Hello all who love this city or are planning a visit. I thought I would open up any discussion, questions, suggestions, or raves about this wonderful city.
I'm going to be spending about a day and a half in Vienna in late April or early May. Any suggestions on what not to miss would be great as my time is limited. We're staying at Rick Steves recommended Hostel Ruthensteiner, which is a bit outside the city center but seems close enough.
Your hostel is not too far away from city center. In the square in front of the Westbahnhof (which is right near your hostel) you will find the U-bahn station which will have you downtown in minutes. You can also walk down Mariahilferstrasse to city center, about 15 min, a nice walk with lots of shops. Take either tram 1 or 2 when you hit the Ring as both circle it and you can hop off when you see anything interesting to you. As far as sights or things to do. What are your interests and what kind of dining do you have in mind? With the limited time you have I wouldn't try to cram in too much, maybe one or two sights some cafes and dining/drinks, to get a feel for the place so you will want to come back and really spend some time there. We have been many times, from 7 days to 1 month and still come back for more.
With Vienna's superb transportation system, your hostel location will be no problem whatsoever. I have stayed at the Ruthensteiner. It is only a few minutes walk to the U-Bahn stop at the Westbahnhof. The very center of the city, Stephansplatz (St. Stephen's Cathedral) is only 5 stops (U-3) away, only 3 stops to the Ringstrasse.
This amounts to no more than 10-15 minutes of travel time.
We will be back in Vienna for the 3rd time in July. Our last trip was to see Christmas Markets, which was great fun. We used a transportation pass even though much of the city core is walkable. The pass gets you everywhere. Take Rick's Ring Tram Tour.
Karen; I am jealous of your trip. I love this city. Where do you stay?
You asked about my interests and what kind of dining...? I'd like to see either the Hapsburg Palance or Shonnbrun (forgive the mispelling) - probably one or the other, not both. I typically focus on whatever Rick Steves gives 2 or 3 "triangles" in his guidebooks. I just watched the Rick Steves Austria show and the sweets in Vienna look very tasty! (Chocolate cake and streudel - yum!). I am not a picky eater, and I'd much prefer going to local places versus touristy ones with English menus.
Hi Nicole; I recommend going over to Schoenbrunn, go early as to miss the multitudes of tour buses, take the tour, (they give you a handheld audio device free with admission)and then go out and enjoy the gardens of the palace. Definitely take tram 1 or 2 and circle the ring. For sweets, I know that many say Sacher Hotel for this, but really, it is filled with tourists. Try going to Cafe Diglas or Cafe Schottenring...still great sweets, just as good as Sacher. For dinner, I highly recommend Spatzennest or Witwe Bolte for a great and decently priced traditional Viennese dinner. You can go to our site: http://austria.starkeconcepts.com/
and check the links page for addresses and additional dining choices. We have been to all that we list and had great food and drink in each and every one! If you have more questions you can also email me through the site, happy to help.
Nichole; If you really want a great experience go out to Weinhof Zimmermann, listed on my site, you'll love the place and will see very few tourists...I remember watching the sun set over the vineyards as we sipped some excellent Gruner Veltliner wine...for your short stay this place will definitely call you back for more!
Europe is so diverse in many ways that we like to concentrate on the plus points of each culture.
We liked Vienna for the music, cafes, pastries and palaces.
Schonbrunn Schloss was an enjoyable trip.
The Opera House tour was good and we loved sampling pastries at Demel's and Sacher just to compare. The buffet sandwiches at Trzesniewski were also reasonable and good. The Haus der Musik is a great place to visit with kids. The #1 tram ride around Ringstrasse gave us an overview of all the monuments and the Hundertwasserhaus is a whimsical building for all avant-garde architecture lovers.
We also took in a touristy but enjoyable Mozart concert at the Golden Hall in Musikverein. I always wanted to go there because I watch the New Year's concert that takes place at that venue, on PBS every year.
Also last but not the least, if you have to see 2 churches, tour the Stephansdom for Gothic architecture and Karlskirche for Baroque.
Thank you all for the great tips in this thread. I will be in Vienna for about 5 days this August and must admit I was having a little trouble finding 5 days' worth of things to do. I don't really want to take a day trip as Vienna is right before I will trek to Italy so I want to be a little bit more relaxed in Vienna to save energy.
Can I ask a dumb question? What's the best way to get into the city center (I'm staying in the 1010 district) from the Airport and about how long does it take? Many thanks!
It is not a dumb question at all!
Vienna has an excellent transport system.
The following web site should help you:
The next web site will tell you about all the types of transport within Vienna.
Hope it helps
Not at all a dumb question. Best way is to take the S-bahn from the airport. It will drop you at Wien Mitte (Landstrasse) station from there you can connect with several U-bahn lines to get you where you need to be. Where are you staying? I can probably give you better directions. Yes 5 days you will find more than enough to do and will probably leave you with a desire to come back for more as this city has done to us.
Forgot to say that it will take you about 20 min. from the airport via S-bahn. Do not take the more expensive CAT train, not worth the extra money. Should be around 1.50 euro for the ride in on the S-bahn, but I hear there will be a 10% increase soon, still a great deal. Buy a 72 hr transit pass when you get into Wien, around 12.00 euro, it gives you access to all of the excellent public transit in Wien.
