Vienna is a historic city. First, a pivotal battle between the Ottoman Empire and Western Europe was fought in 1683, and then, during the second world war, significant support to Hitler came from Vienna.
Some tips for the first-timers
- The dominant spoken language is German, but it is not hard to find English speakers.
- Public transport is great and a 24-hour pass costs 8 Euros.
- Most of the good spots are near the city center, so don’t stay too far away.
- Toilets inside shopping malls, big grocery stores, and restaurants are usually free. Outside ones charge 0.5 Euro.
Which museum to see
Vienna is full of museums, and one can spend a week just checking out the museums. Entry cost varies from 4 Euros to 20 Euros. I would recommend deciding what you want to see and make a decision based on that. I was not interested in checking out natural history or art museums since they are similar to the museums I have seen before. Therefore, I picked “Museum of Art Fakes” and “Museum of Abortion and Contraception.” Both unusual and unique to Vienna.
Start your day with a tip-only walking tour, which gives you a good understanding of the history as well as the culture of this city. After the tour, spend time checking out St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a 13th century 444-ft tall Church, which was the tallest building of its time.
An old Nail Tree with nails nailed in for good luck is nearby and easy to miss.
Next, head to the Danube riverfront for a walk. It is a bit overhyped, so feel free to skip it as well.
Then head to the Open-air market, Naschmarkt, prices are competitive, and it is a great place to grab fresh fruits.
Next, head to the Museum of Abortion and Contraception. It is small, it takes about an hour to see the full museum, and it has an excellent audio tour in multiple languages. Most writings on the wall, unfortunately, are only in German. The museum covers the legal, technological, and social battle fought for birth control rights.
Head to the Republic of Kugel Mugel, a micronation inside Vienna. There isn’t much except a ball, so don’t raise hopes.
Then head to weird houses designed by Hundertwasser.
And next door is the Museum of Art Fakes, which covers the art forgery in great detail. The museum is small but has an unusually high-quality collection of both samples and anecdotes to learn from.