Vienna, Austria 2 Day Travel Tips
Updated: Apr 10
If it's not baroque, don't fix it... Guten Tag and willkommen to my Vienna blog. Vienna is home to some of the greats: Beethoven, Mozart, the Viennese Waltz, and many more. My 3 days in Vienna were cut short due to a medical emergency, which I spent an entire day in the hotel and ultimately ended up having to go to the emergency room (I'll explain that process later). I had travelled to Vienna for the Christmas markets, which there were several pockets within the city that had different themed markets based on the mugs that were being distributed. If time allows, there are several surrounding countries worth visiting, with the easiest to reach, Bratislava, Slovakia.
Transportation: Airport to City Center
Train: S7 (REX - Regional Express): 40 min
Cost: 8.60 EUR (2 adults)
The train departure screens at the airport were a bit confusing. I was looking for S7 or REX but instead it says OBB.
City Center: Unlimited metro pass
Cost: 14.10 EUR (48 hours)
This pass can be purchased at any of the metro stops via the ticket machines. If you know you'll be making multiple trips within the city center, this will definitely come in handy.
Where I stayed: Bassena Wien Messe Prater
Cost: $581.44 USD (4 nights with breakfast included)
This hotel was super hip and was an easy 5 minute walk from the metro.
Vienna is known for their extravagant café culture. You can literally spend hours on end at a café and it's totally acceptable. The wait staff are highly trained and to some, may appear as being arrogant or rude but that's not the case at all. They are just giving you your space and if you're ready for your bill, simply ask. Some cafés are known for their pastries, so be sure to visit several different ones.
Cafés I visited:
Hotel Sacher - Famous for their Sacher tort
Reservations for the café at Hotel Sacher need to be booked in advance as they are quite poplar. If you're unable to secure a reservation, it is possible to show up right as they open to snag a table. However, some have been known to wait in line for hours. The next best thing, visit their Blaue Bar, which is what I did and loved it. Quite frankly, I think I would have preferred the Blaue Bar over the café anyway. It's sophisticated ambience really set the mood. Their cocktails are great too.
Café Central - This café was frequented by Sigmund Freud, Adolf Hitler and many others
What happens if you need to see a doctor or if you have a medical emergency in Vienna?
Healthcare in Vienna is free for locals and as a tourist, the cost is reasonable. If you live in the states, you know our healthcare system is broken and often people are struggling about whether or not they should pay for care or make their mortgage payment.
Cost: (the situation explained below, is based off of my experience alone)
In-house doctor visit: 200 EUR
Emergency Room: Walk-in fee $150 USD. Cost will be determined based on what needs to be done and if the cost is less then the walk-in fee, you will receive a refund in the mail. At check-in, you will provide your mailing address, photo ID and your insurance information if you have any. No visitors are allowed to wait with you at the hospital. There is a wing with letters above each door with each letter being their own specialty for example, letter A -cardiology, letter B - urology and so on and so forth. I felt as if this helped to speed up the process as it appeared to be assigned to that specific specialist. Overall wait time was about 2 hours since one of the labs took about 40 minutes to get results back. I received my bill in the mail about 2 or so months after my visit and total cost came to $284.00 USD. On the notice, they provided options on how to pay, which I ended up wiring the money through my bank. I called the facility after 48 hours to confirm they have received my payment, which they had. If this situation had been reversed and in the states, that visit would had been north of 2k.
Where I ate:
I just so happened to have stumbled upon this place. It was located right next door to the pharmacy I had to go to. My photo doesn't do this dish any justice, but trust me, it was delicious.
Day 1 and 2: Christmas Markets
As previously mentioned, there are several Christmas markets spread throughout the city. I chose to hit the main market day 1 and there were an abundance of stalls and tasty treats to be had. Vienna is famous for their glumost (my fave), which is a pear version of gluwein (mulled wine). From my experience with Christmas markets, each country is known to have their own specialty drink. You can read more in my European Christmas Market blog.
What to try:
Bitzinger kasekrainer (hot dog wrapped in hoagie type roll) This can also be found at several street food stalls throughout the city.
Day 2: Central Cemetery, Belvedere Palace, Karlskirche and The Hofburg
Visiting Hours: Daily 7am - 6pm
Take tram 71 (40-50 min) from central Vienna
Tram stop: Gate 2 ( Zentralfriedhof 2. Tor)
If you're a huge music buff, you got to make the trip out to Vienna's Central Cemetery to pay tribute to some of music's best classical composers.
Cost: 15.90 PP (You will need to choose a time of entry when you purchase your tickets)
I'm not much of a museum buff, but had to check out Klimt's famous portrait, The Kiss. There were also some Monet's and Van Gogh's.
Cost: 9.50 EUR PP (not worth the entry fee)
I chose not to go inside and just snagged a few pics.