I had high hopes that Vienna would live up to the expectations that I’d created… and I wasn’t disappointed. In 2017, we visited Zel Am See in Austria and did a day-trip to Salzberg and a few other sites. We loved it; friendly people, clean (very little litter or graffiti), good food, stunning scenery and wonderful architecture…. And Vienna was just the same. Lovely people, good food, beautiful buildings and just so clean: it must be something in the culture in Austria… that or someone is clearing the streets of litter and graffiti each evening.
Here’s my highlights of the trip:
Central area: Hofburg Palace, St Stephen’s Cathedral, Opera House, Hofburg Palace
We didn’t actually go inside any of the above; it was beautiful weather during our trip and we just wanted to be outside. Plus: I love to state at the architecture. We wandered from place to place and saw all the other buildings in-between. For a capital city, Vienna doesn’t have that much traffic in the centre. It was reasonably quiet and calm. Clean and well kept – as I keep saying – and…
There’s a cafe on almost every street corner. And I’m not talking about Starbucks or Costa… these places are all individual, unique, and beautiful in their own right. And the cakes; oh my, the cakes. They are works of art. Many were suitable for vegetarians or vegans. Just wonderful to look at, let alone eat.
Tip for night-time: go to the Opera house. There’s a big screen outside and you can view the performance going on for free. There’s even seats so that you can sit and relax while4 you watch.
We had lunch and then apple strudel (when in Vienna….) in Cafe Central, which is just gorgeous. We had to queue for a table, but it was worth it. Elegant, with high beautiful ceiling and ornate pillars… the cafe was visited by Freud (and, not quite so great – Hitler and Stalin) …if only those walls had ears.
A must-do when visiting Vienna, we enjoyed our food.
My favourite place in Vienna! It’s a little further out, so we got the tram from our hotel, which was very efficient and in-expensive.
The palace is simply beautiful; we did the audio tour and had a good look around inside. Mozart played his first ever concert here aged just 6! The gardens were also pretty impressive; it was a nice day and we walked around them for quite some time.
The Neptune Fountain behind the palace is lovely and reminded me of the Trevi fountain in Rome. You can go up and behind it for some great views of the palace. We climbed the hill behind the fountain for more lovely views and a fabulous lunch at the restaurant at the top.
Vienna’s Giant Ferris Wheel
Prater Park is a small theme park in Vienna, with various rides and a Madame Tussauds, etc. The ‘Wiener Riesenrad’, was constructed in 1897 and was the world’s tallest ferris wheel from 1920-1985. The views over Vienna were pretty awesome and it’s definitely a worthwhile thing to do.
Danube River boat trip
This was the only thing in Vienna that we didn’t enjoy. This section of the Danube is not that scenic; there aren’t many picturesque views from the boat, and you spend a really, really long time going down in a lock. It was boring and quite frankly a waste of time and money.
Mozart’s the Magic Flute Opera
My hubs had never been to see the opera, but I knew he’d be impressed by the voices, the music, and the general wonderfulness of it all (I’m not a big fan, I just enjoy going occasionally). We went to see Mozart’s The Magic Flute and it was really, really good. It was in German, but there were English subtitles which was a good way to keep up with what was going on.
Food and drink
We had many good meals in Vienna, with plenty of vegetarian choices.
Almdudler is a really popular soft drink; just as big as coke. It’s very nice, kind of like a sparkling elderflower drink.
Then of course, there’s the on-every-menu apple strudel. Delicious.
Austria, I love you.
There are so many place I want to visit, I don’t usually say this: but I’d go back to Vienna. There’s something special about it. There aren’t many cities I’ve really really loved but this was one of them.