Tag Archives: Vienna

Day 2 – Schloss Schönbrunn

A breakfast of cheeses, meats, and bread with jam was thoroughly enjoyed by Raul and Lauren. This meal was reminiscent of breakfasts they were served throughout Romania. Having a full day ahead of them, they set out to tour the Ringstrasse, the boulevard that Emperor Franz Josef built to replace the city’s medieval wall.

They started the circuit near the Staatsoper, the Opera, on a tram. Originally they had planned to cycle around the Ring, but Lauren was not enthused about biking in 45 degree weather and high winds. Leaving the tram at Stadtpark, Vienna’s beautiful city park that honors many great Viennese musicians and composers with statues, they strolled through the park and took in the flowers and waterfowl.

At the edge of the park, they noticed the city bike station which offers free bicycles for people to use, so Raul convinced Lauren they should ride, after all. They continued around the Ring, stopping at many sights along the way, and finished back at the Staatsoper. Since it was getting late in the day, they skipped ahead in their itinerary and took the subway to Schönbrunn Palace.

This magnificent palace, which is said to be Versaille’s only rival, was the summer residence of the Hapsburgs. Despite forgetting to reserve their tickets in advance, they had no problem or wait getting in. They took a tour of forty rooms, all furnished in imperial splendor. After the tour, they spent a few hours strolling the expansive palace gardens.

Having worked up an appetite to match the magnificence of Schönbrunn, they returned to central Vienna and attempted to dine at a less than inviting restaurant near the Hofburg Palace but decided to take their business elsewhere. They decided on Gyros, a Greek/Turkish hole in the wall, with a genial and attentive proprietor.

The journal entries for Days 0 and 1 remain handwritten in their hotel room but will be posted at the earliest convenience.

Republik Österreich
Coat of Arms

Time Plan Sleep in
Day 02 Thursday 17 May Wien
08:00 ▲▲Self-guided bike tour around the Ringstrasse
09:30 Wien City Walk
10:00 ▲▲Kaisergruft, the Remains of the Hapsburgs, €4
10:30 ▲▲▲St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom), €3,50 main nave
11:30 ▲St. Peter’s Church (Peterkirche)
12:30 ▲▲New Palace Museums: Armor, Music, and Ancient Greek Statues, €18 combo with Kunsthistorisches Museum
14:30 ▲▲▲Schönbrunn Palace (Schloss Schönbrunn), €13,50 Grand Tour, closes at 17:00
16:30 ▲▲▲Kunsthistorisches Museum €12 or €18 combo, closes at 21:00
18:30 ▲▲▲Opera (Staatsoper), €3-4, La clemenza di Tito starts at 19:00
Donauinsel (Danube Island) bike ride

Day 1 – Imperial Baubles

After a three hour lay-over in Amsterdam, Raul and Lauren arrived in Vienna at 13:30. Lauren deftly guided them to Schweizer Pension, with help from Raul’s hints along the way.

The weather was cooler than they had anticipated and included unexpected precipitation, so they unpacked the appropriate clothing. In order not to waste their short time in Vienna, they set out directly for the Hofburg Treasury, a collection of Imperial baubles. Lauren was impressed by a single emerald jewel, the size of a baseball, while Raul particularly enjoyed the 900-year-old red silk and gold thread mantle, worn by the Holy Roman Emperors at their coronations.

After visiting the Treasury, they went to the Dorotheum, an auction house–essentially a museum in which one could purchase the exhibits–but they quickly realized that they were beyond their means, with individual items costing anywhere from several thousand dollars to several hundred thousand.

Both were pretty hungry by this point, so they picked an Italian place to have dinner. For the antipasti, they ordered the caprese clasica, a plate of basil, tomato, and fresh mozzarella slices served with delicious garlic bread. Raul chose salmon, while Lauren had Argentinian beef fillets, and, for the first time, she ordered the beef medium-well, instead of well-done, thanks to the advice of a friend. Overall, it was a highlight in their life-long culinary experience.

With legs weary from their Monday night soccer games, as well as from travelling, they skipped the Opera and stumbled back to the pension for a much-needed rest.

