Our first order of business upon arriving in Vienna from Ljubljiana was to drink some Austrian beer, so we did just that. We ended up picking a lovely Airbnb with high ceilings and tons of space, though it wasn’t as central as we’d hoped. On the bright side, it was close to Naschmarkt which, at night, has a bunch of restaurants with outdoor seating, beer on tap, and big food menus. Though we enjoyed our beers, we didn’t stay out long for fear of permanently smelling like cigarettes.
The next morning, we hit the ground running with some errands and sightseeing. Amanda’s phone had randomly died during our stay in Slovenia, so we found a shipping company without battery restrictions that’d get it back home for us (thanks Steph!). We also made our way over to the Media Markt (Vienna’s equivalent of Best Buy) and bought a temporary phone while we wait for the new one to arrive in Ireland (thanks again Steph!). We enjoyed taking in the beautiful day, and some yummy food and beverage our friend Paul recommended.
We then made our way over to the Vienna Jewish Museum, which had an enlightening exhibit of Austrian Jewish history, along with a beautiful exhibit of Jewish women artists before 1938. Both Amanda and I felt like this was by far the highlight of the museum.
The same ticket also entitled us entry into Museum Judenplatz. The highlight there was checking out the excavated synagogue, destroyed in 1420 and resurfaced in 1995. Just outside the museum is a memorial to honor Austrian Jews killed during the Holocaust.
On day 2, Amanda devised an ambitious plan where we’d visit not one, but two palaces: the opulent Schönbrunn Palace, as well as Belvedere Palaces, which houses famous Klimt works, among others.
We did the audio tour, which takes about an hour, then explored the gardens outside. We probably reached 10,000 steps by noon and were already feeling tired, but decided to power through. Before heading to the Belvedere, we stopped by Schachtelwirt for a quick and affordable lunch. Having lost the bet for which gender our dear friends Ryan and Hannah’s baby would be (it’s a girl!), Amanda had to eat a raw tomato, which she loathes. I’m just relived it wasn’t a boy so I didn’t have to do a 30-minute workout with Amanda.
After lunch, we trained over to Belvedere to see the Klimts, including The Kiss, Judith and the Head of Holofernes, and more. These were awesome, but we were also pleasantly surprised to find an exhibit of Lawrence Alma-Tadema, a Dutch painter who immigrated to England in the late 1800s, known for his lifelike paintings of ancient Rome and Egypt. We also stumbled upon one of the Jewish artists we had seen the day before, Tina Blau.
After 20,000 steps and hundreds of works of art, we called it a day. It was an ambitious and exhausting day for us, but we’re glad we squeezed in the extra sights, because yolo.
On our last day, we decided to day-trip out to Vienna Woods, known for its vineyards, quaint hillside towns, and beautiful hiking paths. We hiked Stadtwanderweg 1, an 11 kilometer loop winding through the woods.
That evening, we celebrated our last night in Vienna with (more) schnitzel, and the best vegan ice cream we’ve ever tasted. We were off to Bratislava the next morning, which we’ll put up on the blog soon!