22960
Austria

City Walks: Exploring Vienna’s Neighborhoods

Explore the beautiful and historic neighborhoods of Vienna on foot, and venture out to the Vienna Woods Biosphere Reserve to take in the natural surroundings and views of the city.
Rating (5)
Program No. 22960RJ
Length
8 days
Starts at
1,899
Flights start at
875
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8 days
7 nights
12 meals
6 B 4 L 2 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Vienna, Check-in, Orientation, City Ride, Dinner
Vienna
D
Mercure Grand Hotel Biedermeier

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 2:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. We will then begin getting to know Austria’s capital city on a motorcoach field trip with commentary along the "Ringstrasse," the circular boulevard where city walls once stood around the Innere Stadt (Inner City). Along the way, we’ll pass by the United Nations quarter, and Hundertwasserhaus.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll have a 3-course plated welcome dinner with coffee, tea, water, and one glass of wine included. Other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow participants and get a good night's sleep for the full day tomorrow.

DAY
3
Vienna's Old Town, Free Time
Vienna
B,L
Mercure Grand Hotel Biedermeier

Activity note: Getting on/off public transportation with minimal riding. Walking about 3.5 miles total throughout group activities on mostly paved surfaces, generally flat, with some cobblestones, approximately 4 hours. Stairs to the subway; most stops have elevators.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, the breakfast buffet offers choices such as cold cuts, cheeses, cereals, yogurt, fruit, and breads, plus milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Setting out from the hotel by subway, we’ll discover the Old Town of Vienna during our first city walk, witnessing the millennia of history here, from Roman times through the height of Habsburg power and post-war rebirth. From Albertinaplatz, we will walk to the Imperial Palace, still the government center of Austria; stroll along the exclusive shops of Kohlmarkt and Graben to reach the very heart of Vienna: St. Stephen's Cathedral, where we will enjoy an expert-led visit. Next, we’ll take a coffee break at the Demel coffeehouse, which opened in 1786 and was a meeting point for aristocrats and Vienna’s bourgeoisie. On site, we will also explore the Demel Museum as a group. Continuing on, we’ll go to Hoher Markt, Vienna's oldest square and the center of the Roman camp Vindobona. Next, we will cross Rotenturmstrasse to enter the quarter of the Old University, now home to the Austrian Academy of Sciences, as well as the great Baroque Jesuit Church.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we will have a 2-course plated meal, with coffee, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Free time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
The Ring: Vienna's Boulevard of Splendor, Free Time
Vienna
B,L
Mercure Grand Hotel Biedermeier

Activity note: Getting on/off public transportation with under 1/2 hour of riding total. Walking about 4 miles total during group activities mostly paved surfaces, generally flat, with some cobblestones, approximately 4 hours. Stairs to the subway; most stops have elevators.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will enjoy a lecture at the hotel entitled "Understanding Austria." Until the fall of the Habsburg dynasty after the WWI, Austria was a major power in Central Europe in various state guises. Contemporary Austria has become one of the most prosperous and stable member states of the European Union. We’ll learn about the development of Austria into a highly industrialized country. We’ll then explore the Ring Boulevard (Ringstrasse) around the Old Town on foot with a local expert. In 1857, Emperor Franz Joseph ordered the demolition of Vienna's medieval fortifications and ramparts to make room for expansion and from this, the idea of an imperial "Boulevard of Splendor" was born! The Ring was to become Vienna's greatest pride, and at the same time, the playground and vanity fair of the upper crust. The resulting magnificent boulevard, officially opened in 1865, was soon lined with mansions of the nobility and wealthy as well as important political and cultural institutions. Today it recalls the glory of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. As we walk, we will explore its highlights, and hear the stories behind its splendid facades. We’ll start the walk at the University building and remnants of the Old City walls. During the walk, we will also pass the Palais Ephrussi, the one-time home of the Ephrussi family who were featured in the memoir by Edmund de Waal, "The Hare with Amber Eyes." Carrying on, we’ll pass the Neogothic City Hall, the Austrian Parliament, Museum of Fine Arts, the Imperial Palace and the State Opera. At this point we’ll walk past the Secession for a lunch break at the Naschmarkt, Vienna’s largest market. From here we will continue to see the Musikverein, home to the Vienna Philharmonic, and the baroque Charles Borromeo church. Returning to the Ring we will stroll to admire the Museum of Applied Arts, finishing the walk with breathtaking art nouveau architecture, the Postsparkasse by Otto Wagner.

