Favorite thing Vienna is well known for its light four-wheeled carriages drawn by two horses that are known as a Fiaker. As we walked around the city, we were often passed by them, or saw them stopped some-where so the people could take photos.
How I would have loved a ride in one, but for two people, it was too expensive for us, best split between four people. A pat on the nose was the closest I came and a talk to the coachman.
There was quite a row of them waiting at perhaps a "Fiaker taxi stand?" in the Michaelerplatz.
Some stood out more than others. I liked the pair of greys, sometimes there was a more upmarket carriage or the coachman was dressed to impress! Not all are men. I saw women dressed in black and with a bowler hat too!
If you like me and wondered why they are called a "Fiaker," well, I can tell you this originated during the 18th century in France where an entrepreneur and horse-trader ran a small carriage rental business. The street where he operated from, was named after the Irish St. Fiacre, patron saint of taxi drivers, so now we have "taxi drivers of horses!"
In the 1700s there were about 700 Fiakers in Vienna, and by the late 1800s there were over 1000 registered carriages. Nowadays, there are 58 registered Fiaker in Vienna, and these are used as a unique way for the tourist to see Vienna.
Favorite thing Take a horse drawn carriage ride through the city centre of Vienna. It was expensive but fun.
If you have a group of four the price would be pretty good. We went around the old part of Vienna and really enjoyed the ride.
We asked the guy what the horses names were...he thought for a minute then said 'Peter & Paul'...yeah, sounded convincing... ?!??!
Favorite thing No matter if you are in Vienna alone, on a business trip, or with your partner on a romantic trip, make sure you take this "Fiaker" ride, there are several stations in the center. 20 minutes costs 40E (euro), its expensive yes, but you truly feel the taste of the past times...and don't forget to ask the driver to make a picture, they are very talented photographers!
Favorite thing No, that's not the Spanish Riding School! It's just the ubiquitous 'Horse Drawn Carriages' that are in every tourist city in Europe now! The Spanish Riding School was actually not open while we were there, apparently they take the horses somewhere cooler during the hot summer months.