A 1 GRAND TOUR AUSTRIA EAST & Central Travel Guide
Austria Sample itinerary, we invite you to check out a sampling of several different pages and sections of one of our self-guided itineraries.
AUSTRIA EAST and Central
( here are several sections and excerpts from our A 1 itinerary)
DAY ONE ITINERARY
Welcome to the glorious Austrian capital city of Vienna / Wien! (Veen)
One of the grand capitals of Europe. The very name of Vienna evokes images of opulent palaces, opera houses, royalty, the foundation of classical music and city that is a great cultural and architectural jewel. The entire capital itself is like an elegant museum, a treasure open for all to enjoy.
….For the first day an orientation walk will acquaint you with the layout of the city center and location of the main attractions to visit over the next few days when you undertake to explore the various museums and historical sites.
Time: 3 - 4 hours
Orientation WALKING TOUR - DAY ONE
Introduction to Vienna Altstadt / city center – main hi-lights of the Austrian capital.
Great view and orientation of the W side of the Ring Strasse area next to the
Habsburg Palace complex.
STARTING point at Helden Platz / Hero’s Sq., in front of the Neue Burg / New Palace, build 1881 – 1913 by Gottfeid Semper for Kaiser Franz Josef. This is a most appropriate point to start from because it was the last section of the Habsburg complexes of residences to be built in the Hofburg complex. Each generation had built on to the ever-expanding Palace of the Habsburg Royal Family.
Neue Burg is constructed in an ellipse shape and certainly gives the impression of grandeur befitting royalty.
Open Mon – Sn 10:00 -6:00 pm closed Tuesday, Thursday open til 9:00 pm
E 8 / 3 Audio guide E 3, + tour E 3, Fam E 16
All 3 museums inc.
T: + 43-1-525-24-0
After marveling at this most beautiful Palace, take a look at the large equestrian statues in front of the Palace. The national hero Prince Eugene is mounted on his horse, it was he who lead the Austrians and their Allies to victory over the Turks in the siege of Vienna – 1653, ……The monument at the other end of Helden Platz is that of Prince Karl to commemorate Archduke Karl’s victory over Napoleon at Aspern, both monuments were constructed 1860-65 by Anton Fernkorn.
From this large open space of Helden Platz / Heroes Sq you have a great vantage point of the entire west side of the Ring Strasse / Street, / facing the Square away from the Neue Burg you can see the National Museums of Fine Art and Natural History Museum to the L beyond the Burg Tor/ Palace gates.
Follow the view left to right and across the Ring Str.- first you see the Austrian Parliament then , the Vienna City Hall/ Rathaus, and further to the right the towering Votiv Kirche. This side of the Ring Str. and adjacent to Helden Platz and the Volksgarden is the Burgtheater, the Bundeskanzleramt – Chancellery at the edge of the square, and residence of the Austrian President. …
Pope John Paul II held two masses here in Helden Platz with over 100 000 faithful in attendance each time. The National parades and State ceremonies also take place here.
WALK ….Start of your WALKING TOUR …
Ring Strasse Dec 1857 Kaiser Franz Josef I ordered that the city walls be taken down and a wide blvd be built that would be lined with buildings for government and culture. .
Make your way through the Burg Tor /Gate to the Ring Strasse turn left and just passed the Neue Burg complex you arrive at the Burg/ Palace Gardens where you will find memorials to Mozart and Strauss, Kaiser Franz Josef as well as Goethe!
Then after have taken pictures of the monuments cross the Ring Strasse to the W side and turn right back towards the Burg Tor, but now you are on the opposite side of the street. Walk just a short way until you are at the Museum Quarter on your left.
Here you see the Kunsthistorisches Museum – National Art Gallery
Painting collection and antique collection open daily except Mondays
Open Daily 10:00 – 6:00 pm Open Thursdays til 9:00 p.m.
E 10/ 3.5 fam E 20
Try the buffet dinner!
