V for Vienna
We just got back this week from 2 and a half weeks of travel, and have started to get back into the swing of the daily routine.
I wanted to continue to share these posts about our adventure because hey, documenting is my favourite thing to do and as I’m writing I feel like I’m re-living the moments 😂Prepare for travel posts coming up!
🇦🇹 Vienna in 2 minutes
I’ve also put together some snippets of our time in Vienna in one short video, check it out!
Day One: Train confusions & sparkling(?) water
The second stop of our European interrailing adventure was Vienna in Austria. You can read about our time at our first stop in Budapest here.
This was our first time using our interrail passes and getting on a train as we arrived into Budapest by plane.
I’m a frequent train traveller in the UK for work and events, but this felt like a completely new ball game. Eventually I realised the transport systems didn’t differ that much, but initially, it was quite scary!
I made my first travel mistake here. I had gotten confused by the different train stations in Budapest. We ended up ordering a taxi to get us to a small train station that was quite far out from the centre (costing £40), only to realise that the central station was going to get us to the same place (that particular station was one of the stops 🤦🏻♀️) Our Airbnb was closer to the centre as well, so we would’ve saved money and time. But I learnt! 😂
At first, we struggled with understanding seat reservations on the train. We hadn’t booked any reservations apart from our final 2 trains later on the trip. Eventually, we found one cabin that didn’t seem to have been reserved (it really wasn’t obvious) and killed the 2 hours watching Avengers: Infinity War. 😆
That brings me to… the cabins in the trains! If you’ve ever watched Anastasia, it was exactly like the trains they had used to get from St Petersburg to Paris – one with a cute little cabin. It is a sign of an older train, I assume but I found them fascinating.
Once we arrived to Vienna, we killed some time before we could check into our Airbnb with lunch and trying to figure out how the public transport systems work. This wasn’t something we had to think about in Budapest, because we mostly walked. Although exploring by foot has been great, we also wanted to get to places quicker and save our feet from the evening soreness.
Out of all the places we went to, Vienna was definitely the easiest with public transport. We simply downloaded their transport app and bought a ticket that included transport links for 3 days! In the end, we didn’t actually show our tickets to anyone or scan it anywhere but it’s always better to be safe than fined.
After settling into our Airbnb, we walked to our local supermarket to buy some food for the next few days. Where we could, we tried to cook our own meals as much as possible. Usually this would be breakfast and dinner, because we’d always out and about during the day. Obviously we’re not perfect, so sometimes we did go out for dinner instead.
Out of all the supermarkets we had been throughout our trip, this one was our favourite! It was an INTERSPAR, which was a SPAR but also a huge department store – sort of like Costco!
We bought some water out of habit because of it is advised that you don’t drink tap water in Budapest, but we ended up getting this strange water that was a mix of sparkling and normal water but not quite one or the other. Weird.
Day Two: Amazing weather, parks and End Game
I’m not going to lie to you. I woke up the next day super excited about one thing: the new Avengers film. 😂The following thoughts upon waking were related to exploring the city of Vienna of course, but mostly to watch a film in a cinema abroad. 🤦🏻♀️Travelling done right.
Once we left the Airbnb to start our day, the 27 degree weather hit us. Super refreshing after what seemed like an eternal winter in the UK! It was amazing, and was definitely was responsible for my tan when I returned home.
Our Airbnb was a little far out from the centre, so we took a tram towards central Vienna. It was at the stop that we realised that we both forgot our battery banks for our phones. This is no big deal because we can live without our phones, but with that said, we did heavily rely on them for directions and of course, randomly googling information about places. We decided not to turn back and see how long the batteries would last… more on that later! 😆
We didn’t wanted to see anything in particular, but aimed to get an idea and a general feel of the city.
Once we got off the tram, we did a little walking tour of our own and discovered some beautiful things on our trails. Immediately, we found Vienna very refreshing because of the number of green spaces in almost every block.
Sigmund Frued Park was nearby the University of Vienna (Universität Wien) and as they use eduroam, we had access to WiFi 😁
On our way to the next park, Volksgarten, we walked by Parliament. Unfortunately, it was being renovated when we were there but they had a small room that you could go into and see the plans and information about other Parliaments across the world. This was all we could see from the window of the room.
Within Volksgarten is the Theseus Temple, where they showcase contemporary artwork one at a time. Upon first glance, it looks like the artwork – amusingly named Tourists or Turisti – there was just an empty room. But as you look closer or up, I should say, there were a flock of pigeons looking down at visitors as they walked in. They looked so realistic!
After lunch, we walked to Heldenplatz – a public space in front of the Hofburg Palace. There seemed to be a lot of exhibitions around! In this area, there was an equal rights exhibition that showcased 100 years of suffrage, highlighting the importance of equality in society.
As we got closer to the viewing of End Game, we walked towards Central Vienna. This was the main shopping area, that of course meant that we had to find an Apple Store for Matt. 😆 We also went to Hard Rock Café for dinner before heading to the Artis International Wein cinema.
When I had booked the tickets to see End Game, I actually booked the wrong ones that weren’t in English… Luckily, Matt spotted my mistake and we quickly got other tickets that were showing the Original Version. Psst, if it says (OV) by the title, you’re all good!
Then of course… End Game happened and… that is another post for another time. 😂
After the film, to our horror, we found that both our phones had died. At this point, it was getting quite late and I started to panic a little bit. Our phones were dead. We were in the centre of Vienna, but our Airbnb was somewhere further out, we didn’t know the address and we had no idea how to get to the right tram stop to get there and we can’t walk there because we don’t even know where it is and…
Luckily, we discovered that our Airbnb keys had an address on them! So we hailed a taxi and got in. Phew.
BUT almost as soon as we got into that taxi, I regretted it. The driver was absolutely insane and low-key racist 😨
He was driving super fast, nearly crashed into another taxi who he then blamed so he stuck his head out of the window swearing at the other driver and ranting to us about how “they’re not truly Austrian” and how those drivers who aren’t Austrian are stupid. Yikes.
That was the longest taxi ride I’ve ever had, and I was hanging on to dear life in that car but started to relax after seeing some familiar roads. He wasn’t psycho enough to hurt us. 😅
And on that note, as well as the other more significant note of [End Game Spoiler here], it was quite a day.
Day Three: Schönbrunn Palace
Compared to the day before, we woke up with 28 degree weather but with a cloudy sky.
One of our Airbnb hosts’ main recommendations was to go to the Schönbrunn Palace and Park, and as we had mostly done the city exploring the day before we decided to have a chill day at the park.
There is entry into the palace, but the gardens were free to roam around and explore. There was also a zoo in the gardens that wasn’t free to enter.
The gardens have a selection of different spots for lunch. We went to Jausen Station which was quite a popular one – we didn’t get a seat until hanging around for 10~ minutes. Although they got my order wrong the first time, I would recommend it. It’s such a cute place for lunch or even just a quick break!
This was one of my favourite days. Being surrounded by trees and laying around on the grass, watching planes in the sky was heavenly. It was a fantastic way to just relax after all the exploring in the city!
Day Four: Leaving Vienna ☹️
I was actually quite sad leaving Vienna. I had very much fallen in love with all the green spaces it has and the balance of parks and city. It strangely reminded me a lot about my home in Sheffield. I bet that’s a strange comparison for UK folks, but it’s true!
We left for the train station that morning and headed to our next stop to Czech Republic 🇨🇿