Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Vienna at Christmas | Travel Diary

In the weeks leading to Christmas, my boyfriend and I like to take an annual city break to somewhere festive and frosty. We knew it would be difficult to top last years trip to Paris, but we took a look at the most recommended European cities to visit this time of year and fell in love with the idea of Vienna. Both of us had never visited Austria and the capital city seemed like the perfect destination for us to explore.



I truly hope that the photographs I'm sharing are enough to give you a sense of how festive Vienna becomes in the build up to Christmas. Even the weather played its part with cold, crisp days ranging from 3 degrees to -5. We didn't have to wander far to find a Christmas market with stalls placed on most streets and outside of monuments. The smell of mulled wine, waffles, bratwurst hotdogs and dried fruits filled the air, whilst the fairy lights on top of wooden cabins and Christmas trees lit the entire city. We would even find ourselves wandering around to the sound of street performers playing classical music.

We found Vienna to be quite a small city which meant during our 5 day stay we were able to see everything we wanted, browse the shops and stalls for Christmas presents and go back to our favourite spots for a second or third time. Vienna has become my favourite place for shopping, ever! The Karntner Strasse is filled with iconic luxury brands and the surrounding buildings and monuments are so rich in culture.


If you're planning a trip to Vienna, I recommend looking for accommodation near St Stephans Cathedral. The architecture is a whole new level of impressive and right on your door step you'll find the main shopping street and a five minute walk will take you to the museum quarter and Rathaus... all of which have pretty damn impressive Christmas markets placed around them. If you're not planning a trip at Christmas, I imagine the surroundings to be just as beautiful in Spring time. Also, don't be afraid to stray off from the main streets, we stumbled across some of the best (and more traditional) Christmas markets whilst wandering.

Food
In all honesty, we didn't eat at a lot of restaurants. There are so many delicatessens and stalls selling fresh produce that we mostly nibbled on Austrian cuisine whilst browsing the markets or cooking our own food in our apartment. I will mention however, that typical Austrian cuisine is very meaty, so if you're a vegan/vegetarian I recommend doing a bit of research first, although I'm sure there are places that would be more than accommodating. 

Shopping
As I briefly mentioned, Vienna was by far the best shopping destination I've ever been to in Europe. The Karntner Strasse has almost every well known luxury brand you could think of, all located within a small square proximity so you can walk from Chanel to Cartier in under two minutes. There is a few H&M and Zara's but if it's high street clothing you're after, it's worth taking a trip out of the centre to SCS (A huge shopping centre just on the outskirts of the city).
My personal favourite stores had to be Steffl, a huge five floor department store with the most Instagram worthy (marble) interior. I also loved Amicis, a luxury boutique stocking Balenciaga, Tom Ford and more.

Attractions
It's hard to recommend attractions for any time of the year other than Christmas because the whole city had been completely transformed with December 25th in mind but my favourite places to visit where Schonbrunn palace which was home to the most tranquil yet festive market I have ever experienced. If you're in Vienna, it's also a must you take a ride on the ferris wheel at the Prater.. and if you are visiting at Christmas time, the market is placed directly underneath so on your way around you'll be able to smell the hotdogs cooking and hear the christmas carols being sung.

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6 comments

  1. This looks absolutely dreamy! It's putting me in the festive spirit :) I think my husband would LOVE the meaty aspect of the food, whilst I'd be wowed by the buildings and the general vibe x

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  2. Vienna looks awesome. The christmas lights look fab, much better than here x

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