What We Packed – Winter City Break in Vienna, Austria

Visiting in January we couldn’t be sure whether to expect snow or not, and could only really plan our packing at the very last minute when we had the 7 day forecast (which was snow-free).

We planned to take only hand luggage – we were going for 3 nights and 4 days – and as we knew Vienna is a smart city we needed to get this right. Flying with easyJet, like most budget airlines we could only take one piece of hand luggage of limited size each, which meant a handbag and iPad needed to fit in the bag too.

To travel in I wore:

  • Cigarette trousers that were smart enough for evenings out too
  • Smart walking shoes (if snow had been forecast it would have been boots)
  • Long sleeved t-shirt
  • Jumper
  • Warm coat
  • Pashmina, hat & gloves

Then I packed:

  • Dress
  • Jacket
  • Long cardigan to wear with the dress, as a less formal alternative to the jacket
  • Black jeans (which look like trousers)
  • Thermal t-shirt
  • 2 thin polo neck jumpers to wear over thermal t-shirt
  • Belt
  • Thick black tights
  • Black shoes/boots to wear with dress
  • Faux fur scarf to dress up coat for evenings
  • PJ’s and underwear
  • Toiletries
  • iPad, phone and chargers
  • Umbrella
  • Handbag with travel wallet and travel documents

Steve wore:

  • Corduroy trousers (these are thicker and warmer)
  • T-shirt
  • Shirt
  • Jumper
  • Smart comfortable walking shoes
  • Warm waterproof jacket
  • Belt
  • Scarf and gloves

and packed:

  • Fleece-lined smart walking trousers for daytime
  • Jacket
  • Casual shirt
  • Smart shirt
  • Smart evening shoes
  • Underwear
  • Toiletries
  • Hat

We wore everything, didn’t miss anything and felt very comfortable mixing at the opera, sightseeing and at the local bars and restaurants.

Statue at VolksgartenViennese street

The journey from the airport to the city by CAT was so simple and easy and we would recommend this. It leaves every 30 minutes and takes only 16 minutes on clean double decker trains.

Vienna is a beautiful place but you can’t get away from how expensive it is. Attractions are costly, there are a lot of them and all so worth seeing – we soon ran up a huge bill. Some attractions charge you for each part of the building you want to see, and extra still for the audio guides. They often offer combination tickets that reduce the price a little, so it really pays to plan ahead.

We bought the Vienna card as we planned to take the underground to Schonbrunn Palace and it also offered small discounts on many attractions. We were not that great at remembering to ask for these discounts at first, but soon realised what a difference even one Euro less per person per attraction made. There were also discounts at some cafes and restaurants using the card, and it meant we could travel around for 3 days on trams, buses and trains at no extra cost. This mattered when our feet began to ache and taxis cost a great deal, in part because of the extensive one way system.

Hofburg PalaceAustrian musicians with alphorns

If you are a cyclist you will envy the extensive cycle paths and free bikes available throughout the city, but as a pedestrian you do need to be vigilant not to stray into the cycle ways!

We stayed at The Intercontinental, which is very comfortable and we would definitely stay there again. The location couldn't have been better – and because they put the name at the very top of the building you could see it from nearly everywhere, which made navigating a breeze. This is something you often forget when in new places and trying to orientate yourself in a short space of time, so this really helped a lot.

Karlskirche church at nightWe found Vienna to be a delightful, safe, clean, friendly, comfortable city and easy to navigate. English is spoken extensively by the local population but they really did appreciate you making the effort to speak their language (German).

What surprised us the most for such a tidy and particular city was that many bars and restaurants still allow smoking, and really bizarrely to us dogs were welcomed, even at the smartest eateries.

January is the Ball Season and if we could have joined in that would have been so much fun… maybe next year!


Posted by Helen – WhatToWearOnHoliday.com