Hello world! We are in Vienna, Austria!
You can find video here: Did we see the Maze?
We drove from Bohinj, Slovenia; which I about 430 kilometer (270 miles) and 4,30 hours. Don’t forget to buy Austrian vinjet, it costs 8,90 EUR and it is valid for 10 days! Additional cost is Karavanke tunnel, sort of border between Slovenia & Austria, which is 7,20 EUR.
We had hard time finding accommodation within our budget, but that is because we booked last minute and were traveling in holiday season. So, we turned to old partner IBIS hotels. We stayed in their hotel in London and really liked it. Their hotels are pretty much the same all around the world; simple double bed with bathroom. For 3 nights we paid 200 EUR (double room & breakfast).
We didn’t really prepared for Vienna, so first day we just went to Schonbrunn palace. It is easy and quick to get there, using metro. Just take U4 metro line and get out on Schonbrunn station.
Important note!!! Book your tickets for Palace online!! When we arrived at the Palace, waiting line for Palace tickets was 2,30 hours long. Yes, you read it right; 150 minutes long! Lucky for us, Schonbrunn gardens are public and there is no ticket, no waiting, and no problem.
The gardens are stunning, but unfortunately for us who travel in winter times, not as attractive as in pictures you see online and many parts were closed (like Schonbrunn Maze which is closed till March and which we were eager to see).
Gloriette, big massive arch building at the top of the garden, is really impressive! The best thing about it, being on hill, you have great city view from there. Second best thing is they have coffee bar inside Gloriette. Espresso cost was 2 EUR, which is quite fair, if you can understand that you are drinking coffee in the place that was used as a dining hall, festival hall and breakfast room for Emperor Franz Joseph I. We found that mind blowing!
From Schonbrunn, we walked to Museum of Technology Wien. It is about 10 minute walk from Palace. Entrance fee per adult is 13 EUR. Museum is super adult and children friendly. I would say it is for everyone who are interested in how things work; from giant engines to hair blowers, music instruments to big boats, chairs to internet. It is place of science, astronomy, urban life, transport, electronic and there are so many things you can do yourself trough interactive experiments. Museum has 4 floors and it is impossible to see it all in one afternoon, like we tried. You can easily leave one day for this museum, if you are interested in learning how things around us, that we use every day, work. It is great place for people who are preparing for apocalypse and those who are learning what we need to do when machines rise against us
We ended our day in Kunsthauswien, museum designed by the artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Museum is 10 minute away from the Hundertwasser Haus, apartment block also designed by Hundertwasser. If you are artist or think of yourself as artistry person, if you are in search of unusual and different, this is a place to be. Completely different from rest of the city and refreshing. Entrance fee for Museum is 12 EUR per person, but you can see house block and market for free.
Second day in Vienna, we decided to go to Stephens cathedral and follow the Ringsstrasse (circular street where most attractions are). First stop Stephens’s cathedral – all we can remember is people dressed in costumes stopping us all the time and asking if we want to see concert, mixed with horse poop smell. We are not quite sure what to think about carriage rides, but if you like it, it goes with barn smell. It was literally like you are in barn, somewhere, not in metropolis city center. As for concert vendors, our advice is avoid any eye contact, hide camera or/and map, act local and uninterested if you want to walk around cathedral like normal person.
Second stop Hofburg Imperial Palace and Albertina – big waiting line again. Important note!! Pre-book you tickets online or go outside holiday season. We had only 2 days in Vienna and didn’t wanted to wait in lines for 1 our 2 hours, so we thought the best solution was just walk around and souk up city vibes. Third stop Rathaus – where are you Rathaus? We got there and huge fence was around park & building. Apparently Rathaus was converted into Christmas ice skate Park, which is fine, but they closed up entire park for Ice Park and you couldn’t see the sculptures, or approach Rathaus from any side. Big disappointment.
