Our next stop on our two week European trip was Vienna, Austria! We sadly were only able to spend a day and a half in this city, but it was so beautiful! So many people compare the beauty of this city to Paris (without being as big). I’ve never been to Paris so I can’t say for sure or not if that’s true, but I can say the architecture is so beautiful and I can see why people could say that.
Where We Stayed
We stayed at the hotel Kaiserhof Wien for one night at the end of September and really enjoyed our stay! It’s not centrally located in the heart of Vienna, but that meant we were away from the hustle and bustle and that it was quiet at night. Vienna itself is a pretty compact city that’s surrounded by the circle tram track, so even if you stay outside the “inner circle”, you’re still within an easy walking distance to the center. The hotel was only a 10 minute walk away from downtown Vienna, which we walked each time, so it’s not a hard walk at all! It’s also a 5 minute walk away from the Karlsplatz train station and an even closer walk to the nearest tram stop. Just note that the tram doesn’t take you into the city center, but it circles the whole city.
The hotel itself is from the 19th century so it’s very historic and it still has that elegant charm. The hotel is updated but I love that they kept the 19th century feel to it. The staff was so amazing and friendly! They answered every question we had and even helped with recommendations. The hotel is still privately owned, so the personalized service really stood out to us. We stayed in a Superior room and it was so quaint and cozy and incredibly clean! Our favorite part about our stay was the breakfast! It was included in our stay and the breakfast spread was amazing. They offered so many different options and it was all so fresh. I love that they also offered complimentary champagne, so we made ourselves some mimosas to go with our breakfast. I highly recommend staying here in Vienna!
What We Did
- Wandered around the city center and took in the beautiful architecture
- Vienna is such a charming and quaint city and it’s also very clean!
- Hofburg Palace
- This was such a beautiful building! It was the Hapsburg family’s winter palace.
- Schonbrunn Palace
- Most of our last day in Vienna was spent at this palace. We got up early that morning and took the train to the palace. I’d recommend getting here as early as possible, because there was already a long wait time to get a tour of the palace when we arrived at 11. We weren’t scheduled to go on our tour until 1 in the afternoon, so we walked the palace grounds while we waited. I highly recommend walking the grounds if you’re able to. It is massive so it took up a good hour or two of our time. There are beautiful gardens out back as well as a maze and a zoo! We didn’t do the zoo, but I heard it’s great.
- Haus der Musik Museum
- If you’re a classical music buff, you’d love this museum. If not, I’d go to another museum. While it’s very informative, there were only a couple of exhibits that we really enjoyed.
Where We Ate
- This restaurant is known as the “home of the schnitzel” and they’ve been serving schnitzels and other viennese cuisines since 1905. This is a world renowned place and is definitely touristy, so if you don’t have reservations be prepared to wait a little. I kid you not, the schnitzel is as big as my head. It was ginormous! I would highly recommend sharing with someone. Was the schnitzel the most amazing one I’ve had? No, but it was good. My favorite thing however, was the side of potato salad. And. Oh. My Goodness. I dream about this stuff sometimes. I would go back just for this. It’s not the traditional American potato salad with mayonnaise that you’re thinking of. It’s slices of potatoes in vinegar and drizzled with pumpkin seed oil. They also have a second location nearby to the main location, so check both places for reservations and walk-ins. We didn’t have a reservation and only had to wait about 10 minutes to eat at their second location (but it was at an off time).
- Landtmann’s Patisserie inside Cafe Mozart
- Vienna/Austria is known for two of their desserts – the apple strudel and the Sachertorte. The Sachertorte is a specific type of chocolate cake that was invented in 1832 and is one of the most famous Viennese culinary specialties. We tried going to the Hotel Sacher Wien, which the only place to have the “original” recipe, but it didn’t work out. I highly suggest going there if you can. Instead we happened upon this Patisserie inside Cafe Mozart and I ended up trying the Apple-strudel which was good, but not mind blowingly amazing. I did end up trying the Sacher Torte in the little cafe inside the Schonbrunn Palace and it was good!
Although we had a very short stay in Vienna, I really enjoyed our time here. I do think two or three full days is plenty of time to visit Vienna, but if you’re a big museum person, then you’d probably want to stay longer. I honestly thought Vienna would be my favorite stop in Austria, but it ended up being Salzburg, where we traveled to next!