It took me some time to warm up to Vienna. Hubby was there to attend a conference, so I pretty much had three full days to myself. I have to be honest, I took my time there for granted at the start but regretted it halfway through the second day as I realised how much more I wanted to see and eat.
Where We Stayed
The apartment is within a 1800s building, with a traditional elevator (where you have to use a key and manually slide the doors - it will not work if you don't do these properly!), spiralling staircases and checkered floors. Museumsquartier was just about 5 to 10 minutes walk away, so it was really easy to get around.
The apartment itself was so simple but so tastefully decorated and elegant. While the building itself was old, the interior of our apartment was quite modern. It had a nice-sized living room, a kitchen, dining table, a beautiful bedroom, lots of wardrobe space,an en-suite and even a washing machine and dryer (which came in really handy). I also loved loved loved the large windows - they let so much light in!
What We Did
Day 1: Shopping on Mariahilfer Strasse
Trust a girl to spend a whole day shopping when left alone! Our accommodation was only 5 minutes walk from Mariahilfer Strasse, the longest shopping street in Vienna. There were so many shops to browse but it wasn't a fruitful day for me. In fact, I didn't end up buying anything. Nevertheless, it was a good day out!
Days 2 & 3: Sightseeing
I picked up my sightseeing game during the next two days!
We lived really close to Naschmarkt so it wouldn't be right if we didn't pay it a visit! We probably went a little too early, so not all the stalls were open yet. Nevertheless, we had a good time looking around the market and grabbing some delicious things to eat! (More on that in the next post.)
I spent a solid number of hours visiting museums and historic sites. All of them were so close to one another - Hofburg, Kunsthistoriches Museum, Imperial Treasury, Spanish Riding School, Austrian National Library, the list goes on! I only had time for a few exhibitions but it just goes to show how much culture and history Vienna has to offer.
I also made the trip to the famous Schönbrunn Palace, where I had to queue close to an hour for tickets! It was worth it in the end though as I really enjoyed the guided tour, though I must say reading up on Sisi the night before on Wikipedia really helped! Doesn't it just look grand?
Some other sites I made my way to - Belvedere.
St. Stephen's Cathedral in the centre of the city.
Rathaus - I went a little too late in the day and got 'locked in' by the fences with a few other people. It took us quite some time to find our way out!
Chanced upon the Burgtheater when I was trying to exit the premises of the Rathaus.
Hundertwasserhaus - what a unique concept for housing! It is really pretty in its own haphazard kind of way.
Vienna is definitely a place I would go back to in a heartbeat. Three days at my pace was barely enough to scratch the surface. I think I could go back for two weeks and still not be able to do all the things I want to do!
What We Bought
#1: Manner Neapolitan Wafers
These wafers as well as other Manner snacks and products are everywhere and delicious! There are Manner shops around Vienna but the cheapest place to buy them are at the supermarket. We got lucky as they were on sale and grabbed a few packs to bring home.
I came across quite a few shops selling doilies, placemats and table runners and thought they would be a great addition to the home. I bought some from the gift shop at Schönbrunn, they had beautiful vintage floral patterns with gold lace detailing - very royal looking!
I wanted a souvenir that would last forever and was delighted to come across a book on Austrian fairytales collected from all over the different regions.
There were a lot more things to buy but our luggage bags were getting harder and harder to zip by the day... We had to save whatever space we had left for Prague!