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Thread: vienna anyone?

  1. #1
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    vienna anyone?

    hi folks,

    i have an almost 4 and a half hour layover in vienna, austria on the way to india. i'd like to get out of the airport and get to the city and get some pictures from donauturm. i see that there is a city airport train that runs every half hour and is about a 15 minute trip to the city.

    i land in vienna at 8:30am and my outbound flight is scheduled to depart at 12:50pm.

    to be conservative, i can give myself an hour each way. that allows me an hour and a half in the city if i'd like to be back at the airport an hour before my flight. it's not a huge amount of time, but it's enough to motivate me to get out there.

    i haven't been to vienna since i was probably 10 years old. if you've been into vienna more recently, i would love to hear your recommendations for the time i have there, as well as what i can realistically expect with regard to time required to clear passport control, security, as well as transit times.

    i'm planning on travelling with my aeronaut and field journal notebook.

    thanks!

  2. #2
    Registered User Fat Crip's Avatar
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    You don't half get around Mav ... I'm very jealous! If its not too personal, what sort of business are you in?

    Eric

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Crip View Post
    You don't half get around Mav ... I'm very jealous! If its not too personal, what sort of business are you in?

    Eric
    hi eric,

    i work for a entertainment/communications company, but this is trip is a vacation.

  4. #4
    Registered User Fat Crip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maverick View Post
    this is trip is a vacation.
    I'm sure you've earned it

    Did you ever finish/reshoot your Tri-Star video? I note that you don't seem to use it any more, preferring your Aeronaut. I've just ordered an Aeronaut after slithering between that and the Tri-Star. I hope I've made the right choice!

    Eric

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Crip View Post
    I'm sure you've earned it

    Did you ever finish/reshoot your Tri-Star video? I note that you don't seem to use it any more, preferring your Aeronaut. I've just ordered an Aeronaut after slithering between that and the Tri-Star. I hope I've made the right choice!

    Eric
    hi eric,

    it was the western flyer that i need to reshoot, actually. i haven't had a chance to do that. i think i'm okay with 24 hours in a day. i just need an extra 2 or 3 days in each week!

    the tri-star is a very cool bag, as is the western flyer! it's a matter of preference or mood, but i like using them all. you can't go wrong with any of them!

    for my trips to india, i carry a crazy creek camping chair. it will fit in the aeronaut, but not the tri-star or the western flyer.

  6. #6
    Registered User Fat Crip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maverick View Post
    hi eric,

    it was the western flyer that i need to reshoot, actually. i haven't had a chance to do that. i think i'm okay with 24 hours in a day. i just need an extra 2 or 3 days in each week!
    It was this one I meant:

    http://gallery.me.com/yashkhemani#100321

    I understand about your time. I've been meaning to do a video comparison of my two Ristretto's for the past fortnight, and I just don't know where my time's gone!

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    Assuming your flight isn't late, assuming there aren't long lines at either passport control, customs or security. Assuming there is no problem with the train. And remembering your airline has a minimum time you must be at the gate for boarding (this is not the departure time.)--you might get a little time in the city but not 90 minutes.

    Look at the train schedule. It leaves at :08 and :38 minutes past the hour for the return trip. It's a 15 minute cab ride each way from the Wien-Mitte station to The Danube Tower. Then time to buy tickets at the tower and ride the elevator up.

    Also take into account walking times within the airport...and the fact that the station in Vienna where the train stops is currently under renovation.

    With my calculations, assuming everything is on time and you only need an hour at the airport for arrival and departure, you might get up to an hour at the tower.

    One glitch--you're in serious trouble.
    Editor--One Bag, One World: News, Reviews & Community for Light Travelers. http://www.1bag1world.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank II View Post
    Assuming your flight isn't late, assuming there aren't long lines at either passport control, customs or security. Assuming there is no problem with the train. And remembering your airline has a minimum time you must be at the gate for boarding (this is not the departure time.)--you might get a little time in the city but not 90 minutes.

    Look at the train schedule. It leaves at :08 and :38 minutes past the hour for the return trip. It's a 15 minute cab ride each way from the Wien-Mitte station to The Danube Tower. Then time to buy tickets at the tower and ride the elevator up.

    Also take into account walking times within the airport...and the fact that the station in Vienna where the train stops is currently under renovation.

    With my calculations, assuming everything is on time and you only need an hour at the airport for arrival and departure, you might get up to an hour at the tower.

    One glitch--you're in serious trouble.
    thanks frank! this is helpful information. an hour will be great, but are there places closer / shorter travel time to and from the airport that you might recommend for a fun outing during my layover?

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    There's nothing between the airport and the city center where the train lets you off. And everything else is 10-20 minutes from the station.

    It's really going to depend on timing, day of the week, when you're actually going, airline, etc.

    (If it's either March 4,5 or 6, don't even bother leaving the airport as it will be a zoo. The Davis Cup is taking place in Vienna.)

    One thing unique about the Vienna airport is that if offers a tour behind the scenes of how the airport operates including a bus tour out among the planes.

    http://www.viennaairport.com/jart/pr...ve-mode=active

    You will have to clear immigration and customs.

    I'm guessing you're flying Austrian Airlines. They allow all passengers to purchase lounge access for 35 euros. Should you decide to stay at the airport this might not be a bad idea as it's more comfortable than the regular waiting area. (WLAN, free snacks and drinks, business center, entertainment, etc.)
    Editor--One Bag, One World: News, Reviews & Community for Light Travelers. http://www.1bag1world.com

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank II View Post
    There's nothing between the airport and the city center where the train lets you off. And everything else is 10-20 minutes from the station.

