Our 4 Days Family Holiday in Vienna, Austria
Recently, I wrote about our two-day Family holiday in Innsbruck and 4 days in Salzburg, which were a part of our ten-day trip to Austria. We, as a family, took a holiday in Austria during one of the summer vacations and visited Vienna, Salzburg, and Innsbruck. On our ten-day holiday, we spent four days in Vienna, four days in Salzburg, and two days in Innsbruck. Today, I am writing about the 1st leg of our journey, i.e., Vienna.
So, here was the Itinerary we followed in Vienna:
Day 1: Reach Vienna; Explore the city- Karlsplatz and other landmarks; Time Travel Vienna.
Day 2: Walking tour of Vienna (Hofburg, Albertina, Spanish Riding School, etc., and Column of Trinity); Watch a play at Marionettentheater Schloss Schönbrunn
Day 3: Visit Vienna Operahouse and Schönbrunn Palace
Day 4: Visit Naschmarkt; Take a train to Salzburg
Before I get to the details of the places we visited, let me take my readers through travel, transport, and stay.
How we reached Vienna:
Vienna was the 1st leg of our ten-day trip to Austria. As a part of that trip, we visited Vienna, Salzburg, and Innsbruck. We travelled to Vienna using the Deutsche Bahn (Train) from Darmstadt, Germany (because we live in Darmstadt, Germany). It took approximately 8 hours. So we left early from Darmstadt and caught the direct train to Vienna from Frankfurt. We reached Vienna by afternoon.
Wherever you live, if you plan to reach Vienna by Deutsche Bahn, you can book your tickets for Deutsche Bahn trains on their official website.
Where we stayed:
On this trip, we stayed at the Novotel Hotel near the central railway station. The location was fantastic, just a few steps away from the station. We didn’t have to catch a taxi or bus as soon as we reached. Also, the room was well furnished but, as expected, the space was slightly less for four people. But it was not so bad since we planned an active holiday and would return to the room just to sleep. In addition, there was a buffet breakfast with a good spread, which was a plus.
My Google review of the hotel is here.
How we travelled around the city:
We visited most of the places on foot, but for longer distances, we used public transport.
Day tickets can be purchased at any of the ticketing machines at the bus stops at the Tobacconists. We bought a local transport pass for a family for 72 hours at the ticketing counter at the central station. It was enough for our stay in the city. The website for public transport in Vienna is https://www.wienerlinien.at/web/wl-en
Now, let’s get on with the Itinerary:
Day 1: Explore the city- Karlsplatz and nearby landmarks; Time Travel Vienna.
We arrived in Vienna in the afternoon. It was a long journey, and after we alighted, it took some time to check into our hotel room, have lunch, etc.
We had lunch at Vapiano near the railway station. My review is here.
By early evening, we decided to step out and explore the city on foot. The first views of the city were undoubtedly impressive.
We reached Karlsplatz and spent time near the pond in front of Karlskirche.
Karlskirche is an 18th-century baroque-style Roman Catholic Church and is a prominent landmark of Vienna. In the early 18th century, during the last plague that hit Vienna, the then-emperor vowed to have a church built when the plague ended. The epidemic did end, and that’s when the emperor announced the start of the design activity for the church.
The church is massive and looks beautiful with its frescos and the large dome.
People spend time at the adjoining park and the pond in the evening. When we visited, it was summer, and the place was very active, with walkers, bikers, and skateboarders having a good time in the open.
Then we casually strolled, exploring the city, and reached ‘Time Travel Vienna.’
About Time Travel Vienna:
Time Travel Vienna offers multi-media experiences & interactive exhibits on the history of Vienna. Many parts of Vienna’s history are explained in a modern and fun way that kids may find interesting. The VR, 5D movies, and interactive exhibits are all high quality, and the experience is unique and unusual. The tour lasts about 1 hour.
Tickets for Time Travel can be booked on their official website:
After an entertaining and thrilling experience at Time Travel, we called it a day.
My Google review of Time Travel is here.
Day 2: Walking tour of Vienna ( Hofburg, Albertina, Spanish Riding School, Karlsplatz, Sisi Museum, Imperial Treasury, and Column of Trinity); a play at Marionettentheater Schloss Schönbrunn
For the 2nd day, we booked a walking tour of Vienna.
After having a sumptuous breakfast at our hotel, we casually walked to the city centre near Albertina and explored it before the tour started.
The Albertina is a museum in the city center-Vienna. It houses one of the world’s largest and most important print rooms, with approximately 65,000 paintings, approximately 1 million old master prints, and more modern graphic works, photographs, and architectural drawings. In front of the museum is a large equestrian statue of Archduke Albrecht, an important landmark of Vienna.
