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Johnny's Guide to VIENNA, Austria

I had no idea what to expect in Vienna.  It wasn't even on the plan to go there.  It was kind of just along the way from Berlin to Prague and before Budapest.  Bratislava in Slovakia would technically be even more along the way, but at the time I had no desire to ever go there.

Turns out Vienna is freaking incredible and is one of my favorite places in the world.  Keep reading to find out why I loved it so much.


johnny travels austria



How I got to Vienna.


We took the train from Prague to Austria which is about a 5 hour ride.  We took 2nd class seats as they were more than fine from Berlin to Prague but regretted not upgrading to 1st class for $35 more once we realized that there is no air flow or A/C in the hot stuffy cabins.

Luckily there is a dining cart to hang out at, but since we spent almost $100 hanging out there and eating for 4 hours, we might as well have just upgraded to better seats.

Travel Tip: Book 1st class seats for the train ride to Vienna.


train


Where I stayed:


We booked private rooms at the Hotel Geblergasse on Agoda which was just okay.  The rooms were basic, and the location although a short 2 minute walk from the train stop and 15 minutes from the main city wasn't actually close to anything else.  So if you want to stay there and save some money, only do so if you don't plan on spending anytime at the hotel itself. 

Travel Tip: Don't eat breakfast and don't stay in the dorms as they don't have lockers but the private rooms were fine although a bit small.




What to Eat:


The food was the best in Europe so far.  Prices were very European (read expensive) but you could find local places within a 5 minute walk from the hotel that was less than $10 a plate.  My favorite dishes there were any type of meat over rice or potatoes and gravy.  We had the traditional schnitzel but it wasn't that great and was terribly unhealthy.


Bacon Wrapped Fresh Cheese

Recommended Restaurants:


Oldest cafe in Vienna:  Cafe Frauenhuber
Cheap homestyle cooking:  Ka & Ko Restaurant
The strip of restaurants at the end of the Turkish Market Street
Look up on tripadvisor for restaurants near you  as we found a ton that way but don't know the names.


Turkey Cutlet over Rice with Mushrooms and Gravy
Traditional Austrian Schnitzel 
paleo vienna
Bacon and Eggs Vienna Style


What to See:


The outside of the Sisi Museum was awesome as the sculptures were the best part.  We went inside to see some of the cool old furniture but spend less than 40 minutes in there.


vienna travel nomad


The size and scale of the Schönbrunn Palace was incredible, we took two days to see the entire thing as the first day we just walked around the gardens and up to the view point, then went inside the second day.  You can definitely see it in one but be prepared to spend the entire day there.

entrepreneurs in austria


Quick 2 Minute video tour of Vienna:




The forests and nature.  If you are adventurous on your own or have a friend from Austria, try to visit some of the forests or nearby lakes.  If you're a scuba diver, there is the Grüner See (Green Lake) where you can dive in crystal clear lake water that has melted from the snow and flooded a park.

Or you can just walk around and pick berries like I did.


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austria travel


Part 2 Video of Vienna:  





Vienna Walking Tours:



Austria was the only country that doesn't have a free walking tour.  We would have happily paid for one but we ended up seeing most of the sights ourselves.  But in retrospect I would have signed up for one the first day and went into the buildings myself on my own time.  


Check out this one or for a full list.   There's also a free self guided walking tour.  

Edit 2016: Finally Vienna has a free "tip based" walking tour



Free self guided tour of Vienna


Getting Around Vienna:


Public transportation in Vienna is great, we took the trains everywhere and never got lost.  But what was even better is when we discovered the free bike rental service that seems to be at every subway stop.  

You need to register the first time you use it, but after that you just take a bike and it's free for the 1st hour.  Which means you can ride it for an hour, park it, and take another one.  
We did this throughout the city and enjoyed it.  Vienna isn't as bike friendly as Berlin and often you'll only ride one direction as the city has a lot of small hills, but it's fun and it's free.  


johnny fd


Co-Working in Vienna:

We were only in Austria for a few days and the lobby at our hotel was a pretty good setup so we just worked from there.  Their coffee counter was the perfect height to change between sitting and standing and they sold decent espressos there.  

We tried to go to LOffice in Wien (Vienna) one day but they were on vacation.  

You can also check out StockWerk or Sektor5.


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Breakfast, Coffee and Email
office of the day
Office of the Day in Vienna

Wrapping up Vienna, Austria:  

Put it on your list of must visit places before you die.  Better yet, put Vienna on a list of places your parents must see in their lifetime as well.  I haven't been to France or Italy yet, but I imagine that the sheer size of these buildings in Austria and the untouched historical buildings are what most people, including myself really want to see when we do a Eurotrip.

Vienna Austria


Want More?

Listen to Episode 45 of the Travel Like a Boss Podcast where Anton Kraly and I sit down and talk about Vienna vs. Budapest and what our favorite country in Europe is for living and co-working as location independent digital nomads.  



How the heck do I afford to travel?

The mega-post breaking down how I got started and where I am today.  



Keep in touch.

Hope you guys enjoyed this post.  Make sure you check out the other posts about the rest of Europe on my blog.


Warm Regards,

Johnny


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