Here is the new part of our series: “What to do in Vienna throughout the seasons”. After having already talked to you about summer in Vienna, autumn in Vienna and winter in Vienna, now it is time for spring in Vienna. Well I have to admit that for now spring we haven’t seen it too much yet… Since our days are still punctuated by small snowflakes and this icy little wind that freezes you to your toes… But here we are, just because we still haven’t put away the down jackets doesn’t mean we can’t get ready for the months to come!
When the sun comes back, Vienna is really a city that offers many possibilities of activities, whether it is outdoors or indoor activities for the greyer days.
Getting to ViennaThere are also many flights arriving in Vienna from most European cities. In order to find the best price, we recommend that you compare rates from your city on Skyscanner.
But as you certainly know, flying is not very environmentally friendly, so if you can, using the train or the bus could be an option
If you are looking for information about Flixbus or the interflix pass, check out this article.
Visit Schönbrunn and walk in its park
Let’s start with one of the most classic tours of Vienna, the visit of Schönbrunn Palace. Of the more than 1400 rooms in the castle, 42 have been opened to the public. The castle is best known for having been the summer residence of Emperor Francis Joseph I and his wife, the famous Empress Sissi.
Beyond the castle, which can be visited all year round, I particularly recommend spring to stroll through the sumptuous park and gardens of the castle! At the end of winter, when the first buds start to bloom and the statues, packed for winter, start showing off their faces again, the walk along the flowered paths is really superb! Moreover, I strongly advise you to climb to the top of the Gloriette in order to enjoy the panoramic view of the gardens, the castle and the city of Vienna.
If you wish to do activities in Vienna such as museum visits or tours, we recommend that you book your tickets via the internet in order to benefit from the best prices (and also avoid queues) 😉 To find activities, we recommend that you take a look at the site GetyourGuide. In total, they have more than 200 activities and visits in and around the city of ViennaSee the activities on GetyourGuide
Vienna Opera House with sausage as a starter
The city of Vienna has many attractions, but one of the main ones is probably music! Indeed, the Austrian capital is probably the paradise on earth for lovers of classical music as well as opera. There are many concert halls, but the most famous and majestic one is most probably the Staatsoper! Located a stone’s throw from Saint Charles Square, this 1869 building is definitely a masterpiece of the city’s historical heritage.
If you come to visit Vienna I guarantee you that it would be a shame to miss its visit! However, let’s be honest, tickets to an opera are sold at a golden price. Generally they vary between 50 and 250€ for correct seats… But if you can afford it it will certainly be an unforgettable experience for you!
Our visit of the Vienna opera house
Indeed, during an evening at the opera, be prepared to see all classes and genders mixed! I was quite amused to see ladies in big dresses with white gloves, hats and little twins, but also tourists in jeans and sneakers wearing a rather dubious T-shirt! Yes yes yes I know I’m a bit hard to put the jean guy in the tourist class right away, but that’s the case! Besides, if I think about it, I don’t really plan to wear super glamorous outfits in my backpack for the world tour, so if I ever attend a classy event I’ll probably be like that… Ouch!
Anyway, whatever your style of clothing, an appointment not to be missed if you go to the opera is the sausage stall in front of the entrance!
Now you’re probably wondering if I’m crazy!
But no, I promise you that this is an old and well established tradition: before the opera it is advisable to eat a “Wurst mit Kern” (meaning sausage and horseradish)… Bon appétit ! 😉
Visit the Vienna opera house
Otherwise, a good plan for those who do not want to spend so much to attend an opera but who still want to discover a little bit of the magic of the place, it should be noted that there are tours organized in the late morning. These tours will take you to the heart of the opera house and behind the scenes. It’s really a great way to discover this magical place! And even to have the chance to go for a walk in the musicians’ pit! The guided tour is available in 7 languages and costs €6.5. On the other hand, the times and dates of the tours are variable, so remember to check the availability on their website
Where to stay in Vienna
Accommodation in Vienna is unfortunately relatively expensive… But don’t worry, there are still some good alternatives, especially in terms of youth hostels.
- If you prefer to choose a hotel or hostel, we recommend that you visit the website of Hotelscombined. It is a search engine that allows you to compare several major booking sites such as Booking, Agoda, Expedia and many others. In short, the guarantee of the best price!
- Youth hostel does not necessarily mean dormitory… In Vienna many hostels offer double rooms with private bathrooms, in short it is like in a hotel but cheaper! Our advice: Have a look on Hostelworld and look for accommodation thanks to the map option, everything that is close to the centre and Mariahilf will be an ideal location to discover the city on foot! My little favorites? Wombats city hostel, Wombats city Lounge, Ruthensteiner
- The alternative? Airbnb. In Vienna there are hundreds of holiday homes. The prices are clearly not cheap, but it can still be advantageous to have an apartment compared to a hotel room because you can save a lot on restaurants. During our last stay in August 2019 we chose this apartement and we were really happy about it.
