Two Days in Vienna, Austria

When the waiting at the Berlin Airport for our connecting flight to Vienna became agonizingly long, we started panicking. Asking around we figured flights were getting delayed. There were some weather disturbances (this was end of July) which made it difficult for flights to land (it was raining, but the airlines folk know better). The delayed flights soon led to our flight being cancelled. We didn’t have a booking in Berlin and it was already getting late. Compounded with the fact that a lot of the staff was on holiday because of summers, there was a bit of confusion, before the airline finally managed to get us onboard a flight around 4 hours later.

In this process we landed in Vienna past midnight, starving, tired. Most of the eating places in the airport were shut already. The very reasonably priced metro that connected Vienna airport to the city center was way past its last flight. And we were here, only for two days in Vienna, Austria!

Meanwhile at the luggage belt, everyone from our flight had left except us and another family. Our luggage hadn’t arrived. We lodged a lost-luggage complaint with the airlines’ airport office, and took an expensive taxi to our hotel.

Finally in Vienna:

So we landed in Vienna, around 6 hours late, starving, without our luggage. Without clothes, toiletries. And the airlines complaint was only on email, there were no phone numbers we could speak to.

The next two days were spent looking for places to buy essentials, constantly following up with the airlines and the hotel whether our luggage was delivered and catching whatever sight seeing we could in this time. We had a fair deal of luggage as we were also visiting Stuttgart, Esslingen, Berlin and Munich in this trip.

The good thing is, we chose a well located hotel, Das Opernring. Located right opposite the grand Vienna State Opera, Kärntnerstraße or the museum district, Shopping Street Mariahilfer, and Naschmarkt, the underground station and Stephansplaz, the church square named after Stephansdom, Vienna’s Cathedral and one of the tallest churches in the world.

It was only too good that we were near the shopping district as we desperately needed to buy some essentials. Stephansplaz has a fabulous market around it with all kinds of fashion and food stores. While shopping for pajamas, we could catch glimpses of Vienna’s fabulous architecture. We even managed to find time to visit the beautiful Stephansdom Church.

What to do in Vienna in two days:
This is tough, since there is so much to do.

Museums : Vienna has over 100 museums. From Art to Ethnography, Natural History to the Jewish Museum, there is plenty to see. Each Museum visit can take several hours. In fact Vienna has a MuseumQuartier, an entire area designated to museums. Home of Sigmund Freud, Vienna has a museum to him too. However when we were visiting, the Sigmund Freud Museum was being relocated so we couldn’t visit it. There is a Mozart Museum too.

Sightseeing: Walk the Ringstrasse. It is the Ring Road that goes across Vienna’s Cultural Centre, so you can experience a lot of the city. Go to Mt Kahlenberg to get a fabulous aerial view of Vienna and the surrounding. Go hang around Stephansplaz, window shop and eat around. Definitely go to the Stephansdom, or St Stephan’s Church. The Augarten Vienna Porcelain Manufacturing Factory, founded in 1718, is worth a visit. The Belvedere Palace is one of the most striking examples of Baroque architecture and houses some amazing art collections. Go over to the Palace Quarter in Esterhazy in Burgenland for year long exhibitions. The Maze at Schonbrunn is fun, and if you look around, you can find all 12 signs of the zodiac. Also check out the Schonbrunn Palace. The Otto Wagner Court’s Pavilion was a train stop at the Schonbrunn Castle and worth seeing. Vienna has so much to see you need many visits, or a long long one to see and experience it all.

Music: Called the City of Music, Vienna has soo much to offer. The Vienna Philharmonic is one of the finest Orchestras in the world. The Wiener Symphoniker is another fantastic orchestra and a specialist in Brahms, Bruckner, Mahler and Richard Strauss.Then there is the RSO ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra. There is a lot happening in the contemporary and electronic music scene too. Every night, across 120 stages, some 15000 events annually cover just about every musical genre imaginable. Head over to Vienna for some great music.

Vienna
Having lost our luggage to a flight change, we moved around Vienna, we tried to find shops that sold bare essentials. The hotel was kind enough to get us some toiletries.
Vienna, Austria
We realised Vienna is an excellent place to shop and has a great quality of life.
Eating Out in Vienna
The cafes, bistros and restaurants in Vienna are all awesome, the food is great everywhere.
Door in Vienna, Austria
A beautiful door in Vienna. We loved the architecture of this culturally rich city.
Astoria Hotel, Vienna, Austria
The beautiful Astoria Hotel in Vienna, Austria
Stephansplaz, Vienna, Austria
Hanging around Stephansplaz, Vienna, Austria, looking for good deals on pajamas and undies.
Stephensdom Church, Vienna, Austria
The beautiful Stephansdom Church in located in the geometric center of Vienna, Austria. Its also known as St Stephan’s Cathedral in English.
Inside Stephansdom Curch, Vienna
The Stephansdom Church is so beautiful from inside. We prayed for world peace, climate health and our lost luggage.
Stephansplaz, Vienna, Austria
At the Stephansplaz, which means Stephan’s Plaza, named after the gorgeous Stephansdom Church.
State Opera, Vienna
We sat at this wonderful cafe overlooking the State Opera’s magnificent building. Vienna is very good for music, with a rich history of composers. It’s also very good for coffee and desserts.
Public transport in Vienna
Public transport is very well developed and comfortable in Vienna.
Metro and tram in Vienna, Austria
The underground Metro and on ground trams were all right outside our hotel Das Opernring.
Beautiful light in Vienna
I am always mesmerised by the late evening light in Europe.

