Day 3. A walk around Vienna

Whilst staying in Bratislava we seized the opportunity of spending a day in Vienna as the two capitals are located close together.  To get there we took a CityLink train from Bratislava central station (standard tickets €14 return).  Surprisingly there were no ticket machines on the station concourse resulting in a lengthy queue at the ticket office.  Luckily, we discovered more counters upstairs that people seemed unaware of so we were able to buy our tickets from there and skip the queues.

Vienna Hauptbahnhof
Vienna Central Station

The journey took just 65 minutes and it seemed no time at all before we were walking out of the Vienna Hauptbahnhof.  The first place we wished to visit was Belvedere Palace around 15 minutes away.  Belvedere is a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprising of two Baroque buildings and French inspired formal gardens laid out in a symmetrical design.

Belvedere Palace, Vienna
Belvedere Palace

The palace was built in the early eighteenth century as a summer residence and comprises upper and lower Belvedere.  It’s free to wander through the gardens but tickets are needed to go inside the palace.  As we were only on a day trip there was insufficient time to look inside so instead we concentrated on the gardens.

Belvedere Palace Gardens, Vienna
Belvedere Palace Gardens

The delightful gardens featuring ornate stone staircases, fountains, large urns and low box hedges sit between the two buildings, extending over three large terraced sections.

Ornamental pool, Belvedere Gardens, Vienna
Ornamental pool in Belvedere Gardens

Our morning stroll then continued along to Ressel Park at Karlplatz.  Standing on the side of this square lies the magnificent baroque Karlskirche church.  This church has an interesting history as it was ordered to be built by Emperor Charles VI at the time when Vienna was free from the great plague epidemic of 1713.  It’s also home to a small museum and visitors can take a lift up to the top of its dome to view the ornate frescoes in more detail.  Standing in front of the church is a mirror pool that reflects the building beautifully.

Karlskirche, Vienna

Continuing a short distance, we arrived at yet another of Vienna’s architectural gems, the Vienna State Opera.  This magnificent Renaissance Revival building was constructed in 1869 and is one of the world’s leading opera houses and is also home to the State Ballet.

Vienna State Opera
Vienna State Opera

Nor far from there lies Albertina Museum located in the former Habsburg Palace State Rooms.  The galleries hold some of the most important modernist art collections worldwide.

Burggarten,, Vienna
Burggarten, Vienna

Our stroll soon led us into Burggarten Park which boasts a large art nouveau conservatory that is considered to be one of the most beautiful ever built.  The Palmenhaus was built as a summer greenhouse for the emperor and contains a vast collection of plants, palms and a tropical butterfly house.

Burggarten conservatory, Vienna
Burggarten conservatory

It’s also a pleasant place for coffee or lunch as we could see people sitting indoors at tables between the palms whilst others were taking advantage of the good weather outside on the sunny terrace.

Mozart statue, Burggarten, Vienna
Statue of Mozart in Burggarten

The park is most famous for a marble statue of the Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart who composed more than 800 works during his short life of just 35 years.  Beneath the monument is a beautiful treble clef flowerbed which was also lovely to see.  To find the statue, it is located close to the park entrance from the Ringstrasse side.

Hofburg, Vienna
Hofburg, Vienna

Burggarten is attached to the Hofburg (Vienna Imperial Palace) which was the governing centre for the entire Austro-Hungarian monarchy and the seat of Austrian emperors.

Hofburg, Vienna
Carriage ride at the Hofburg

The palace was built in the 13th century and formed the Habsburg court from where the imperial royal family lived, worked and ruled.  Extended over the years it now serves a variety of purposes including the President’s office, the Spanish Riding School and the National Library.

Spanish Riding School, Vienna
The Spanish Riding School at the Hofburg

As we were walking through the palace’s grand archway we caught a glimpse of several of the famous Lipizzaner white stallions belonging to the world famous Spanish Riding School.  The stables surround a large courtyard where the horses can often be seen exercising during the mornings before the famous afternoon dressage performances take place to the sounds of classical music.

Natural History Museum, Vienna
Natural History Museum, Vienna

There were even more magnificent buildings to be seen as nearby on Maria-Theresien Platz stand two palatial buildings both with symmetrical Renaissance Revival facades topped by octagonal domes.  These buildings located directly opposite each other are the Natural History and Art History museums and are both places I’d love to have time to explore on a future visit to the city.

Vienna City Hall
Vienna City Hall

Our stroll then took us past the Volkstheater and onto the Austrian Parliament, the latter undergoing major renovations and hidden from view at the time of our visit.  To its side stands the Rathaus (city hall) constructed in neo-gothic style and housing the office of the Mayor of Vienna and city chambers.

Graben, Vienna
Graben, Vienna

Glancing at our phone map we then decided to make our way to the Mariensaule column in Am Hof square which leads onto Kohlmarkt and Graben, the city’s main shopping streets.  Here, we spent awhile window shopping as it was a Sunday meaning that only cafes and restaurants were open.

St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna
St. Stephen’s Cathedral

The gothic St. Stephen’s Cathedral is located in the heart of this shopping district. With its characteristic spire and intricately patterned roof it is an icon of the city. We had planned to look inside but unfortunately the area around the cathedral was temporarily inaccessible and had been cordoned off by police.  Although this was a disappointment, I’m certain we will be able to return before too long and look inside then.

Mariensaule Vienna
Mariensaule, Vienna

After a lovely day exploring many of Vienna’s landmarks we walked back to the station just in time to catch the train back to Bratislava.  We were both weary and when I glanced at my phone and noticed that we’d walked 23.5k steps I realised why!

