We Found Many Of The Ways To Enjoy Vienna
We visited for few days and found many of the ways to enjoy Vienna (or “Wein”). A great stop in Austria for great food, classical music, beautiful buildings, vineyards and more as we wandered.
For the first weeks of our visit to Central Europe we were very busy as we toured for the first time with Overseas Adventure Tours (OAT). We saw so much on our travels from Prague to Budapest. But we were exhausted when we finally said goodbye to the group. We left Budapest and travelled by train to Vienna.
It was an easy train trip in Business Class. We had lots of room, comfortable seats and it was a quiet zone so we relaxed or worked. When we crossed the border into Austria, border guards checked our passports while we stayed on the train.
We were not sure what to plan for our stop in Vienna. The weather looked like it would be unsettled for our entire stay. Every day the rains threatened. But during our visit we only once scurried to get out of the rain. It gave us much more time to just wander the beautiful city of Vienna. But not the relaxing break we thought it might be!
1) Enjoy A Pampering Stay At Le Meridien
We were happy to be back at more luxury hotels after we left the tour group. We chose Le Meridien in Vienna on our continued quest to build our hotel loyalty status. It was definitely a great choice! The hotel leadership was proactive and reached out before we checked in. On our first night, we received a great sweet welcome.
We were very happy that the room included a free wifi hotspot. It was a small portable device similar to the international hotspot we travelled with. We took the hotel hotspot with us everywhere we went. Being connected at all times was one of the ways to enjoy Vienna.
We booked a suite and had lots of room to spread out. The large claw foot tub was a welcome relief at the end of a long day of touring. If we wanted more, we only had to go down to the pool, jacuzzi or sauna. We certainly took advantage of that.
The hotel had a champagne bar off the lobby. Another great way to enjoy a treat in Vienna!
Staying in a luxury hotel was certainly one of the ways to enjoy Vienna for us. We needed a little pampering and we definitely got it!
2) Take A Bus Tour In Vienna
We assessed the various Hop-On-Hop-Off (“HOHO”) bus options and even considered the Vienna Card. The Vienna Card provided free admission and some fast path entry to a list of attractions. We got value from a city card on one visit to London with a London Pass. Since we wanted a lazy visit in Vienna, we decided we would never get our money’s worth from the Vienna Card.
But finally decided to do the Vienna Sightseeing HOHO bus. It offered 6 different lines and covered a broad distance in and out of the city. The grey line even went out to the roman ruins in Carnuntum. But we already visited Carnuntum on our group tour.
We rode all of the city lines and got a good overview of the sights around the city. We also used the bus and headed high to Kahlenberg Mountain. Traffic and road construction finally made us abandon the bus.
A HOHO bus tour was an easy one of the ways to enjoy Vienna. It gave us a good overview and provided transportation. But it was not the best option for fast transportation around the city.
3) Explore On Your Own
When we were not on the HOHO bus, we chose to walk most places. But it was easy and quick to travel around by public transit. Vienna had an extensive tram and subway system. There was even a tram that ran a circle route through downtown to most of the central tourist spots. And there were several subway stops close to our hotel.
Probably the best option to make some distance around the city was to rent a bike. There were a number of different options to get a bike. Our hotel even had them available. It was a pretty flat city so riding a bike around was easy. And the bikes lanes were everywhere. There were so many bike lanes that I felt endangered as a pedestrian at almost every street intersection. Bike riders just raced along in their lanes and we didn’t you dare step into it!
There were many ways to take a tour in Vienna. We saw horse and carriage rides in front of many of the tourist spots. And some people toured the city on Segways.
We found many transportation options and fun ways to enjoy Vienna.
4) Sightseeing Was Just One Of The Ways To Enjoy Vienna
We were not really surprised when we found so many sights to see in Vienna. Many things were a short walk from our hotel around the main square at the Opera House. Or a short walk to the Museum Quarter.
We found fascinating buildings as we wandered in Vienna. Large gardens and fountains provided a quiet oasis from the crowds.
As we toured around Vienna, we saw such a great variety of churches. We saw most of the churches from the outside. But we were amazed when we peeked inside a few.
Everywhere we wandered we found amazing architectural detail in the buildings. And statues that ranged from classical to modern. There were tributes ti Mozart, Johann Strauss, Johann Sebastian Bach, Goethe, Maria Teresa, Emperor Francis Joseph and more.
We passed the Vienna Schonbrunn Palace but we never went in the gates. We knew that would take a much longer visit to explore.
Seeing the sights of Vienna was one of our favourite ways to enjoy Vienna.
5) Find The Water
The Danube River flowed right through Vienna. It was the source of much musical inspiration. The notes of the Blue Danube Waltz ran through our heads every time we crossed.
On the shores of the Danube we saw rafts of river cruise boats. We always knew when the ships were in town by the number of tour buses that crowded the streets around our hotel.
