Wien – Vienna

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Train to Vienna can be easily taken from Salzburg station, it takes roughly 3 hours of time and ticket costs 24 Euros. September is a non-touristy season, so you can directly hop on to the train, and buy tickets after you’ve found yourself a seat.

Vienna felt way better than Salzburg to be in, it was raining still here too, but atleast the apartment we checked into was pleasant. It had a kitchenette, and was reasonably priced, also very spacious. We stayed at Liechtenstein Apartments situated on Nicklegasse 2 street. It is near to underground stations U2 & U4 at the Schottenring Station, on Hermeinegasse Exit gate.
There is a Vienna card available for purchase but as per my research it does not have many benefits. It allows you free transportation on public systems, and merely some 10% discount at the museums and art galleries. My main plan was to go to the famous Art galleries & museums of Vienna, where I did notice a difference of 1 Euro in the prices for the Vienna Card holders. I anyways somehow had taken the decision to buy a public transportation pass for 48 hours instead. It costed me 13 Euros. It is imperative you buy such a pass, because if you try buy for each ride that you take on underground or on road transport, it costs about 2-3 Euros each time. I bought my pass from a Kiosk right outside U2/U4 station exit that was next to my apartment hotel. You can use your travel multi-currency cards to make payments here. Keep your ticket safe.
If you take a underground train, you will need to punch the ticket at one of the machines installed before you enter the actual platforms, they are not easy to spot, but you can ask around. Whenever you punch the ticket, thats when your 24/48/72 hour period will start.
You will be provided with good maps at the Railway station information counters itself, they are crowded with text and complicated, but keep your patience and the map will guide you properly. I have probably never ever travelled alone in a metro-city like this, but even I was able to figure the maps and routes out very quickly referring the map. Or don’t hesitate to ask a local, people there are very helpful and they will definitely guide you correctly. Two words “Bitte helpfen” may sound more local, mostly all will understand english as well. ‘Entschuldigung’ is often a word used by people there which means ‘Apology’/sorry/excuse me.

List of places on my list for visit were:
Leopold Museum, Albertina Museum, Karlzplatz, Belvedere Palace & Schloss Schonbrunn.
I was basically in Vienna to see all the originals of my favourite artists I’ve admired for long. I didn’t really care much for rest of the things. As told, Vienna pub crawls are bloody good, and I would be game to do it if I had some interesting company with me. I’m not much of a open person to go engage with strangers, so company matters more.
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I took the U2 to Museums Quartier station, where I had to visit Leopold Museum. Here some originals of Gustav Klimt & Egon Schiele are displayed, along with many other less known masterpieces, which are worth your time nonetheless. The entrance fees is 13 Euros.
After this I roamed around a bit around the area to check out the streets and just get a feel of the city. Got myself some coffee and muffin, then headed for the Albertina Museum.
Entrance here is 12 Euros, and this museum was much more fun than Leopold. Simply because my other favourite Edvard Munch original’s were displayed here, they were a delight!
By the time I wound up with filling up my eyes with what I could only etch in my memory, it was 5 pm. I decided to cover Karlzplatz as well on the same evening, as it was just the next station after Museums Quartier. But walking till there seemed more simpler to me, as I was in no mood to go underground in such good weather. Karlzplatz was slightly disappointing, as the church was literally ruined by scaffoldings and aluminium structure interfering with the entire view. I paid 8 Euros to enter there but it was a complete waste. The Lift set up to go and get a panoramic view of Vienna is a epic-fail. The view is not possible as they have put up a closely meshed wire-cover on top. Anyway, I should’ve researched more before going there.
From Karlzplatz I took a direct U4 to Schottenring, U2 can also be taken.

Next day I went to Belvedere, I was already dreaming about Gustav Klimt’s more famous originals, and I was finally going to see them. I paid 20 Euros for the entire gallery. I followed the route map, had to change trains, and decided to walk a little upto the Belvedere palace campus. No photos were allowed in this one 😦

Later I had a large lazy lunch at Vapiano in the Museums Quartier area. It was a nice open kitchen, where you can watch how your food is cooked. Incidentally that day a rally of 50 years of all modes of transportation was taking place, saw some trams as old as 1950. Was too tired to click pictures 😛
Another friend of mine who was visiting Vienna at the same time, took the cycling tour of Vienna, and I came to know of many more things-to-do that I was going to miss. Nevermind, I have always been a lazy traveller 🙂

There are a lot of famous Vienna monuments and building visible other side of bridge on Schottenring station, that I noticed daily, but was not very interested in seeing architecture. Area around my apartment was often mostly closed, very few cafes and restaurants visible, even markets or shops are not available, across the bridge the city gets more vibrant you can simply cross and get almost everything you need. If you are a walker, and believe in doing things at leisure, you can literally walk upto Museums Quartier and you will find amazing views of the city that the underground trains will deprive you of.

If you are flying out of Vienna, you can take the trains or buses to Airport train station. The train takes you to the airport for a ticket of 14 Euros. If you buy this ticket as a package with a regular commute for 24/48/72 hours, it will cost 11 Euros. I bought it separately on the same Kiosk near my Apartment. The train was a good choice because a taxi would’ve costed me almost 50 Euros from this far.

I bid adieu to Vienna, now I was more inspired to visit places like Paris and London to view more Art.

you can read all about experiences in blog posts for Prague, Cesky Krumlov & Salzburg.

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