I visited Vienna in Austria in August 2018 with my boyfriend Philip for a bit of culture before our hiking trip in Slovakia. Vienna is big, beautiful and busy, teeming with tourists especially in the summertime. If you can visit Vienna outside national holidays, common vacations (summer, winter) you might escape the masses..
We stayed at Hotel Boltzmann for two nights, where breakfast was included. A really great way to save money on a city vacation is to have breakfast at the hotel.
Since we only had two nights in Vienna before going on a hiking week in Slovakia, we went exploring the city on the day of arrival.
We immediately bought a 48h ticket for public transport, which was mainly to spare our legs for the hike to come in the following days. Even if you do end up using public transport (because, yes, Vienna is HUGE!), you still end up walking quite a few kilometers.
Stunning art in the Votiv Church
We visited the Votiv church, a large and very beautiful church in the city center. I recommend visiting this church if you are into culture and architecture, mostly because this place is less overrun than the very busy Sct. Peter’s Catholic Church!
We discovered the popularity of churches, as we wanted to see the Sct. Peter’s Catholic Church. We were soon overwhelmed by tourist masses and did not spend too long in the square.
We escaped the hoards and went for a walk in the lovely little park, Unsere Gärten.
Using our ticket, we took the local tram through the city to see the river Donau properly. Later we enjoyed a burger and ice cold Radler at the laid back Tel Aviv Beach right by Donau.
The second day started at the Albertina Museum, which is famous for its huge art collection. At the moment we visited, they exhibited ‘Monet bis Picasso’ showcasing artists such as Miro, Degas, and Matisse – perfect for art lovers! 🙂
You really cannot visit Vienna without at least a visit to an Opera or an art museum such as the Albertina.
We then had a refreshing ginger-hibiscus beverage at the vegan food-chain Veggiezz, and we regret not having our lunches there.
Escaping the sun in the shady park ‘Jesutenweise’
You can take the tram to many corners of Vienna, and we went north-east to the park Jesutenweise and had lunch at Kugeltanz (a bowling place!). Philip had a delicious meal but I got a dry sandwich with old bread. I am sure you can find a better place for lunch :). The park is cute and relaxed, but not much else to do there than escape the midday sun and the tourist hoards.
Then we took the tram back towards the city center and the Belvedere Castle with the accompanying garden. Without entering the castle, but instead having a stroll down the huge open ‘garden’. Then venturing into the adjoining botanical garden with more lush vegetation and for some shade on this sunny day.
We had the biggest ice-cream at Aida konditorei at the Stephansplatz. After some ice-cream eating and people watching we decided to walk home to our hotel for a little rest before ending the day with dinner at another Veggiezz. Again, a really nice place, check it out! There are many restaurants scattered across Vienna, and you don’t have to be vegetarian or vegan to have a meal there 😉
I believe you can get a good piece of the big city vibe of Vienna in two-three nights. That being said, you can never spend too much time exploring a city! Even in Copenhagen, where I live, you can keep finding cozy cafés and little cute shops.
Next time I am in Vienna I will probably get a City pass and visit museums like Sigmund Freud Museum and the Zoological Garden. We also attempted to have dinner at the Ethiopian Restaurant on Währinger Str. but came during their holiday! If we didn’t have such a tight budget we would have gone to the theater as well.
If you are curious as to how our hike went, wait for my post about Slovakia or have a sneak peak at my Instagram postcard 😀
Photo contributor: Philip