Vienna was never part of the plan when we were planning our European Inter-railing trip. We had been on the road for quite a while at this stage and were trying to get from Budapest to Munich in Germany. With a day to spare we thought we may as well save a bit of train travel time and visit Vienna. Austria’s capital and largest city.
We boarded our train in the morning at Budapest Keleti Railway Terminal – the main international train station within the inner cities of Hungary. Four hours and numerous crisp sandwiches later we chugged into Westbahnhof train station.
The journey itself took us through Salzburg and had some lovely scenery but we were glad to be rocking up at Wombats city hostel – the Naschmarkt, which was literally a five minute ride on the underground from the main train station. The hostel which faced onto Austria’s finest food market was just closing for the day when we arrived. As we were only going to be there for less than 24 hours we set of on foot in search of the city centre.
Kaerntner Strasse, known in English as Carinthian Street is Vienna’s main shopping street and spreads all the way from the State Opera House to the Cathedral of St Stephans. This is the shopper’s paradise with everything from designer to independent boutiques.
We took some time out of shopping to admire the many theatres and to experience some famous Viennese Mehlspeisen. Definitely worth a try and after walking the length of the street we decided to quench our thirst in one of the Irish bars. Turns out it wasn’t very Irish after all the Chinese bar tender spoke very little English. Although we did get some Irish Magner’s cider followed by an amazing Italian meal in a restaurant that resembled a portacabin. It was situated on the east side of the Naschmarkt.
We didn’t do nearly enough in Vienna but if even half the buildings are as good as the State Opera or the City Hall then it’s worth another trip to explore. Known for its art and culture with huge theatrical and classical performances all year round it’s no wonder that Vienna, this small slice of Austria is regarded as the City of Music. My only regret is that we did not stay longer in this beautiful city.