This weekend I traveled to Wien (pronounced “veen”) to explore the Austrian capital city for a few days with one of my roommates from Bentley.
I had just over 2.5 days in Vienna, and Allie did an amazing job of spacing out the historical sites throughout the city so that we were able to take our time to truly enjoy and take in all of the beauty. She was also full of historical facts about many of the buildings, which made me appreciate them even more. 🙂
My time in Vienna was spent constantly reminding myself that everything I was seeing, feeling, and experiencing…it was all happening in real life. Of course all of the history and architecture was amazing, but the fact that I got to sit in cafes and spend time catching up with Allie over a cappuccino, some cake, or a pitcher of beer in Vienna, Austria…those were some of my favorite memories from this trip. I got to hang out and enjoy time with one of my best friends in a beautiful European city, and there were multiple times that I couldn’t believe it was real.
Since I saw so much in Vienna I’m going to break it down into categories instead of giving a timeline, because I would probably write forever if I gave a full play-by-play. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll chop it up into 5 different areas: food, churches/cathedrals, palaces, other historical buildings, and some of the other random stuff we saw.
I think pictures are one of the best ways to appreciate food (next to tasting it and smelling it of course), so I’ll start with some photos.
- I realize that the picture of the first cappuccino is a bit large, but that’s because it was my first taste of coffee in 39 days (yes, I’ve been counting). Anyone who knows me knows how much I love coffee. At home I drink at least 1 cup a day, but since coming to Ireland I made the switch to tea because it’s way cheaper and easier to make. It’s safe to assume that the cappuccino put me in my happy place, and that I savored every last sip (as you can see, I had a couple more before heading back to Dublin).
- Yes, I did eat that whole pizza and it was some of the most delicious pizza I’ve ever had.
- There’s an “A” on the powdered donut because the filling inside was apple.
- The omelette was oddly runny but it was served with really yummy bread to eat with it, which made it 100x better.
- Wienerschnitzel is amazing and tastes way better than the name makes it sound.
- Their cakes are much drier than cakes at home, but they’re so good. They serve them with tasty sauces and it’s wonderful.
- Cliffy made me a lil egg in a basket for breakfast! Believe me when I say that bread is phenomenal.
- Käsekrainer is very interesting…it’s like a hot dog but tastes a lot more like kielbasa, and has cheese all throughout the middle of it and is served with ketchup and mustard. I’m not usually a fan of hot dogs at all, but this was actually very good and was a great last taste of Vienna before heading to the airport to catch my flight back to Dublin.
Churches and Cathedrals
It’s impossible for me to pick a favorite building out of everything I saw in Vienna, but all of the different churches were very unique, stunning, and elaborate works of art. Each one was amazing in its own way.
St. Peter’s Church was the first one Allie took me into (we may or may not have jumped in with a random tour group during Sunday Mass), and it took my breath away. We stood inside for a bit and got to experience part of the Mass in German, which was really cool.
Directly after leaving St. Peter’s we went to St. Stephen’s Cathedral, which quickly became one of my favorite structures in Vienna. Not only was the Cathedral simply massive, both the inside and outside were amazingly detailed and elaborate…I could spend days looking at St. Stephen’s without getting bored of it. Stephansdom made it through most of WWII without getting bombed; it wasn’t until the near end of the war in 1945 that it was actually set on fire by local people and nearly reduced to rubble. The roof was completely destroyed in the fire but was reconstructed by the community by 1952, and although it’s difficult to see in these pictures, if you look closely you can see that the new roof is designed using a beautiful pattern of colored tiles.
There are catacombs under this church that contain the remains of nearly 11,000 people. Although after going down into the crypts under St. Michan’s Church in Dublin I said I was probably all set with ever heading underground to see human remains ever again, we did a tour of these catacombs and saw various mass graves that were literally rooms full of bones (some of which belonged to victims of the black plague). It was extremely eerie being down in the catacombs, but it was also really interesting learning about all of the history.
I won’t write a book about all of the churches we saw, so here are some pictures of the others. 🙂
The two main palaces Allie showed me in Vienna are Schönbrunn and Belvedere.
Schönbrunn is ginormous. Aside from the former imperial summer residence (the top left picture shows it from the back), there are acres upon acres of gardens, greenhouses, statues, and the world’s oldest zoo!
I know that if I tried to regurgitate everything Allie told me about this amazing place I would certainly mess a lot of it up, but believe me when I say that it was like nothing I have ever seen before.
Allie and I managed to make our way to the Belvedere Palace just before dark on Monday night, so although we didn’t spend a whole lot of time there (it wasn’t just getting dark, we were also freezing and super hungry) what we did manage to see in a short amount of time was beautiful.
Other Historical Buildings
We saw so many crazy places in the short time I was in Wien so rather than going through and talking about all of them, I’ll point out a few that I particularly enjoyed and found interesting.
The picture on the right is Heldenplatz, which is where Hitler announced to thousands of people that Austria had become part of the Third Reich/part of Nazi Germany.
Below, you will see Vienna’s City Hall, which I loved for how detailed and elaborate the architecture is. The City Hall is another building that I could sit down and stare at for days, and still find something new about it to amaze me every 10 minutes.
Along with these two sites, Acliff also took me to see the Parliament building, the Opera House, the National Library, and soooooo many more. There was an overwhelming amount of information on nearly everything we saw and everything was so beautiful, I probably said “wow” at least 500 times a day.
Some of the Other Random Stuff We Saw
When visiting Vienna, it’s difficult not to notice all of the historical architecture and beautiful buildings and it is easily the most beautiful city I have seen to date. There were some sites Allie took me to that didn’t necessarily fit my overall image of the city, but that made me love it even more.
For example, there’s a random amusement park by WU that is up year-round and has multiple roller coasters, haunted houses, and other rides that would make me either want to barf or cry.
There is also a building called Hundertwasserhaus that was apparently designed and built by an Austrian artist and famous architect. It’s an apartment building where the tenants are allowed to decorate around the outside of their own windows. It was wicked funky looking, and I absolutely loved it.
Pictures and words don’t do justice to anything I was able to see in Vienna. Although the sun didn’t come out much while I was there, I spent 3 days being constantly amazed by everything around me, and the fact that I got to be amazed by all of it with one of my favorite humans made it even better. What more could I ask for?
Thanks again for walking over 30 miles to show me Vienna, Cliffy! 🙂
P.S. don’t look down at some of the cobblestone pathways in Vienna as you walk along them…they’ll likely make you nauseous.