This was the worst tour we have ever taken. A complete waste of money. Our tour guide Jeanette showed up 20 minutes late. Not such a big deal, especially since someone called to let us know she was running behind. When she arrived, though, she seemed upset and agitated, so we reassured her that everything was ok. I showed her our tour voucher, and our Vienna Day Passes, and asked if the electronic versions on my phone would suffice, or if we had to print out paper vouchers. She assured us that we didn't need to do anything. So we started our tour. We had booked a private tour in large part so that we could tailor our day to our preferences. We asked about visiting the Jewish Quarter. Oh, there's nothing really to see - they live all over the city now was her reply. OK. Whatever. Sticking to the standard schedule, we proceeded to tour the highlights. But everything was rushed, and we figured she just wanted to make up for lost time, and this just wouldn't be the best tour we'd ever taken. But as the tour progressed, things went downhill quickly. We we were outside the opera house when she made a derogatory remark about a white mother with black children. Mama Mia, I believe was what she said my wife and I are an interracial couple. Finishing the walking part of the tour, we went to the garage where she had parked her car. Except that she couldn't find it - apparently she was so frazzled from running late, that she didn't remember where her car was. So we spent 20 minutes looking for it. The importance of this lost time becomes clearer a bit later. A bit further along, driving by the Vienna LGBT office, she made a disparaging remark about those people. We were dumbfounded but regretfully kept our mouths shut. Continuing on, we went to visit Schonbrunn, where our admission to the museum should have been included with our Vienna Day pass. But because Jeanette didn't know that the pass had to be physically picked up and validated neither did we, and yes, we should have read the instructions more carefully, but really, a professional guide with ANY experience should have known, we would have to pay to enter the museum. Pretty well disgusted with Jeanette at this point, we asked her to make the 10 minute drive to the city center to collect our pass while we had a coffee and strolled the grounds, so we could at least salvage this part of the tour. To say that she pushed back on that idea would be an understatement. I finally got fed up and stopped asking her to do it and told her to. She did. But when she came back about an hour later, she informed us that we should continue on by ourselves, and take the subway back to our hotel. Mind you, this is less than 5 1/2 hours into a 7 hour private tour that started 20 minutes late, and on which we spent 20 minutes looking for her car that she couldn't find. When pressed on this, Jeanette said that, because it was Friday, the trip back to our hotel would take an hour, so she didn't have time for anything more. I reminded her firmly that we had paid for a 7 hour tour, that she had showed up late, and that we were not interested in taking the subway back to our hotel when we had paid for round trip car service. Reluctantly, she rushed us through Schonbrun in about 20 minutes, and we drove back to our hotel which took 20 minutes, not an hour.
Our 7hr day tour guide was Lubica and she was excellent! Unfortunately the day was very cool, rainy and rather blustery. Lubica however made the best out of the situation and ensured we seen the historical sights and streets within core Vienna City to it's fullest. Her unsurpassed knowledge and detailed descriptive commentary was outstanding. Her ability to draw one into the realm of her educated conversation on the historical facts and events surely made the day interesting and worthwhile. A needed coffee break with some social time paved the way for more walking tour and a wonderful Viennese lunch at a predetermined restaurant selected by Lubica. We then departed by taxi to our Grand tour of the Habsburg dynasty residence of Schonbrunn Palace note, the Palace Grand Tour ticket price is additional to the overall tour cost and you must arrange the tickets on your own directly with Schonbrunn Palace beforehand. Although the Palace actually has some 1400 rooms, visitors are only exposed to 40 of them on the Grand Tour. These state and great rooms are however, grandeur in splendor and offers a glimpse of what wealth the Hapsburgs retained during their dynasty. The grounds are extrodinary and during warm summer months, one could easily spend an entire leisurely day explorering and enjoying them to the fullest. The tour then offers up a late afternoon tea at a Schonbrunn Palace restaurant that we passed on and finally terminates at the days starting point. This was a splendid tour with Lubica as our outstanding guide and we all certainly felt it was well worth the cost. We do however feel the Palace Grand Tour tickets should've been included in the overall tour pricing but it's not enough of an issue to disway anyone from taking this 7hr day tour. If Vienna is on your bucket list, this tour is a must do rather than walking aimlessly in wonderment. I've appended 2 links on Schonbrunn Palace which should help you out. Thanks Viator for assisting us in planning our vacation travel tours.
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