I have booked opera tickets in Vienna. Are there any other tickets that need booking ahead or museum passes like that in Paris or other things I need to plan ahead?
Vienna doesn't do a museum pass like Paris but a "Vienna Card" which combines public transport travel with discount admission to museums and attractions - unfortunately you need to do some calculation to see if it is actually worth the money. Because it gives discounts rather than free admission it also doesn't save any time buying tickets. Although I personally didn't encounter any very long ticket queues when I went to Vienna - the longest queue I encountered was for the cloakroom at the Belvedere, where it was compulsory to deposit umbrellas and coats because of the heavy rain that day.
It is possible to buy travel passes, and tickets from the airport to the centre by S-Bahn, in advance from the Vienna transport website, and print them out at home. This may save some time and stress at the airport.
Other than performances of the top cultural ensembles -Vienna Phil/Opera/Sängerknaben/Lipizzaners- no, there's no advantage to purchasing anything else in advanced.
Schonbrunn can be quite crowded so I had an advance timed ticket for the earliest entry--worked great, no waiting in line and when I was leaving the hordes were charging in.
We will be in Vienna in mid September, is there likely to be a significant line for the Schonbrunn palace then? We would kind of like to arrange our limited time according to the weather and thus would prefer not to ticket ahead unless that is likely to be important to avoid long lines.
We are also planning a river trip on the 14, 15, or 16th based on the weather.
I second Schoenbrunn being booked in advance. You'll save yourself much stress.
Depending on how you divide your time , these two combination tickets are worth considering . It's not necessary to purchase in advance . http://www.hofburg-wien.at/en/plan-your-visit/admission-charges/sisi-ticket.html and http://www.khm.at/en/explore/offers/combined-tickets/
As I read the Sisi ticket, it looks like it is not timed, so I could get it and then just walk into the Schoenbrunn without having to wait in long lines? Is that right? That would solve my problem of getting the ticket early and conveniently but not having to pick a time so I can make plans based on weather when I get there.
Janet , as I recall , with the ticket to hand , it saved the wait on the ticket buying line . We were also in Vienna from mid September and while Schonbrunn was busy , it was not insane . We bought the ticket upon entering the Hofburg , and , a few days later ( clear weather ) we walked right into Schonbrunn with no wait . By the way , Kunsthistoriches Museum is a must ( be sure to see the Cellini salt cellar , among all the holdings ) and the Treasury is quite an eyeful ( look for the Emerald unction vessel , carved from an Emerald , the size of a large orange !
I appreciate the advice. We only have 4 full days for Vienna -- 5 nights -- and plan to use one of those days on a trip from Melk to Durenstein on the Danube so that gives us 3 days for Vienna. I am anxious to prioritize the must sees and Schoenbrunn and the history museum both look like they belong near the top -- and St. Stephans and the tower climb there. Our apartment is very near St. Stephans.
Am open to other people's views of absolute must sees for a Vienna newbie.
Janet, my daughter and I spent 4 nights in Vienna in June and were able to get an awful lot done. The city is compact so fitting several sites in 1 day is very doable. It was actually very very hot when we were there but we did not let that stop us!
Arrival day- we stayed between Schwedenplatz and St. Stephens and we hit the streets by about 10:30 am- visited the cathedral but did not do tower climb, visited Kaisergruft- we both enjoyed that, then we walked thru town to the Treasury- bought our combo tickets there (well I did, daughter used her ICOM), spent about an hour in Treasury. That evening we did the Ringstrasse tram tour- actually rode it around twice as we were a bit jet lagged!
Day 2- Were at Kunsthistoriches when it opened and spent about 2.5 hours there- daughter is art history doctoral candidate so art is always a priority. We were actually alone in some of the galleries. So much nicer than trying to peek through or see over hordes of tourists to even see the art!
Had lunch at the Justizcafe (in Palace of Justice) mentioned in RS guide- great views up there and food was pretty good as well. Neither of us speak German so we were not really sure what we were ordering- no English menu :)
Wandered thru the rose gardens in full bloom til we ended up at Hofburg Palace. Bought our Sisi ticket here. Toured the palace- enjoyed the first section with all the dishes, silver, etc. (If you are seeing Schonbrunn you really can skip this Palace).
This happened to be my daughter's birthday so to celebrate we went to Prater Park and had so much fun! Rode the little train, ate a pork knuckle, drank beer at the huge biergarten- can't think of name right now- then rode the Reisenrad I am not keen on ferris wheels and heights but I am glad we did it- it was really a hoot.
Day 3- All day wine tour Wachau Valley with boat cruise on Danube-had a wonderful time.
Day 4- Visited Karlskirche, it happened to be Corpus Christi holiday so stayed for Mass and had planned to check out Naschmarkt but due to the holiday it was closed! Darn.
From there we took UBahn to the far stop at Schonnbrun the zoo stop I guess and walked thru the gardens/grounds first. We had lunch at the cafe next to the Carriage Museum then visited that museum- we both enjoyed- I'd say it was a do not miss. I had misread info and had booked a time for Schonbrunn entrance- with Sisi ticket that is not necessary- you do just walk right in- although that caused a bit of confusion- but whatever... we liked the Schonnbrun a lot- the audioguide is quite good and the crowds were not intolerable at all.
I feel like we hit all the highlights- or at least what was important to us and still had lots of wandering around time to enjoy the city.
Hope that helps- and hope you have nice weather!
Would appreciate if anyone on this post could advise on the following:
My husband & I will be arriving in Vienna late on Fri Sept 11th. We will be quite jet-lagged on the Sat so were just going to wander around the Old Town & do what sight seeing we felt up to. We were then considering booking a Sunday tour(online) through Viator called "Vienna Historical City Tour with Schonbrunn Palace" - 3.5hr bus tour /approx $67 Canadian per person. I realize this is double what it would cost us to go out there on our own but we are considering this because of jet-lag & our short time in Vienna (leaving on Monday for Salzburg). Has anyone done an organized tour of Schonbrunn & are there any other tour operators you would recommend to book with?
I answered this on the other thread, but I can't recommend buying that Viator trip. Schoenbrunn Palace alone deserves a good 2 hours, including a stop at the Gloriette or having a nice ramble around the gardens. The audioguide is perfectly sufficient, and definitely buy those tickets ahead of time to spare yourself the enormous lines that form even first thing in the morning. 3.5 hours is not nearly enough time for those events mentioned in the tour. The Belvidere and Schoenbrunn alone are rightly a half-day event, even if you don't bother to see the extra things at Schoenbrunn.