Finally, another post of my trip in Europe with my mom! If you haven’t read it already, you can find part one, here.
We took the bus from Budapest to Vienna. The bus was a little cheaper and it departed at a better time for us than the train did. Even though it took a little longer than the train would’ve we still made better time via bus, since that way we arrived earlier. We bought some delicious cookies for the bus ride there. The highway in Budapest was actually quite lovely, so many green hills with cute little Hungarian houses upon them. Once closer to the Austrian boarder it started looking quite like driving on the highway at home. Corn and bean fields and windmills were the familiar scenery, yet in an unfamiliar country.
Once in Vienna, the task of finding a hotel was prominent. Walking a bit down the street in the rain was not the nicest of tasks ever put against us, but seemed to be almost uniform in our little trip. We eventually gave up and took a taxi more into the center of town and after a little bit of difficulty, found a hotel with a vacancy. For some reason Vienna was “so booked up” that weekend we were there, though there was nothing out of the ordinary going on.
We relaxed in the hotel room for a short while. A must was to play the song Vienna by Billy Joel, we sat there and both sang it in the hotel room. It’s my favorite Joel song so kind of surreal to sing it where it’s written about. Later, we went out to explore the city! Well first, we walked down the street and decided we were hungry, so we ate at an Italian restaurant. Across the street from the restaurant was a super cool fountain with dragons on it. After eating, we discovered that Karlsplatz was only 3-4 blocks down the street from us, and then came across Karlskirche!
There was a tram stop very near our hotel, and the stop the tram went to after Karlsplatz was Wien Oper, the Opera house. The Opera house is in the city center and for us was a base point, because the hop-on hop-off bus we took the next day started and finished there. But anyways, we took the tram back from Wien Oper to the hotel, except we missed our stop. I knew and said where to get off, but mom thought it was the next one. Will she ever learn that I’m the one who’s good with directions? Of course, it wasn’t that big of a deal, just saw a little extra by the tram that ended up going underground. It’s not as fun when you can’t see outside.
So like I said, we decided to be very touristy and take the hop-on hop-off bus. They have these buses in what it seems like every large city in Europe. I went on one the second day I arrived to Sweden in Stockholm. We saw them in Budapest and Krakow but didn’t take them there. I personally think these buses are a good idea if you’re only going to be in the city for a short amount of time, the bus ticket last 2 days! It gives you a feel for the whole city, along with some information and history about the places you pass while on the bus. We were in Vienna for only two and a half days, so we were pleased with the amount we saw from the bus tour.
A little unfortunate was that it was rainy and a little chilly, so we were on the closed in top of the bus. In the summer the top level is roofless, which makes for some great pictures! Window glare does the exact opposite.
Mexikokirche- Mexico Church. Wow what amazing architecture, right? We hopped off the bus here by the church and Danube to take a river tour. We ended up waiting and the boat never came. Found out that the water levels were too high because of all the rain. I was still pleased with hopping off, had a really good iced coffee at a cafe.
That was the first day on the bus, and ended with a dinner at Friday’s. We know how bad it was to eat at an American restaurant in Europe, but it’s our favorite restaurant! And we literally, not even kidding, kept accidentally walking into them. It was no way searched after on purpose, just fate I suppose!
The next day, on our bus tour we decided to go to the Schönbrunn Palace. This was the former imperial summer residence of the Hapsburgs. It was obviously huge, I mean it’s a palace and the architecture beat out Stockholm’s royal palace hands down. The exterior is painted a pretty yellow color, now referred to as Schönbrunn yellow after the palace. We had a guided audio tour, it was simply impeccable inside.
Once done with the palace tour, we hopped back on our bus. We decided to check out the Museum of Austrian Military History (Heeresgeschichtliches), and lucky for us it was a free day. The history went up to World War 2. The building inside and out was exquisite. We also found the museum interesting.
The last sight we saw in Vienna was Stephansdom, in the center of the town and shopping.
Later, after dinner, we took an overnight sleeper train to Krakow, Poland! The next and last post about my travels with my mom will be about Krakow 🙂
And here we come to a conclusion of our time in Vienna! Overall, I really liked the city. The architecture and history were big factors of why I liked it. The town to me feels nice and quiet, it was a good place to wind down a little bit!
Vienna waits for you..