Tuesday, 18 December 2012

More than just Cruising the Danube River, Vienna ~ Now or Never

It's my first trip to Vienna and I don't think it will be my last. 

Air Berlin has always been one of my favourite airlines.  I fly with them more often than any airlines. It is a little over an hour flight from Zurich to Vienna.  

As always, it is a relaxing and comfortable travel experience. I never question the level of their comfort and the ticket prices are very reasonable. My one-way ticket costs Cdn$170 equivalent roughly around 130 Euro. A good deal for great service.


The first thing that come to my mind before flying to Vienna is my impression of a regal atmosphere associated with great composers like Beethoven and Mozart.  Though I am not into museums, I am obliged to make my stay memorable by visiting some of the hundred museums known to attract many visitors to the city.

The Inner City is known for its most famous attractions like the St Stephen’s Cathedral and the Hofburg palace
The St Stephen’s Cathedral was originally a basilica that was built on a Romanesque sanctuary in the 12th century. Today the Cathedral is known as a premier Gothic structure in Europe that is filled with spectacular sculptures, paintings, wood carvings and altars.

The Innere Stadt, the Old Town of Vienna,  is perhaps the most popular accommodation choice for visitors.

It offers convenience along with numerous sight-seeing opportunities. The Landstrasse lies close to the Inner Stadt and is home to several churches, monuments and palaces like the magnificent Schwarzenberg Palace, the Belvedere Palace and Konzerthaus.

Vienna’s many splendid tourist attractions are concentrated at the city centre.

These attractions include magnificent palaces, more than a hundred museums, gardens and unique cultural attractions. The Schönbrunn Palace is one of the prime attractions in Vienna.

See Vienna in a completely new and relaxing way with their Hop-on Hop-off bus tour where you can set your own pace.  

You may get on and off at any of the 15 or more stops, and as often as you want.  The ticket which is valid for one day costs approximately US$26.00 or €20.00 only. 


If you want a more sophisticated tour of Vienna, you may take the Original Oldtimer Bus that will take you not just the ordinary sightseeing but a nostalgic experience to tourists of any age.

Vienna has a temperate continental climate which is characterized by warm, sunny summers and cold, frigid temperatures. 

The hottest month is Vienna is July when temperatures usually register between 60F and 75F (15C and 25C). These temperatures are considered to be ideal for sight-seeing in this gorgeous city. Accordingly, the summer season in Vienna is the most heavily tourist trafficked season in the city.

Going around Vienna is very convenient. 


The city is usually accessed by visitors via the Vienna International Airport which lies 11 miles (18 km) to the southeast of Vienna. 

The airport is connected to the city centre by local trains, taxis and buses as well as a City Airport train. 

Transport within the city is provided by Vienna’s excellent public transport system which is made up of old world trams, buses, a fast U-Bahn (underground) and S-Bahn (suburban railway). 

Taxis are also easily available but are quite expensive so I don't recommend you to use it. 
For a romantic vacation, you may want to indulge your better-half with a ride on a horse drawn carriage, which is also offered as a mode of transportation in the city.

Thinking of renting a car to go around?

Forget it.

Parking within the city limits is quite expensive and the city is a maze of one-way streets that are quite difficult to navigate. 

However, if you are travelling outside the city, renting a car will be a good choice.

Vienna is renowned the world over for its many culinary delights. 

The many excellent restaurants in Vienna offer a wide variety of cuisines that include Austrian and French fare, along with Serbian, Slovenian, Czech, Slovakian, Hungarian, Russian, Italian and Asian cuisines. 

Additionally the city also has a well developed coffee house and café culture. 

A must-do culinary experience on any visit to Vienna is the sampling of its world famous contribution to the world of desserts, the calorie-laden chocolate cake, Sacher Torte

This much loved desert was invented at the luxurious Hotel Sacher by celebrated chef Franz Sacher. The Sacher Café, which is located in the hotel, serves this delectable treat along with many other delicious Austrian pastries and coffees.

I have good memories of Vienna

And I consider meeting new friends very fulfilling.  

I met Wilson Tan Ho for the first time. 

A Filipino-Austrian who works at the United Nation Headquarters in Vienna. 

I came to know him when I read his story on feeding the homeless in Vienna every year at Christmas season. I eventually wrote about him in one of my websites about his good cause. Wilson is an active member of the Folklorico Vienna. 

Another Filipino-Austrian that I have brief conversation is Norman Bacal, a young entrepreneur and a travelling businessman. 

The last but not the least is a Cambodian-Austrian part-owner of Kaori Japanese Restaurant. 

I simply call him Andy. 

A very young fellow who is so accommodating from the day we first patronized his restaurant until the last night when we had our on-the-house dinner with his family. 
Kaori is a stone-throw from the Park Inn by Radisson Hotel where I stayed. It is located at the banks of the Danube River, adjacent to the United Nation Head Office. 

So, if you happen to be in Vienna, try Kaori. I love their Bulgogi (marinated beef, rice) and miso soup. 

And, say hi to Andy for me!

Oh, and speaking of the Danube River.... 

This is one of the reasons why I am so eager to visit Austria ~ cruising the blue Danube. 

It is a dream come true. 

Cruising the Danube River is the best way to experience the famous landscapes, cultural heritage and very old architecture. 

During the cruise, you will see from afar the impressive architecture of the United Nations buildings, the multi-coloured Kunsthaus and the Prater. 

It's amazing!

Little did I know that Danube river passes through ten countries: Romania, Hungary, Serbia, Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Ukraine and Moldova.  

That means you will have an experience of a lifetime cruising these countries on the blue Danube. 

It's priceless!

See more amazing photos of the people of Vienna and the surrounding history ~ taken by the author himself.....


From the desk of: 
Freddie Miranda
A blogger and a Canada-based freelance writer. He shares the value of his travel experiences and discoveries with his friends and fellow travellers. Share your passion, join and visit him. Send a message @ fromatravellersdesk(at)gmail(dot)com.