Travelling to Vienna? Here Are the Top 3 Wastes of Time - and Hidden Gems !

Published: 10th June 2009
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It's nothing new that holiday time means abandoning all discernment and acquiring pricey junk, even for intelligent people. You've probably also visited a famous place and heard all about can't-miss shows and sights - only to fork over a wad of cash and leave discontented. Vienna is no different. With the help of this article, though, you're sure to find the best parts of Vienna - and stay away from the disappointments.

Tourist Trap #1: The Lipizzaner Horse Shows

The Spanish Riding School was founded in 1572, so it is the original and most well-known on the planet. With stunning Baroque architecture nestled within the Hofburg palace, the architecture itself is worth visiting - not forgetting the marvelous Lipizzan horses. However, before you pay up to 173 euros for the show (forget about a cheapo or standing ticket - the only things that can be seen are people's heads and some white dots dancing about), why not enjoy their morning exercise? The horses will be quite close ('12), and tickets with a guided tour will set you back only '26.

Tourist Trap #2: Grinzing - and in general all restaurants with tour buses in the parking lot

It is obligatory to try authentic Viennese cuisine while visiting Vienna, and the very best place is a traditional Heurige (wine tavern/restaurant). There is a an assortment of Heurige in the vineyards overlooking the city in the area known as Grinzing. Your enjoyment of the Heurige will be enhanced if you go to the ones the Viennese visit rather than the ones filled with people from exotic lands. There are terrific Heurige in Austria's Weinviertel (Wine Quarter) in Stammersdorf and Hagenbrunn or in the lovely town of Perchtoldsdorf in the south. All of these villages are easy to get to from Vienna.

Tourist Trap #3: Hotel Sacher

The well-known Sachertorte is a cake you must taste when staying in the Vienna. Starting at the top, the Sachertorte has: a dark chocolate icing, then a double layer of cake (chocolate, of course) and a layer of apricot jam in the middle. The most expensive - as opposed to the most scrumptuous - Sachertorte can be found at the Hotel Sacher, because it owns the rights to the name "Original Sachertorte." Though Cafe Sacher, located right across from the State Opera House, is marked by a hedonistic atmosphere, if your're going for a really good Sachertorte, then try L. Heiner, located at Wollzeile 9 or Tirolerhof in the city center.

I remember the first time I visted Vienna. It was fun, but I wasted a lot of time and money. Now you can learn from my mistakes and get great tips about the best sites and restaurants in Vienna. Be to check out how you can see the best of Imperial Vienna for the price of a tram ticket!

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