My experience, the trip and facts about Viennas are taken in June and September 2003
Skylines and views
Innere Stadt: The historical city center
Innere Stadt: Around Karlsplatz, Schwedenplatz and Stadtpark
Landstrasse: East of downtown, Hundertwasser's building
Mariahilf and Fünfhaus: Mariahilfer Strasse and my hostel is here
Leopoldstadt: Just north of the city center, includes Praterpark
Neuebau: West of downtown, including MuseumsQuartier and Spittelberg
Ottakring: Multicultural area in central Vienna
Donaustadt: Skyscraper district in North Vienna
Brigittenau: Residential area north of downtown with Millennium Tower
Schönbrunn: The famous castle in Hietzing district
The parks: Prater, Donaupark, Karlspark, Stadtpark, Burggarten, Volksgarten, Belvedere Garten
Outskirts: Including Floridsdorf, Gasometer, Simmering, Alsergrund and nature
Population: 1 680 000 (2 269 000)
Vienna, the capital and largest city of Austria, and the 10th largest in the EU, is an elegant city with rich history and culture. Because of the great prominence of the Habsburg dynasty in the past, there are many palaces and museums in the city center, and also many tall churches. You can feel the prominence of classical music in the city, there are statues of Mozart and street musicians all over the place in the city center. The very heart of the city mainly consist of 4 pedestrian streets. In 2001, the city center (Innere Stadt) was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is lively and you can find many architecural styles in Vienna, from baroque and renaissance to gothic. During the latest decade Vienna has experienced a rise in modern architecture, and in the outskirts there are no less than 3 district with small skyscrapers. Vienna's well working but expensive transportaion system includes old red and white trams, underground metro and buses. The city is mostly flat, but there are also hills around the city center, and to the west it is surrounded by mountains. The Danube Canal (not the river) divides the city just north of the city center and south of Leopoldstadt. And the much wider Danube River flows just north of Leopoldstadt and south of Donaustadt. Vienna also has many parks, especially in the city center, and there are many museums. Vienna is divided into numbered districts.
MY EXPERIENCE OF VIENNA:
I was visiting Vienna alone and arrived by plane from Copenhagen. I stayed at the hostel Wombat - The Base that is the first Wombat hostel in the world and is located in Mariahilf district west of the city center, near Westbahnfhof. I met a lot of people there, especially Australian guys. As a part of the tour I also visited Bratislava, Slovakia's capital for one day that is less than an hour by train from Vienna. I found Vienna was a clean and safe city with many diverse architecture styles. I also found the inhabitants a bit stressful and the traffic heavy and bikes that are running very fast in the city's many bike lanes. As usual, I tried to not only stick to typical tourist attractions like museums, but experience the "real" city. That turned out to be very hard since most areas have been transformed to adapt to the huge amount of tourists. I also tried to experience as many diverse architecture styles as possible, by walking a lot despite it was 31 degrees C and very sunny the first 2 days. The last day it was grey and rainy.
The metro system looked like all other metro systems in the world, but was effective.
The airport where my plane landed: Vienna International Airport is often referred to as Schwechat because it is located in the suburb with the same name. It is situated to the East of Vienna, about 30 minutes away by shuttle bus from Westbahnhof.