Getting to know Vienna

I love Vienna. There are very few cities in the world that I feel a complete and utter connection to as soon as I walk into them. Vienna makes the short list. It’s easy to get around, delicious to eat in, and they have an Octoberfest like Germany which gives me an excuse to where lederhosen and see Tawny in a dirndl.

Score.

We recently stayed just on the edge of the main city in our GowithOh apartment. It was by far the most incredible apartment we stayed in so far. Not only was it super posh (and had vaulted ceilings) but it was literally 15 feet away from the #1 tram stop.

cheap apartment rental in Vienna

I’ll be honest. Most of what I knew about Vienna before going there, I learned from The Illusionist. After Vienna though I not only took away a swath of knowledge vaster than the Austrian Empire at it’s height, but I ate more schnitzel and pork-knuckle than a man could ever wish for. For me, these were the top 5 of Vienna:

#1 Food

traditional food in ViennaThe food in Vienna blew my mind. What you’re looking at above is a fried pork-knuckle from the legendary Schweizerhaus, in the Prater. While I admit I was skeptical at the start, as soon as I tasted my first bite I never looked back. It’s served with ground mustard and horseradish. Interestingly enough, this was my first time having horseradish as a grated condiment. Normally I have it has a paste. Grated seems way better.

Pork-knuckle was only the beginning of our culinary journey however. We had plenty of bratwurst and schnitzle. For those of you not familiar with schnitzel, it’s a thinly sliced piece of pork or veal that’s been lightly fried and is served with a squeeze of lemon. It is also to die for. Next, grab a beer, a sachertorte, a strudel, and a nap. Vienna truly left us satisfied.

best beer in the world

Beer in Vienna

What is Wiener Schnitzel

Schnitzel

#2 Easy public transportation

how to travel through Vienna

The best way to get around Vienna is to either take the Metro or a tram. At any metro station or tobacconists you can buy a pass. You can buy them on the tram but it will be at an increased rate. The passes are nice because you stamp the end at any validation machine before you get on the metro or onboard the tram and then it’s good for whatever period of time you purchased. They have 1 day passes up to 3 day passes, or just single direction passes too. Even weekly, or monthly passes can be purchased. The metro runs all through Vienna proper and the trams run above ground through the city streets. The #1 tram is easy because it circles the core of Vienna and gets you to all the major sights.

#3 The Inner City

Inner circle of Vienna

 

Vienna used to be surrounded by a defensive wall. As the city grew, they knocked down that wall and left in its place a main road. Today the major sights and activities of Vienna are inside this circle. We personally loved Vienna because as you walk down the main roads and little alleys it transports you back in time. You can visit the Imperial butterfly house. Basically a greenhouse filled with butterflies (great in the winter.) Or you can visit the apartments of Mozart and Strauss, drink coffee on the terrace of a cafe visited by Martin Buber, or just browse for your next pair of lederhosen. We took a walking tour with Get Your Guide and got to see the intimate heart of Vienna. It was worth every moment.

#4 The Prater

things to do in Vienna

The Prater is a large park with a central area devoted to vintage rides and attractions. The crown jewel of which is the giant ferris wheel built in 1897. While we didn’t ride a single ride there, it is an amazing place to take pictures. We spent an entire day taking pictures, sampling the incredible food, and exploring a part of Vienna so vintage it’s almost sepia toned. It’s certainly worth a visit if you’re looking for some unconventional fun. You might want to even try to find the micro nation of Kugelmugel. Yes, the micro nation of Kugelmugel.

#5 The Tap-water

the best taste of Vienna tap-water

Yes. The tap-water in Vienna is a frigging national treasure. Even better, you get a cup of it with every coffee you order. Wait, even better, the coffee tastes like the nectar of the gods. What makes the tap-water so special? It’s piped directly from the Alps. It’s cleaner and fresher than most bottled waters and has no fluoride. Every tap in Vienna issues a geyser of this crystal nectar. Based on that alone why wouldn’t you book your ticket today?

Did we miss something? Let us know.

 

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23 Comments

  1. Maria
    April 2, 2013 at 11:04 am - Reply

    Looks like you didn’t miss a thing! Nice primmer on Vienna
    Maria recently posted…Super Sweet Blogging AwardMy Profile

  2. Kieu ~ GQ trippin
    April 2, 2013 at 11:54 am - Reply

    The public transportation is the best, isn’t it?! Love Vienna!
    Kieu ~ GQ trippin recently posted…Full Moon Party in ThailandMy Profile

  3. Jemma
    April 4, 2013 at 4:02 am - Reply

    The apartment where you stayed looks so lovely and elegant… Whenever I travel to new places, I prefer to stay in an apartment rather than a hotel because it makes you feel like you’re one of the locals… Also, they way you described the fried pork knuckle made me feel hungry… 😉
    Jemma recently posted…Kawasan Falls in Badian CebuMy Profile

  4. John
    April 5, 2013 at 8:08 am - Reply

    I thought from an architectual point of view, this is one of the best cities in Europe, without doubt. Before I arrived, I heard bad things about this city from other travellers, but I thought the city was great.
    John recently posted…5 Reasons Why I Love LondonMy Profile

  5. Wandergirl
    April 9, 2013 at 7:00 am - Reply

    Lovely! I’ll be spending a few days in Vienna in June and I’m super excited! I’m a vegetarian so I’m a little worried about the food, but I’m pretty sure I can live off strudel alone. Also, beer.

