Visiting Vienna X-mas market

Visiting Vienna

Vienna is consistently ranked as one of, if not the best, livable city in the world. And with good reason! Green parks take up almost half of the area, the public transportation system is convenient and reliable, and the cultural aspect can’t be beat. Stately and imposing buildings line the streets, with dramatic entrances, windows, and designs. Opera houses, theaters, museums, and parks are abundant. We thoroughly enjoyed our time visiting Vienna!

Noteworthy Buildings & Museums

We took our time looking through the city, coming across a variety of noteworthy buildings, including the Hofburg Palace. The Hofburg Palace started construction in the 13th century and is the former imperial residence. Now it serves as the official residence of the President of Austria.

Vienna has more than 100 museums containing everything from very famous and historical paintings, to museums that simply show furniture. We went to the Belvedere Museum (housed in Belvedere Castle), which holds paintings and art from Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Claude Monet. We were able to see Klimt’s famous painting, “The Kiss”.

The Opera

Music is one of Vienna’s legacies so we thought it would be the perfect place to see our first opera. The famous Vienna State Opera House was sold out of tickets two months prior, so we opted for the showing of the Italian opera Tosca at the Volksopera theater on Friday night.

So we didn’t hate it, but we didn’t love it either. We knew the storyline, but we were surprised it was sung in German and not in its native Italian. I know, we’re in Austria and we shouldn’t have expected anything but German, but not being able to understand the words, especially during the slower parts of the opera left us a little bored. The singing, the acting, the lavish costumes, and the story of Tosca were fabulous, but overall, we were meh. We’re glad we tried it though… how do you know something isn’t really for you unless you try it out?

Christmas Markets

Because we visited in December there were numerous Christmas markets that we could attend. This is one of my favorite things about Europe. A lot of countries have these markets, but each one has its own uniqueness and charm. Stands sell everything from from ornaments, to wooden toys, to local food. We sipped on numerous amounts of gluhwein (hot mulled wine) and browsed the different vendors. Each time you get a cup of gluhwein it comes in a decorative glass souvenir mug unique to the market that you’re visiting. We also went to Vienna’s famous year round market, Naschmarkt, which has a variety of different foods, spices, and cuisines to taste.

Visiting Vienna was an experience that we loved! We really enjoyed the different atmosphere that it provided us. We took pleasure in passing the large buildings, listening to the classical music playing in the streets, and wandering through the different areas of the city.

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A Memorable Day Trip to Salzburg, Austria

From Munich, you have so many options for great day trips. After weighing our options between the amazing beauty of Innsbruck or the beauty and cultural attractions of Salzburg, we decided that a day trip Salzburg was the way to go. 

The drive to Salzburg from Munich was just 1.5 hours, and we couldn’t wait to begin exploring this magical city. Salzburg is famous for its rich history. It’s a common destination for music lovers of all kinds, as it’s the birthplace of Mozart and the setting of The Sound of Music.

Still, there’s even more to experience…

Walking in Mozart’s Footsteps

First, we walked through the Mirabell Gardens on our way to the Old Town. The gardens are well maintained, with bright red flowers blooming in circular patterns, dynamic sculptures, and gorgeous fountains. The space seemed to direct everyone’s attention to Hohensalzburg Fortress perched high ahead of us.

Next, we went to Mozart Wohnhaus, which is a house where Mozart lived. The house is small, and the items on display are sparse, but we learned a lot about his life. The museum does a good job immersing you in the life and experience of Mozart.

The outside – no pictures allowed inside

After that, We crossed the river and headed over to Mozart Gerburtshaus. This is Mozart’s birthplace and home for the first 17 years of his life. Throughout the museum, you could explore artifacts and explanations of his history, family, and the development of his talent. We walked away with a thorough understanding of Mozart as a family man as well as a composer. 

Next, we strolled around the crowded Old Town, wandering through the streets that seemed to remain untouched since Mozart traipsed through them. The architecture is beautiful and the cobblestone streets are full of cozy cafes, shops, lanterns, and churches.

After lunch we made our way to our last stop of the day, the Salzburg Fortress (Festung Hohensalzburg). The fortress is around 900 years old and is one of the best preserved castles in Europe. We rode the fast funicular (which is like a tram) up the hillside. This gave us a wonderful view of the city. But once we arrived at the top, even more stunning views of Salzburg welcomed us.

The fortress has many points of interest, including small museums and exhibitions. You can also access some rooms that were once occupied by military and church figures. As we explored the fortress, we couldn’t help but imagine what life would have been like for people hundreds of years ago. Overall, we found it truly amazing to realize that we were walking exactly where they once walked…

A Day Trip to Salzburg Well Spent

We had a nice day in Saltzburg, Austria and enjoyed our time there. We learned a lot about Mozart’s life and about some of the history in this beautiful city. 

With some areas of the city looking so unchanged and with classical music playing in the streets, we felt transported back to another time.

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