DESTINATION: VIENNA, AUSTRIA
TRAVEL TIME: 1.5 HOUR FLIGHT FROM BRUSSELS
STAY: 3 DAYS
HOTEL: NH WIEN CITY
This was actually the first time that I visited Austria for pleasure as the previous time, it was purely work related, so no time for sightseeing or anything else. Vienna has long been a must-go spot on my list and I’m happy to have finally been able to go. The weather forecast predicted mostly sun and warm temperatures, so was looking forward to some sun and amazing scenery.
How to get to Vienna
FLIGHT: there are several airlines that will take you from Brussels or any other European city to Vienna, but my preference goes to Austrian Airlines as they have superb service and on-flight snacks and drinks free of charge. This time, the flight was shared with other airlines to get full occupancy but that didn’t matter as the service was the same as always.
TRAIN: when landing in Vienna, the best option to get to the city center is by taking the CAT (City Airport Train) which is a direct 16-minute connection between the airport and the Wien Mitte train station. Tickets can be purchased at the arrivals area of the airport and you cannot miss the green indicator for CAT. Depending on where your hotel is located, you might need to take U-trains or S-trains as well. The good thing about Vienna is that it’s public transportation is great and well indicated!
Where to Stay
NH WIEN CITY
The hotel, NH, was located right on the Mariahilfer Strasse which is in the city center. It is a fantastic location as it’s in the shopping street, and next to the Museums Quarter. From here, you are also in about 5-10 min from all the famous landmarks, museums, restaurants, etc. There is also an entrance to the U-train right next to the hotel so you don’t even need to walk that much. The city center is that’s big, so you can get around quite easily with the U-trains or just walk if you’re up for it 😊
The food at the hotel was fantastic. There is fresh fruit & juice, eggs, pastries and toast which was just perfect. It’s simple but delicious.
What to See & Do
WALK THE STREETS
If you like taking photos, this is one of the reasons you go to Vienna. Around every turn, there is another magnificent building with architecture from different centuries. The buildings are beautiful even if the sun isn’t out. It’s also just fun walking the streets of the city center as there is just so much going on.
EAT A SACHER TORTE
You simply cannot visit Vienna without eating a Sacher Torte and preferably the original one from the Sacher Hotel. Although, most coffee houses and restaurants serve the famous Austrian Sacher Torte. There are also a lot of variations to the original one with chocolate layers. Vienna is a city that doesn’t care about sugar, since you can find different kinds of cake (torte) everywhere you go, so for those with a sweet tooth, this is for sure the Walhalla of sweet 😊
VISIT SCHLOSS SCHONBRUNN IN THE SPRING/SUMMER
Schloss Schonbrunn (meaning “beautiful spring”) is one of the reasons that makes it all worth the visit to Vienna. The palace and gardens are famous across the world and are just stunning! This place used to be the imperial summer residence of the Habsburg monarchs and walking through the gardens, you can see the different influences and tastes the different monarchs had throughout the centuries. Up the hill, you have the Gloriette which provides you with an amazing view of Vienna and its surroundings. When you visit in spring or summer, you can enjoy the gardens in bloom, such as the wonderful rose garden.
Your Fun Tourist Spots
Viennese Coffee Houses
Vienna Zoo – Tiergarten
Where to Eat
We ate at Marios for Breakfast before heading to Schonbrunn. When you’re not staying close to the palace or your hotel doesn’t include breakfast, this place is just the best! They have an extensive breakfast menu and a lot of it contains eggs, but the portions are big and prices are good. I had the ham & eggs option which basically means you have some grilled ham with 3 eggs on top. Didn’t expect it to be so delicious but it’s well prepared.
Aida – Café Vienna
Aida is a chain of pastry shops (café-konditorei) based on Vienna. It’s a totally pink affair with a wide variety of cakes and pastries. We had lunch there, so we went for something light like ham & cheese toast with something sweet to drink. Once finished, we couldn’t resist to try out the famous cakes, so we enjoyed some traditional torte (cake) 😊
This place is an original Austrian restaurant that is not filled with tourists even though it’s just behind the Rathhaus. Being in such a local place, we had to try the famous Wiener Schnitzel with veil as this is one of Vienna’s must-eat food. The portion was again very big, and with the potato salad on the side it’s more than enough for anyone. The interior was also quite nice with some local touches and some history that you will not find in the commercialized eating establishments.
What to Wear
Since you’ll likely be doing a lot of walking… I know that I for sure did, it’s highly recommendable to wear comfortable shoes. I wore sneakers or sandals for the most part. A couple of nice dresses or a great pair of jeans is always a must when travelling.
Would love to hear any great spots that I might have missed, so that I can be sure to check them out the next time I’m in Vienna. Thanks a lot for reading and following along my adventures!