Long long long overdue post on Vienna

Omg!!!!! I’ve been soooooooo sooooo sooo lazy!!!! Yeah being motivatived when not working is hard work!!! Lol!!! However luckily I just got a burst of energy and decided that I needed to keep the blog updated!!! So here I am going way back to Sept when I started to slack!!! Since then I’ve been on a few trips, ate at numerous restaurants and experienced a few London’s delights!!! I won’t be able to recount it all but will do my best!!!

1st stop let’s start with Vienna or Wien. This is my 2nd trip to this beautiful city and again it was just as breathtaking as always even if the weather was a bit grey! As I was travelling with mum so walking around everywhere was going to be a problem. After some research I decided that it would be best for us to buy the 72hrs Vienna Pass which includes a Vienna Sightseeing Hop on & Hop off bus tour, perfect for her. Also with the pass we were able to get 20% off tours with the same company so I booked us onto a tour to the Vienna Woods as well as Wachau Valley.

Mon

We were staying at the Kempinski hotel approx 10mins walk from Morinzplatz so we took the 1185 bus. We did have slight issue finding the bus stop but just had to walk around and check each stop. Make sure you check with the luggage guy as well before you get on! Once we got to the bus stop it was a short stroll to the hotel along the river. After we checked in we basically lost our minds!!! Well me really….for some reason I got the wrong room number in my head and somehow we got into the room too. However once we were in we’d remembered that the reception mentioned it should be front facing which it wasn’t so we called downstairs to check!!! This was when the penny dropped!!!! Hahahahaha….

Just a quick note on the hotel, it is of course a beautiful hotel with nice big room and decent service and facilities but to be honest for us it would have been far better to stay nearer to Stephansplatz!!! Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t that far at all (15mins top) but for my mum it can be challenging at the end of a long day!
Well after that adventure we headed out to grab a quick bite at a nearby Wiener Würstel (hotdog stand!!!) for lunch then a wander around the centre and taking in some night view of the city. We even got coerced into buying tickets to go see an orchestral performance in a few nights’ time unfortunately I forgot that I had booked a tour during the same day….well more on that later.

Our last stop for the day was dinner at the famous and historical Cafe Central. A lot of people think this is just a tourist place and indeed it is full of tourists however we really felt that it had its charm!!! Not to mention we had actually had the best Tafelspitz (boiled beef) there. Another thing that happened in the cafe was that there was a strange man walking around the cafe with a backpack. Originally I thought he was meeting some friends as he had his phone on him and he was walking in circles but then he just kept walking around!!! Not to mentioned he mumbled something to me when I was heading to the toilets!!! Well after that I pointed him out to our waiter and we hotfooted it back to the hotel!!!

St Stephen’s Cathedral
The former Vienna Stock Exchange, this was right beside pur hotel so became a bit of a homing beacon for us!
Night view of the Hofburg complex
Inside the histroic Cafe Central
The best Tafelspatz we’ve had on the trip
Just look at that mousse!!! You know it was good!!! Can’t tell you what it was pther than there wan peanuts and chocolate!!!
More tempting offerings!!!
The cafe is just as grand from the outside!!!

Tue

Today was the 1st day of the bus tour and I had planned for us to go to Belvedere and Schönbrunn but unfortunately our timing was a little bit off so ended up only going to Schönbrunn. The problem is that you can end up spending a long time here as it is just so beautiful and on a sunny day it’s a great place to chill out and enjoy the scenery which is what we did!!! This is a definitely must visit of you come to Vienna, it’s super easy to reach by UBahn then follow the crowd!!! If like me travelling with someone who can’t walk so much you might consider using the sightseeing train within the complex! The start is just through the left arches before you reach the main building. Great thing was this was free with the Vienna Pass, just need to show it to the drivers!!! A tip about going by the train is that you get to go via the back of the zoo which you wouldn’t be able to reach by foot so that was fun!

We took the train from the entrance to the Gloriette, again with the pass you get to go to the viewing terrace for free, this was definitely my highlight of the visit. You get some amazing views from here of the garden and the actual palace not to mention the surrounding mountains!!! We then had something to eat at the cafe there and again the food was pretty good, portion was massive as well!!! After food we visited the garden and the palace which were both very decadent but beware it is quite a strenuous walk around the palace!!! Oh and if you’re using the Vienna Pass then make sure you pick up your ticket from the ticket office first! You do get to know a lot about the unfortunate Empress Sisi.

