My first night of Vienna was a magical introduction with walking through the snow storm to the warm kitchen for the cooking class. The next day I woke up and headed out for our walking tour and all the snow was gone! Sure the streets were a little wet and slushy but the actual snow was gone! I thought that was crazy but was told numerous times that the snow doesn’t last in the city.
I had the opportunity to have an entire day to really dive into Vienna. This does not always happen when I visit a city and I am so thankful I did have this opportunity as there is just so much to do and see! We had a wonderful guide that filled us with information, but not too much. Sometimes when taking a guided city tour I get skeptical because you only see the major attractions and do not go down the unknown streets. We had the best of both worlds and was able to experience both!
Vienna is a big city but you can easily find a small town feel to it, too. Ringstrasse or ring road, is one of the main “attractions” in Vienna.
It is a beautiful city and has such an elegant feel to it. I believe that is because of the palaces and history of royalty. Two of the very impressive parts of Vienna, to me, was St. Stephan’s Cathedral and the Sacher Hotel.
St. Stephan’s Cathedral is massive but so beautifully designed. It has so much character and I was thankful to be able to step in and see it, and also see it from many side views. I was also able to light a candle in there, too. I really love that tradition that has come of my travels and leaving an imprint of some sort everywhere.
The Sacher Hotel was one place I really wanted to visit and strictly because of the cake. In culinary school we made a “Sacher Torte”. That was a recipe to try to mimic that of the most famous cake in the world, the Sacher Torte. That originated in the Sacher Hotel, too. They keep their recipe locked in a safe (yes that is how important it is) but serve it in their cafe or sell them for you to take home. I was able to see the beauty of the hotel and all their unique rooms and also try the Sacher torte. How could I not try being in Vienna?
Vienna loves to claim Mozart, too, as he was there for a long period of time composing and ended up being the last place he lived before his death. There are so many buildings that Mozart either lived or worked and therefore, they are all noted around the city.
One aspect of Vienna that I loved was all the coffee houses they have! They are different, too! Coffee houses, people go in and have a cup (or three), read the newspaper and really relax. They will serve some pastry options, too. It is there to go relax, meet friends, and just really enjoy your coffee. They hang their newspapers in a unique way, too. The handles are how you hold and open the newspaper, too! These are not places to go if you’re rushed as coffee to go is almost unheard of. It is becoming more popular now but if going to a Viennese coffee shop, you will want to go and enjoy.
As I find myself in every big city doing, I found the smaller streets of Vienna. I love these streets and the old town feel. It makes me feel more comfortable! The streets were beautiful and you could walk and get lost for hours if you wanted!
Being in Vienna for a conference, there were a lot of meetings and events that took place. Like mentioned before, organic is important in Vienna. Being “green” is, too!! We did not take one car or bus during our time in Vienna – we took the subways or a tram with the passes we had. This was a nice way for me to familiarize myself with another country’s system, too!
After a successful conference, I am not headed to Innsbruck for a “post-tour” and very much looking forward to learning more about it and seeing what they have to offer as a city!