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How To Embrace The Immeasurable: From Bratislava To Vienna For One Day

How To Embrace The Immeasurable: From Bratislava To Vienna For One Day

Often travelers, having traveled and examined everything interesting in Bratislava, having visited its surroundings, think: there is one more day left - should I go to Vienna?

Take a trip, Travellizy will advise and show you, that although one day is not enough for the Austrian capital, the mission is possible.

 

Vienna housing and public transport

So, you have already spent a day or several in Bratislava, and you have an overnight stay. Or you are just planning your trip. There are enough hotels, hostels, apartments, guest houses in Bratislava - to every budget. It’s from approximately € 10 per bed in a hostel to € 400 per room in a hotel. Even in the center, you can find inexpensive rooms with amenities, including double rooms. Booking.com will help you. If you don't have time to book in advance, it's no big deal. When walking around the city, you can find housing in the very center inexpensively. If you're lucky.

If you are going to use public transport in Bratislava, buy tickets in street vending machines. The cost of one ticket depends on the city zone, in which you need to go, and the duration of the trip: from 15 minutes (70 cents) to one and a half hours (€ 2.1). You can buy a 24-hour pass for € 3.5. On the machines, all tariffs are specified, so buying a ticket is easy. In transport, it needs to be stamped.

 

How to get from Bratislava to Vienna

It is better to get up and leave early, if you want to embrace the immeasurable. It will take about an hour to get from the capital to the capital.

Trains and buses from Bratislava to Vienna and back run from early morning to late evening hourly.

A round trip by train (https://www.zssk.sk/en/) will cost € 14, if you immediately buy round-trip tickets. A one-way bus ride costs around € 5, but if you have time to plan your trip in advance, you can find bus tickets for € 1. There is plenty of carrier companies (https://online.slovaklines.sk/, https://global.flixbus.com/, https://bustickets.regiojet.com/ etc.).

Another option to travel from Bratislava to Vienna is along the Danube. Moorings are located near the Old Town. A one-way river trip (https://www.twincityliner.com/en/) will cost € 30-35. It is cheaper for children under 11 years old, and more expensive for those who wish to sit on the captain's deck. From April to October, boats run 4 times a day, the journey time in one direction is about an hour and a half. The winter schedule differs a lot, as it's not the season.

Buses depart from Bratislava from the Nový Most bus station. You can find all the stops on the sites of carriers.

The train leaves Bratislava from the Central Station (Bratislava hlavna stanica) and arrives at the Vienna Central Railway Station (Wien Hauptbahnhof). Abbreviation is Wien Hbf.

 

If you didn’t have enough time to download a guide to Vienna, take guides and brochures in the tourist information office (there are several in the city, including the train station). It's free. The staff speak English and will explain how to take the metro to the center of the Austrian capital. The metro station is located in the station building, however, it is still necessary to reach it. A metro ticket costs € 2.40 (1.20 - for children). There are three stops on the U1 line to the Stephansplatz in the center.

 

St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna

Get out at the Stephansplatz station, go up the stairs from the underground dungeon, and your eyes will widen involuntarily, so that your hand will reach for the camera. The symbol of Vienna and the national symbol of Austria, the Catholic Cathedral of St. Stephen (Stephansdom), rises above you. It occupies almost the entire area. In Stephansdom are the tombs of King Frederick III, commander Eugene of Savoy, Duke Rudolph IV, 72 members of the Habsburg dynasty. Here the composers Mozart and Haydn were married, here Vivaldi was buried.

Entrance to the cathedral is free, but if you want to view its central part and the treasury, you need to buy a ticket. A 40-minute tour with an audio guide in one of 23 languages costs € 6 (2.50 - for children of 6-14 years old). In order to get into the catacombs, you have to buy another ticket.