    What about music? I don’t really know much about Vienna but I assume there’s a lot of music things going on. Any suggestions?
    Wandergirl recently posted…The Craft Route: Alebrijes in San Antonio ArrazolaMy Profile

    • Captain & Clark
      April 14, 2013 at 4:28 pm - Reply

      AH! You’re going to LOVE Vienna. They have an delicious dish that is like schnitzel but with cheese inside instead of the usual pork/beef. I can’t remember what it’s called but it’s served with a yummy cranberry sauce. Definitely give it a try. 🙂

  6. Anita Mac
    April 14, 2013 at 4:26 am - Reply

    Sounds amazing! Huge schnitzel fan so I would be digging in for sure. Love the apartment – it is the way to go for sure. So much more homey than a hotel room. Sounds like you guys are having a brilliant time on your GoWithOh tour.
    Anita Mac recently posted…French Quarter Bike Tours – two wheeling it through New OrleansMy Profile

    • Captain & Clark
      April 14, 2013 at 4:22 pm - Reply

      The schnitzel was soooo good! No one warned us about how delicious is really was. I might have been obsessed with it while there 🙂

  7. @mrsoaroundworld
    April 15, 2013 at 4:06 am - Reply

    Now that is a city I always wanted to visit.. Vienna is on my list in the next year or so! I hope!
    @mrsoaroundworld recently posted…A perfect day in Berlin, GermanyMy Profile

  8. Craig Zabransky
    April 15, 2013 at 4:23 am - Reply

    I thought fashion was the first reason, any way my math is usually off… I really appreciated (your official) #4, and #5, definite unknowns to me about the city… especially the water… good water, makes better coffee too.

    stay adventurous, Craig
    Craig Zabransky recently posted…Six Reasons to Attend the New York Travel FestivalMy Profile

  9. lola
    April 15, 2013 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    this is a great list. i know what you mean about instantly feeling at home in a city. Vienna is not this for me but i’m happy you loved it so much. now about that dirndl – i wanna wear one too. can we do Oktoberfest in Munich instead? or i’ll cave and do Vienna – just to be with you two.
    lola recently posted…my favorite purchase of my 30 day EurotourMy Profile

    • Captain & Clark
      April 15, 2013 at 6:23 pm - Reply

      Why choose?! We got the dates for both the Vienna and Munich Oktoberfests. Why don’t we Oktoberfest hop? It would be AMAZING!

      • lola
        April 16, 2013 at 5:03 am - Reply

        dates please. done & done!

  10. The World Wanderer
    April 15, 2013 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    Oh, yes, this sounds like paradise. I drove through Austria a few years ago, but that was it. I must make it back, if only for the coffee, beer, and schnitzel…
    The World Wanderer recently posted…Music Monday: Red Hands.My Profile

    • Captain & Clark
      April 15, 2013 at 6:23 pm - Reply

      Oh definitely! The schnitzel is incredible. Oh, and the apple strudel is to die for!

  11. Leah Travels
    April 15, 2013 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    Why in the hell didn’t I stow away in your backpack in Paris? VIENNA?!? Take me there now. I’ve got to try this famous water and coffee.
    Leah Travels recently posted…48 Hours in ParisMy Profile

  12. Lance
    April 16, 2013 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    Vienna is a great city. I like how your post focuses on the livability of the city. But we also found the sites to be great from a tourism perspective.
    Lance recently posted…Exploring Vienna’s Schönbrunn PalaceMy Profile

  13. thelazytravelers
    April 17, 2013 at 12:49 pm - Reply

    cant wait to explore vienna in june!
    thelazytravelers recently posted…jetsetters: @suitcases2My Profile

  14. Emma @ GottaKeepMovin
    May 10, 2013 at 7:30 am - Reply

    Nice write-up guys! I was in Vienna about 3 years ago and as it was in the middle of a big Eurail trip I don’t remember loads of it but still have some kind of warm feeling about the place, which can only be good I guess! One thing I do remember is seeing the ballet for 4 euros on my birthday (I’d be worried if I didn’t remember that). Amazing! Will definitely be back one day.
    Emma @ GottaKeepMovin recently posted…World Food Roundup – Mexico, Argentina & ThailandMy Profile

  15. Barbara Cacao
    June 19, 2013 at 4:34 am - Reply

    I love your scores on Vienna’s public transport and its tap water. I’m a native Viennese living in London and miss both those things a lot. Every time my kids visit Vienna, the first thing they do is drink the tap water when I fill their bath tub…
    Barbara Cacao recently posted…Travel Vienna – Meet LocalsMy Profile

  16. Louisa @ A Small Scrawl
    April 22, 2014 at 11:58 am - Reply

    Great post, I like

  17. Alex
    October 14, 2014 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    Great post guys! There’s so much here to sink your teeth into I hope you’ll be able to come back. I’ve been making a map of all the nifty places I’ve run into over the past couple of years. The best cocktail bars, underground watering holes, cozy kick-back and chat bars, etc. Maybe you’ve been to some of them? http://offbeatwien.wordpress.com/

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