Wednesday, 20 September 2017

72 Hours in Vienna

Things to do in Vienna

When we planned our trip to Vienna, I had literally no idea of where I wanted to go.


When I go on holidays, I tend to try and plan days out so that we don't waste time. I say I plan days, but I really mean that Dave likes to be quite organised so we can get as much sightseeing in as we can. Dave and I have both had quite a difficult and stressful time at work for the past few weeks, so we both took a bit of a back seat and just decided to go with the flow.



Luckily a friend of Dave gave us plenty of recommendations on where is worth going, and how to avoid typical tourist traps, so we managed to cram in quite a lot of adventures, and I thought I'd share some of these with you!



Hotel



All You Need Vienna 2

Quite appropriately named, this hotel was literally all we needed. It was clean, quiet, private and very conveniently located. Considering we paid €336 between us for four nights, which worked out at €42 a night each, it was incredibly reasonable, and I would definitely recommend this to anyone that just wants a nice base in Vienna. Breakfast was included too, and eating breakfast in the garden was a great way to start each day there. 


Things to do in Vienna


Things to do in Vienna
Both photos are from TripAdvisor as I didn't think to take any inside the hotel, but can confirm that they are accurate.


Food and Drink


Zanoni & Zanoni

Zanoni & Zanoni is a café chain, offering the most delicious gelato I've had outside of Florence.



On our last full day, we stopped in before visiting Stephansdom, and I treated myself to a coffee and vegan chocolate gelato. Cheap, delicious, and with a bunch of locations all over Vienna, they're definitely worth a visit.


Things to do in Vienna


Flanagans Irish Pub

It's a bit of a running joke that wherever we go, we will always find an Irish bar to visit, and on our first day, we did just that. I'm designated German speaker whenever we go to a German-speaking country, and I was quite frankly terrible this time around. Luckily we were greeted with a friendly smile, thick Irish accent and cheap as fuck drinks.
We both ate there on our last day and chose a typical Viennese treat - a fajita. It's a great place to meet locals and expats alike, and I imagine if I had been living in Vienna for quite a long time, this would be a regular haunt of mine.



Besides Flanagans, most of the bars in Vienna seemed to be open quite late. We sat in a café and drank wine by the foot of Stephansdom at 11pm one night, accompanied by outside heaters and gentle guitar music, played by buskers.



Things to do in Vienna


Adria

Most of the year, all I tend to think about is drinks on the beach. Adria can almost make that happen. By the side of the Donaukanal (Danube Canal), Dave and I sat and sipped wine late into the evening. As well as standard chairs, tables, and giant umbrellas, Adria offered an array of beach chairs in a giant sand pit. Not much further down was a Ben & Jerry's bar! We didn't manage to get to it while it was open, so God knows if it even is anymore, but it's worth a shot. 



Things to Do

The Danube

A little north of our hotel was the Danube. I wasn't too keen on visiting the river, because by the time we were ready to go, it was pitch black and I was convinced we were going to get murdered. When we got there, there were still plenty of people around, just sitting by the side of the rushing water and relaxing. It was absolutely stunning in the moonlight. I don't even want to ruin this for you by describing it. Just go see it for yourself.


Prater

Prater is a big-ass park in the Leopoldstadt district of Vienna and is home to Wurstelprater, a huge amusement park. Dave compared it to Oktoberfest, with his fond memories of drunkenly riding dangerous rollercoasters and losing his phone in a funhouse. I enjoyed it, but stayed away from most of the rides, because my giant ass is too big for them normally, and regulations seem to be pretty lax on the safety side. Dave literally got on a rollercoaster that had you stand in a cage, leaning forward, with no safety belt. No thanks.


Things to do in Vienna



Aside from the rides in Prater, there are plenty of bars and restaurants and even The Chocolate Museum.


Naschmarkt

Right in the heart of Vienna lies Naschmarkt, a market nearly a mile long home to fruit and vegetable stands, small bars, sushi restaurants, gift shops, bakeries, and so on and so forth.
As great as Naschmarkt was, it was where I had my only negative experience of Vienna.


Things to do in Vienna

As we walked through a pathway with fruit and vegetable vendors on either side, all laden with literally hundreds of wasps, the vendors were shouting at me. I replied a number of times, in German, with 'no thank you' and 'I don't speak much German, sorry' but one vendor in particular continued to yell at me as I walked away. As we left, a teenager jumped in my path and aimed a water gun at me. I wasn't too bothered by it, because I would've belly bounced him into Bratislava, but any solo travellers could easily have been frightened.

Outdoor Opera

It was only a short time, but the highlight of my trip was the Open Air OperaAround 7pm during April, May, June, September, and late December, Karajan-Platz becomes home to hundreds of people crowding around to catch a glimpse of the performance. When we stopped, it was a performance of The Barber of Seville in its native Italian, with German subtitles. I don't use this word lightly, but I would say the word 'magical' fits the experience well.

Things to do in Vienna


Photoautomat

Dave and I have built a little tradition, starting with our trip to Berlin in 2013. When we go anywhere abroad, I always hunt down a photo booth, and most of the time it's a Photoautomat. They're quite old-fashioned photo booths, printing strips of four photos in black and white, with no option to preview your photos before they're printed. They really are just capturing the moment, rather than catering to vanity. I absolutely adore the photos we get from these, and are always my favourite memento from our trip. 


Things to do in Vienna

Things to do in Vienna



Hopefully this post is helpful for you if you're looking for things to do in Vienna! If you find any other hidden gems or any places you think I should visit, feel free to let me know!




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