Jonathan and I got off to an early start for our day trip in Vienna because we had so much to cover in just a little over 12 hours! First of all, I don’t know if this was normal for this city but our entire day revolved around trying to guess what the weather would do in the next 5 minutes. We dealt with misting rain, strong winds, overcast skies, chilly temperatures, warm sun, hot mid day weather, and a brooding storm toward the evening which ended in a colorful sunset.

Vienna won the category of favorite city for Jonathan and I. I think we decided this based on the diversity that the city has to offer. There is history, architecture, culture, modern art, diversity in population, and citywide cleanliness. We did the most walking on this day; totaling over 15 miles in order to see all of the neighborhoods and attractions we wanted to while being too stubborn to pay for public transportation.

Belvedere Castle was something we stumbled on by mistake and spent some time getting lost in the gardens and greenery mazes around the palace. On the green, was an art piece called “The Fat House” representing all of the material wealth that our society has become bloated with. A visual presentation also asked the hypothetical questions of whether or not this Fat House is considered art and if so, is it art because it is fat, and if so are fat people considered art?

We explored the Naschmarkt which is a collection of market stands and small shops and also a variety of local authentic dining options. 3 street foods that we decided we must try in order to properly experience Vienna were schnitzel, apple strudel, and sausage with mustard. We found that the best places to find these delicacies for a reasonable price were at little food carts on the side of the street.

One of the major attractions in Vienna are the countless art and history museums it has to offer. There is a discounted package that offers a pass to a bunch of these for a few days but we only had 12 hours so we decided not to spend it hopping from museum to museum. If you have to stick to a limited budget which does not include 20€ a ticket to each museum, then stick to experiencing the art and history outdoors.

Hundertwasser Village (designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser) is known for it’s colorful and quirky shapes and also for the 200+ trees that adorn every roof and balcony of the enchanting houses. Hundertwasser wanted to go in a different direction from most contemporary architecture of his time and build something that was a little closer to nature with natural shapes and curves and green growing things. It was very interesting to me to see how he physically designed something to remind people of nature.

St. Stephen’s Cathedral was definitely a must-see with it’s ginormous interior and gothic architecture but I actually enjoyed St. Charles Church even more because it was less touristy and had a beautiful high-domed ceiling adorned with many detailed paintings.

Prater Park is the oldest amusement park still operating to this day. It is surrounded by beautiful grounds and also entrance is free! During July through September, the Vienna Film Festival shows local films at this park (beginning at dusk) also with free admittance.

Krapfenwaldbad Pool is a public outdoor swimming pool that has a beautiful view of the city and surrounding landscape and the entrance fee is fairly reasonably priced.

Central Cemetery is one of the largest cemeteries in the world and resting/honoring place to many famous musicians including Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Strauss, and Schöneberg.

If you only have a day or 2 to spend in this lovely city, you will leave feeling a little overwhelmed by all of the sites and wishing you had more time to explore them. Jonathan and I decided to remedy this by agreeing that Vienna is the place we will return to someday when we are aged, retired, stubborn in our ways, and all of our friends are dead. :)) 

Meghan Mathews