travelingmonkey: Chimp w/ glasses (Default)
[personal profile] travelingmonkey posting in [community profile] travel_europe
So, trying to get some action going here, I figured I'd post about my latest trip.

Earlier this month, my husband, mother, and I went for 5 days to Vienna, and on the last day we took a day-trip to Bratislava. Vienna was not my most favorite city that we have visited (read: Athens, Rome, Venice, Budapest, for winners of that category), but it was an enjoyable trip.

We stayed at the Red Carpet Hostels [Vienna], which I wouldn't be very quick to recommend. It wasn't bad or anything, but it was also not so great. You had to pay to "rent" towels, the rooms weren't the cleanest, and well, yeah, it was nothing special. But it was cheap, and not in a bad location, and the desk-people were all friendly and helpful, so overall, it was all right. I'd look elsewhere if I went back there, though.

The first day we went and got some food after arriving and checking in (fwiw the bus from the airport to Westbahnhof was cheaper than the special airport metro to the regular metro to there), and then we went to the Schloss Schönbrunn; we explored the gardens a smidge, and then went to the labyrinths. Which was, frankly, awesome. ^__^ I'd never been to one before and it was tons of fun! There are 3 separate ones in it, one that's like 6' tall (the main real one), one that's like 4' tall (but even though you can essentially see over it, it doesn't ruin it at all), and a shorter [length] one that's like 7-8' tall. The main one had lots of dead ends and twists and turns and was tons of fun to try and make your way through. The other two were essentially just winding, no real dead-end kind of stuff, but there were random games and fun things scattered through, which made them also lots of fun. After that, we played in the super awesome playground that's also in there, because hello I am 5. lmao. Seriously, that was like the best playground I have ever seen. It even has this ginormous bird-thing that you have to climb up into (and be tall enough to even climb the thing) and then someone below can pull the big rope and make it go up & down, moving the wings, it's crazy!! Yes, I did go in it, tyvm! ^____^
Then we went and walked up the huge hill to the Gloriette, which looks really nice. The grounds at the Palace are insanely massive, like, -could get lost for days- massive, and if we'd had weeks there I'd have loved to explore them. But alas, it would have taken our entire 5 days and we likely still would not have finished! haha. If you go, and have time to spare, seriously check out that place, really amazing.

On other days we went to Freud's old house/museum, which was interesting; to the Austrian Museum of Folk Life & Folk Art, where they had all sorts of random and somewhat interesting tidbits; to the zoo (also on the Schloss Schönbrunn grounds, also massive itself), where we got to see the giant panda and walked around with free-flying bats; to the Central Cemetery, where a bunch of the big musicians are buried; to the Prater amusement park, where we went on the Giant Ferris Wheel; to the Museum of Natural History, where we saw zillions of rocks/crystals/gems/meteors and a bunch of fossils and dinosaur skeletons; to the aquarium, where they have lots of interesting stuff (including a really kool sea turtle and another free-flying bat area) in the old WWII flak tower; looking into some churches... and of course we simply roamed around the city. I'd recommend visiting all the places I listed, except the natural history one if you're not interested in that sort of stuff (but if you are, then it's a pretty awesome one; they even had a Darwin exhibit thing going on, heh), and maybe the Folk one (wasn't bad, but def depends on interests). We'd intended to go catch some classical music one night, but we just didn't get around to it. Maybe next time.

Also, we got the city pass, which I think saved us a decent enough amount. It covered itself on transit, and then gave slight discounts (10-20%) at most of the stuff we did, so we saved at least a couple of euros, and the hassle of getting metro passes repeatedly.

And I'd recommend taking a day-trip to Bratislava, too. We went with this sightseeing company, and paid like €69/person, for a bus ride there (pickup from the hostel), a walking tour of the city with a good guide, lunch included, and a catamaran ride back (after a couple hours exploring on your own). It was cheaper (by like half) if you just did bus-bus rather than bus-catamaran, for the more budget-conservative folks, but we wanted the boat ride. ^^ Anyway, Bratislava is small, but it's an interesting little city, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. We got a nice history of the city and its key points of interest as we saw them, and I really enjoyed the many quirky statues that are scattered around. Especially the most famous "man at work" one, lmao. We didn't go in either of the museums mentioned, but aside of that (and walking around the small city) it didn't seem like there was a very lot to do there, so I don't think I'd recommend staying overnight, I think the day-trip was pretty perfect. But, I could be mistaken, so don't just take me at my word! lol.

So yeah, that's about it. Ask questions if ya got 'em.

And if anyone is interested, I can share a couple of my photos here. But there's 917 and I haven't gone through them yet, nor uploaded them, which will obviously take quite a bit of time, lol. But if you want to see anything in particular, let me know and I can find that and share it here. ^^