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Timing Considerations for a Trip to Vienna
Travel To Vienna
The largest city in Austria, Vienna is a historical and artistic display of beauty, home of music impresarios such as Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn and Schubert and a recorded history dating back to the time of the Roman Empire. Vienna, which housed the Habsburg Court for centuries, affected the culture of the people. A relatively safe city, be mindful of pickpockets - as is true in all major cities around the world.
Viennese people speak German, can vote at age 16 years, and are mostly Catholic Christians. There is a wonderfully wooded amusement-park called Pratar. In Pratar, there is an attraction called The Giant Wheel, which is one of the oldest of its kind. But, there are museums, a famous opera house, palaces and gardens to visit. There is nightlife for young adults to enjoy. The city has excellent public transportation in place, too.
The Sacher Story - The Story of the Sacher Torte
In 1832, in the court of Prince Metternich (State Chancellor), there once was a court chef who became ill. His apprentice was Franz Sacher. When the need arose for a dessert, it was Sacher who created the Sacher Torte on the spot. It went over so well that Sacher later opened himself a bakery, becoming a famous baker of cakes and confections. His son expanded the business by opening the Hotel Sacher in 1876. Because of fierce bakery competition to try to steal and/or replicate Sacher's famous Sacher Torte, a court order was obtained allowing the family the only rights to produce the Sacher Torte, which is still a cake with secret ingredients! You can still find the Sacher Bakery, Cafes and a five-star Sacher Hotel in Vienna today.
From The Airport In Vienna
Vienna is easily accessed by one of two trains: The City Airport Train (CAT) or the regular train (the less expensive option), that is a short ride from the only international airport, The Vienna International Airport. After departing the plane, seek out the train platform to purchase tickets from the ticket seller, prior to getting aboard. Depending on which train you take to one of Vienna's many hotels, it will take you 15-30 minutes to arrive into the heart of Vienna.
There are a few places to stay in Vienna. Some offer shuttles to and from the airport. Some are more upscale and some are budget-friendly choices. Here are a few that you may find attractive:
- Arion Hotel Vienna Airport - It will cost just under 20 euros to transport by taxi to this hotel. A modest and modern hotel, this is a middle of the road hotel. While not terribly awful, it is not amazing. It is a budget-friendly choice and generally kept clean. The offered hotel shuttle is only slightly less expensive than a taxi.
- EuroHotel Airport Vienna - Another bare-bones hotel, this lodging is located ten minutes from the airport. No extras are included in the fee except a morning breakfast. It is one station away from the airport by train.
- Hilton Vienna Plaza - Traditional and older in style, this hotel offers a decidedly more upscale experience than the airport hotels do. Comfortable and with quality service, this hotel continues to receive very good to excellent reviews. Located 5 minutes walking-distance from the city's highlights, it has an on-site restaurant and is close to train stations.
- The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna - This five-star experience is where quality and sophistication meet, in an architecturally-beautiful building, located in the heart of the city. There is an available spa, restaurant and bar at the Ritz-Carlton.
What To Do In Vienna - The Vienna Card
The things you can do in Vienna are not things you can do anywhere else in the world! Here are some samples:
- The Schonbrunn Palace Package - This deal includes a tour of the Schonbrunn Palace, a baroque palace of great magnitude and dinner and a concert. Be aware these sell out so book far in advance to enjoy this package. The ends about 10:15 pm and you will find taxis waiting just outside the palace for a ride back to your hotel. A nearby subway also runs until midnight. Plan half a day for this experience, from the early afternoon to the late evening.
- Visit the Bestattungsmuseum - Also known as the Funeral Museum, this exhibit shines a light upon coffins and mortuary science. A little known fact outside of Vienna is how much the Viennese are interested in death! There are death strolls, through cemeteries and an entire genre of music devoted to music for the dead. There is even a high suicide rate in Vienna. This little oddity of a museum is a reflection of a large part of Viennese culture. Telephone appointment are required for these guided tours given weekdays only, at noon and 3 pm. The museum is closed weekends and holidays. It takes 2-3 hours to tour this museum.
- Vienna Ice World - From late January to early March, City Hall Square is transformed into a skate land. Music is playing and curling rinks are available. Did you think curling was dead? Curling is an Olympic sport! Expect to spend 3-4 hours enjoying the Vienna Ice World.
To tour all these spots, you might consider using the Vienna Card, which allows the traveler 72 hours of unlimited public travel to these locations and some discounts. Read more about the Vienna Card.
While Vienna's population embraces the modern, their mannerisms and means of dressing themselves are more formal in nature. In Vienna, the clothes really do make the man. They have legions of clothes-makers who will create your handmade wardrobe ensemble on-site in shops that have been open for that express purpose for centuries.
Some custom tailors have been in business for hundreds of years and served royalty. Treat yourself like royalty, for once, and visit one of these delightful shops:
- Rudolph Scheer & Sohne - specialty shoe making (emperors came to this shop!)
- Wilhelm Jungmann & Neffe - accessories and fabrics chosen for clothes made on site
- Knize - (click on link for English at bottom right of the site) clothing for gentlemen, hand-tailored on site (the choice of arch dukes!)
Allow yourself ample time (at least an hour) to be measured and fitted. These are clothes made to fit the one-and-only you!
What To Do In Vienna
Weather In Vienna
A moderate climate, Vienna is situated on the Danube River but can have biting winds in the winter months of November to February, with the coldest points averaging between 25-30 degrees Fahrenheit (-1 to -3 degrees Celsius) and the traveler should pack accordingly for cold but dry weather. However, when Spring begins in March, some summer-like weather can be experienced without high temperatures. Visitors generally prefer Spring and Fall weather. Summers include highs in the high 70's Fahrenheit (about 25 degrees Celsius). Though the rainy season is between April and May, it will still rain in June and July.