We went to Vienna the 2nd week of August so this is what we did:
Tuesday- We arrived at Vienna and took a taxi to Appartment Ferchergasse where we had rented an apartment for a week. Great place and management. One of the best advice we got was to buy the weekly transit card for around 15 euros. We then took the 10A tram to Schonbrunn Palace and because it was the afternoon, we avoided the crowds. We bought the Classic Ticket (make sure you bring student IDs for the kids because there is a discount, and kids under 19 are free) and went to the Maze, Labyrinth and Gloriette. We then later ate at Apollon by Hernals Street which was good . My son had the bisteca and my daughter the vegetarian platter. They loved theirs; I had the souvlaki which was okay. When I went to pay by credit card (because it said that they accepted credit cards), they said the machine was broken so I had to pay by cash. Most places in Vienna only accept cash so be forewarned.
Wednesday- We took the S bahn to Westbahnhof and went to the Oebb office to purchase the Combi ticket to Melk Abbey. The combi ticket was a great buy but you have to leave at specific times. We boarded the 9:18 am train to Melk and spent 2 Euros each on the English tour. The tour was nice but we felt we could have done it ourselves. We then ate at the Café Restaurant Zimmer on the main street and then walked down to the docks to take the newer Brandner boat to Krems. It has a smaller observation deck but it was newer, had air conditioning in the inside cabin and was less crowded. It also landed closer inland. Instead of Krems, we got off at the pretty town of Durnstein but since we opted out of hiking up to Richard, the Lion Hearted's castle, there wasn’t much to do there but eat and take pictures. My daughter wished she had her bathing suit because people were sunning themselves on the beach there but alas, we didn't. We also regretted not spending time in Krems since there seemed to be more historic places to visit there. From Durnstein, we then boarded the bus on the outskirts of town to get to Krems to get the 5:03 pm train back into the city. We debated staying on in Krems but were told that we would have to purchase another ticket to take the later train so we opted to return instead.
For dinner, we then decided to go to Figlmuller for their famed Weiner Schnitzel. The original one was closed for renovations so we waited on line at the other one around the corner and the Schnitzel was awesome (and huge!). The spinach dumplings were excellent also. Then to cap off the evening we walked to Eissalon Schwedenplatz for their gelatos which were delish.
Thursday- we made a mistake and got up late. We had book Fraulein Maria’s Bike Tour in Salzburg and since the train ride would be almost 3 hours, we had booked the 4:30 pm tour. Because we did not buy tickets in advance, the Oebb price was almost 50 Euros, twice the usual price because we were buying tickets the day of! So then we opted to go on the cheaper, newer Westbahn trains that had free Wifi and bought tickets on board. However when I went to pay by credit card this time, they would not accept cards without the Smart Chip (Oebb would take it) so I had to pay in cash. Coming back we did not realize that the last Westbahn train left at 7:48 pm and since our tour ended at 8 pm, we had to pay the Oebb’s inflated price for the return. But because we did have the Weekly Transit card, we did manage to get a small discount on that.
Also, we bought sandwiches and desserts from Le Cro Bag at the Westbahnhof station which was the best thing we did. We ate on the ride to Salzburg and we did the same coming back. Their food was awesome! We then took a quick walk around the city (it’s 20 minutes from the station) and met up with the Tour outside the Mirabell Palace (10 mins from the station). We had a great ride 3.5 hour Sound of Music bike tour, stopping at the main sites along the way. The prettiest ones were the cemetery where the Von Trapp are escaping and the lake one where the Von Trapp “home” was. Then we bought dinner from Le Cro Bag on the way home. If we had to do it over again, we would have left much earlier for Salzburg so we could have explored the city longer since it was such a pretty city!
Friday - We went to the KunstHistoriches Museum near the MuseumsQuartier area. Again we got student discounts. The lobby is magnificent but I do not agree with others who think that it is better than the Louvre. After that, we walked through the Hofburg Palace area, took some pictures and ate sacher torte at the famed Demel. The sacher torte was good but needed more apricot; the truffle torte however was to die for, though. We then walked around town and ate dinner at Café Mozart which had the best waiter, and the best food including Tafelspitz. We later opted to have dessert at Café Sacher and my daughter tried their sacher torte for comparison (the subject of a 7 year legal battle with Demel for bragging rights). She liked the fact that it had more apricot than Demel’s but felt Demel’s had a better chocolate icing. My son and I had the apfelstrudel which was a little dry.
Saturday- Where else does one go but the Naschmarkt? A friend of my brother’s had recommended going to the less touristy Brunnermarkt but since it was our last day in Vienna we went to the Naschmarkt instead. It did not disappoint as we spent 2-1/2 hours there. We started at Kennenbruckengasse, which was where the Flea Market begins, and we bought 5 E scarves, 9 E coffee and ate lunch at Dr. Falafel. We also made friends with the Honey Man, —his booth sold honey wine and honey bears (like gummy bears) which was delicious. We wound up taking pictures with him and buying 7 bottles of his wine.
We then walked over to the MUMOK museum at the Museums Quartier and it was very interesting. It is deceiving from the outside but there was about 6 floors of artwork, with the top floors being the current exhibit of Albert Oehlen works. I really enjoyed his mirror paintings and took pictures of myself standing in front of the mirrors which gave a cool photo effect. The museum also has one Picasso and several Andy Warhol pix (several with Mick Jagger).
Afterwards we took the train to the Prater, Vienna’s amusement park and it was HUGE. It was the perfect way to end our vacation as we rode the Reisenrad Ferris Wheel which was more of a panoramic car overlooking Vienna. My kids rode the rollercoasters (which were 3-3.5 euros each) and we listened to live music, and ate the famous chocolate Mozart balls.
Then it was back to town where we ate a delicious meal at Ottakring Landhaus. This time we had Weiner Schnitzel, spaetzle and Tafelspitz. To cap off the evening we then had the homemade gelato at Gelateria Arnoldo nearby. All in all, we had a wonderful time in Vienna and Salzburg.