    It's really going to depend on timing, day of the week, when you're actually going, airline, etc.

    (If it's either March 4,5 or 6, don't even bother leaving the airport as it will be a zoo. The Davis Cup is taking place in Vienna.)

    One thing unique about the Vienna airport is that if offers a tour behind the scenes of how the airport operates including a bus tour out among the planes.

    http://www.viennaairport.com/jart/pr...ve-mode=active

    You will have to clear immigration and customs.

    I'm guessing you're flying Austrian Airlines. They allow all passengers to purchase lounge access for 35 euros. Should you decide to stay at the airport this might not be a bad idea as it's more comfortable than the regular waiting area. (WLAN, free snacks and drinks, business center, entertainment, etc.)
    the tour sounds very interesting - i'll do that on the way back if not on the way there. going to india, i'll be transiting through vienna on the morning of friday, 18-feb between 08:30 and 12:50, and on the return, i'll be transiting through on the morning of monday, 28-feb between 06:00 and 10:30. i'm flying austrian.

    i remember the transit lounge in vienna being pretty blah when i went through there about 8 years ago unless you clear passport control - the lounge sounds like a good option if i end up not going out. i also remember having a most delicious cappuccino at the cafe not far from the gate.

    thanks again!

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    The non-Schengen transit area in the Vienna airport is just plain awful. Crowded, nothing really to do, little to eat or drink, and not even any shops to occupy one's time. I remember some years back being exiled there and being able to just barely see the nice, fancy area of the airport just beyond our reach. At least at that time, the smoking area was close enough to the main seating area to contaminate it with plenty of second hand smoke. (This may well have changed since the last time I was stuck there, a few years ago.)

    It's totally worth it to buy lounge access, in my opinion, if you decide not to chance leaving the airport during your layover.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by flitcraft View Post
    The non-Schengen transit area in the Vienna airport is just plain awful. Crowded, nothing really to do, little to eat or drink, and not even any shops to occupy one's time. I remember some years back being exiled there and being able to just barely see the nice, fancy area of the airport just beyond our reach. At least at that time, the smoking area was close enough to the main seating area to contaminate it with plenty of second hand smoke. (This may well have changed since the last time I was stuck there, a few years ago.)

    It's totally worth it to buy lounge access, in my opinion, if you decide not to chance leaving the airport during your layover.
    hi flitcraft,

    thanks flitcraft, that's good to know. i believe that with a u.s. passport, i can enter any schengen state without a visa. i've done this in france without issue a couple of times. although, i don't know if i'll end up venturing out of the airport. it's supposed to rain on friday.

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    Maverick, may your travels be comfortable, convenient, and safe!

    You're right that you can enter a Schengen country on a US passport without a visa. But, for whatever reason, the Vienna airport maintains separate Schengen and non-Schengen transit areas. If you leave the airport, you'll go through passport control, just as if Vienna were your final port of call. Then, on re-boarding, you go to the ordinary departure area--not a transit area. On the other hand, if arriving from a non-Schengen country and departing to a non-Schengen country, and not exiting the airport, you'll be herded into the non-Schengen transit lounge, where the prime amusement is trying to determine where the listed upcoming flights are going. (Hint: it's a crash course in smaller cities in Bulgaria, Moldova, Albania, etc...)
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    The reason there are two areas is simple:

    Wherever you enter Schengen is where you go through passport control.

    So let's say you fly IAD-Vienna-Rome. You are entering Schengen in Vienna and go through passport contorl. Technically, the flight from Vienna to Rome is domestic and you would not have to go through passport control in Rome.

    But since India is not Schengen, there is no need for you to go through passport control in Vienna. You are just passing through--thus the reason to stay in a separate area.

    Customs is different. You go through it at your final port of entry regardless if it's Schengen or not.

    As an American citizen, you can enter the Schengen area and stay for any 90 days within a 180 day period.

    All of western Europe, excluding the UK and Ireland, is Schengen. Schengen is not to be confused with the EU.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank II View Post
    Schengen is not to be confused with the EU.
    Except its very confused with the EU as The Schengen Treaty was incorporated under the EU charter in about 1997 with the treaty of Amsterdam, and, therefore, no longer exists as a stand alone treaty. Any new country joining the EU is automatically Schengen state as a condition of entry with no option. Although the Schengen 'Treaty,' effectively, no longer exists, the term is still significant and I believe its known as an 'accord' or something like that. And as a result all EU member states should automatically be in Schengen ... simple eh?

    However, we don't do simple here! Though the above should be the case, the UK retains a veto on most European matters, so we (UK) opted out of this part of the Treaty of Amsterdam. And if we opt out, then Ireland opts out - as we have always had a "special" relationship (if I need to explain that, you won't understand!) So 25 EU member states constitute the Schengen countries, though, really they're not Schengen any more. OK?

    Well, no. As well as European States, we have Scandinavian ones, which are never sure if they're European or not. Iceland, though no where near Europe, is part of Schengen, and so is Norway. Neither is in the EU, though both still belong to the European Free Trade Association, a rival to the EU, but with only four members, along with Switzerland and Lichtenstein.

    So, like I say, not confusing at all!
    Last edited by Fat Crip; 02-15-2011 at 09:48 PM.

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