Help with spending a week in Vienna


May 1st, 2007, 07:50 PM
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Help with spending a week in Vienna

Fellow fodorites, I have one week in Vienna. Will one week be too long in Vienna? Will there be enough to do and see in a week? Where can I book concerts? Is it difficult to get seats?
If breaking up the week is better, any suggestions of day trips or 2-3 days excrusions while in Vienna in June?

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May 1st, 2007, 07:58 PM
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One week is a pretty good for Vienna. There are plenty to do there - esp if you like museums.

You can probably go on the Danube and to Melk Abbey as a daytrip.
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May 1st, 2007, 08:14 PM
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You might be interested in my trip report:
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May 1st, 2007, 10:05 PM
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How far is Budapest from Vienna? Will it be a good side trip from Vienna, like 2.5 days in Budapest and 3.5 days in Vienna?
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May 1st, 2007, 10:46 PM
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I'd spend the whole week in Vienna. There's more than enough to do there...
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May 2nd, 2007, 12:00 AM
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Actually, a week is a bit too long, so yes, absolutely, you need to break it up by taking a cruise down the Danube (which is great fun-I did it last May) to the very interesting and beautiful Melk Abbey, and consider taking a day bus trip to Bratislava or Prague as well.

With two days filled with excursions, 5 days will be just about right in Vienna, where you will want to go to Belvedere Castle, to see their incomparable Klimt collection and other Viennese artists Egon Schiele, Kokoschka, of the late 19th, early 20th century - the height of Vienna's cultural, intellectual and artistic period. Make sure and spend some time in the grand coffeehouses-Cafe Central, has particular ambience, with its really good home-made apple strudel. Stop in at the exquisite architectural landmark by the great early 20th century architect Adolph Loos- the "American Bar" just off the main pedestrian shopping drag, Kaertner Strasse, leading to St. Stephan's Cathedral. This is a great place for a cocktail and is a cultural landmark for its innovation- the interior is built in such a way as to give it a much larger perspective on the tiny bar space.

Also, stroll the lovely Burggarten, and go for a meal at the late 19th century Palmenhaus, or have an "eiskaffe" (my favorite) at the cafe located on the Park grounds. Make sure also and see the amazing Hundertwasser buildings-a true highlight of my visit to Vienna-really remarkable architecture-mesmerizing really, I couldn't take my eyes off the apartment building showplace, and the heating plant.

And of course, avail yourself of the plethora of cultural events happening each night in Vienna-the Musikverein, to hear the Vienna Philharmonic, the Staatsoper, to see an opera, and/or to take a tour of the opera house. You also might want to go out to the Prater and take a ride on the giant Ferris wheel ("Riesenrad") or spend an evening drinking good Austrian wine at the "heurigen" in Grinzing.
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May 2nd, 2007, 04:45 AM
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Well, I spend two weeks in Vienna every March, so a week doesn't seem too long to me. I could easily fill up a whole week with things to do in Vienna alone. But it depends on what you feel like trips are also fun.
Graz makes a terrific day trip. A scenic train ride and the city itself is's been beautifully restored and has an interesting mix of old and modern architecture. Has a really nice wine bar/restaurant featuring Styrian cuisine and wines:

In addition to performances at the obvious places like the state opera house and Musikverein, consider attending a concert at the handsome, recently restored Konzerthaus and/or a contemporary musical like Rebecca (rave reviews) or the revival production of Cabaret.
Single seats are sometimes easier to get even for supposedly sold out performances. You can book tickets at the kiosk in front of the state opera house, at the performance venues themselves, or through ticket agencies or your hotel concierge.
If you pass a Wein & Co wine shop, stop in an pick up the Kurier restaurant guide to Vienna, Salzburg, Graz and other places in Austria. Kurier is an Austrian newspaper--we bought the guide this year and found it to be the best restaurant guide we've ever used for Vienna. Only 5€.
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May 2nd, 2007, 08:20 PM
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Thanks for all the great in-town suggestions, they will form the backbone of my trip.
Salzburg sounds good. I was thinking about Budapest to try the Bull's blood wine but my passport has less than 6 months of expiry in June, so I couldn't go.

How far away is Salzburg or Graz? Should I go by train or air? Are they possible day trips or should I stay there for a day or two? I looked at the website for Bratislava, not many attractions to see there.

Also, can I book Vienna concerts online? I booked a few Prague concerts online before and it was simple. Somehow I am at a lost in booking concerts for Vienna. Where do I go for the "standing" tickets at the Opera House, which was suggested as a great experience by another foderite.
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May 3rd, 2007, 12:21 AM
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German TV just aired a story about the Hotel Satcher. It also featured their special cake. A visit here seems a must.
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May 3rd, 2007, 12:39 AM
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Go anywhere *but* the Hotel Sacher for the sachertorte (which I don't care for but many people seem to like).

