Austria

Vibrant Vienna

I visited Vienna mainly for the Christmas markets but the city has so much to explore, I was able to see the allure of visiting Vienna in the summer. Given the limited time I had in the city I only chose two things I really wanted to do, alongside my day at Schonnbrunn Palace. I was so focused on seeing certain things during my visit, I missed out 60% of the city (a great excuse for me to return).

I have a love of seeing cities from above, I think I was a pigeon in a past life because I find this helps me to get my bearings. There are three places where you can get a great view of Vienna. The donauturm, the Gloriette and St Stephen’s Cathedral. I decided to go to the top of the north tower in the cathedral because of it’s central location and best reviews online.

The cathedral is worth visiting just to look inside, the ancient stonework and art is beautiful. Entering the cathedral is free but to go up the towers has a small charge. The south tower has a set of 343 steps to climb to reach the view from the window and costs 5 euros. I chose the slightly more expensive North Tower, costing 6 euro, which has a viewing platform and a lift to the top. There is an option of buying a ticket which covers entry into all areas of the cathedral.

After standing in the short queue and a ride in the very tiny lift, I made it to the top. The plateau of the North Tower is 68.3 metres high. I found it very scary to be so high up because it was very windy. It is a round trip around the top of the tower. My favourite view was without a doubt along the side of the colourful roof. The views are panoramic across the city, so I chose to take the time to search for the Christmas markets. I really liked seeing the older city centre with the skyscrapers safely in the distance. There were boards dotted about, so everyone knows what buildings they can see on the skyline.

When I walked around the giant bell, I found more steps leading to a higher viewing platform. This gave a beautiful view of the Christmas market below, along with views leading out to the hills. Frozen and with some bearing of the city, I decided to head back down to ground level to warm up in one of Vienna’s numerous cafés.

Another place I found to be worth visiting in Vienna was the Schmetterling Haus (butterfly house, for the non German speakers). €9 to enter and 100% worth the money. My photographer dragged me here to fulfill a personal photograph goal, I went along to make some fluttery friends!

Only thing that ruined the experience was a group of rowdy children on a school trip. That made the butterflies hide away. I enjoyed spending time in the warm, with the orchids; it was rather relaxing. I found the victorian glasshouse to be very photogenic, fellow Instagramers will love it!

The city also has an incredibly beautiful library which you can visit. Though not on Mondays, as I learned the hard way. I didn’t have time to visit properly but I did peep through a window and loved what I saw.

I enjoyed Vienna a lot more than I had originally anticipated. Due to its location, I think I will be visiting again. I do have Slovakia and Hungary on my bucket list! Vienna was the perfect winter adventure to round up 2019. I can’t wait to see where I will visit next!

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