Vienna – Austria
The train from Bratislava to Vienna took just over an hour, arriving at Vienna’s main station around lunchtime. I bought a 72 hour travel pass for 16.50 Euro, which covered buses, trains, underground and trams in the Vienna area. What surprised me is that my ticket wasn’t checked once. I wonder how many people just don’t bother to pay.
The Hütteldorf Hostel Vienna was about 25mins outside the centre of the city, so I got on a train and headed there to drop off my bags. It took me an hour to find it as the hostel wasn’t very well sign posted but I got there in the end. I’d booked a bed in a 20-bed dorm so I didn’t know what to expect but it was cheap so I wasn’t hoping for extreme comfort.
I checked in for 3 nights and went to the dorm to be pleasantly surprised by the layout, cleanliness and facilities. I thought it was pretty cool to be on the top bunk, chatting to random people wrapped in towels and exchanging travel stories.
There was free WiFi, which worked most of the time and breakfast included. I had some gluten free cornflakes left over so had those with a banana and soya milk. I was also able to have the mixed fruit, natural yogurt and jam, which was really good. Coffee on tap and fruit juice available too.
The downside to the hostel was the cost for the washing machine, 8 Euros per load! I didn’t bother. I’ll wait until Graz or find a sink somewhere. All in all it was a good place to stay and the distance from the city didn’t bother me. After I’d made my bed and stashed my bags, I headed back into the city for some sightseeing. I didn’t really know much about Vienna or its history, it’s used as a film location quite a lot so I knew the kind of architecture I would find.
The transport system is excellent and has clearly been thought out well. I didn’t find the people here as friendly as Slovakia or Hungary. It’s a bigger city so that’s part of it, but people rushed around and pushed and shoved in a way that just reminded me of London.
Vienna is the most expensive city I’ve stayed in so far on my trip. I ate out most days because there was nowhere to cook at the hostel, most meals were 15-20 Euros but then I was also eating gluten free. On the upside, the food was really good.
I did a lot of walking on that first afternoon, trying to orientate myself to the city’s layout. It’s a pleasant looking city, clean and historical but with a modern twist. I don’t know how old the buildings are but they look like they could have been built yesterday.
I returned to the hostel at around 10:30pm, chatted to the other people for a while and then and went to bed. I’m getting to meet people from all over the world that I would never have met if I’d stayed in a hotel or Airbnb accommodation.
At breakfast I got chatting to some people and we decided to go into the city together. So myself, Andhi from the USA and Alex from Hong Kong got the train all the way to the end of the line and then a bus to Kahlenberg.
Here offered a great view over the city, it was pretty cold and windy up there but the view was amazing. I also bought an overpriced cup of tea. Lovely!
Voices for Refugees
On Saturday afternoon we went back into the city and found somewhere to eat and then onto meet Hannah. We went to the Voices for Refugees concert and saw some big Austrian and German pop stars and actors.
Of course, none of us knew who they were. It was a good atmosphere though, I took my camera along and did a bit of filming, which I will edit together at some point.
On Sunday morning there was a mass exodus, leaving only a few of us behind. I took myself into the city again and walked around some more, drank coffee, had lunch and generally just chilled out. I could get used to this, I thought.
I liked Vienna but Budapest is still my favourite place so far though. Staying long term in Austria would just stretch my wallet too far. I’m now heading south and as I write this I’m on a train to Graz, where I’ll be staying for 2 nights.
The sun’s out and there’s free WiFi on the train. A perfect opportunity to catch up on my blog and answer some emails.