Wiener Weekender

Some friends of mine were asking me about the best way to see Vienna as a tourist. How to find something ‘other than classical music and Schnitzel’.  Slightly outraged on my adopted city’s behalf, I replied that there is a huge variety to Vienna, you just need to know where to look! So, to prove the many wonders of this incredible city, I devised a plan for a  Weekend in Wien….

Right, it’s summer, you’ve had a long overnight journey and the last remaining days of sunshine are calling you to the water – but you’re traveling, you need see the city too! The perfect solution to this dilemma? Krapfenwaldbad:

Krapfenwaldbad

Beautiful people guaranteed to be in attendance

Krapfenwaldbad has incredible views over the city of Vienna, being perfectly placed near the top of the Kahlenberg Mountain. There are multiple swimming pools, the main one being nicely deep & cold for swimming . Don’t expect anyone to be doing laps though, this is serious ‘see and be seen’ territory for the young trendy locals. It’s also relaxed enough that you can while away the day in relative peace. There’s an on-site cafe & bar too, so any and all your chill out needs are attended to. Plus, did I mention the crazy awesome views?

DSC01473

Pool Views

That’s all of Vienna at your feet!

Ok, now that you’re relaxed after a day spent poolside, let the tourist activities begin! First, there’s some really excellent gardens to spend a morning roaming around….

Gloriette & Gardens

That little building up top is a Gloriette, where Emperor’s have breakfast – ‘cos being an Emperor is kickarse!

…which are conveniently attached to the glorious Schönbrunn Palace. Schönbrunn was the Habsburg’s Summer Palace, which, when you see the size of it, tells you just how awesome it was to be Royalty in the Golden Age. The best Apple Strudel & Iced coffee in Vienna can be had in the cafe to the left of the entrance – trust me I have done thorough research on this.

Once Schönbrunn has been conquered, you may find yourself in need of a drink, or just  a change of location for further drinks- based activities. The über cool Donaukanal is the perfect location. Wander down the canal steps from the city centre and you’ll find brilliant street art, a huge choice of bars, pop-up shacks selling different food & drink, all nestled beside the gorgeous Danube Canal.

Donaukanal

‘Beach’ Bars – bit different to beaches back home!!

Pineapple Street Art

Danube Street Art

Wicked street art along the Kanal paths

Once you’ve satisfied your inner hipster with a few riverside drinks, I’d round out the day at the the historic Prater Park. Prater is a huge nature reserve and set amongst this leafy gloriousness  is Vienna’s famous amusement park,  home to the worlds oldest Ferris Wheel, built in 1897:

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With some slightly younger specimens in front of it.

The park itself has been set up with adults in mind as much as children.  Along with loads of awesome rides, there’s gigantic Beer Gardens to meet all your Beer & Pork Knuckle desires.  There’s also adult games like  Bowling, Mini-Golf, Clubs if you’re very keen  and terrifying rides for thrill seekers:

File:Prater Turm 01 .jpg

Fear. Pure and simple. 

That up there is the Prater Turm, which I absolutely refused to go on, right up until I was strapped in. It was at once terrifying and beautiful – at 117m, this is the world’s highest flying swing. The pay-off you get for braving it is stunning views over all of Vienna. It only gets nauseating on the way down, when, near the bottom, they speed up the pace of the chairs swinging in circles. But if you can stand that for 2 minutes, the view is well worth it!

Prater Turm

Super cute old fashioned token to ride!

After all that adrenelin, rounding out the day with a sugar hit is highly reccommended.

sugarrr

Fairy floss and chocolate fruit on a stick = heaven.

Exhausted yet?? Well stay tuned…part two of your awesome Weekend in Wien will be posted next!

