What to do in Vienna

What to do in Vienna

These pages were constructed while I was living in Vienna in 2008 and give a picture of what I believe one should see in Vienna.  

The longer trips are for those who are here for a while although Bratislava is only an hour away.

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Things to do and see in Vienna  (26/04/08)


Places to see

St Stefan’s           The central church of Vienna
Opera House       Perhaps the biggest in the world.  
                    (Tours usually 1400 or 1500, most days, check ahead, €7).
Karlskirche          Church of St Charles, 1710.   Open most times, off Karlsplatz underground
Opera-loo.         In the tunnel at Karlsplatz-Oper.  70c
Kartnerstrasse    The main pedestrian boulevard
                         Stars of composers are embedded in the footpath.
St Peters            Organ concert, 1500-1530 M-F; 2000 -2045 Sat
Tram 1              Goes clockwise around the ring in 20 minutes (tram 2 goes anticlockwise)
Hofburg Palace   The home of the Habsburg Emperors for several hundred years.
                          Entry from Michaeliplatz (paid entry to the museum)
National Library   The bus tours go here, it must be nice.
Musikverein         The outstanding Concert Hall from where comes the New Year Concert.    
                    (Tours 1300 M, W, F, Sa)
Volksgarten,         The famous Mozart statue, also of Sisi and Goethe
Museums quarter, Some of the spectacular Museums as listed in brochures
                           Maria Theresa stands in the centre
Rathaus               City Hall; open for a walk around.
Parlament            The parliament, not open to the public but worth a look.
                            Perhaps Australia’s old Parliament House was inspired by this design.
Stadt Park,            The equally famous Strauss statue plus those of many others
Russian Monument Built after WWII and hidden by a fountain from 1955 to 1989
Mozart’s House     They are everywhere.   He was buried in a pauper’s grave In Steffi, the department store nearby, is where he died, as per a plaque.
Hundertwasser House        

                             The architect who could not stand straight lines, tram “O” or “N”
Votiv Church           Schottentor.   Another great building
Schonbrun,             The summer palace of the Hapsburgs, 6 stops out on the U4
Tiergarten              The oldest Zoo in the world, according to them, with breeding pandas
                             Polar bear cubs have been on show since March 2008
Prater                    Amusement park with Reisenrad (Ferris Wheel), as in the “Third Man”
Naschmarkt          The fruit & vegie market with countless good restaurants, Kettenbrucke U4
Flea market            What it implies, Saturday mornings, Kettenbrucke U4
Hofburgkappelle,    M-Thu 1100-1500, Fr 1100-1300, €1.50
Augustinerkirche        Behind Albertina

Performances

Opera House             Top seats €170, reasonable seats at €60, dreadful ones at €9
                Bookings open one month to the day before performance.
Volksoper            More for Operettas and lighter opera
Burgtheatre            Drama, includes Shakespeare in German
                Bookings open on the first of the month before performance.
Serious concerts         Musikverein, Stadthalle, Wiener Koncerthalle as listed by the week
Tourist concerts            (tickets on the day)
   Kursalon            Mostly Strauss:, conducted from violin, Stadtpark, 2015 daily
   Schonbrun orchestra        Mozart and Strauss, orchestral style, Orangerie, Schonbrun, 2030 daily
   Hofburg Orchestra        Mostly Strauss; May to October, 2030
   Imperial Orchestra        Strauss, Mozart, Th, Fr, Sa, Su 1930 until 31 March, then probably daily
Vienna Boys Choir        Hofburgkappelle, Sunday service at 0915
  (Wiener Sangerknaben)         (tickets available from Friday, €26 in pews on floor level)
Augustinerkirche        Mass, 1100 Sunday, free
Other churches        Details as listed by the week
 

