The magnificent Benedictine monastery at Melk, 80km from Vienna, is a great place to head for on a day out from Vienna. You can drive yourself or take a train, but we took the easy option of a day tour that included some time cruising the Danube - and we were glad we had. It was just so lovely relaxing on the boat as we made our way through the region known as the Wachau. Scenes of churches, villages, vineyards and castles came and went on either side of the boat as we sat in the sunshine, drank our coffee and generally eased our sight-seeing-sore feet. We passed the ruined castle of Aggstein high on a craggy hilltop, whilst further further along Schloss Schonbuhel made a dramatic picture on its rock jutting into the river before reaching Melk.
We just took a standard tour, chosen from a brochure and booked through the hotel, nothing special but relaxed and easy. I think it cost about 60 euros, with a hotel pickup (though in our case, the hotel botched that!). Lunch at Melk was at our own cost. We were taken by coach to somewhere along the river - a pretty little village where we walked down through the vines to a landing stage to begin our river cruise. We were on the boat for a couple of hours. The return to Vienna was by coach all the way, an 8 hour day by the time we finished. The guide gave a commentary as we travelled in the coach, and then left us to our own devices on the boat. At Melk we had a monastery guide to take us through. All in all, it was just a very standard tour but that was just what we wanted - a relaxing day with some sightseeing.
I spent a very pleasant afternoon at Donau Park.
For the price of 8,50 €, I got a combo ticket that allowed me:
*to make a lovely run with the Lilliput Bahn, which is a small red childish train that runs around the park;
*to climb the DonauTurm (Donau Tower) and to admire the panorama from high, which I enjoyed very much (although it was very windy!!);
*to make one more ride (yuppy!!) with the Lilliput Bahn at Praterstern.
Tickets can be bought at one of the three train "stations" in Donaupark.
Highly recommended, expecially for those like me who still feel children somehow...
Tip: climb the tower on a clear day, if possible, so that you can enjoy the view better. I once went on a rainy day (a decade ago) and it was nearly impossible to go on the view terrace outside...
I had such a good time hanging out by the river. It's one of the few spots one can cool off at when the brief, but intense, summer hits...remember, there isn't much air conditioning so taking a swim is a well sought after treat.
The river is kinda broken up into two sections...the Donau Island was created to help with flooding (which worked perfectly in 2002, btw) and also to provide grounds for festivals. There is *a lot* that goes on by the river....tons of musical festivals, demonstrations, etc... The communist party throws their annual punk rock party here...which I sadly missed (I was curious! What exactly is a communist punk rock event anyway? I imagine it's really no different than a bunch of kids hanging out at Astor Place in NYC...heh).
The water is clean...it's great to swim in. There is a seperate area for boating, so no worries about accidenlty getting clobbered by a speed boat. There's also a rather long bike path as well for those who want to bike or rollerblade. Just watch out...the farther down you go from the crowd, the creepier some of the men become. (they tend to peep at you while doing 'things' in the bushes...you get the idea). If you ignore that or just stay aware, then everything's all good. It's safe.
Things to note is that it is a nudist area, so there are going to be all kinds of swinging body parts gleaming in the daylight. If you're not used to that or not comfortable, then move along elsewhere or just deal. After all, if you've seen one boob you've seen 'em all...ok, that doesn't work, I know, I know...haha.
Also, during the Donau festivals, if you buy beer, return the plastic cup. You'll get back fifty cents. Austria is super big on recycling. : )
Take a walk along the river Danube river! Ok, the “blue Danube” ain’t so blue but it’s nice to walk by some nice pedestrian areas, parks etc Because of the snow it was kind of dangerous in some paths but we loved the atmosphere of the area, one of the best moments for us in Vienna and it was for free… It was so relaxing, I guess it must be full of people during warmer months.
By the way, the legend says that if you're in love you're always see the river blue.... But if you can’t see it that way don’t spoil the moment but telling your girlfriend about it ;)
Donaustadt is interesting for its modern architecture and for Danube river and lake Alt Donau (Old Danube). There is Vienna International Centre located there with UN headquarters in futuristic round buildings, surrounded by some other skyscrapers. Near the buildings there is beautiful park Donaupark there and 252 m high observation tower Donauturm. In Donauturm there is slowly rotating restaurant there and also it is possible to try bungee jumping from the tower.
On this photo you can see U1 U-Bahn station Donauinsel that is situated on the bridge across Danube. U-Bahn is riding through the bridge while there is car road on the top. In the middle of the photo there is UN City with futuristic oval buildings. Skyscraper on the right is 150 m high Hochhaus Neue Donau with 34 floors, second largest skyscraper in Vienna.
In the last 35 years more than 14 million people have visited the Danube Tower, which was built for the Vienna International Garden Exhibition. It took 20 months to build and is 252 metres high with 776 stairs. The viewing platform is 150 metres high and the lift takes only 35 seconds to reach it. There is a café and restaurant with an amazing view of Vienna and on clear days you can see as far as the Schneeberg mountain. There are revolving restaurants at 160 and 170 metres, which turn at different speeds so you get the whole view in between 26 and 52 minutes.
To get there, take U1 to VIC/Kaisermühlen and then bus 20B to the stop “Donauturm” or if you are feeling energetic get off the U1 at Alte Donau and walk through the beautiful Donaupark. A lift ticket costs 5.20 Euro for adults and 3.80 for children. Discount for seniors und students. The lift is open from 10:00 till 24:00! Check out the website for more information (especially if you fancy bungee jumping from it or want to take part in the Donauturmlauf – annual race up the stairs.
So what's so great about the Old Danube? Well there are so many things you can do here! Cycling, swimming, walk your dog, family picnic, jogging or plain lazing around and watch the time fly. The view around is very nice & the people are friendly. There are also toilet & restaurant nearby if you feel like emptying or filling your tank. :)
We took a boat cruise along the Danube and enjoyed watching the water levels change at the water gate.It was a fascinating experience.however the guided tour was not so impressive.The rides start from Swendenplatz. There are one hour rides as well as three hour rides.After taking the three hour ride,We realised that the one hour ride might have served the purpose as well considering the fact that you can experience the change of water levels in both the rides.
The banks of Danube in Vienna are different from the banks of Danube in Budapest. In Vienna this river looks maybe more narrow and there are lot of beautiful bridges and canals joining two banks. Danube actually isn’t so wide here as in Budapest.
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