We had a nice 2 month holiday earlier this year and it was so difficult to choose where to go! We drove around for 2 months, spending most of our time in London, Wales and Southeast England but we also flew to Barcelona for a long week of shopping, walking and learning about Spanish culture. We had endured a long debate on whether to go to Vienna or Barcelona, involving the whole family, so long in fact that we eventually just flipped a coin.
Since we will be returning to mainland Europe soon enough, I thought with the dreary weather outside that it seems like a good time to start planning for the Perfect Day in Vienna now!
First I’d start off with some shopping so I have something to wear while I’m poking around the city, then explore the wonders of this historic and beautiful place!
*Check-marks are for importance of commitment: we NEVER commit to an itinerary so “suggested importance” is more reasonable for us. If we see something going on down a random alley way, we’ll change our entire plans and take a new route.
1. Shopping in Mariahilfer Straße
This neighbourhood is best known for its shopping, cafe’s and people watching. It’s a mix of big name stores and indie gems like Boutique X-Ray Fashion, a high fashion euro boutique with serious euro attitude, a great start to a weekend in Vienna!
After clothes shopping in this awesome neigbourhood, I would love to hit up the Naschmarkt – an open air flea market open Monday to Saturday. Anything from buckets of tulips to pickles, wines and plump, purple-flushed figs – our hotel room will be bursting with snacks for me to enjoy at the end of each day.
If I can get my boyfriend to cooperate, we’ll get some classy getup for him so I won’t look like I’m in a costume by comparison.
2. Brunch at Kaffe Alt Wien
This well known cafe is recommended by BBC travel as one of the best places to eat in the city. It attracts a young, art-school crowd with many Austrian staples and an authentic mood and decor to go along with.
3. The Third Man Museum
Now, I’m a bit of a film geek. I’ve even taken classes on Film Noir where we had to read a book a week then watch the movie the book was made after. It was one of the most stressful classes I’ve ever taken and the teacher seemed to have no regard for our other classes but nonetheless, it was worth it. Film Noir is an important, artistic film style that everyone should delve into if they can (in book or film form) and The Third Man is by far one of the most famous film noir classics there is! This museum is a must see!
4. The Wiener Riesenrad
After visiting The Third Man museum, it’s only appropriate to keep up the theme and visit this 64 foot ferris wheel featured in the film (and the image above). It was completed in 1897 to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Franz Josef. A full circle in one of the 15 wooden gondolas takes a gentle 20 minutes, and at its highest point you are 65 metres (213 feet) up.
5. Ice Cream in the Park
Stadtpark is a large park where you can often see live performances of music by Strauss, but even without the music the charms of the place are undeniable with statues and floral arrangements abound. We’ll grab an ice cream before dinner and wander around til dusk.
6. Dinner at Albertina Passage Dinner Club
Maybe we won’t eat here every night as it looks a bit fancy but we have to go at least once. A former pedestrian underpass this dinner club is an exciting combination of top-class dining, classic American bar and club with live music. A great way to start a night out on the town!
7. A Vienna Pub Crawl!
If you’re old enough to drink, this is probably what you do when on holiday as well, at least one night of your trip. I found a website called Vienna Pub Crawl and would definitely like to partake. Not just because of the drinking factor but because I find bars of the world fascinating. They’re places where people have, for thousands of years, talked, laughed and enjoyed each other and life. I also find pub decor interesting and would love to see some traditional Austrian ones. I’ll try a couple local beers and get to know some locals and other travelers alike. We’ll likely end the night in a club, dancing our butts off, and having gained a few postcard recipients!
The more I write about it and explore places to go the more excited I get! I think early Spring will be perfect, tulips, fresh air and less tourists! Vienna here we come!