For as long as I can remember, my family has watched the New Years Concert from Vienna, the capital of Austria. Every.single.year! That meant watching Sisi inspired ballet whilst exploring the beauty of Vienna’s richly built palaces and castles through the choreographies of many talented artists. I have also been to Vienna many times in the last few years and covered all seasons. The warm summers enjoyed with gelato on hand or at a beautiful rooftop terrace. Magical yet freezing cold snowy winters. The changing colours of autumn are my favourite with a stop by the Butterfly House. Spring…what can I say about spring, it’s blooming fantastic! However, I had never done one of many Vienna walking tours available.
Anyhow, Vienna is a very interesting city. A royal melting pot of cultures with centuries of history on its back. So many faces, so many different sides to explore. As you know I am a big fan of walking as much as possible while travelling. On your feet, without a tight schedule of things to do, that is where the magic happens. When you get lost in the back streets and discover that little café. That little place where you enjoy your first ever cup of hot white chocolate. Or strolling through that park you see every morning through the window of your hotel. And Vienna is a great city for walking. That’s why I would always recommend a good self-guided walking tour of Vienna.
Before my last trip to Vienna, I had been researching new things to do. New places that had opened up in town, cool new tours, anything out of the ordinary. Then I ran into one of the founders of Secret City Trails at an event in Berlin. The moment she started telling me all about their project, I knew it was what I had been looking for. They are an Amsterdam-born-Lisbon-based touring start-up that provides self-guided walking city tours. With a twist of course. All their self-guided tours are game-based, like a grown-up city-wide treasure hunt. But the treasure is a cool/interesting spot in the city you’re exploring.
They work together with local game-makers to create all their self-guided tours. The locals’ research, craft and test each riddle for the most fun experience you could ever imagine. Well, lucky me, self-guided Vienna walking tours were already available and they were kind enough to gift me one* to try during my stay! Needless to say, it exceeded my expectations in every possible way.
Anyhow, I’ll stop rambling now because I am sure you are probably asking yourself how a gamified self-guided walking tour work right? Well, let me give you a quick round-up.
How Do the gamified Vienna walking tours work?
Once you buy one of Secret City Trails’ Tours, you’ll get a link you can open on your phone (no need for an extra app! Yuhuuu!). There, you’ll get an introduction to your booked tour and a brief explanation of the rules.
Each tour is made up of about 12 riddles, which you need to solve. Solving each riddle will take you to a new spot. After finding and solving each piece of the puzzle you’ll get a thorough explanation of the spot before you head out to your next clue! If you get stuck at any one riddle, you can ask for a clue, but beware, this will add time to your overall game time!
That being said, you can take as much time as you like to complete the tour, but what kind of game would it be without a little competition? Get some friends together and have some fun!
Such a simple yet incredible concept! Especially if you, like me, love exploring cities on foot! What I would love to do next is, buy 2 tours, get some friends together and play against each other. The winner team pays the next round! This comes in handy at the moment when contact with other people may be restricted, this way you can still do something fun.
The tour prices start at 20€ and they cover different topics in every city of the over 50 cities all over Europe they’ve launched so far. Most Tours will be in English with a few in the local language, such as German in Vienna. Who could possibly not enjoy such a Vienna self-guided walking tour!