In the evenings, concerts are held in the Cathedral. Here is the schedule: http://www.stephanskirche.at/concerts.php

On this square, there are the Archbishop's Palace and the Cathedral Museum (Dommuseum). Art pieces from the early Middle Ages to the present day are kept here. These are ancient Gothic altars, various church utensils, luxurious robes of archbishops, unique manuscripts of church hymns, preserved from the Middle Ages. Among the exhibits are valuable works from the Mainz Cathedral and other churches in Vienna and Lower Austria.

In the halls of contemporary art, there are the works of expressionist artists of the early XX century, including Gustav Klimt and Marc Chagall, as well as avant-garde artists of the mid XX century.

The Haas House (Haas-Haus)) is a building on the neighboring Stephansplatz, very unusual for the surrounding architecture. At the end of the last century, this modern building in the postmodern style caused a lot of controversy among the crowns about its relevance in the area. And now, tourists are happy to photograph the Stephansdom towers displayed in its mirrored curved facade.

 

How to get around Vienna

Many hiking trails start at St. Stephen's Square. You will even be offered to ride a fiacre around the center. True, you won't feel a complete immersion in the Habsburg era, as you will be overtaken by buses, taxis, and numerous tourists cross the road. But, if you decide to ride in a carriage (four adults maximum) pulled by a pair of horses, get ready to pay € 55 for a 20-minute ride, € 80 for 40 minutes of riding, an hour of exploring the city will cost you € 110. Price is indicated per carriage.

How to spend this single day in Vienna, if you want to see as much as possible? If you are not a fan of walking, take the Hop On Hop Off tourist bus, take one of the six offered routes, get out, watch and go on the next bus to see the sights. A 24-hour ticket costs € 27. The bus has free Wi-Fi and an audio guide in 16 languages..

Or explore the city by riding on a yellow tourist tram called Vienna Ring Tram. In 25 minutes for € 12, it will take you along the Ringstrasse, a ring street encircling the city center, past many Vienna sights: the State Opera, the Hofburg, the Parliament, the Town Hall, the Burgtheater, the Kunsthistorisches Museum. An audio guide in eight languages tells what you see.

If you intend to use public transport, want to get discounts in museums or cafes, check out some useful sites: https://www.wienerlinien.at/eportal3/,

https://www.wien.info/en/travel-info/vienna-city-card

But in order to absorb the atmosphere of the city, you need to follow your intuition and worldview and go where your feet (or the map) lead. At every step, you will come across palaces, museums, monuments, parks.

 

The Hofburg - winter residence of the monarchs in Vienna

Would you like to see how the Habsburgs used to live - one of the most powerful royal dynasties in Europe, which ruled for nearly a thousand years? Then you should visit Hofburg, the winter residence of the monarchs and the main seat of the imperial court in Vienna. Nowadays, there are numerous museums here, as well as the Spanish Riding School, the official residence of the Federal President of Austria, the congress center, squares and monuments. A few days are not enough to visit all the buildings of the residence. Therefore you should act by intuition. And it will tell you: look for treasures!

The crown of the Holy Roman Empire, the Austrian Imperial Crown, the Holy Spear of Destiny, the Imperial Cross, a giant narwhal tooth, which was thought to be the horn of a unicorn, one of the largest emeralds in the world, embroidered with gold mantles of Austrian rulers, the cradle of Napoleon’s son - all these and many other secular and spiritual exhibits are kept in the Imperial Treasury. You will find it in the Swiss Court Of Hofburg Palace. A ticket to the museum costs € 12, children and youth under 19 years old can enter for free. You must pay € 5 for an audio guide. Here is the schedule: (https://www.kaiserliche-schatzkammer.at/en/)

 

The Albertina Museum in Vienna

How to describe the Albertina Gallery (https://www.albertina.at/lang/ru/) – 

is it an art museum in a palace or a palace in an art museum? Both answers are correct. Albertina is the former palace of the Habsburg dynasty, in which 20 halls are open for visitors. And at the same time, it is a museum with the collection of works by Dürer, Van Gogh, Raphael, Rubens, Cezanne, Klimt, Monet, Picasso, Degas, Renoir, Beckmann, Chagall, Malevich. It presents one of the largest collections of graphics in the world - more than a million works of printed graphics and sixty thousand drawings. The museum is open daily from 10.00 to 18.00, on Wednesdays and Fridays - from 10.00 to 21.00. An adult ticket costs € 17.90. There are discounts for different age groups and holders of Vienna City Card, and for visitors under 19 years old, admission is free. You can buy tickets online. By paying another 4 euros, you will be able to listen to the audio guide.

