Help with a suprise trip to Vienna

Dec 13th, 2001, 01:49 PM
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Help with a suprise trip to Vienna

Thanks to getting bumped by Continental Airlines, I have a $400 travel voucher that I have to use by the end of February. I thought if I had to travel alone in winter, I might as well go to a place that does winter well, and that, in my imagination, means Vienna. I've got a week from takeoff to landing. Since Continental has limited European destinations and since there are restrictions on my voucher, Zurich looks to be as convenient an airport as any. Right now I'm thinking of landing there, taking the train through the Alps to Vienna, staying there for five days, then heading back to Zurich for a night and most of a day before my plane leaves. Is this a reasonable itenerary? Would anybody suggest any other stops, accessable by train? (Theoretically, I'd like to spend some time in the country, but it's February and I don't ski. I assume that rules the countryside out?) I'd rather err on the side of slight boredom with a place than on the side of exhausting myself by trying to cram too many stops into one short week. I know NOTHING about Zurich, so any information would be helpful. I'm thinking about staying at the Pension City in Vienna, but if anybody has any suggestions about other places with similar locations and prices, please let me know.
Dec 13th, 2001, 02:36 PM
Bob Brown
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I read over your proposed travel plans and would like to comment on several aspects of it.
First it is an all day trip from Zürich to Vienna, something like 9 hours and 15 minutes to the Vienna Westbahnhof.
Second, the trip is not all that spectacular. It is more along the bottom of the Inn Valley. Perhaps in Innsbruck you might catch a good glimpse of the Karwendelgebirge, but elsewhere you are at the bottom of a hole looking up.
Of the stops, there are several along the way with the chief one being Salzburg. Even in winter, there are things to see there.
Innsbruck might be worth an overnight stop to tour a little bit.
The Hofburg, of Hapsburg fame, is worth a tour. Salzburg has been well described in this forum.
Linz is an interesting city that I know little about, but hopefully before I get too old to wander, I will have a chance to check it out.

Vienna is one of the most interesting cities in Europe. If you are a music lover, it is the place to be.
The big attractions in Vienna include Schönbrunn Palace, the Hofburg with its many facets, the Kunsthistorische Museum (art gallery), and the Belvedere are some of the chief attractions.
La Boheme, West Side Story, and Falstaff among others will be performed at the Volksoper. And Turandot, La Traviata, Madame Butterfly, and Tosca will be on at the Staatsoper. Lots to do and see there.
I stayed at the Hotel Carlton Opera, which is middle priced. But anywhere within range of a streetcar stop or the Ubahn is going to put you within striking distance of anywhere in Vienna.
I used the streetcar a great deal my last trip, and the Ubahn got me to more remote objectives.

Dec 13th, 2001, 02:46 PM
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I checked the German rail site and it seems that you could leave Zurich at about midnight and arrive in Vienna (Wien) around 8 a.m. As the above poster said, it takes at the least 9+ hours and can be 10-12 if you go through Munich rather than Innsbruck and Salzburg. Innsbruck is probably more of a central location and is a nice city if you wanted a break for a day--not as scenic as Salzburg. I don't know about Pension City but did enjoy the off season rates at Hotelpension Arenberg--part of Best Western, but with posh Vienna feel, and within the ring, about a 2-minute walk to UBahn. Have coffee and torte at Demel's and weinerschnitzel at Figlmullers. Check out the new wine at one of the cafes in the Vienna Woods, see Andre Rieu's orchestra, etc. I think Vienna is a great choice for winter.
Dec 13th, 2001, 02:58 PM
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Vienna is a marvelous city. However, Zurich only takes a few hours to see, and it is really the financial seat of Switzerland. But Lucerne is a short distance away Zurich by train, and well worth a visit. I'd spend as much time as possible in Vienna, however, if you want an alternate choice, you might consider flying into Zurich and then taking the train to Luzerne, then to Bern and to Geneva and skipping Vienna altogether. You'll find each of those cities wonderful to visit in the winter. Can you get an open jaw ticket and fly out of Geneva? Another possibility is getting a cheap roundtrip flight from Zurich to Vienna. By the way, the Swiss probably have the best, if not one of the best train systems in all of Europe.

Dec 13th, 2001, 07:03 PM
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I just stayed in Vienna at the Pension Pertschy - just off the Graben and about two blocks away from St. Stephan. It's listed in Fodor's rec's. Great location - the room was about $70 a night - the staff was very helpful in making dinner reservations. It's not the Four Seasons but the room was clean and adequately furnished.

One warning - I had dinner at the restaurant, Neu Wein. Upon returning to NYC my credit card company contacted me to inform me that there was some questionable charges submitted by Neu Wein - to the tune of about $1000 US. My dinner cost around 1100 AST ($73 US). The charges were declined but still very disturbing to have it occur.

For a really wonderful meal - have dinner at Korso. It was expensive but perfect in every aspect - ambience, food and service.

It snowed while I was in Vienna - a comfortable place to go if you're alone or you "vant to be alone".

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