Numerous major works of European Art history: among them Raphael’s “ Madonna in the Meadow” , Vermeers “ The allegory of Painting”, masterworks by Rubens, Rembrandt, Duerer, Tirtan and Tintoretto, sculptures and decorative Arts
rarities from former collections of the Habsburgs, also Egyptians and near Eastern, many treasures of ancient cultures, Brugel’s Farm wedding, and Tower of Babylon.( 1563) Largest Brugel collection in the world!
In the middle of this square is the monument to the long-reigning Austrian Monarch - Empress Maria Theresia / Maria Theresien Platz (1740-1780)
Her consort Emperor Franz I (1745-65) supported the expansion of the economy and the Arts by founding and encouraging manufacturing industries and the Arts and sciences.
Empress Maria Theresa introduced many changes to the Empire making it an absolute monarchy and a centralized State. She ruled 1740-1780. Centered between these two Grand Museums you find the impressive Denkmal / monument to Empress/ Kaiserin Maria–Theresia, a towering figure in Austrian history. Her son Joseph – II succeeded her and continued to introduce many reforms.
…. You may recognize this area from seeing it in the James Bond Film – ‘Living Daylights’ in which Bond and his girl travel briskly thru the area in the romantic Fiakers / horse drawn carriage. Many of these famous horse drawn carriages – are available for hire in this area. It would be worth-while to peek into the entrance of these grand museums.
…. The National Museum of Fine Arts was built in 1891 near the Imperial Palace to house the extensive collections of the imperial family. With its vast array of eminent works it is considered one of the most eminent museums in the world! Designed by architects Gottfreid Semper and Karl von Hasenauer. The architectural mirror image across the square built by the same architects is the
Naturhistorisches Museum / Museum of Natural History
Precious stones, minerals, fossils, dinosaurs, and many kinds of animal
Open: Thurs – Mon 9- 6:30 pm
Wen 9- 9:00 pm Roof tours Wen 5- 6:30
E 10 / 3.5 fam E 20
…. The next significant building awaiting you is the Austrian Parliament, created by Theophil Hansen, it was constructed 1873- 1883 in the style of Greek revival. He also created the magnificent Pallas Athena brunne / fountain, which represented the four Austrian rivers of the Empire: the Danube, Elbe, Inn and Vltava.
This is a most impressive classic designed building with an imposing Greek column façade. A great 15 ft/ 5 m figure of Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom (by Karl Kundmann) stands in front of the Parliament
Notice on both sides of the roof of the building the quadriga Chariots with 4 horses driven by the Goddess of victory – Nike
The elected representatives serving in the council of the Empire for the Austrian part of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy held their council in this building until 1918, when it became the Parliament of the new Austrian Republic.
…. Back on the Ring Str. you face the Burgtheater / Palace Opera house across the
Ring Str. Built from 1874-1888 by the designs of Gottfried Semper and Karl von Hasenauer who designed the exterior and interior respectively in Italian Renaissance style. Since 1776 when Emperor Joseph II founded the Court and National Theater, the institution preceding the present day Burgtheater, a distinguished company has held the leading position in the dramatic arts of the German speaking countries.
Burgtheater Open for tours Sept 1- June 30th
Mon – Thurs 3:00 pm German with English summaries
Tuesday/ Thurs. and Friday tours at 9 am and 3:00 pm only!
Also Sat at 3:00 p.m. T- 51 444 4140 English tours only at 3:00 pm. 1 hr tours
Continue along the Ring in the direction you have been going and on you L is the
Main building of the University of Vienna, founded in 1365 by Duke Rudolf IV, it was re-designed by Heinrich Ferstel in 1873-1883. You may enter the building; there is a café and most interesting courtyard with 38 statues of renown academics - a striking feature.
