I arrived in Vienna from Salzburg and arrived at Vienna Railway Station. Vienna railway station is well connected with Metro and it was pretty easy for me to get to the city center.
I would highly recommend you spend a bit more money to live in the historical centre so that you can spend more time outside at night. The night time in Vienna can be very charming, especially during summer time.The extra money spent on hotels in a good location will pay off. . Please note that metro ticket inspector often check tickets and you should always buy and validate your metro ticket.
There are cheap hotels or hostels a bit away from the historical city centre. While the metro system in Vienna is great and convenient for travellers to get to major attractions from various places, you still need to walk or use buses to go to certain places. Some areas in Vienna can be seedy at night.
Do your home work and use multiple review sites like Tripadvisor or booking.com to do your research. Don’t trust only one source.
Please note that metro ticket inspector often check tickets and you should always buy and validate your metro ticket. I would recommend that you buy a 24-hour day pass, which is only slightly more expensive than 3 single rides. I used the metro and buses in Vienna pretty often. Vienna has a very good metro system. You can go to almost all attractions with metro.
Next day morning, I took a metro to Kunsthistorisches Museum. The metro station is called museumquartier. At first, I wandered around the outside of the museum and nearby area. All architectures and monuments I saw were really impressive. Kunsthistorisches Museum itself was also a great museum with impressive collection.
Vienna is the city of music, in every major tourist spot, there were always people trying to sell me tickets to various concerts.
After a short walk, I went straight to the Vienna State Opera, with a history dating back to the mid-19th century. It is located in the centre of Vienna, Austria. In the city of music, it would be a pity if I didn’t enter the opera for an inside look. The ticket can be bought easily on sight.
I also got a chance to see how the backstage functioned.
Marble staircase sweeps up from the main entrance to the first floor
This was one room, where royal guests used to stay. Visitors are not allowed to enter the room.
Before I headed to the popular Stephansdom area, I found a coffee shop and tried Vienna’s famous Sachertorte, which is a special chocolate cake, even I usually don’t eat desserts. The Sachertorte was really good and you would have to try it at least once.
There are many coffee shops around. I picked up one from Rick Steves’ guidebook. By all means, I recommend you go to sites like Tripadvisor to pick up one for yourself.
After my coffee break, I checked out the nearby Albertina museum for real quick just to take a picture of myself being there.
Then, I arrived at Stephansdom area and first I visited the famous St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The church was impressive from outside and the interior was not as impressive as I expected. However, for those of you who are new to church scenes in Europe, you should visit the interior and it is free. I also bought a separate ticket to visit the catacomb. The visit was quite an experience and very eye-opening to me.
After the catacomb, like I always do in a major city, I climbed to the top of the church bell tower for a 360 degree view of the city. To get to the top of the church tower, an extra fee is required. Without doubt, the view is magnificent.
The entire pedestrian area around Stephansdom, called Mariahilfer Straße, is very pleasant for walking with many shopping venues, major departments and street cafes everywhere.
The metro subway station close to Stephansdom makes the entire area become very accessible. The area is busy but very romantic.
After Mariahilfer Straße, I went to the impressive Hofburg Palace, which used to be the power house of the mighty Austro-Hungarian empire. I will have another post written for the treasure collection of Hofburg Palace.
I did not have time to visit Spanish riding school to check out Lipizzan, due to my time limit. However, it could be quite an experience for some of you.
With a short walk from Hofburg Palace, I visited the exterior of Austrian Parliament. The parliament building and the statue of Athena were impressive. By the time I got there, it was already early night and there were not many tourists around so that I got a chance to take some nice pictures.
It was almost dinner time, I got a bit hungry. Luckily when I arrived the city hall building called The Rathaus. I was really lucky that day, because there was a street event, including an outdoor concert, there. There were so many local people there with great and inexpensive food. It was a very good local experience to feel like being a temporary local. This pretty much was the end of my first day in Vienna.
One thing to note that it was always easy for me to find a grocery store in Vienna, which is a good thing for self-caterors.