Austria is home to many things we know as Americans today. Wiener schnitzel, apple strudel, coffee, Beethoven’s death place and even Mr. Arnie Schwarzenegger himself! So the capital city of Vienna didn’t disappoint at all. Although it’s full of immense amounts of history(I’m not much of a history gal), the city had beautiful sites and even better food to offer.
We started our weekend adventures with a walking tour of the city, covering history from Princess Sissi to Beethoven to coffee and even politics. For many of you that don’t know, Viennese coffee and the history of their first coffeeshop is one the city is very proud of. Drinking coffee in the coffee houses is a high class, social affair where dressed up waitstaff serve you and phones are usually not used. It is a social time with friends and family to enjoy the delicacy of Viennese coffee. Here’s some of the sites we saw along the tour!
Vienna State Opera House:
Neue Berg section(Hofburg Palace):
Imperial Chancellory Wing(Hofburg Palace):
Joseph Square(Hofburg Palace):
Michaeler Plaza(Hofburg Palace):
One of my favorite places to visit in Vienna was the Schonbrunn Palace. The name of the palace first came about in the mid 1600s, and it has been home to a great deal of royalty, including Franz Joseph, the longest reigning emperor of Austria. Today, the palace is a massive tourist attraction that you can spend hours at. Whether you tour the interior, tour the many gardens, get lost throughout the mazes of walkways, visit the zoo(yep, there’s a zoo within the property) or go to The Gloriette for some amazing views of the city, you will not be disappointed. I highly suggest taking the train ride around the grounds, as you can hop on and off at different areas and ride it from beginning to end. Make sure to visit The Gloriette while you’re there and soak up the sun on the hillside while watching over the beautiful grounds of the palace and into the city of Vienna.
Another aspect of Austrian culture that I loved was the architectural style. Many cities around Europe have similar styles of buildings, but in Vienna they have Baroque style buildings everywhere. The colors and simplicity of each building make every one unique from the next, and one of my favorite styles I have seen yet.
And the best is always last: Austrian food!!! Well, hands down when visiting Austria(or any of the surrounding/similar countries) you must get wiener schnitzel and cordon bleu. Both are to die for in this area of Europe!!
Second, bratwursts from any street vendor. In Vienna, you’re bound to see at least four of these stands in a ten minute walk around the city, so you might as well grab a few along the way! No joke, they hollow out the inside of these baguettes, throw whatever condiment you want in there, and then the bratwurst. It’s got to be one of the easiest, most delicious ways to eat it!
And lastly, the famous Sachertorte. The history behind this wonderful little cake is that it was created in 1832 by Franz Sacher for the prince at the time, as he was his personal chef. The cake was a hit with the prince and his guests, so Franz continued to try and perfect along with his oldest son. His son ended up perfecting the cake and later opening Hotel Sacher in the heart of Vienna, which is now a very expensive hotel, but is said to be home to the Sachertorte(yet there have been disputes over that…). The Sachertorte is one of the most famous culinary dishes from Vienna that they even have a day specifically for it in December. Essentially, it is a chocolate cake with apricot filling and dark chocolate icing. A must try for anyone visiting Vienna!!(I actually ate Sachertorte in Italy and didn’t realize how awesome it was, so all I’ve got is a picture of the hotel below! Guess you’ll have to try it for yourself to find out)