A July 2005 trip
to Vienna by crolsen
Quote: After a month of recovery from a foot injury (see Spa journal), I was ready for another European adventure. My mom flew in and we set off on an overnight train to one of the most cultural and activity-rich cities I've visited, Vienna.
The hotel was exactly what we wanted, and everything, from the lobby to our comparatively spacious (by European standards) bathroom, was immaculately clean. Each of the desk clerks we spoke with during our stay was friendly and spoke English very well, and we appreciated the free (but slow) Internet offered in the lobby. Our room on the third floor faced a side street across from the aforementioned church, which was ideal, since we weren't bothered by much street noise. We got a couple of English channels on the TV, and the room was very comfortable, but a bit hot at night (although supposedly air-conditioned). My mom especially appreciated the well-decorated corridors--elegant cream marble and thick burgundy rugs, and motion detector lights to save electricity.
Breakfast each morning was great--I was glad we stayed 4 nights, as I could sample different breads, meats, fruits, cereals, etc., each day. The Haydn's location was fantastic--about 3 minutes from the Neubaugasse subway station, but also within walking distance of the Museumsquartier and the city center. Overall, we had a fantastic stay, especially for the price we paid-- 98€ per night, which was an excellent value for Vienna. Check out the hotel's informative website (in English, and including photos) for more information: http://www.haydn-hotel.a.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 31, 2005
Attraction | "The Prater"
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 26, 2005
Prater Amusement Park and Ferris Wheel
Although I consider myself a responsible and honest traveler, I must share the tip that it's very easy to use Vienna public transport without purchasing tickets (I'm sure blue-mouth guy didn't patiently stand at the ticket machine inserting the proper number of coins for his intended destination). When we were "stuck" at the ferry station our third day there, we giggled like naughty schoolgirls and hopped on the U-Bahn without tickets, and the following day, we took another short trip ticket-less. I don't want to actually suggest that others try this, since I don't know how or how often the authorities check tickets, and perhaps we were just lucky, but it seems much less regulated than other major cities’ transport systems. In any case, I'd definitely suggest using any Vienna public transport due to its efficiency, cleanliness, and user-friendliness.
Anyway, the bus has air-conditioning and comfortable seats, and the headphones offer information in about 10 languages. There are three routes that stop at the Opera House, so be sure to get on the correct bus. Tickets are purchased for certain amounts of time, and a full loop on each route takes 1 hour. We chose the 2-hour ticket and just rode two different routes for one hour each (15 euros per person for 2 hours, 12 euros each for 1 hour or 20 euros for a day pass). The bus is actually hop-on/hop-off, stopping at all the major attractions, but almost everyone on our buses stayed on for the entire loop. The information from the headphones was interesting, and it was a good way to see almost all of the city so we could determine which sights we wanted to go back and see later.
For more information, see www.viennasightseeing.at, which also provides information on other tours of the city and surrounding areas.