Thanks so much, Devika and Alex! I'm really excited about going to Vienna. I am taking a 6-week trip to Europe this summer and almost skipped Vienna, but a couple of friends changed my mind and now it's one of the cities I am most excited about.
I decided to stay at the Hotel am Schubertring (http://www.schubertring.at/pages/english/e_index_neu_2.html), a little pricy, but a girl can splurge sometimes :) And that was why I asked - their website has little more than a black and white map - as if that's helpful to someone who speaks no German and has never been to Vienna!
I was definitely planning on buying the transportation pass - 12 Euros seems so cheap. I know there is the Vienna Card, too - is it worth it?
Okay, one more dumb question. I plan on taking the super early 6:30am direct train to Venice from Südbahnhof. I assume reserving a ticket in advance (i.e. when I arrive) is a good idea, but does anyone have a clue as to what that ticket might cost?
Hello again. You will love the city I am sure. If you take the S-bahn to Wien-Mitte (Landstrasse) station you are about 5 min away from your hotel by walking. When you come out of the station you will be on Landstrasse, walk toward the Ring (Should be a right turn when you come out the door) When you hit the Ring, take a left, if you get to the opera house you've gone too far. You can also walk to the Ring and hop on a tram (bim) 1 or 2 circle the Ring. Buy your transit pass from one of the easy to use machines at the station at the airport or at Wien-Mitte, and make sure you time stamp it (you'll see the validating machines to stamp ususally around the escalators in the Vienna stations). Vienna card not worth the price in my view, discounts are not that good. You can go to our site for many food and cafe recommendations: http://austria.starkeconcepts.com/ click on the links. You can buy your ticket to Italy the day before you leave, it is no problem.
Ran out od characters here is the Austrian national railways site: http://www.oebb.at/vip8/oebb/en/
If you have more questions you can also email me through our website...happy to help with first timers!
Thank you so much again, I really do appreciate it! I will print those instructions and take them with me :)
I looked around at the oebb site and got flustered looking into purchasing online (didn't intend to purchase, but wanted to get in and see what the price was like etc., for my budgeting purposes haha) and it turned to all German with no English alternative and then i was totally lost. hahaha. I figured reserving way in advance for a 6:30am train wasn't a huge deal, but as it's the only direct train to venice each day I figured I'd check with the experts first!
I'll definitely check out your site as planning my stay in Vienna is giving me more trouble than for any other city for some reason...
Hello! I'd like to plan a trip to Vienna, Austria, for New Year's Eve week, 2007. But, before I do, I'd like to know what is open/closed, so I just won't be twiddling my thumbs in my hotel room. Any advice/comments would be welcome! Thanks so much and please feel free to email me. email@example.com
Do not miss strolling thru the Prater, the city's very old, big and lovely park. It is easily reached via the metro and provides hours of leisurely walking and various amusements as well as bike rental.
We stayed in Vienna last year, in an apt on GrossSchiffgasse. Our landlady spoke only Hungarian tho the rental agent spoke fluent English
Alex hits the nail on the head when he recommends Weinhoff Zimmerman. What an authentic old style Heuriger. I am bragging now: I live a 10 minute walk from there! The vineyards are great for walking. Immediately at the top of the ridge, the Vienna Woods begin. Take the 39A bus to the end of the line and you are a 2 minute walk from the woods. If you are a fan of walking through fairy-tale European Forests, this is a good area. Best part: every trail seems to lead to a small Gasthaus tucked between the trees where you can order a tall beer and a schnitzl. From downtown Vienna, its about a 40-45 minute on public transit to Neustift an Walde, the top of Sievering, or Grinzing (Grinzing is the most touristy). However "its all good!". Happy travels!
You are indeed a lucky man to live where you do. The area is absolutely wonderful...I have wandered it many times. How is the wine this Frühling? I wish I could be there this fall for the Sturm!
Thomas...forgot to add that we discovered the Zimmerman from a recommendation from the innkeeper at the Zur Agnes, right at the end of the line of the 39a. Marta was really great and directed us to many non-tourist Heurige arounf Sievering and Nussdorf. Drink a glass of Gruner or Zweigelt for me!
Alex -- Did you stay at Zur Agnes? How was it? We are thinking of using it as "overflow" lodging for family later in the year, but haven't checked it out yet. Thanks! Small world. :-)
Yes, we stayed there on our first trip back in 2001. They have expanded it a bit since then I have heard, although on our last visit I walked by it and all looked the same. Rooms were good, Marta and her husband were very nice. Included breakfast was the usual buffet style. It was nice to get back there at the end of a long day and have a beer or glass of Gruner. Prices are very reasonable for the area (it seemed to me). You might be able to deal with Marta on the room rates depending on how many people you want to put up there. I saw a website that recommended it so, after a long day of cycling and S-bahn to Klosterneuburg from Duernstein, we searched it out, and after a long and interesting ride we found it. Marta's husband (the boss)greeted us at the courtyard door and was quite the character. He made us a deal for a three day stay, though I can't recall how much...ah the days of the Schilling! Since then we usually stay at the Kaminek's apartments over in Floridsdorf.
Thomas; you can also try:
we use this service for apartments which can be a better value sometimes. I don't know if they have anything up near Sievering, but worth a look. Best from Oregon!