What can someone do in 10 hours in a foreign country?
As a traveler, there are many times that I just want to get on a plane and travel… Whether we are talking about a trip inland or abroad. So, at some point, I had the obsession to travel on the same day. And by saying the same day I mean getting on the plane in the morning, land in another country and returning by nightfall.
Let’s get to the point. My flight to Austria was departing from Athens at 07:20 in the morning so at around 08:45 in the morning local time in Austria, I had landed. Beyond that, it would be a good idea to have a program prepared so that you don’t waste time on transportation and enjoy the major highlights.
At the airport
Arriving at the airport, the best way to get to the center is by train. The cost of the ticket is 4.20 euros and the journey takes 15-25 minutes depending on the train departing at that time. I would also like to mention that the airport train offers all passengers free Wi-Fi and has individual power outlets in case you forgot to charge your mobile phone (although it would be good to avoid it). The stops I suggest you get off the train are Wien Hbf, where it is the main train station in Vienna, or Wien Mitte, where it is the center of Vienna. I recommend the 2nd as you are in a more central location and so you will save time on the move.
Moving throughout the city
Since you are in the country for the next 10 hours you should save and manage time as best you can. That’s why I suggest you buy a 24-hour ticket that allows you to travel to the Vienna transport network without having to take tickets anywhere. It costs 5.80 euros and allows you to travel by city bus and tram to Vienna for 24 hours. You can find more information here.
How to handle your hours in Vienna:
Generally, there is no right or wrong way to handle the hours you have available. From enjoying a coffee in the center until the last visit to Belvedere Castle, be sure to return to Greece with new ideas and a greater appetite. Below I will give you an idea of what attractions you can see in 10 hours.
1. Photo-shooting at Spittelau
Apart from being a huge waste incineration plant, Spittelau is also a building of architectural interest as its architecture and its colorful painting impress the visitor. Who would have thought that a waste incineration plant could be art? A visit to the Spittelau district heating plant will surprise you. The design of the building was based on the Austrian artist Hundertwasser who associated with modern art. You can get there with the U4 and U6 lines by going down to the stop called: Spittelau.
2. Visit the Danube Tower
We leave Spittelau with the U6 line this time and get off at the Neue Donau stop. From there we have to follow the special path with signs in German and English which leads us to the Danube Tower or Donauturm or Danube Tower. Admission is expensive for someone who travels for one day and the price is 14.5 euros. However, it has a lot to offer. The tower has an elevator with a transparent roof and at the same time plays music. It consists of 2 floors: in the first one you are surrounded by the glass as you are inside while if you go upstairs with the inner staircase you go out. The tower rotates and has a restaurant where you can sit and enjoy Austrian gastronomy.
3. Visit the Madame Tussauds Vienna Museum
We leave the Danube Tower and walk through the Danube Park until we find ourselves at Kaisermuhler VIC Station. From there with the U1 line, we get off to Praterstern. There you can find the Prater. It is an amusement park which I do not suggest you visit if you do not have time and next to it is the museum of wax figures of Madame Tussaud. For someone who has never seen anything like it, it’s pretty impressive. The exhibition is not very large but the exhibits are impressive. You can take endless photos with all the waxworks and the entrance to the museum is at 19 euros.
TIP: It would be a good idea to have MB on your mobile since in Europe you are no longer charged extra.
4. Wiener Riesenrad
This is the alternative to the Danube Tower. It is located next to the Madame Tussaud Museum and is a landmark of Vienna. Basically, it’s a huge wheel that offers great views. It costs 12 euros and the walk takes 10 minutes.
Again, with the U1 line, we get off at the Stephansplatz stop. It is the main square in Vienna. Apart from a lot of people, there you can find shops and beautiful cafes. If you have time, I definitely suggest you try the Austrian schnitzel. Apart from picturesque buildings and narrow streets, this square hosts the Cathedral of St. Stephen. Admission is free and is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Vienna.
6. Museum of illusions
If you have not visited a similar museum, I highly recommend that you visit it. It is a 3-minute walk from St. Stephen Square and the regular entrance costs 12 euros. You can find more information here. The staff is very kind and will make sure you stay happy even if you are traveling alone.
TIP: However, if there is a queue or you are traveling in high season, I suggest you avoid it, as we said, we travel for a few hours.
Walking 10 minutes we reach the City Hall of Vienna. There you can admire the building and the town hall square.
Right next to it, is the Austrian parliament building. It is completely reminiscent of Greece as it is built based on the Greek neoclassical style while the marbles of the building are Greek. Right in front of the building is also the fountain of the goddess Athena.
8. Belvedere Castle
We depart from Rathausplatz and with the D or 71 tram lines we enjoy the 20-minute route to the Schloss Belvedere stop. In 3 minutes, we are at Belvedere Castle. At this stage, I do not think that there is enough time to see the museum inside. It is an imposing and beautiful building where you can take amazing photos and it is an ideal place to go for a walk. However, if you want to visit the museum, the entrance fee is 16-20 euros, depending on which part of the building you want to visit, while after 18:00 it is free.
Time to return
And somewhere here we have exhausted the available hours in Vienna, and we have to head to the airport. Vienna Central Station is just a 10-minute walk from Belvedere Castle.
We board the next available train to the airport and in 20 minutes we are back at the same place we were in the morning. Signs in German and English will guide you to the departure area.
TIP: Make sure you have your tickets online so that you can receive information about your flight departure gate. However, you can also use huge boards with information at the airport or ask at the information counter.
General advice: I think that day trips are ideal for a solo traveler. Traveling alone I learned to be independent, to make my schedule according to my own needs and requirements, I learned to love myself, to take care of myself but above all, I learned to be happy. However, if you wish to make this trip with friends, make sure you have a good schedule and don’t be late to return to the airport.
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