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European Escape: Vienna European Escape: Vienna European Escape: Vienna European Escape: Vienna European Escape: Vienna

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European Escape: Vienna

March 26, 2024

VIP Vacations’ experienced travel agent, Ryan Doncsecz, shares his experience of traveling to the city of Vienna, Austria.

Vienna is a fascinating city filled with history, music, culture, and beautiful architecture.  With distinct “seasons,” traveling to the city at different times of the year provides different feels from the very green and warm summers, to the cold yet joyous winters.

Getting around

Some advice for planning Vienna starts with understanding public transportation.  Vienna has an excellent public transport system from buses, trams, and the underground (U-Bahn).  Travelers should research comfortability and understandings of these methods, as a purchase of the “Vienna Card” could make getting around the city discounted and fast.  

What to do

The city center and popular sites are in a compact area perfect for exploring on foot.  I recommend thinking about a walking tour to get the insider knowledge from a local guide, and then you can deep dive on own to the areas that interest you most.  Some worthy sites include The Museum Quarter, one of the larger cultural complexes housing museums, art galleries, theatres, cafes, & shopping.  Another popular building is the Schönbrunn Palace, especially if travelling during warmer months so travelers can explore the beautiful gardens.  Pre-purchasing entry during busy seasons are a must, and a skip the line entrance upgrade is worthy of consideration as well! 

Another popular site in Vienna is the State Opera House.  This massive cultural icon houses different concerts and operas on a nightly rotating basis.  Make sure to look for tickets on a somewhat secondary market, rather than the opera house direct.  I purchased our tickets on Vienna Premium Tickets, and by doing so I saved a ton of money, found availability not online at the theatre direct, as well as had a very easy pick up process right across to the theatre.  

Winter Bonus!

My last recommendation is to visit as many Christmas Markets as possible, if you are lucky enough to be in Vienna during the Christmas Season!  This is a great opportunity to sample local foods and meet vendors.  One fun discovery was finding out that each separate market had their own unique Christmas Themed mug, to be filled with their Gluhwein (Mulled or Hot Wine).  The mug itself can be kept as a souvenir, or returned to a stand in the market where they will give you money change back for returning the mug.  This is also the case for wine glasses!  If you are enjoying an Aperol Spritz or glass of wine, DO NOT forget to return your wine glass.  The operator will give you a few euro’s back to use later on your vacation!  My girlfriend and I had a much heavier suitcase flying home, due to the 10 Christmas Market themed mugs we brought home – my favorite ‘purchases’ from the entire vacation. 

Where to stay

When searching for a hotel in Vienna, traveler’s should be as near the “ring” as possible.  The major sites and top hotels are within a mile or two of the ring.  We enjoyed Hotel Josefshof am Rathaus Wien for it’s excellent staff and large entry level rooms. 

Are you ready to learn more about Vienna? Reach out to Ryan today!

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