Wie Gehts Wien? (What’s up Vienna?)

It’s been a while since my last update however we have been travelling non stop for the past few weeks and only recently returned to Budapest a few days ago for a breather. Here I sit at a lovely ‘Costa Coffee’ joint in Buda on a rainy day wanting to put some thoughts together about our lovely weekend in Vienna a few weeks ago. I am partly distracted by a couple displaying one of the biggest PDA’s in front of a friend of theirs (awkward.. Get a room, hmm maybe I can offer that I can help them book one ?) however I will focus to share some highlights of Vienna. We have also visited London and a few cities in Spain which I shall write about in my next post so this one will only be a fairly short one!

I always love going to Vienna. This really is all due to the fact that this is where TG’s (dad) family come from (The Goldmann’s) and because of this, I always feel an awesome connection.It may also be because of this ridiculous amounts of schnitzel, however more about this a bit later on. It had been a few years since my last visit so it was an easy decision to come and explore the city once again with my family. A two hour train ride from Budapest and we arrived in Vienna at the ‘Westbahnhoff’ to soak it all up. A quick stop for an ‘Almdudlar’ to quench our thirst followed by some ‘Manner’ cookies to get a sugar fix and we were off to find our base which was the wonderful 25 Hours Hotel at Museumsquartier (7th district) http://www.25hours-hotels.com/de/museumsquartier/home/home.html. This hotel is hilarious. Part of The Design Hotel collection, its location (just off Museumsplatz on the Western fringe of the city) is perfect to walk and become familiar with this culture rich city. This hotel (217 rooms with some suites that have kitchens) has amazing energy! Some may say the design is tacky but it does make you smile. There is a cheeky and fun circus theme that carries through the whole property and you can’t help but not smile. The kids loved it. It’s a welcome change from all the beige you get as a traveller sometimes. The breakfast is very nice (one of the best on our trip actually) and you can also walk to a wonderful restaurant we were recommended by one of the hip concierge called ‘Glacis Beisl’ http://www.glacisbeisl.at for dinner. Best boiled beef with apple sauce and horseradish I have ever had. Try it next time you are in Vienna, you won’t be disappointed. In the summer there is a food truck and a beer garden attached to the hotel which is just unbeatable. People at the reception are easygoing and nothing is a problem – they were full of information and even offered late check out at no charge. In short, this hotel is a keeper. I recommend it for single travellers, couples and families who want a bit of fun and a laugh and I would definitely stay again.

I hadn’t heard of the the ‘Museumsquartier’ (MQ) area prior to booking our trip however I knew it would be an area which would suit us well as there are always plenty of exhibitions and interesting activities going on. It’s a space where food and art are united (score!) in one of the world’s largest inner-city cultural spaces. Originally built as a royal stable, the MQ is now like a city within a city with cafe’s, fountains and lovely sun chairs (by Enzos) surrounded by the Museum of Modern Art (mumok), the Leopold Museum and the Kunsthalle. The motto for its summer events this year was “Summer of Sounds” and you can see what we explored at http://www.mqw.at.  It’s also about a 10-15 min walk from what I would call the centre of town (St Stephens Cathedral) so would give us respite from the masses of people .. and there were plenty of tourists in Vienna!  Our weekend exploration took us to the colourful buildings of Hundertwasser and the Belvedere Palace where the largest collection of Klimpt paintings in the world are kept. We could have walked around for hours. Tip – if you ever get bored of the city crowds, make sure to visit the Botanical Gardens next to Belvedere – it’s an oasis of peace and quiet (free entrance).  Plenty of public transportation for tourists (love the city bikes located everywhere) and we ended our stay with the obligatory hop-on, hop-off bus tour to make sure we got to show the kids any sites we may have missed.

So, that’s it! As I mentioned earlier, a quick two night visit and then it was back to Budapest to spend some time with my wonderful Jude and Phil (my Aunt and Uncle) who visited us at our ‘base camp’ during their travels and to also prepare for our London and Spain part of the trip. It was so nice spending time with Jude & Phil and showing them the things we love about Budapest. More about this in my Budapest post in a few weeks. BTW  – My favourite coffee house in Vienna (like we needed more cake after digesting Sacher Torte at Hotel Sacher) we visited over the weekend was Cafe Schwarzenberg http://www.cafe-schwarzenberg.at. Best schnitzel in Vienna town (don’t bother anywhere else) goes once again to  Figlmuller. Make sure you go to the one located at ‘Backerstrasse 6’ http://www.figlmueller.at .

Tschüss!

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