We bought our tickets to Montenegro with points on United, and we ended up with a layover in Vienna. Neither Niles nor I had ever been to that part of Austria, so we thought it would be fun to spend a couple days there. It didn’t cost us any more flight wise to do this, so when we booked our tickets, we added 3 days in Vienna. We thought it would be a fun place to work off our jet lag before heading on to Montenegro.
We stayed at an Airbnb in the city center.
I love staying in apartments vs. hotel rooms because it allows you to live in a “real” neighborhood to see what life is like for residents of the city you’re visiting. I also like having a little more space, and a kitchen so we could have a refrigerator and prepare small meals.
Vienna has an amazing public transit system. A friend recommended we download the Qando app to help us navigate all the subways, trams and buses the city has to offer. There is an airport train that takes you directly to the city center in less than 20 minutes, and you can transfer from there to the subway system very easily. We got a three day transit pass that made getting on and off transit super easy and we didn’t have to buy a new ticket each time we got on.
This city is very walkable! We walked all over the place and it seemed that most things were within a 20 minute walk from wherever we were. We downloaded the Rick Steves App and he had a free tram tour we followed one day. We just hopped on the tram by the opera house and listened as we watched out the window.
Highlights of our few days in Vienna:
Grabbing drinks and authentic Viennese cuisine at Unibrau with our friends who are currently living in Vienna
Listening to an impromptu organ concert at the biggest church in town, Stephanskirche
Dining al fresco along the canal at a pop up restaurant as part of Vienna's Summer State program
Touring Schonbrunn Palace (which was fun until Nigel had a major diaper blowout halfway through the tour...)
Eating wienerschnitzel at Lugeck, set on a charming square in the city center
Finishing each day with gelatto at Zanoni & Zanoni
Walking along the Danube through the free graffiti zone near Schwedenplatz U bahn station in the evening. We loved sitting at one of the many cafés along the river and people watching
Tips for travel in Vienna:
Making dinner reservations is essential in this city. You'll be booking the table for the entire evening, not just for while you're there like we have in America.
People don't generally give big tips here (just round up). Maybe that is why the service is so bad...
Most people speak English, so that makes things like making reservations and asking directions much easier.
The common greeting here is grüß Gott (groos got), not guten tag.
Use the public transportation here. It is very good. Plus the trams are so cute!
Order the house beer... they don't really have too many craft beers like we do here, so just do like the locals do and get a mug of the local stuff.
Everyone smokes cigarettes here. I tried my best to keep the baby away from it, but it was nearly impossible!