This is how you spend 48 hours in mesmerizing Iceland!
- December 8, 2020
Iceland has gone from an unknown destination to a travel hotspot in the past 5-10 years, partially due to the…Read More
Due to its central location in Europe, Vienna is a very popular destination for visitors from all over the world. With more than 1.9 million inhabitants, Vienna is after London and San Francisco one of the most innovative cities in the world. However, I call lies on this as I live in the heart of London and have been to San Francisco, i can vouch on my gold fish life that Vienna is way ahead of the game. Public transport is complete relaxation with spacious carriages with a chilled vibe. We cycled almost everywhere due to the wide bike lanes everywhere and the stunning European architect surrounding you. One-of-a-kind coffeehouse culture plus Fantastic pubs and restaurants along the waterfront are perfect for the younger generation and are in abundance. No wonder why it has been in number one spot in Mercer’s quality of living survey for 10 years running.
The Schönbrunn Palace always shows up as the number one destination on google, we actually went straight there without hesitation to view the palace. As you can imagine it’s grand and is a stunning work of architecture. However, we didn’t realize the scale and the beauty of the gardens surrounding it, you can honestly get lost in the gardens that’s how vast they are. Pristine landscaping & water features make a true paradise and features a random zoo in the mix of all of it. For all the instagramers, there are endless spots to get the perfect shot. Elegant passages surrounded by vines to create a stunning backdrop and amazing lighting conditions.
Once you have gained Arnold Schwarzenegger calves from hiking through the gardens, you then begin small ascend to Gloriette Café which has an unbelievable look out point over Schönbrunn Palace, the gardens & Vienna city which highlights all the rich red roof tiles in the mix of upcoming skyscrapers. The service in this café is outstanding, the best I have ever received. Friendly service that was knowledgeable of what was good on the menu, the service with the view couldn’t get any better right? Nah mate, it gets better as a frugal individual the price was remarkably cheap. We had two mains and a couple of drinks and it came to about €35, maybe it’s because I’m used to London prices but the scenery, standard of food and a trusty European pilsner in my hand I fell in love with Austria within a day.
We took the Westbahnhof line from Vienna to Salzburg for €34 each which is a one-way ticket, i’m sure you can get much cheaper tickets if you book in advance. We planned to hire a car but turned out to be ludicrously expensive, you can actually jump on the train (leaves Vienna every hour) and buy the ticket on the train with no issues. Salzburg has a completely different vibe to Vienna and feels much more of a tighter community and the climate dropped a lot. A great place to start is also one of the settings for the world’s most known musical film, The Sound of Music. Inside the Mirabell gardens, visitors can marvel over the freshly cut green grass that dazzles with an array of colorful flowers – colors that change each year according to tradition. The city is so charming that it is quite easy to pass a few days here, sipping on an Aperol spritz in the summertime or a glühwein in the winter. Fortress Hohensalzburg is a must with a very interesting audio tour which isn’t too long so you won’t become bored and irritated. However, the icing on the cake is the overlook from the top of Fortress, panoramic views of the city with the backdrop of mountains. The Old town offers so much to do in regards to shopping and includes many markets to witness the best of what locals can produce. The only problem with Salzburg is the decision making of which restaurant to go to, very densely packed shopping area means every strip there is another perfect restaurant or ice cream shop.
We went to Salzburg with every intention of doing a day trip to Hallstatt. The thing I would recommend here is hiring a car for the day or doing a day trip with a group as the public transport to get there was a bit of a nightmare, we thought this would be a common destination with the tourist but taking public transport will take the best of 3 hours to get there when it’s only an hour drive. After 25 minutes of driving through Salzburg, the time drifts away. The drive through the countryside offers better scenery with every corner, the breath-taking drive is a real contender with New Zealand. After 3 different buses, we made it to Hallstatt but it was not the weather we anticipated. Grey, harsh skies with thick clouds blocking any sunlight. However, this place is so incredible that nothing takes away the beauty, it was very dramatic with calm waters and clouds rolling over the mountains. We found a lookout point next to the cathedral and just took in the scenery and honestly you can not be more at peace than in that very spot. The local food was very average and as you can imagine expensive but to finish off the day trip we took the Gondola up the mountain, as we reached midpoint we were already going through the clouds. You can do a salt mine tour there but we were pressed for time so we got some incredible photos on the DSLR that captured the bliss small town of Hallstatt.
One of Vienna’s most famous sights is definitely the adventurous Viennese Prater amusement park. This famous theme park in Vienna’s second district Leopoldstadt is iconic for local residents, as it means excitement, full bellies, and a fun time. Viennese people have childhood memories of marveling at the Riesenrad, riding the Liliputbahn, or eating cotton candy and langos in the Prater. Everything about our beloved Prater is a childhood dream come true. Of course, countless tourists also travel here to enjoy time in Austria’s capital and take a ride on the Riesenrad (Giant Ferris Wheel), one of Austria’s most famous landmarks. Prater is packed with energy to bring spark to your evening, they had a double-decker bus with a live DJ playing absolute bangers, all the locals were having an absolute party and very minimal alcohol consumed so everyone could enjoy it. Every fair ride you can imagine was there and took a good 40 minutes just to walk the park, if you like bumpers cars you are in luck because there were probably about 6 of them in total. Something about the garbage club music with the overhype ride DJ’s that just throw you back to your childhood. Just make sure to take cash as no card payments will be accepted.