Places to go

City Boat Cruise        A cruise along the Danube Canal, into the River and back. 3 x daily
Spanish Riding School     Performances         1100 some Sunday mornings, €45 - €110,
                Training         1000 - 1200 most mornings, €12, not Monday
Marionnette Theatre,         Magic Flute,            Schonbrun
                (Sat 1900, Sun 1600; M W F from 1 April at 1900)
Third Man tour,        M & F at 1600, Stadtpark, U4, just turn up ($17), lots of walking
Crypt tour            Wed, 1330 St Michaels, just turn up ($15), lots of stairs

Out of town

These are the 7 listed trips.   Those marked ‡ are described below

‡Prague, 7 hours in the city, 4.5 hours by train each way        16 hours        (0608 Sud)
    Eurail pass needs a Prague ticket at €95 return for travel in Czech republic.
    Book seats in advance if possible
Wachau, on the Danube, boat and train, Melk, Krems, Dornberg    8 hours         (West)
    From 5 April, full service from 19 April.
    www.ddsg-blue-danube.at/english/html/e_lwac_fp.asp
    Book tickets in advance at the booth in Schwedenplatz
‡St Wolfgang, 2 hours by bus and boat from Salzburg                    (0614 West)
    (Thursday and Sunday only to April 26, then daily, more flexibility Sat)
Tyrol Mountains, Innsbruck, Vorarlberg, Bodensee        12 or 18 hour round trip    (0614 West)
‡Budapest, 6 hours in the city, 3 hours by train each way        12 hours        (0608 West)
    Return trains every 2 hours
    Day train ticket in Budapest about €7
‡Bratislava, by catamaran from Schwedenplatz                        (0830, Kai)
    Book tickets on the previous day at Schwedenplatz
            Allow about 4 hours, take the tour train, have lunch
            Take a 13 tram from the city centre to Hlavna station
            One hour return on train to Sudbahnhof                (xx50, Hlv)
Villach    , Semmering Pass                        8 hours          Meidling

Other options.
Graz                                    6 hrs
Semmering and Tauern passes. train via Villach and Salzburg    8 hours round trip    as you wish
Swiss Lakes, overnight to Zürich, round trip of the lakes, including boats, and back the next night
Munich, 6 hours in the city, 5 hours by train each way        16 hours        (0614, West)
Venice, 6 hours in the city, 8 hours by train each way        24 hours        
        0630 from Sudbahnhof and return ovenight
    or    2005 from Sudbahnhof and return after lunch
Budapest by boat 7 hours, back by train 3 hours (from mid April)    10 hours        (0900, Kai)
Salzburg, 6 hours in the city, 3 hours by train each way        12 hours        (0614 West)
    Trains generally run every half hour.  The 0614 is a German ICE, worth starting early.
Hallein, Salt mines, 30 minutes from Salzburg                        (0614 West)
    http://www.gasthofschorn.at/en/salzbergwerk.shtml

 

Places to eat

    (all restaurants with table service unless indicated)

Figlhueber, the biggest schnitzel in Vienna (book ahead) ‡        Wollteile 5, beyond St Stefan’s
Japanese restaurant, all you can eat, good food (from server)    Down the hill on other side
    (Best to have no lunch, arrive at 1730, allow an hour and a half, €15.20, all you can eat)
Chinese restaurant, very ordinary, inexpensive, takeaway avail.    Underneath us
Nordsee, fish, plain and nice, (self serve)                Kartnerstrasse
Sundry places with fixed price Austrian meals            Annagasse, off Kartnerstrasse
Blumenstock,     Alter Wiener Kuchen                    Ballgasse, to the right at Nordsee
Rosenbergs, (self serve), wide variety, good quality, ‡        One street behind Opera house
Aussie pub (vegemite on toast, meals look OK)*            One street behind Opera house
Lubella, Italian, good quality *                     Two streets behind Opera House
Venezia, Italian, upstairs, not too expensive *            Kartnerstrasse, back from U3
Augustinerkeller (approximating a heuriger, good food)        Under the Albertina
Esterhazykeller, authentic Austrian buffet ‡                Herrengasse/Freyung/Graben
Mozart Café, authentic Viennese, very expensive, look only *‡    Opposite the Albertina
Ruffinos, Italian chain, wide variety                    Josefstadtstrasse
The Wolf, heuriger, (self serve) ‡                    U6 then bus 35A to Neustift
Grinzing, heuriger, loads of places ‡                    Tram 38 from Schottentor
    Sepp something with carvery, highly recommended
Loads of places for lunch or dinner, quite authentic Viennese ‡    Naschmarkt, Kettenbrucke, U4
    (highly recommended and not expensive, easy to get to)
Bread shop        Up the street, turn left, 10 metres
            “Anker”, in the Karlsplatz tunnel, on the way home,
                also at Westbahnhof or at Sudbhnhof
Supermarket        Remember to take a shopping bag (in the seat)
            “ADEC”, up the street, on the other side of the road 50m right past Red Zac
            “Okay” at Westbahnhof or Sudbahnhof, open until 2200, on the way home
    * but not yet tried!
    ‡ AA recommended

