One of the reasons I like to visit Vienna in summertime is the quality of the street artists performing there. A real gem of destination marketing by this guy.
When someone wants to make a photo.
Or when his partner comes along…
The Rathaus (City Hall) Christkindlmarkt (Chrismas Market) in Vienna
Over 40 years I visit Vienna almost annually. Hence I may have visited it over 40 times already. I may be biased, but for me Vienna is the number 1 city destination, especially around Christmas. It has a lot of Old World charm and elegance.
When I checked my Vienna category here, I noticed I had only one post labeled correctly with Vienna, while I have mentioned it in over 30 posts.
So it’s about time to cure the huge omission of not having written about Vienna in detail with tips and so. As one of my travel blogging friends will heading there I’ll rather do it now than later, to be able to help her a bit. Because I have so much material, it certainly will take several posts.
As Vienna has one of the best tourist sites at Wien.info, you should always check it out before you visit Vienna. You can even link through very easily to order theater tickets online or make restaurant reservations via its Search and Book widget at the right.
It may also be an idea to look for free audio/video tours at Itunes. I found this one, but haven’t checked it out yet.
The Vienna City Airport Train or CAT
2 Getting There
Traveling by air you’ll most likely arrive at Vienna’s Airport which is located south of the Danube river between the little town Schwechat and the village Fischamend and only approximately 15 miles due east from the city.
From there the best connection with the city center is the City Airport Train (CAT) follow the signs. Traveling with the Cat you’ll end up in the city center and if your hotel is in the city center (roughly in the neighborhood of the Ring), it is somehow easy to reach walking from the CAT city terminal. It is also good to know that you can check your luggage in there for your return flight. Especially handy when you have a late flight back and want to do a bit of last minute shopping. You can check your luggage in in the morning and don’t have to return to your hotel. Before you get on board of the CAT it is maybe handy to buy a public transport pass for several days.
3 Public Transport
Vienna has a tightly knit net of bus and tram lines. As it spreads across the city like a spiderweb, it is not always easy to find the right connections.
Vienna is one of the last cities that has realized a small metro network which means it is fast and efficient. When I’m not using my car I use the metro, or U Bahn in German.
Left Café Central, Fiakr in the middle and the entrance of the Style Hotel in Vienna right
Austrian Hotels are usually very good and Vienna has many good and also more affordable hotels, but my favorite hotel is the Radisson Sas Style hotel. It is right in the center, two steps away from the “Goldene Meile” (the Golden Mile) shopping area of the Kohlmarkt and from the Graben. It is close to the Royal Palace and various theaters and museums. It is opposite Café Central where you can have a better breakfast for less than that in the Hotel. When you are on a shopping spree, you can drop your finds underway while shopping. It is not too big with 75 rooms and the personnel is very friendly. I find it really nice to hear the “clippediclack” of the horse hoofs and their echoes through the streets early in the morning, because one of Vienna’s great tourist attractions, the Viennese Fiakrs or horse carts that do the tourist routes from the Stephans Dom, always come along this hotel on their tours.
Elephant Decorating at Demel Vienna
5 Coffee, Coffee, Coffee and Cake!
Vienna is all about Coffee and Cake. They practically invented the Café and have maintained the old Café traditions throughout. A Konditorei is more of a cake selling shop or pastry shop where they serve coffee and tea and lunch as well. Usually the Konditoreis are less relaxed than the cafés, but usually they offer better quality (the ultimate quality) cakes.
Some of my favorites are:
More to follow.
I’m not so much into video. However I created this “video”, actually more as a slide show with music, to see how that works when using picasa. It works well.
The second reason was I’d put together some photos of previous visits to Vienna and to ask my readers whether they would recognize some items.
Thirdly I used it to enter a social media competition by Radisson Blue.
The winner of the competition is my travel blogger friend Inga Rós Antoníusdóttir (@Inga_Ros) from Iceland who, with her hubby (@Hjörtur), has run an exemplary social media campaign to win this competition including even their own FB Group 5 Little Elves.
Amazingly there were 3 competitors from Iceland between the first 10 finalists. In total Radisson got over 10 k applicants….I would say it was a good example of a social media campaign, but what amazes me after all that Radisson doesn’t show anything anymore on their site from the competition itself. They could have made good stories and they generated a few good story lines and slogans…
I’ve entered the Greatest Holiday on Earth contest.
