Vienna Travel Blog› entry 2 of 2 › view all entries
June 18th, 2006 – by: sheila_sh
It took only about 4 hours to get from Prague to Vienna, and it went surprisingly quickly; unfortunately, our train stopped at Sudbanhof and we needed to get to Westbahnhof, so we had fun trying to get to our hostel! Lucky for us the Austrians are so organised - we eventually found a ticket hall in the station, and an English speaking assistant to get us on our way! One thing that I'm annoyed with myself about is my complete reliance on English; apart from a few thank yous and goodbyes, etc, in the countries we visited, I seemed to revert to English at every opportunity :s Anyway, we boarded one of the coolest trams ever - it was panelled in wood and went underground at quite a speed for something that was at least 30 years old!
Having found our hostel, we dumped our stuff and headed towards Westbahnhof, our nearest underground stop.
The first thing we saw was Stephansplatz, and it kind of summed up Vienna for me - too much to take in at once and on an immense scale! We only visited for about 3 days which was nowhere near enough. So, we consoled ourselves with some wonderful ice cream! If you walk from Stephansplatz towards the water, you'll pass the best ice cream parlour I've ever seen - although I can't remember what it's called, you'll see the crowds before you see the sign! Food in Vienna was a little disappointing, as everyone seemed to eat ice cream all the time.
We paid a visit to the Freud museum (a little disappointing - everything was in German and there was hardly anything in it!) and the Kunsthistorisches museum, which was fantastic - if you can get in as 18 or under, do it! I ended up paying, while Rachel didn't. Definitely worth it, though, as it's one of the most amazing museums I've ever seen - on a par with the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. The art is beautiful, if a little much after a while - I recommend the Egyptian/Roman halls, and keep an eye out for the green hippo! It's tiny but unique.
If you can, see the Karlskirche at night and check out Schloss Schonbrunn - the gardens are beautifully kept and the grounds are huge! Although I loved Vienna, I found it could be a bit overwhelming at times and it's hard to get a handle on the place - there's so much to do and see that I feel that I left with a half-baked impression. Compared to Prague and Budapest, it was almost cold and unfriendly in the way that only a large city can be. Not that it didn't have any character, I just feel like I didn't see the city for what it was.
And so...onto Budapest!
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