Note:    A Wiener Schnitzel is veal (kalb) but usually hard to find, expensive, often not of good quality.
    A replacement in pork (Schweinschnitzel) is often of higher quality, larger and less expensive.
    A chicken schnitzel (huhn) or turkey (puten) is the same as you would buy in McDonald’s or less.
    Leberkase is a processed meatloaf and is often very tasty, especially when hot in a bun with senf.
    A doner kebab should be lamb but often you are given chicken, insist on pork or nothing.
    A durum kebab is chicken
    Most street stalls sell chicken and are certainly pork free, usually disgusting.
    Conventional German Wursten are hard to find, even though other things are sold as Bratwurst.
    The Naschmarkt has real Bratwurst and lamb kebabs, on the run, plus authentic restaurants.
 

How to get there

To get to:

City (Oper)        Up the street, tram J on other side of road under Red Zac, get off at Oper
            First 0508, then at least every 7.5 mins to 1934 M-F, other times at xx:x4 to 2304
Meidling        Up the street, tram J on our side of the road, left, by the backerei, to Josefstadterstrasse (2 stops)
                then go the up lift of the U6 toward Siebenhirten, about 8 stops
                J departs at xx.x2 weekends and nights
Westbahnhof        As for Meidling, but get off U6 at Westbahnhof, 4 stops
        or:    Down the street, tram 5 on the other side of the road to the left, to the terminus
                First tram at 0530 in time for the 0614 train
Prater            Down the street, tram 5 on our side of the road to the right, to the terminus (Prater)
        or    As for Oper to Karlsplatz, then down escalator to U1 toward Simmering to Prater
Sudbahnhof        As for Oper to Karlsplatz, then get on a D following, to the terminus
        or    Across the road and up the hill to the corner, bus 13A (24 minutes)
                First 13A at 0508, every few minutes to about 0030
Schonbrun        As for Meidling, get off at Langenfeldstrasse, 6 stops,
                then cross platform to U4 toward Hutteldorf to Schonbrun, 2 stops,
                then go toward the front of the train, up the lift and follow signs
Airport
    one change    Down the street, walk down Josefstadtstrasse one stop to the U2, (or take the tram)
                U2 to Praterstern, go up the escalator to the S bahn station
                then take S7 to airport (towards Wolfstahl, requires one additional strip ticket)
    one change    Down the street, tram 5 on our side of the road to the right, to the terminus (Prater), (25 minutes),                     go up the escalator to the S bahn station
                then take S7 to airport (towards Wolfstahl, requires one additional strip ticket)
    two changes    Up the street, tram J on other side of road under Red Zac get off at Dr Karl Renner Ring                        (2 stops), down 2 elevators to U3, go to the back of the train
                take U3 toward Simmering to Landstrasse Wien – Mitte
                exit the platform from the back of the train and go up the escalator
                through the tunnel and take the lift to S platforms 3-4 to airport
                then take S7 to airport (Wolfstahl train, requires one additional strip ticket)
            First J at 0508 gives an arrival at the airport at 0553.

There is always a bus or tram at 0530 from any of our stops, many lines a few minutes earlier.

