A few weeks ago, my flatmates and I decided to put our Reading Week to good use and travel to some place we had never been. After weeks of throwing ideas around of where to go we finally settled on Vienna (very last minute I might add…) and we couldn’t have been more pleased with our choice! With our bags packed, flights booked, and Airbnb arranged we woke up at 3:00 am and sped off to the airport for a week of adventure. We were welcomed with the best weather and all the trees were turning, fall really is the best time to travel anywhere. Sorry this post is so photo filled, I really tried to narrow it down, but it was too difficult so grab a cuppa and settle in.
Das Belvedere: One of the top museums on my list. The museum used to be the summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy and consists of an upper palace, a lower palace, an orangerie, stables, and several extensive gardens. And that was ONLY the summer palace… Is it too much to ask to be a royal…? Anyways, several of my favorite Gustav Klimt paintings (Judith and Water Serpents I) can be found in the upper Belvedere. This is definitely a must see if you are interested in palaces, baroque architecture, and Gustav Klimt.
Stephansdom: On our first full day in Vienna, we walked over thirteen miles and at the end of it all decided it was a good idea to climb up an extremely narrow passageway to the top of St. Stephan’s Church. But it was worth it. After exploring the inside of the church, we made our way to the top and were treated to beautiful views of the city and of the ornately decorated roof to the church.
Kunsthistorisches Museum: I’m going to be honest with you, this was not my favorite museum. To be fair, it was full of beautiful furniture, Rococo art, etc and I enjoyed learning about the pieces, but it just doesn’t really interest me. My flatmates are both in the Fine and Decorative Art program at our uni, so this was awesome for them and they were able to teach me a lot about furniture. My favorite part of the museum was the clocks, which I know sounds really weird, but they have the most amazing collection of clocks for the palaces in Vienna. They also have a great exhibition about Egypt which was absolutely fascinating.
Schloss Schönbrunn: This was by far my favorite visit of the entire trip. If you couldn’t tell, I love palaces and studying royal families. My favorite royal just happens to be Marie Antoinette who used to live in this palace when she was a little girl so that made me even more excited about visiting. We did the palace tour and eventually made our way outside. Unfortunately, our weather apps lied to us and told us it would be sunny and warm but it was actually the complete opposite: foggy, windy, and cold. It didn’t dampen our spirits though. We trekked throughout the gardens and played in piles of leaves like we were five years old. Our childish behavior only continued when we came across the palace maze (yes, you read that right, they had a MAZE!!!). After getting terribly lost in the maze, we wandered over to the zoo (yes, they have a zoo as well!!) which was closing so they wouldn’t let us in. Schönbrunn should be on the top of your list when you visit Vienna.
Konzerte in der Karlskirche: As Vienna is the city of music, we clearly needed to do something musical. We found a classical music concert held in one of the city’s famous churches, St. Karls. The orchestra played Mozart, Beethoven, Vivaldi, and more. We couldn’t have asked for a better send off back to London.
Ringstraße: I highly recommend taking a stroll along the Ringstrasse. You’ll pass a lot of local monuments like the Opera, Parliament, City Hall, Burgtheater, the University, and a number of beautiful museums. The range of architecture spans from flemish gothic, baroque, and neo-renaissance. The entire walk is only about three miles and will take you no time at all.
Naschmarkt: One of the best food markets in Vienna. We spent most of the day wandering the stalls sampling some of Vienna’s finest. Needless to say we were completely stuffed by the end of the day. They have whatever you’re looking for: chocolate, breads, tea, spices, fruit, veggies, meat, fish, literally everything. Be sure to make a stop here, your tastebuds will thank you.
Airbnb: We ended up staying at a cute apartment we found on Airbnb. And we honestly felt like it was the best choice. We loved where we stayed. It was in a quiet part of town and not too close or too far from the city center. Staying in an apartment also made it more homey as well. We were also really close to the u-bahn which was super convenient.
U-Bahn: The public transportation in Vienna was super easy to navigate even though it was in German. There are only five lines and they don’t branch off but if you get lost, the people at the information booths are really helpful.
Demel: This little bakery began in 1786 selling frozen foods but soon extended to candy, doughnuts, and beignets. I bought chocolate to bring home for Christmas for my family and I’ve only successfully saved one bar…so that should tell you something about how good the chocolate is…
Danieli: Okay, I know it sounds lame to eat Italian food in Vienna, but we couldn’t help ourselves. The menu looked so good and was honestly one of the best meals I’ve eaten in a long time. We treated ourselves to a multiple course meal with octopus, calamari, soup, salad, pizza, the best pasta imaginable, and topped it off with gelato. Be sure to add this to your list of restaurants to go to.
Manner: Famous for their Neapolitan Wafers, you’ll want to stop in for a little treat to top off the day. They have locations all over the city. If you’re not interested in wafers, they have other chocolates to tickle your fancy. Nougat filled chocolates you can buy by the pound or by the piece. They are the perfect gift to take to your loved ones if you have more will power then I do.