First time in Vienna

My first time in Austria was spent visiting the capital city, Vienna. I spontaneously booked this trip last minute in the midst of writing my master’s thesis because I was longing for a nice relaxing getaway. Additionally, flight tickets were only 150DKK (£17) from Copenhagen! With such an impulsive decision and less than a few days until departure, I was left with no concrete plans whatsoever on where to go, what to do, when to return, where to return from, and who to go with. Basically, I had a one-way ticket to Vienna and a €1 bus ticket to Bratislava, Slovakia with me, myself and I.

I would say I’m quite familiar with solo traveling by now and I’m very comfortable in my own company regardless of where in the world I am, but this time I thought it would be nice to have my dear friend Chloe joining me as our last travel together was our bachelor’s grad-trip to Barcelona. So glad she managed to join me despite my last-minute request.

We both arrived in Vienna around the same time at 6pm from Copenhagen and London and headed directly to our hotel in Messe Prater in Leopoldstadt District. Not a very central location, but perfect if you want to explore different areas of the city and visit Vienna Prater and “Schweizerhaus”, a famous amusement park and beer garden. We spent the evening there and ate a good local wienerschnitzel dinner! Please rely on Google images for this one, as I didn’t bring my devices to capture any photos.

The next morning was a full day of sight-seeing. We got the 24 hour Vienna ticket for €8, which was a perfect way to use the public transportation system to go anywhere we wanted. Usually I would prefer walking from A to B, but Vienna was quite a large city and there just wasn’t enough time for that this time considering the amount of sights I wanted to see.

First stop of the day was a healthy and delicious breakfast at Joseph Brot, before walking towards the unique Hundertwasserhaus, a residential building designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser (which reminded me of Antoni Gaudí’s architecture in Barcelona). From there we explored the city centre, such as Stephansplatz and St. Stephen’s Cathedral etc. If you’re on a kaffehaus hop like we were, Central Café and Demel are two classics not to be missed.

Later we made our way out the MuseumsQuartier, where we visited the beautiful public park, Volksgarten which was close to Justizpalast, Vienna Operahouse and the Kunsthistorisches Museum. Unfortunately, the latter was closed when we were there so if you ever travel to Vienna on a Monday, be aware that certain places will be closed.

In time for lunch, we walked towards Naschmarkt, Vienna’s biggest and most popular market for food and vintage stalls. The sun was shining so we took the advantage of sitting outside and soaking up the rays. Big tips: the food is better and cheaper the further into the market you go. The market is quite big so give yourself enough time to explore it all.

Since we didn’t have many more days in Vienna, I wanted to check out the Schönbrunn Palace, about a 20 minutes metro ride from Karlsplatz. After all, it is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historical monuments in the country. This place was absolutely huge and it took us a couple of hours to get around - and we were only outside in the free entrance areas. I think we would need a whole day if we opted for the additional full guided tours inside the palace. Overall, a gorgeous place that I’m happy we managed to see during our visit. Definitely put it on your Vienna bucket list if it’s not already on it.

Later in the evening we headed back into the city where we had dinner at a local restaurant. We stayed out for a bit before heading back to the hotel to get ready for Bratislava the next morning.

I liked Vienna and I think there are much more to see, so I’ll probably be back on day for a longer stay. Then I would visit Salzburg and Hallstatt as well, and not to mention the Austrian alps. And who knows, I might attend a classical music concert too.