We had to rush off then to ensure we’d catch the last bus back to the centre. This has to be my one complaint about the bus, the facts that they finished so early!!! The last bus from Schönbrunn leaves at 5:30!!! Other lines of the tour also finish pretty early latest 7!!! In fact this was the reason we count make in to Belvedere and that was the most disappointing thing for me on this trip!!! So do bear this in mind if you decide to book this.

After arriving to Karlzplatz we went to get the UBahn back to near our hotel for dinner as we were so tired out from the day!!! On route we also stopped at a bakery to pick up some pastry for breakfast. Our hotel didn’t include breakfast and looking for food was the reason we wasted time in the morning so I was determined that was not going to happen again!!! 

We had dinner at Gasthaust Rebhuhn, a place I found on Tripadvisor and I would definitely recommend you giving it a go. It’s very basis setting with good homely food!!! Not the best seating nor service but you wouldn’t go away hungry!!! Oh and they have the smallest toilet!!! Booking would be recommended as we went on a Tuesday evening and it was so packed, we were lucky to get a table!!!

The big yellow bus!!!
If anyone has seen ‘The Third Man’ this is where they filmed the sewage scene!
The Vienna State Opera, we ended up being around this area so many times as many of the bus lines go from here!
Schönbrunn, the Summer palace of the Hafburg. No visit to Vienna is complete without a stop here!
The Schönbrunn train
The view of the palace and Vienna from the terrace.
The viewing terrace
Saw this beautiful scene on the way back to the centre.
Inviting baked goodies!!!
One of the door outside Rebhuhn, actually quite easy to miss!
I guess this is kinda like an Austrian diner?
Schweinsbraten (roast pork) with Semmelknödel dumpling and cabbage salad
Beef broth with meat dumpling

Wed

Today was going to be a packed day so we had another start, 1st stop was Hofburg Palace, this is another must see. It was the perfect day for it too since the weather was being grey and not cooperating!!! Make sure you grab yourself an audio guide as there are some very interesting info regarding the collection and learn more about Sisi and the rest of the imperial family. Again there’s a lot of walking during this tour so be prepared!!! We had to have a rest at the cute cafe before heading to our next stop. 

We had to walk over to the Burgtheatre to get into the Green Line which was fortunate actually because we would not have headed to this area otherwise. Yet we would have missed some amazing buildings!!! Really you should just walk around Vienna randomly because the whole city is filled with surprises!!! You should take your time noting every building and structures!!!

Our reason for taking the Green Line was to go to the Klosterneuburg Monastery, if you have time then definitely come out here. Beware that the buses are only one every hour so be sure to keep an eye on the time. I would suggest you visit the church first before you check out the museum. On route there’s also a quick stop for a panoramic view of Vienna so that was a bonus!!! Then we rode the Blue Line for a drive along the river, see the Wiener Riesenrad (Giant Ferris Wheel) again a reference to ‘The Third Man’ here and the Prater park.

Any fans of The Great British Baker would have heard about the Sacher Torte. In Vienna is where you’ll find the original Hotel Sacher!!! As a treat we had booked a table in one of the hotel’s restaurant – Rote Bar but it just didn’t live up to expectations!!! The food were decent but way too expensive for what they are!!! Not to mention the atmosphere was stifling!!! We were the youngest people there and properly the worsted dressed (smart for us lol) The fine dining was just not for us!!! We just couldn’t be comfortable and missed the dinner of the night before!

Hofburg palace during the day, shame about the weather!!!
Some of the china collection in the palace!
The menu in Cafe Hofburgh was so cute with illustration of each item!!!
The view was pretty amazing despite the freezing wind!!!
This was one of the best apple strudel I’ve snd it was so big!!!
Klosterneuburg Monastery, the museum entrance
The inside of the church is well worth a visit!
Giant Ferris Wheel, if only the weather was better!
Pea soup with buttermilk and lobster. Delicious but was actually served cold!
Gooseliver tart with hazelnut brioche.
My mum had food envy when my lamb arrived!!!
This beef roulade was the most disappointing thing, the beef was so overcooked!!!

The famous Sacher Torte…um…this is a tad sweet for me!
  

Thurs

Today we went on a tour to the Wachau Valley with Vienna Sightseeing. They picked us up from our hotel at around 9:45am then took us to the depot where we change for the coach for our tour. Lucky for us we were staying on the coach that picked us up and we were able to get the front seats!!!

