Vienna & Wachau Valley (Austria)

 

My family and I went this year to Vienna. We went by car from our hometown and it took us 16 hours (we took breaks once in a few hours). We stayed in Vienna from 15th to 18th of August, at Aurellia Serviced Apartments, in Leopoldstadt, at about 25-30 minutes (on foot) away from the city center. We paid for three nights 396€ but along with the service taxes(25€) and the city taxes(11€)  we paid a total cost of 432€. We had three rooms (two double beds and an extendable sofa) which was more than enough for five people. The beds were comfortable, the kitchen could have been better but overall, it’s a good option for a short visit in Vienna.

Here are a few attractions that we saw in Vienna, during our first two days in Austria:

  • Stadtpark and Johann Strauß statue
  • Ringrastressen Galleries (the largest mall in town)
  • The State Opera
  •   Albertina Museum  (TIP: climb the stairs to Albertina to take a photo of the Opera House)
  •  Augustinian Church
  • The National LibraryDSC_0311
  • Natural History Museum and Monument of Maria Theresa
  • The Austrian Parliament builing
  • Vienna City Hall

    After we arrived at Vienna City Hall (Rathaus Wien) we ate lunch at one of the terraces in front of the building. It was called “Bier vom Faß”. I ate Käsespätzle – 8.5€- which is homemade cheese with fried onions, and the others ate Schweinebraten gröstl – 9.2€- which is roast pork with roast potatoes, onions and coleslaw. We all drank lemonade – 4€ per glass.

    Then we ate ice cream and went to see a few more things.

  • Mozart Statue and Butterfly Museum (Schmetterlinghaus)

We decided to return to the apartment, as we were tired after the long stroll in the city but, when we approached the street of our hotel, we noticed that our car was no longer there. After a few calls to the police (the receptionist gracefully helped us) we found out that our car had been impounded by the police and the parking lot where it had been taken was outside of Vienna. We had to pay nearly 300€ (274€ to the police and 18€ for the taxi) to get our car back, all of this because we parked our car in a place that belonged to someone else (we obviously didn’t know that, the hotel had no parking place of its own, neither did they warn us about the fact that we didn’t park right. The place had a little notice with the number of the owner’s car). It turns out that parking is quite a big problem in Vienna, especially if you car is not registered in Wien. During the night, from 22.00 to 9 in the morning, parking is free, but during the day, you can park only for a limited period of time and it is quite expensive. One possibility would be parking in Donaustadt, a district far away from the city center.

We had enough of Vienna’s parking poilicies so we decided that the next day, we would take a trip to Wachau Valley, a place 85 km away from Wien, formed of 13 little towns, alongside the Danube River. There is a highway leading to Wachau so we arrived in about an hour. It turned out to be an excellent choice as we saw some fairly beautiful landscapes and lovely streets and houses.

We stopped in two towns: Weißenkirchen and Dürnstein.

We also passed by Schönbrunn on our way :DSC_0560

Weißenkirchen in der Wachau:

Dürnstein (Krems district)

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We also managed to see Vienna by night, when we got back

The next day we left early as we had a long road ahead.

One thing that impressed me during my visit to Wien was the fact that it is considerably less crowded than I expected and perhaps one of the reasons is that people go by bike through the whole town. There are also trams and there’s the subway but I noticed that many people choose bikes to get around and I think that is one great part of this city. Also, in Wachau Valley there were many people on bikes and actually, if you don’t travel by car, it is a good idea to take the train from Wien to Wachau and then rent a bike to see all the beautiful little towns that compose, along with the hills and vineyards, the 36 km of the Danube’s valley.

Austria has great places to be seen and explored and I’m thankful that we got to see not only Vienna but also the natural beauty of the Wachau Valley.

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