Bratislava or Vienna Woods?

Old Dec 2nd, 2018, 06:48 AM
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Bratislava or Vienna Woods?

Hi, I'm fine-tuning plans for our upcoming trip to Vienna (finally booked, after multiple delays! yay us!). One thing I can't decide on, though, is whether to have a day trip in Bratislava or in Vienna Woods.

We are a 50-ish and 70-ish, reasonably fit couple. Not into wine or religion; we like history and nature, and we walk a lot. We won't have a car so anyplace we go needs to be reachable by public transit.

I speak passable German (though I'm still working on the nuances of Austrian German). I mention language because, although we've often been advised "You don't need to know the language," we have had diminished travel experiences in the past by *not* knowing the local language at all.

At this point I'm leaning toward Vienna Woods, but Bratislava's sense of history and different culture are hard to pass up.

What are your thoughts? Thanks in advance.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2018, 07:32 AM
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A few questions, if you do not mind.

When, exactly, will you be visiting? What do you mean by, "Vienna Woods?" Do you want to hike/wander, sightsee, or something else?

If you like to hike. A spectacular winter idea that would take the entire day might be to train to Puchberg and take the gondola to the top of Schneeberg, the tallest peak nearest Vienna at 2076m. There is a family-friendly wander route (translation: flat) and a couple of other trails. DH and I (young 50-somethings) just hiked 12km today in the Wiener Voraplen (our local alps); light snow cover and occasional blue skies--it made our hearts happy. But, you may not have hiking weather for your visit.

For sightseeing. There are day trips to Burg Liechtenstein, Mayerling, Heiligenkreuz, Seegrotte Hinterbuhl, and so forth, all of which have plenty of history and can be toured using public transportation.

Bratislava will offer a hefty dose of history; what do you mean by, "different sense of culture?"
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Old Dec 2nd, 2018, 04:48 PM
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Thanks for asking, @fourfortravel. I appreciate you weighting in!

We're planning to go in the May/June timeframe. By Vienna Woods, I mean this (borrowed from Wikipedia) - "The Vienna Woods[1] (German: Wienerwald) are forested highlands that form the northeastern foothills of the Northern Limestone Alps in the states of Lower Austria and Vienna. The 45 kilometres (28 mi) long and 20–30 kilometres (12–19 mi) wide range of hills is heavily wooded and a popular recreation area with the Viennese."

I was reading that Vienna Woods is a good place to walk/hike, which is one of the things we like to do.

We're interested in Bratislava as well, because its culture and "look and feel" would be different from Austria's, but I'm not *passionate* about going there. Just trying to decide between the two.

Thanks.

Kandace
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Old Dec 2nd, 2018, 10:30 PM
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May and June are spectacular months for hiking in the Wiener Wald/Wiener Alpen. Here is a short list of favorite hikes/wanders we have done that you would be able to access using public transportation. I've linked the descriptions of each that also identifies whether refreshments are available (that is, the all important Hütte or Alm ).

1. Myrafälle (Bridges and stairs up to the top of the waterfalls; you can add the gorge walk for additional km.)
2. Schneeberg (Gondola to the top)
3. Rax (Gondola to the top)
4. Kahlenberg (in Vienna proper, at the northern edge of the city and the Wiener Wald)
5. Lainzer Tiergarten (also in Vienna, at the western edge of the city and the Wiener Wald. On the grounds is Hermesvilla; if you're lucky, you'll get to see Wildschwein in the reserve, and perhaps even the babies. We've seen them twice!)

Bratislava is a fine city. It is not as polished and "Imperial" as Vienna, true, but in its own way is charmingly Instagrammable. Its Stare Mesto can be easily explored on foot in a half-day. We enjoy visiting the city when there is a festival or special market that draws offerings from the region; I'm not sure how much culture could be absorbed in a day, though. We have also taken the Communist Tour, highly recommended if you're into that part of history. The city also has a lively gastronomic scene that we take advantage of whenever we're there: Thai, Georgian, Austro-Hungarian, and modern Slovak, among others.

I hope this is helpful.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2018, 11:48 PM
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https://www.wien.info/en/sightseeing...king-in-around

If you're not leaning towards one or the other, I'd let the weather conditions make the decision for you.
On a gorgeous sunny day in May or June, I'd rather hit one of the Vienna city trails (link above). If you don't want to do the full "climb" from the tram or bus stop to the hilltops, there are some routes where you can "cheat" by taking bus 38A up to Cobenzl or Kahlenberg and start your hike there.
If weather was somewhat cloudy or with a chance of rain, I'd hop on the train to Bratislava.

Since neither option requires any actions in advance (aside from choosing a trail or getting yourself to the train station), you can literally make the decision on the morning of that day in May or June.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2018, 05:00 AM
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This is excellent counsel - thank you!
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Old Mar 12th, 2021, 07:04 AM
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As a quick follow-up, husband was not up to Bratislava so we did Vienna Woods and had a great time. We took the bus to the top and then hiked down to Nussdorf. It was a full day, but we really enjoyed it.
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