The Belvedere in Vienna: ticket prices

 

It's a Baroque palace and park complex. Once upon a time, Prince Eugene of Savoy, one of the great commanders of his time used to live here, then Maria Theresa, Archduchess of Austria. Now in both palaces, there is an Austrian gallery - an art museum, the collection of which contains paintings from the Middle Ages and Baroque to the present day. The main exposition is dedicated to Austrian artists. An adult ticket to the Upper Belvedere costs € 16, to the Lower Belvedere and the Greenhouse - € 14. If you buy a combined Klimt Ticket for € 22, you will be able to visit both of the palace complexes. Tickets are sold online on the museum's website. (https://www.belvedere.at/en).

You can walk through the park and admire the palace for free. True, fountains do not work in winter.

Vienna and music

All Vienna "sounds." Music is in the air, in stones, in the streets. Opera house, houses where great composers were born or lived, a cemetery where music classics are buried, museums dedicated to music, shops selling violins and pianos, street musicians performing Mozart.

Vienna State Opera: tips before attending the Vienna Ball

The ticket price for some performances at the Vienna State Opera can be compared with the price of an Austrian Airlines ticket. And if you go to the theater's website (https://www.wiener-staatsoper.at/en/), you will see that tickets for many performances have been already sold out. You can also get to the theater for less money by buying a standing ticket from € 2 to 8. But to get it you need to come to the box office in an hour or two. By the way, a standing ticket can also be in the front row of the stalls.

If you won’t be able to go to a play, go on an excursion to the theater. Tickets cost 9 euros. And then walk through the Music Mile Vienna (Musik Meile Wien). It stretches from the Theater an der Wien to St. Stephen's Square. The stars mounted on the sidewalk immortalized the names of famous musicians who lived or performed in Vienna. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Richard Strauss, Gustave Mahler, Giuseppe Verdi, Johannes Brahms, Herbert von Karajan.

Once a year, the theater turns into the most important ballroom in the world. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and hosts the Vienna Opera Ball. In 2020, the ball will be held on February 20. All tickets for it have long been sold out.

Vienna City Hall: what to see

The building hosts meetings of the Landtag (parliament of the land) and the municipality, there are the services of the city mayor here. In the City Hall itself, there are more than one and a half thousand rooms, seven courtyards, two libraries and two archives.

Mass events are held on the square in front of the City Hall (http://www.wiener-rathausplatz.at/programm.html), as well as inside of it - about eight hundred a year, including concerts, film festivals, balls, carnivals, holidays, Christmas markets.

In winter, the square turns into a giant ice rink with music and festive illumination.

Hundertwasserhaus: a must-see place in Vienna

It might happen, that while walking around the city, your feet will lead you to the Hundertwasserhaus. One of the most interesting buildings in Vienna is named for the Austrian architect who conceived and created this masterpiece: with wavy floors, a multi-colored facade, ceramic tile patterns, with terraces and a roof on which trees and shrubs grow, with tree branches stretching outward from inside the rooms.

Residents of the house have the right to decorate the facade around the windows to their taste. You will not be allowed inside, but there is a coffee shop called Kunst und Café on the ground floor. Absolutely for free, you can watch a movie, in which Hundertwasser accompanies viewers around the house.

It was built in 1985 and belongs to the city, its apartments are for rent. A few blocks from the house, there is the Hundertwasser Museum, which contains the world's largest collection of works by an outstanding Austrian artist.

