Vienna: an art and palace-filled city unlike any other.
Of all the cities we visited, I feel like our time in Vienna was too short. There was so much to see in so little time that I feel like we missed out on a lot and rushed through our days. It seemed to be filled to the brim with palaces and museums, way too many for such a short visit. However, I am glad I got to visit Vienna for the time I had and now I have a lot to do when I visit again! Read on to see how to spend two days in Vienna.
We took a night train from Zurich to Vienna. As my first night train experience, I think it went very well. There was only one other person in my compartment of 4 and we didn’t have any common languages so it was a quiet ride—we both went to sleep as soon as they checked our tickets. The only downside was that he didn’t get off in Vienna so I had an early wakeup call. We were also greeted by a lovely downpour on our ten-minute walk to our Airbnb, so naturally, we took some time to dry off and change clothes once we checked in.
Our first stop was Mozarthaus. There were no pictures allowed inside but I found it very enjoyable. If you’re interested in Mozart, classical music, or his time period, I recommend a visit! You get a free audioguide with the price of admission and they have some pretty interesting artefacts. Pro-tip: they will make you check your bag if it’s any bigger than a small handbag.
Our next stop was St. Stephen’s Cathedral. It was probably the most disappointing point of our trip. It was packed with tourists and you have to pay admission to walk the last 2/3 of the church. Not worth it in my opinion. I feel like I’ve seen prettier churches, so I guess I’m just a church snob.
We then walked around a little more, taking in the sights.
The Imperial Apartments were next on our list. It was my first foray into the Baroque Hapsburg lifestyle and man was it opulent! I absolutely fell in love with all of the china: it was beautifully detailed and intricately designed.
Siobhan was feeling a little under the weather after that so we decided to walk home, but not without a short detour! We walked around the Soviet War Memorial.
And walked from lower to upper Belvedere Palace. Needless to say, I found some dream palaces.
After an embarrassingly early night’s sleep without dinner, we started off our next morning visiting the Albertina, which houses some amazing works of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, German Expressionist, Fauvism art. Their temporary collection while we were visiting was actually l’Archive du Rêve, from Musée d’Orsay, so I recognised some of the works, which was cool! A lovely museum well worth a visit if you like that style of art!
Thanks to Yelp, I found a fantastic restaurant called Cafe Einstein for lunch. It was the perfect spot for us to wait while it stopped snowing in April I might add. It’s located right by the Rathaus and university and it was delicious. I can’t pronounce or write what I got to eat, but it was a delicious skillet of potatoes and bacon, quite possibly my two favourite foods.
We then found Votivekirche, an absolutely beautiful church near our lunch spot. In my opinion, it was much prettier than St. Stephens. After a little confusion about the entrance (there were lots of conflicting signs due to construction), we took a chance and followed a slightly dodgy construction guy who told us we could enter at the back. It paid off because this church was stunning. We spent our time wandering around and, just as we were about to leave, the sun started shining and we got some beautiful reflections of the stained glass on the church walls and floors. Wow.
After getting a nice view of the Rathaus, we headed over to the Parliament building. You can take tours of the interior but we also wanted to see the Kunsthistorisches Museum, so we had to weigh our priorities, and we just settled for a nice exterior view.
Kunsthistorisches Museum did not disappoint. I got to see some of the works I studied in Art History, as well as other works of art I’ve fallen in love with over the years. The highlight was the Tower of Babel, which I’ve always been obsessed with, but the museum itself was a work of art as well!
And, much to our surprise (due to the deceivingly blue skies upon our entrance to the museum), it snowed on our way home. Not cool. See below. April is not the time for snow. Especially when I was meant to be on spring break…
Next stop: Bratislava, Slovakia!