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20 comments

  1. Georg

    I just came across this blog and I have to say it’s awesome to see my city as experienced by a “foreigner”. I did the opposite thing and left Vienna a while ago and this blog makes me really home sick. You never know what you got until……
    I find it very interesting how you perceive the city. The Krapfenwaldbad is for most people in Vienna considered as something where the snobs and rich people go. I would never ever go there. It’s frowned upon by the normal folk. It’s something for the ‘better’ people, who drive expensive cars and live in the mansions nearby. No thanks.
    Also I find it interesting that you consider the graffiti at the Donaukanal as art. Viennese actually consider it as a ‘Schandfleck’ a shameful, ugly place, because of that ugly graffiti. We really don’t consider it as art, it’s really the opposite. I guess Viennese are as you said very much for being tidy and it really offends us when people just go along and paint random stuff on clean walls. I mean I do see the art in it, for example that big painting with the guy throwing a pine apple. But not like this, not with a bunch of sprayer tags and other ugly graffiti. And not on nice old walls like that.
    Anyhow.
    Your post about the Wachau really did it for me. I really never paid attention to the beauty of the country, now I really wish I had.
    If you ever go back to Australia, you should do the same, look at your country with the eyes of a tourist and appreciate the things you took for granted!
    Oh and your post about the 28 things, yup, just yup. So true, everyone of them.
    Don’t ever stop blogging, I love it 🙂
    Best wishes from Canada!

    • carlyhulls

      Thank you so much for the kind words Georg, I really appreciate it. I guess coming from Melbourne street art has a different meaning for us – my ‘hometown’ has a different attitude to graffiti, but I think that’s what makes it so interesting to see in such a clean, classical city as Vienna!! I did see a lot of uh, ‘trendy’ people at Krapfenwaldbad too hahaha I think its maybe somewhere you go to a few times but not every weekend 😉 I’m glad the blog can help you feel a bit closer to home and really appreciate you reading. It definitely takes an ‘outside eye’ to appreciate the beautiful things of your own country so I’m glad I can help. I hope you’re enjoying your expat life in chilly Canada!

  2. nikkibausch

    I have been to Prater Stern so many times because the Student agency bus stop is right across the street from it, and when I used to come from Czech Republic to do photo shoots with my friend for his photobook, that’d be where the bus dropped me off. However, I still remember fondly the first time I ever went to Prater 2 years before when I was a rotary exchange student and visiting Rotary friends in Vienna. We went at night, which was visually awesome. I think Prater is best experienced at night.

  3. Pingback: Weekend in Wien…pt 2 | Austrian Adaptation
  4. Carolyn

    I would have been outraged on Vienna’s behalf too – I’ll sincerely be asking for all Classical Music touristy things and Schnitzel’s work for me also 🙂 (Jaron will be all over the Iced Coffees like white on rice!)

  5. Chasing the Donkey (@chaseTHEdonkey)

    Hello from a fellow GGI, and Aussie expat. I loved reading this! isn’t it funny how all of the beaches in Europe are so different compared to home. I am still getting used to the rocks beneath my feet and not the soft (albiet boily hot) sand.

    • carlyhulls

      I think that’s one of my biggest summer ‘challenges’!! And sunbaking with stones beneath you isn’t quite the same….but using the bannana lounges instead is a nice soloution hahaha 🙂 Thanks for reading and adding the blog!

  6. Martin Sauseng

    I like your postings about Austria (Vienna) – don’t mix the 2 up, they are very different – very much. What is missing is something about Italian ice cream in Vienna. If you need some advice, I think I am an expert.

  7. somitphotography

    I’m really happy to see someone blogging about “my city” in such personal way, far off the usual tourist spots … giving even me as a local a new view of the city .. keep it up!!! and thank you! 😉

  8. Martin Kaltenbrunner

    I´ve been several times to the places you tell about. It´s really refreshing to see those spots through the eyes of a “newbie”! Love the stories!

  9. Elizabeth Neuwelt

    Krapfenwaldl is cool, but I would skip Prater which is quite run down, full of greasy food…
    Anyhow, you make my heart ache for Vienna…living in the sterile US..

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