The Scandinavia based hotel brand Radisson Blu (Formerly Radisson SAS and SAS without Radisson) has launched this brilliant and simple internet driven Web 2.0 contest. The participants have to enter the competition with a slogan, 4 photos and possibly a video to explain why they deserve the price, 365 nights in one or more of the 200 plus Radisson Blu hotels. They win the price when they have received the most votes. The hotels of the Radisson Blu portfolio are basically located in Europe and the Middle East. The winner may use the 365 free hotel room nights in 5 years. A brilliant prize and there is a lot of buzz forming already.
Once entered the participants have to use their social contacts to vote for them. Mind you, every 24 hrs they and their contacts may cast their vote. The contest runs until July 24st.
Would you like to vote for me?
As we will never be able to take all nights ourselves, I’ve decided that if I win, I will throw 300 nights into a Travel Bloggers Camp somewhere in Europe so that 300 Travel bloggers can enjoy 1 free night for a two days event, or 150 Travel bloggers can enjoy two free nights for a three days event.
Com on travel blog friends let’s flex our muscles and show the world we can do this:-) Vote!
Happy to present a real hotelier to you. Ha, I should have known that asking him my 10 questions would create as answers: “The Ring, Grand Hotel Wien and The Ring”:-). The first photo shows him very proudly with the 2008 Tripadvisor award for The Ring.
1) Who Are you?
I am currently Assistant General Manager of 2 luxury hotels in Vienna, the famous Grand Hotel Wien, part of Leading Hotels of the World and The Ring, Vienna’s Casual Luxury Hotel, a luxury design hotel we opened in 2007
2) What do you like about what you do?
I like working with people for our guests, I like the fact that hotel industry is like theater, every day and every situation is different, I like facing challenges, making things possible to our clients and guests, having an overall thinking-out-of-the-box mentality.
3) What don’t you like about what you do?
This question took me a while to think about, I cannot tell you what I do not like, my personal opinion is that one should see this job as a hobby.
4) Please tell us all about your blog and your aims with it.
The blog we recently developed and implemented (The Ring Press) for our The Ring, Vienna’s Casual Luxury Hotel is meant to inform guests, journalists, actually the on-line community about who we are, what people think and wrote about us and with which partners we work. I personally see this blog as a very unique on-line marketing tool.
5) Your top 3 destination experiences you’ve ever stayed to date and why?
Thailand due to the spa experiences, France due to the excellent food and the French mentality, Holland due to the very open culture and off course Friesland.
6) Your top 3 accommodations you’ve ever stayed to date and why?
Paris as I wanted to surprise my wife, Bratislava to experience this upcoming city, Garda lake as we (my family and myself) needed a summer break.
7) Your top 3 most memorable food experiences to date and why?
The famous Heuriger in Vienna and Austria, this is so typical and so nice. Google it and give it a try, our Japanese restaurant Unkai as it is indeed the best Japanese food in Vienna ..number 3 is yet to come
8) Your 3 worst destination/ accommodation /food experiences to date and why?
I only had a very bad food experience in Bratislava due to the fact that 1.) the food was terrible and 2.) we were definitely treated like foreigners..one does not expect that anymore
9) Can you offer the readers 3 travel/ food / accomodation / things to do tips about the city you are currently living in?
Do stay at one of Vienna’s trendy design hotels or at the recently opened Hotel Stadthalle (a bit of a green hotel focusing on green travel), visit the Heuriger restaurants and do plan culture, culture, culture ..also nightlife is great in Vienna. For dinner : our restaurant At Eigh at The Ring : aroma cuisine, new and spectacular.
10) Any Question(s) you’d expected me to ask that you would like to answer?
No, I would have asked the same questions and I am so happy to have the opportunity to get presented in this blog. Thank you!
Thank you Carl-Peter!
First congratulations with the Tripadvisor Award! A great achievement! Secondly: I have been informed that your at eight Ring restaurant got a very high Gault Millau rating recently – you should update your Blog!
I started this presentation with a bit of teasing, but when I was new to the internet I think I would have reacted the same as Carl-Peter: “Don’t divulge too much of yourself: They can use it against you”.
I will be meeting Carl Peter soon and get a personal tour of this new Viennese Hotel The Ring. Looking forward to it. Stay tuned!