Day 6: Wednesday, September 16

Getting Out of Vienna For A Day

We were up a little late this morning – about 8:30 – due to a couple of previous late nights and big days. We had breakfast, showered and planned our day ahead.

The weather was beautiful today, so we settled on taking a break from Vienna interiors, opting to explore the country just outside Vienna. We decided to take the Green Line of the Hop On/Hop Off bus which goes into Grinzing District and Lower Austria, and on to the Klosterneuburg Abbey:

We caught the #43 tram down to Shottentor station, then walked up to the Votivkirche (Votive Church) where the Green Line bus stops for passengers (only one bus per hour on this line).

When we got to the Hop On/Hop Off stop we discovered that the first bus of the day was not due for about another two hours (which was to be 12:46PM). Not sure what to do so we first shot some photos of the Votivkirche:

… then decided to kill some time by going to the Berggasse and checking out the Sigmund Freud Museum. The Berggasse was a lovely area filled with beautiful Biedermeier, Baroque and Bauhaus era buildings.

Sigmund Freud Museum

Located at Berggasse 19, Vienna

We entered the Sigmund Freud Museum, using our Vienna Passes, and went through (I had to check my knapsack at the front counter). We were greeted with a fantastic foyer and stairwell:

Hanging around in the Sigmund Freud Museum: they grow ’em big in Austria.

Touring the museum we were quite disappointed: the museum was way too sparse, and there really wasn’t a lot to see or experience. As a visitor, I got very little sense of what it must have looked like back when Freud lived and worked here. Also, a substantial piece of it was closed for renovations, namely the portion of the house where the Freud family lived and where Anna Freud had her study. [I had a published TripAdvisor review of the Freud Museum but TripAdvisor removed it as the Museum has now relocated.]

On To Kahlenburg and Klosterneuburg

We left feeling disgruntled and walked back to the Votivkirche to catch the Hop On/Hop Off bus at 12:46. We waited and waited but the bus didn’t show; getting a little concerned, we started working on a Plan “B”. The bus suddenly appeared, however, at about 12:55pm so we boarded (and what a bus! – double decker, very nice coach), and proceeded on the Green Line tour. The bus wound its way out of the city, passing through Grinzing and wine country – everything so beautiful and quaint. Heurigers everywhere!

…And just what is a Heuriger you may ask? In eastern Austria, a Heuriger is a tavern where local winemakers serve their new wine under a special licence in alternate months during the growing season. The Heurige are renowned for their atmosphere of Gemütlichkeit (warmth, friendliness) shared among visitors enjoying young wine, simple food, and – in some places – Schrammelmusik (a style of old-fashioned Viennese folk music).


We got off at the Kahlenberg stop with the intent of staying the ten minutes allotted to this stop. This area turned out to be beautiful as there was a lovely period-style Kirche (St. Joseph’s Church), a couple of restaurants and a fantastic lookout point over Vienna:

Overlooking Vienna at The Kahlenberg – what a view!

We decided to stay for lunch, so we ate on the outdoor patio of The Kahlenberg restaurant: what a view and what a great meal! We each had a large mixed salad with chicken strips (it was a small salad with a HUGE emphasis on the chicken!), and was utterly delicious! Vince had sparkling water (pricklend in German) and I had still water (ohne in German). The only down side of the meal was having to put up with some very loud and annoying Russian people behind us who, thankfully, finally left.

The meal took about an hour to polish off at a leisurely pace. We finished up then took a walk down some of the access roads leading to the beautiful homes built on the hills. What mansions and what a view!:

Returning after an hour, we rejoined the 4:00 Hop On/Hop Off bus and resumed our journey.

Klosterneuburg Abbey

We got off the bus at the next stop: Klosterneuburg Abbey (referred to interchangeably as Monastery or Abbey) – fantastic and very beautiful!:

We arrived just in time for a fairly extensive tour of the Monastery and the Chapel (the “Sacral Tour”) with our host Lukas. The tour was delivered in German but we had English audio guides, so we made out OK. There were other English speakers on the tour as well: an American couple and a couple from Calgary. Here’s some shots from the all-bling tour of the Monastery and Chapel:

Here’s a little panoramic video of the Abbey:

The tour took about 50 minutes and was highly enjoyable. We finished up, returned our audio guides, then wandered around the grounds on our own, getting a few more shots as the day’s light began to fade:

It was time to catch the Hop On-Hop Off bus back to the city, so we made our way to the stop. The ever-friendly Americans came over to wait with us and we had a nice chat. The bus arrived and we made our way back through Grinzing and back to the Votivkirche, from which we had previously departed. We were not yet too tired or hungry so we took a walk around the Ringstrasse from Shottentor, through the Hofburg, and back to Shottentor station.

It was getting late and we were anxious to get back to the apartment so, in our haste, jumped on the wrong tram – #44, which as we found out (much to our horror) went on an alternate route to northwestern Vienna. After a long ride (and mounting anxiety), we got off at Sandleitengasse stop so we could catch the tram back to Shottentor and get on the correct tram (#43). It was late, very dark, not a great area and no cabs in sight, so it seemed like a long wait before the #43 came along. We boarded and went ALL the way back to Shottentor. There we got on to the correct tram this time (#43) and eventually made it back to the apartment (only later did we find out we were very close to our destination when we got off at Sandleitengasse; had we stayed on one more stop we probably would have been very close to Hernals station, near the apartment).

We finally got back to the apartment around 8:30PM. Exhausted and frazzled by this tram fiasco and the day’s activities, we killed a bit of time then went off to bed about 9:30PM. All in all it had been a big day!

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