After a 12-hour flight, I finally arrived in Vienna on a cloudy early afternoon. Vienna airport was quite small compared to other international airports I had been to, but going through the customs was pretty straightforward.
- I bought an European SIM card (usable in Prague as well) at the airport, but it was much more expensive than buying in downtown!
The hotel (Le Méridien)
Taking a taxi from the airport to the hotel was super easy and quick. It was raining when we landed, but stopped soon after we arrived at the hotel. The hotel is located near the touristy center of Vienna. I chose it because it was within walking distance to many tourist attractions.
Most of the notable tourist buildings in Vienna are located in the Innere Stadt district, which is surrounded by multiple roads that join together to form one continuous circle. Walking along the full circle will likely take a few hours.
- Most of the stores were completed closed on Sunday, which is required by law, so shop during other days
State Opera House
My first tourist stop was the State Opera House, which was very close by to where I stayed. Unfortunately, it was under construction, so one side of it had a lot of metal frames and was covered.
St. Stephen's Cathedral
While walking along Kärntner Straße (Carinthian Street), which is the most famous shopping street in Vienna, I arrived at my favorite landmark in Vienna, St. Stephen's Cathedral. This magnificent Cathedral stands in the middle of a busy shopping street, making it especially eye catching. The level of details on the building was simply astonishing. Every angle of the building was photo worthy.
A few minutes away from the Cathedral, I walked into a highly rated restaurant serving Viennese cuisine called Figlmüller Bäckerstraße. According to various online sources, its Wiener Schnitzel was a must-have, so I decided to order both of their specialties (pork and veal) to try them out. The Schnitzels were more tender inside than I expected, despite them being deep fried. This restaurant was definitely worth a visit if you are a meat lover.
Stadtpark (city park)
After a fulfilling lunch of Schnitzels, I took a walk at Stadtpark, which is a large city park. It’s the perfect spot to relax and rest after a long walk.
Stadtpark is also home to the Johann Strauß monument, a gold-coated statue of the famous 19th-century musician Johann Strauss.
My last stop of the day, along the way back to my hotel was Karlskirche. It is one of the most outstanding baroque churches in Vienna.
Not far from the Karlskirche, is a former station of the Viennese Stadtbahn, named Otto-Wagner-Pavillon Karlsplatz. It is famous as a well known example of an architecture from the Vienna’s Art Nouveau era.
Across the street from the Karlskirche is the famous Vienna Concert Hall, Musikverein Wien. This place is especially famous among Chinese tourists because one of China's most famous sopranos gave a recital at its Golden Hall. In Part 2 of my trip, I will bring you inside to experience a Vienna Mozart Orchestra performance.
This concludes my first day in Vienna, stay tuned for my Vienna - Part 2, where I will bring you to tour the other half of the top attractions in Innere Stadt district.