Continued sample travel itinerary
( from Day Two)
DAY TWO AFTERNOON – ITINERARY
Start at 1:00 pm
After Lunch Start walking along Graben past the Stephansdom
Thru – Stephans Platz and into Singer Str at the other side
Down Singer Str. L onto Blut g. around the corner from Deutschordenskirche
, R on Dom g. to Mozart Haus
to the Mozart Haus- Museum Dom g. Nr. 5, formerly the Figaro haus.
Open: 10-7:00 pm daily
Cost E 9 /3 fam – 18
Then back to Blut g. and R, cross over Schuler Str into Strobel g, cross Wollzeile Str and continue on Essig g.
L at Backer g. then 1st L Windh-Schoenlatern, immediate R on Sonnenfels g. to the
Remarkable Universitaet/ Jesuiten Kirche.
Jesuiten Kirche Dr. Ignaz Seipel l Universitat Kirche / Jesuit
Built 1627 on Dr. Ignaz Seipel Pl. Also known as the University church, note the twisted marble columns! 1703 – 1707 reconstructed by architect and painter Andrea Pozzo – pulpits featuring the apostle Mathew in amazing and beautiful detail. The sanctuary is decorated with twisted marble columns and a spectacular domed and painted ceiling - well worth the visit!
Head back the direction you came to Wollzeile Str. and turn R, walk to Rotenturm turn L back to Stephans Pl , arriving back in Stephens Platz. ca 2:30.
Now continue through the Sq and walk down Kaerntner Str. ….
( excerpt from end of Kaerntner Strasse)
……Visit the Staats Opera. A walk around the building particularly to the front of the building on Opern Ring, is worth a look and photograph.
Staats Oper nite……………..
The Vienna State Opera 3:30/ 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Open: 10:00 – 4:00 pm – catch the last tour of the Day!
Tours in English and German on the hr.
E 6.5, 5.5, 3.5
Tel: 51 444 26 13, 51444 24 21
See announcements at Kaerntner Str. side
Notice Board – at tour entrance – Opern gasse and Opern Ring
The building was erected between 1863-1869 as one of the first great monuments of the new Ring Boulevard. The Royal-Imperial court Opera House as it was first called was designed by architects August von Sicard and Eduard van der Nuell.
Renaissance arcaded style -2 flying horses over main façade of loggia 1876 added
by Ernst Haehnel, illustrating harmony and the muse of poetry,
……One of the foremost Opera houses in the world with programs 300 days /year.
More than 60 Operas and ballets performed during a year. Once a year the Vienna State Opera is turned into a giant dance floor for the Vienna Opera Ball with debutante couples opening the ball….
Can you just picture the Princesses, Queens, Empresses, Baronesses and society ladies in their flowing dresses and the famous cast of leading men – Kings, Dukes, Counts, Barons, Generals, officers, Ministers, and famous artist, architects, and composers including Mozart himself! Now it is your turn to walk where they once did.
(Next segment of sample itinerary)
( From Day Three ) …… Driving directions: Belvedere to Schoenbrunn Palace.
In front of Belvedere Palace facing Land Strasser Gurtel you will head R /West
Crossing Prince Eugene Str stay on the same street – name change to Wiednergurtel
Continue W toward Sued Tiroler Platz along and past the Suedbahnhof,
continue along as the Str becomes Margretengurtel as it takes 2 curves right until you
reach Linke Wienzeile ( 4 km) turn L,
continue along 2 km to the front of Schoenbrunn Palace.
Parking as marked. PK also at Schloss Allee R 500 m, also past the Palace L and at Grunberg Str just before Palace L to PK , or around the blk at Schloss bridge L
Public transit to Belvedere: short walk from Suedbahnhof/ Sued Tiroler Platz - Station. Public transit from Belvedere to Schoenbrunn: U 4,
Schloss Schoenbrunn: 10:30 – 12:00 Palace / 1:00pm – 2:00pm. Grounds
Open : July –Aug 8:30 – 7pm , Sept –Oct. 8:30 – 5pm
Sat Sn holidays 10:30 – 2:00pm
Time: 1.5 hrs.