Museums in Vienna: what to visit

There are at least one hundred museums in Vienna. Some of them are very famous, others are not quite ordinary.

The Kunsthistorisches Museum is one of the largest art museums in the world. It presents masterpieces of Western art, including paintings by Raphael, Velazquez, Titian, Tintoretto, Vermeer, Rubens, Rembrandt, Dürer. The museum houses the world's largest collection of Brueghel paintings. There are collections dedicated to the ancient world, the art of Ancient Egypt and the East.

The Natural History Museum Vienna (Naturhistorisches Museum Wien) and its exhibits introduce the history of life on earth.There is everything here: skeletons and remains of giant ancient animals, various “saurus”, the largest and oldest collection of meteorites in the world, archaeological finds from the Paleolithic period, among which are the Venus of Willendorf, an 11 cm sculpture of 29.5 thousand years old. In a digital planetarium, you can take a virtual journey along the Milky Way or the rings of Saturn.

The Papyrus Museum has a collection of 180 thousand documents illustrating the three millennia of ancient Egyptian history. This is the largest collection in the world of papyrology. There are documents in Arabic, Greek and Coptic languages... A manuscript fragment of the score of the Eurypides tragedy “Orestes” is considered to be the most valuable exhibit.

The House of Music (Haus der Musik) is an interactive museum dedicated to music and sounds. You can not only hear music here, but also see, feel and create sounds and tones on your own.

The Museumsquartier is a cultural space with various galleries and museums dedicated to contemporary art.

The Vienna Technical Museum (das Technische Museum Wien) is a technology museum located near the Schönbrunn complex. Unique exhibits from the history of industry and technology, functioning models of railway transport, shipbuilding, and aviation are kept here. The museum houses one of Austria's largest collections of historical musical instruments.

The Children's Museum (ZOOM Kindermuseum) has 4 separate zones for different age groups: from 8 months to 14 years. There are gaming and media platforms, interactive areas. In the museum, kids play motor and social skills in a playful way, while older children study their bodies, fight bacteria and viruses in the snot laboratory, and examine the digestive system from the inside. They learn self-expression and reveal their creative potential, experiment with animation, sound and create cartoons, that are kept in the museum’s digital archive.

The Haus des Meeres - Austria's largest aquarium. You can see here tropical and Mediterranean fish, blacktip, gray, hammerhead, baleen and Asian cat sharks, stingrays, sea turtles, lizards, poisonous and giant snakes, tarantulas and leaf-cutting ants. And there are cave fish without eyes, scorpions, ominously glowing under ultraviolet light and crocodiles.

In the Chocolate Museum, you will be told and showed, which way cocoa beans pass, before they turn into world-famous chocolates. You will be invited to a tasting or offer a workshop "Drawing with Chocolate".

The Fool's Tower (Narrenturm) once housed a psychiatric hospital, it is a pathological anatomy museum now.

The Funeral Museum (Bestattungsmuseum Wien) introduces to you funeral customs, funeral rites, the Viennese view of death and burial. There are even exhibits such as a reusable coffin created by Emperor Joseph II in 1784 or a lace with a bell to prevent premature burial.The museum is located at the Vienna Central Cemetery (Zentralfriedhof), where famous people are buried.

Vienna Central Cemetery (Wiener Zentralfriedhof)

One of the largest in Europe, it is located in the southern part of the city - Simmering District. You can get there by tram 71 from Schwarzenbergplatz.

The composers Beethoven, Brahms, Gluck, Schubert, Salieri, Zuppe, Strauss-father, Strauss-son rest on the Wiener Zentralfriedhof. Austrian presidents, writers, architects, scientists, actors and athletes, famous in the country and abroad, are buried here. By the way, you can go around the most famous graves on the fiacre (in April - October). A half-hour acquaintance with the city of the dead will cost € 50 per carriage, hourly - € 80.As for Mozart, his monument was erected in the Central Cemetery, while he himself rests in the St. Mark's cemetery.

