A Walking Tour of Vienna to Discover Vienna Off-the-Beaten Track:
PARIS & THE HEART OF EUROPE – UNIWORLD RIVER CRUISE – DAY 2:
For our sightseeing in Vienna, we had a choice of a visit to the Imperial Treasury to see the Habsburg crown jewels or a walking tour of Vienna titled “Vienna at Second Glance Walking Tour“. Those who chose the Imperial Treasury tour probably made a better choice from a weather perspective. It was a cold and wet day in Vienna, but rain or shine, the walking tour of Vienna had to go on!
Walking Tour of Vienna
Our sightseeing tour of Vienna was described as an intimate walking tour to discover the hidden side of Vienna. From our cruise terminal we went by coach to the Landstraße district in the south-eastern centre of Vienna and our first stop was Hundertwasserhaus to see the interesting apartment block designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser. This colourful building block with its unconventional lines is more enjoyable under clearer skies when you can mill around and examine all the undulating floors and ceilings and crooked features in detail, which we did on a previous trip. But with the rain sheeting down on us, we viewed the building hurriedly and as best as we could from under our umbrellas.
From Hundertwasserhaus, we went on to the Stephansplatz, whose main attraction is St. Stephen’s Cathedral. We didn’t visit the Cathedral, but instead we weaved in and out of Vienna’s hidden arcades and passageways to arrive at some of the private apartment buildings in the historic centre of Vienna. Many of these very nice inner-city apartments are tucked away from the tourist trail. Our guide highlighted the different architectural styles and interesting features of the apartments, one of which was previously the family residence of an old Viennese merchant and another had remnants of medieval Vienna built into the new apartment block.
At Dr.-Ignaz-Seipel-Platz 1, we went into the Jesuitenkirche to take a look at the ornate interior of this church. One of the interesting features of this church is its trompe-l’oeil dome. From a light-coloured tile in the aisle of Jesuitenkirche you will see the perfect dome. We later visited another church to see the contrasting features of the two churches.
Vienna Off-the-Beaten Track
We’ve previously explored Vienna quite extensively on our own but on this walking tour we saw sights that only a local would know of, a cat cafe, remnants of medieval Vienna, a great view of the ornately patterned roof of St Stephen’s Cathedral, etc. Tony even came across a sexy-looking lingerie model in her very skimpy wedding gear.
A Snack at Trzesniewski
Our guide set quite a walking pace and the rain did not slow her enthusiasm to show us the everyday sights of Vienna. As a reward for our persistence in completing the walking tour of Vienna in the rain, we were brought to Trzesniewski, Vienna’s famous sandwich shop. Here we were offered a Pfiff of beer, wine or soft drinks and a choice of some of their twenty-two finger sandwiches. Trzesniewski is very much a local institution and many office workers came in for a quick snack during the time that we were there. The finger sandwich concept allows diners to try a range of different sandwich toppings.
Worth Doing Even in the Rain
We got quite wet during our walking tour and were glad to return to the River Duchess for lunch. Although the rain made it awkward for photography and the cold dampened our enjoyment a little, we thought this intimate walking tour of Vienna was worth doing as it showed us a side of Vienna that we had not seen before.
Vienna Strauss and Mozart Concert
No visit to Vienna is complete without a Strauss and Mozart concert and this evening there was an optional Vienna Concert at the Kursalon. We attended this on a couple of previous trips, and although this is a production for tourists, the music is enjoyable.