The train ride from Budapest to Vienna was a breeze and only took 2.5 hours. With Katie and Erin chatting it up in their row, I made a new friend with my seatmate. She was a nice younger woman from Paris who was originally from Morocco. It was fun because I could speak to both places having spent time there in the last year. In my book, random conversations with strangers is always a good way to pass the time.
Once in Vienna we made our way out to our Airbnb. The location was awesome because it was right off a main transit line and a 20-minute walk from the city center/tourist area. This gave us easy access to the massive Vienna Park as well as the subway so we could easily traverse the city exploring. The apartment itself was spacious and clean with two bedrooms and a full kitchen, so it provided us nice space and the ability to relax after long days exploring.
Each morning for me kicked off with a nice long run in the park. The park was perfect for running with beautiful, tree-lined trails that just stretched on for miles. It was also great to have Erin join me on a few runs to change things up a bit. We got lucky and there was a concert in the park for May Day, so we made our way over for some sweet live music, fair-style food and beers. Never would I have expected to hear an Austrian version of ‘Thriller’ live in the park. Not sure why that wasn’t on my bucket list!
Erin and Katie researched some killer food and drink venues for us to try. Nothing outlandishly expensive but more well-rated places and/or establishments which have been around for decades. These included… Café Central (beautiful architecture inside and great for coffee or brunch), 1516 Brewery (big outdoor terrace), Café Hawelka (historic old café – come for coffee and their pastry specialty covered in powder sugar), Siebensternbräu (perfect for a beer and pretzel stop) and Schnitzelwirt (no frills with cheap, delicious schnitzel as big as your head).
The city itself is beautiful and extremely easy to get around. Since it is so flat, you can walk for hours with ease taking it all in or hop on the breezy metro to bounce you from place to place. Each day we walked an average of 4-5 miles exploring. This was probably good as we needed to work off all the schnitzel and breaded foods we were devouring.
Sadly, after a couple of days we had to make our way to the train station and said our goodbyes to Erin as she headed for the airport and home. Then we headed by train to Poland, the last country on this journey. With only one left, it’s getting real!