Mozart-People will be found all over the centre of Vienna, mainly in front of St.Stephans cathedral and the opera or Schoenbrunn palace. When-ever they can, they try to catch the tourists and sell concerts-tickets to them. They will give you a voucher for the concert and for the reservation you will pay between 10% and 20% of the final price as a deposit right away and the rest has to be payed directely to the ticket-box, when you come to the concert-hall.
Unique Suggestions: Most of them will work for just 1 single company and so you should be prepared, in case that you intend to go to a concert like this, there is one that offers just chamber-music with 4 musicians in a small, BUT very ornate room and you pay around 42 euros for the best ticket, others offer a show with 20 musicians, including operettas, waltz, singing of Arias etc. and it will be 56 euros for the most expensive places.
Fun Alternatives: At the tourist-office (opposite of Albertina) and at many other places, also at your hotel-reception you will find brochures of most of these concerts, take a look there first and decide for yourself, BEFORE you get into the "claws" of a talkative "Mozart" in the streets....
You could buy these tickets at your hotel-reception as well,the final prices will always be the same as with the Mozart-people or when you go there to the concert directely without a reservation-ticket and hope for a free place. Then you pay the full price at the cashier.
The advantage when booking at your hotel-receptionist is that you can go there to complain when you had any problem. In most cases you will never find "your Mozart" again !
Just wanted to warn people not to get fooled by the name. It is called "crystal world", but instead of impressive collections of crystals, it is a collection of some absolutely insignificant abstract art! It is not worth visiting at all!! The entrance fee is too high...highway robbery for something so unimpressive!
At the Schloss Schonbrunn Palace, there are carriages available to take you around the lovely grounds. Make sure that you get clear with the driver what the cost will be. In writing. I was verbally told that cost would be $19 for thirty minutes. When I got out of the carriage, I was told it was $90. Don’t ever get into the carriage without getting the price written down on a piece of paper. I found out later from other visitors that this ‘bait and switch’ tactic is par for the course at this place!
Near all tourist attractions the restaurants are higly priced.
Unique Suggestions: Pay and think: We are here for holidays we have worked hard for this! ...
Fun Alternatives: Walk a few meters away. Then you will see the towns and soon you will find cheaper restaurants or shops.
The Vorarlberger Landesmuseum in Bergenz was a far from memorable experience. Perhaps because my guidebook really hyped this place, I expected something remarkable. Instead I found another museum full of folk and ecclesiastical art that, to be quite honest, was beginning to look all the same to me on this holiday.
Unique Suggestions: I do not mean to diss, the culture of the Voralberg but I am probably somewhat jaded, or at least I was by the time I visited this museum. If you have a deep interest in all of this, then by all means go.
As for me I found the exhibits on the prehistoric past the most interesting, but again this is a subject that I find most fascinating. There is also a ghoulish display of torture equipment that might amuse the children although even with regards to this topic, I have seen better elsewhere.
Hot wine at X-mas is on of the best things you could ever try in Austria, but Puncsh is indeed a strong alcholic drink, and from the first cup you'll feel your head turning, and the second is a for sure drunk status, so be careful, it is delicious so be moderate please! LOL
This is a fantastic walking paradise, its keep you fit.
Unique Suggestions: Websites:
Fun Alternatives: Many possibilities, find your way and you will discover a wide variety of nature, flowers, manific views, horses and many other things.
Pretty much every souvenir shop in Austria sells Mozart chocolates. However, you will quickly find that prices vary greatly from one shop to another. Be careful not to overpay!
Unique Suggestions: The best place to purchase this delicious gift/souvenir/snack is at a Billa supermarket. They already the lowest prices when, during my second week in Austria, they actually had a Mozartkugeln sale. Yummy!
You can pay to go on your package holiday tour operator's trip to the capital of the Tyrol (Expensive!) which means sitting on a hot uncomfortable coach for hours getting useless info. about the history of the area OR you can make your own way there via bus/train. The public transport system is excellent. It's simple to work out, runs on time & is good value.
One of the nearest attractions to Scheffau is the Hintersteinersee. It is billed as a place for lake bathing - the catch is, that to bathe in the lake you need to pay to go into the Lido! Annoyingly there is also very little flat ground around the lake for you to sit and take a pic-nic. All the grassed areas are private land. There are a couple of benches set off the road by the lake further round though.
Unique Suggestions: You should definitely not miss out on a trip to the lake though - it is very beautiful (such a lovely colour). Just don't plan on swimming there very often. You can take a very peaceful walk around it & there are some nice cafes at the other end where you can have a reasonably priced drink in comfort & still be near the lake.
I am Austrian and I speak for my country. - There are really no tourist traps in Austria! People in Austria are nice, friendly and polite, sometimes a bit reserved. People are NON-intrusive, which could make you feel like an outsider until they get to know you.
Unique Suggestions: There is nothing to say here, because there are no tourist traps.
OK... Let this stand as an 'I TOLD YOU SO'
Do not waist your time or your money to stop at the Swarovski Museum. This is such a trap you will be looking for the exit from the first moment you step in the door... problem is that you have to walk through the whole place to find the exit.
Fun Alternatives: Go to the big store in Innsbruck.
See my Innsbruck page for information about the big shop there.
'Huh? Didn't you list this as a must-see activity??'
Yeah, I did. Here's why: If you've already seen Salzkammergut, Hallstatt, Wachau, and Vienna- this place is not for you. Also, if you've only been to Vienna, but don't particularly care about the Sound of Music (This town makes a good buck on The Sound of Music), skip Salzburg.
Please notice if you are going to Autria by car: Speed limits are to keep strictly. But even if you do, it can occur that the austrian police will force you to stop and pay instantly for driving too fast(if they identify you as tourists). Tell them you don't have the money cash...the should send you a bill. You probably wont ever get this bill :)
Take a look at the pic, this is an acutal tourist trap of the two legged (webbed) kind. Tal (our daughter) saw these two donald ducks and had us stop the car so she could photograph them, we were 'trapped' till she got them in a good picture.
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