Vienna is a city I have always heard great things about — especially post moving abroad — so when it came to planning a weekend trip for my 28th birthday, it was an easy contender!
We flew into Vienna International Airport and quickly grabbed CAT Train tickets. This non-stop airport train gets you to the city center in 16 minutes flat and only costs 11€ (or 19€ roundtrip). Which is definitely a savings compared to the 36€ one-way taxi fair.
We had originally booked our 2-night stay at an AirBnb located just south of the city center. A day before our arrival the hosts informed us that they had mistakenly double booked their apartment that weekend — but offered to put us up at the 4-star hotel down the street at no extra cost. Um… sure! No problem! 🙂
So that’s how we found ourselves at the DAS Triest Hotel — which was lovely and we would definitely recommend if it’s in your price range!
We took Uber from the train station to our hotel, got checked in, and immediately went to lunch at Santos — a hip Mexican bar & grill. Mexican food in Austria may seem like a odd choice — but when you live in southwestern Germany (where the Mexican food is… well, pretty terrible) you get excited about the option while traveling!
With full bellies, we walked over to the Belvedere Gardens. It is free to roam this UNESCO World Heritage Site — that was first designed in the 1700s!
After enjoying the Baroque landscaped gardens — we headed to the popular Cafe Central. There are many coffee houses in Vienna but this one dates back to 1873 and feels extra special. We recommend trying a Viennese style coffee (pictured below) and a “Nuss Kuss” if you’re in the mood for something sweet!
Now with a decent sugar high, we were ready to get lost wandering around the city! Two places that would be hard to miss are the Hofburg Palace and the Vienna State Opera House.
By the end of the day we found ourselves at a local Film Festival at City Hall Square. We love to attend local events while traveling — always check or ask your hotel/host about what may be going on during your stay!
This event in particular was a viewing of a Les Miserables concert in honor of the 25th Anniversary. Hundreds of people came out to enjoy the many local vendors and summer night film.
On our 2nd day we got up bright and early to check out the Naschmarkt! **Which on Saturday only also includes a flea market!
The Naschmarkt is like a long outdoor strip mall of goodies — flowers, fresh produce, candies, homemade items, restaurants, and more…
We enjoyed walking through the market before grabbing breakfast at Neni. We were so excited to come across a restaurant that had one of our favorite Israeli breakfast dishes — shakshouka — that we were introduced to on our trip to Israel! Highly recommend!
After breakfast we took a 20 minute stroll over to Stadtpark — the biggest park in Vienna. If the weather is nice, this is great place to spend some time.
For lunch we devoured stuffed pitas at Miznon — an authentic Mediterranean/Israeli restaurant that is located a few places in the world. I first had it in Paris and was hooked! It’s perfect for a quick and delicious lunch.
Just around the corner from Miznon you’ll spot St. Stephen’s Cathedral. It’s definitely worth checking out inside — or even going up for 6€.
The cathedral is located in a really lively part of the city — there are plenty of shops, squares, cafes, and even other churches to explore near by.
We eventually worked our way back to the Hofburg Palace — making a pit stop at Cafe Demel — which has been open almost as long as Cafe Central. Their Viennese coffee was de-li-cious and we enjoyed getting to watch their pastry chefs at work!
After a much needed break back at our hotel — we threw on some fancier clothes for our dinner reservation at The Bank Brasserie — this place does every thing right! Not only is the old bank, turned restaurant beautiful inside — the food is fresh and delicious! We completely cleaned our plates — and couldn’t stop asking for more of the bread! ha!
Our last morning started with a brunch reservation at Ulrich (Vienna has a really strong food game if you haven’t noticed by now.) We outwore our welcome sitting on their sunny porch sipping strong coffee and fresh squeezed juices. Yum!
After brunch, we took an Uber to Schonbrunn Palace, where we spent the rest of our afternoon. This palace is also an UNESCO World Heritage Site and has one of the most impressive gardens I’ve ever seen.
You can pay to tour the 1,441 room Baroque palace — or you can simply get lost in the extensive gardens for free. We didn’t quite come prepared to tour the palace — but we really enjoyed wandering through the French garden — which includes a maze, a vineyard, Roman ruins, water fountains, if you’re lucky, gelato, and even more. It’s huge!
After meeting out daily step quota at the Palace — we grabbed an Uber back to the central train station — and then the CAT Train back to the Airport.
Although Vienna was really warm in late August — we had a fabulous weekend exploring this absolutely beautiful city! If you’re planning a trip to Austria — I definitely recommend making it one of your stops. Salzburg is next on our list…
As always, if you have any questions — please don’t hesitate to ask! 🙂