Help from Vienna Experts

Jul 21st, 2002, 10:56 AM
  #1  
Rick
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Help from Vienna Experts

Would appreciate a sanity check on Vienna Sightseeing Plan below. Worried it might be too hectic or could be arranged more effciently. Staying at Pension Nossek on Graben. Open to suggestions on easy to find moderate or inexpensive restaurants.

DAY ONE (Tue)

0800 Walk Graben
0830 St. Peter’s Church (Baroque)
0900 Walk Karntnerstrasse to Opera
0930 Orientation on Ringstresse (tram#2)
1000 Kunsthistorisches Museum
1230 Naschmarkt & Lunch
1330 Hofburg & Kisergruft
1530 Café Hawelka
1600 Rest at Hotel
1730 St. Stephans Cathedral (south tower for views)
1900 Dinner at
2000 Stadtpark (Strauss Statue & Kursalon)

DAY TWO (Wed)

0830 Schonbrunn Palace & Gardens
1230 Lunch at Karlsplatz
1330 Rest at Hotel
1430 Old Town Walk

Kohlmarkt
Michaelerplatz
Herrengasse

1530 Café Central
1600 Continue Old Town walk
Freyung Passage (arcade)
Freyung (art galleries)
Am Hof/Shulhof/Judenplatz

1730 Trip to Vienna Woods

Kahlenburg/Grinzing

DAY THREE (Thur)

1000 House of Music
1330 Belvedere Palace/ Botanical Gardens
1700 Rest at hotel
1830 Prater

DAY FOUR (Fri)

0830 Train to Melk
0930 Tour Abbey & town
1130 Boat ride to Spitz
1200 Bike ride to Durstein for lunch
1430 Bike to Kems and explore town
1600 Train back to Vienna
1730 Mariahilfer Strasse
Shopping/dinner
Spitllberggasse/Schrankgasse

Thanks

Rick
 
Jul 21st, 2002, 12:54 PM
  #2  
Bob Brown
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I have six comments on your plan based on my visits to Vienna.
1. Unless you just want to say you have been to the art museum, I don't think you are allowing enough time. Every time I have been there, there has been a special show going on in addition to the regular collection.
Two years ago, the special was on Charles the Bold; last year it was El Greco.
2. I don't think you will need 3 and a half hours at Das Haus der Music.
I was, to be candid, disappointed last year when I visited it. Given what the museum has to work with, some of the greatest composers in history, I expected more.
3. I think you need a little more time for Schönbrunn. There is more to the place than just the residence itself.
I think a walk to the Gloriette is worth the effort and some of the botanical houses are worth a visit.
4. You may also be cutting the Hofburg short. There are several attractions there, all ticketed separately.
5. You have no concerts scheduled.
Isn't there anything going on?
6. I am not sure you need as much time as stated for the Belvedere. The building has little of the original furniture; it is now mostly an art museum which I failed to find captivating.

The military museum may not be your type of place, but it does illustrate the Turkish threat which was an aspect of Austrian history that I don't think Westerners can fully appreciate.

 
Jul 21st, 2002, 01:18 PM
  #3  
Tim
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For: author x

Nasty little snits like you need to find a life. And learn to spell before you bad mouth people. At least he took the time to lay out a plan!
 
Jul 21st, 2002, 01:47 PM
  #4  
Rick
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For Bob Brown

Thanks for the input. Guess some folks don't like detailed plans. Maybe I took some bad Rick Steve's advice on the House of Music and Belvedere. Thought it might be too much time when I listed them. Leaning now to adding more time to other attractions and maybe skipping either HOM or Belvedere. Your thoughts?

Rick

 
Jul 21st, 2002, 01:53 PM
  #5  
Wayne
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I would heartily agree that the Kunsthistoriches Museum needs more time; I'd say a minimum of 3-4 hours to do it any kind of justice. The building itself is so lovely inside that you will stop just to look at the ceiling murals and statuary. And if you are into concerts, you might want to reserve for a performance one evening.

You don't mention a stop to visit Karlskirche. While you're at Karlsplatz, you should spend at least a little time in the church---it's very nice. Last time I was there, the organist was practicing his music; it was thrilling to sit down and listen.

Don't know what you'll expect to get out of a trip to the Vienna Woods that late in the day. And I think including a decent visit in Grinzing is too much.

I also think the Belvedere Palace visit is longer than needed. You might want to move something from the overstuffed previous day into this one.

Biking from Spitz to Durnstein and then to Krems, plus some time to see a little of Durnstein, have lunch, & see Krems, is probably going to take more time than you have planned. I'd estimate it's close to 15 miles of biking. Hope you don't miss the train back to Wien.