Cost E 12.9/11.4 card July – Aug 8:30 – 6:00 pm
Ap- Oct 8:30 – 5pm, Nov- Mch – 4:30 pm
This morning you are sure to marvel at the Schoenbrunn Palace.
Schoenbrunn Palace – interior visit, and its vast gardens including the Gloriette are a must see! Audio guided tours.
There are 1441 rooms in the Schoenbrunn Palace, Architect -JB Fischer von Erlach
Karl I signed his Act of abdication here Nov 11th, 1918
Schoenbrunn meaning- beautiful fountain, was modeled to resemble Versailles
and surpassing it in size. Construction started in 1700…
Empress Maria Thersia had the greatest influence in this creation…….
The Palace today is an important Austrian government conference and ceremonial venue.
This site has hosted many European conferences, many Heads of State and dignitaries over the centuries and since 1955. During the Cold War President Kennedy meet Khrushchev here.
After your Palace tour walk through the gardens and then up the hill to the Gloriette
Gate structure, the view from the top of the Gloriette is one not to be missed!
Gloriette- Koffeehaus with a most impressive view of the city.
It is worth the view to visit the terrace atop of the Gloriette. Lunch menu and Viennese Wine, coffee and good Austrian Bier!
Open- 9 am – dusk
Top: open 8:00 pm
Spiral stairway to viewing Terrace E 2/ 1.5 card
Open 9-6:00 pm in summer – 7:00 pm.
Built 1775 by Emperor Joseph and Empress Maria Theresa 20 m high
….DAY THREE AFTERNOON - Museums – shopping or on to Krems via
Close out the day and overnight in Krems. Suggest leaving Vienna 5-6:30 pm, no later than 6:30 pm for 7:30 pm arrival in Krems!
Suggested plan for a 2:30 /3:00 -5:00 visit to the National Art Gallery or Albertina Art Gallery! Or any other Museum that captures your imagination…….
Or – Afternoon visit to Castle Kreuzenstein Note closed at 4:00 pm, allow for 2:00 pm departure from Vienna to include a visit. .
Time to leave Vienna and the first portion of your Austria adventure.
Now its time to get into the country, there so much that awaits your discovery!
Suggested recommendation to plan to leave Vienna 5-6:00 pm
Consider a short (exterior) visit to view the impressive neo- gothic Castle of Kreuzenstein First stop outside of the capital is the impressive medieval castle of Kreuzenstein. Your destination and overnight stop is the Danube city of Krems in the Wachau, Danube wine region and UNESCO world heritage site.
DRIVING DIRECTIONS Afternoon DAY THREE
WIEN – Zentrum to Kreuzenstein to KREMS 79 km / 1:07
Drive to Krems, suggest depart Vienna no later than 6:30 pm for 7:30 pm arrival in Krems
Depart Vienna to KREMS – optional short visit to Kreuzenstein castle
From Museum Quarter to exit Vienna along the Danube take Ring Strasse E past many of the sites you have visited to cross Reichbruecke / bridge
From the intersection of Getreidemarkt and Mariahilfer continue on what becomes Babenberger Str. At the intersection of the Ring Str- Left – all Ring names are different sides of the Ring flowing into each other. Burg Ring/ Renner Ring -Luegner Ring etc.
From Schotten-Ring Turn Left on Lande Str, ( Franz Josef Kai to R)
Immediate R on Unter Augarten Str. , cross Donau Kanal,
immediate R …..
….. Once on the Autobahn continue 13km/ 7 min to Exit 19
Korneuburg Ost A22/E49/S 5
OR remain on A – 22 and continue as it flows into S 5 and then B 3 all the way directly to Krems
Exit to Kreuzenstein
Having exited the Autobahn continue L on B 3 to Stockerauer Str R,
+ 2 km to the Leobendorf castle L Castle Parking lot in center of Leobendorf.