At this point, we were thinking to go back to Hotel and chill all day, we weren’t feeling Vienna at all. Luckily, right next to Rathaus is Parliament building; massive big white and gold structure that emerged in front of us looking all powerful. Visitor Center is open for the public and free of charge Monday to Saturday from 9:30 a.m to 4.30 p.m.
Next stop in Ringsstrasse was National History Museum, Kunsthistorisches Museum and Museumsquartier. If you have time, visit all, if you don’t choose one that you think you’d like the most. Our advice is Kunsthistorisches, because entire building seemed like artwork to us.
On the one side of Museumsquartier passes Mariahilferstrasse, the most famous and longest Vienna shopping street. Just a few minute walk from Mariahilferstrasse you will come to area called Naschmarkt, big food and product market.
From Naschmarkt we continued onto Karlsplatz, which ended up being one more disappointment. Entire area was filled with wooden planks (probably dismantled Christmas market houses), iron fences down on the ground and pine trees „leftovers“. Such a sad image of the Karlsplatz.
We continued to Belvedere Museum & Park, which is 20 minute walk; or you can take a tram „Opernring/Steig D“ from Opera House. Opera House is 2 minute from Karlsplatz and gives you a chance to see Opera House too.
To see Upper & Lower Belvedere you will pay 20 EUR per person. However, to see the gardens is free, like in Schonbrunn. Most of the garden was under maintenance and not as attractive, but the entire impression of Belvedere is magical. When you get there, you can really feel royal vibes and sense of 17 century luxury.
We finished our journey in Stadtpark. It is nice city park, family friendly. So close to city and again you have a feeling like you are not in a city at all. Seeing sunset while looking at ducks play in the pond really recharges your battery… well that and some food. Close by are some nice restaurants, so let me tell you about that now.
FOOD & DRINKS
Naschmarkt – here you can find nice finger food options, such as sandwiches, hotdogs, fruits, etc. It is good place to bring in some valuable nutrients to your body and continue your city walk. Total cost 25 EUR.
Bierreither – we found it on TripAdvisor offline app (which you can download before trip) and it seemed like nice welcoming local place. They had big beer choice and good menu. We ordered Frittaten soup, which is basically soup with pancakes. It sounded weird, but it was delicious! Diano went for famous Wiener snitzel and I took Chili noodles (which are more like gnocchi, but it was very tasty and spicy). Total cost with 4 beers, 46 EUR.
Junn Bar and Kitchen– sushi restaurant where we had the best sashimi!! Our recommendation is “Chef’s favorite lunch” and “Fishermen’s Lunch”, with which you get soup, main, salad and dessert. Total cost with 2 beers, 36 EUR
Mel’s Craft Beers & Dinner – Diano is beer lover, sooo we don’t have to tell you we loved this place the best. They have 300 beer options! You come there and you are star struck, unable to order just one beer. Maya went for Mel’s tasting plate; which is 6 shoots of beer. It costs 10 EUR and you get to try 6 beers of your choice. Maya’s favorite pick is Newcastle Brown Ale, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Bevog Rudeen Black Ipa. Diano liked Thornbridge Vienna Ipa and Collabs. Make sure you try at least one when you come there! They also offer various food options, as well as beer bread. Total cost approx. 50 EUR, but keep in mind we had 30 EUR drinks (4 bottles and Maya’s tasting plate) included in that cost LOL.
Beer Lovers shop – this is shop, shop for beer’s only, so if you are not a fan, maybe you should skip this part….unless you like cider, because they have that too. That place is like Beer wonderland. They offer 1.300 different type of beer: lagers, pale ale, porter, stout, pilsner, etc. Beer for all tastes and pockets! We bought most of our male souvenirs there and cost didn’t exceeded 30 EUR.
Hope this blog helps at least one person traveling to Vienna in near future. Let me know if you need any more information on anything in comment below. If you like it feel free to give it „thumbs up“ or share it.
Next time, we are taking you to Brno, Czech Republic!
Follow us on our adventure!
Diano & Maya