My travel m.o. is usually influenced by my budget (walking instead of taking trains, discovering sights on my own instead of taking tours, etc.), but I also like to think that my experience in each city is somewhat unique because I avoid things like organized tours. However, since I was still recovering from my foot injury (see Spa, Belgium, journal), I agreed to my mom's suggestion that we take the sightseeing bus around Vienna to get an initial feel for the city. I admit, it didn't turn out to be such a horrible experience. We headed to the Opera House (the main meeting spot for the tours) and were immediately approached by one of the half-dozen yellow-vested tour ticket sellers, and shortly thereafter, we squeezed on the bus we wanted. It was a bit of a struggle to avoid the overeager pushing of fellow tourists, but I suppose that's fairly common for a midsummer day.
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.