SUSAN’S GUIDE TO VIENNA

which is about elegance and sophistication, enjoying the finer things in life, and the Hapsburg Empire which ruled the world. 

Make the effort & start your day by visiting the magnificent Schonbrunn palace, & see just how wealthy the Hapsburg Empire was. Return to central, get an audio guide & go through the Hofburg royal apartments. Then either visit the Royal treasury (make sure you get an audio guide), or drop by the Kaisergruft & see the eerie collection of Hapsburg coffins.  You’ll have plenty of time to visit a traditional coffee shop (a must do) & rest your feet before taking in a Classical music concert in the evening.

 

good day: grosse gotte  / good evening : guten abend  / goodbye: auf weideresehen or tchuss / how are you?  vie gates?/

good: gute  / yes: ja(yah) /no: nein / ladies: damen  /men: herren  /thank you : danke /  please or you’re welcome: bitte

   

Public Transport U-bahn/ S-bahn, trams and buses/ tickets from machine at station or on board (coins only)

24 hr pass available/  honour system-validate your ticket /push button to stop train/ most finish before midnight

*Avoid: Yellow tourist tram which does city circle/ overpriced.  Trams 1 & 2 each travel half the ring.

Ask locals or the conductor which trams to use & where to change/ can be confusing otherwise.

 

MAIN SITES

Shonbrunn Palace #1 tourist attraction in Vienna / over 1 square  km of free gardens (open at 6:00am/ 6:30am winter), fountains, public maze, gloriette, 1752 Baroque zoo, coach museum, palm house and the magnificent palace rooms.

open 8:30am-5pm/ or 6pm Jul, Aug

Hop on-off train, LHS through arches (a real time saver if you want to see all gardens) 50 min circuit

Strudel show (look for signboard/ times vary) March 15 to Nov 2 / 10am-5pm/  fee to watch

TOP TIP: arrive just before 8:30am if you want to go inside palace, before the masses of tour coaches roll in. You’ll have the place to yourself with no queues.  U4 to Schonbrunn

 

Hofburg Palace  see where the Hapsburgs lived & the Sissy Museum      9am-5pm

ticket includes porcelain & silver collection- it’s well worth seeing, but go at a pace.  It’s massive!

Treasury (the Schatzkammer) sceptres, crowns, robes; major supposed Christian relics such as largest piece of cross with nail hole, bowl that held Christ’s blood, piece of loincloth and tablecloth from last supper, holy nail, lance that pierced Christ’s side and cloth that wiped his sweat with facial imprint

10am-5pm    look for red and gold archway/ audio guide highly recommended

Kaisergruft: Tegetthoffstrasse 2, in Neuer Markt: 150 Hapsburg bodies in amazing, ornate metal coffins.  (Their hearts are in the Augustinian Church and their entrails in the crypt below St. Stephan’s Cathedral).  Double coffin of Marie Therese & Franz 1st       Eerie but fascinating.    9:30am-4pm

St Stephens Church:  Church doors open 6am-10pm to enter lobby, but tourists only allowed past gates from  8:30-11:30 & 1-4:30/  check board for tours of crypt/  Climb south tower 343 steps 9-5:30pm

Opera House  English tours 2 & 3 pm / guided tour and museum

Albert Loos famous loos:  Look for the underground toilets  on Graben. In 1900, local chemical maker needed a gimic, so he bought 2 wine cellars, & made toilets  with chandeliers & fine wood to show his products worked.   Small fee,  but worth spending a penny.

Spanish Riding School Watch these ballerina horses go through their morning exercise. Go in anytime between 10am-noon. (Younger horses 10-11/stallions 11-noon.  People come and go, and they print new tickets accordingly. There are several viewing areas, and you can wander around for best views.

TOP TIP: If there is a queue for tickets, there are 2 ticket shops on Augustinergasse who sell them.

 

Prater  The world’s oldest amusement park  covers several city blocks on this permanent site.  Rides, games, beer garden, and the world’s oldest Ferris wheel, the Reisenrad.  take U1  9am-10/12ish / free entry to ground. Grounds open to 11pm-ish to evening.

Belvedere Palace  2 palaces, grounds, largest collection of Klimts, including The kiss.. 10-6pm       U1 Sudtirolerplatz

HGM Museum  (Heeresgeschichliches Museum)  military treasure trove. Weapons, tanks, guns, the car & uniform Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in, all housed in the magnificent arsenal.  Get off at Sudbahnhof and follow the signs through the park.  9am-5pm

Naschmarkt  This Old World market has one side lined with fun eateries, the other high-end produce & gourmet goodies; where top chefs like to get their ingredients. Sat flea market & clothes.     7am-5pm  U-Kettenbruckengasse

FOOD & DRINK

Sacher Hotel  1876  have a piece of famous Sacher torte: chocolate cake with apricot filling & coffee inside this elegant hotel/beside Opera House

Demel  A must see!!  shop & elegant café/ filled with beautiful boxes of sweets, chocolates & a counter full of amazing cakes. Windows in back of shop, so you can see cooks making goodies.   A-1010 Vienna, Kohlmarkt 14.

Buffet Trzesniewski Local hangout, famous for finger sandwiches & teeny tiny beers. #1 Dorotheergasse

Figlmueller for world famous snitzels that fall off the plate. Book if you can. Two venues near St Stephens: Wollzeile 5 / 11am-10pm / wollzeile@fighmueller.at   ph 01/512 6177- or go around the corner to Backerstrasse 6 / larger with bigger menu/ noon – 11pm / baeckerstrasse@fighmueller

The Bermuda Triangle: low-key nightlife area north of St Stephens, near Judengasse.