When planning this trip we hadn’t planned on coming to Vienna but we were told by many, that it was their favorite city and was even more beautiful than Prague. After seeing pictures of Prague I couldn’t believe that could be possible so we had to see for ourselves. Now having seen both, I can see why people love it so. The architecture and feel is much different however from Prague. Prague has an older more rustic kingdom type feel to it, where Vienna has a more majestic monarch or imperial feel. Instead of castles, you have palaces and Vienna also has a more metropolitan feel to it. Both are incredible and both should be on your list to visit.
Over the years we have had about 14 or so exchange students. Our second one was Milena from Germany. We have kept in contact with them all over the years and found out that she had moved to Vienna to go to school. We had the privilege today in reuniting with her and spending the afternoon catching up on her life and having her be our tour guide for this beautiful city. It was interesting to note that she was Marissa’s age when she first came to visit our family 10 years ago. Also her family was the first hospitality exchange we had done in Europe and were the inspiration behind our new site www.homespunhospitality.com.
Vienna has an incredible metro transportation system and I recommend getting the 24-hour pass, which cost 5 Euro and allows you full access. It is very clean and very easy to use. You pop up out of any station and your mouth drops at yet another Palace or Opera house or the magnificent Cathedral or church. One thing we found was that on ever corner, no, every 10 feet there is someone there to sell you tickets to a performance. Negotiation is the key here and walk away if you feel they are working the deal too hard. They will tell you that they only have a few seats left and if you wait you wont get any by each other. We waited, got a better deal and tomorrow we will find out if there was any problems with sitting in the seats we were assigned. We ended up with tickets to The Best of Mozart and Strauss in the Hofburg Palace for 20 Euro each. Marissa, Tim and I are also going to see the Lipizzaner Stallion performance in the morning. Marissa loves horses and is so excited to see these magnificent horses in action.
Most of the day was spent exploring, and just taking in the city. We are so glad we added it to our itinerary, it was well worth the small side trip. Oh and the free hotel at the Marriott was not a bad price as well.