City taster: Vienna
This time last year I visited Vienna for a long weekend. If you're looking for a beautiful and romantic city break at this time of year, Vienna should definitely be high up on the shortlist. As capital cities go, Vienna is arguably one of the most culturally rich with an outstanding musical and artistic heritage, as well as an abundance of stunning architecture.
I found Vienna easy to navigate both on foot and via the U-Bahn and became familiar with my surroundings very quickly. It’s surprisingly small so it’s easy to cover the main areas in a few days. That said, if you have a particular interest and specific attractions you want to see, you may need to prioritise, but for me I was happy to walk along the beautiful streets and through picturesque parks, soaking up the atmosphere of a city described as being one of the most liveable in Europe.
One of the specific reasons for choosing Vienna was the pull of the Christmas markets. From the middle of November, it feels as though there is one around every corner and the mood is set perfectly by the crisp weather combined with the colourful illuminated decorations and the aroma of hot punch. If you are looking for a little Christmas magic, then wrap up warm and indulge yourself in the traditional handicrafts and hospitality you will find here.
The Donauturm is the tallest structure in Vienna and is where I satisfied my need for fantastic views across the city and surrounding landscape. It's actually quite a way out of the main city area, which I didn't discover until I attempted to get there on foot. Originally seeing the tower ahead of us in the distance we simply started walking in towards it, but as we should have been getting closer, it felt like it was moving further away. We ended up hailing a cab for the final part of the journey and then using the subway to get back afterwards.
Vienna has been one of my favourite cities to visit. It holds an historical charm, is filled with stunning architecture and everyine I met was incredibly friendly. If you're considering a short break pre-Christmas then I would definitely recommend it. Flights were very reasonable from London Gatwick (I flew one-way with British Airways, returning on EasyJet to get the best price). I stayed at the Der Wilhelmshof hotel, which was fabulous and the breakfast was the best I think I've experienced in a hotel. The location was excellent too, just a few minutes' walk away from Wiener Prater.
I am going on a very exciting adventure soon, so stayed tuned for my upcoming posts.