Travel Guide: Vienna Austria

Thursday, February 20, 2020

One of the best parts of living in Amsterdam is easy to access to flights all around Europe. My fiancé and I are doing our best to take advantage of this and recently returned from a trip to Vienna, Austria. When I was planning our trip to Austria, I saw pictures of the note-worthy buildings and museums, but it did not inspire too much excitement on my end. I did my due diligence and put together an itinerary pulling from travel resources such as Rick Steve's Europe videos and blogs linked on Pinterest.

Once I arrived, I was absolutely floored by how gorgeous and wonderful Vienna is. On day one, we began by visiting the upper Belvedere museum. Housed in the summer palace built for Eugene of Savoy, the baroque palace is a marvel of beauty. Upon the grounds are thoughtfully appointed gardens, amongst which several locals took a morning jog. 

The baroque palace itself sits upon a hill with a view of Vienna in the distance. The sweeping staircases and beautiful marble halls with painted ceilings are breathtaking. Inside, you can view many famous artworks, and perhaps most well known is Gustav Klimt's The Kiss

Once finished at the Belvedere, we headed to the famous Cafe Central. Known for its famous regulars such as Trotsky and Freud, this cafe has become iconic in Vienna. They offer an understated elegant ambiance, as much of Vienna does. 

It was then a short walk to the Hofburg Palace (which is a must-see, but that goes without saying). Today, it is still the residence of the President of Austria. The tickets to the Royal Apartments were bundled with admittance to the Royal Silver Museum and Sisi Museum- all housed in the Hofburg. 

At first, I did not wish to visit the Royal Silver Collection, but I am so glad I did! The Hapsburgs had an entirely unfathomable amount of platters, saucers, taurines, candelabras, etc. I still have trouble wrapping my mind around the sheer enormity of the collection! 

We were then lead to the Sisi museum which detailed the life and assassination of Empress Elizabeth, lovingly nicknamed Sisi. Although born in 1837, she was a modern woman. She and her husband Franz Joseph I were not afraid of innovation. She had one of the first "bathrooms"- as in a room with a bathtub in it- and even exercised daily although it was seen as unladylike to do so. 

The Sisi museum lead us into the Royal Apartments which were strikingly beautiful, showed the unique style and personality of Sisi and further hit home that these people had lots of nice things and wealth. 

After a stroll around the Museum Quarter, it was time to visit St. Stephen's Cathedral. It is well known for its colorful tiled roof and Gothic and Romanesque design. Once we took a look around, we decided to get a better view of the Cathedral by viewing it from Onyx Bar across the street. If you are partial to well-mixed cocktails and city views, Onyx Bar should be a stop on your Vienna Tour. 

The next day we were off to the Vienna Operahouse for a matinee performance. It was an absolutely gorgeous building and the performance we saw was in a wing of the Operahouse. Next time I visit Vienna, I will be sure to see a performance on the main stage!

After a quick lunch of a Vienna Sausage from a cart outside the Operahouse, I wanted to get a better look at the Karlskirche, a baroque church that is a prominent part of the Vienna cityscape. Our first day in Vienna had displayed unusual weather for early February, boasting sun and tepid temperatures, however, the weather was much more seasonably appropriate on day two. It began to rain so my fiancé and I took an Uber to the Vienna Ring Tram starting point for a tour. I highly recommend this tour! It was recommended to us on the first day by an Uber driver and it was such a fun and whimsical way to view and learn about Vienna! 

The Ring Tram is an adorable yellow tram that circles the Ring Road in Vienna. This road is home to most of the must-see sightseeing destinations in Vienna. As you take your ride, the audioguide points out the important buildings and gives some historical background. This was the perfect way to see this part of Vienna- especially on a cold and wet day! 

After dinner, we made our last stop in Vienna at L. Heiner Bakery for a slice of Sachertorte. A Viennese delicacy invented for Prince Metternich in 1832, Sachertorte is chocolate cake with an apricot jam and dark chocolate ganache. 

Although our trip to Vienna was brief, my fiancé and I agreed that it is a city that we cannot wait to visit again! 

If you'd like to see a video of my trip, check it out below! 

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