On October 7-9, I took a whirlwind trip through Budapest, Vienna, and Salzburg. This post will focus on day two: Vienna.
You know you’ve found a special place when immediately upon arrival, you decide you want to return someday.
After having breakfast near our hostel in Budapest, we boarded a bus bound for Austria. We journeyed through the types of villages and hillsides that only ever seem to exist in movies or fairy tales, until you see them in real life.
Then, just before lunch, we arrived in Vienna. We fueled up, made some plans for the rest of the day, then joined a local tour guide for a walking tour of the city.
We learned so much about the city’s history and culture on that tour. My favorite fun fact was that Vienna’s schools still teach their students how to ballroom dance while they’re in high school, and that the city and its opera still hold annual balls each year. Think big-gowned, Viennese waltzing, full orchestra-types of balls. Our tour guide’s son even opened one last year – she told us about how proud she was when he was chosen.
After the tour was over, my friends and I made our way to the Kunsthistorisches Museum – the Fine Arts Museum of Vienna. It houses some of the most important and renowned works of art in the world, compiled over many years by the members of the imperial Austrian court.
The museum closed at 6:00, giving us just enough time to see the whole thing. And, what’s more, when we finished, it was time for dinner! We’d been told about some of the traditional Austrian dishes, and were eager to try one of the most famous – wiener schnitzel. That plus warm cherry tea made for a hearty fall dinner to offset the cool temperatures.
Full and satisfied, we set off for a walk around the city to see all of the beautiful buildings lit up at night.
Aside from its reputation and history of elegant music, art, and dance, Vienna is famous for another thing: the sachertorte. It’s a certain type of chocolate cake made with dark chocolate icing and apricot spread, known for being incredibly rich and flavorful. So, we thought, what better way to end a day in Vienna than with a slice of its own culinary specialty, right in the cafe where it all began?
Unfortunately, one day in Vienna was simply not enough. There are so many more museums, churches, and important historical sites that I still want to explore, plus the famous Viennese musicians and dancers I’d love to see perform.
I guess that means I’ll just have to go back one day!