Vienna was a new airport for me, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Since most of the passengers were EU citizens, the line for non-EU members was not very long, especially since I was not connecting, so passport control was quick. While waiting for my luggage, I stopped in at the Tourist info center right in baggage claim. I bought my Vienna Card for 18.50 euro for museum discounts and free local transportation for 3 days. I was also able to buy the zone supplement for 1.80 euro for the S-Bahn trip into town. There is a fast train into town called City Airport Train (CAT) for 9 euro (8 euro with the Vienna Card) that turns a 30-minute ride into a 16-minute ride, but I didn't need to get into town that fast. I then grabbed my luggage and followed the exit signs to the S-Bahn.
The Hilton Vienna that I chose was right next to the Wien-Mitte rail station, so I did not have far to go once I exited above ground. I was upgraded to an Executive Level Junior Suite which was very nice (with two huge flat screen TVs that I never used). I then called it a night so that I could get an early start the next day.
|Fountain and Gloriette|
At this time, it was starting to rain. I tried to walk around a bit to continue getting oriented with the streets and sights. I popped into some shops, including one very interesting marzipan place that makes these tiny candy shapes and sells them in well-fashioned storage boxes. I even found the recommended gelato place nearby. But eventually, I headed back to my hotel to rest and refuel.
I did go out after dark to see how the buildings looked lit up and to search for a strudel for dessert. It was raining and most patisseries were closed. I did find one big cafe open that sells gelato and strudel to go, so I bought the strudel and headed back to get out of the rain.
The beginning of the day was supposed to continue to be wet, so I planned to spend most of it indoors. First stop was the Hofburg palace complex. The Palace ticket lets you into the ground floor rooms, the Imperial Apartments, and the Sisi Museum (Sisi was the nickname of Elizabeth, wife of Emperor Franz Josef I). The first part of the palace tour takes you through the kitchen area where there are many many display cases of tableware. Some of the porcelain was really interesting and you could take pictures.