How Long: 4 nights
I stayed at Hostel Ruthensteiner Vienna while I was here. The hostel itself is great. Tons of fun people, and there’s a bar within the hostel. There’s a guest kitchen and a 4.5 euro breakfast option. Good security lockers in the room and comfy beds. However, unfortunately it is fairly far from the city center so it takes 40 minutes to get anywhere (walking). I just find that I prefer to be able to walk right from the hostel to where I want to go without using public transit.
Where to Eat:
I ate a delicious traditional Polish dish at a restaurant called Mozart’s Restaurant. It was almost like pasta/dumpling combo with scrambled eggs. Sounds weird, but it was awesome. Otherwise, I chose to buy groceries and cook in the community kitchen with some friends I made.
What to do:
I visited the Easter markets here as well, but they weren’t as fun as the ones in Krakow I found. I also did a free walking tour with some friends, where we saw some of the old government buildings and some cool churches. I also met two other Americans staying at my hostel and ended up going out on a pub crawl with them which was fun!
Unfortunately the next day it rained and even hailed a bit. I chose to spend the day inside and catch up on reading, writing, and editing some videos. While it was nice to have a relaxing day, it meant that I did not get to see the palace or the gardens which I have heard are amazing.
On my last day in Vienna I did a day trip to Bratislava, which is the capital of Slovakia. I took a 5 euro bus ride there in the morning, early enough to catch the free walking tour. I really enjoyed learning about this tiny country that most American’s probably don’t know much about if they have even heard of it. Bratislava looks like it was torn out of the pages of a fairytale. In fact, the famous fairytale writer from Denmark, Hans Christian Andersen, spent time here. He famously said to the citizens of Bratislava, “If you want a fairy tale, look at your city.”
We walked around most of the city in about 2.5 hours, as the city is fairly small. We saw the grand castle (although technically a fortress), a blue Church, and adorable cobblestone streets. I learned that Vienna and Bratislava are the two closest capitals in all of Europe, at just 34 miles apart. After spending just 5 hours in this city, I wish I had spent a few days here instead of staying in Vienna. Definitely don’t skip visiting Bratislava, even if it just for a day from Vienna or Budapest.
Vienna did not wow me. I am not exactly sure why, but overall it was not my favorite. The city is huge and I have learned that I tend to prefer more manageable cities. It’s also more expensive than some of the other cities I am visiting right now. I wish I had stayed in Bratislava and done a day trip to Vienna, instead of the other way around. I can certainly see why so many people love Vienna (amazing food, beautiful architecture, top-notch museums) but I just don’t think it’s for me.