Austria’s capital city is full of beautiful landmarks, from the Schönbrunn Palace to St. Stephen’s Cathedral. It is, however, easy to make mistakes while traveling around Vienna. Our tips will help you to make the most of your time in the capital, without falling into any tourist traps.
When you arrive at the airport, don’t follow signs for the trains to the city. Instead, head to platforms 1 or 2 to take the local S Bahn. Although this takes ten minutes longer than the airport train, it is much cheaper. Once in the city itself, don’t be tempted to take public transport for short trips. The city is fairly small, so save money by using your own two feet instead. Its size also makes it perfect for a walking tour, but be careful not to step into the bike lanes while wandering around the city, unless you want to become roadkill!
Not Researching Discount Cards
Vienna is notoriously expensive, so it’s worth researching discount cards, like the Vienna Pass, before you go. Be sure to check the details thoroughly, as these are only worth purchasing if you plan on visiting lots of attractions. Keen to see the city’s museums and galleries? The good news is, you can get into most of them for free if you’re under 19, and many remove entry fees on the first Sunday of every month, including the Wien Museum and Military Museum.
Sticking to the Malls
Vienna has a range of high-end malls and concept shops for shopaholics, but it’s also worth exploring the city’s bustling markets. Riesenflohmarkt Wienerberg, for example, takes place each Sunday on the outskirts of town. It can seem a little overwhelming at first, as you have to trawl through piles of clothes and household items, but you can find a real bargain with a little haggling. Nashmarkt, meanwhile, is a popular flea market in the center. You can get your hands on jewelry and handbags, alongside great food, including oils, spices, and handmade chocolates.
Only Eating Schnitzel and Sachertorte
Speaking of food, don’t be tempted to only eat Vienna’s famed dishes while in the city. There are plenty of other Austrian delicacies you should try while in the city. Don’t miss out on the street food stands selling Käsekrainer, a bratwurst made with pork and beef, filled with melted cheese. Be sure to wash it down with a glass of local wine, best enjoyed at a local wine tavern, the “Heuriger”.
If you’re visiting Vienna during the summer, you must take a dip along the Danube. Strandbad Gänsehäufel is one of the most popular riverside beaches; however, you have to pay an entry fee. Romaplatz, meanwhile, offers free entry and is much more relaxed, with its scenic, shady park setting. Whichever beach you choose, you’re bound to find great swimming spots, volleyball courts, and watersports including kitesurfing, sailing and water skiing. Remember: nudist beaches are popular in Vienna, so don’t be surprised if you see a little more than you were bargaining for.