FINALLY for a change.. I know I know… finally not about Switzerland…for a little while.

If you remember the movie Before Sunrise, Jesse and Celine met on a train and decided to hop off at Vienna, where they spent the entire night chatting and getting to know each other. Because of that movie, many people think Vienna is a romantic city. Honestly for me, it is beautiful but I guess romance is related to a connection and personal experience rather than a city. It’s my 2nd time visiting Vienna, Austria. The reason why I wanted to re-visit is to retreat and go to places I couldn’t manage to visit last time.

Recognize this spot?

IMG_5206

So I spent 3 days in Vienna, as usual, walking around the city, exploring and taking photos. During christmas period, the city is beautiful. Well decorated, so festive and a little whimsical. With the glamourous historical architecture, it’s not hard to imagine the glorious days of Austrian-Hungary Empire, when everyone and everything was lavishly gorgeous.

So I walked around the city, it is not too big, but bigger than Zurich…also very easy and walkable to most places. Ok I lied, some places you do need to take the metro but it’s again super easy, within 2-4 stops you’re somewhere further outside the city center.

It’s such a festive season when all the christmas markets are opened, and you see people hanging around high tables for drinks and nibbles, it’s so happy and chilled. You can keep the glass if you like, because when you purchase the gluhwein you pay a few euros as deposit, in case someone doesnt return the cup.

IMG_5191

IMG_5197

Some installation in one of the christmas markets near the hotel I was staying

IMG_5231

One of the main streets in Vienna- Graben. Decorated with beautiful chandeliers along the road.

IMG_5240

Viennese are known for coffee culture, Aida is one of the classic chain cafe where they have more than 20 types of different coffee and cakes. The best thing to do on a winter day is to walk, and stop by for a coffee, and keep walking, and repeat. and that’s how you end up having 3 coffees a day without realizing it.

IMG_5244

Christmas tree in front of the christmas market at one of Vienna’s landmarks – Stephensplatz. Vienna’s cathedral behind is called the Stephansdom.

IMG_5247

IMG_5266

the other side of Der Graben, it’s also leading to the luxury quarter of Vienna where you can find all luxurious brands shops there.

IMG_5275

The other side of Vienna city center, Maria-hilf Strasse. There it’s a little younger but again you see the buildings on both sides are also beautiful.

IMG_5328

IMG_5341

IMG_5353

The freshly baked bread and pastries in a random christmas market stall, they smell SO GOOD.

IMG_5357

cremeschnitte from Aida cafe

in english it’s a pastry with vanilla and custard cream with layers of puff.

IMG_5359

Schönbrunn Palace – A former imperial summer residence in Roccoco style for kings and queens. Out of the residents, one was the daughter of Maria Theresa- Marie-Antoinette who later became the last Queen of France.
Schönbrunn (meaning “beautiful spring”)

IMG_5410

There was also a christmas market, and it was VERY PACKED.

IMG_5412

Traditional Viennese food – gluhwein and rosti with salmon

Rösti is generally a swiss dish made with grated potato, but can also be found in german speaking countries. You will find Austrians and Swiss LOVE eating potato and potato-made dishes everywhere.

IMG_5415

Cafe Central first opened in 1876 and at the turn of the 20th century it was a popular meeting point for leading people in the world of art, literature, politics and science such as Arthur Schnitzler, Sigmund Freud, Peter Altenberg and Leo Trotzki.

IMG_5766

Cafe Central is an old coffee house and restaurant in Vienna, the architecture is really beautiful and classic. It’s worth visiting for a coffee and some pastries. It can get quite busy during dinner time, so I’d go earlier.

IMG_5761

 

IMG_5773

IMG_5772

Rathaus (town hall) by night. It’s one of the most beautiful architecture in Vienna. I purposely go by night when the christmas market is closed to take some photos, because when it’s opened, it gets too crowded you can barely walk. Rathaus was designed by Friedrich von Schmidt in Neo-Gothic style, and built between 1872 and 1883.

IMG_5813

IMG_5827

IMG_5880

IMG_5926

IMG_5929

IMG_5979

IMG_5961