Europe Trip Part 4: Solo Venture at Vienna, Austria
"The most livable city in the world!" Ahhh... this sounds really enchanting to me! The moment I had to choose a new country to add to my Europe itinerary after Italy, I didn't have any second thoughts in choosing the number 1 most livable city according to www.dw.com: Vienna, Austria!
As I mentioned in my most recent post about why solo traveling is worth doing and the mishaps I encountered (you may find the link here) , I had a fairly difficult morning making my way to the airport as I flew from Venice, Italy to Vienna. However, I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything else, as I was able to learn how to rely more on my faith and was able to become more open in conquering the world's realities on my own. I wasted money yes, (euros at that), but I realized that there are still good people who are genuinely willing to help in times of trouble. (Thanks to a Russian stranger who gladly offered to help!).
I only stayed overnight at Vienna due to time and budget constraints, and as soon as I arrived at the Vienna Airport (VIE), I decided to leave my big luggage there so I wouldn't need to carry it to and from my city destinations. It was fascinating to know that the airport has that facility and I only paid for €25.00 to have my things stored there overnight.
Boutique Hotel Donauwalzer
Looking for my hotel was easy, as I was able to use my ever-reliable Rome2Rio mobile app going there. Using google maps is also recommended, but Rome2Rio has other good features, as it can tell you which exact train to ride and which landmarks to look for. I rode the S-Bahn train going to Wien Handelskai then transferred to line U6 and hopped off at Alser Straße. The train fare then was €17.00, which was good for 1 day with unlimited rides as long as you're within the Vienna City Zone. Pronouncing the different streets and train stations at Vienna was a bit difficult because of the intonations and the emphases that you have to say. But for me, as long as I knew I was at the right places, it didn't really matter!
I stayed at Boutique Hotel Donauwalzer, a three (3)-star hotel located within the city's central district. I booked it via www.agoda.com and the cost then was ₱3,251/night, which was relatively budget-friendly already considering its location and facilities. There was no breakfast included, though, in the package that I got.
St. Stephen's Cathedral
After settling down, next on my agenda was to find St. Stephen's Cathedral. Whenever I travel, I always make it a point to visit the famous cathedrals in that country. In Vienna, this church boasts a very admiring structure with its famous multi-colored roof.
The view from the sides of and inside the cathedral were incomparable as well!
After lunch, my next destination was the very popular Hofburg Palace. According to Wikipedia, "The Hofburg is the former principal imperial palace of the Habsburg dynasty rulers and today serves as the official residence and workplace of the President of Austria." I initially had a hard time finding it since the structures within the city looked all the same to me. But as soon as I was able to search and locate it on the map, I realized then why it was so well-known. It was indeed a very grand palace!
Inside it was equally magnificent!
I was able to go inside the Sisi Museum where I was able to admire and take a sneak peek of the grand life of Empress Elisabeth, or more widely known as Sisi. According to the Visiting Vienna website, "Sisi is the nickname of Empress Elisabeth (1837-1898), iconic wife of Emperor Franz Joseph, and the face that launched a thousand commemorative mugs, books, postcards and films." I booked the tickets online through the Imperial Tickets website. The cost of the ticket then was €29.90 (to include the Schönbrunn Palace tour), and I could say that it was really worth visiting. It felt like visiting the richest among the richest people in the world! I wasn't able to take any photos inside as it was prohibited, perhaps to probably preserve the museum. But just by looking at this staircase going to the museum, it already provides you a glimpse of how it looks inside:
Right after visiting the Hofburg, I had to rush on my way to another palace, that I wouldn't want to miss visiting, because there was only 2 hours left before closing time. I had to ride two trains going to Schloss Schönbrunn train station and walked for about 10 minutes going to my next stop. The weather then was so cold!
It was truly a huge place! Hence, I didn't miss the chance of taking the iconic 360 degree video:
Luckily, I was still able to go inside the palace! The ticket was the same one I used in Hofburg since it was a combo tour that I paid for. This time, I was more than amazed with the thought of how it was back then, on how the royalties spent their time there. According to Wikipedia, "The Schönbrunn Palace was the main summer residence of the Habsburg rulers, located in Hietzing, Vienna. The 1,441-room Rococo palace is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historic monuments in the country. Since the mid-1950s it has been a major tourist attraction. The history of the palace and its vast gardens spans over 300 years, reflecting the changing tastes, interests, and aspirations of successive Habsburg monarchs."
Again, I didn't get the chance to take photos, which is fine, because I would really recommend that you see it personally, in case you get to visit this country!
Of course, my visit to Vienna wouldn't be complete if I didn't try the famed Vienna sausage! It was yummy!
The next day, since I only stayed overnight, I squeezed in a trip to another well-known palace. I arrived early at the place so I had my breakfast first. I was so overwhelmed with the servings as they were literally good for two (2) or more people, and yes, I was just alone! They were so delicious though, especially the hot choco!
The Belvedere was one of the most breathtaking palaces I've ever visited. If you watched movies with royalties, like the Princess Diaries, etc., it really seemed so similar! The ticket cost then was €15.00 and I booked it via the Imperial Ticket website as well.
The view at the back is beyond comparison!
According to Wikipedia, "The Belvedere is a historic building complex in Vienna, Austria, consisting of two Baroque palaces (the Upper and Lower Belvedere), the Orangery, and the Palace Stables. The buildings are set in a Baroque park landscape in the third district of the city, on the south-eastern edge of its centre. It houses the Belvedere museum. The grounds are set on a gentle gradient and include decorative tiered fountains and cascades, Baroque sculptures, and majestic wrought iron gates. The Baroque palace complex was built as a summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy."
I was able to visit the museum and was able to appreciate the different exhibits and painting collections.
And that's a wrap! It was indeed a city worth visiting! A highly recommended place if you're into historical grand places!
In the afternoon, I was off to my last stop in Europe: Barcelona, Spain. Stay tuned for my next post!