Lunch: We will have a light lunch on Naschmarkt, including a 2-course plated meal, with coffee, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Free time.

Dinner: On your own to explore the local fare.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
From "Shtetl" to the Prater
Vienna
B,L
Mercure Grand Hotel Biedermeier

Activity note: Getting on/off public transportation with minimal riding. Walking about 4 miles total during group activities mostly paved surfaces, generally flat, with some cobblestones, approximately 4 hours. Stairs to the subway; most stops have elevators.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll head out for a walk around Leopoldstadt, the former Jewish district, where grand synagogues and bustling shops, coffee houses, and theaters could be found. It counts Sigmund Freud among its many former residents. Traveling by subway, we will make our way to the district, where we will see the Danube Canal, and start the morning with a talk from a local expert about Danube regulation and the development of the Vienna districts. There is not much left from the former Jewish district; all of its synagogues were destroyed in 1938. As we walk, we will see memorial plaques and the "Stones of Remembrance" while our instructor does their best to bring to life this once-flourishing part of the city. Then we’ll follow the Praterstrasse to Prater Park where we will enjoy a ride on Vienna's giant Ferris wheel, the Riesenrad, for a great view over the city. After a short break to relax and perhaps enjoy a coffee on your own, we will pay a short visit to the new campus of Vienna University of Economics and Business. Our expert will explain its architectural significance to us.

Lunch: On your own to sample more of the regional cuisine.

Afternoon: Free time.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a 3-course plated dinner with coffee, tea, water included. Other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: We will transfer via subway to the splendid Kursalon, a music hall located where the City Park and the Ringstrasse meet. While here, we will enjoy a concert featuring works by Mozart and Strauss. We’ll then return to the hotel via subway.

DAY
6
Schönnbrunn Palace, Surrounding Villas of Hietzing
Vienna
B,L
Mercure Grand Hotel Biedermeier

Activity note: Getting on/off public transportation under 1/2 hour. Walking about 5.5 miles total during group activities mostly paved surfaces, generally flat, with some cobblestones, approximately 4 hours. Stairs to the subway; most stops have elevators. Elevator access in Schönnbrunn Palace.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will travel by public transport to visit the Habsburg Summer Residence, Schönbrunn Palace and the Gardens in the district of Hietzing, led by a local expert. Once a small wine-producing village not yet a part of Vienna, Hietzing grew with the arrival of the Habsburgs and the construction of their summer retreat here in the 1700s. Artists as diverse as Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, and Johann Strauss II frequented the area in the 1800s. After a break in a typical local coffeehouse, we will continue in Hietzing for an expert-led walk along the footsteps of composer Alban Berg and the artists of Vienna 1900, and admire the exteriors of many former summer residences of the former haute-volée of Vienna.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we will have a 2-course plated meal, with coffee, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Free time.

Dinner: On your own to explore more of the local fare.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Vienna Woods
Vienna
B,D
Mercure Grand Hotel Biedermeier

Activity note: Getting on/off public bus; driving about 2 hours. Walking about 6 miles total during group activities, mix of paved and unpaved terrain, approximately 4.5 hours. You may wish to wear an even sturdier shoe today, such as a hiking shoe, but it is not necessary.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Free time.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: We will leave the city by public bus up to Kahlenberg Hill and enjoy a walk around Vienna Woods, the city's beloved recreation area. In 2005, the Vienna Woods to the west and northwest of Vienna were designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. This was an important step made to protect an area of more than 250,000 acres of woodland for the benefit of man and nature on the periphery of a large city. A world city partially situated in a Biosphere Reserve is considered unique, even around the world! Its core area comprises 15 conservation areas and 4 nature parks, which makes it a haven for nature lovers, but offers a lot of culture, too. During our walk here, we will learn from a local expert about the history of the woods and the siege of Vienna by the Turks in 1683. We’ll also enjoy a great view of the capital. Our walk will end at a wine tavern for dinner.

Dinner: In a Heuriger – a typical wine tavern – we’ll enjoy a delicious plated 3-course farewell dinner with water and one glass of wine included. More wine available for purchase. Share your favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: We’ll then return to Vienna by streetcar. The remainder of the evening will be at leisure. Prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.

DAY
8
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon. See your program’s “Transportation Information” regarding transfers.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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