Tickets to Albertina Museum can be booked on their official website:
We explored the place from outside and joined our group for the walking tour at Helmut Zilk Square, which is right opposite Albertina.
Here, we explored some artwork against Fascism while we waited for our tour guide to arrive:
The tour started on time. The guide showed us all the important landmarks in Vienna’s city centre, shared details about Vienna’s history, recommended restaurants and cafes in the vicinity, and told us about popular foods to try, etc.
Here are some of the places we saw as a part of the walking tour:
The Augustinian Church– A beautiful gothic Roman Catholic Church.
The Plague Column – A baroque memorial erected after the great plague that hit Vienna in the 17th Century.
Saint Stephen’s Cathedral – A Romanesque and gothic cathedral and Vienna’s most important religious building. My Google review of the Cathedral is here.
The Hofburg – The 13th-century imperial palace of the Habsburg Dynasty. Since 1946, it has been the official residence and workplace of the president of Austria.
The Hofburg includes various residences, the imperial chapel, the imperial library, the treasury, the Burgtheater, and the Spanish Riding School.
All these places were shown from the outside, and our guide explained the significance of these places and the stories behind them.
The tour lasted about 2 hours and was very interesting and informative.
You can book a walking tour here.
A note for my readers: Be prepared to walk a lot in Vienna. Many landmarks are located very close to each other, so you will have to explore most of them on foot. Each place that you visit will involve plenty of walking. Book your walking tour in advance as it gets full during peak seasons. Also, note that all the places I mentioned above were shown to us from the outside. If you wish to visit these places from the inside, you will have to plan them separately.
After the walking tour, we spent time exploring some of the landmarks shown in the walking tour on our own. For example, we went inside Saint Stephen Cathedral, Augustinian Church, etc. We even tried a popular dessert called Kaiserschmarrn, which was recommended by our tour guide.
It was time to stop by for lunch at a place called Kolar. My review of the restaurant is here.
After lunch, we headed to Marionettentheater Schloss Schönbrunn, where we had booked a play for kids.
About Marionettentheater Schloss Schönbrunn:
Marionettentheater is a private theatre located in Schönbrunn Palace. It hosts operas and theatre performances for adults and children. Here we saw the play called ‘The Magic Flute.’ My review of the play and the theatre is here.
The Marionettentheater hosts many plays for kids, so if you are travelling to Vienna with kids, you can book a play using the following link:
After the play, we returned to our hotel and called it a day.
Day 3: Visit Vienna Operahouse and Schönbrunn Palace
On this day, we went to the city centre again and visited the Vienna Operahouse.
About Vienna Operahouse:
The Vienna Opera House (Wiener Staatsoper) is an opera house with a capacity of more than 1700 seats. It is a late 19th Century building and was inaugurated as the “Vienna Court Opera” (Wiener Hofoper) in the presence of Emperor Franz Joseph I and Empress Elizabeth of Austria. The members of the Vienna Philharmonic are recruited from the Vienna State Opera’s orchestra. The opera house can be visited with a guided tour.
A guided tour can be booked on their official website:
After the opera visit, we stopped by for lunch and headed to Schönbrunn Palace.
About Schönbrunn Palace:
Schönbrunn Palace (Schloss Schönbrunn) was the main summer residence of the Habsburg rulers. There is a vast and lovely garden in front of the palace. Visitors can access this garden, take a walk, and explore the area. The campus also houses Neptune fountains and Gloriette. The palace can be visited with a guided tour or audio guide.
There are many options for choosing what to visit in Schönbrunn. Check out the Ticketing page on their official site and make a choice based on your time availability and interest. We took a Family Pass, and it worked well for us.
A note for my readers: If you want to visit everything, including the palace and the gardens, and explore the surroundings, you will need at least 3-4 hours in this place, so plan your visit accordingly.
After the palace visit, we returned to the hotel.
Day 4: Naschmarkt; Train to Salzburg
Today was our last day in Vienna, and we just had one more place on our mind that we wanted to visit: the Naschmarkt.
Naschmarkt is a vast market with 16th-century origins, with more than 100 food stalls, restaurants, souvenir shops, ice cream shops, etc. Food stalls from different countries are also put up here, and you can source unique and not-so-commonly available ingredients here at reasonable prices.
We spent time at Naschmarkt, tried some local food and then headed to the railway station to take our train to the 2nd leg of our holiday, Salzburg.
Vienna is a lovely place and a history enthusiast’s delight. We totally loved the experiences we had here. This place will remain in our memories for a long time to come.
Check out this photo gallery of Vienna.
Also, check out the photo gallery to see pictures of all these lovely places.
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