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Vienna, Austria



86 thoughts on “Day 3. A walk around Vienna

  1. Stunning architecture. I haven’t been, but I really want to visit one day. Everyone says it’s beautiful and I love that sort of grand architecture. But after seeing what Vienna has to offer I think I would spend multiple days in the city.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. jasonlikestotravel

    Such a beautiful city to walk around, the architecture is stunning. I think I might have clocked up 23.5k too had I had your weather but my 24 hours in Vienna was much more gloomy than yours haha. Hope to go back myself too, a day certainly isn’t long enough!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anonymous

    Lovely photos of Vienna, Marion. What a fabulous city. Another good link with Bratislava is via the Danube. There are regular ferries and it makes for a wonderfully scenic trip.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for your welcome thoughts. Vienna was beautiful and I would like to actually spend a few days there next time to explore the city in more detail. I did notice the Danube boat trips between the two capitals and think that would be lovely to do as well, but we didn’t really have enough time on this occasion.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Lovely to hear from you again Alison. Vienna is absolutely beautiful and somewhere I’d like to return to for a few days. With the help of Google I find using public transport overseas much easier nowadays. Especially buses with working out which stop you need! Hope you are having a good weekend. Are you watching the tennis?


    1. Vienna is truly built on its wealth from the days of the Austrian empire with extraordinarily beautiful architecture at every turn. The mind dies boggle at what Viennese emigrants thought of their initial experiences of Sydney or Melbourne but I’m sure they soon settled in! Are you watching Wimbledon? One of your players seems to have been hitting the headlines for the wrong reasons but now through to the semi final!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Vienna is such a pretty city. Seems like you had fabulous weather for wandering around. Even though you were only visiting for the day, it seems like you covered a lot of ground. It’s too bad you weren’t able to peak inside St. Stephen’s Cathedral as it’s really beautiful. You can also get a nice view of the surrounding area from the towers.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. You had a whirlwind of a time in Vienna! I had no idea that Vienna was just a hop away from Bratislava (despite visiting both places myself), but in any case, you certainly hit the highlights of your time in town– did you also experience the coffee culture? All the same, a great day in the Austrian capital, and with incredible weather, too!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks Rebecca, it was quite a whirlwind day trip and not our usual immersive style but we got a great overview of the city which will tempt us to return for a longer stay at a later date. As it was so hot we just had soft drinks but coffee and sachertorte will definitely take place next time!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes, we would love to go! For whatever reason, I (Kellye) have never paid much attention to Austria – maybe the opening scenes of “Sound of Music”. Your fabulous post and photos certainly opened my eyes to Vienna. The buildings are incredibly beautiful, and what I wouldn’t give to come face to face with a Lipizzaner stallion! Thank you for sharing your travels with us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Vienna must be one of the most beautiful if European cities formed from its wealth as head of the Austrian empire. Hopefully I’ll be able to return sometime for longer than a day and have an opportunity to view the interiors of some of these grand palaces. Thanks so much your taking the time to contribute, it means a lot.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. I’ve never been to Vienna but it sure looks like one of the most beautiful cities in the world; no wonder it was once the capital of the Austrian Empire. Throw in the arts and classical music and you’ll find things to do for several days. I love Vienna’s old city centre which is rich in architectural ensembles and has many Baroque palaces and gardens – reminders of its glorious imperial days at the heart of an empire in the past. Thanks for sharing, Marion and I hope your summer is going well. Take care 🙂 Aiva xx

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Vienna is undoubtedly one of Europe’s most beautiful cities with magnificent buildings at every turn. Hopefully I’ll be able to return at some point and have more time to be able to explore their interiors which I’m certain will be very grand. Thank you for taking the time to comment Aiva, it’s much appreciated.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Oh what incredible architecture everywhere! There is no doubt that Vienna has got to have the most impressive collection of buildings. I can’t even imagine the artistry that is inside when the outside is so beautiful, especially at the Belvedere.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Vienna is such a beautiful city. We were there for 2 days in 1984 and enjoyed many of the same sights, as well as some delicious Sacher torte and Kaffee mit Schlag. Thanks for sharing Marion. Allan

    Liked by 4 people

  10. How nice to hop so quickly from one country to the other … and Vienna seems like the perfect place to pop in for a quick visit! So many beautiful buildings – the Belvedere Palace, Karlskirche church, the State Opera … and so many other buildings! I can easily fall in love with Vienna ❤️. Oh Marion, thank you for showing me some of Vienna’s beauty – it really is a beautiful city!

    Liked by 4 people

  11. You have shown the essence of Vienna. During my visit to the city I was seduced by the Karlskirche, the baroque church preceded by its two Roman columns is particularly charming at sunset when it is reflected in the pool in front.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. I enjoyed this modern refresh of a city I have been to twice, but many many years ago. Plenty of familiar sights and a few new ones too. I didn’t make it to Belvedere (which looks lovely) but rather to Schönbrunn Palace. There’s a lovely deep blue sky in all your photos, which reminds me that my first visit was the greyest, wettest weekend imaginable ha ha. I really like the look of The Spanish Riding School.

    Liked by 5 people

  13. You brought back some lovely memories of my mini-stay in Vienna for seeing in the New Year of 2016. It was cold but no snow. Vienna is such a beautiful city and there is so much to see and do. I got to see a performance of the Spanish Riding School horses – a childhood dream of mine. We attended Sunday mass at St Stephens and visited the Albertina Art Gallery which was wonderful. I adored the coffee culture and the mulled wine on new year’s eve in the centre of the city celebrations. Definitely, worth a second visit!

    Liked by 1 person

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