I’ve been avoiding Europe like the plague for several years now due how expensive it is thanks to the weak dollar (though that’s becoming a problem just about everywhere, and not just Europe anymore). Aside from trips to Germany to visit my family, I really haven’t done a whole lot of exploring in Europe otherwise, but have instead focused most of my travels on Asia, where the dollar goes a lot further in most cities.
That being said, when I was younger I saw just about every major city in Europe, since I spent about four weeks in Europe every summer, about half of which my parents and I spent visiting nearby countries.
While I had previously been to some small towns in Austria, I had never been to Vienna. My visit to Vienna was actually a mistake of sorts. When I was planning my trip, I knew I would be flying from Melbourne to London on Qantas and then London to Los Angeles on Air New Zealand a day later, on two separate tickets. The UK imposes a hefty premium cabin tax of about $200USD for a longhaul departure originating in the UK, so the easy way around that is to originate in another country. By tagging on Vienna on both ends (flying British Airways on the outbound and British Midland on the return), I managed to avoid that fee, since the UK just became a transit point instead of a destination.
With that out of the way, Vienna is probably now one of my favorite cities, and that’s after only spending an afternoon there. I have no clue why, but previously I hadn’t heard a whole lot about Vienna, positive or negative, though I found it to be one of the most charming cities in Europe.
What makes it different than many other major European cities is that it has a small town feel. There’s no massive downtown skyscrapers, but instead plenty of nice pedestrian zones, great restaurants, and lots of sites to see. Yet it still doesn’t feel like a tourist trap, which is the vibe I get from many similar cities.
I’ll definitely be back, next time hopefully on Austrian Airlines (which I’ve been meaning to try for a very long time now).
More to come with the trip report…