Arriving in Krems – Directions
You will arrive in Krems on the B 3 – continue driving W along the Danube and riverside parks to the roundabout of Franz Zeller Platz turning R and R again
now driving E to Martin J Schmidt Str. -L – which meets Und Str. – across this intersection is the Information – good idea to get a town maps and dir to hotel if needed.
Continue R to the city center on Schillen Str, which will veer L into J-Wichner Str.
and then L at Kasernstrasse PK garage on R around corner.
OR turn R at Utz Str. PK L as well as driving to 1st L Fischergasse into Herzog Str
1 blk to Dachsberg g. Next L Spital g. And PK L .
KREMS - pop 24 000, 221 m
Enjoy an evening stroll thru the city center (follow the town walking tour)
and / or along the romantic Danube!
Consider a visit a wine farmer for dinner and wine tasting.
Perhaps take the short 10 min drive to Durnstein B 3 W and visit the Ruin and taste some good wine nearby!
( next segment of sample travel itinerary )
( From Day four) …..DAY FOUR DRIVING Directions
Krems to Durnstein to Melk –Artstetten to LINZ 145 km / 2:00
From Krems take B 3 West 10 km to Durnstein and continue along this provincial route following the Danube through the picturesque Wachau crossing the Danube into Melk.
Krems to Melk 40 km
Duernstein to Melk: 29 km/ 25 min
Melk to Artstetten: 14 km / 12 min - Cross back over to B 3 head left / West for 10 km turn right + 3 km to Artstetten.
Melk to Maria Taferl 24 km
To inc Maria Tafferl (from Artstetten) Drive back towards the Danube
take 1st Rd R ca 500 m, towards Unterthalheim and onward thru Ober-Thalheim to Maria Taferl ca 6 km , for short visit to the renown Basilica and marvellous view of the Danube valley from the church terrace.
After visit to Maria Tafferl drive down to the Danube…..
Or Melk directly to LINZ
From Melk S to KN Melk [ 80 ] to KN LINZ 89 km, 45 min ….
….. from DAY FOUR ITINERARY
….a 37 km / 37 min drive via Durnstein to Melk the heart of the Wachau- Danube river Valley region, a UNESCO World heritage site and famous for its wine and beautiful scenery, splendid baroque castles, ruins, folklore and being the cradle of Austrian civilization!
Suggested departure of Krems by 11:00 a.m to Durnstein …….
( next travel itinerary segment)
…. ( From DAY TWELVE ) Driving Directions
....As you approach Graz note Freilicht Museum Stuebing – extensive outdoor pioneer Volks /Farmer Museum with over 60 building and displays, also be on the lookout high up on R for the castle ruins of Goesting…
…. GRAZ – EXIT KN GRAZ NORD
6 km to Graz center then L to Altstadt. Depending upon where your hotel is:
Now driving into Graz on Weiner Str. as you near the center of Graz – notice Schlossberg and Uhrturm L.
Weiner Str flows into Bahnhof gurtel which will flow into Eggenberg gurtel
NOTE: Info office at Hptbnhf ( Main Train station) on R
opposite Kepler and Annen Str which are on L
Pick up a map / hotel info
Note: If you choose to do the days walking tour of the Altstadt before you head to your hotel
Take Annen Str L at the Hptbnhf towards city center.
Str curves R at …….
If you park here, walk across Neutor g towards the city centre and continue stra into Albrecht g to the Hpt Pl.
( sample of itinerary Day 13 )
from AFTERNOON DAY 13
…… Depart for Leibnitz no later than 3:00 pm
Afternoon discovery of pretty provincial town of Leibnitz, followed by a tour of the wine region of KITZECK, visit several wine farmers and enjoy the south Styrian hospitality. Dine at the Wine Farmers tonight.
