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Eastern Austria - Vienna to Graz

Author meltwaterfalls
#1 | Posted: 20 Dec 2011 15:00 
Hi just a quick ask. Does anyone have any recommendations for WHS based activities for Eastern Austria in January?

I am thinking I could visit Vienna (already seen both WHS) and Graz taking in the Semmering railway en-route and perhaps a side trip to Melk. I think I may have 3.5 days in the area, am I missing something by paying no real attention Fertő/Neusiedlersee in January?

More importantly are there any Kaffeehauser or Heurigen (wine houses) in Vienna that people can recommend?

Author Khuft
#2 | Posted: 20 Dec 2011 17:35 
Hi Meltwaterfalls,

I can recommend the following Kaffeehäuser in Vienna:
- Café Demel (near the main entrance of Hofburg)
Excellent cakes, but very posh and touristy. But the Dobos and Eszterhazy cakes are simply awesome (at least outside Hungary)

- Café Diglas (close to Stephansdom):
Much less touristy, but also has excellent cakes. I liked it more than the first.

Author Durian
#3 | Posted: 20 Dec 2011 19:28 
I also recommend Eszterhazy cake at Cafe Damel and Sacher Cake at Hotel Sacher (I don't know I think Sacher's whipped creame is better than Damel) ;)

Author hubert
#4 | Posted: 21 Dec 2011 09:25 
A famous and typical Kaffeehaus in Vienna is the Hawelka Cafe, not far from Stephansdom:

In another style, but also very popular, the Cafe Central

My favorite is the Cafe Sperl (with pool tables), near the Naschmarkt

For Heurigen is the best choice Grinzing in the northwest of Vienna (tram 38, I think), there are a lot of wine taverns.
Since you were already in Vienna, you certainly know the main attractions. My recommendation would be the Post Office Savings Bank by Otto Wagner (it is open only on weekdays):
or see my review

Neusiedlersee in January is not a good idea, but I can recommend a trip to Graz. It takes about 2.5 hours by train from Vienna. One day should be enough to visit Graz. A must is to climb the stairs on the Schloßberg. From there you have a beautiful view over the roofs of Graz and the modern Kunsthaus. The historic center is worth visiting. There are hardly any traditional Kaffeehäuser in Graz (unlike in Vienna), but plenty of pubs and restaurants in the center.
I wish you a nice trip

Author meltwaterfalls
#5 | Posted: 22 Dec 2011 04:42 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
Thanks guys, exactly the kind of information I am after.

I was just having a look and it seems the Vienna to Graz train actually goes over the Semmering railway (thanks Klaus for pointing that out in your review). I'm not really sure if that counts as a visit or not, perhaps I can get off have a wander around and get the next train, but perhaps that will be missing the point of the railway.

Author evilweevil
#6 | Posted: 23 Dec 2011 05:53 
Yes, all trains from Vienna to Graz go over the pass - this is still the major route from Vienna to the south. It will take another few years or decades until the tunnel is finished (it has run into financial troubles recently). Trains to Graz leave Meidling Train Station in Vienna every hour (at :02), and some of these stop at Semmering (e.g. those leaving at 10:02 and 12:02). So you can easily get off and explore the area (there is a memorial to Ghega - the constructor of the railway - at the train station, and other historic features such as villas and historic hotels are nearby) and take a later train to Graz (maybe a change at Mürzzuschlag or Bruck/Mur will ne necessary). There is a long hiking trail next to the railway line which provides great views of the viaducts, but of course, in January it will very cold and snowy...

Author meltwaterfalls
#7 | Posted: 7 Jan 2012 16:11 
I've got to say Vienna has been even better the second time around. Thanks for the recommendations. I have spent a little too much time in Cafes the last couple of days but it has been great.

Speacial thanks to Hubert, your recommendations on Cafe Sperl and Wagner's Postsparkasse, they have been destinct highlights, Sperl would certainly be my cafe of choice if I lived in Vienna, though Dreschler around the corner was also good.

Now off to Graz via Semmering!

Author hubert
#8 | Posted: 27 Jan 2012 06:01 
Obviously you've enjoyed the days in Austria. A trip to Vienna would not be complete without visiting some Kaffeehäuser. And since the "Wiener Kaffehauskultur" recently was inscribed in the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, this is also a kind of WH experience. Maybe the pubs in London will also be inscribed, so that my next trip to London will get a cultural upgrading :)

How did you like Graz and the Semmering?

Author meltwaterfalls
#9 | Posted: 30 Jan 2012 06:14 
Yeah, my second visit to Austria was really great. And the Kaffeehauser were a highlight, though it was odd going back to places with indoor smoking.

I'm just writing up my reviews on Semmering and Graz (being a little slow), but both were very enjoyable. Graz really is the sort of city I could see myself living in; Lovely old town, great modern architecture, wonderful food and excellent wine, couldn't really ask for more. Perhaps I should brush up on my German.

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 Eastern Austria - Vienna to Graz

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