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3 Day Visit Itinerary - Need Reality Check

Chula Vista...
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3 Day Visit Itinerary - Need Reality Check

Hi Forum

Seeing Vienna has always been a “bucket list” item for years, and I will be there for the first time 3-7 December (I arrive mid-afternoon on Monday, 3 Dec. and depart mid-morning on Friday, 7 Dec.). That means that I’ll have 3 ½ days to get my first taste of Vienna.

My hotel is inside the Kämtner Ring, so I’ll be pretty centrally located.

I was able to get a ticket to the Vienna Boys Choir Advent Concert in the Great Hall of the Musikverein in the afternoon of Tuesday, 4 Dec. I’m sure that both the music and the venue will make it an amazing experience.

I’ve looked through the forums, read the Vienna Guide, and read the 3 Days in Vienna article, and I have a pretty good idea of what I’d like to see and do. I’m not one to try and cram all of Vienna into 3 days; I’d rather spend quality time at fewer attractions or wandering the streets away from the tourists to get a real feel for the town.

So here’s what I’m thinking for an itinerary and would like some feedback on (good, bad, substitutions, other recommendations):

Mon PM – Stephansdom and perhaps the Freyung Christmas market.

Tue AM – Kunsthistorisches Museum

Tue PM – Vienna Boys Choir Concert (Need to be at Musikverein by 3 PM)

Wed – Schönbrunn Palace / Christmas market

Thu AM – Treasury at Hofburg Palace (not sure I should see the palace, too, after having seen Schönbrunn—any thoughts?)

Thu PM - Naschmarkt (I loved Munich’s Viktualienmarkt - thoughts about it?)

One other thing that I may try to squeeze in on Tuesday or Thursday is the morning practice session at the Spanish Riding School (10 AM – 12 PM), but I don’t know that that’s on my “essential” list.

I plan on getting around on foot or using public transport.

That schedule should allow me some time to wander the back streets of Vienna or visit some of the other markets. Are there any neighborhoods that you recommend I explore? Or avoid? (I speak enough German to stay out of—or perhaps get into—trouble.)

Finally, I’ve looked at the websites for the attractions above, and I don’t see any rules about bringing cameras (in a backpack style camera bag) into the palaces or museums, and whether photos are allowed or not. Does anyone have any insight into that? Do bags have to be checked at the entrance? (I know Musikverein prohibits both bags and cameras and the SRS also prohibts photography.)

Thanks in advance for your assistance and guidance.

Vienna, Austria
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1. Re: 3 Day Visit Itinerary - Need Reality Check

You seem to have really done your homework, so I'll just make a few suggestions/comments.

Christmas Markets - You should also try to get to Spittelberg. Many (including myself) rate this one as the best. Freyung is also atmospheric.

Naschmarkt - Definitely see this if you like markets. Make sure to look at the Secession building and the Majolikahaus while you are there.

Palaces - no need to see both the Hofburg and Schonbrunn, in my opinion.

Cafes - make time to visit an iconic cafe or two, such as Central, Demel, Hawelka.

Heurigen - Take tram D one evening to Nussdorf and have dinner at a heurigen there.

Walking around - go to the Frommer's website and have a look at the three walking tours described for Vienna. They are all good and will help you cover some areas off the beaten path.

Places to avoid - Vienna is one of the safest places on the planet. I can't imagine anyone unknowingly getting into trouble.

Have fun.

Chula Vista...
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2. Re: 3 Day Visit Itinerary - Need Reality Check

Thanks for your review and suggestions, C-J.

I was thinking about trying the cafes just for the experience (even though I've had only 3 cups of coffee my entire life). I'm sure I could give Viennese coffee a try on a cold December day (don't have a clue as what to order) or just ask for tea or water. :-)

I was also reading about the Heurigen; those sound interesting as well. And I'll definitely check out the walking tours on Frommer's

I'm getting excited.

Zed

Vienna, Austria
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3. Re: 3 Day Visit Itinerary - Need Reality Check

I don't drink coffee at all - I always order tea or hot chocolate.

Burnley, United...
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4. Re: 3 Day Visit Itinerary - Need Reality Check

No coffee Cherries? And no Sachertorte? You'll be telling me next you hate Wiener Schnitzel, Bratwurst and Stelze! ;-)

Chula Vista...
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5. Re: 3 Day Visit Itinerary - Need Reality Check

Just got back from my trip to Vienna last night.

When I came up from the U-bahn at Stephansdom Platz onto Kartner Strasse, I simply said, "Wow." Vienna at Christmastime was magical with all the decorations.

The weather could have been a little better--gray, overcast, drizzle/snow, and cold--but I didn't let it stop me.

The first night (Monday) I settled into my hotel--Pension Suzanne--and headed out to dinner followed by a stroll around down Kartner Strasse and some of the side streets.

Tuesday morning, I went to the Spanish Riding School to watch the 10 AM practice, which was interesting, but I didn't stay the full two and a half hours.

That afternoon, I went to the Vienna Boys Choir Advent Concert at the Musikverein. The Musikverein was just as I imagined it to be, and the choir gave a great performance. There were three disappointments, however.

First, when the choir master/pianist spoke between songs, she could barely be heard. In fact, twice, audience members yelled out "Sprich lauter!" I'm not sure if there were audio system problems, or if that's just the way it was supposed to be.

Second, there's a rule that there's no photography allowed during the performance, yet just about everyone but me was taking photos. One gentleman seated on the stage actually got up in the middle of a song, walked to within 3-4 meters of the choir, and snapped a photo.

Finally, several audience members seated near me were talking through the performance. Needless to say, those distractions took away from the enjoyment of the choir.

Wednesday, I took the U-bahn out to Schonbrunn and really enjoyed the tour of the palace. I've been to Versailles and they're definitely different. The more understated Schonbrunn was more appealing to me.

I had some Amaretto-Kirsch Punsch at the Christmas market at Schonbrunn and as I was walking back to the U-bahn, I realized that that had a kick to it.

In the evening, I went to the Christmas market at the Rathaus and enjoyed it.

Thursday, I went to the Naschmarkt early in the morning (almost too early, as about half the stands were just opening). Later I went to the Treasury at the Hofburg palace (impressive) and then to the Globe Museum (I stumbled on that on one of the maps I was given--I'm a cartography/geography geek).

Dinner in the evening and then on the train back to Frankfurt Friday morning.

All in all, I had a very enjoyable time in Vienna, and will definitely return (probably in spring or fall).

Burnley, United...
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6. Re: 3 Day Visit Itinerary - Need Reality Check

Glad you enjoyed yourself and thank you sharing your experience with us all.

Columbia, Missouri
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7. Re: 3 Day Visit Itinerary - Need Reality Check

zed, glad you had a good time.

We too are going to Vienna for the first time (in Sept 2013). And we too are staying at Pension Suzanne. We asked for a room overlooking Walfischgasse. How did you like Pension Suzanne?

PROST

Columbia, Missouri
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8. Re: 3 Day Visit Itinerary - Need Reality Check

zed, sorry I asked you BEFORE I saw you posted a review on Pension Suzanne.

Thanks for the review and the pictures. Well done.

We can't wait to see Wien

PROST

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9. Re: 3 Day Visit Itinerary - Need Reality Check

Thanks for the excellent report.

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10. Re: 3 Day Visit Itinerary - Need Reality Check

Zed,

I'll be going to Vienna in May. Can you tell me where you were able to take photos and where you weren't? I've been wondering about several places...

Thanks!