Updated: Jan 11, 2021
What a wonderful city! I had a pleasure to visit Austria in March 2018, for a very specific reason. I have this gorgeous friend Caitlin who likes to travel on her birthday and that year she planned a trip to Europe, it was her first time over here since she left Uni in 2015.
And because every excuse is a great excuse to see a new country, I promised I'll meet them somewhere. One of the places Caitlin and her boyfriend had on their itinerary was Vienna so it was an obvious choice for me to see them there.
I arrived a day before them, so I started sightseeing on my own.
I was staying at the Wombat's hostel and so far it was the nicest hostel I've ever seen. It had a cool chill area by the entrance and a bar.
Firstly, I went to the center of the city to have breakfast and see St. Stephen's Cathedral.
It was not easy to find something to eat, I don't remember exactly why but it was probably too late to have breakfast and I didn't want a proper lunch just yet. I finally found a restaurant and the only vegetarian option they had was a plate of fried mushrooms, whole mushrooms. It was strange for sure and I was worried that by eating something deep friend early in the morning will give me stomachache but I managed to not get it.
From there I walked for about 25 minutes towards Hundertwasserhaus, it's this colorful, crazy building, an apartment house built from a concept of Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. The whole buildings looks like a colorful collage.
And another half an hour walk to see Karlskiche, beautiful baroque church. There's a pond in front of it and in the warmer months when they fill it up with water you can see building reflecting in it, unfortunately I wasn't lucky enough to see it, it still looked impressive as it was.
Closer to the center of the city is located Volksgarten, a park surrounded by palaces, museums, and theatres, I went there next.
By that point I was already so impressed by this place, everywhere you looked was something interesting to see, Vienna is definitely a unique city.
I love looking at buildings but not necessarily going inside them. I have been to so many museums and art galleries in the past, I'm just not as interested in them as I used to be. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing exhibitions but mainly showing one or two artists at a time, so when I go abroad now, I don't go to national museums anymore. Same with churches, after my trip to France back in High School, when we mainly looked at churches and castles, I got bored of it a bit. Sometimes if I know a place will be a lot different than what I've seen already, I will go inside. But still looking at buildings from outside is fun for me and it's better for photography anyways.
My first evening in Vienna I made some friends from the hostel and spent some time with them. First, we sat in a bar at our hostel and talked and then went to a techno club. It was cool but everyone smoked cigarettes inside and that was disgusting.
The next morning was very cold and snowing but my 'roommate' and I decided to go see Belvedere Palace. The building is beautiful but I assume it makes much bigger impression in spring or summer when all the flowers are bloomed in that huge garden.
We didn't spend much time on sightseeing because we were simply freezing.
That day Catilin and Anthony were finally arriving but they had a hiccup with trains so couldn't get to Vienna on time.
I met with them in the evening and first we went to some posh looking restaurant called Blue Mustard with gorgeous interiors, next we wanted to drink some beers so Paddy's Beer Street was our choice. It was St. Patrick's Day so the bar was packed but we managed to find a table. I was so shocked when I went to the bar and saw probably over 50 beer taps. So we tried a couple of flavors, stayed there for quite long, and after a while ended our night.
Next day we started with Time Travel place, its a multi-media experience showing the history of Vienna. I never go to that kind of places but this one was quite interesting. We walked around the city afterwards and headed to Schonbrunn Palace which I think also would look much better in spring. This palace itself doesn't look as impressive as Belvedere but Shonbrunn has a zoo which is the oldest still existing zoo in the world, founded in 1752. And of course it is closed in winter ;(
It was Caitlin's birthday so we needed to have a nice lunch. And because she's so good at planning, she already had a list of places ready. We chose Motto am Fluss which is located by the river and the building looks like a boat. They had a lot of vegetarian options so I ordered something delicious.
Across the river from there is Das LOFT bar, located on the top floor of a tall building. We went there mainly to see the view but got some beers as well to don't look like stingy tourists. You can see the whole city from there so it's definitely worth spending some €€.
Our last actual sightseeing attraction was Prater. It was dark when we got there and the park was closed but I think it was the best timing, everything looked a bit creepy ( I mean it in a good way ) and cool in the dark. It was good for my pictures. Walking around the park we came across a big tv advert showing a Rollercoaster restaurant which looked super interesting and it turned out to be a couple of minutes away, so we went there.
I loved the whole concept of this place. You walk in and get a tablet which you use to order your food. And the food gets delivered in small metal containers that get to you on rollercoasters which are all over the ceiling. Once in awhile they combine delivering food with light show, especially when they have a few orders ready. It looks awesome! I've never seen anything like this up to this day.
After filling up our bellies we headed back to the center. It was beer time for sure!
1516 Brewing Company turned out to be a cool place to try some new flavors.
And it was Monday, my last couple of hours before catching a bus to Krakow.
I only had time to have breakfast with my friends so we went to Cafe Central. It was a lovely place to end my visit in Austria. I obviously had scrambled eggs, as I do all the time, and they didn't disappoint me.
Said my goodbyes and went to the bus station.
So I bought a Flixbus ticket from Vienna to Krakow and I paid only 20zl which is around £4! For 6 hours drive. I love buses that's why I chose this option, plus the price was so low!
I visited my sister in Krakow and stayed with her for a couple of days.