Interrail 2016: Vienna

Vienna is resplendent. I have never been to a place oozing with such imperial grandeur at every turn, and I live in the home of Buckingham Palace, Westminster Palace and The Mall.

The churches, the Parliament building, the statues, even the bloody town hall – it is all ridiculously grandiose and I love it!

St Stephen’s Cathedral

As with Zagreb, the public transport in Vienna is efficient and, for an otherwise expensive city, so cheap. We got a one week pass, giving us unlimited travel on all public transport across Vienna from Monday to Monday for 16EUR! (My 5 day travelcard for London Zones 1-5 costs £52. Sob).

Our top recommendation has to be the Schonbrunn Palace.

Schonbrunn Palace was home to several generations of Habsburgs, and it’s a super day out. The gardens are vast (and access is mostly free – a ticket gets you into the maze and 2 small gardens near the Palace, but in hindsight there is more than enough to keep you occupied in the rest of the grounds for free).

Schonbrunn Palace

Don’t be tempted to skip the Palace itself – the audioguided tour goes through around 40 rooms and I learned loads. The ticket queue will test your patience, as this hugely popular attraction only has about 3 people selling tickets. But be patient. It is something that is well worth paying and queueing for.

At 10€, however, the Sigmund Freud Museum is not. I do not know anything about Freud, except that he said we all fancy our mums or something. So I was looking forward to learning more about him in the museum that has been established in his old apartment.

Unfortunately, this museum taught me little. There was a good temporary exhibition on women in psychoanalysis, but next to nothing on Freud. Instead, it is just a collection of hundreds of his belongings that you can look at, and then look up in an accompanying guide book to discover such information as ‘This was Freud’s manicure kit,’ and ‘This is a picture of Freud with his dog.’

It would be better described as an archive, rather than a museum. If money is tight and you were hoping to learn something about Freud’s life and/or contribution to the study of psychoanalysis, I would give this spot a miss.

Resplendent Vienna

Vienna is pricey, but as with all big cities there are affordable ways to enjoy it. We found some spots popular with ever-underfunded students, I lived off €4 hotdogs, and we developed a taste for White Wine Spritzers.

In 4 days I don’t think we even scratched the surface. On a different budget, in a different season, at a different time, Vienna strikes me as the kind of city I could visit again and never do the same thing twice.


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