Guten Tag! While I’m currently writing this blog from my couch in Milan, I only arrived here from Vienna yesterday. Finis (my best friend) and I spent a few really lovely days there and I was so excited to share what we saw and did! Even though we were there for four days, I thought I’d narrow it down and tell you about our favorite things in the form of a 24-hour guide for Vienna.
Vienna is in eastern Austria and has a history rich with culture and wiener schnitzel. The home of several renowned artists and political figures, there’s definitely a lot to see within the city. These days, Austria’s bustling with locals and tourists alike. A destination for viennese culture, lovers of classical music and adventure–Vienna is worth a visit.
While Vienna does offer a lot of hotels, we opted to go with airBNB for our time there. We stayed in a really lovely apartment (found here) that was a five minute walk from the Museumsquartier and the Naschmarkt. This was a great area to be in because of how accessible it was to those spots, but also for how close it was to the metro.
*I definitely recommend airBNB for wherever you may be going! It’s a great way to stay somewhere cool for likely an affordable price*
24 HOUR GUIDE:
EAT: European breakfast often consists of coffee and a pastry or toast (perhaps with ham or cheese), and that was also the case with Austria. Our favorite place we went was called Cafe Sperl, located near the museumsquartier. The dark wood interior of the room juxtaposed with the light flooding in through the windows made for an elegant but comfortable atmosphere. We sat down at a table near the front door and perused the menu; I decided on the apricot cake (house made) and a latte. Within minutes our table was decorated with beautiful pastries and coffee presented to us on a silver platter. The cafe offers newspapers for its guests, as well as free wifi, and is a charming place to spend a morning.
*YOU SHOULD TRY: Wiener Apfelstrudel | Viennese Apple Strudel.
DO: After grabbing some morning fuel, head over to the Museumsquartier for some culture. The huge square behind the gates is a great place to relax. We visited the Leopold museum: “…one of the world’s most important assemblages of Austrian art. At the heart of the collection are masterpieces of Viennese Art Nouveau, in particular by members of the Vienna Secession founded by Gustav Klimt, and representative works of Austrian Expressionism” -MQ website
The mumok (modern art) looked awesome, although we didn’t get to visit that one. I also heard really great things about the Albertine Museum and the Freud Museum (in a different part of town) Across the street from the MQ is the national library and it is gorrrrgeous. Floor to ceiling with all the books you can imagine. Definitely block out some time for that as well.
EAT: From the MQ, the Naschmarkt is only about a five minute walk. After sashaying down the aisles of fresh product, local goods and pastries, find a restaurant to stop in for lunch. The variety is vast, spanning everything from traditional Viennese cuisine to Japanese to Italian. If you can’t find something you like within the market there are a lot of delicious options on the streets bordering the market as well.
DO: Hop on the metro and head over to the Leopoldstadt district to visit Prater, an amusement park. The park is most known for it’s giant ferris wheel, but there were some other gems in there as well. Not only are there rides, but there are games and biergartens galore inside the gates. Note: if you don’t like clowns…look out.
Afterwards, jump on back on the metro and head to Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s). This gothic/romanesque cathedral is gorgeous on the inside, but the multicolored roof is a conversation starter in itself.
The cathedral is located in the first district of Vienna, Innere Stadt, which is home to important historic landmarks such as the Erzbischöfliches Palais, the University district (lots of bars and restaurants here), the Burggarten and the Volksgarten, the Palais Pallavicini, the Hofburg palace and SO many other things. Just strolling around (with a map…or a guide) will give you an amazing taste of austria’s history and culture.
Shopping is through the side streets, but most notable on the Kärntner Straße and the Graben.
EAT: While we were headed to the grocery one day we passed a restaurant that had a killer interior called Mark’s, and vowed to go back for dinner. We kept our self-promise and made our way back that night; upon sitting down at a table on the outside patio I knew we had made the right choice. I ordered a spritz (always über refreshing) grilled calamari atop lavender risotto+vanilla butter with a garnish of baby carrots. The flavor isn’t even something I can talk about because of how interesting and delicious it was! Finis ordered the Salmon and it was divine; served with an israeli cous-cous and a bacon, olive jam. Wunderbar.
DO: Vienna is full of exciting nightlife that appeals to a variety of different scenes. Unfortunately I was working most evenings so I had to skip this part, but I did run across a really killer guide with more advice on that topic here.
OTHER CITIES ON MY AUSTRIA BUCKET LIST:
(Hopefully some day I’ll be able to check those out.)
In the mean time, as I told you, we’re in Milano now indulging in the three p’s of Italy: pizza, pasta and paninis. We’ve done some exploring today so I’ll have updates to you soon!