Eat lots of Zotter bars!
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May 3rd, 2007, 01:37 AM
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hi, pharmop,

I just googled the opera, - the official web-site is with an english option.

as I understood it, teh general rule is you can purchase tickets a month in advance ie in 1st May for June] except for the summer [1st june to 30th sept] when the booking period opens on 1st June.

standing room tickets go on sale on the day of the performance - with the box office opening 80 minutes before the performance.

there are lots of web-sites saying they have tickets, but probably a large mark-up on prices.

AS it's now May, you ought to be able to book for June.

hope this helps,

regards, ann
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May 4th, 2007, 09:13 AM
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May 4th, 2007, 09:45 AM
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PrincessOP- I am glad to hear that there are others who do not care for the sachertorte paricularly in a city where there are so many great pastries to be had. We tried it in several well known places and never found it anything special.
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May 4th, 2007, 10:39 AM
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There is a lot to do and see in Vienna. A trip to Melk , Krems or Baden is nice. I would not go to Bratislava or Budapest.
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May 4th, 2007, 11:00 AM
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I had 5 days in Vienna and took a day trip to Bratislava, which I recommend. I think it may be tough to see Vienna and Budapest with only a week.
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May 4th, 2007, 11:12 AM
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I am descended from a branch of the Sacher family that claims to have invented the torte, and I don't even like it that much. Other tortes, however, can be fabulous. I did go the Hotel Sacher my first visit to Vienna in 1984 just to say I had the family torte there.

I always stop in the Kunsthistorisches museum - one of the world's premier art museums. It has a huge collection of European paintings and a nice Egyptian collection. The nearby Albertinum is another lovely museum, which houses a first rate collection of drawings. Because of the fragility of works on paper, however, often facsimiles are on display instead of the originals.

The medieval cathedral, Stephansdom, is fabulous. There are other wonderful churches as well. St. Ruprechtskirche is an 11th century gem. St. Maria am Gestade is a fairly unspoiled gothic church close to the river up near the Schottenring.
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May 15th, 2007, 02:57 PM
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You can certainly fill up a week in Vienna (I spent two months there and never got bored). Girlspy's suggestions are great, and there are also some fun non-traditional museums, like the Museum of Sound, that are worth checking out. Definitely skip the Sacher Torte. Check out a Kaffee Haus instead. The one across the Ring Strasse from the Rathaus was my favorite.

Also, definitely give yourself some time to wonder around in the neighborhoods (Bezirke) rather than just going to the tourist destinations. You'll get a much better feel for Vienna that way.

Bratislava is incredible, so I might reconsider a trip there if I were you. Take a bus in the late afternoon, see the sites, have a really nice dinner for NO money ($10 three course steak dinner anyone?), drink some absinthe with the locals, go to Klub Laverna and dance 'til the sun comes up, and sleep on the bus back to Vienna at 6 a.m. Bratislava is a great time!
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May 15th, 2007, 03:05 PM
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My husband and I spent a week in Vienna in February and enjoyed it very much. The Loos-American bar is a must! If you are interested in opera tickets, you should try to obtain them as soon as possible. They can be purchased on-line. We attempted to book in November for February. We were successful with Marriage of Figaro, but not with a couple of others we wanted. The way in which on-line purchases are handled is confusing. There are a certain number of tickets which can be purchased early -- as was the case with Marriage of Figaro. After those tickets are sold, the rest are held until one month before the show. Then they are sold presumably based upon the order in which the requests came in. So if you want opera tickets, do not delay in trying to buy them.
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May 18th, 2007, 09:35 PM
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Pharmop - One week is NOT enough in Vienna! Check out the Zentrum Cemetery where the most famous classical composers were born. Schonbrunn is breathtakingly beautiful - try to go in the afternoon, walk to the Gloriette and watch the sun go down over a cup of tea. It is amazing. We went to the Vienna Phil , you can get standing room only seats for 9 euro at their office on KartnerRing. Then get to Musikverein about 90 minutes before and you will have incredible location. You can get sro for the opera day of as well - the tickets are sold on the side of the building closest to Kartnerstrasse. We went to the American Bar and found it funny, but the food was great. The Sacher Torte is ignorable....but eat streudel. Lots of it! Make sure you go to St. Stephens Cathedral. The Hofburg Palace is full of museums and if you like art, you definitely need to go to the museumquarter. The best part of the trip is wandering around the innerstadt - the architecture is a sight to behold. You might also want to check out the Belvedere Palace - it is beautiful in the spring. Have fun, Vienna is a beautiful city.
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May 18th, 2007, 10:29 PM
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The thing that struck me about Vienna is how CIVILIZED it is - read into that whatever you like, it all applies.

A friend and I had only two days several years ago, an unexpected layover after a business trip to Jordan. The extreme change in environs helped us appreciate each place more.

We obtained opera tix for the Stadtoper in an hourfrom the concierge - for about the price of comparable tickets at the Met (1st tier box, center - a price we'd have forgone if it hadn't been Mozart in Vienna.) It was a fine Marriage of Figaro, and seemed well worth whatever it cost at the time, with just 48 hrs to get as much as we could from Vienna.

By the way, you'll be in one of the oldest continuously settled places in the western world - not just ancient Roman but iron age ancestors lived there.
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