Coming home

From
Oper        Tram J to Lederergasse (opposite Red Zac), going to Ottakringer; last tram J at 23:22.
Westbahnhof    Tram 5 to Laudongasse (Japanese restaurant) going to Prater; last tram 0021, good for the 0015 train arrival
    or    U6 to Josefstadtstrasse (last at 0023) then tram J home, going to Oper, (or walk if trams have finished)
Praterstern,    Tram 5 to Laudongasse going to Westbahnhof
Sudbahnhof    Bus 13A to Josefstadtstrasse, going to Skodagasse, runs to about 0030
            If you stay on 13A to the terminus it returns up Lederergasse in a few minutes, useful if it is raining
    or    Tram D to Oper, then tram J home (not in the evening when the service is less frequent)
Airport        S7 to Praterstern, then U2 to Rathaus and walk (one stop, 10 minutes) or tram J
    or    S7 to Landstrasse, then U3 to Volkstheatre then tram J
    or    S7 to Landstrasse, then U3 to Neubaugasse and then bus 13A,             
    or    S7 to Landstrasse, then U3 to Volkstheatre, then U2 to Rathaus and walk (10 minutes)
            You need one additional strip ticket outside Vienna, €1.70.  The CAT service, same place, costs €6.

    Last U2, U3 and U4 run until about 0030
    
    Last S7 from airport is at 2309.   Tram J has finished by the last train so use the U2.

 

A day in Bratislava


Buy the boat ticket from the Kai on the day before you leave. Cost is €26 one way on weekdays, more on the weekend. There is only one ticket office for all boats, therefore you need to be clear about which one you wish to book.

Past experience indicates that Bratislava may be colder and wetter than Vienna.

Take the tram J at about 07.30 from the top of the hill (Red Zac) to the Oper, arriving about 0740.   Take the escalator downstairs.    Go to Anker opposite to buy breakfast and a drink to last until lunch.    Go hard left and down the escalator to the U1 for Leopoldplatz and go 2 stops to Schwedenplatz.  

Go up the escalator and go down the steps to the river where you see Twin Cities or DDSG. The boat leaves at 08.30 and arrives Bratislava at 9.45.    There is coffee etc. available on the boat.    Don’t forget to go to the loo on the boat before it arrives at Bratislava.

You should not need much cash, but there are money-changers all over the place.  Buy about €10 if you have none.  There are about 35 Kroner to the Euro.

The little tourist train will probably be outside the boat when you arrive.  At €8 per person this is well worth the trip, you will learn the history of the city and will spend 10 minutes at the castle.    The guide also walks you into the City Square and explains the history of this area.    She also provides an English version.  The train will drop you at the City Hall, which is not far from the dotted line and the tram.

Once you finish the guided tour they will leave you in the town square. If you wish to visit the Old Town Hall, it is worthwhile to gain more information on the town.  The tower is well worthwhile climbing all those narrow stairs.    You will get a fantastic view of the immediate area and of Bratislava. The view is very different to what you would see at the Castle! (You can take your time with the stairs as there does not seem to be a lot of people aware of the benefit of climbing the tower).  The gaol is in the same building.   It is different to any gaol we know and should be viewed.

Look at the trams.  You are ultimately going to want a tram 13, which does a loop around the old city but does NOT go past the boat.

Pick up the red dotted line on the map.   Follow this around and take a couple of hours.   Stop on the way and have your lunch, on credit card.    Buy Bratislavan food.   Do all of the side trips you need.   Don’t walk to the castle.  It is a long haul and it is just another castle.   Churches, yes.    There is a small market near the city hall area.   They have inexpensive knic-knacs.

When you are done take the tram 13 back to the station Hlvani.    You need get on at the very front of the tram to pay the driver of the tram for the trip, which will be around 5 or 10 krona.   The tram terminus does not look like a train station, but a depot for all the trams.  Get out turning left on exit from the tram and walk around 50 metres and go up the steps.  There you will see the staion.