Republik Österreich
Coat of Arms

Oberes Belvedere
Time Plan Sleep in
Day 01 Wednesday 16 May Wien
08:05 Arrive Amsterdam
11:40 Depart Amsterdam on KLM flight 1845
Duration: 1h 50m
13:30 Arrive Wien
15:00 Check in at Schweizer Pension, cash only, €196 for two nights confirmed
  1. Take S-Bahn S-7 yellow line from underground tracks outside the arrivals hall to Wien-Mitte.
  2. Go up the left escalator, turn left, walk until you see U4 on the right.
  3. Take U4 in the direction of Heiligenstadt for two stops, get out at Schottenring.
  4. Exit Salztorbrücke, go up escalator, cross over tramlines and turn left, take the first street on the right, Heinrichsgasse 2.

Tel: +43 01/533-8156

15:30 ▲▲▲Hofburg Treasury (Weltliche und Geistliche Schatzkammer), €12, closes at 18:00
17:00 Vienna’s Auction House, the Dorotheum closes at 18:00
18:30 ▲▲▲Opera (Staatsoper), €3-4, La traviata starts at 19:00
Donauinsel (Danube Island) bike ride

Transit info
Transit map
Austrian Train Schedules
German Train Schedules
Austria Rail Pass – $151

Sights in Wien
  • ▲▲Self-guided tram tour around the Ringstrasse, 10:00-18:00
  • Self-guided walk
  • ▲▲▲Opera (Staatsoper), €6,50 for tour, €3-4 for standing room ticket
  • ▲St. Peter’s Church (Peterkirche), Mon-Fri 07:00-19:00, Sat-Sun 09:00-19:00, organ concerts Mon-Fri at 15:00, Sat-Sun at 20:00
  • ▲▲▲St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom), €3,50 main nave, Mon-Sat 09:00-11:30 & 13:30-16:30, Sun 13:30-16:30
  • ▲▲▲Hofburg Palace Imperial Apartments (Kaiserappartements), Treasury (Weltliche und Geistliche Schatzkammer), €10,50 for both?, Apartments 09:00-17:00, Treasury Wed-Mon 10:00-18:00
  • Lipizzaner Museum, €5 or €15 combo ticket, 09:00-18:00, training sessions 10:00-12:00
  • ▲Augustinian Church (Augustinerkirche)
  • ▲▲Albertina Museum, €9,50, 10:00-18:00
  • ▲▲Kaisergruft, the Remains of the Hapsburgs, €4, 10:00-18:00
  • ▲Imperial Furniture Collection (Kaiserliches Hofmobiliendepot) €7, Tue-Sun 10:00-18:00
  • ▲▲▲Kunsthistorisches Museum €12 or €18 combo, Tue-Sun 10:00-18:00, Thu until 21:00
  • ▲▲New Palace Museums: Armor, Music, and Ancient Greek Statues, €18 combo with Kunsthistorisches Museum, Wed-Mon 10:00-18:00
  • Vienna’s Auction House, the Dorotheum Mon-Fri 10:00-18:00, Sat 09:00-17:00
  • ▲Naschmarkt, Mon-Fri 06:00-18:30, Sat 06:00-17:00 (get picnic food)
  • Liechtenstein Museum, €10, Fri-Tue 10:00-17:00
  • ▲▲Belvedere Palace, €9,50, 10:00-18:00
  • ▲▲▲Schönbrunn Palace (Schloss Schönbrunn), €13,50 or 19,50 for Classic Pass Plus, 8:30-17:00, least crowded from 12:00-14:00, call ahead for reservation (tel. 01/8111-3239)

  • ▲Stadtpark (City Park)
  • ▲Prater
  • Donauinsel (Danube Island) – bike ride
  • A Walk in the Vienna Woods (Wienerwald)
  • Concert or Opera
  • Café
  • Citybike Wien, €1 registration (do online before trip), first hour free, second hour €1, third hour €2, €4/hour after that
  • Pedal Power, €5/hour, €17 four hours, 08:30-18:00
  • Crazy Chicken, €3/hour, €12/day, 08:30-19:00
  • Reichsbrücke, €5,40/hour, €27/day, 09:30 to dusk, near the bridge for Danube Island biking