72 hours in Vienna
10- sec takeaway: Vienna is the city of imperial history & also known as the city of music (Mozart’s city). It has interesting museums, great food markets, Castles, Operas, wineries, lively cafes and a great vibe overall. The city is best explored on foot. While it has many busy popular sites, you can always find quaint, silent neighbourhoods to explore.
Vienna is packed with imperial history and hence it’s no surprise that the city has so much to offer to every visitor- Museums, Palaces, Castles, Churches, Opera and other masterpieces of architecture. I made a short 3 day trip to Vienna with my Dutch friend last week and was pleasantly impressed with the city.
The city is not very big and easily accessible so don’t pay out of your nose to stay around the City Centre. We stayed in a beautiful 2 bedroom Airbnb apartment in Kliebergasse for around 70 Euros a night(As against 150 Euros in the City Centre) which was 15 minutes walking distance away from the City centre and 5 mins away by Tram. (Feel free to contact me if you need any suggestions on stay options).
We checked into our rooms at 1 pm, freshened up and headed straight to the Naschmarkt- a local food and wine market in the City Centre. The fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, beer and wine will not only keep your taste buds happy but also your eyes & ears from the beautiful colours and smell in the market. Do walk around the entire market to experience the various things they have to offer from Cheese stuffed paprika, Zelten, alcohol soaked cucumbers to deer meat and a lot more.
This market will surely tickle all your senses. It reminded me a lot of the farmers markets I’ve been to in Munich and Budapest but still absolutely worth the visit 🙂
After a scrumptious meal and polishing an entire bottle of wine, we headed to the Museum Quartier. This place is magical if you like Museums. Museum Quartier is one of the largest cultural quarters of the world designed by Fischer Von Erlach. The Museum Quartier houses large Art museums like Leopold Museum and the Museum of Modern Art & also others like Kunsthalle Wein, Architekturzentrum Wein, etc. The quartier also houses the beautiful National Library.
After the tiring but absorbing Museums walk, we headed to Café Central for dinner. This place has a great ambiance and plays live music on most evenings. It is very close to the Museum Quartier and a perfect place to rest after the exhausting Museum tours.
After dinner, we walked towards Stephansdom which is the central landmark of the city (and walkable from Café Central) and adds to the beauty of the city as well. It was quite late, so we headed back to our apartment to get our beauty sleep. The trams were working till midnight, so it was a hop skip and home on the first night J
The next day we woke up to a bright and sunny day and the weather definitely helped us cover a lot in the city considering we only had 3 days J Today, we planned to visit the Schonbrunn Palace followed by the Belvedere Palace. It is a little away from the city centre yet easily accessible. Although, you can head there by Trains and Trams, we chose to uber it as it was hardly 15 Euros and took 10 minutes. My suggestion is if you’re pressed for time, Uber it as that will save you a lot of time.
Schonbrunn Palace is a grand and majestic palace which was used by the Hapsburg family as the summer residence. The Palace has a museum with 60+ rooms that take you through the history of the family. There’s also a beautiful garden and maze, Orangery, Imperial Carriage Museum, Sisi Palace, Children’s Museum and a zoo behind the palace.
Depending on how much time you have, you can choose from the various tour options they have. They have a Gold Pass (Euros 55) that allows you to access the Palace and all the other attractions like the Maze, Garden, Zoo, etc. The other options are a Classic Tour (Euros 21- 5 attractions), Grand Tour (Euros 16- 40 rooms of the palace) and imperial tour (Euros 13- 22 rooms of the palace).
We also visited the House of Music nearby and enjoyed a great performance. We spent almost half a day at the Palace, there was just so much history, architecture and beauty all in one place J
Luckily for us, there was a Film Festival going on last week and hence we had decided to head to Rathausplatz in the evening which is a public square to enjoy the live Music, movies, food and good wine. We had not expected such a lively and fun atmosphere, but it was so much fun to just sit on the grass and watch a movie on the big screen with 100’s of other people while sipping your wine and eating your schnitzel J And all this under the moonlight with a beautiful weather for company.
If you’ve been to the Winter carnivals in Europe, it was more like that- flea market, food, wine, live music and movie, except it was Summer J
After the movie, we went to Café Francais (Recommended by a local friend) in Stephansdom for dessert and coffee. All in all, it was a day well spent.
On our third day, we went to the outskirts of the city to explore Grinzing Wine village. It is a quaint little town an hour away from the city of Vienna. Grinzing lies in the NorthWest of Vienna with lower Austria. The area houses over 700 hectares of local Viennese Vineyards keeping up with the long tradition of Wine growing in Austria. I’m going to write a new post on our Grinzing village visit soon- keep a look out.
The view of Vienna is beautiful from Grinzing and make sure to catch the sunset- its spectacular.
After this fun time at the Wine village, we took a tram back to the city.
We also went to the Ringstrasse area for a short time as it houses lots of tourist attractions just side by side. There are some of the greatest Austrian architectural buildings like Rathaus, Staatsoper, etc in this area. I’d say a good neighbourhood to walk around.
While we were planning our trip to Vienna, an Opera show was on top of our to- do list. So, we headed to the Mozarthaus for an Opera show on our last day in the city- which according to me is a must do when visiting Vienna. We watched the classics of Mozart from 8:30 pm- 10:30 pm. I was suggested by locals to book in advance and that helped as the tickets had run out for the show later when we checked. So, my suggestion would be to pre book the show of your preference and just indulge in this beautiful art form J
Well, the 3 days ended so quickly, I couldn’t have imagined to do so much in 72 hours. We tried a lot of cool places to eat and drink too (Post coming up). Overall, the city is absolutely beautiful and extremely welcoming and I can’t wait to come back and explore more 🙂