City trip -Vienna, the capital of Austria 05/2024



Over Whitsun, I will be setting off again. Not by plane, however, but this time by train, in just under four hours from Munich to Vienna.

Many people rave about the Austrian capital. Now I want to get my own impression of the imperial city, take my time to see the beautiful city with its districts and Austrian flair, take a closer look at it photographically and, of course, eat a real Wiener Schnitzel.

There are also supposed to be wild, trusting hamsters and ground squirrels, which I naturally want to get in front of my camera lens.


The train left Munich Central Station right on time, passing Lake Chiemsee, the mountains and with short stops in Salzburg, Linz, St. Pölten and Vienna Meidling.

At Vienna Central Station, I orientated myself briefly, checked Maps Me and walked about 10 minutes to my hostel, which I found very quickly. At check-in I was greeted in a friendly manner, but nobody spoke German or Austrian, only English, which surprised me a little, but didn't matter. As breakfast isn't served until 7am, but I wanted to be with the hamsters by then, I got my money back for tomorrow's breakfast, which I had paid in advance. I took my luggage upstairs. I had booked a bed in a four-bed women's room. For 3 nights and 3 breakfasts, I paid just under €160. Each bed has a curtain, so you also have privacy. The room also has a bathroom and toilet, so there's no bathroom in the corridor. When I got to the room, there was only a young Chinese woman there.

After I had unloaded everything, I left the hostel because I wanted to walk to the bus stop and find a bakery so that I wouldn't have to look for one tomorrow. Unfortunately, on the way to the 'Quellenplatz' stop, I found neither a café nor a bakery that opens before 7am. In the neighbourhood which is also known as the 'Sonnwendviertel' and is located in the 10th district of Vienna, Favoriten, I felt like I was in Turkey. Kebab shops, shisha bars etc. everywhere. I turned round and decided to go back to the hostel. There I drank and ate a snack and searched the internet for an alternative route and a breakfast option.

There were now three of us in the room. Another young woman, I assume from India, joined us. We didn't talk, however, as she left straight away and I packed my photo equipment for tomorrow and went to bed early.

Day 1: Hamsters and sightseeing

My alarm clock rang at 5.20am because I wanted to be at the central cemetery on time at 7am. I got dressed, took my packed photo rucksack and went to the main railway station. Fortunately, a few bakeries were already open there, so I was able to buy my breakfast. I then bought a day ticket for 8 euros and travelled first by bus and tram to the central cemetery.

I got off at the 3rd gate and walked purposefully to a place that was recommended to me for the hamsters. I got ready and waited. But nothing happened for the first half hour. Then two more photographers joined me. As the meadow was still wet and the sun wasn't shining, we had to be patient for quite a while. Gradually, more photographers gathered. Then, finally, the first hamster appeared. It was so cute to see them. Hamsters are on the list of endangered animals. Being able to observe them in the wild is simply amazing. One by one, three more hamsters appeared. Some were so trusting that they came very close to us. I was able to take some great photos and was very pleased with my first encounter with these hamsters.

At around 12 noon, I packed my things and went back to the hostel. There I changed my clothes, saved the photos to my external hard drive and left the hostel for the underground. I got on the U1 underground and travelled to Naschmarkt. Taking photos there was a great pleasure for me, because there are so many different situations and interesting people at markets.

At the end of the Naschmarkt there is a really nice flea market. An elderly gentleman was really happy that I asked if I could take his photo.

I set off on foot to Karlskirche church and over to the 1st district.

There I strolled through the alleyways, passing the Vienna State Opera, the Stepahn Church, other markets and squares. When I wanted to sit down in the 'little café', unfortunately there was nothing free so I continued on through the Volkskarten and past the town hall.

I decided to take the tram to 'Yppenplatz' with its farmers' market. At first I thought I had landed in Turkey again, as the market was very oriental again at first. But when I arrived at the end, at Ypennplatz, the farmers' market began. Unfortunately, it was being dismantled. There were lots of small bars and cafés all around. The neighbourhood reminded me a lot of Kreuzberg in Berlin.

After almost 20,000 steps, I sat down in a small café, had a lemonade and watched the hustle and bustle.

In the evening, I also met up with Klaus, a true Viennese.I've known him since my hotel days in Stuttgart. A great friendship has developed over the years.We had dinner together, enjoyed the evening and he gave me lots of tips for the coming days.

Afterwards, I was given a private city tour including a shuttle service to the hostel.

Exhausted and tired, I fell into bed.

Day 2: Architecture and sightseeing

Today I had breakfast at the hostel. After I had fortified myself, I took my rucksack and headed for the underground right here in the neighbourhood. I took the U1 to Praterstern. I walked to the famous old Prater.

There's not too much going on in the morning. I didn't stay long and continued on to the 'Donauinsel' station. Here I had a beautiful view of the river. I went over to the other side of the Danube and headed for 'Donau City' with its gigantic 'DC Tower' skyscraper. Unfortunately, there was a lot of building work going on there, so I couldn't really get close enough to the tower to take a photo from a suitable angle. What a pity.

I strolled around for a while. Donau City is a new neighbourhood in Vienna's 22nd district of Donaustadt that was built in 1996. It is characterised by numerous high-rise buildings. If there weren't so many building sites, you could have let off steam photographically here.

So I drove back to 'Schwedenplatz'. It was only a few steps from there to the Greek street. It's small but nice. Definitely worth a visit.

Afterwards, I wanted to go to 'Café Prückel', which Klaus had recommended to me yesterday. It was very busy there. I waited for over 10 minutes, but nobody came, so I decided to make my way to the Hunderwasser Houses without cake and coffee.

I was told in advance that it wouldn't be worth it, at least if you wanted to photograph them. And so the big disappointment didn't materialise. There were far too many people there and I couldn't find a good perspective either. I think the postcard pictures were taken from the houses opposite, which wasn't possible for me.

I walked along the Danube Canal for a while until I got on a tram and travelled back towards 'Karlskirche'. I got off there and looked for a special café that was one of the insider tips. I found it quickly. The 'Café Phil' is integrated into a bookshop and is very cosy.

After my coffee break, I made my way to the 'Museumsquartier', which Klaus had also recommended to me. But there were just too many people here too, so I made my way in the direction of Schloss Bellevue.

There I strolled through the grounds before heading back to the hostel. I thought about what I could do with the rest of the afternoon and decided to take the tram back to the hamsters. Fortunately, when I arrived at the meadow in the central cemetery, there wasn't much going on and I spotted a hamster straight away. Unfortunately, he also saw me and disappeared. I sat down in another spot and waited. And indeed, three more kept coming out and were very active and busy looking for food. One was once again very curious and came right up to my tripod and my camera. When the light got really good, however, I had to leave because I didn't want to spend the night in the central cemetery as it closes at 7pm.

My stomach was growling, but my feet were so sore after almost 26,000 steps that I ate something in the hostel and ended the evening at the bar.


Before I drove back to Munich, I went back to the central cemetery after breakfast. Unfortunately, the hamsters weren't very active, they did make an appearance, but only briefly. So I walked around the cemetery for a while and passed the graves of honor of Udo Jürgens, Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert. There are also many deer and young roebucks living here, some of which I came across. They sat quietly between the graves or walked past the people.

Around midday, I went back to the hostel, got my luggage out of the locker, changed and headed towards the train station. However, as I still had a little over two hours to spare, I had lunch.

The train arrived on time, but was also packed. Luckily I found a seat even without a reservation, but I would recommend everyone to book a seat reservation in future. The Austrian train surprised me because we arrived at Munich Central Station 5 minutes earlier than planned. The German railroads can take a leaf out of their book.