenbauer.at/produkte.aspx) and nearby sauerkraut maker. There are also several nice cheese shops around that part of the market. There are several lovely and noteworthy buildings by Otto Wagner (famous art nouveau architect) that look onto the Nashmarkt, the Secession Building is the most famous, buy my favorite is the Majolikahaus. Here is a link: http://www.wien.info/en/sightseeing/museums-exhibitions/stauds-2011/stauds-2011-art-nouveau-architecture?image=6
Drink some sturm - Sturm is a newly pressed fermented wine that is fizzy and only available during early fall. It is a delicacy/speciality of the area. The Naschmarkt is a good place to find bars selling sturm.
Go on a café crawl - Coffehouse, café and dessert shop are all essentially the same thing here. Here is a list of my favorites, all of which have a distinct style/atmosphere (go to at least one café/day): Café Central (aristocratic and best dessert case); Café Sperl (old wooden furniture and velvet; you can just imagine Freud in a far corner); Demel Café (if you insist on Sacher Torte, not great in my opinion, go here instead of Sacher Café; go upstairs so you can see in the kitchen); Café Wortner (off the tourist path; if a nice day, please go here and sit outside); Hawelka (the artist café and great coffee).
Belvedere Palace/Museum - Maybe this is already on your planned itinerary, but if not, you must see my favorite building in Vienna and see Klimt's famous Kiss.
A Walk and a Heuriger - Heurigen are wine taverns run by local wineries. Besides serving wine, they all have buffet style Austrian food, which is fab. Please avoid the Grinzing area, however, as this is full of tour busses. Here is what I suggest - take the U4 to Heiligenstadt and then get on bus 38A to Kahlenberg. Get off at Kahlenberg, walk towards the church and then stand in amazement at the view. You will be up in the Vienna hills and Vienna, the Danube and miles beyond are spread out before you. Now head back towards where the bus dropped you off and find Stadtwanderweg 1. This is a paved, well-trod path which will lead you down to Nussdorf, a neighborhood known for good heurigen. It is easy walking and you will pass gorgeous views and a few roadside heurigen, with barrels for tables (typically open on the weekends). My favorite heurigen is the Schuebel-Auer at Kahlenberger Straße 22, which is exactly across from the end of the walking path. This is closed on Sunday and Monday. Take the D Tram back into the city center.
Take a day trip to the Wachau. UNCESCO world heritage site, wine-growing region, on the Danube, medieval villages, castles on hills, etc. Take train from to Melk (www.oebb.at), see the famous Abbey and then hop on a DDSG or Brandner boat to Duernstein (http://www.ddsg-blue-danube.at/eng/cruises_wachau.php; https://www.brandner.at/en/). Explore Duernstein and be SURE to have the apricot dumpling on the terrace of the Richard Lionheart Hotel (Richard Löwenherz in German).
A few general comments, I would branch out with your travel research. RS isn't the only site or guidebook. I really like the Eyewitness guides. I am not into horses and if you aren't either, then maybe skip the Riding School thing.
You had to bring up Sturm....I thirst!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We were there for a month in Aug-Sept and went to the Erntedankfest in front of the Hofburg...many, many wineries had booths mit viel weiß und rot Sturm..soooo good! We even found it in roadside stalls along the Donauradweg as we biked up to Klosterneuberg and beyond. You also reminded me of Durnstein and our stay at Stockingerhof during our bike trip from Aschach an der Donau to Wien.
Andy you might want to check out the monastery up at Klosterneuberg nice alterpiece by Nicolas of Verdun from the early Middle Ages...very beautiful. They also have, I believe, the oldest winery in Austria...mmmmmmm.
Getting into a new city --you say Vienna will be new to you-- forces you to set priorities as regards to time and what to see. When I arrive in a city, esp. a capital, I've got my itinerary set on what sight/places to see as top prority.
Should you be interested in classical music, aside from seeing the composers graves at Zentralfriedhof, see also their houses/musems, such as Beethoven's House or that of Haydn (located in the Westbahnhof area) or Schubert's and Mahler's house. There are more than just these.
Emily, what a nice response! Thank you for your thoughtful effort, we really appreciate your ideas.
Fred, thanks for the priority thought, good idea.
Alex, thank you.
Currntly, while planning our Europe tour we are currently camping in the desert mountains of south east California, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, clear & 70's F, lots of back county road bicyclist & hikers) Take care Andy