Home to Ludwig van Beethoven, Sigmund Freud, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Vienna, Austria, is an old, charming city that relishes its past and has a history written even in the quaint cafés towering the streets. Although the city has plenty to see, it’s safe to say that it’s not impossible to explore Vienna in 10 hours.
Take the Overnight Train
If you’re coming into Vienna from other European cities such as Venice or Florence, consider booking a seat with Eurail for an overnight train. You’ll not only save on travel time during the day, but also experience the European train journey. A plethora of coffee shops and fast food stores are inside the Wien Westbahnhof railway station, a place visitors can be pampered with many options for eating and shopping upon entry to this musical city.
Explore the Schönbrunn Palace
A visit to Vienna is incomplete without checking out this opulent complex of palace and gardens that belonged to the Habsburg family. From the Roman ruin to the garden pavilion and palm house, see more beyond the 1,441-room palace. Although the Schönbrunn, meaning “beautiful springs,” is remarkable in its own rights, another highlight in the vicinity is the maze and labyrinth. Take a half-day guided tour to better understand the imperial history behind the structure.
Lunch by the Opera
Enjoy a hearty Austrian meal at Gasthaus Flosß or Rebhuhn, followed by Vienna’s staple dessert — Sacher-Torte from Hotel Sacher. After a quick visit to the Vienna State Opera House, sample a few drinks at the Ocean’s One Café or any of the cafés off the lane, amid views of the Opera House. The area is also home to plenty ofVienna’s finest hotels, if you decide to stay.
Learn Imperial History Through a Walking Tour
Start your walking tour from the St. Stephen’s Cathedral toward Hofburg Palace. Here, you’ll be in the middle of Austria’s imperial history. The turquoise dome at the façade of the Palace attracts millions of tourists. A little farther, the Rathaus, Vienna’s City Hall, boasts a Gothic architecture.
Music and art connoisseurs must visit the famous Albertina Museum, featuring some of the highly regarded works of art of the 18th century.
Not too far, you’ll find Mozarthaus Vienna, the former residence of the famous composer Mozart. Most of these historic monuments are located on the Ringstraße, where pompous palaces were built. Hopping onto the Vienna Ring Tram is another great option to explore the city.
Unwind at Danube
After almost a day’s sightseeing of museums and churches, it’s not too late for some outdoor relaxation by the waterfront. You can choose to stroll by the Old Danube Lake or rent a boat and paddle. For a more laid-back ambiance, head to Gänsehäufel beach that includes a playground, an athletic pool, and cafés.
Although Vienna is charming in all seasons, it has a special appeal in winter, especially when you’re strolling along the historic streets or lingering in a café — while you’re wrapped in blankets and snuggled in a cozy chair. I was glad to experience the Viennese culture in 10 hours after an overnight train journey from Florence. Have you visited this musical city?
This trip was originally published on The Satori Saga.