Day trip to Vienna
While in Bratislava me and a friend decided to take a day trip to Vienna by bus and it turned out to be a fun, cheap day. Taking the bus can often be long, boring and cramped, however it took only an hour and cost €8 for a return! Extremely cheap if you are wanting to visit both capital cities! The bus company offered free hot drinks (I have never see that before), some TV, news and game channels in your own screen in front of you, and free WiFi! I think we managed to pull of a bargain. Both Slovakia and Austria use Euros too so there was no money loss in exchanging currency as there would have be if we went Budapest instead.
The bus dropped us of at a shopping centre by Austria’s national football stadium, and home of Rapid Wien, and we hopped on the tube to go to Schönbrunn. Schönbrunn and it’s gardens have been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1996 and was the summer palace for the Habsburg empire. It is also home to worlds first zoo established in 1752. It is completely free to walk around the gardens but there was a number of tours and things you can pay to do, like go through the maze and inside the palace, as well as the zoo. We stuck to the outside and walked to the top of the gardens to Gloriette, which used to be a royal dinning house, to get a good view of the palace and Vienna. This was my favourite part of the trip as when I go to cities I always try my best to see the city from high up as it gives you a different perspective. The weather was really great for the beginning of April, 22 degrees, so this made the view even better.
Afterwards we got back on the tube and headed into the town centre and onto Museumsquartier. Went to the Natural History museum as opposed to the Art museum as we thought it would be more interesting. It cost us €5 and we spent about 2 hours in there. I found the exhibition on physics and space very interesting especially as many famous physicists such as Albert Einstein have come from Austria. There were also exhibitions on human evolution, dinosaurs and tribes. So a lot for different interests.
We then decided to go into the city centre and get some lunch. Food was quite expensive in Vienna but my friend recommended a pizza place she has been before which was right next to St Stephen’s Cathedral. St Stephen’s cathedral and most of Vienna’s city centre is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site and resembles many other European Old Towns I have visited. The buildings all rose high around cobbled streets and, unlike Bratislava, were a lot more busy and full of high-end designer shops.
Hundertwasserhaus was our next stop and was designed by artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser in 1989. Like Gaudi, Hundertwasser does not use straight lines and uses bright colours so the buildings have a weird but wonderful architectural facade. More than 200 trees and shrubs on the balconies and roof terraces make the Hundertwasserhaus a green oasis in the heart of the city. This area was full of tourists and I hadn’t even heard of it before but I recommend it if you are in Vienna.
After this we picked up some Austrian chocolate and I got another Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt, 12 and counting, and we headed back to the bus, which again only took an hour to get back to Bratislava. A lot of people may be conscious of bus journeys in Europe and having to set them up themselves but it is a great way of saving money on travelling and being able to visit major cities without having to fly or get the train. I recommend using the bus if you are in Vienna or Bratislava to see the other capital city as you can get a lot done in any day and make you trip even more worth while.
Bus cost: €8,
Natural History Museum: €5,
Zoo (which we didn’t do): €18.50,
Grand Palace Tour (which we didn’t do): €17.50,
A Vienna pass might be worthwhile buying online if you want to explore the attractions in Vienna as they can be quite expensive. 1 day is €59 and it gets you free access to 60+ attractions. 2 days is €79, 3 days €99 and 6 days €124.
Twitter and Instagram: @JamieArathoon