It was time to celebrate the end of the month with a trip to Eastern Europe. This time to Bratislava and Vienna. A couple of unfortunate events plagued the start of our trip, from our bus breaking down, to Yan yi's bus being terribly late. As we left quite a bit of leeway for our flight, we managed to catch it just on time, and all was good.
Upon landing in Bratislava, we took a short walk to our accomodation, Hotel Aviator Garni, checked in, and slept for the night.
We started off the day with breakfast at Alza Café, which served lovely pancakes filled with either strawberry or Nutella.
After a hearty breakfast, we set off for Vienna on the Rejiojet Bus. To our surprise, the Rejiojet bus was extremely well equipped, and had better service than the Ryanair flights we were on. From on-road entertainment, to free hot chocolate, it was one of the better bus rides I have taken. Upon touching down in Vienna, we did a quick check on the public transport prices. A single ticket for a person costs EUR 2.40, while an Uber ride for 4 to just about anywhere in Central Vienna would cost EUR7. Needless to say, the 4 of us did not spend a single second on the public transport for the rest of our trip.
Rejiojet On-Bus Entertainment
We started off our journey visiting the National History Museum of Vienna, as well as the Maria Theresan Platz that was right beside the museum. Truth be told, the National History Museum was exactly like the one outside school, displaying collections of fossils and rocks. One thing interesting we found out was that admission was free for visitors aged under 19 (surprisingly old), which meant that Arianne could enter for free, while the rest of us paid student prices.
National History Museum
For lunch, we stopped by at Glasic Beisl, a traditional Viennese restaurant that served excellent schnitzel and dumplings. Upon hindsight, the EUR20 price tag for the schnitzel was a little too high, but the atmosphere and the food were excellent.
After lunch, we strolled towards St. Stephen’s cathedral, one of the main highlights of Vienna. Despite the hype surrounding the cathedral, it was unfortunately under partial renovation, and had Samsung advertisements draped over it, which was kind of an eyesore given its magnificent architecture.
St. Stephen's Cathedral
Being somewhat exhausted from all the walking, we ubered back to our accommodations, and napped for 2 hours. After all, we needed the energy for what was awaiting us at night. As it was the Austrian national day, we were hoping that there would be fireworks in the night, and so we headed towards Heldenplatz, opposite the Neue Burg one of the open areas in Vienna centrum where one could see the fireworks. To our dismay, their national day was not as much of a major event as Singapore’s national day, and when we arrived, we were greeted by soldiers packing up and leaving the site. Nonetheless, there was still a bratwurstz store that sold amazing hotdogs and beer, and we had a standing dinner there.
With a concert waiting for us at the St. Peter’s church, we headed in that general direction, before entering the church at 8PM for a Viennese classical music concert. The concert featured plays such as Requiem by Mozart, and Four Seasons (Autumn) by Vivaldi, which I absolutely loved.
The night was still young, and we Ubered to the amusement park, Prater, to end off our night. Prater was exactly like Winter Wonderland, except for the fact that it was 24/7, and considerably cheaper. We had so much fun playing with bumper cars, and I demonstrated some really unsafe driving throughout the night on the race course. After a roller coaster ride that had literally no safety belt, and witnessing some really intense rides with club music, we decided we had enough for the day, and headed back to our accommodations for the night.
After checking out from our hotel and having MacDonald’s for breakfast (I frankly still prefer the Poland one), we made our way to the Schonbrunn Palace. The Schonbrunn Palace is an 18th century summer palace with tours of lavish rococo ceremonial room. As there was a EUR35 entry per person to the palace gardens, we decided to give it a miss, and chill at a bar near the bus station. We eventually left Vienna for Bratislava in the mid-afternoon, and had our lunch at Bratislava.
In Bratislava, we Ubered up to the Bratislava castle (only EUR3!), where we had a scenic view of the Bratislavian skyline. With clear pinkish skies, the sunset was one that we truly admired, as we sat at on the castle walls watching the sun go down.
After a short shopping trip around Eurovea, it was time for us to head to the airport and back to London.
All in all, the architecture and music in Vienna really impressed me, but it is the eastern European vibes (and prices), that will keep leaving me wanting to go back for more. Next up, Amsterdam!
Total Cost per person:
Food: £30-£50 (Depending on person)
Attractions: £15-£25 (Depending on person)
Total: £152 - £182