And in general, since you have planned activities going into the evening, I do hope this is a summer trip so the long days can benefit your plans. As for inexpensive restaurants, they are all around you in your various routes. Pick one; they are usually all pretty good. But if you want an incredible splurge for lunch in Durnstein (though you probably wouldn't be admitted in your bikng clothes) you should lunch at the Schloss Durnstein, overlooking the Danube, with one of the best restaurants I've ever seen.

Final comment: Although it is extremely challenging, I believe your plan is a good objective; but you need to be mentally prepared for all kinds of unexpected delays or changes. If you go with the attitude that this is the best you can do, but are willing to bend with the events as they unfold, then you should have a fantastic visit. You are going to one of the most incredible cities in the world.
 
Jul 21st, 2002, 02:34 PM
  #6  
Bob Brown
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Rick, I think your detailed planning is great.
That was why I did not comment on the length of the plan nor the individual items.

And of course my evaluations are based on personal experiences.

I always have more attractions on my wish list than I can get to. I try to prioritize within geographical areas. When I find something that exceeds expectations, I can linger and let low priority item drops off the list.
Naturally my perceptions are based on what I saw.

I would not skip the House of Music.
I am a music fan and most of those composers are my favorites. Perhaps I expected too much. By saying I was disappointed is perhaps an overstatement. Bear in mind that I may have gone in when unrealistic hopes.

Some of the exhibits are well done. There are enough English descriptions that a non German speaker will not be hopelessly groping in German.

I would not skip the Belvedere either.
It is a slice of history.

And if you take the street car to go see it, which is efficient I might add, you could catch it, or transfer, close to the Russian Monument - the monument to the Unknown Plunderer as the Austrians disdainfully call it.
Why is it there? It was a function of a treaty clause.

One other little suggestion. We bought the Vienna Card. In addtion to the admission discounts, we found it great for jumping on and off street cars, the Ubahn, and buses. I figured we more than recovered our costs by using public transportation and the admission discounts.
Perhaps we rode when we did not need to, but the convenience of riding at will made the visit more fun. Just jump on and go.
 
Jul 21st, 2002, 03:24 PM
  #7  
Sue
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Rick

I hardly rank as a Vienna expert but 2 thoughts:

1) be careful about opening hours. For example, the south tower of St. Stephen's closes at 17:30; also, don't know about the Nossek, but some hotels don't start serving breakfast until 8:00.

2) Speaking for myself, I have always had to assume that Murphy, author of the law, will be one member of my party. : - ) This is because invariably on my trips, life is what happened while I made other travel plans. With this thought in mind, I would suggest you let out the waistband of the pants of your schedule a little, say by about a couple of hours a day. : - ) If you plan for a few things to go wrong, then these things become just other interesting events on your trip, rather than frustrating schedule breakers. Enjoy your trip.
 
Jul 22nd, 2002, 09:52 AM
  #8  
marietherese
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Another place you might want to check out is the Hundertwasser Museum if you're at all interested in modern architecture / urban planning. Then go around the corner to the shopping center (i forget the name) and the apartment complex in the same design. The little shopping center has a cafe in the middle with running water on the bar. Cool!
 
Jul 23rd, 2002, 02:13 PM
  #9  
Rick
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Thanks for the info; especially on the Hundertwasser Museum.

My daughter is planning to be an architect and/or urban planner - this trip is partly a reward for college acceptance and also motivation for a potential career choice.

We are having a hard time finding info on "self-guided old town walks or "great buildings" tours". We will do the Ringstrasse orientation via tram 2 and I have a short walk outlined in my initial post. Do you know where we might info to do more of this kind of thing? Also interested in a great musician walk and a trip to the central cemetery to see the resting places of great composers. Has anyone done this?
Thanks

Rick
 
Jul 23rd, 2002, 02:22 PM
  #10  
Sara
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If you have time, definitely do go to the central cemetary to see the graves of the composers; it's quite interesting, especially if you're a music lover. There is a beautiful church in the cemetary that you should go inside and see, which has been recently restored. I believe it was built in either the late 19th or early 20th century, and it is in an art deco style (probably done during the secession movement). It is a refreshing contrast to all of the high baroque churches and other buildings you will be seeing.
 
Jul 23rd, 2002, 02:54 PM
  #11  
lizbeth
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Hello Rick,
Since I've only visited Vienna once, I am definitely not an expert, but here are my thoughts:

1. Hawelka - Double- check to see if they are open on Tuesday. I think Tuesday might be their day off. Also, Hawelka stays open till midnight or 1:00 a.m. If you moved your visit to a late-night occasion, you'd be there when Madame Hawelka pulls freshly baked rolls out of the oven for a midnight snack.

2. The Hofberg contains a series of museums, not just one. I only visited the Hapsburg amoury and I was so into it that it took my whole morning.

