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Vienna--What to do and see in a day and a half?

Vienna--What to do and see in a day and a half?

Dec 14th, 2000, 09:40 AM
  #1  
Mike
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Vienna--What to do and see in a day and a half?

I will be arriving in Vienna around noon and will have the rest of the day and a complete full day and evening the next for touring. What would be your recommendations for a reasonable specific schedule of touring those days? Of course, please include time for Schonbrunn Palace and the Hofburg Palace Complex. Thank you for your recommendations.
 
Dec 14th, 2000, 10:23 AM
  #2  
Bob Brown
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Hi Mike. Vienna is interesting as you can well imagine. I do suggest that you include the Schönbrunn Palace. In addition to the building itself, there is a botanical garden building, a zoo, and the Gloriette on top of the hill "behind" the palace. We took the audio tour with a headphone set. I thought it was a fascinating tour; a real glimpse into history. Some of the story of the Hapsburgs is not very attractive; one has to feel for Sissy and her forced marriage to the unyielding, seemingly uncaring, ram-rod dictatorial Franz Joseph. But you get a feel for empire and monarchy of the Austro-Hungarian empire.
The Hofburg has more of the same, with various little subdivisions to attend.

Of the other attractions, I suggest the Belvedere Palace. It is quite a monumental structure.

I don't know how you feel about classical music, but in Vienna it is special. We went to a slightly touristy concert one night at the Orangerie on the grounds of Schönbrunn palace, quite close to the U=Bahn stop.
We also went to a performance of Die Fledermaus at the Volksoper and enjoyed it very much. And take time to soak up some of the ambient life in the wine bars and/or coffee houses of Vienna. It is a way of life for many people.

And we had fun window shopping. I could have come home dressed to the nines had I wanted to go into one of the department stores and shell out 15,000 schillings for a natty outfit.

For the length of time you will be there, I don't know if a Viennakarte will be a good investment or not. We were for a slightly longer period and took advantage of it fully. We used it for discounts to get into the various attractions, but best of all we could jump on and off trams, buses, and U-bahn trains all day long without buying a ticket. There are other variations including a 72 hours pass for 130 AS.
I would throw in a 20% fudge factor on the cost for not having to stop and buy a ticket every time I wanted to ride something.

Have a good time.
 
Dec 14th, 2000, 11:07 AM
  #3  
Rich
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Mike:

I concur with Bob...Schonbrunn is DEFINITELY worth the trip! I'm not into touristy places, but this place was really something. I also concur to skip the guided tour, and take the audio tour...but get the complete audio tour; not the abbreviated one. There are quite alot of grounds, so I would give yourself at least 1/2 a day to spend there.

I'd also recommend Stephansplatz, and Schwarzenberg Garten, as well.

As far as the Vienna U-Bahn, I've travelled quite a bit in Europe, and I found it to be the most inconvenient and confusing system I have yet encountered. I'd get the day pass....if you can figure out how to get it!

Also, skip the train from Schwechat airport, and take the bus to the center of town. It's much more efficient!

Have fun!
 
Dec 14th, 2000, 11:42 AM
  #4  
Christina
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If you want to see both those palaces, that would seem to take up one complete day, so maybe you have a little time from a half day. It really depends on your interests, I'm very interested in classical music and am a pianist, so I spent a lot of time on musical venues, but I know most people aren't and wouldn't care--if you do, they have one of the better musical instrument museums in Vienna, and there are both Mozart's and Haydn's homes, both worth seeing (they don't have a Brahms' home museum, but there is one room with artifacts/photos etc in the Haydn house about Brahms.) St Stephans cathedral is worth a look. If you like museums and are not interested in this musical stuff, I would take in the fine arts museum (not a must-see museum in general if you are pressed for time, I don't think it is as good as many other cities, but good if you like older and Dutch art--great Breughel collection and a beautiful bldg) for a couple hours, then maybe walk over to see St Stephans, and the main area there including Opera House. That might be enough for that day, plus spend some time in one of the nice cafes. I agree with the comment on the UBahn; I have ridden metro/underground etc systems all over the world for years and have never had the problems I had in Vienna with figuring it out. It's not bad once you do, it just takes a while, mainly for the tickets. Things are not well-marked and one station I first entered was particularly large and confusing and I swear, it took me 15-30 min just to find the platform as it was so poorly marked (down some stairs and tunnels, etc ) and then I could not figure out where to get a ticket as the main manned ticket office was closed midafternoon (I thought there would be automatic vending machines for tickets near the platform or something as in most cities, ha, ha, there weren't). I had to wait 30 min for the sole ticket vendor to show up for work in his office to buy a ticket. It's odd as it's the honor system sort of, you don't need a ticket to get on or even to the platform, but you are supposed to compost your ticket in the machine which may be way far away from the platform (at least in the confusing station I was in, it was very far away). Maybe some other Vienna UBahn stations have varying methods, but that's the problem, it is not standardized.
 
Dec 14th, 2000, 02:19 PM
  #5  
wes fowler
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Mike,
Definitely plan on a half day devoted to the full audio phone tour of Schonbrunn Palace. I'd suggest a tour of the Vienna Opera house as well in conjunction with a stroll up the shopping promenade Karntnerstrasse to Stephans-platz or a shorter stroll from the Opera via Philharmonikerstrasse and Augustinerstrasse to the Hofburg. Stop on the way in the Hotel Sacher for a Sachertorte. You might consider a visit to Grinzing in the evening to imbibe in a glass of wine or two at one of the Heuringen. Grinzing is a charming, almost rural village in the heart of the city. It's accessible by the 38A bus. You'll find the bus system far more comprehensive than the U-bahn with the advantage that you can see your surroundings rather than travel under them.
 
Dec 14th, 2000, 02:38 PM
  #6  
Bob Brown
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We got our Wienerkarte at the hotel desk. I think the seller gets a commission. We stayed at the Alt Wienerhof, which is a less than optimal section of town physically, but the rooms were fine and Bus 55 went straight to the Hofbrau.

The big advantage for us in using the Ubahn was that the station was near the hotel. We could go north to the Volksoper, and, to reach Schonbrunn, we went south one stop, changed to the west line, and two stops later we were there. Having the transit card enabled us to bypass the ticket machines and sellers. I do not know how hard it is to buy a ticket, because we could thumb our noses at them, and jump on the train or bus.
 

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