Ideas on getting to Vienna from Sydney?
December 26, 2008 2:44 AM   Subscribe

Things to consider on getting to Vienna, Austria, from Sydney, Australia?

I'm planning to go to Vienna with 2 other people in around mid-May 2009 for 2-3 weeks.

I'm looking for some ideas on where I can get the cheapest airfare, when I should look out for travel bargains, when I should go, what I should prepare for, and anything that might be good to consider on getting to Vienna.

Cheers! Vielen dank!
posted by gttommy to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I don't know about going to Vienna specifically, but I've been using to book all my plane tickets lately. The ticket I was most recently booking was a kind of special case (buying a ticket for a relative to travel from the US to Melbourne) and required me to phone them up, and their customer service was great!
posted by Eastgate at 3:02 AM on December 26, 2008

Well, I don't know too much about getting there, but once you are there....

Stuff to do
* Opera: There are 3 opera houses in Vienna and all of them are pretty amazing. Most of the time there is a way to get really cheap tickets, usually standing room only. At the Staatsoper, main floor standing room tickets are 2 or 3 euros. An incredibly cheap way to see world class opera and ballet for almost nothing, provided you can stand the whole time. Whatever you do, DO NOT buy tickets from the million guys dressed up like mozart that infest the city in the summertime.

* Churches: There are a lot of churches in Vienna, from St. Stephens, the massive cathedral in the middle of the city, to the Wotruba church (make sure you check out the giant sundial in the woods behind it) on the outskirts. Definitely check some of the out. If you can, try and be there on June 5 for the Lange Nacht der Kirchen. It's pretty incredible, as most every major church in the city has some sort of event going on until the wee hours of the morning.

* The Vienna Woods: Hike in them. They are one of the most incredible treasures of Vienna and can be reached in minutes from most anywhere in the city. If you can, try and plan some sort of hike so that you end up at one of the Heurigen(basically, a rustic austrian wine bar) on the outskirts.

* Museums: Definitely don't miss the Kunsthistorisches museum and the Belvedere. As for the other museums, it depends how much you are into art and what temporary exhibitions they have on display.

* The Naschmarkt: The best street market in vienna. Try to visit on a saturday so you can see the flea market too. Lots of fairly cheap places to eat along here as well.

* Make some sidetrips: The wachau valley is incredible. With a couple of weeks you definitely have time to do a day or two of biking through it. Make sure to visit lots of vineyards. Also, the dürnstein castle is pretty cool. Also, Bratislava is worth a day and only one hour by train, while Budapest is worth several days and only 2 or 3 hours by train.

* Drink a lot of wine. Vienna and the areas surrounding it are prime wine regions and there is a ton of great wine made here that is not often seen elsewhere.

Not sure what you are looking for, but I've had good luck with the Pension Baronesse (a little expensive) and wombats (much less expensive)

Getting Around
* Use public transit, it's amazing! Be careful when you buy tickets, though. Week passes start on monday, so if you buy a week pass on saturday, you just payed 15 euro for 2 days of travel; not the best deal. Also, you could risk it and not buy passes, but if you get caught be warned that the dumb american/australian excuse probably won't work and you'll be out 70 euros.

* Don't take the CAT to and from the airport unless you are in a really big hurry. The regional train goes almost as often and is only 10 minutes slower, but the cost is over 10 euros.

That's probably enough for now. I could write a lot more, as i lived in Vienna for 4.5 months. If you have any questions about city(things to do, places to eat, what's cheap, whatever), ask me here or drop me a note and I'll do my best to answer.
posted by pwicks at 3:13 AM on December 26, 2008 [2 favorites]

Oh, also, try to learn a little german if you can. It always helps smooth things a bit when you can thank people in their native tongue.
posted by pwicks at 3:15 AM on December 26, 2008

Depending on your budget, it might be a good idea to consider flying over a day or two with a stopover or two somewhere, using low-cost flights to get around.

Flying straight from Sydney to Vienna is around $2100 Australian on this website, which lists virtually every fare out there.

If you can get to Kuala Lumpur cheaply, though, you can fly from there to London Stansted return/all included on Air Asia X, a low-cost long-haul carrier, for 2237 Malaysian Ringgit - about $950 Australian - on the random dates in May I chose. Stansted to Vienna is more expensive than Stansted to Bratislava, Slovakia, which is 45 minutes away by train.
posted by mdonley at 4:07 AM on December 26, 2008

Response by poster: mdonley: "Flying straight from Sydney to Vienna is around $2100 Australian on this website, which lists virtually every fare out there."

What search criteria did you use to get that?
posted by gttommy at 4:34 AM on December 26, 2008

Hm, weird, I just ran the search again and it's not coming up. I searched in US dollars (you can change this by changing the "sales city" to (say) Sydney, and then used Google to get an exchange rate, so YMMV as far as the price, and if I recall, the flight was a multiple-stopover thing which arrived into Vienna but left from Bratislava or something. I'm sorry I didn't pay more attention! :)

You can also use Wikipedia's pages on various stopover airports to find legs you may not have predicted would work for you. Air New Zealand flies from London to Hong Kong; Hainan Airlines flies from Beijing to Berlin; China Airlines flies from Vienna to Abu Dhabi. Here's the Vienna airport page. Good luck!
posted by mdonley at 5:04 AM on December 26, 2008

I recently had to get a (one way)fare to Berlin from Australia and the cheapest flight available was a Thai / Austrian code-share flight via Vienna. I left from Melbourne and flew through Bangkok.

I looked around online and got an initial quote that way and then asked in person at STA and Flight Centre. Best price ended up being from Flight Centre.

You might be able to swing a stopover in Thailand too...
posted by pipstar at 8:05 AM on December 26, 2008

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