If you’d rather choose your accomodation based on location you can take a look on the map below. You’ll see all available airbnb and hotels for your desired dates / price range:
Tour of the Prater Ferris wheel
There’s nothing like taking a little height to admire a city! And if you want to do it in an atypical and old setting then think about taking a Ferris wheel ride in the Prater Park! Personally, I’ve always loved this place. This old-fashioned amusement park looks like a ghost village straight out of an old movie! 🙂
A word of advice: try to go in the morning to get fewer people. Or if you have patience for queues then a walk at the end of the day with evening lights is really a must too!
Every year the beginning of spring also marks the season of the greatest marathons in Europe. Vienna is no exception to the rule, and also offers its marathon over a classic distance of 42.195km. Last year Benoit was motivated to run the half marathon. But who knows what idea he had in mind, but this year he will be embarking for the first time on a full marathon… A matter to be continued!
Personally, I must admit that the idea did not even cross my mind. On the other hand, I will also participate, but on my own scale 😉
Yes, I participate in the “team” marathon. It is therefore with 3 friends that I will start the race. This will take place as a relay, and the four of us will run a full marathon!
Vienna Marathon: the route
I’ll let you admire the route! But honestly for people who love running the Marathon it is definitely a great way to discover the city’s most beautiful neighborhoods. The start is given on the island of the Danube, then cross the Prater Park in all its length, followed by a lightning passage to Saint Charles Square. Then the race takes the runners past Schönbrunn Palace and up Mariahilferstrasse (it’s shopping street… it won’t be for this time) to reach the famous Ring. Passing in front of the Rathaus, Schottentor and then followed by the Danube to go back to the Prater, then the last straight line leads the runners past the magnificent Vienna Opera House before the finish which takes place in the courtyard of Hofburg Castle… Pfiou…
Even passing through all these places in one day is not easy for a typical tourist if he takes the metro, so I don’t explain you what it will be like on April 14… Personally, my section will make me “only” go from Schönbrunn to Schottentor. But for me, it’s already enough!
To give you some figures, the Vienna Marathon has nearly 41,000 participants. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the biggest marathon in Austria! I promise we’ll give you some news after the race! All that remains is to cross your fingers so that the temperatures rise a little bit from here to in 10 days…
Visit of the aquarium
One activity that will surely seduce adults and children alike is a visit to the Vienna Aquarium. Just a few steps from the city center, stands one of the Flakturm of the city of Vienna, which has been transformed into a space for discovering the marine world since 1957.
Originally, Flakturm towers were built during the Second World War. They were used to defend the city’s airspace against Allied air raids.
The special history of this site allows visitors to enjoy a breathtaking view of the city from the observation platform on the 11th floor.
The exhibition is spread over 8 floors and features many species. In addition to the “classics” of fish, sharks, turtles, snakes and spiders, the exhibition also has a large verandah transformed into a small tropical paradise that shelters superb colourful birds as well as small monkeys that walk freely among visitors.
For the entrance fee, count 14€ for an adult and between 4€ and 6€ for children (depending on age).
The Spanish Horseback Riding School
One of the particularities of Vienna is also its horses! So even if I’m not the biggest fan of holding horses in the city and using them mainly to pull carriages, I’m forced to admit that when you walk around the city center and hear in the distance the sound of a carriage approaching it has a certain charm…
But the horses I’m going to talk about today are not the same as those who find themselves pulling tourists in need of a vintage feeling… No, the horses at the riding school are all magnificent Lipizzan stallions perfectly trained and trained to walk and almost dance to the sound of music.
I’m probably not the best person to tell you about the subtleties of dressage work because the equestrian field is not too much of a hobby of mine… But on the other hand, one of my best friends, who is a great horseback riding enthusiast, came to visit me and she was literally overwhelmed by the quality of the show!
Why do I advise you to go there during spring, you might ask?
In fact, the season doesn’t really matter, as long as you don’t come to Vienna in the summer! Because during the 7 hottest weeks of the year, the 68 stallions “go on holiday”. Yes yes, you heard me, the horses are moved to Heldenberg-Wetzdorf, and during these 7 weeks their daily training is left aside for a walk in the forest.
At the time the show was only open to guests of the Imperial Court of Austria. But since the fall of the Austro-Hungarian empire, it has become a show open to the public. Just like opera, this show is unfortunately quite expensive (between 40 and 150€ per place depending on the category), but there is also the possibility to attend rehearsals with morning music. For about 35€ you can enjoy the full rehearsal but also a guided tour of the stables.
Final thoughts: Vienna during spring
That’s it, the little tour of the typical spring activities ends for today! But of course, many of the activities I had already told you about in the fall and winter articles are still relevant. For example, the ascent to Kahlenberg or a walk along the Danube will certainly seduce you!
And if you come to Vienna before the end of June (date of our departure) don’t hesitate to come and say hello!)
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