There was also a large canal that ran around Danube Island. Along the side of the canal we saw lots of recreation spots. This was also where we saw the beaches. We would have liked to visit a beach in Vienna.
Within the city itself we saw many much smaller canals. They did not seem to be navigable and many were dry. We believed they provided flood protection. The concrete sides of the canals seemed to draw those who wanted to leave their tagging mark on the city.
Heading to the water was one of the ways to enjoy Vienna.
6) The Music Was One Of The Ways To Enjoy Vienna
We could not visit Vienna and not immediately be aware of its musical past. Almost every block in the city had some story attached to it. And the musicians that lived in this city.
Musicians were a common theme in the statues we found around Vienna. The statue of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart included an interesting grass trimming that showed a musical treble clef. We never found the statues of Johann Strauss in the Stadtpark (City Park). On the streets we often found stars on the ground to different musical greats.
Churches offered organ concerts. And the various musical and opera houses around Vienna had nightly entertainment. People dressed in period costumes worked to draw us into a show every time we passed.
Even when we took our HOHO tour, the music of Vienna kept us company. When the running commentary finished, a new musical piece began.
Immersing ourselves in the music was one of the ways to enjoy Vienna. Although we were sad we missed a concert experience on this visit.
7) Get Out Of The City
There were so many city sites to enjoy. But it was nice to head out of the city. As we left the downtown area on the HOHO bus, we went through the Vienna suburbs. We went past former summer houses for the nobility. And heard entertaining stories of famous musicians and philosophers who stayed in this area.
To get to the top of Kahlenberg Mountain, we drove along twisty mountain roads and passed vineyards. We saw several little wine towns that looked like great places to stop. It was a holiday when we went up the mountain and many of the shops were closed. We put this on our list for a return trip.
The Kahlenberg Mountain sat high above Vienna. There were hiking paths to the summit. We took the HOHO green bus up there. And there was also a city bus that stopped at the top.
At the top we found the usual tourist shops with trinkets to buy. There was a small petting zoo for children. The small church was not open when we visited. But we found much to see as we wandered.
We found several different spots with large patios for a view. In one direction we looked down over Vienna. It was a hazy day. But we saw the Danube River as it wound through the city. The taller buildings in the new section of the city stood high above the mostly flat city. When we looked straight down we got a good glimpse of the vineyards on the side of the mountain.
Heading out of the city was certainly one of the ways to enjoy Vienna.
8) Eat Well In Vienna
By the time we reached Vienna, we were happy to choose our own meals. We ate lots of fresh seafood and veggies. Asparagus was in season so we gorged on that many times.
Before we headed to Europe, we travelled through the Caribbean and managed to stay on our low carb diet. We definitely lost weight. But we knew that Central Europe would be a challenge. As we travelled from Prague through to Budapest, we found that most of the tour group meals were local specialties. The meals were heavy, soaked in sauce and we craved vegetables at the end of our group tour.
But when we wanted some meat for dinner, we headed to one of the many restaurants that advertised themselves as meat spots. The burgers were juicy and just what we wanted for a break.
Stroll Through The Naschmarkt Market
The Naschmarkt was a large open air market along the canals by our hotel. As we strolled aisle by aisle, we found a great variety in what was offered for sale. There were a large number of vendors that sold food products if you had a kitchen and cooked for yourself.
But there were also some great restaurants. We became quite addicted to octopus when we visited Portugal for 4 weeks. We ate so much I was afraid we would turn purple and grow an extra arm. So we were delighted when we found octopus on many of the menus in Vienna. It was a complete meal when we found both octopus and seafood risotto.
Don’t Miss The Viennese Pastries
No discussion on Viennese cuisine was complete without a look at the desserts. One morning, we started our day at Cafe Mozart. Unfortunately we walked past the sweet counter before we got our breakfast menus.
But we were actually tempted by a really healthy breakfast option of an egg with avocado. We found something sweet a little later for our morning break.
The cafe scene was great in Vienna. We often stopped and watched the world go by. Sometimes it was coffee, sometimes wine and many times we were delighted when we found Aperol Spritz on the menu. Eating and drinking was one of our favourite ways to enjoy Vienna.
So Many Ways To Enjoy Vienna
We only stopped for a few days in Vienna. Original we thought this would be a downtime for us. We enjoyed our pampering stay at Le Meridien Vienna. But the great weather drew us out and we found many ways to enjoy Vienna.
The HOHO bus provided an overview of Vienna and got us down to the water and out of town. We wandered from our hotel and saw so many of the sights of Vienna. But we left with a long list of things to do on a return visit.
We found it very interesting that Vienna was so close to Bratislava. We loved our visit to Bratislava and felt it may be a cheaper option for short day trips to Vienna. There were regular transit options between the two cities.
Did you find many ways to enjoy Vienna? What was your favourite?
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