I stayed at Husselfdorf Hostel and it was an okay place. I didn’t like that it was far from city center, there was very little atmosphere and there wasn’t much of a kitchen (it was just a microwave. Fridge and you had to ask the front desk for utensils). It felt more like a hotel. It seems like a better option for families than solo travlers. But they had a great breakfast, the rooms were great with lots of storage space and I shared it with only two other girls. We even had our own shower.
I bought the 3 day Vienna pass for 21 euros. If you are a student, don’t do that. The student discounts are better than the card discounts. In the metro machines, you can get a 3 day pass for 16 euros. Transportation is easy. The metro gets you most places but for the inner city the tram works great. Most of the major sights are in city center and close together. There is also a Vienna metro app you can download on the Apple Store. I also used Ulmon Vienna to navigate.
You can get street food for like 3-4 Euros and restaurants food can be 7-12 euros. I cooked in my hostel a lot.
One of the first things I did was go to the Sigmund Freud Museum. I studied psychology in college so I simply had to go. The museum was a bit underwhelming but I’m still glad I went. There was a replica of his office, trinkets of his, a few notes about other psychologists, most notably his daughter. The audio tour was very helpful to provide a balanced perspective. My biggest critique is there a lot of text rather than visuals.
The next thing on my list was the Imperial Crypt. It’s a gorgeous crypt and people still leave trinkets and flowers for the past rulers. It was definitely worth the trip.
I walked in the Innere Stadt neighborhood where there is the Opera House, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Maria-Theresien Platz (Christmas market and lots of museums).
I did an Architecture walk. I download an app called City Walks Vienna. There’s the lite version with itinerary and the $4.99 version has an offline map that guides your through tours. I figure I usually tip my guide a minimum of 5 euros so this was a good deal. There were 25 tours to choose from and it was nice to go at my own pace. I chose the tour because walking on my own I had already seen a lot of things. There were 9 sights and it took about 3 hours (again going at my own pace and stopping to sit, take pictures or get a cup of tea). I’m kind of in love with this app now. It makes it really easy to plan your trip and the tour options are something you don’t have in walking tours. Each location has a little blurb about it so you feel like you have your little tour guide in your hand.
Some highlights: Hunderwasserhaus and Kunsthaus are down the street from each other and this is where the tour begins. They were both designed by Friedensreich Hunderwasser. He was a painter by trade but experimented in architecture. He petitioned the government to fund more modern looking buildings. Then he designed the Hunderwasserhaus. It is an apartment building with a café. The Kunsthaus was created after and is now a museum dedicated to its architect.
Postsparkasse is the postal bank in Vienna. It was designed by Otto Wagner. George Coch invented the first moneyless transfer and opened this bank. This architecture was most known for using a steel grid to reinforce the concrete. It was one of the first times this was used.
Haas House is in the same square as Stephen’s Cathedral creating a stark contrast between modern and traditional architecture. It was designed by Haus Hollein and many people protested the building because it did not fit in with the art nouveau Vienna is famous for.
Loos House is actually very ugly but the square it is in is very lovely and had a great Christmas market. The building, by Adolf Loos, was considered very ugly and many people nicknamed it the house with no brows because there were no window bays. People actually sent the architect death threats so he installed the window ledges so the building could finally have eyebrows.
Vienna Succession is now an art nouveau museum but it was the home to an artist collective lead by Gustav Klimt. The collective was organized in 1897 and the building was designed by Joseph Olbrich.
Majolica House is a gorgeous building and the last stop on the tour. It is in Naschtmarket making it the perfect last stop because then you can go get a bite to eat. The architect Otto Wagner designed the building during his secessionist phase. It was completed in 1899. It is considered his best piece of work.
Then I met up with a friend at The Wombats Hostel. She was staying there and they had a bar. It’s also by Naschmarket so it was cool place to walk around at night.
Then lastly, I went to the Leopold Museum. It’s an art museum with impressionism and art nouveau. I went because it had the most Gustav Klimt out of all the museums in Vienna. It was small and intimate. Then I just wandered around the city. I eventually went to the downtown area and took advantage of the crazy after Christmas sales. Then I went back to the hostel early because I had an early bus to Prague.
I was surprised there wasn’t a lot of Viennese food and everything was pretty expensive. I do wish I had the energy to go to the cemetery because Beethoven and Mozart are buried there. The cemetery was about an hour outside of the city. It was too cold to be that motivated. Overall, Vienna was nice but I’ve been to more interesting cities in Europe so if you don’t have a lot of time in Europe, I would skip it.