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What to visit & where to eat in Vienna
When we first planned our trip to Vienna, we really did not know what to expect. We heard all kinds of reviews from friends and acquaintances, who had an amazing time and reassured us that we will absolutely love this holiday. We must be completely honest with you guys and admit that we boarded on this trip full of misconceptions and totally convinced that we will starve to death, the traditional Austrian cuisine did not appeal to us at all. I mean, schnitzel and strudel do not imply something fancy or utterly delicious to our knowledge. But boy, we were so wrong.
So from our recent experience, here are the top places to see and enjoy a delicious meal across Vienna.
1) The Belvedere Palace – more precisely we got to see only the Upper Belvedere Palace and the beautiful garden. You need an entire day to walk along the two palaces (the Upper and Lower Belvedere), the Orangery, and the Palace Stables. It is a must see, not only for the impressive architecture, but also for the world’s largest collection of paintings by Gustav Klimt and also it features some masterpieces by French impressionists like Renoir and Monet. And you know us, we could not say no to some Monet. It was indeed a breathtaking experience seeing in front of our eyes Klimt’s The Kiss. You can see more photos from the Belvedere in this post.
2) Once you arrive tat Karlsplatz you get a feeling of being somewhere in Italy rather than in Austria and that it mostly due to the wonderful cathedral in the square center. Next all you have to do is turn 180 degrees and head to the National Opera building ( take a moment to appreciate its beauty) pass it and you will find the Albertina Museum, another must see place for all of you art lovers. Art ranges here from Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael through Albrecht Duerer, Rembrandt and Rubens to Lorrain, Delacroix, Manet and Cezanne. The collections of the 20th century include works by Schiele,Klimt and Kokoschka, as well as Warhol, Rauschenberg and Baselitz. From this point forward you enter an area full of architectural wonders, palaces after palaces worth visiting and a glass house that hosts a tropical butterflies exhibition.
3) The Naschmarkt – or Viennas biggest open air market. It is truly a real international experience full of flavors and tastes. At the end of Naschmarkt, right after crossing Kettenbrückengasse, you will find the Vienna fleamarket that is operational every Saturday morning. There are also many many small Asian shops around this area, where you can buy anything from food to traditional products.
4) Schönbrunn Palace – or a smaller version of the Versailles palace and gardens. When you arrive at the palace you will be faced with multiple ticket decisions. We recommend the Grand Tour ticket, to see 40 magnificent interiors and afterwards you can visit the gardens free of charge. For an extra €3 you can enter the maze and the private garden.
4) We also promised to share our culinary experiences with you, so here it goes. We were pleasantly impressed by the huge variety of international cuisine here in Vienna. And of course we had to go with Asian cuisine mostly (we love ourselves some Thai/Chinese/Japanese food).
– On Gumpendorfer Straße we found a lovely diner: Thai Isaan Kitchen. The food is absolutely delicious, the staff is friendly and the price range is €8-20. We definitely recommend the coconut curry chicken with vegetables. Spicy and yummy!
– Another lucky find was the Mango restaurant, near the Davidgasse area, an all you can eat Asian culinary paradise. The food looked super fresh and it was delicious. You also have the option to choose from a variety of raw ingredients (different types of meat, seafood and vegetables) and have them prepared on the spot by a cook. Prices for an all-you-can-eat buffet are around €12-15.
– Another restaurant we would recommend is the Residenz at Schoenbrunn. It’s a great choice if you wish to taste authentic Austrian cuisine (this is definitely the place to choose the schnitzel and apple strudel). The tagliatelle nero di sepia with salmon and white wine sauce were also perfectly tasty! The prices are a bit on the higher side, but taking into consideration the location and the fact that the portions are huge, it was a great experience overall.