It took us only an hour to get to Vienna by train because it’s actually just 60 km away from Bratislava. The reservation was not needed. However, our hotel was 40 minutes of walk from the Vienna main station. And even though we arrived in midday, our check-in time was at 3.30 pm. Fortunately, the landlord of the apartment informed us that we can drop our baggage and come back at check-in time.
So, we took a nice long walk to reach our apartment, so that we could look around and explore the city a little bit.
Once we arrived, an Austrian gentleman came down to inform us that they had a problem : a water leak. He and his wife would like to accommodate us to a different apartment. His wife explained the detail in German. The embarrassment was quite visible on her face but we were actually touched for the fact that they took the situation seriously and are trying their best to deal with it. They took us to a new apartment by their car which was slightly far that our current one. And a different owner. They took care of everything, apologised again many times, told us to let them know if we like it or not, wished us a nice stay in Vienna and left.
The apartment was top notch. Modern. Neat. Very very well equipped. Anything we needed, we had it. It’s funny because just before getting in, we did shopping to buy shampoos, coffees. Seemed unnecessary now.
So with a beautiful cold sunny day and blue sky with a lot of good luck, we have started our day in the City of Music – Vienna.
Our day of exploring Vienna started with frosty weather. The previous day’s beautiful, promising weather, turned into a grey sky and frozen windy conditions. So, the city is better be what people say about it. And it got to impress us, especially in this weather. Please! Otherwise, we have a long difficult day ahead of us.
We headed to the underground station next to us to reach the city and started walking. We had a city map which was full of places to see. There was no start or finish. Apparently, almost the whole city centre is the part of the Unesco heritage list. The whole city is a work of art.
According to famous Austrian writer and journalist Karl Kraus, “the streets of Vienna are paved with culture, the streets of other cities with asphalt.”
Many calls this The city of Music.
And no matter where we look and how we look, there is something interesting to see. It was an overwhelming feeling. At the end of many narrow streets, you will end up seeing something massive, endless surprises. You must know that the city itself is the home of more than 100s of museums and Baroque style buildings.
St. Stephens Cathedral was enormous. Tall. Happens to be the most important religious building in Vienna. Then, we walked through Garben to Vienna State Opera House, Peterskirche or St. Peter’s Church in English, also passed the Parliament Building but it was covered with construction equipment and fences. It seems like there was construction work everywhere.
Eventually, we were obliged to stop for a hot beverage to warm up our body from the freezing temperatures. It was an old coffee shop from the 18th century where many famous people visited. However, our waiter in the end politely told me that, “Just to let you know, tips are not included in the bill in Austria”. Meaning, please pay tips too. It was awkward. I did. Just to get out of the situation.
We had a quick walk around the Hofburg Palace is where we were lost looking for the National Library of Austria. We didn’t mind being lost because we were loving every part of the city and feeling glad that we made it here. The city still has transportation by horse. Now mostly for the tourists though. And still maintains a beautiful modern city vibe with a lot of cafes, restaurants, parks, trams and highrise buildings side by side with the old historical monuments. It’s like being in the middle of two different eras at the same time.
Any way, Eventually we found the National Library. It took us about 30 minutes standing in the cold temperature and 8 euro per person. Inside, it has the oldest collections of maps, globes, manuscripts, music, rare books and papyrus. There was an exhibition of Beethoven as well.
Well, one day was not enough but we had to end our time in this city of music, the gateway to Eastern Europe: Vienna. And immediately after making that decision, we suddenly realized again how cold it was outside. And only things we could think of are a good meal and a long hot shower. Our travel in Vienna was Memorable.
And preparing for our next destination: Salzburg.