Vienna was the second destination on our little multi-city trip that we took last month. We actually stayed in Bratislava for three nights in a very cute Air B&B and decided to take a day trip to Vienna. Travelling between Austria, Slovakia and Hungary on this trip was very simple and affordable on the trains. The trip between Bratislava and Vienna took just over an hour and cost €15 return. During the train journey, I did my research using my Vienna Marco Polo Guide to create the perfect itinerary.
There’s certainly a lot of sights to see in Vienna but if you plan your day well, I’d say you can see a hell of a lot. As soon as we arrived in Vienna, we decided to purchase a day pass for public transport. These passes include the trams, metro and buses for only €8. Vienna is a huge city and many of the sights are quite a distance from each other so I couldn’t recommend using public transport enough.
We planned our day by looking at the Vienna Highlights in our Marco Polo Guide and working out what we would like to see from there. First off, we caught the metro to St.Stephens Cathedral which is one of the cities most famous landmarks. It’s a pretty stunning building and you can see why it’s such an iconic building. Admission into the Cathedral is from as little as €4.50 where you can climb 343 steps up to the South Tower and get incredible views of the city. The Cathedral is located really centrally within the inner city, you’ll find all the usual high street stores around here.
Just a short walk away was the Stadtpark which was the cities first park. I can imagine it’s a very popular destination to chill out and wander through in Summer. It’s also home to a couple of famous statues and a memorial for Johann Strauss Jr who was known as the king of the waltz. There’s so much musical history wherever you turn in Vienna; Mozart and Beethoven also hail from the Austrian Captial.
The one place that I really wanted to visit whilst in Vienna was the Schoenbrunn Palace and Gardens. The palace is slightly on the outskirts of the city but it only took maybe 15 minutes on the metro from the Stadtpark station. This palace is actually Austria’s number one visited the attraction and I can see why. Not only is the building pretty spectacular but there’s something for everyone here. You could just enjoy the grounds and gardens for free or visit Vienna Zoo (the oldest working zoo in the world) which is within the Schonbrunn Palace grounds or the Children’s Museum. There are also a few restaurants here too. In the end, we spent an hour here exploring the grounds. You could easily spend the whole day here if you wanted to see everything. It’s well worth making the trip out here and I’d say it was my favourite place we visited in Vienna.
After a spot of lunch, we went on a search of Vienna’s famously beautiful buildings. The first place on the agenda was the Vienna State Opera House. The Opera House in Vienna is world renowned and there are usually 60 or more different shows per season. For 9 euro’s there are two daily tours around the building where you can see where all the magic happens.
There’s a lot going on in this area actually with the Hofburg Imperial Palace just around the corner. Our Marco Polo Guide book described the area as a “labyrinth complex of buildings” and they weren’t kidding. We kept following the signs and ended up going through many different courtyards and buildings before finding ourselves at the main square of Hofburg Imperial Palace. This is also where you will find the Spanish Riding School which I so wanted to visit if we had more time. This is where they train Lipizzan horses since 1735! It’s kind of surreal that this institute is in such a central location to the city.
Another place I was really excited about visiting was the Wiener Prater and it’s actually a fun theme park like attraction. The park is free to wander around but all the rides are priced individually. I’d say maybe half of the park was closed, probably because we were out of season. I’d highly recommend visiting though as it’s got such as cool an fun vibe going on with magical music and there’s even a rollercoaster restaurant here. Your food gets delivered via a little rollercoaster track, how unique. There’s also a Madame Tussauds but the main attraction is the big Ferris wheel where you can get a panoramic view over the city.
Our final stop in Vienna was visiting our third palace of the day; Belvedere Palace. In terms of architecture, this palace I’d say is the prettiest of them all and I loved the Baroque styled gardens. This palace was built in the 1700s as a Summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy. The whole place is pretty spectacular and is also home to a permanent collection of Gustav Klimt artwork including The Kiss which I found so interesting as I studied his work at College.
Vienna sure is a pretty city, all of the buildings and palaces are so insanely beautiful. It’s a shame some of the buildings we visited such as the Parliament Building and Town Hall were covered in scaffolding but that’s the downside to travelling out of season. What really surprised me was how huge the city was, I’m sure we would have been pretty lost if we hadn’t had our Marco Polo Guide. I’m not entirely sure I would ever go back to Vienna as we covered everything we wanted to, but I’m so glad I got to explore the city and it was so easy to get to from Bratislava!
Have you ever been to Vienna before? Would you like to go to Vienna?
*This blog post is in collaboration with Marco Polo Guides