travel

Vienna, Austria

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Vienna was the first stop of our #nzfnzleurope trip. Since Nazeef and I both have not been here, we did a lot of research beforehand to come up with an itinerary. Because we were there only for a day and a half, we wanted to make sure we fully optimize our time in Vienna.

First day in Vienna

We arrived at Flughafen Wien or Vienna International Airport at approximately 11.45AM. After contemplating on the transportation to our apartment, we finally decided on the most hassle-free option which is to take the taxi. It costed us €60, but if you would like to save, there are plenty other options. You can take the bus, or the City Airport Train (CAT) to Wien Westbahnhof (the main train station) which costs €13 per person.

But this also depends on where you are staying, ultimately. We did not stay at the city center, but opted for a place near Wien Westbahnhof because that is where we would need to catch our train to Salzburg.

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We stayed at Alga Apartments am Westbahnhof, which is located literally 7 minutes away from the Wien Westbahnhof Railway Station and  5 minutes away from the Wien Westbahnhof Metro Stop. It’s a lovely apartment – clean, bright and spacious. The owner was also quick to respond to my messages. At first we had a problem with the heater and I quickly dropped the owner a message to inform him. He came by within 10 minutes later and solved the issue. Very prompt.

The street next to the apartment also has tons of halal restaurants (kebab all day errday), so it was easy for us to eat! The only thing that was tricky about the apartment was getting into it… There were so many keys for us to operate with and I think it took us almost 10 minutes to get to our room (they have keys for everything! The front door, the lift, the grill gate, the apartment door).

After resting, we headed out. Our mode of transportation around Vienna was using the Underground Metro. It’s convenient, cheap and you can download the railway app for easy navigation. Some app suggestions I found useful are Qando Vienna and Rome2Rio.

So we took the Metro to the Wiener Rathaus at Rathausplatz, the city hall of Vienna. A majestic state-of-the-art gothic building dated from the late 1800, this building houses the office of the Mayor of Vienna.

Since it was nearing Christmas season,  there were plenty of Christkindlmarkt or Christmas markets in Vienna. There was one located right in front of the Wiener Rathaus, so we went there to look for local delights. The best part about Christmas markets is that you are able to learn more about the culture of the country you are visiting, having to see their handmade products and also local delicacies. I have always loved roaming around Christmas markets, browsing and admiring the stalls.

The time was 5.30PM but it was already dark and also drizzling so we did not manage to walk around much. So we headed back, stopped by a kebab joint to grab dinner, and fell asleep immediately after due to the incorrigible jet lag.

Second day in Vienna

After breakfast we took the Metro towards Schloss Schönbrunn or Schönbrunn Palace. It was previously a summer residence for the imperial, dating back from mid 1500. The palace was impressive, but sort of a minuscule version of Château de Versailles in France (bearing in mind it was only a summer residence). I was mostly attracted to the gardens, especially the Gloriette, which provides panoramic views of the city. 

However, we didn’t go for the tour due to time constraint. To enter the palace you would need to pay for the ticket, but the garden is free of charge. The gardens are located at the side of the palace and also behind it. There are also a few intricately designed mazes that I found fascinating, so it was definitely unmissable!

After the visit to Schloss Schönbrunn, we headed to the city center to hunt for souvenirs and also take photos. We walked around Graben street (the famous shopping street) and of course did what any other tourists would do – shop!

We needed to catch our train to Salzburg at 1.40PM, so we headed back to our apartment to pack.

Like any other European cities, Vienna has a specific charm to it. I have a soft spot for gothic and baroque architecture, and Vienna is made out of those type of buildings… so I am quite biased in that sense. I consider myself a city girl, one who really appreciates buildings, monarchs etc because of the historical values that come with it. I have such an old soul inside me, I know. Because you know, history creates the present and the future. I mean, we wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for history!

There are so many other places to visit in Vienna that we did not manage to cover, and I’d most definitely visit it again. However, there aren’t much activities you can do around here, so it’s the perfect city for you to visit to relax and unwind.

So Vienna, checked! On the next post: Salzburg, Austria.

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