6 days - July 2018
For 6 days we got around the city with our beautiful city bikes and went from Palace to Castle to Royal Gardens and more royal buildings.
Indeed being capital of many empires and more recently the Austrian empire and Austrian-Hungary empire, many royal families as the Habsbourg and many emperor built a palace (each one having a summer And a winter palace, what a hard life !) . Today thanks to this Vienna is in the Unesco Heritage list and attract many travellers from all around the world lured by the promises of visiting the most famous palace : Sissi’s summer palace known as the Schonbrunn Palace. We started with the gardens and the beautiful Palms House. We could imagine the many dancing balls the emperor organised here and especially Franz Joseph who didn’t build it but lived most of his life here and developed it(he was Sissi’s husband and cousin!) ; the horse-drawn carriages going around and the many gardeners needed to take care of the amazing “jardins à la française” and of the Gloriette building offering nice views on the city. It has been compared many times to Versailles but we are a bit chauvinistic here, it’s not as beautiful as Versailles !
We went through 22 of the 1441 rooms of the palace and discovered where our Marie-Antoinette (not my mum!) was born and where Sissi’s spent her summers. (her winter Palace stinking during summer due to the poor waste system back in the days. Hard life I told you!)
Keeping up with our royal visits we went to the gardens of the Belvedere Palace (again a summer palace) which is now a museum with many Klimt in its collection (including The Kiss!)
We also spent quite a bit of time around the Hofburg Imperial Palace (Sissi’s winter Palace) extended over the years and now counting the Amalienburg, the Léopoldine Wing, the Chancellery Wing, the Court wing, the Redoute Wing and so on. How come they needed so much rooms ?!
Our favorite: the Court wing which is home to the Austrian National library gathering around 7 million books in a stunning building. We loved it ! (And we’ve been pleased to see the Nazis didn’t succeed destroying everything)
In Vienna, when you’re not strolling around Imperial palace you are visiting churches starting with the most impressive : the St Stephen Cathedral (probably the 25th religious building since we left France 3 weeks before !) with its gothic , multi-coloured roof. Stunning interior ! You can enjoy its stunning acoustic with some Mozart at night.
In the same part of the city can also be found the Museum Quarter but we didn’t feel like museums during this trip so we skipped it but we still liked the exterior architecture of the Albertina museum, the Parliament and the Hôtel de Ville.
And to conclude our 5 days in Vienna we discovered a house (Hundertwasserhaus) so different from the classic buildings: built by a (crazy) architect who didn’t get afraid of using more than 3 Colors and different shapes and structures.
Finally we enjoyed international food starting with Le Burger - in our Top 3 Burger of the world ! Maybe it tasted so nice because we had one after the World Cup finale? (On est les champions !!!) we also tested Pho at Nguyen’s pho and loved it. We haven’t tried the Vienna coffee house culture but Austrian are super proud of it and we saw many little cafe with amazing interior.
End of this Austrian week which has been a trip back to the rich historic, true tales of princes, kings, princesses. A beautiful city but it lacks a bit of the cool vibe and it’s a bit too classical for us! Next Hot Budapest !
# we stayed in an amazing Airbnb at Rudolfsheim-Funfhaus, perfectly located to do everything by bike.
# we took everyday some city bikes. 1euro to register and then 1 hour free each time you use it. There are many stations in the city.
# don’t miss Le Burger. Best burger we ever had !
# we quite liked the interiors of Sissi’s Castle and the gardens. 15 euros
# our favourite visit was the National Library: don’t miss it ! 7 euros.
#3 hours from Prague by Flixbus.