Every traveler would like to visit Austria at least once. But which city is the best place to start your acquaintance with this magnificent country? Of course, a trip to Austria should certainly begin with its capital – Vienna. So we chose this wonderful city for our stop on the way to Italy.
From Krakow to Vienna by car
It was the second day of our stay in the EU as part of our road trip to Italy. On a sunny morning, we leave Krakow with the hope that the sun will not leave us (after all, summer is in the yard). Goodbye Poland. We are waiting for the beauty – Vienna.
Distance: Krakow – Vienna (via Ostrava, Brno along A4) – 470 km. Hotel in Vienna: Hotel Erzherzog Rainer (1 night) We visited in July 2021
Vignette for driving, where to buy?
From Krakow to Vienna we move along the A4 motorway. The road runs along the autobahn through the territory of the Czech Republic. Almost all autobahns in the Czech Republic are paid, so we must get a vignette without fail, otherwise a fine. Even if you are in transit! Using the navigator and signs, we carefully observe the approach to the Czech border, a special shield tells us that we are entering Česká Republika, follow the road signs, and as soon as we see the inscription “Vignette”, we immediately turn to the vignette sales point. It can be a gas station, some kiosk or a shop. Our return trip also ran through the Czech Republic, so it was more profitable for us to purchase a vignette for a period of one month than to pay twice for ten days. We pulled into the first gas station. How many of our compatriots are here! 30% of the cars were definitely with Russian numbers. Everyone, like us, diligently pasted vignettes on the windshield. At a distance, several police patrols were on duty and watching the incoming and outgoing police, apparently ready to immediately catch up and explain to the slow-witted the rules of travel on Czech roads. Therefore, relying on Russian is not worth it. At the entrance to Austria, we also buy a vignette.
Unusual landmark in Vienna on the way to the hotel
And after all, before checking into the hotel, we planned to visit one of the most unusual sights of this city – the Hundertwasser house. We wouldn’t go on foot – it’s a bit far, but by car, passing by, just along the way. So we took advantage of this great opportunity.
The car was left somewhere in the yard. Got umbrellas. It took an hour and a half to inspect and take photos and videos. Pleased with this architectural structure. Indeed somehow does not fit into the traditional idea of Vienna. Bought souvenirs from the shop next door.
Checked into Hotel Erzherzog Rainer
It cleared up, we traveled around in search of a hotel. Finally found. The staff was friendly. We were told that we can leave the car near the hotel until 8 o’clock in the morning for free (because it’s Sunday). In general, a good hotel. And you can walk to the center. The room is small but cozy and perfectly clean. In the morning I enjoyed the champagne breakfast. In general, everything is very aristocratic in Austrian).
So, having received the cherished key and a map of the city, we went to the room to have a little rest from the road and coordinate our further movements around Vienna. The obligatory points of the program we have outlined for ourselves: To see Klympt’s famous painting “The Kiss” in the Belvedere (well, I really wanted to look at the painting bought by the Belvedere Gallery for a record amount before it was completed) and one of the symbols of Vienna – St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Try a real Viennese schnitzel in one of the many establishments in the city (there was also a tasting of Viennese strudel, but, unfortunately, there was not enough room in the stomach for dessert).
Vienna sightseeing tour in one day
The walk was supposed to be on foot. On the route to the Belvedere and Stephansplatz, we hoped to see some more important and interesting sights.
This sympathetic fountain, which met us in the courtyard of our hotel, immediately painted the forthcoming walk with romantic colors. Even before leaving the city, we already felt that Vienna is not in vain called the cultural capital of Europe. It is located on Mozart Square and is called the “Mozart Fountain”. The fountain is decorated with sculptures of Tomino and Pamina – these are the heroes of his opera The Magic Flute.
Time was running out, it was necessary to catch the Belvedere before closing. And there are so many things to do along the way!
Karlskirche or St. Charles’ Cathedral
In the very center of Vienna on Karlsplatz, next to the metro station of the same name, is the Karlskirche or St. Charles Cathedral. It is the finest example of the Viennese Baroque. Its height is 72 meters.
The architecture of the cathedral includes some oriental motifs, which makes it even more interesting and attractive.
After the end of the plague in 1713, the construction of the Karlskirche was started by one of the most famous baroque architects in Austria, Johann Fischer von Erlach. His son continued after the death of his father. Hence such a mixture of styles and unusual appearance. In total, construction took twenty-one years. Today the temple is not active. There is a museum on the territory. You can take the elevator to the observation deck.
We had little time and we were forced to confine ourselves to inspecting the facades of the church. Very impressed.
In all cities of Europe there are so-called “plague columns” – structures dedicated to the victory over the most terrible disease of the Middle Ages, but this one is perhaps the most grandiose. Once in Vienna, be sure to see with your own eyes the cathedral called Karlskirche. He will conquer anyone with his incredible decoration, as well as external and internal splendor.
We moved along the streets of Vienna towards the Belvedere Palace, periodically checking the route with the navigator.
Even from a distance we saw a monument, but of modern architecture, which we could not ignore …