Schönbrunn in Vienna: how to visit the palace

This palace complex housed the summer residence of the Habsburg family. The future emperor Franz Joseph I was born here. In the Mirror Hall, six-year-old Mozart played for Maria Theresa and her family. Napoleon sat in the Lacquer Room. In the Blue Chinese Salon, Emperor Charles I abdicated the throne in writing.

Of the nearly one and a half thousand halls of the palace, forty are open to visitors: imperial apartments, valet rooms, halls for ceremonies and balls, galleries, classrooms, dining rooms, a billiard room, a nursery, a chapel. You can see luxury and grandeur around: gilding, paintings, murals, mirrors.

The French park surrounding the palace is decorated with sculptures of mythological characters and the Neptune Fountain.In the park, there is the Palm Orangery and Tiergarten Schönbrunn, the oldest zoo in Europe. Adult ticket to the zoo costs 18.5 euros, children under 6 years old can enter free of charge. A combined ticket to the greenhouse and the zoo will cost 24.5 euros. More than 500 species of animals live in enclosures in conditions close to natural.

Before visiting the zoo, look at the time of feeding the animals on the web site - you might be lucky to see, how fish on a coral reef, red piranhas or orangutans are fed. You will find out what King Penguin, African elephant, Amur tiger, polar bear eat for lunch. Check out the menu for the southern sea lion, jaguar, and vulture.

The palace is open all year round. In order not to stand in line for several hours (sometimes it happens), order a ticket online on Schonbrunn’s website  (https://www.imperialtickets.com/en?_locale=en).

An adult entrance ticket to the palace costs € 20. But you can buy a Sisi Ticket for € 34 and see not only the Palace, but also the Sisi Museum (Empress Elizabeth used to be called that name), the Imperial chambers, the Silver collection in Hofburg and the Vienna Imperial furniture collection.

Relax and have a bite in Vienna

When your feet get tired, and the enthusiasm rolls over, you just need to relax for at least half an hour. For example, you can listen to the sound of the capital on the lawn near the Town Hall. Or you can try Viennese sausages near St. Stephen's Cathedral.

You can sit at a table in one of the cult cafes, such as Sacher, Central or Demel to try Viennese treat suggestions: Sacher cake, apple strudel, traditional kaiserschmarrn or candied violet petals, Empress Sisi's favorite dessert. The queues to these establishments are embarrassing, so come here later, when the performance begins at the Vienna Opera.

If sweets, even imperial ones, are not your thing, go to any cafe you like and order a classic Austrian schnitzel or a hearty goulash soup.

The cheapest way to have a bite is to buy pastries and tea or coffee in one of the bakeries on the subway. Everything is fresh, baked on the spot. It will cost about € 5-6.

How much money to take to Vienna

 

How much you spend in Vienna in one day is up to you. You can limit yourself to a metro ticket from the station and back (€ 4.80), absorb the city, following your own route, listen to the opera on the bench in front of the theater, where the performance is broadcast on the big screen (though only in April, May, June and September) and, almost exhausted, eat in the park an apple and a sandwich taken on the road.

Or you can spend a hundred euros or more, if you take the Hop On Hop Off sightseeing bus (€ 27) or the sightseeing tram (€ 12), ride the Vienna streets on a fiacre (from € 40 to 110), and visit several museums (an adult ticket costs € 10-20 on average), dine in a Vienna cafe (the check depends on your appetite), attend a performance at the Vienna Opera (from € 2 to 260). Many more temptations in this city can meet you in one day! True, a few days may be not enough for such a plan. But who does not dream, does not get acquainted with Vienna.

 

PS

If you want return to Bratislava by train, keep in mind, that the Vienna Station is huge, there are many levels and platforms, you will have to go or run for a long time. And do not forget that the last train to the capital leaves at about one in the morning. However, you might decide to spend the night in Vienna ...