Vienna, the city of music, art, Sissi, palaces, expensive coffee, Danube, Strauss, the Spanish Riding School with its magnificent Lipizzan horses, the Sissy Museum, the Vienna Boy's Choir, the Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel, etc. There is so much to see, things you read about and heard stories about all your life. Take it from me, you need at least a full week to see part of it, the most important items. It's the town where all the really important composers lived and worked, like Mozart, Beethoven, Johann Strauss, Schubert, Haydn, etc. Remember the movie "The Third Man" with Orson Welles? You can follow the footsteps of the Third Man. There's a tour to do that! Make a tour to the famous Vienna Forest and stroll around in the Prater. Enjoy a boat tour on the Danube. Oh boy, I can't even begin to tell you where to go. I would like to suggest you forget about the car. Leave it somewhere. Travel by tram, bus or underground. And walk. The latter is the best way of sampling Vienna. You won't be disappointed. But make sure to wear good shoes!
- Voltage: 220V, 50 Hz. Bring a universal adaptor!
- Money: Euro. All credit cards are excepted. Mind you, the Austrians are part of the European Community. And therefore they changed to the Euro on January 1, 2002. And they can be used everywhere in Europe. The value at the moment is about US$ 1.32 per 1 Euro.
- Religion: Roman Catholics and Protestant.
- Climate: July and August are the months when temperatures can soar to very hot temperatures. I just spend a few days there in a sweltering heat of 35 degrees Centigrade. Not nice. In January it can be very chilly, but the rest of the months are terrific. By the way, you won't be able to visit the Vienna Boys Choir nor the Spanish Riding School in July and August. They are on holidays or something!
- Call to Holland: 0031 -
- Time compared to GMT:+ 1 hour
There are many ways to go to Vienna. By air, road, train and car. But I would like to suggest you leave the car somewhere on the outskirts of the town. Not because the traffic is dangerous, but simply finding a parking place in that unknown city is a little hair raising. Up to you, of course. But there are many ways to get to the center, such as taxis, trams, underground, buses and by bike, if you have one available. The latter, take it from me, is the best way! You might be able to rent one! There are campings just outside Vienna with good public transport connection. One such a camping which I can recommend from my own experience is situated in a suburb of Vienna called Klosterneuburg ( www.klosterneuburg.at ). The camping is called Donaupark-Camping. In der Au. Tel. +43 (0) 2243 32038. It's only some 12 kilometers away from the center of Vienna. They rent bikes and a trip along the borders of the Danube going into Vienna is something else!
- Activities and tips.
Walk through the center. Take your time. Enjoy the sights, marvel at the architecture and the history all around you. Don't forget to pop into a tourist information office and get some special info on all the sites to see. There are marvelous boat cruises on the Danube, sightseeing buses and you can even hop into a carriage and looking at the rear end of a horse, get yourself shown around the center of the city! The underground is a fine way of travelling around the town. Daytickets are available, also for the busses and the trams. Check with the tourist bureau. But I must warn you! The prices of a cup of coffee or food are triple the price as anywhere else in Austria. My wife and I ordered a large cup of espresso on a terrace next to the Opera. We had to pay € 3.50 per cup and when it came, we couldn't see coffee at all. By looking directly into the cup, we discovered a layer of about 2 centimeters in the bottom.Espresso is one thing, but one mouthful for 3, 5 Euro's is something different. I took a photo, so I would never forget! Have a look for yourself! Mind you, we didn't drink part of it before I took the picture!
Restaurants are everywhere and terraces as well. Cosy little pubs and expensive looking cafe's everywhere. In the different parks, however, there are many seats available, where you can eat you own luncheon packet you brought with you with magnificent views over the city. Get my meaning? It saves you a lot of money!
There are many things to see. History is Vienna. It stretches back to the 4th century, when there was a Celtic settlement. Much happened since of course. The House of Habsburg reigned there until 1918 from 1282 onwards. And if you think that the Vienna Boys Choir is something reasonably new: The choir was set up by Maximilian the First in 1498. There are many beautiful churches and cathedrals to visit. Mostly free of charge. The best, in my view, is the St. Stephen's Cathedral on Stephansplatz.and the magnificent Hofburg (imperial palace, see the picture above) on the Burgring. Imagine Sissi walking around there. There's a beautiful park all around it, where you can sit on the grass, having your lunch. There are terraces as well, where you can have a bite and a drink (Burggarten). If you can, visit an opera in the State Opera House on the Opernring and feel the old masters there! But there's also a "Plaque Column" on the Graben, which reminds one that it wasn't all music and riches in Vienna in the past! There are many museums worth a visit. But like I said before, don't forget a "Wiener Stadtrundfahrt". It's a bus trip around the the center of Vienna, visiting all the sights, castles, and includes a guided walk around. It's not cheap: € 25 per person. But there's a cheaper way: a hop on hop off bus, without a guide of course at € 5 per person. And a trip with a boat on the Danube is a must, if possible at night. Feel yourself engulfed by fairytales in the "Hundertwasser-Haus", Fairy Tale houses (2) in Lowen-Kegelgasse and Weisgerberstrasse. The architect is called Hundertwasser and he designed the houses between 1983 and 1985. And, if you're lucky enough to visit Vienna in the time that they perform there unbelievable precision horse riding, do visit the world famous Spanish Riding School on Josephplatz, just behind the Hofburg and near the Austrian National Library. I sincerely hope you can enjoy the city as we did.
Weather in Vienna now!
Info from Lonely Planet
Info on Vienna, a city guide
Copyright © 1998-2010 Luuk Francken
Created: April 14, 1998. Updated: augustus 21 2011