Discovering quaint Austria and Czech Republic the right way...

21st Apr 2017
Day 1

We checked ourselves into Westend Hostel (Westbanhof) . Very conveniently placed to the Westbanhof train and bus station. Took me exactly 30 mins my bus #7 on platform #7 (7euros only!) to reach Westbanof from the airport. From there it is a 2min walk to the hostel. Vienna is a slightly expensive city to stay in, so we chose a 5 bed girls dorm for ourselves. The hostel is clean and the staff friendly. We shared the room with a Bavarian girl and 2 girls from Berlin.

As restlessness set in quick, another trip for the year had been slated. This time with a friend from business school. We landed in Vienna on the 21st of April'17 in the evening around 6.45pm (courtesy Air India Delhi to Vienna non-stop). Though this takes up an entire travelling day, it seemed perfect since it gave me time to sleepover a different time zone.

Day 2

Day 2- Vienna- (Temp- 8 degrees C) We took it slow and decided to acclimatize ourselves to the city. We walked our way (40mins away) from the hostel to the Schonbrunn Palace, though we had the option to take the trams/ metros we chose to walk and stop at local eateries and shops. The palace has a beautiful facade surrounded by an amazing garden. A trip to this palace is worth your time.

Later in the evening booked tickets to the Lady Macbeth show at the Vienna State Opera. An experience of a lifetime !

Day 3

Day3- Vienna to Prague. (Temp 10 degrees C) We caught the RegioJet (also called Student Agency) bus from Vienna Stadion bus station to Praha Florenc station. I'd recommend using these buses as they were punctual, clean, comfortable, with on board WiFi (that not many trains have), free on board refreshments and at half the price of a train (with similar travel time).

We checked into our hostel McSleep near Florenc that was comfortable and conveniently placed. I'd recommend using this hostel, it is small, cozy and the staff are amazing.

Prague- Immediately after checking in we set out to visit the Karlstejn castle situated in the outskirts of Prague (about 1 hour drive). We chose to take an uber that was a little pricey but convenient and safe for 2 lady travelers. Our wonderful Uber host also waited for us to complete our tour of the castle to take us back to the city. (Total cost- 1000Koruna (approx.37 euros)). Karlstejn is a beautiful castle with an amazing view and drive. (entry fee 330 koruna). We stopped at a cafe at the foot of the castle (dont remember the name though) (if it helps it looked like a cottage). Do try their food. Lovely staff with nice warm food. (Temp 8 degrees C)

Note- Koruna is the currency used in Czech Republic, however, shop keepers also accept euros. I'd suggest convert bare minimum Korunas as well established/ known forex brokers charge 28% service charges. You may not want to go to the lesser known forex guys across the city

Day 4 - Prague (Temp 7 degrees C)

Day 4

Today we decided to discover the Old Town of Prague. (Though ideally we had planned to cover Bohemian Switzerland National Park , it is a beautiful hike with views of Czech and German land). We visited the astronomical clock tower, the old town hall, st nicholas cathedral (even sat for a musical concert) and the art museum. Basically covered Old town and the New town as well. We walked around the local farmers market and bought souvenirs. Since easter week had ended we got good deals on the hand painted intricate wooden easter eggs (famous in the region). Dont forget to look at the doll shops around the old town square, Czech Republic is famous for their handcrafted dolls. I bought one for 300 koruna in an authentic Czech attire. We walked through Wenceslas square and spent the evening there.

We later joined our group of friends for dinner and moved to an AirBnB in the old town area.

Day 5- Prague (Temp 6 degrees C)

Day 5

Today we set out to see the Prague castle which comprises of the cathedral of st. vitus, the prague palace, st. george's basilica and the golden lane. It is worth a visit and the view of Prague from the castle is breathtaking. We then walked through the Charles bridge and met our friends for dinner.

Day 6- Prague to Salzburg (Temp 4 degrees C)

After a very lazy breakfast, we packed our bags and hopped onto a train leading to Salzburg. Since, the railway lines had a scheduled maintenance initiative, we were rerouted to Cesky Krumlov and then put onto a bus leading us to the border of Austria. Here we hopped onto another train that took us to Salzburg main station.

Day 6

Here we checked into the Yoho hostel, a 10 mins walk from the train station. A very cozy and clean hostel with a bar and kitchen facilities.

Soon after we settled in, we decided to take a walk across the city and walked through the Mirabelle garden, the palace, a few local convenient stores (with amazing Schnapps!) and later visited the very famous beer garden- augustiner bräustübl salzburg. It had the best beer ! and food ! ever. The bratswurst and currywurst, the pretzel, and the chicken schnitzel ! One must visit this underground, monastery like place.

Day 7- Salzburg

Day 7

Today we decided to visit the Hellbrunn Palace where the Sound of music was shot. The ride there was picturesque and so was the palace compound.

The Hellbrunn palace also houses the Trick Fountain that one must visit ! It is a one of a kind garden that exhibits rudimentary yet very advanced for its time fountains, puppet theatres and trick elements that sneak up on you all powered by water alone ! This was used as a summer palace by Markus Sittikus, prince-archbishop of Salzburg to entertain this princely guests.

We later pushed off to the Salzburg fortress. The view ! We had to take a short ride on a tiny lift with an astonishing vertical slant to reach the palace.

From here on one can visit the the famous Ice caves .

Later in the evening we visited another beer garden with a shandy - like Radler to die for !

More to continue on the next post.....