The history of Salzburg and the charm of Hallstatt had me thinking it would be tough for Vienna to compete. Boy was I wrong! Vienna is a city rich in art, a historical hub of famous musicians, keeper of Imperial Palaces and host of some crazy delicious street food.
We took the fast train from Salzburg to Vienna and checked into our perfectly located Hotel Kaiserin Elisabeth. It was steps away from St. Stephen’s Cathedral (one of the top sites to see in Vienna) and right off of this main shopping street, #WIN!
St. Stephen’s Cathedral is magnificent. The church holds incredible Roman Catholic history but somehow slips seamlessly into modern Vienna. The beautiful tile roof and Gothic architecture make St. Stephen’s one of Vienna’s most recognized symbols.
Katy and I ate at several nice, sit-down restaurants during our stay in Vienna but the BEST food we had was sold on the street! We were on our way to tour St. Peter’s Church and in front of the entrance there were several pop up vendors selling bratwurst, varieties of cheeses and wines. We sampled them all, DUH… (I mean, who in their right mind doesn’t take a free sample??) We ate our lunch at standing tables they placed around the vendors with a view of St. Peter’s and the bustling streets of Vienna.
Spicy bratwurst with hot mustard served with rye bread and a parmesan cheese stick. It was divine. So take my word for it and just eat bratwurst sold on the street for every single meal.
With our bellies full of bratwurst, wine and cheese we took a long walk before spending the rest of the afternoon at Albertina Art Museum where we tried our best to take in works of famous artists, such as Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Van Gough and more..
A Pablo Picasso piece below.
One of my favorite days in Vienna was at Schoenbrunn Palace and Gardens. Katy and I spent hours walking around the palace grounds, admiring the royal gardens and even doing some yoga poses on site! I’ll have to create a post that shows all the crazy places I’ve done yoga poses.
Okay, so I know I said that bratwurst should be eaten for every meal (and definitely should be considered) but Konditorei Cafe Aida takes the cake for breakfast. The Vienna State Opera House was still left on our list. We had a flight home late afternoon so we enjoyed an early Austrian breakfast before making our way to the Opera House. Apple strudel, a strong cappuccino and a chocolate truffle…
Katy and I aren’t much of strategic travel planners. We like to have a couple things in mind that we are dying to see and then let spontaneity take it’s course. I think that’s why I love traveling with her so much! Most of the time this seems to work out in our favor but when upon arriving at the State Opera House we were informed the only way of entrance was through a guided tour and all of them were booked for the morning.
We had two options. Leave Vienna without seeing the State Opera House or.. sneak into a tour group. Characteristically, we chose the latter.
We inched closer and closer to an English speaking tour group (I’m pretty sure we couldn’t have gotten away with this in the Chinese speaking tour) until we wormed our way right into the middle of the pack as they entered the Opera House. Don’t try this at home, kids. The guide led us through the grand foyer, main staircase and into the auditorium.
Katy and I realized time was getting away from us and that we needed to slip out of the tour to make it to the airport on time. As we exited the beautiful and incredibly ornate auditorium, the tour moved onto the ballrooms and we headed for the exit. The first exit door we tried was locked. We tried several more before realizing that during tour times they lock all the doors to the Opera House. We were locked inside the Vienna State Opera House on a tour that we snuck into.. not ideal.
To make a long story shorter, we ended up ducking under and climbing over things that could have qualified us as Cirque De Solei professionals and finally made it out through the Opera House Cafe. We weren’t laughing during our self imposed Escape Room but now it provides laughs for days.
Love & Light, Cait