It’s time for a new series on we12travel which we’d like to call the Urban Outdoors. You may not believe it, but occasionally, we do visit a city and ofcourse we always try to see as much as possible … outside! Please don’t put us in a museum (unless it’s about nature, mountaineering, that sort of stuff) or in a gallery. Sure, a good place for coffee or a burger is fine, but still we think that the best way to explore a city is on foot or by bike. Enjoy it the pure way, while breathing in air and feeling the sun (or rain) on your skin. So starting today, we’ll share our favorite urban outdoor activities and sights with you.. first up is Vienna!
Also read: Best hotels for solo travellers in Vienna!
When you are spending a weekend in Vienna with a bunch of cool girlfriends, you know it’s going to be big fun. Selfies, alcohol, shopping, Sachter Torte and more selfies… that sort of stuff… However in just about 2.5 days, I still managed to see a lot, despite the cocktails, food and strolling through all kinds of stores. Here are my fave places for some Urban Outdoor experiences in Austria’s capital.
First, make sure to get your hands on the free map for young travelers, made by locals. A great initative that will tell you exactly where to go and where to stay away from.
The one place to hang out is definitely the Museumplatz. Very contemporary and a lot of space to just sit down, relax, catch up with friends and such things. There’s free wifi, so perfect in case you need to get some work or connecting with home done. It’s spacious, modern yet historical, and not only a great place to hang out, but you will also find various museums there, such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Leopold Museum. There are plenty of creative shops, galleries, bars and restaurants. If you decide to go there, make sure you have no more plans for the rest of the afternoon. After trying the cocktails at MQ Kantine we decided to skip the plans rest for the rest of the day and just stay in their beach chairs, enjoying the sunshine with a glass in our hand and working on our tans… the perfect way to spend some time in Vienna!
OK, well I lied, we did some sightseeing that same afternoon after all. We decided we should at least see something more than the Museumplatz so we went to the famous Hundertwasserhaus, definitely Vienna’s most quirky point of interest. I had been there before back in 2011 but once again, I couldn’t keep my eyes of it. Somehow each time I see it, it reminds me of the Gaudi art in Barcelona. The Hundertwasserhaus is actually a series of apartments designed by the controversial Friedensreich Hundertwasser, who wished to give Vienna some more color and odd shapes. Well, he succeeded because nowadays it’s one of the most visited sights within the city. Definitely make sure to visit this when in Vienna!
The next day it was rainy and cold, such a difference with the day before, when I actually got a sunburn from staying in the sun too long without sun cream. We decided to take the tram and do something out of the box (and out of the city centre), so we went to see the Zentralfriedhof. It’s Europe’s second largest cemetery and has about 330.000 graves with about 3 million deceased. Many famous composers are buried here, such as Mozart and Beethoven, as well as rock musician Falco, whose grave is kind of turned into a fair. With the rain pouring down and the wind blowing us away, it felt like the perfect place to walk around for a bit and feel nostalgic about life… Once you are ready to leave, make sure to eat a Wiener Schnitzel at Concordia Schlössl, directly opposite the cemetary. Their Schnitzels are massive and delicious, the best I’ve had in a long, long time!
After spending the rest of the afternoon in a bar and visiting the Freytag & Berndt Travel bookstore, the weather cleared up again on our third day. So we set off again to get out and breathe some fresh air, this time at the famous Schloss Schönbrunn. Anyone who has seen the Sissi movies (incl. me) wants to see this place and feel the romance of the Austrian royals. Schönbrunn attracts a lot of visitors but if you walk a bit further away from the castle, you may even have some of the surrounding parks for yourself. Yes, even on a Sunday. We decided to take the Hietzing exit of the metro and walk all the way through the park, up to the castle and its endless grounds. Along the way we passed the Palmenhaus and the Japanese garden, before finally reaching the palace itself. When there, make sure to walk all the way up to the Gloriette, from where you have an even better view of it. Along the way, you will also find the famous Neptune Fountain, which is pretty much the centerpiece of the park.
When you make your way down again to catch the metro back from the Schönbrunn stop (are you ready for some crowd wrestling? If not, don’t bother to make it over to the palace and just take the metro back from the same line you were at!) the best option is to walk down through the woods. Here, you will find lots of squirrels. Unfortunately they are fed and there for hard to capture on camera because they are so quick. Here’s the proof of the lousy pictures I took.
Even though my visit to Vienna was rather short and mostly spent catching up with friends I hadn’t seen in a year or so, I still got to see a lot of their urban outdoors. Vienna is an awesome place and I’m sure it has lots more to offer.
See you next time, then from… München!
More reading? You may like these:
– Freytag & Berndt bookstore in Vienna
– Urban Outdoors: Tempelhof Airport in Berlin
– Hiking in Austria: a dayhike in the Zugspitz Arena
– One day in Vienna (blogpost by my Polish friend Kami)
Thanks for sharing!