View Full Version : Vienna - what to see and do on a budget?
Feb. 23, 2013, 07:09 AM
My SO and I are planning a week long trip in Vienna. I already bought tickets for my one splurge - watching a performance at the SRS!
What else should we see or do? So far we're considering renting bicycles to ride around and see the city and standing tickets for the opera.
He would appreciate tips on where to get good pastries and other baked goods - unfortunately, I'm allergic to gluten.
We're both students at the moment, so affordable suggestions are very much appreciated.
Feb. 23, 2013, 07:22 AM
There is not enough time to see Vienna in a week, but you got a good start there with the SRS and opera.
You may get to watch some of the morning training sessions also, don't know how they do that today.
Being a student, depending on what time of the year you are going there, there may also be some top conference in your field going on you may catch an important lecture there.
There are so very good museums there also and all kinds of concerts.
Can't say much else, has been almost half a century since I was there.
While you are in the area, have any extra time for Salzburg or Muenchen?
How fun, have a great trip, it is worth it.:cool:
Feb. 23, 2013, 09:02 AM
We were just there this summer. Take the metro out to Schoenbrun Palace, the summer residence of the Hapsburgs. We stayed at Hotel Post, which was very reasonable and in a good central location. The Palace around the Spanish Riding School has great museums, and there is a great coffee restaurant across from the palace. Do watch the training exercises in the morning and take the guided tour of the stables. You can buy one ticket that will get you into both- it was 26 Euro per person, I think. Oh, eat a lot of ice cream because it is awesome and everywhere! There are great restaurants around St. Stephen's cathedral and good window shopping. We spent a lot of time walking around just looking at the architecture as my husband is an architect. The metro is easy to get around on and I felt very safe there. Have fun. We had a great time!
Feb. 23, 2013, 10:07 AM
You will have so much fun! All these are great ideas. I agree walking and taking the metro are cheap, easy, great ways to see the city. The oldest part of the city is pedestrian only and gorgeous. Taking the ringstrasse street car is a fun way to get your bearings, a lot of major sites are on it.
The SRS is great, the palace it's attached to has a cool Sisi exhibit (or used to). There is an Adolph Loos building nearby, very cool. If you do like architecture, check out the Seccession and other Otto Wagner/Jugenstil buildings.
If you haven't seen "The Third Man" I recommend it and there is a tour of the movie sites that takes you in the sewers. Much cooler than it sounds!
You can go out to the Schoenbrun palace and just walk around if you don't want to pay admission. You can walk around the grounds and up to the top of the hill and have a coffee at the Gloriette. You don't have to spend a lot to see amazing things. There are so many cool parks. You can go to the open-air Nasch market and have lunch or a snack for cheap.
Salzburg is great too if you have time for a side trip!
Feb. 23, 2013, 10:11 AM
I was there for 4 days and did not want to leave. Actually wish I hadn't because Bratislava was nice but not worth it and I could've easily had an extra 2 days in Vienna then gone onto Budapest. Oh well, live and learn.
Anyway...Things to do for free: See the Vienna Boys Choir! Standing room is free and seeing them in their home chapel is INCREDIBLE. Be sure to get there early. An experience I'll never ever forget. You can't see the boys if you pay anyway because in keeping with tradition they sing from behind a screen.
Cheap: I can't remember how much it was exactly but the tour of the stables wasn't too expensive, and really cool. The horses do a morning training performance which is I think better than the actual show & "standing" room is again, cheap. Shop around a bit for prices on tickets, you can get them at various tourist offices, hotels etc. I've seen the horses both on tour and at the Riding School - like the Vienna Boys Choir, there is something really special and magical about seeing them at home.
I did a half day Shoenbrun Palace bus tour which was a bit pricier but worth it.
You can get great deals on concert seats if you wander around the city centre a couple of hours before they start. Don't worry, if you stick to the more tourist venues (the one I went to had an opera downstairs and a smaller hall upstairs where we were) you won't look out of place in jeans. I asked at the tourist office about this lol.
Have an amazing time. Vienna is definitely one of my favourite cities.
Feb. 23, 2013, 11:04 AM
Get a Vienna Card. When we were there, they were available at hotels, the Tourist Info, any public transport ticket or information counter, or at http://www.wien.info/en/travel-info/vienna-card. You get discounts on all sorts of things, a cheaper pass for the U-Bahn (easy transportation around the city), and a great booklet with all of the sights in it.
You will never run out of things to do in Vienna!!
Feb. 23, 2013, 11:24 AM
Thanks so much for all of the suggestions.
I realize that a week isn't enough to even scratch the surface of what Vienna has to offer, but I'm living in Hungary to do some field work for my grad program for about five months, so my SO and I are having to split his visit (17 days) between going someplace new for me (Vienna) and giving him a chance to see where I've been living and what I've been up to (Budapest and Kaposvar, Hungary).
I will definitely be purchasing Vienna Cards for us both and appreciate the suggestions of places to tour. I'm hoping to cram in as much as possible as this is the first time I have been to Europe. I also appreciate the info regarding the ice cream as it is absolutely my favorite junk/snack food!
Feb. 23, 2013, 11:29 AM
Lots of things to see just walking, from different eras.
In the middle of the Danube there is an island with an amusement park, which has been there a long time.
At least in the summer, on the other side of the Danube (near the UN site) there are a bunch of semi-outdoor restaurants with good, inexpensve food.
Feb. 23, 2013, 11:40 AM
I would not want to keep track of bicycles.
Use the very good public transportation there and your own two feet.
Feb. 23, 2013, 07:34 PM
I spent 10 days there in the mid 90s. I went and watched the practice sessions at the SRS every day. I spoke with the grooms while they were waiting to go in. I went to the SRS museum and read de la Guernierre and Pluvenal on original manuscripts (behind glass but none the less!)
we took a day trip to Piber and saw the mares and foals
that is how I spent my time and it was well spent!
Feb. 23, 2013, 07:41 PM
Feb. 23, 2013, 08:48 PM
The Cafe Hawelka is a MUST see.
the wine district.
Also a must must must.
Feb. 25, 2013, 05:51 AM
City bike program is awesome, use it: http://www.citybikewien.at/
Don't take bus tours if you can get there on the Ubahn (Schonbrunn, for example, which is a must see as everyone has mentioned is easily accessible Ubahn).
A day trip to Melk is fab; I would do a bus/boat tour for that one, just because it's easy. You CAN get there on public transport, and the Vaitor tours are stupid expensive, but you do get an English language guide: http://www.viator.com/tours/Vienna/Danube-Valley-Day-Trip-from-Vienna/d454-3585AT008VS
Check the schedule for things like Sissis Apartments in the Hofburg and Stephensdom (DO THE CATACOMBS!) - they generally have regularly scheduled English language tours, and if you know the schedule ahead of time, you are less likely to miss something.
PM me if you have any specific questions, or requests. I'm not around in the summers, but otherwise, I'm right on the Ring. ;)
Feb. 25, 2013, 06:31 AM
Well, that bike program is a new one on me, interesting concept.