The drive out to the village of Spitz where we were to take the cruise was pretty but again the weather wasn’t great. I actually fell asleep most of the way!!! Lol!!! Whilst my mum took 1001 pictures! When we got to the pier we picked up our tickets from the guide and a quick time to go to the toilets! We then rushed onto a gigantic cruise ship to sail down the Danube towards Melk. Now I would love to tell you that the cruise was brilliant and the sceneries were fantastic…but it wasn’t. It could have been the grey sky or the wind or the bad service on the ship? But I just didn’t enjoy it… We had lunch on the ship despite the service, there was only a couple of them serving so it was hectic but they could have smiled!!! Make sure you pay before the cruise finish as well otherwise you’ll miss the rest of the tour!!!

The next part of the tour was my favourite, the Benedictine Abbey. We had about an hour before the guided tour around the abbey so we got to walk down to the village of Melk. Then it was our time to walk around the abbey. I absolutely loved this place, the abbey was beautiful and from the terrace the view!!!! Overall the tour was not that great but the abbey tour made it worth it! 

If you remember earlier I mentioned we had booked tickets to go see an orchestral performance. Well it starts at 6:30 and our coach got back to Vienna at 6:00. We wanted to get a taxi to the theatre but there was just nothing available!!! It was so frustrating!!!! We ended up walking over to the theatre and 30mins late!!! The show was at Palais Auersperg, a charming little theatre. The show was very good and the performers were professional and funny. As the place is so small there are no bad seats so bear that in mind when you buy your tickets. 

After the show we went looking for something to eat. There were quite a few places around but nothing we were interested in. We ended up at Zum Leupold and we were lucky to get a table. The place was so packed and had a great atmosphere!!! It felt like a good gastropub, the foods were great and the beer too. The best thing was that it was only a short stroll back to the hotel! 

Our drive out to the Valley
Our linch on the ship, pasta with vegetables, their portions were definitely generous!!!

Whilst on the cruise…
  
The cute village of Melk
   

  

Courtyard of the abbey
Amazing ceiling
View of the valley from the terrace
The abbey from the terrace
Incredible painted dom
This is definitely one of the most opulent churles I’ve ever seen.

Palasis Auersperg, there was a big group of Japanese tourists waiting to go in whwn we came out
X  

There was a small 6 people orchestra, 2 ballet dancers & 2 opera singers.
Night view of the Rathaus
Pumpkin soup
A very chilled out place
Boiled pork with marsh potatoes
A light refreshing beer
Finally had dessert in a restaurant!!!

Fri

It’s our last day in Vienna but since our flight was not until 8pm I thought we’d squeeze another tour in. A half day tour to the Vienna Woods it was then. In facts this was the tour that I enjoyed the most as each of the stop was just as interesting as the next!

First we visited the Abbey Heiligenkreuz, this was completely different to the other churches we have visited on this trip. It was a lot more plain but no less impressive!!! Then we visited the former imperial hunting lodge in Mayerling, where the crown prince Rudolf committed suicide and there was lots of information there about the event. Last stop was Seegrotte Hinterbrühl, where we took a boat ride in the world’s largest underground lake. We had a very funny guide who told many jokes and share facts.

After the tour we had planned to do a guided tour of the State Opera House but the queue to buy tickets was so long we gave up. This was such a shame as many people have recommended the tour, I suppose it would have been better to queue up the day before for advance tickets seeing you can’t buy tickets online. What we did last time was actually going to see an opera and we were able to get really cheap tickets. However you don’t get to see the backstage! Seeing we wouldn’t get into the opera house we thought the next best thing would be to have lunch at the cafe!!!

We then ended up at the Spanish Riding School, where there was a Makers Festival happening. Then because it was raining so hard we decided to have a ride on the horse and carriage. It was kinda fun but as it was raining we were undercover so couldn’t see much… Not to mention if you get carsickness then this is not for you!!! Seeing we were dropped off just outside St Stephen’s Cathedral we might as well go in for a quick look. Then it was back to the hotel to pick up our bags and get a taxi to the airport!!!

Final thoughts would be that I’ll definitely come back to Vienna in the future as there are still places I’ve not visited and it really is one of the most beautiful city in the world!!!  

The outside of the abbey where we entered via a secret door!
The main altar was not as gem and gold studded as others we have seen but definitely made an impression!
There were some great stained glass windows around the abbey!
Here’s another example, i particularly liked the colours!!!
It was so dark down there but still can see how clear the water is!

More pasta!!! I actually really enjpy German/Austrian pastas!!!

 

The Makers festival in the grounds of the Spanish Riding School
Surrounded by the horses in their stables!

 

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