Filled with romantic visions of monarchs frequenting the Summer and Winter palaces throughout the last centuries, listening to the opera and dining on strudel, sachertorte and coffee, Vienna exceeded all my expectations! I was fortunate enough to spend two days exploring the Austrian capital and somehow managed to fit in all this!
A magnificent Summer palace from the Baroque period and home to the Habsburg monarchy. There are many tours available, which are a great way to learn about the monarchy and all the fascinating quirks of their family.
The Kiss by Gustav Klimt is the major attraction in this beautiful Winter Palace. However, there are countless other exquisite art works within the building. You can also spend time strolling the gardens and admiring the palace from afar.
Haus der Musik
Learn about the history of some of the most famous musicians throughout history, including Beethoven, Schubert and Mozart, as well as getting involved in the many interactive displays.
Vienna State Opera
Even if you cannot afford the time or money to see an entire show, the opera and ballet is screened live and free outside the Vienna State Opera House from April through to September.
When in Vienna, there are a few delicacies worth trying. Sachertorte is one such delight! It is a rich chocolate cake invented by Austrian Franz Sacher in 1832 for Prince Wenzel von Metternich. Served with cream and perhaps a pot of tea, it’s not to be missed!
Apple Strudel is another must-try. This crunchy, golden filo pastry is filled with moist, spicy apple and is a great snack for any time of the day, particularly after a glorious morning of soaking in royal history and architecture at the Summer Palace.
Finally, you cannot leave Vienna without trying the Viennese Coffee, which consists of a couple of strong shots of coffee topped with whipped cream. It is almost a dessert in itself, so be prepared for something very rich in flavour.
Of course, amongst seeing the wonderful museums, palaces and opera, not to mention tasting the local delicacies, I would highly recommend just strolling the streets and admiring the beautiful architecture. Many of the buildings are ornately decorated with pretty images of flowers and gold-leafed patterns. You will not find anything similar back in Australia!
I will look forward to more visits in the future. What would you recommend on a weekend trip to Vienna?