A Weekend In Vienna

vienna

Do's:

  • Spend an afternoon exploring the gardens of Schönbrunn Palace
  • Take advantage of the cheap city bikes. This is the best way to sight see in Vienna. 
  • Eat a Wiener Schnitzel!
  • Go for dinner or a drink at one of the bars along the Danube.
  • Check out the unique architecture of the Hundertwasserhaus.
  • Hang out around Museumsquartier.
  • Admire Karlskirche, one of Vienna's coolest churches! 
  • Take a river cruise down the Danube to Bratislava or Budapest. 

Don't:

  • Be fooled. Schönbrunn Palace is not in the city center. It's about 20 minutes away on public transit or you can go by bike. 
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I had only heard great things about Vienna prior to my arrival, making my expectations unavoidably high. After not one but two trips to this city, I could easily live here, which is saying a lot since it's nowhere near a beach! The city is simply grand, not to mention the people are so lovely! 

Luckily, I had an amazing tour guide/friend living in Vienna to show me around. We spent one day cycling around the city, passing by all the sights. Starting near Karlskirche, we biked through the Volksgarten and towards Musuemsquartier. Definitely take advantage of the city bikes while you're in Vienna. This is an extremely efficient way to see the city and there are paved bike lanes pretty much everywhere. The city bikes are free for the first hour of use, allowing you to switch it out every hour (making the bike free), or it’s 1€ for each additional hour. Which is still basically free.

Some noteworthy buildings to bike by: Karlskirche, The Museum of Natural History (Naturhistorisches), Hofburg Palace, & the Austrian Parliament Building. Musuemsquartier is a lovely pitstop and a great place to hangout weather permitting. While you're exploring, keep a look out for the cute gay, lesbian and straight couple crossing lights. See if you can spot them all! 

A bit out of the way, but also worth checking out if you have the time, is the Hundertwasserhaus. It's an eccentric apartment building designed by an Austrian artist named Friedensreich Hundertwasser. What makes the house stand out so much is the extreme difference in architecture to basically every other building in Vienna. Plus, I haven't seen anything quite like it. 

At night (in summer*), go to the Danube to find a selection of 'beach' bars and restaurants. Tel Aviv Beach 2010 has great drinks & falafel! With the sand beneath your toes and a mojito in hand, you can close your eyes and pretend you're at the beach.

Last but not least, dedicate one day/afternoon to Schönbrunn Palace, especially if it's sunny. I originally thought I would only spend about 1 hour to see the palace... I mean it's just a huge yellow building right? WRONG. What's so great about this palace is the surrounding area. The never-ending maze of gardens, the elegant fountains and parks. It's insane! Plus, there's a massive hill just in front of it, overlooking not only the palace but all of Vienna. If you have good weather (like I did), pack a picnic and plant yourself on the hill! 

Been to Vienna? What was your favourite part?