Expat & Travel Blog

Expat & Travel Blog

Vienna, the most elegant city in Europe?

Vienna, the most elegant city in Europe?

Last weekend I was sharing with you all, the amazing 3 days we spent in Bratislava, Slovakia. After the first couple of days, we realised that as the city was not really big, we could enjoy some time elsewhere, around Bratislava. One thing to know if that we were not traveling with a car, and so many things were not accessible. Not accessible either because it was too far or because we could only go there by bus and the time schedule were not on our side. For these reasons, we thought we could go to Vienna for a day! Vienna is just about one hour away from Bratislava and goes quite frequently there. It was my first time ever in both Vienna and Austria, and I believe it is one of the most elegant city in Europe!

If you have no idea why I am talking about Bratislava here, you can have a look just here

From Bratislava to Vienna

Our third day in Bratislava was the one with the best weather and so I wanted to also enjoy the city under the sun. We decided to go to Vienna in the morning and coming back not too late to have one last walk in the city before our next adventure. This is what we did. We took the train around 9.30 in the morning to arrive in Vienna around 10.30. There is no need to book any tickets, which is something we enjoyed as we did not have to plan so much, and we could just do what we wanted until we got too tired. The return tickets with the train cost 14€, and you can use the return ticket within 2 weeks.

Since both of us really enjoy walking, we did not use any public transports during our Vienna expedition, and this is something I really enjoyed. As we commute everyday to go to work, we got the time to visit a city, and discover slowly the various areas of Vienna. The train station is located at about 40 minutes walk from the city centre, but this is during this walk that I got my first impressions of the city. And what a city! All buildings are really nice and well taken care of, and the city is extremely clean!

Morning in Vienna

Once we reached the city centre, we walked around the magnificent Opera House. As many other people, I just heard of the Vienna Opera House. And so it was somewhere, in my mind that one day – maybe – I’d see it. I was not expected such an impressive and massive building. The architecture is so impressive and despite the amount of people around, I was just captivated. We walked around to reach the Albertina Museum. We did not visit it, as I wanted to first see the city. But the terrace there gives one of the best view on the Opera (in my opinion).

From there, we walked till the Hofburg Imperial Palace, and enjoyed the sun for a minute. Vienna, felt like an open air museum for me. Many things to see, places to go and impressive buildings everywhere around. I have not been so impressed by a city like this in a long time! Of course, there were a lot of people there but it was really bearable compared to other place (I’ll come back to this next week – stay tuned!). After walking around the palace we went to the gardens in front of it, Volksgarten, and later on, to the surrounding streets.

After reaching the luxurious Kohlmarkt, we headed to the pedestrian and busy street of Graben. For me it felt like another one of these shopping streets, packed with people, but also with very nice buildings and churches at every corners. At the end of the streets we finally saw the beautiful St. Stephan’s Cathedral. We spent a little time on the main square there as it was packed with people, but then, we went to the streets around the cathedral. We could see a lot more details on parts of the cathedral and some specific aspects of the architecture. The streets there were really quiet and empty. I really hope that if you are going to see the cathedral, you will spend time in these streets, as they also help to put everything into perspective.

 

Lunching & Afternoon

From the cathedral area, we walked down to the Franz-Josefs Kai, and took a bit of rest there. We wanted to find a nice place for lunch and plan where to walk next. We decided to head to the Naschmarkt, hoping to find lunch there. And this is what happened! We walked by the beautiful Karlskirche on the way, and then walked in this market for a while. We stopped in one of the restaurants around and this is where we ate. Overall, we did not find a place we really wanted to stop at, as many were busy and touristy. The one where we stopped at had nice food and we paid about 25€ for lunch for 2 (with drinks).

 

I really enjoyed the market there, however, I am not sure I’ll go back to eat there. Once again, we did not really plan this day trip and so did not have some good addresses in mind. For sure, next time I’ll search beforehand – but if you have good addresses, please share them!

From the Naschmarkt, we walked to the close-by Haus des Meeres Aquarium where there is a nice rooftop terrace. But as much as we wanted to go there, due to renovation work, we could not access it. Since things started not to go our way, we continued to walk around the city, slowly heading back towards the train station. And this is one of the things we really enjoyed while in Vienna: not planning the day. It does have some inconvenient, but we knew we could not see everything in a day, so at least, like this, we had no pressure!

 

Goodbye Austria

We hopped on the train back to Bratislava around 17.30, as we started to get tired, and also wanted to go back to Bratislava for one more walk. During this train ride back, we got plenty of time to talk about our day trip, and impressions on the city. As it was my first time in Austria, I was really impressed by the city and its architecture. However, just as many other European city, it is really touristy.

 

Before going there, we did not look too much at what to do, see or anything in Vienna. We went with the flow, and kept our eyes opened for any nice street, shop or area. Of course, we walked a lot but in my opinion this is the best way to see a city. My last thought on Vienna, is that, I really want to go back. Maybe for a weekend, or a few days, as we just scratched the surface during this day. This city gave me really good impressions and I am actually willing to discover more of Austria!

Red tram in Vienna centre

⇒ I hope you enjoyed this article and now have some new idea on where to travel! Do you have any tips when travelling to Vienna? Do you know any other city in Austria worth a visit?



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