The train for Wien Sudbahnhof goes every hour at xx50.    Spend the rest of your Slovak money.  It is of no use in Austria.     The track number and the platform number may not be the same.  You may have to explore. The platform number comes up on the electronic notice boards once the train is in, which is about 15 to 20 minutes prior to departure.

Show your Eurail pass to the conductor and be prepared to pay about €2 or 64 krona each, for the Slovakian sector.

You will arrive at Sudbahnhof.    Don’t forget to go to the loo on the train before it arrives.   

Go down the escalator on to the concourse, noting the Venetian Lion in the middle.   Turn around, go backwards, behind the lion, into a tunnel on the left and you come out where the trams and buses are.    

EITHER:    Walk across the road and find the tram D (going to your left, to the right is only the turn around loop), and go as far as Oper, hop off the tram and pick up the tram J following which will bring you home to Lederergasse.  They all run every 5 or 6 minutes during the day and this is the best way by day.

OR:        Walk right across the road, turn right until you reach the bus layby and wait for a 13A.    Get off at Josefstadtsrasse.  If you miss the stop or it is raining, go to the terminus and come back 2 stops, opposite our place.   Use this at night when the service is only once every 10 minutes.

 

A day in Budapest


Take the 0535 tram 5 from the bottom of the hill (other side of the road on your left) to the terminus at Westbahnhof, arriving about 0550.  Note where the tram drops you, as you will want it tonight.   Walk across the road to the station.   Take the escalator upstairs.    Go to Anker on your right to buy breakfast and a drink to last until lunch.   There is a fruit place to the left.

The train will be an Austrian IC at 0625, the first class cars are generally farthest from the concourse.   Find seats to suit you which are not reserved.   You arrive in Budapest, Keleti Pu  at 0935.    Don’t forget to go to the loo on the train before it arrives.  After 3 hours you will inevitably need to go as soon as you stand up.  The one on the train is always free and passably clean.

Your tickets will be checked as you leave the platform at Budapest.  If you want to confirm your departure, look on the board with the yellow sheet and look for your train by the time and note the platform.   If you need cash there are money-changers to your right.   There are about 200HUF to the Euro.   You probably won’t need more than €20, 4,000HUF each.   You can always get more later.   There are also places to buy food.    There are more shops down in the tunnel forward of the platforms.   Collect a map from the tourist office, forward from the platforms and right.

Go outside from the front of the station and go left about 50m and down into the subway.   Buy an all day ticket each, either at the machine or at the ticket office.  These are about 1,550 HF and will take you on all trams, underground and buses, all day.   You don’t need to stamp it.  The machine takes cash and not more than 2,000HUF

Now take the subway (the red line, M2) going toward Deli Pu and go about 4 stops to Larocy, the parliament buildings. Come out of the subway and orientate yourself by finding the river.   Go to the tram-stop in the middle of the road and take the right side as you face the river.   This is tram 2 and this will take you the full length of the city along the river.    Ride to the end of the line, with the river on your right.   Notice the Fishermen’s bastion, the church, the royal palace and the citadel on the other bank.   You won’t see the chain bridge because the tram dives under the roundabout.   Note the cruise ships.   Toward the end of the journey you will see the day tourist boats.    At the end of the line stay on the tram and ride back again to the other end of the line, past where you started.   The river is on your left.  Leave the tram, walk ahead on to the main road and take a tram 4 or a tram 6 to Mosckva Ter, across the river, the end of the line. Here you will find yourself in a large circus full of trams and buses.  You will see a staircase leading up to the top road.  Go up there and see a number 10 bus, a very small bus.  Chances are there are several more closed and waiting.

Jump on this bus and it will take you up the hill to the fortress area.   Keep going (10 minutes or so) until you see the battlements and the church on the left.  If you go too far don’t worry, just walk back or stay on the bus and come back.   Walk out on the battlements to see the view of Pest.  This is the Fisherman’s Bastion.  Don’t bother to go up the stairs where it costs money. You can see everything free without going up another 3 metres.  Note the island, the Danube, the parliament, the chain bridge, the city and the citadel.   Come back down and go into the church of St Matthias.  This one you can’t beat.  Note the roof, tiled like St Stefan’s.   They have a loo.  You pay in HUF about HUF700.

