Gallivanting in Vienna

Monday, 15 October 2018

It was time for my second city break of 2018; the destination? Vienna. I had heard so many good things about the city and was very excited to get exploring. With my Mum and Sister in tow (this was after all a birthday present to my Mum from my sister and I) we flew out Saturday morning and were ready to get stuck in.



Were we very lucky that for the whole duration the sun was shining and it was still relatively warm. Maybe not quite shorts and t-shirt weather but you could definitely get away with not taking a jacket during the day. Sightseeing is always a lot more enjoyable when the sun is out and everything just looks better IMO.




Getting around Vienna was very easy. After we landed we got a 72 hour travel pass; which, I might add, you have to “validate” yourself by putting them in these little machines that stamp the time on them. They have trams, buses and a metro system which are all very frequent and all pretty easy to figure out. That being said a lot of places are within walking distance and this is always my preferred method of getting around. The people in Vienna were very hit and miss; some people were lovely, some really weren't. It was luck of the draw!



I don’t think I’ve ever been to such a beautiful city, take a look at my Instagram and you’ll see just how many pictures I had to share of the landscapes and buildings and that was only a fraction of the ones I actually took! Every single building looked like it had been built for royalty and I couldn’t stop snapping away at every single one. 

National Library
National Library

Of course we did embrace our inner culture vultures and saw some of the main sights. We started off with the National Library or Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (please forgive the spelling) as the Austrians would call it. My first words when entering?...“Wow”. I don’t think the pictures quite do it justice. It reminded me of Beauty and the Beast with its shelves going on what seems for miles up to the ceiling and the ridiculously long ladders to reach the top. As well as the beautiful art that decorated the ceiling and the sculpture stood proudly in the middle. Awe inspiring, a must see in my opinion. 

Belvedere Museum
Belvedere Museum
Belvedere Museum
Belvedere Museum
“The Kiss”

We also made our way to the Belvedere Museum; which, for someone who has visited many stately homes in their time in many countries, didn’t really wow me as much. I'm not saying it wasn't a stunning building it just wasn’t unlike anything I hadn’t seen before. What it did offer however, was a gallery of Austrian artist Gustav Klimt's work including one of his most famous painting “The Kiss”. Art isn’t usually my thing, but even I recognised that painting and I enjoyed seeing it in person. Another art museum we visited was Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien which has possibly the most impressive staircase I've ever seen; it also had paintings from all over the world, some taller than my house! Very impressive and another must see.

Kunsthistorisches Museum
Kunsthistorisches Museum
Kunsthistorisches Museum
Kunsthistorisches Museum

Our final full day was spent walking the grounds of Schloss Schonbrunn. I love me a palace and this one did not disappoint. It probably helped that it was such a nice day but walking palace gardens that are so well looked after is something I really enjoy. We also tasted a bit of cake at the cafe on the grounds, I can never say no to cake. This might come as a surprise; but I would actually give the inside of the palace a miss. There were so many other tourists in there in the guided tours or listening to their audio guides that it was so packed; it felt like we were cattle being herded around each room. I usually like to walk at my own pace in these types of buildings but we couldn't go faster than a shuffle and I could feel myself getting very restless. We also weren't allowed to take pictures and to be honest the rooms weren't any different to other palace rooms I'd seen. So I would just stick to the gardens myself.

Schloss Schonbrunn
Schloss Schonbrunn
Schloss Schonbrunn
Schloss Schonbrunn

Other worthy mentions were Prater; a theme park where Oktoberfest celebrations were taking place. A very lively atmosphere where you could go for a day/night of heavy drinking and lederhosen. St Stephen's was a pretty impressive cathedral and definitley worth a peak inside for any Cathedral enthusiasts. Rathaus was a building very close to where we were staying, although we never went inside we definitley enjoyed walking past it every day. Architecture at it's best!

Prater
St Stephen's
Rathaus

How can we talk about Vienna and not mention Sachertorte?! We decided to sample this at Sacher Das Original. The name kinda speaks for itself, but they basically claim to be the place where the famous chocolate cake was created. It was bloomin' delicious and would happily eat sachertorte every day for the rest of my life. I also had an amazing apple strudel at Cafe Demel, not to mention some tasty coffees. 

Sachertorte at Sacher Das Original
Apple Strudel at Cafe Demel
Cakes at Cafe Demel
Coffee at Cafe Demel

The food overall was incredible, we didn't have one bad meal! For breakfast we ate at Cafe Telegraph and Figar, definite recommendations to anyone who loves a bit of brunch. Lunch we spent at Cafe Landtmann, service was pretty slow but food and cocktails very nice. Gasthaus Wild; a really nice setting where I had a surprisingly delicious cheesy vegetable strudel. And finally Cafe Sperl where, again, service was very very slow but food was really good. The dinners we had were probably my favourite meals. The first night we at a place called Tian; a vegetarian restaurant where we chose the sharing menu meaning we could sample a number of plates. All of them were dreamy and we left there feeling very full. Ulrich had more of an American Bar & Grill kinda vibe but it offered some really tasty cocktails and the food was delish. On our final night we ate at Griechenbeisl. A medieval looking restaurant with very friendly a prompt service. The food was amazing and the atmosphere even better! 

Tian
Cafe Landtmann
Cocktails at Ulrich
Cocktails at Ulrich

If, like myself, you are a fan of cocktails then you MUST visit Das Loft. Located at the top of a very tall building; not only do you get amazing views but it has a very creative selection of cocktails. We got there just before sunset so it wasn't very busy but it did mean we had time to take in the view; and we were not disappointed. If you want a more chilled vibe with your cocktails then definitely go to Loo's Bar. Again, it has a vast selection of cocktails but instead it's in more of a quaint street setting. A little bit more low key, but still fun.

Das Loft
Das Loft

As a vegetarian I felt Vienna definitely catered to my needs. Not only was there a lot of choice but everything tasted sooo good. Obviously my Mum and sister tasted more of the "classic" austrian dishes such as schnitzel, which they then raved about, so I would confidently say that meat eaters would find many things to their tastes also.


Any one who loves city breaks as much as I do HAS to go to Vienna. I had such a fun trip, there's so much to do and to see. Being so used to London ways it's always refreshing visiting a different european city. Vienna is a lot more laid back, sometimes this was a tad annoying, but it did mean we were able to go at our own pace. A beautiful city I would happily visit again.



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