Thursday, 22 May 2014


Next on our itinerary, from Istanbul, was Vienna. You can’t help falling in love with this beautiful city. The weather at the time of our visit was a lovely 19 degrees. After our check in at the hotel, we took a subway (local train – like the Delhi Metro or the London Tube) to St Stephen Square. The moment we came up the escalator, we let out a collective gasp at the sight of St Stephen’s Cathedral. I was mesmerised by its sheer size, high towers and richly coloured patterns on it's tiled roof. I was so enraptured by its beauty that I forgot to capture a single wide-ranging shot of the cathedral through my camera eye. But its grandeur and beauty sits pretty in a corner of my mind, bright and rich. 

Inside the Cathedral

At the square, we took the Fiaker i.e. horse drawn carriage. The tour pretty much helped us cover most of the significant landmarks in under an hours’ time; although, on hind sight I would prefer to walk through the streets of Vienna and soak it in slowlytaking my own sweet time to absorb the history of this culturally rich city. But the time crunch didn't let that happen. Here are a few sights of St Stephan Square and around. Some pics may be a little out of focus because of the motion of the carriage. I tried to click as much as I could! (I think it is pretty evident from my Istanbul travelogue and now this one, that I was quite "trigger happy"!) 

Hofburg Palace

Entrance to Hofburg Palace

Ornate ceiling at the entrance of Hofburg Palace

Subway is an excellent way to travel within the city however you can take the 20 euro/person , 48 hrs ticket that will help you commute in subway, bus and tram (you can check with the concierge of your hotel for this). Our next stop was the Schönbrunn Palace, the summer residence of the Habsburg royal family. It is the most visited sight of Vienna and happens to be a World Cultural Heritage site. You will be charged an entry fee to step inside the palace. The Neptune Fountain and Gloriette (but you will be charged if you wish to perch atop the Gloriette for the panoramic view of the palace and Vienna - worth it!) are free to visit but you will be charged for the visit to other facilities such as the maze, zoo, etc. 

Entrance Courtyard & Schönbrunn Palace in the background 

Fountain at the Entrance Courtyard

Neptune Fountain at the Inner Courtyard

A slightly uphill walk will take you to the Gloriette (that lies behind the Neptune Fountain)

Panorama of the Schönbrunn Palace, Schönbrunn Gardens & the Vienna City 

We visited the Belvedere Palace under the impression that it was the winter home (which it is not) of the Hapsburg family. It was built as the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy. Today it has pleasing gardens and the Belvedere Palace serves as a a museum and has two baroque palaces (the Upper and Lower Belvedere). It has masterpieces from the Middle ages besides works of Austrian artists. 'The Kiss' by Gustav Klimt became my favorite. Also, I was fascinated by the 'Character Heads' by Franz Xaver Messerschmidt. (photography isn't allowed inside)

view at the backside of the Belvedere Palace

Belvedere Palace (Back side view)
Now on to some gastronomic delights of Vienna. To enjoy the famous Viennese Sachertorte [and I was told also the Apple Strudel, though in my view their apple strudel was average] do not miss visiting the famous Demel Chocolatiers (since 1786) or Sacher Hotel (we didn't get time to visit this). Demel (near Hofburg Palace) is hardly 5 minutes walk from St Stephen Square. (Do not forget to check about the dispute between the Sacher Hotel and Demel over Sachertorte) I recommend you also try their Annatorte but my favorite turned out to be the Gerollte was super yum! 

  • On the way to Demel is a supermarket named Julius Meinl where you can pick up some good stuff at reasonable price. For instance, still water that was priced 2.50 euro elsewhere was available under 1 euro here. Beer to happened to be cheaper. 
  • And it just occured to me that I need to mention Freshii restaurant (located at Herrengasse 5, near Hofburg Palace) which serves not just non veg food but has many options for vegetarians and there is something for vegans too. They offer a decent range of salads, wraps, bowls, burritos (I especially liked their Smokehouse burrito) and there are breakfast options too. Do check out.
  • If possible, try visit the Naschmarket. It was a matter of chance that we happened to visit the market on Saturday, the day of the weekly flea market. There is something for everyone at that market. And in case you do not wish to shop there, go just for the fun of walking through the market, checking out the wares and goods being sold. 
  • In case you are interested in seeing the city while cruising the Danube, do check out the timings ahead and plan your itinerary accordingly. We wanted to wrap up our two days visit to Vienna by cruising on the Danube but missed out on it coz the timing was clashing with out travel schedule to Prague...our next and last destination.

Personally, I feel that I have not done justice to Vienna. The city has so much to offer and I haven't grabbed all that I should have. But with just two days in my hands that we dedicated to the city, that is all we could do. Vienna is still beckoning me and I will be back for sure, for more. 

Thanks for visiting and see you soon again!


  1. i have been there and i looooove people there...Do eat falafel from Dr. Falafel there it is the best....
    Lovely pictures....i will like to see u on other side of camera as well ;)
    Have fun

  2. Wow!
    Gorgeous clicks! I hope I visit- some day!

  3. I LOVE your travel pictures. I've never been to Vienna and would so love to go someday. Your post has gotten me lots closer to doing it! Thanks so much.

  4. Beautiful place and nice shots!!! Would love to visit this place someday.

  5. Lovely pictures .... I hope I'll tour the world someday :)

  6. Your photos are beautiful. I love Vienna and every trip we made was full of amazing food -- as you know.:)

  7. Wow lovely pictures... Loved the city with ur clicks...

  8. Looks beautiful there, happy travels and make sure you sure us some great food there too!

  9. I was so thrilled not see you went to Vienna, it's my father's birth city. So amazing to see all your gorgeous pics of all the places I saw too (in 1996 yikes).

  10. Beautiful places to visit!

  11. What gorgeous photos... never thought to go to Vienna... now it's on my to do list. :)

  12. Vienna looks enchanting through your pics. I would like to visit it again, I was just a kid when I spend only a few hours there. I will definitely visit the Belvedere Palace and other places you suggest here.

  13. excellent pictures. nice clicks. hope u had a Great time.

  14. Look at that AMAZING architecture!!! It's so different from what I'm use to. My mouth would be hanging open in awe the whole visit. Gorgeous pictures of both Vienna and Istanbul. Thanks so much for sharing your trip!!!

  15. Vienna is on the list, such a wonderful place :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  16. So nice to read that you enjoyed the visit to my city.
    The pics are beautiful , just like postcards and your suggestions for places to visit are perfect.
    Hope you will visit againand if I happen to be there, let's take a coffee together at Demel's :)

  17. This virtual tour of Vienna was a nice break from work this afternoon! What amazing historic buildings. Touring the city must been so fun.