I just got back from a trip to Europe where I spent 24 hours in Vienna. The trick to having a successful experience if you have limited time, is the planning beforehand. I created the Trulo Community so that travelers would be able to find the best recommendations that are on their wavelength. If you aren't already, be sure to join the tribe.
In case you find yourself in my boat, or airplane (whatever), here's a play by play of how our day went. As an added bonus, I also thought I would include a little budget breakdown.
ACCOMMODATION: AirBnb ($66/Night)
A trick I've learned over the years is to always book a place outside of the City Center and that's close to public transportation. You get so much more bang for your buck. This place is cheap and huge in comparison to apartments in the Center. It's in a residential neighborhood so it's very peaceful and only a 7 minute tram ride into the Center.
6:45AM Headed to the City Center
We couldn't figure out where to buy tickets for the tram so the entire day we rode the tram for free. Oops!
7:00AM Cafe Central
Known as the most attractive cafe in Vienna, it's been around since 1876. This place has delightful coffee and Viennese pasties. I got myself a coffee with cream (which I thought would be whipped cream but it was just whipped milk...) and an apple strudel.
BREAKFAST = 9 Euro
8:00AM Rathausplatz, Parlament, Burgtheater, St Peter
After caffeinating and sugaring up, we headed to explore. We basically just got lost all over the center and saw the most prominent architectural gems Vienna has to offer.
WALKING = 0 Euro
10:00AM St. Stephen's Cathedral
This church is beautiful! We took a tour of the catacombs for 5 euros which I highly recommend. One of the eeriest and spookiest sights. The tour itself is only about 15 minutes but still worth the money. Next we decided to climb up to the top of the cathedral where we overlooked the entire city and planned out where to go next. This part of the tour was an extra 5 euros and not worth it.
TOURS = 10 Euro
11:00AM Chocolate Shop
I had to stop and pick up some Mozart chocolates. It's hazelnut chocolate, covered in marzipan, covered in more chocolate. In other words, heaven.
3 BOXES OF CHOCOLATE = 10 Euro (they're for friends... I swear)
11:30AM Vienna Burggarten & Hofburg Imperial Palace
I wish we had more time because seeing a concert at the Palace would have been so magical! The Hofburg is surrounded by beautiful gardens. We went in late May so the weather was perfect and all the flowers were in full bloom. Swoooon.
12:00PM Danub River
After we toured the gardens we just strolled along the Danub River.
1:00PM Lunch at Labstelle
This restaurant had really good reviews so I was excited to try it. I ordered the lunch special which included one starter and one main dish for 12 Euro. I ordered a radish soup (I always try to order the weirdest thing on the menu), a schnitzel and a glass of rose. The food was meh... but you could probably blame my choice of radish soup for that.
LUNCH: 13 Euro
This area is pretty to see but we didn't dive in deep. The jet lag got the best of us so we decided to sit down and grab a drink at one of the outdoor cafe's in the plaza.
DRINK: 3 Euro
3:30PM Nap Time
The drink only made the jet lag worse (shocker). So we went back to the Airbnb and napped.
5:00PM Dinner at Griechenbeisl
Griechenbiesl is the oldest restaurant in Vienna. The photos made it look so beautiful so I figured it would be a great place to try. But alas, I, a Trulo, got caught in a tourist trap. I ordered beef tartar because I wanted to be authentic but what I got was a plate that looked like vomit for 20 euros. I was so disappointed that I ended up ordering the least concerning thing on the menu, 8 euro fries. I really DO NOT recommend this place. Walk by it and snap a photo but don't spend your money.
DINNER: 30 Euro
7:00PM Swan Lake at the Vienna Opera House
After dinner we made a mad rush to the Vienna Opera House. After getting on two wrong trams we got to the theater 5 minutes before the show began. The tickets for this were incredibly pricey but I HAD to do it. I mean it's the Vienna Opera House! And it's the ballet! And it's Swan Lake! YOLO right?
ONE DAY IN VIENNA TOTAL: $216.75
Once the show was over, I was overwhelmed with all the sights from the day and my mind was cloudy from the jet lag but despite feeling like I would collapse, Vienna will forever have a special place in my heart. I never thought I would like the city as much as I did. The architecture and history is so rich. The people are lovely. The transportation is amazing (considering we paid $0 for it). And everyone speaks English. I'll take off two points for the food but I'll give this city an 8/10.
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