Updated: Jul 26, 2018
Vienna was the first city I visited in my first trip to Europe in spring 2015. I was immediately overwhelmed with how different it was from any vacation or place I had ever been in the world. The amount of history was amazing.
Vienna is the capital city of Austria and has the largest population in the country. The cool thing about this city is that the city is kind of built in this loop so it makes it pretty easy to get around. One of the first things I wanted to do was get acclimated with the city and the best way for us to do this was to do a hop on hop off tour.
We booked a hop on hop off ticket through Viator which provided 24 hours of rides.
There are two routes that you can take on the hop on hop off buses:
Red Route (1.5-hour full-loop duration):
Stop 1: Opera
Stop 2: Haus der Musik
Stop 3: Mariahilfer Straße
Stop 4: Hofburg
Stop 5: Vitivechurch/Votivkirche
Stop 6: Karmeliter Market
Stop 7: Augarten
Stop 8: Prater
Stop 9: Blue Danube
Stop 10: Danube Tower/Donauturm
Stop 11: Old Danube/ Alte Donau
Stop 12: UNO City
Stop 13: Danube Island/ Donauinsel
Stop 14: Praterstern
Stop 15: Schwedenplatz / Danube Canal
Stop 16: Stadtpark
Stop 1: Hofburg
Stop 2: Haus der Musik
Stop 3: Haus des Meeres
Stop 4: Schloss Schönbrunn
Stop 5: Arsenal
Stop 6: Belvedere
I would recommend starting out your day by taking the Blue Route. You exchange your voucher at the "Haus der Musik" stop and ride past the Haus des Meeres stop as well. Out of all the stops, I was the most interested in seeing Schonbrunn palace and wanted to get there early.
Travel Tip: I also recommend purchasing the Schonbrunn entrance ticket from the "Big Bus" company when you go to begin your rides. When you get to Schonbrunn you will be able to skip the line which is really time saving!
After you marvel at how amazing Schonbrunn is, hop back on the blue route and finish out the ride. The blue route takes about 1 hour in total to ride. We weren't as interested in the Arsenal stop, but the building is beautiful. We got off at Belvedere palace, but we weren't as interested in paying to go look at an art museum so we hung out for a bit and took some photos.
The route will take you past the Hofburg palace which we had already walked by earlier that morning and took some photos. I would recommend riding it all the way back to where you got on. At "Haus der Musik" you can then connect and jump on the Red Route.
Some of the stops on the red route, we had already explored the previous evening when we arrived. We didn’t end up getting off at any stop along this route but rather listening to the audio tour as we passed by each site. If we had more time, we would have spent more time at the Prater stop. This is a large public park and includes an amusement park!