OR – To spend more time in the S. Steiermark / wine area forego a Schloss Eggenberg/ Flavia Solva visit for an early afternoon arrival in Leibnitz and mid-afternoon visit to Kitzeck and area.
Leibnitz: pop 8 000, 274 m 3:30 -6:00 pm
One of the most beautiful small towns in Steiermark and Austria, has received an officially designated as such in recent years. The town center offers cafes, restaurants and small town shopping! Great ice cream. Cultural and economic center of S. Steiermark.
Home of Wine Festival, Aug 21- 25 and Sept 12 2015
County seat and capital of the Wine Region, situated on the Leibnitz Field between the Sulm and Mur rivers.
Former significant Roman city in Austria!
In A.D 79 Leibnitz /Flavia Solva became a chartered Roman city with a pop of 3 000.
In 1923 Leibnitz regained city charter from Kaiser Franz Josef I.
…. Option: visit Flavia Solva 3:30 – 5:00 pm
5- 6:00 pm Leibnitz visit
Then proceed to Kitzeck afterwards to close out todays activities.
Bauern Markt- Farmers Market- - Leibnitzer Hpt Pl
Fri 10 – 13:00
Option Flavia Solva 350 BC Roman city of 3 000!
Flavia Solva / Romerdorf
May – Oct Thurs – Sun 10-4 pm
Tel – 3452/71778
Romerdorf – Tel 3452 82582
Seggau Castle – originally in the possession of the Bishops of Salzburg – now owned by diocese of Graz Seggau Renaissance courtyard, church vaulted ceilings. Roman monuments, chapel, over 300 years old wine cellar. Wine cellar tours Sat 15:30, please call ahead Schlosss Seggau Café with large terrace.
Guided tours May - Oct Sat 2 p.m. Sun and holidays 11:00 am
3452 - 82435 -0
Wine Strasse - Styrian Tuscany!
KITZECK - 564 m
Europe’s highest lying wine producing village Wine museum, worlds highest
Klapotetz (a wooden bird chasing windmill) on Demmerkogel /hill.
Park in Kitzeck near the church and wine making museum and after checking them out, enjoy a stroll down the street and around the neighbourhood visiting and sampling the wines of the areas wine farmers! Buschenschaenke
Kitzeck /Wine Museum - visit this small wine museum and learn more about wine making – the region and its people.
Open 10-12, 2- 5:00 pm.
T: 3456 / 3500 11
Steiermark wine country
….. Evening Program – Consider participation in a Steierischen Fest tonight.
(Afterward take a summer evening stroll on one of the many trials that the area has to offer. Thalerhof - Romantic dinner and evening at Thalerhof - Lakeside Gasthaus
This is where Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed to his wife Maria Shriver.
Kurbis (Kervis) / Pumpkin farmer – pick up some black gold to take home, something to remember your visit to the Stieiermark.
If you don’t close out your evening in Kitzeck or the surrounding wine hills,
consider attending one of many festivals in the region: Zeltfest /Tent, Pfarrfest/Parish, Fuerwehrfest / volunteer fire Brigade, of every town and township – you get the picture!
……. BACK TO GRAZ – From Kitzeck
Return to B 74
R to Gleinstatten 9 km and R to St. Florian 10 km ( great ice cream in town center)
From St. Florian R 20 km to Wildon / B 67 N again to Graz or via A- 9
Or - Shortest route From Kitzeck back to Graz via Leibnitz and B 67 or A- 9
At 74 L dir Leibnitz ca 11 km to B 67 / or A-9 and L/ N to Graz
OR for a more cross country route Kitzeck to ….
Drive further thru the Wine Str / Route to visit Deutschlandsberg/ Stainz on way back to Graz.
Continue along Wine Route at Gleinstatten on B 74 for ca 14 km, just past Kresbach
B 74 ends at B 76. Turn R / N 2 km to Deutschlandsberg Rdabt L ….
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