Vienna, Austria: Hallo Vienna
I had no idea what to expect when deciding to go to Vienna. I have a friend who I hadn't seen in 10 years, currently living in Austria, so when I was deciding between Stockholm and Vienna, I decided with Vienna. Even if I had expectations of this city and country going in, they would have been exceeded tenfold. The best way I can put into words a description of Vienna is that it's almost as if you're walking through a real-life fairy tale. I didn't have any sort of plan for my trip to Vienna, I looked up a couple sights I thought would be cool to see or attractions to experience and I rolled with the punches.
On my way to Hofburg Palace, I probably got sidetracked a handful of times by other beautiful buildings or Viennese coffee houses. That was probably my favorite part of this trip... the fact that I was able to wander. Many of you know that I normally travel with my best friend Amanda, and I absolutely love it. I think it's really hard to find people you're very compatible traveling with. My philosophy is that traveling makes or breaks relationships. The same can be said of friendships, there are some friends you can travel with and there are some you can't. Amanda and I are both pretty go with the flow. So I never have to worry about us having to keep to some sort of schedule. But there's something about traveling by yourself that is incredibly empowering and euphoric. (My blog post for females travelling solo will be up this week)
I'm a sucker for history and old buildings. I love being able to walk down a street or alleyway and know that the buildings that stood there lived through some of the greatest and worst moments in human history. It's honestly so fascinating and humbling. While I was in Vienna, I was able to do a tour through Mozart's old apartment right in the city center of Vienna, and it's almost chilling to know that the place I was standing was the exact same place where Mozart crafted some of his biggest masterpieces over 200 years ago. The other "attraction" I experienced was the Catacombs Tour under St. Stephan's Cathedral in Stephansplatz right in the City Center of Vienna, or 1st District as it's referred to (how very Hunger Games). To be able to walk through St. Stephan's Cathedral itself is free but the catacomb tour is 5 euros and you pay the tour guide at the end. Other sights I went to "look at" included Hofburg Palace, Rathaus, Parliament, the Opera House and the Welt Museum. I'm sure there are other beautiful buildings or places I went to take in but those are the ones I sought out.
For the first two nights of my trip in Vienna I stayed at Hotel Vienna in the Praterstern area of Vienna in the 2nd District and my last night I stayed at the Sofitel in the Stephansdom area in the 1st District. Hotel Vienna is a mid-sized boutique hotel that is family ran. The thing I loved about this hotel was that they still used actual keys to access the room. It's in a very easily accessible area... 2 blocks from the underground, a market on the same block and plenty of delicious Viennese cafes and restaurants less than a five-minute walk away. For my last night in Vienna, I stayed at the Sofitel and man on man, hands down THE BEST view of Vienna. On the 18th floor they have a restaurant/bar called Das Loft that over looks all of Vienna and you can see almost every major sight. It was so beautiful! The view itself is worth the price tag.
I think 72 hours was the perfect amount of time for me to do almost everything I wanted too. The only thing I didn't get to do was go to the Belvedere Museum. They have a Gustav Klimt exhibit there and on display is "The Kiss." It's one of the most famous paintings in the world and one I've loved since I was a kid. But with all the traveling and added country layovers, the morning I planned on going to Belvedere Museum... I unfortunately slept in. Well, maybe it's a blessing in disguise as it means I'll have to go back.
Until next time, Auf Wiedersehen Vienna.