Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Vienna Trip Report: The Cold, The Culture, and the Christmas Markets

Vienna Trip Report: The Cold, The Culture, and the Christmas Markets

Old Dec 30th, 2019, 05:02 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 248
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Vienna Trip Report: The Cold, The Culture, and the Christmas Markets

Background: We are a couple, two women, together for the last 30 plus years, married for the last 6 (thank you, Supreme Court!). I recently retired (early!) from teaching (middle school English) with travel adventures with my sweetheart at the top, middle, and bottom of my to-do list. We have travelled to Europe many times over the last 20 years, mostly during my summer breaks, but now being retired all 12 months are game on! That said, this Vienna trip came out of the blue. About a month before we left, Linda said, hey honey, what do you think about us going to Vienna for the Christmas markets? At first I thought, I don’t have time to plan this out properly…but then the pieces starting fitting together. Why Vienna? We had spent a day in Vienna several years as a stop on a river cruise. We raced from the Hofburg Palace to the Schonbrunn Palace and walked the Graben area and that’s all we had time for. We knew we had to return one day. Exploring the rest of Vienna coupled with the idea of the holiday markets was a win win.

Flights: We used Linda’s miles for economy outgoing and business coming back. Fortunately, United’s Saver Awards were available, otherwise we may not have gone. We left on Monday, December 9 and returned on Tuesday, Dec. 17th. We flew United San Francisco to Munich and then Lufthansa to Vienna. The return was Austria Airlines to LHR and then United to SFO. We went ahead and purchased a one year United Plus subscription for two as we knew we had a trip to New York in July and well, who knows where else we’d fly in the next 12 months😊? All seemed to be going as scheduled on the outbound until the announcement about 40 minutes before our flight that there would be a delay as the plane still needed cleaning. The captain and flight attendants were clustered around the gate entrance so that was a good sign. The next announcement said there would be an even longer delay as a mechanical check was happening and hopefully it wouldn’t be long. Once I heard that word, I lost ALL hope. Upshot? Departure was delayed four hours and a different plane was substituted.

I knew we were not going to make the Munich connection so all of us with connecting flights were told to make those arrangements at a United desk a bit away from the gate…that the gate attendants could not assist. I phoned United right away but was told that the United folks at the airport had more updated info. to make the rebook. What?? OK. So United supplied one gal to assist a line of about 45 people. One United person suggested we go back to the check-in desk before security. We have Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check and the airport didn’t seem that busy at the time, so we exited the secured area, went back to the check in desk, and were re-booked on a later Lufthansa flight out of Munich. We tried our luck at getting back into the United lounge (used passes we earn with our credit card) and yes, you can return to the lounge once you exit. At least we had a place to hang out! At the new gate, I befriended a family of four including two little girls. The four-year old wanted me to have her “princess” necklace made out of nylon string and an assortment of plastic beads. It became my favorite souvenir of the trip. What irked me about the delay was there was no apology from United once we boarded. Every announcement was the canned variety…no mention of the long delay… no sorry for the inconvenience…sorry many of you will miss your connecting flight…no 5,000 miles for your mileage account?

The flight was uneventful. There was an empty seat between us in Economy Plus so that was fortunate for extra breathing room. In Munich we had to visit the Lufthansa ticket booth to confirm our flight and receive another boarding pass. We chatted with an embassy consulate who was returning from visiting his mother in Washington state. He reviewed my itinerary, made some suggestions about the Christmas markets, and then we talked about the politics of his job and the state of the European Union and the US. Very illuminating! Solid fellow! He also helped Linda navigate the Uber app. I had wanted to take public transportation from the airport to our hotel, but we were both tired and now it was dark. Easy drive from the airport to our hotel. We ended up taking Uber three times overall. What I enjoyed most about Uber was hearing the immigration stories of the drivers…one driver was from Turkey, the other from Syria, and the other from Lebanon.

The return flight was at 6:40AM out of Vienna. Because we had familiarized ourselves with the getting-to-the-airport route the night prior, our walk to check-in was stress free. The business lounge didn’t open until 5:30 so we had a ½ hour wait after checking in. Scrambled eggs, croissants, jam…extent of breakfast. There were two chafing dishes out but nothing was in them. Vienna to LHR flight didn’t take off on time, maybe 20 minutes late, so I knew we’d have to dash through Heathrow. Dash we did….Terminal 2 is huge! I was pulled out of line for a “random check” (third time in my last three inbound international trips). We boarded the plane to find our seats were taken. The flight attendant said, no, your seats are here pointing to the ones behind the occupied ones. No, I said, our seats are here. No, another flight attendant said, and pointed to the seats behind the occupied ones. I wasn’t budging and then one of the attendants said, you’re right and the two guys left our seats. No pre-flight drink was offered and by that time I needed one! Once airborne, though I had a nice, smooth, vodka tonic. That’s about all that was actually good and tasty in terms of food. The meals were poor, the chocolates terrible, and the snacks were basic. The seats were comfortable, and it was so nice to streeeetch out! Upon arrival at SFO, thank goodness for Global Entry. The throngs of people we bypassed!

