Vienna tours and excursions
Vienna Walks offers tours, ranging from 'Vienna in the Footsteps of The Third Man', which scouts out the locations of the famous film, to tours of the homes of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. Other tours focus on a historical period, Jewish life in Vienna, or the underground city of crypts and wine cellars. Vienna With Love also offers walks in English, including art nouveau architecture, medieval quarters and hidden courtyards, or the Imperial Palace. Tours are between 90 minutes and two hours, and there is a minimum of three walkers per group, although individual tours can be pre-arranged.Tel: (01) 774 8901 ; (01) 889 2806.
Vienna Sightseeing Tours offers a three-and-a-half-hour 'Historical City Tour', which includes a visit to Schönbrunn Palace. Cityrama offers a similar full city tour, as well as the three-hour 'Sisi Tour', covering the historical sites of the city and including a visit to St Stephen's Cathedral, the Hofburg and a training session at the Spanish Riding School. Redbus City Tours organises two tours of the city, one sticking to the attractions along the Ringstrasse and within the Innerestadt, and the second taking in all the sights of the first plus attractions on the outskirts of the city.Tel: (01) 534 130 ; (01) 512 4030 ; (01) 7124 6830.
The DDSG Blue Danube Schiffahrt GmbH offers several cruises on the River Danube. Most are available only from mid-April to mid-October, but The Danube Round Trip is available year round. The two sightseeing tours, the 'Grand Danube River Cruise' and the 'Hundertwasser Tour', go between Schwedenplatz and Reichsbrücke and it is possible to take one tour in one direction and return on the other tour. Each tour lasts 70 to 100 minutes.Tel: (01) 58880.
Pedal Power provides three- to four-hour bicycle tours departing from in front of the Vienna Opera, twice daily from May to September. Sights include KunstHausWien, St Stephen's Cathedral and the Danube Canal. The Vienna Ring Tram is a sightseeing tour on a classic yellow tram that dates from the late 1920s. The round trip takes 24 minutes. A romantic, albeit expensive way for visitors to see the city is by a traditional Fiaker (horse-drawn carriage). These are available for hire at Stephansplatz, Heldenplatz and Albertinaplatz. The prices and lengths of the ride must be negotiated in advance.Tel: (01) 729 7234 ; (01) 790 9105.
Founded in 831 and situated on the north bank of the River Danube, approximately half way between Vienna and Linz, Melk is an attractive town with a stunning abbey. Stift Melk Benedictine Abbey sits atop an escarpment, commanding a large stretch of the river valley. It is a physical testament to the power and authority of both the Babenbergs, who built it over 1,000 years ago, and the Benedictine monks, who have occupied it since 1089. It contains a museum, a restaurant and a park and garden pavilion. Even those who do not have time to visit the abbey cannot fail to miss it as they approach Vienna by rail or road from the west.
Babenbergerstrasse 1, Melk
Between Krems an der Donau and Melk, the River Danube winds through one of the most beautiful areas of Austria. A variety of outdoor activities are available on this stretch, including watersports, hiking, cycling, boat cruises and wine-tasting tours. The Danube Bike Path follows the river on both banks. There are bike hire points in most villages along the valley, including Spitz, where bicycles can be rented direct from the train station. Trains to Melk, Pöcham and Ybbs depart from Westbahnhof, while trains to Krems and Spitz depart from Franz Josef Bahnhof.
Region Wachau-Nibelungengau-Kremstal, Schlossgasse 3, Spitz
YesTel: (02713) 300 6060.
Krems an der Donau
Along the River Danube, to the west of Vienna, lies Krems, a 1,000-year-old town surrounded by vineyards. Stein is the oldest part of town; don't miss the ancient buildings on Landstrasse, including the 16th-century town hall. Above Landstrasse, narrow streets and small squares show the structure of the original town. Both the Piaristenkirche and the Wienstadt Museum celebrate the work of medieval artist Johann Martin Schmidt. The 15th-century Steiner Tor gateway marks the end of Stein. Just before the Kremer Tor, at the other end of Landstrasse, is the town's Kunst Halle Krems, a major arts venue with a fine restaurant serving excellent seasonal dishes and wine from it own celebrated cellars. Trains leave Vienna Franz Josef Bahnhof for Krems every hour (journey time - 1 hour).
Krems TourismusUtzstrasse 6