On the other side of the road from the church and slightly forward is a very nice restaurant.  Try it for lunch or at worst a cup of coffee.  Buy Hungarian and buy big.   They speak good English and take credit cards.   They have a loo.

Keep walking forward, past the Presidential Palace until you come opposite the chain bridge.  Look down the hill over the wall.   Now take the funicular, from the strange and very abandoned looking building near the wall, to the bottom.  You pay perhaps 700HUF.

Walk across the bridge.    Walk back into the city and see what Pest is like.

When you are done, take the yellow underground, probably from Deak Ter, going to Mexikol as far as Heroes Place Hosok Ter  (6 stops) and take a walk in the park.  There is a lake, castle, a restaurant and a few take-aways.   The castle is worth the time but it is really the headquarters of the Hungarian Agricultural Society..

Return to the city on the yellow line going to Vorosmarty as far as Deak Ter. (6 stops).    Change to the red line and take the train in the homeward direction (not Deli Pu) and get off at Keleti Pu  (3 stops) from where you go up to the station for the train home.    Trains return from Budapest at 1310 (arriving 1608), 1510 (1808), 1710 (2008), 1805 (2105).   The platform number will be on the mechanical board where you see hundreds of people waiting, but not earlier than 15 minutes before departure. You are looking for Wien Westbahnhof, never Vienna.  Follow the instructions on the yellow sheet and then check the platform, but be prepared for a shift.    Chances are you will be leaving from platform 11, which is to the right, past platform 8, and a fair way down.    Allow 5 minutes extra to get there.

There are places on the station the left to buy food, mostly cheap.   You can use your tickets to go down the platform.  Spend the rest of your Hungarian money.  It is of no use in Austria.  Some of the bread sticks are quite nice.  There are more shops down in the tunnel forward of the platforms.  At least spend your coin on Kit Kats or Mars bars.

Find the first class car and make yourself comfortable.  Wien Westbahnhof will be on the door of the train.   Use the dining car if the time is right.  For about €10 you can get a good meal.   You will arrive at Westbahnhof.    Don’t forget to go to the loo on the train before it arrives.    Walk across the road and find the tram 5, behind the building, where you got off this morning.  Watch for turning trams coming the wrong way.   Take the tram back to Laudongasse, opposite the Japanese restaurant and walk home.
 

Going to Prague


With a Eurail pass you need a ticket, border to Prague to border.  This you can buy days before at Westbahnhof at €95 pp, first class.  Don’t consider second.  You may reserve your seats outward on the 0608 at the same time at €3 pp. but this is not necessary.

Getting there.
You need the 13A bus from across the road at 0515 in the morning.    Get off at the terminus and walk across to the Sudbahnhof, it will be about 0545.    Note how the empty bus continues forward into the tram loop and starts there for the journey back.    Note where you go into the station, so that you can return the same way tonight.   You go into the building, then under the destination times, where you check your platform, and through a short tunnel.    Note the Venice lion in the middle of the concourse, facing out through the front.

Once in the main concourse buy breakfast etc to last until 1030 from “Anker” on the right or from “Okay” on the left (from where the lion stands).   Anker has baguettes, buns etc.   Alternatively you can have a good restaurant breakfast on the train.

Go up the moving walkway to the right of the lion (facing with the lion)

Join the train, platforms 1 – 9, in your first class car.    It is probably platform 5 and the first class car will be nearest the platform entry.   The train leaves at 0608.

Between Wien and Breclav you are on the Eurail pass with an Austrian conductor.  Show your Eurail pass.  From Breclav at 0708 you are on your Czech ticket with a Czech conductor.   After one more stop (Pardubice 0923) you arrive at Prague HOLESOVICE at 1025.

