On Dec. 15-17 I took a mini trip to Vienna. I found a flight deal on EasyJet for direct flights and went for it. After all, a huge reason why I moved to France was to take advantage of short trips like this! I booked a great AirBnB apartment. It was slightly pricey but in such a good location; walking distance to so many things I wanted to see and given my short time frame, I knew it would be worth it. My flight was slightly delayed out of Geneva but upon arrival at the airport, it was super easy to get into the city. It was a little confusing to find the the right street for my AirBnB and my phone GPS wasn’t working but a nice lady helped me and pointed out the way.
My time in Vienna was very short so I researched ahead of time and plotted out a rough itinerary. I looked up museums, shops, places to eat, reviews, etc. I got to my apt by about 6:30pm on Monday and was leaving by Wednesday afternoon. One reason why I chose to go to Vienna this time of year was to see the world famous Christmas Markets. I bought a 24-hour transit pass so I immediately headed back out to the biggest and well-known market, the Wien Christkindlmarkt at the Rathaus (City Hall). I also hit up the highly recommended Spittelberg Market, which is much smaller and set up in narrow, old streets. Where the Rathaus Market is very commercial, the Spittleberg Market is much more intimate with unique, handmade crafts. One yummy thing I ate at Spittleberg was this deep fried potato thing. I was hungry and there was a long line for this so I decided to wait. Whatever it was, it had to be good. The line moved fast and once you had your food in hand, you could brush a garlic-butter on it. Delicious.
I knew I’d be eating a lot so I was very good in the weeks leading up to this trip. I cut out bread, cheese, sausage, wine, french fries at the cafeteria, etc. I’m glad I did because not only do I feel better, I lost some weight! Even with all the eating I did in Vienna, I balanced it with a lot of walking. On Tuesday I was up early and out the door to be at Cafe Central for breakfast before 8am. I’d found it online and expected it to be crowded but it was practically empty save some regulars and a few tourists. The interior did not disappoint but the breakfast was sub-par, not even worth taking a picture of. Fast forward to a late lunch–after 2:30pm and I hit up Figlmüller, a restaurant famous for it’s Wiener schnitzel. I got a table no problem and ordered the house specialty. I’ll let the photos do the talking but it was really good! A surprise was the side salad, that I got mainly as the token “healthy” item to go with the fried schnitzel but it was delicious.
One thing to note, it was tough switching gears from speaking French to speaking basic, simple English. I took one year of German in high school which did little to help me beyond “hello” and “thank you”. Thankfully many Viennese people speak English, so it wasn’t a problem.
Here’s some more things I saw and did: Albertina Museum, St. Stephen’s Cathedral (climbed 343 steps of the South Tower), War Museum, Demel pastry & chocolaterie, Karlsplatz Christmas Market, and ate Vietnamese food, something I can’t get in Annecy. From the onset I wished for more time in this beautiful city with so much to see and do, but in the end it was just enough and I had a great time. Auf wiedersehen, Wien!