This week was the second time in last six weeks I needed to go for a day trip to Vienna in order to get my Swiss visa. Since I was there few times before, last time for few days in December 2012, and I saw pretty much everything I wanted, I tried to skip those one-day trips. Obviously, I failed and I had no idea what to do there.
In December 2013 I took a flight from Berlin just to submit the application for the Swiss student visa. I arrived at the city around 9 am and I was done with everything half an hour later. This time, I arrived at 6 am and by 10 am I was free to do whatever I wanted. Since I was pretty nervous because of the both trips, I wasn’t so enthusiastic about rediscovering the city. However, I learned some interesting things about Vienna in these two days.
About Vienna Airport
- Vienna Airport is one of the best airports I’ve ever been to. The personnel is extremely kind and ready to help and the maps for easier orientation are everywhere. There is free WIFI at all the gates and everywhere near restaurants or cafe bars and some chairs at waiting areas have electricity (the jacks are literally on the chairs)! The great thing when you have a longer layover!
- The airport is connected with city center by buses or train. I chose to ride with a special train named CAT (City Airport Train) because it was much faster than by bus, the station was closer to my final destination and the ticket was not much more expensive. The round trip cost me around 20€. Trains ride every 30 minutes (on 06′ and 36′ of every hour in both directions) and it takes only 16 minutes from the airport to Vienna Mitte train station. The awesome thing about CAT is that they offer you city check in! If your airline is on the list (for example, Croatia Airlines and Air Berlin are), you can check in for your flight and hand over the luggage in the city center and continue with discovering the city. The service is completely free of charge for the passengers of CAT.
About Vienna International Bus Station
- The International Bus Station is located in Erdbregstrasse and it has fabulous working hours from 6:30 am to 9 pm. Do I need to say that my bus came before 6:30, it was raining with 0°C and I had no place to go at that time? Ridiculous! I found some bench in the courtyard of the building nearby, but thank you Vienna for making me feel like a homeless person! If there is a bus service outside those hours, there should be a place for people to go too.
- When the station finally opened at 6:30 I started to laugh. Somewhere I read that is the most modern station in Vienna with blablabla… They have one waiting room with approx. 40 seats, 2 toilets and one cafe bar which is located out of the building. “Platforms” are painted in the big parking lot one next to each other and assigned to the letters. And that’s the whole station.
- The return trip from Zagreb to Vienna costs 395 kn (around 50€) and the bus rides for 5 or 6 hours, depending on the route.
About the transportation in Vienna
- U-Bahn service in Vienna is great and punctual. Depending on the times of your travel, from Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 8 pm you can buy shopping day ticket for 5.70€ (that’s around 1.50€ cheaper than normal day ticket). Single ride ticket costs 2.10€.
- Every U-Bahn station has free public toilets! They are smelly and not so clean but in desperate times… it’s great they are there!
About shopping in Vienna
- Mariahilferstrasse is the biggest shopping street in Vienna. And a great place to lose few hours trying to find the shoes. 🙂 In Croatia, we still don’t know what the real sales are. When I entered C&A store, I was like the kid in a candy store! Half of the store was on the sale, tons of things for 9€. And no, the price before the sale was not 10€ like they do it here…
- At Vienna Mitte train station, there is also the biggest shopping center in the city center. Three floors and free WIFI in some stores.
How do you spend your days in Vienna?
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