Yes, I said the great thing about inter-railing is the freedom however, the tough thing is when you’ve left one City/Country at 5 am, spent an afternoon being a tourist in a different City/Country, then hopped on another to get to affordable accommodation. A long day will make you pay anything for a taxi to get to that bed. In our situation we definitely made the right choice, too tired to get our bearings, we would’ve gone in the complete opposite direction so €10 was worth it.
We stayed at the Art Hotel, it was basic lodgings compared to the fancy modern hotel we had come from in Brussels. Just a bed, no coffees or teas in the room. What the room lacked, was made up for in the style of the Hotel, it lives up to the name, Art everywhere!! Even going down to the carpark is a graffiti mural!
Vienna has loads on offer to keep you entertained: plenty of museums, beautiful buildings, history and food!! For us we had less then 12 hours to try to get as much from Vienna as we could due to euros running low, thus we had to pick a starting point. Where else than the Museum Quarter!! We walked there as it was easily assessable from where we had stayed (Art Hotel), even with the luggage!
We took a scenic walk to the museum quarter, along the river side where we were greeted by yet more beautiful buildings. Of course it wouldn’t be a trip to Vienna without visiting the famous Naschmarkt, Viennas biggest market originating from the 16th century. The market has various offerings of food, drinks, clothing and other bits’n’bobs, It’s a place to haggle, whilst enjoying the sweetened fruit on offer!
After a wander around and a few sweet purchases, it was finally time to get to the museum quarter, again easy distance from the market. At first when we arrived we were unsure of where we were going, it’s a maze of museum spaces. Due to money and time restraints we knew we could only visit one, boooooooo. We’re in Vienna, we have time for one museum, of course the winner was the Leopold Museum.
If there is one place you visit in Vienna it should be here, maybe i’m biased because that’s what i did, but I believe it was the right choice.
Entry is €13, unless you have a student card then it’s only €9, (those cards are worth holding onto!!). Thankfully they also have a cheap cloakroom, so we were able to dump our luggage and walk freely!
The museum is 4 stories full of art, following in one door, through the exhibition out the other to another set of stairs!! The museum tells a tale of the progression of art and style, focusing on the Wiener Moderne and leading artists Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt.
We started on the main floor, which homes various landscape paintings, to then go downstairs where we found African masks and traditional pieces. The museum was hosting a particular exhibition, focused in the African, Asian and Oceanic floor, called Foreign Gods- Fascination, Africa and Oceana. The pieces were amazing, so carefully sculpted. Along this floor was also Mexican day of the dead masks and arts, some of which were intimidating even now. As you rise through the museum you see the influence of these forms of art in the later pieces. The layout of the museum is perfect, as you go through the ages from the beginnings of art. Where the more common styles were all about oil paintings and water colours of landscapes, particularly garden spaces.
All the pieces contained within the museum are part of Rudolf Leopolds collection which extends to over 5,000 pieces!! The very top of the museum has an impressive view over the MuseumQuartier and Vienna (wein), a piece of art all on it’s own.
The museum visit managed to fill our afternoon, with not much time to spare we went to grab some food before the train that would take us out of the Euro and into Hufs….Budapest!!
We found a corner café on the way up, an it was an experience all on it’s own. A small bright place, with a very hard working waitress/server! We ordered our food and of course a pint of Austrian beer, it’s all about taking in the culture, then noticed the sliding door by our table, with frilly netted windows. Through the door was a cloud of smoke….a smokers lounge!!! Yes, we went in, although we could’ve had our food in there, there’s just something not so pleasant about it, but to have a cigarette and a drink, nice!! I had traditional Austrian Dumplings which were ace!! I’m not doing to bad being a veggie travelling round Europe!!
Next Stop Budapest. Vienna was fun, yes I would go back, definitely need more than a day there!!!