Planning: I am a big Rick Steves fan for information, hours, restaurants, etc. Dived into his book first, then checked these forums, borrowed a Fodor’s Austria book from the library, reviewed tripadvisor, booking.com, and read a lot of travel blogs about Vienna and specifically about the Christmas markets. I knew very little about them prior. I downloaded a map from city-walks.info that listed seven major markets and four sites for “Christmas Illumination.” I purchased a Streetwise Vienna map (love this brand) and had the Vienna map that was part of the Rick Steves book. We had seven nights. I planned for us to stay three nights in one area of the historic core and three nights in another area. The last night would be at an airport hotel as we had such an early morning flight the following day. I made a list of all the sites we wanted to see, organized them by location, and planned out a daily itinerary. Even though I knew we may not follow it exactly, it was helpful to have it all written down so I wouldn’t forget anything. I ripped apart the Rick Steves Austria book and just hauled around the Vienna part. I photocopied pages from Fodor’s and organized those somewhat with my itinerary. Linda really wanted to see the Spanish Riding School’s Lipizzaner horses perform so I went ahead and bought those tickets (60 euros each) for Sunday at 11AM from home on-line and printed them out.

The first three nights: Hotel Austria on Fleischmarkt, 20, is about a 12-minute walk from St. Stephen’s. I booked on-line and paid 522 euros for the three nights inclusive of taxes and a daily breakfast. Hotel Austria’s entrance isn’t exactly on Fleishmarkt but at the end of a pedestrian alley perpendicular to Fleishmarkt. The alley made the location in my estimation, a quieter stay. We loved this hotel. It felt like it hadn’t changed since it opened in 1955 in a good way. Nice wide stairs, handy elevator, high ceilings, functional bathroom (high step over the tub for the shower), good towels (dispenser soap along with a little square soap…no other toiletries provided). Our room had twin beds next to each other forming one big bed, two night stands, little light on the headboards to provide focused light for reading, etc. Bed was firm enough and the pillows were just right. One small table and two chairs in the room that we used for unloading jackets, mittens, etc. There was a sofa bed, futon like thing we used to unpack our suitcases. There was a closet with plenty of hangers and drawers. Really a great place to hang out for days! We opened the window a crack at night for fresh, cold air. Our room was around a bend in the corridor so it seemed like we had the “wing” all to ourselves (room 114) The breakfast was good…scrambled eggs, sausages, meats, cheeses, breads, jams, fruit, cereals, cakes, as nice as most we have experienced in Europe (exception was the over-the-top breakfast in Venice at Hotel Al Codega) The hotel clerks were perfunctory while the breakfast ladies were sweet and helpful. I tried to get a recommendation for a self-serve laundry in the area but they (two different clerks) didn’t have any recommendations off the top of their heads (more on the laundry later) and tried to google a location. The hotel’s location was perfect. Close to ground zero (St. Stephen’s) and an underground: back down the alley, turn right, turn left to the underground station Schwedenplatz. I wouldn’t hesitate to stay there again.

