Schönbrunn garden, palace and zoo, Vienna State Opera, Hofburg Palace and many many other impressive places – all these Vienna attractions allure tourists of different countries. No wonder we also wanted to go there – Vienna definitely has that something special. We spent there two fantastic days and that was one of the places, we didn’t want to leave. We loved Vienna straightaway – read our story and find out how we planned our time there :)
We got to Vienna by bus from Bratislava – it’s a very short distance (about 2 hours), so it’s worth to see these two cities at the same time. The bus we took was very comfortable – we could watch movies, have something to drink and it also had the convenience of a toilet on board. We wrote more about how to get to the capital city of Austria in our travel guide – Things to do in Vienna. So, as you can see our little journey was actually more relaxing than exhausting and thanks to it we could gather our energy for sightseeing Vienna attractions.
ST. STEPHEN’S CATHEDRAL
Our first destination in Vienna was the city centre – we saw the St. Stephen’s Cathedral. It’s a big, gothic church and we even went inside. The church is actually divided in two parts – the one that you can see for free, and the one for which you have to pay. These parts are next to each other. If you pay for the visiting, then you can go closer to the alter – and it’s actually the whole difference. That’s why we decided to go for free only because it wasn’t for us that necessary to see everything closely.
In front of the church there are numerous cabs with horses and near the church and the whole city centre prevails a cheerful atmosphere. There are lots of restaurants in the centre, but there are also plenty of booths with sausages. We ordered some sausages because it’s a typical dish for Austria and it was delicious!
VIENNA STATE OPERA
As we didn’t have much time, we took a metro and went to see the famous Opera in Vienna because it’s definitely worth to visit it. The tour around the opera took us an hour and we had an english-speaking guide that told us a lot about the place. We saw various corners of the building, but everyone go there to take a seat in the auditorium and catch a look at the stage. At the time we visited Vienna there were no concerts, so we didn’t have any opportunity to feel the real atmosphere of the Opera :(
After that, we met our host from Couchsurfing, left our luggage at her place and went with her to the Prater amusement park. The whole area is always open to the public, so unlike other well-known theme parks in the world, there’s no entrance fee. Attractions are fairly cheap though. There are plenty of typical rides like a ferris wheel or rollercoaster, but the highest world’s flying swing Praterturm rules! For just €5 it took us to 117 meters above the ground where the views of Vienna skyline are unbelievable. We spent on Prater about two hours and had a really great time!
OTHER VIENNA ATTRACTIONS – THE CENTER
After visiting Prater, our host showed us the most important cultural Vienna attractions –Hofburg Palace, Ringstrasse, City Hall Square with City Hall, baroque Saint Charles’s Church and took us to a cake shop where we tried apple strudel. It’s a cake common for Austrian cuisine and it’s very delicious :) We recommend trying it!
Also, Saint Charles’s Church made a great impression on us and it was a great idea to see it by night during hot summer – we felt like being in a kind of exotic place. We think it’s not one of the most popular attraction of Vienna, but it definitely should be. The church is roman catholic, but looks more oriental, just like some mosque.
And again it’s very, very, very worth to see City Hall by night during summer. Especially if you are a fun of crowded places, just like us. If it wasn’t for our host, we wouldn’t know that there are such amazing events during summer – concerts, sport events, ballet and movies are played on the huge LED screen installed on the façade of the City Hall. There are also numerous places to sit and order food and drinks.
We went there at about 8 p.m. and ran across ballet. We were surprised to see so many people there – definitely more than a thousand and most of them seemed to be locals. Before our trip we hadn’t found any information about such events on the internet. And we are very grateful to our host for taking us there because we enjoyed the cosy atmosphere of this place and the projection. The projection ended about 10 p.m. and we went back to our place and that’s how our day ended.
On the second day we went to see Schönbrunn Gardens and Palace. We saw the palace only from the outside and then spent some time in the gardens – to see the gardens in couple of hours is in our opinion not enough! It’s a very beautiful, romantic place and definitely well-trimmed. It’s worth to spend there some more time because the area of the gardens is huge.
After a walk and of course long photo shoot in the gardens, we went to the zoo. It’s right next to the palace. The zoo is enormous and we were extremely tired after spending there about 5 hours. And we missed seeing couple of animals and actually don’t even know why. Maybe it happended because our main goal set for this place was to see a panda when it’s active. And it was sleeping so long – as far as we remember it sleeps till 2 p.m. :)) Really – it’s not easy to see them doing anything other than sleeping. That’s why we were visiting its run a couple of times and had lots of patience. But finally we saw one of them waking up and eating! Pandas are so cute and we felt in love with them immediately :)
Then we got a bit hungry and ordered bratwursts (sausages) in one of the zoo’s food stand. Sausages in Vienna are always a good idea :)
After seeing some more animals we left the zoo as needed to come back to the apartment of our host to take our luggage and say goodbye to our host. That evening we had a bus to Prague, so it was the end of our little, but memorable trip around best Vienna attractions :) Hope you feel encouraged to visit Vienna. Please write us in a comment below :)