Added to the UNESCO World Heritage listing, Vienna, Austria, is a beautiful and vibrant city. It's also a major cultural center especially for classical music, opera and the arts. A gorgeous city that is filled with amazing architecture and monuments, Vienna often makes the list as one of the best tourist spots in Europe and even the world. As the former capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, there are many imposing memorials and palaces, magnificent museums and ornate churches and places of worship. With these insider tips, you can enjoy yourself to the maximum on a tight budget without sacrificing the best Vienna has to offer.
Travel from the airport to the city center can be an expensive endeavor if you don't know the local transportation system. Most visitors pay a premium to take the express train that runs direct to the city. If you don't mind spending an extra 15 minutes in transit, you can save yourself 8 Euros each way by taking the local train line, the S-bahn, which travels the same track but makes various stops in between.
Today many cities recommend tourist passes, a card which gives you free entrance to sights, discounts for popular activities and unlimited access to public transport. These cards are great and can save you a lot of cash, especially if you plan to do a lot of sightseeing. The Vienna Card has over 200 discounts and is valid for up to 72 hours. If you're a family, one child under 15 can use the public transportation system free of charge with the purchase of an adult card.
The Naschmarkt is one of the largest marketplaces in Vienna with lots of goodies for visitors. From gathering knick knacks to devouring different cuisines at the various food stands and restaurants, there are a lot of activities to do in this bustling marketplace. This flea market presents visitors with a broad range of inexpensive food, products and services.
Vienna is endowed with more than 100 museums but the majority of them have an entrance fee. However, on Sundays there are some 20 museums that offer free entry. Others museums merge the entrance fee into a single ticket for two to four associated museums that are not always in the same location. If your trip is over a weekend, this is the best day to visit Viennas city museums.
Opera is a serious industry in Vienna. There are about 500 standing room spaces at the Vienna State Opera available for each performance and only sell on the performance day. Take advantage of seeing an opera as the standing room tickets are cheap and relatively easy to obtain without much advance planning required.
The massive park and garden complex at the Schonbrunn Palace was opened to the community in 1779 and ever since it has offered a popular place for the Viennese people and tourists alike to enjoy the outdoors. The Schonbrunn Palace is one of the best-conserved Baroque palaces and its one-of-a kind in Europe. The Schonbrunn Palace Gardens are an excellent place to relax and enjoy the ambiance of Vienna without paying a dime.
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Auston grew up in Phoenix before escaping to Chicago in 2008. After 4 years working as an engineer, he sold his belongings and embarked on a round-the-world trip. After traveling non-stop for a year, he finally settled in Spain with his husband where he now calls home. When he's not traveling or writing guides about events, festivals or the best LGBT destinations, he enjoys the long sunny days and nightlife of Madrid. Read Auston's blog at Two Bad Tourists, or follow him on Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.
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