3. May I suggest two areas I enjoyed: the Spittelberg neighborhood (restored cobblestone streets, gardens, very pretty) and the Naschmarkt (farmers market). May not be to your taste, but I had a good time visiting.

I admire your plan, but it wouldn't work for me - I'm just not that organized. Perhaps when you get to Vienna there will be unexpected things that will please you and enrich your trip. Have a wonderful time - I wish I was going back soon!
 
Jul 24th, 2002, 04:13 AM
  #12  
tez
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hi!
i live in vienna and i briefly went over your schedule. it seems you planned very little time for cafes and lunch. half an hour for a cafe is quite short (if it's busy then you might just have gotten your coffee by then..)
there a lots of restaurants..
i recommend eating lunch in the 1st district..it's not as expensive as dinner there. my favourite place is "a tavola" and italian restaurant on the second street to the left from kärnterstrasse.
http://www.viennaonline.at/pubs/redaktion/New-English/
this site might also be helpful.

i would definitley check out our new museums area in vienna-->

http://www.mqw.at/english.asp?tsel=news1
if you have any more questions you can mail me..
 
Jul 24th, 2002, 04:14 AM
  #13  
tez
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hi!
i live in vienna and i briefly went over your schedule. it seems you planned very little time for cafes and lunch. half an hour for a cafe is quite short (if it's busy then you might just have gotten your coffee by then..)
there a lots of restaurants..
i recommend eating lunch in the 1st district..it's not as expensive as dinner there. my favourite place is "a tavola" and italian restaurant on the second street to the left from kärnterstrasse.
http://www.viennaonline.at/pubs/redaktion/New-English/
this site might also be helpful.
i would definitley check out our new museums area in vienna-->
http://www.mqw.at/english.asp?tsel=news1
if you have any more questions you can mail me..
 
Jul 24th, 2002, 04:16 AM
  #14  
tez
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Posts: n/a
hi!
i live in vienna and i briefly went over your schedule. it seems you planned very little time for cafes and lunch. half an hour for a cafe is quite short (if it's busy then you might just have gotten your coffee by then..)
there a lots of restaurants..
i recommend eating lunch in the 1st district..it's not as expensive as dinner there. my favourite place is "a tavola" and italian restaurant on the second street to the left from kärnterstrasse.
http://www.viennaonline.at/pubs/redaktion/New-English/
this site might also be helpful.
i would definitley check out our new museums area in vienna
http://www.mqw.at/english.asp?tsel=news1
if you have any more questions you can mail me..
 
Jul 24th, 2002, 04:18 AM
  #15  
tez
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sorry..didn't mean to post 3 times..
 
Jul 24th, 2002, 04:33 AM
  #16  
Julie
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You've gotten so much good advice already, but here's another 2 cents worth. Don't skip the Belvedere. I think it's one of the most beautiful palaces anywhere, so graceful and delicate from the outside and with lovely grounds. The Klimt and Schielde (sp?) paintings inside are wonderful including my favorite painting of all time, Judith. If you enjoy art nouveau, try to also take in the Secessionist building with more of Klimt's wonderful work. and do add the Hundertwasser House, it's unique and very fanciful. Even my husband who professes to hate "modern art" loved it. The advice to check opening and closing times is always good. Finally in the food department--there was a thread on here a week or two ago that you should try to find on restaurants in Vienna. At the risk of repeating myself from that thread, for sure check for Nordsee fast food places, fresh good, not as cheap as McDonald's but way, way better. Herring and lox sandwiches, lobster rolls, terrific stuff. Also check for Weinerwald chicken restaurants and have the Chicken Bayern Hausfrauenart or some such--chunks of potato fried in bacon grease with chicken pieces and bacon and a fried egg on top. Yumm. The White Chimneysweep (or however it's said in German) is a good restaurant with excellent food, romantic atmosphere, reasonable prices and music. Have a wonderful time.
 
Jul 24th, 2002, 04:35 AM
  #17  
Joyce
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A few comments on your itinerary:

- The Hofburg is several museums. Even if you give an entire day to the Hofburg, you will probably not be able to see everything. Decide ahead of time which museums you want to see, and also verify the days they are open.

These are some of the Hofburg museums: (1) the State Apartments (2)a military museum of weapons collections (3) a museum of musical instruments (4) the Volkerkundemuseum: an anthropology museum (5)the Imperial Treasury museum

If you are interested in pre-Hispanic art of the Americas, the Volkerkundemuseum is incredible. It contains a huge number of art objects which were sent to Spain by the Conquistadores, and which eventually ended up in Vienna.

While you are in the vicinity of the Hofburg neighborhood, I also recommend a visit to the Prunksaal, the National Library. The main hall is beautiful. I think it is open only in the mornings.

Unless you enjoy amusement parks, skip the Prater.
 
Jul 24th, 2002, 09:07 AM
  #18  
t
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