I wasn’t too keen on going to Austria when my parents first told me. I was really excited to see a new place, as I always am, but I wondered why we couldn’t see Italy or Greece or Spain… Austria wasn’t exactly on my list. So I googled Vienna, seeing as we would be there for 3 nights. The pictures were beautiful and the more I learned about the country, the more I became excited to go. Austria was home to Mozart and Marie Antoinette, a place where the arts thrived and no one passed on dessert. It was my kind of place.
Innsbruck, the tiny city nestled in the mountains, took my breath away. Salzburg was a quiet step away from a fast paced trip. Vienna was… well, it was Vienna. It’s similar to asking someone about another big city like Paris, Munich, Dublin… they have their reputations for a reason. Fair warning: it gets hot in the summer. Believe me, I know what hot is; I go to college in Tucson.
There are parts of Vienna that you’ll find in any big city, like the older residential streets with foreign smells and the luxe apartments of those who live there with a lot of money.
Vienna is beautiful.
I stayed in hotel that felt like it was right in the middle of things. I was close to the Hotel Sacher, the WWII Memorial, and the Opera House. I love staying in an Urban Area where you can walk everywhere within a few minutes.
I was only there for two days but here were my top 3 things in Vienna.
- Try a traditional slice of Austrian Cake at the Hotel Sacher. Did you know Marie Antoinette was Austrian? I didn’t before this trip. I think that’s why she liked cake so much. The cake is a chocolate cake with an apricot jam type filling. It’s served with whipped cream. It’s like a light, fluffy chocolate cake but, oh boy, it’s rich. I definitely couldn’t finish more than one slice and I probably shouldn’t have even finished one.
- Visit Schonbrunn Palace. It was built much like the palace in Versailles. I went to Versailles last summer and the gardens were my favorite part. This palace was no exception. The palace itself is stuffy and hot, especially in the summer when there are a lot of tourists, but the gardens are massive and open. While there are a lot of people, you can walk around the garden and feel like it’s all your own, due to how spacious it is. There’s multiple fountains, a maze, a zoo, and a cafe at the top of the hill where you can look down and see all of Vienna. If you go here, make sure you leave yourself with a few hours to walk around the gardens because there is so much in there that you can’t miss.
- Attend a traditional Viennese concert. This was my favorite part of the whole trip. It was a medium sized ensemble with two opera singers and two ballet dancers. Champagne was served during the intermission which was, of course, a bonus. The male opera singer was so animated in his singing you could see the emotions on his face, like a well trained actor. The female singer was good, but less animated. I loved the ballet, all of it. It was just an enjoyable evening, especially since I have a background in music, but everyone can enjoy something at the concert, whether it’s the dancers or the singer with the funny facial expressions, or the instruments.
My trip in Europe was definitely unforgettable. I met so many new friends, saw so many new things, and experiences a variety of new cultures. I would go back, especially to Austria, in a heartbeat. For now, my time is over and knowing nothing more that what I have learned from the crocodile hunter, I’m departing for Australia!
Catch ya in the next time zone!