Vienna is a city with a long history associated with culture. The nobility of Austria and their patronage attracted many composers, and Vienna’s reputation as a cultural centre started as early as the 16th century. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig Von Beethoven, Johann Strauss Jr, Joseph Haydn amongst others, were associated with this city.

The Musikverein in Vienna is considered to be one of the finest Concert Halls in the World and was opened on January 6, 1870.

One of the most popular forms of Austrian folk music, the Viennese Schrammelmusic is also associated with this city.

Apart from Music, Austria has a rich heritage in Literature, with many writers, poets and novelists of acclaim like Arthur Schnitzler, Stefan Zweig, Georg Traki, Franz Werfel, Adalbert Stifter, and more contemporary playwrights and novelists like Elfriede Jelinek and Peter Handke.

Neeldess to mention, Vienna, and Austria, is famous for its palaces, castles and buildings. It is a city which can bring joy to architecture lovers.

Overall, Vienna is a fantastic place to visit and it has something for everyone. Do check your area of interest time your visit accordingly. Most concerts happen post the summer holidays.

Architecture in Vienna
Vienna is full of these gorgeous buildings. One can find some of these European Style architecture in colonial era structures in India as well. Mumbai’s Hahnemann Circle, Kolkata’s Dalhousie area etc come to mind.
Electric Cars Charging
For a city steeped in history and culture, Vienna is very modern and quick to adopt new technologies as well. We found plenty of electric cars all around. These two Tesla Model Ss are being charged here. Our airport drop taxi was a Tesla Model S as well.
Big Bus Vienna Tour
Since we had limited time in Vienna, we decided to take a Big Bus Tour of Vienna. We recommend it if you have limited time. It takes you through the historic quarters of this old city with a commentary in your language of choice. If we had more time, we would have walked most of this.
St Joseph's Church on Mt Kahlenberg, Vienna
St Joseph’s Church on Mt Kahlenberg, Vienna. Commissioned in 1623, the construction was completed in 1683. In that year itself the church was heavily damaged in a far resulting from the Second Turkish Siege of Vienna. New construction was completed in 1750 and the church lay in ruins by 1847 again. It was finally renovated in around 1852 and finally around 1906.
View from Mount Kahlenburg
Our Big Bus Vienna Tour took us to Mount Kahlenberg for a fantastic view of the city and some good ice cream. Vienna can be very hot in July,
Ice Cream at Mt Kahlenberg
Ice Cream and great views from Mt Kahlenberg, Vienna.
Old train on Mt Kahlenberg
An old train bogey at Mt Kahlenberg now serves as a good backdrop to sunbathing.
Trams in Vienna
The trams form a vital part of the public transport in Vienna and have been operational since 1897. This tram here is a more touristy version retaining an old world vintage look.
Weltmuseum Vienna
The Welt Museum Wien is an Ethnographic museum and supports some of the best collections of non-European Culture.
Vienna Museums
Once in Vienna, do take out plenty of time for its many Museums.
Vienna Street
Though the sight of construction that we are so familiar with in India greeted us in Vienna as well, it is still a fabulous city to walk through. The buildings, trhe architecture, the lanes, the people watching, the cars, the weather… Vienna is best experienced slowly, on foot.
Vienna Architecture
Somewhere near the State Opera Vienna, pausing to take a long look at the magnificent architecture.
The State Opera, Vienna
Wiener Staatsoper, or the Vienna State Opera. What a beautiful building, and what fabulous music inside. Unfortunately there were no performances during our brief stay in Vienna.
Naturhistorisches Museum, Wien
Naturhistorisches Museum, Museum, Vienna. It’s the museum of Natural History. Has a spectacular collection.
SMaria Theresien Denkmal
Empress Maria Theresien Monument near the Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna.
Naturhistorisches Museum
Entry to the Naturhistorisches Museum. We saw some excellent natural history specimen collections (though my heart feels sad for all those animals killed for museums).
Knödel are mashed potato or flour dumplings filled with meat. We had this delicious dinner in Vienna, and it was served with Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) and a few spoons of gravy.
This traditional meaty soup from Vienna with make your dinner unforgettable.
Das Opernring Hotel
We stayed at the very well located Das Opernring Hotel in Vienna.
Das Opernring Hotel
The breakfast room at Das Opernring Hotel. A simple but good breakfast made our morning.

4 thoughts on “Two Days in Vienna, Austria”

  1. Imposing architecture. Thank you for these sights from lovely Vienna.
    The trams — <3. And the light in the public-transport pic — (y) (y)
    Did you guys manage to get back your luggage after all this?

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  2. I’m really sorry that your brief visit to Vienna started with some hiccups, although from what you wrote and the photos you took, it looks like you had a great time in the Austrian capital. I also went to Vienna in July back in 2007, and I still vividly remember feeling awe-struck by those beautiful buildings along the Ringstrasse. I loved how clean the city was, how the water was drinkable (even it was technically safe to drink straight from the river although no one did this, of course), and how big the food portions were — not to mention the city’s rich cultural scene! Vienna still is my favorite cities in Europe.

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  3. Its painful to experience hitches while travelling, though sometimes it almost looks as if such hitches are inevitable. I first visited Vienna during the Ineos Challenge since I was working with the company at the time. I stayed at the Grand Wien suites and got to enjoy the sights and sounds of the beautiful and magnificent city. I was not able to visit the numerous places you mention here, simply because I was on a work assignment. Nevertheless, it is one of the places I am planning to visit once the COVID-19 menace is over.

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