The perks of going to Europe is you can visit many cities from various countries in the short period of time just by going by train. The next city that I visited was, Vienna, Austria, which is located only 3-hours away from Prague by train. Vienna has always been on my mind. One of the city I’ve put in my bucket-list and I somehow got the guts that I would be able to visit it someday. And… it happened!
I purchased the train ticket online weeks before my departure. It was super easy. You can Google it. The challenge was, it was a bit hard to find the right track at the Praha hlavní nádraží or Prague’s Main Train Station since everything was written in local language. However, I was finally able to get on the right train after asking people here and there. The moment I stepped on my feet from the train in Vienna, I could see a very different train station compared to Prague. Prague’s Train Station has traditional style, while Wien Hauptbahnhof or Vienna’s Main Train Station is more busy and modern. They have a lot of information in English, so I felt a bit more secured here.
Again, I stayed in an AirBnB apartment where this time, I was so grateful that it was located very near to the city center. The tram/train station is located just a few meters away and the surrounding was very lively. I felt secured walking around here compared to the one I stayed in Prague. I arrived around lunch time, then I waited the host to come and gave me the apartment key for 10 mins. And you know what? There was an elevator in the apartment this time! So, I didn’t have to carry my 30kgs+ luggage over the stairs. I took a rest for just 30 mins, then I started my exploration journey at this lovely city.
Art Journey at Belvedere Museum
I took the tram (which was very easy for me to plan and locate this time compared to Prague. The people here were also somehow very friendly and helpful whenever I asked them questions) and went to Belvedere Museum.
Belvedere Museum is a Baroque palace and museum which stores Austria’s most valuable art collections. The architecture of the building is magnificent and it has several beautiful gardens within the area. There are two parts of palace, which are the Upper Belvedere and Lower Belvedere. The entrance ticket costs around EUR 20 to enter both of Upper and Lower Belvedere.
Evening Walk at Stephansplatz
I finished exploring Belvedere Museum at around 5.30pm. Then, I took another tram to Stephansplatz, which is one of the most popular square at the city center of Vienna. This is also officially the ‘kilometer zero’ of Vienna. I got off at one of the tram stop, then continued to explore the area in walking distance. There are many historical and the iconic building of Vienna, such as the Wienner Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera), the Albertina, Vienna Parliament Building, and so on. Besides, there is also shopping district and various coffee houses at the area.
Vienna’s World-Famous Sachertorte
Who doesn’t know about Vienna’s World-Famous Sachertorte? While passing by the area, I dropped by Sacher Hotel, the house of the original Vienna’s chocolate cake. How special it is until the country has a National Sachertorte Day every December 5!
Vienna City Tour
Exploring city in the day-light and in the evening gave you different feels. The next day, as usual, I decided to join a free walking tour to explore the city. This time, I booked Good Vienna Tour and we gathered in front of the Albertina at 10AM. The tour also took around 3 hours and explored pretty much everything at the city. Our guide was from Budapest, but she was just like locals in Vienna!
Here are several places we visited:
Vienna Parliament Building & Hofburg Palace
This is a pretty wide area where when we go inside, it connected us to many other places in the area. The highlight is in the Hofburg Palace and its garden. It was at the end of autumn and the view was just incredible!
Mariahilfer Straße, Austria’s Longest Shopping District
What can be more enjoyable than go windows shopping at such a nice district, surrounded by pretty buildings?
St. Stephen’s Cathedral
I went there at the evening the other night. And this is the view of the cathedral at the day. It is located in such a nice area with many other pretty buildings.
Figlmuller – The House of Viennese Schnitzel
Vienna has quite a lot of special culinary delicacies. One of the must-try is the Viennese Schnitzel, and Figlmuller is the right place to try it! This restaurant is sooo famous that I couldn’t get any spot at its original place which is located in a small alley. The employee told me to go to their 2nd branch which is located not far from there. The portion of the schnitzel is quite big, so you might want to share with your friend. Since I went there alone, I kept some portion to be brought home for dinner. The perks of solo traveler… Haha 🙂
The Jewish Quarter
The last stop that we visited during the free walking tour is the Jewish Quarter. Our guide told us story about the Jewish community at Vienna. The picture below is St. Rupert’s Church.
Concert Night at Schonbrunn Palace
I planned to visit Schonbrunn Palace right after the free walking tour that day. However, I’ve got an errand from my boss to buy some stuff for her wife, so I did some shopping that afternoon. The moment I arrived at Schonbrunn Palace, it was too late to enter the palace. I planned to watch Mozart concert at the palace area at the evening and visited a Schonbrunn Cafe before watching the concert. I wasn’t able to take any picture during the concert… So yeah, I don’t have any picture of it.
That was pretty much my 2-days solo trip at Vienna. I took a trip to Salzburg on the 3rd day which I will cover in my next post. See ya!