Unlike some of my trips, I hadn’t planned this one until I arrived in Austria. Spending time in Vienna had been on my list for forever, in fact I was meant to do Prague, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest in June before COVID-19 cancelled my trip, and until the last possible moment I was convinced this one would be cancelled too. Despite my usual organised nature before I fly to a new city, I couldn’t bring myself to plan how to spend 24 hours in Vienna until I knew for sure I’d get there. I was going to do it on the train from Prague but I ended up mostly doing it from the apartment in Vienna on my first night, after deciding not go to out for a couple hours due to the weather.
I actually only spent a day exploring the city as halfway through the trip, my Fibromyalgia was flaring up, but I saw enough and did enough to do this post justice.
I ended up staying very near Spittelau, and honestly I only knew about this place when I googled after wondering what the big Golden Tower was I could see from my window. It’s actual an incenerator, but it’s designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, and it’s pretty cool on the outside. I actually didn’t get to right in front of the building, it was taking a lot of time to figure out how to get there so I settled for the photo above. I’d recommend not giving up when I did though, as from what I’ve seen online, the front of the building is spectacular.
My second stop was Hundertwasserhaus, a colourful block of flats also designed by Hundertwasser. You are no longer able to go and look inside this complex of colourful houses (but honestly why would you, people live there) but there is a Hundertwasserhaus Museum, and just across the small street there is a mini shopping complex with lots of little gift type shops and a couple of places for snack food. Honestly, it’s just a cute, colourful place to sit and enjoy a hot chocolate and spend a few minutes taking photos. Even if you were eating here and looking round the little shops, you’d only need about an hour.
Prater Amusement Park is somewhere you could easily spend a day if you had the budget and the time. I went over on the tram as it was a bit of a walk from where I was, and then walked then 10 minutes from the tram stop to the Amusement Park through a very pretty tree lined street. I passed a playground, a nice pond and a skate park so if you have kids, there’s lots for them to do on the walk alone. Prater Amusement Park is free to enter, you just pay for the rides, and I only did two-the Ghost Train, and my reason for visiting Prater Amusement Park, the Wiener Riesenrad (their giant Ferris Wheel) with it’s gorgeous views over the city. This was pricy, about £12, but worth it for the 20 minutes on the wheel taking in those views. I was here about an hour, from getting off the tram to getting to my next location, so if you’re picky about rides or just want to do the Wheel, you won’t be here long.
Republic of Kugelmugel at Antifaschismplatz was on my list but I decided against it on the morning I set off into the city. Then when I was on the Ferris Wheel I realised it was right next to Prater Amusement Park so I added it back to my plan. The wooden, circular house is actually a micronation, which declared itself independent from Austria in 1976 after the artist, Edwin Lipburger had a dispute with the authorities over building permits. Pretty cool, I just wish you were able to look inside the ball shaped house but it’s surrounded by 8 foot barbed wire fences. Imagine if this was rented out via Air B n B though, such a quirky place.
Rathaus, the City Hall, was, like every City Hall when I visit a city, under construction! Turns out it’s not just me though, it’s been under constriction since 2012 and will be until about 2023. Despite the scaffolding though it was a gorgeous building, and nice to see the Neo Gothic style and appreciate the building where the City Council, Mayor of Vienna and the Vienna Assembly are. Despite the scaffolding it’s a striking building and I’m glad I went, even if it did mean I ended up running later than planned.
I found the Rainbow Crossing completely by mistake as my tram went past it, it’s between the Burgtheater and City Hall and it was painted in June 2019 for Vienna Pride. It’s pretty cool and if I’d known it existed I would’ve gone to find it on purpose…
At this point I ran out of time for my planned list, although I’d done the things that were most important to me, because I was heading off for a photoshoot with Lora. I paid for a two hour shoot which ended up being a mixture of a shoot and a mini tour, and felt more like two hours with a friend in the end. I’d definitely recommend seeing if Lora is free if you want some professional photos when you’re in the city, she knows all the best spots.
We first met outside the Albertina Museum to shoot outside various different locations. Fibro meant I couldn’t be as flexible as many would be able to in terms of poses, but the shots Lora got and the locations she chose made the shoot an incredible experience. It felt less like a shoot I was paying for and more like time spent exploring with a new friend-if I’m lucky enough to be in Vienna again, I’ll definitely be asking Lora is she’s free to shoot again. Most of the photos from this shoot will pop up in my future posts and I’m not going to share Lora’s usual route, but I did want to share a couple of my favourite shots in this post.
Vienna is a city I’ve already decided I’ll be returning to and I’m working on my must visit list for the next trip. Have you seen the city before? What would you recommend I added to my list?