Travel to Vienna, Austria – Episode 384

categories: europe travel

Hear about travel to Vienna, Austria as the Amateur Traveler talks to Gerhard Strassgschwandtner who is a tour guide and owner of the Third Man Museum in Vienna. Gerhard was recommended to me by the Vienna Tourism Board as the man to talk to to get to know that wonderful city.

Gerhard says: “It’s a nice blend of tradition and modern, old and new. It was once, a long, long time ago, and an important city in the world. The Habsburg dynasty administered a huge empire, 17 central European countries, via Vienna. They left a lot of great buildings behind. We wouldn’t want to live under this dynasty, these emperors and dictators, but today they left everything behind for us, all their palaces, all their culture, all their galleries and museum collections.”

“The new, since maybe 10 or 15 years there has been a lot of changes, a lot of influxes from outside. Now especially from within the European Union, new cultural input. A lot of cultural events happening, every night, every day.”

Gerhard focuses on a few of the 85 museums but also gives us an insight into the coffeehouse tradition. We focus on the historic center, which used to be enclosed by the 3-mile-long city wall, which has become a ring road. It is a city best approached on foot and by tram.

While tourists are drawn to historic sites like Schönbrunn Palace, the Vienna Opera, the Musikverein, and numerous Baroque Churches, Gerhard also recommends sites of Vienna today like eating at the Naschmarkt or exploring the flea markets, riding the Vienna Bike Trail, or exploring the nightlife and beach bars on Danube Island.

A great way to save money when you visit Vienna is the Vienna Pass. This pass covers more than 60 top attractions, including a hop-on-hop-off bus tour, entrance to the major museums and palaces, the Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel, and more.

right click here to download (mp3)
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Show Notes

Vienna Online Travel Guide
Viennese Coffee House
Vienna Street Car Museum
Vienna Opera House
Museum of Fine Arts
Schönbrunn Palace
Belvedere Palace
Neue Burg
Third Man Museum
Bicycling in Vienna
Danube Island
Hotel Rathaus
Vienna City Information


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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

2 Responses to “Travel to Vienna, Austria – Episode 384”

Barry Kramer


Hi Chris and Gerhard;

Episode 384 brought back wonderful memories of a trip my daughter and I made to Vienna a few years ago. We stopped in Vienna for three days while we were traveling by rail from a conference in Slovakia to Venice. We greatly enjoyed the many of the major palaces and museums Gerhard mentioned in the podcast. We also had a few other experiences that we thought your listeners might find worthwhile.

We loved the classical art in the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Fine Arts Museum), but we also found the works of Gustav Klimt to be very exciting. Two museums featuring the works of Klimt we enjoyed greatly were the Secession Building which features Klimt’s famous Beethoven Frieze and the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere which is home to his famous work “The Kiss.”

Vienna is the home of the artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser. His style is very reminiscent of Antoni Gaudi, and his works can be found throughout the city. The KunstHausWien is a museum dedicated to his work that we greatly enjoyed and was within walking distance of his famous municipal apartment complex Hunderwasserhaus.

We found the late afternoon cruise we took on the Danube River to be a relaxing break from the city. Other travelers have had mixed reactions to these boat trips, but we definitely enjoyed the Danube Canal and the ride through a canal lock.

Of course, a highlight of our visit to Vienna was riding the Wiener Riesenrad Ferris Wheel, featured in the movie The Thin Man, in the Prater Amusement Park. In fact, we found the Prater Park itself to be a fun contrast to the historic and cultural sites of the city.

Lastly, no visitor to Vienna should leave until you have eaten a piece of the famous desert Sachertorte. It is advertised at different places throughout the city, but the place to enjoy “The Original Sacher Torte” is at Cafe Sacher Wien near the Hotel Sacher. The rich, dark chocolate cake is expensive, but has a taste that you will never forget.

Thank you for bring back such great memories of Vienna,

Barbara Cacao


I like the idea that you received insight from a local tour guide. There are many good ones around in Vienna but they are hard to find, such as Gertrude, with whom I visited the Sigmund Freud Museum a couple of weeks ago on a ‘Vienna 1900 and Sigmund Freud Tour’. You can get the whole story on

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