If you don’t want breakfast you can use the restaurant for a cup of coffee, pay in €.  At least check out the restaurant for dinner tonight.

When you arrive.

Put your card in a Bancomat and take out about 600 CK, about €25.   (or cash €30 in one of the money changeries).  You already have CK600, that should be enough.    You can always buy more at exchange places.  Use your credit card for anything you buy.  The rate is about CK25 to €1, or  CK20 to $AU1

Follow the M red signs to the Metro.    Buy a 24 hour ticket each for 200 CK, €8.   Use the machine with your credit card, it speaks English.   Beware that it asks you at the last step if you want cash or credit card.   You can buy tickets cheaper as you go along but this saves ever having to fuss.   Stamp them for the first entry and put them away.   All trams, underground etc are free for your 24 hours so use them.    NOTE:   If you are over 60 you do not need a ticket at all !!!!!

You are at HOLESOVICE.    Take the red line to MUSEUM, you can see a big red strip above the platform with all the stations marked.   You can easily see which side of the platform to use and how many stops.    At MUSEUM change to the green line and go one station to MUSEET.   At MUSEET go out from the front of the train, keep going in the direction of the train for about 3 blocks and you come to the main square.   There is a tourist information next to the old City Hall.   Ask for a map and a list of places to go.   They all speak excellent English.   Ask them to show you:
Charles Bridge, Castle, Main church, City Hall, Clock, Whatever else you went to Prague for.

All of the places mentioned are marked on the map with the key at the bottom.
In the main square you can see the stalls, (buy one of those things with the baked bread wound around a spindle), the main church, the clock, the old city hall, etc.  They are marked on your map.

Walk down to the Charles Bridge, finished in 1402, walk out on to the bridge, remember that it was nearly washed away a few years ago,

Stop now for a cup of coffee and then walk back to the green line at STAROMESTSKA.  Take the train one stop to MALOSTRANSKA.   Now take the 22 tram in the direction away from the city.  As you go up the hill note the views of the city.

You will go above the castle and you can get off if you wish.   Remember a castle is a castle.   

Continue a couple of stops on the tram until you get to the Strahov Monastery.  Walk through the grounds and on to the walking path.    Walk along the path, without going down, seeing the best views of Prague.   After you go under the funicular railway start to work your way down.  Pick up a tram 22, 23 or 57 and you will go back across the river.  Note the National Theatre on your right.  Get of at NARODNI.  From here you can take the yellow line back to FLORENC to go back to the station, or to anywhere you want.   Alternatively get a tram 18 or 53 back the way you came and ride along the river to STAROMESTSKA on the green line and then go where you please.

There are heaps of coffee shops in the city, use them to break up your day.  A cup is about 50CK (€2).   You can go to a restaurant for lunch or buy local food on the run.  There are no coffee shops on the hill.

Getting Home

Go back to HOLESOVICE on the red line.

Buy anything you need for the trip home.  Spend your last CK on Mars bars or drinks.

Trains are as follows:
•    1333, arrive WIEN Sudbahnhof at 1803.   You may need this if it is cold or your will runs out.

•    1533, arrives BRECLAV at 1849.   (This will not say “Wien”).   The next train from there is the next from Brno at 2025, below.   Nothing gained except a warm train.

•    1633 to BRNO arriving at 1915. (This will not say “Wien”).   Change trains in Brno to platform 2 and take the 1938 to Wien, Breclav at 2025, arrives Sudbahnhof at 2130.

•    1733, arrive WIEN Sudbahnhof at 2203.   This is the last possible train home.   Check the departure board, it is probably given as track 5, which is on platform 2.  The time of departure is given in the tunnel at the bottom of each ramp.   Check the arrival board to see that this train arrives from Berlin at 1718.   Go on to the platform just before the train is due in and find yourself seats in the first class car, at the front of the train.

Buy your dinner in the dining car after it gets dark (at Brno the prices go up, so start dinner at about 1930). You can get a good 2 course meal with wine for 2 for about €30.   They take €.    Highly recommended.

From Sudbahnhof, go to the back of the station, behind the lion, through the tunnel in which you entered, cross the roads through the tram terminus (not across the main road at the front) and move to the right to where the bus 13A begins in the tram turn-around loop.

Go right to the end of the line at Skodagasse, stay on the bus (unless there is a bus parked ahead of you ready to go) and come 2 stops back to Lederergasse, push to bell as you pass our place, and you are home at about 2240.  It takes another 5 minutes to do this but cuts out 3 minutes walking.
5/03/08

 

St Wolfgang and Salzburg


This involves an early start if you are to cover everything.  Take the 0525 tram 5 from the bottom of the hill (other side) to Westbahnhof, arriving about 0540.   Go to Anker to buy breakfast and a drink to last until lunch.

The train is a German ICE at 0614, the first class cars are generally in the middle or at the front.   Find seats which are not reserved to suit you.   You arrive in Salzburg at 0853.   Go to the loo on the train before you get off.    Collect a map from the information lady on platform 2.

Go outside to the bus station and look for the bus 150, which says Bad Ischl and departs at 0915.  Buy tickets to St Wolfgang from the driver, reminding him you are over 60.  He speaks English.

Get off at Strobl at 1027.  The connecting bus for St Wolfgang leaves immediately at 1030  arriving St Wolfgang Schafberg, last stop, at 1045.

The lake is on the left, the mountain train on the right, which leaves at 1100.  I want this.   This arrives at the top at 1145 where it will be cold.   The train returns at 1210 to be at the bottom at 1250.

Check the boat departure time for St Gilgen, which should be at 1330, in 2 hours.

Wander down into the village and find the church.   There is nothing like it anywhere.  Take note of the altar piece.   The church goes back a thousand years.    Then see the White Horse Inn of the musical.   Have lunch there.

Get back to the boat by 1320 and enjoy the cruise back departing 1330 and arriving St Gilgen, 1415.   

You have 50 minutes to walk to the bus stop, 600m.  To get to the bus walk one street up the hill, then go slightly left and go another street up the hill.   The bus is to the left. The bus leaves at 1505.   Pay the driver.

Get off the bus at Salzburg Hofwirt at 1550, two stops before the end.   Ask the driver.

Now the hard part of the day begins.

Walk down the pedestrian street until you come to the bridge.   Once you are on the far side of the bridge note that the trolleybus 27 leaves from the right hand side of the bridge on the side of the street away from the river and then immediately crosses the bridge to double back to the station.

Go through the first small street and see the shopping street left and right.  You will come back to this.  Move slightly left and go through the subsequent plazas, always moving left toward the castle.  You will pass the cathedral, leave it for the moment.

Finally at about 1630 you will reach the funicular railway to the castle, which closes at maybe 1700 so you must go there first.  Spend the time you need at the castle.  Look at the huge number of churches below.   Don’t miss the last car down!!  You are down by 1730 say.    Look in at the next door cemetery where the last scene of S of M was filmed.

Now you can go to the cathedral, built 774 AD.  The time might now be 1800

After the cathedral work your way back to the river, going where you please.   Walk up and back along the shopping street, noting the overhead signs, even McDonalds.   When you have had enough, find the bus stop and take 27 back to the station.  Allow 30 minutes so be on the bus by 1900.   It will cost €1.80 from the driver.     You should make the 1934 train.   If you can’t get a bus get a taxi, it will only be about €7.   Check from where the first class car leaves.

Have dinner on the train and arrive Westbahnhof at 2228.  Take the tram 5 home.

Trains leave Salzburg and arrive Westbahnhof at
1858        2147        Restaurant            Tram 5 home
1904        2142        ICE Restaurant        Tram 5 home
1908        2218        Snacks only        Skip this one!
1934        2228        Restaurant        Tram 5 home
2008        2318        Snacks only        Taxi home
2132        0015        Restaurant            Taxi home
Avoid the trains without the restaurant but if you are on the 2008 then buy some goodies on the platform or from Anker to last the journey home.

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