Nights 4, 5, and 6: K+K Hotel Maria Theresia just outside the Museum Quarter I chose because of the location, the positive reviews, the buffet breakfast, and the price point. More and more I’m drawn to hotels that provide a buffet breakfast that includes scrambled eggs (protein), strong coffee for my Linda, and croissants (me!) We don’t have to waste time searching for a place, waiting for service, etc. I like to get breakfast over, go back to the room to freshen up, and then head out for the day. Eating your fill at breakfast also allows us to motor through most of the day, skip lunch, and eat an early dinner. That’s how we like to roll. Once exception was in Seville two years ago. The hotel I really wanted, Alminar Hotel, didn’t provide a breakfast beyond breads and coffee but the hotelier assured me we could get breakfast (eggs) just down the street and he was right! When we ubered up to Hotel K and K my heart sank. There was construction going on right next to the hotel, in fact, the road was blocked just past the entrance due to the staging area. I had read reviews and occasionally someone mentioned construction but this was in-your-face construction. When we checked in I asked for a quieter room as I did on my initial reservation when I reserved on the hotel booking site. When we were able to get into our room after 2:30, I could hear the metallic whir of some kind of conveyor belt. I could also hear the workers shouting to each other. Thank goodness we checked in on a Friday and checked out on a Monday afternoon. I would have been so disappointed to have to hear the construction sounds. For that reason if you are a light sleeper and/or don’t want to hear stray noises if you are in your hotel room during the day, I’d suggest you’d stay elsewhere. The hotel was convenient to the Volkstheater underground…out the front hotel door, turn right, walk past the construction, turn right at the next block, and walk 1 ½ blocks…really easy. The room was tight and compact. Twin beds forming one bed, one small night stand on one side of the bed, desk with chair on the other. Mini-fridge in closet, hangers, and shelves for clothes in closest. Bathroom compact…toiletries included: shampoo, conditioner, body soap, body lotion. Rate inclusive of breakfast and taxes for three nights: 550.30 euros for room 218a. Linda had an issue with the in-room safe and someone came within minutes to re-boot it. Service was overall good…again not overly friendly but helpful when asked. The breakfast buffet was similar to Hotel Austria. There were more people at this hotel so the breakfast room was abuzz with activity while Hotel Austria was calmer and more sedate. I don’t think I would stay there again…I’d wait for the construction to end. I also think the hotel should have mentioned the construction when I reserved.

Last night: Marriott’s latest addition to its brand... Moxy Vienna Airport. So the Moxy is supposed to be Marriott’s new hip and trendy baby. I mentioned this hotel at Christmas dinner and my 28-year old nephew said he has stayed at a few Moxies and loves the vibe. We kinda liked it, too. We checked in at the bar with a 20-something clerk. The hotel seemed only to hire 20-somethings! There was packaged food in the bins along the lobby walls and some you could microwave. From 6-8 PM they had a crockpot dish (our night it was sweet and sour chicken) with rice for 8.50 euros. That was the extent of restaurant dining. The room was small but functional. Two separate twin beds, three hangars, no closet and no drawer space with one rack for luggage…bathroom had shower only (that’s fine with me). Again, soap/shampoo dispensers in the bathroom and shower, nightstands, no refrig., big TV. It was the first hotel we have stayed in where there were male room attendants. We were each given a voucher for a free drink at the bar: a cherry juice with or without Captain Morgan’s Rum. The hotel and location worked well for us. The hotel is across from the airport yet we heard no noise while the windows were closed. The night we arrived after a most of the day spent in Vienna, we did a dry run of the walk to the airport. We crossed the street, took an elevator down to the -1 floor, and we were in halls of the airport already. It was about a 15-minute walk through the halls, up an elevator or two to get to the Austria Airlines check in. So easy!!! The room cost us 3.20 euros (the city tax) only because I used the 12,000 Marriott points we had accrued over the last 10 years or so!! I saw another hotel just down the road, the NH hotel, another brand we have used and liked.

Phones: Linda added the AT&T International Day Pass for $10 (24 hour period) to her phone before we left the US. I kept my phone in airplane mode the entire time and added the hotel wifi when we were there (still leaving the phone in airplane mode). Both hotel wifi systems were unsecured, however, so I used them just to post on Instagram, texted family, and checked my mail using Linda’s phone for those queries/transactions that needed a secure set up.

Transportation: Originally I thought we’d buy the Monday-Sunday 7-day transit pass called the “Wochenkarte” for 17.10 euros. Because we Ubered from the airport that threw me off my original plan of public transportation all the way. We actually walked A LOT as there was much to see everywhere. When we did use public transportation, it was the underground. There was a senior ticket for 3 euro for a round trip (2 single rides). That worked well for us.

Vienna Pass: Wasn’t worth it for us; I did the math. Because we had seen two palaces before, the pass didn’t make for a good deal. Several of the sights had senior rates and if we had been willing to go out at night (too cold for these Northern Californians!) we could have saved money on admission on specific nights.

Illuminations: Because of the delay, we lost our arrival afternoon. After a dinner at a hotel-recommended restaurant, we ventured out to Rotenturmstrabe, the street by our hotel leading to St. Stephens. Now I understood the term “Christmas Illuminations” …these are the places where magnificent light structures dangle high above your head on certain streets. Big red balls were suspended in the air. What a preview of the illuminations to come! On other nights we saw the lights at Graben…pendant chandeliers of sorts ablaze in white lights, crown lights on a street leading to St. Peter’s, musical note lights across the streets of the House of Music. So beautiful!

Christmas Markets: Our embassy friend (3rd year in Vienna) said he and his wife’s favorite market was Karlsplatz and that the Rathausplatz was crowded and touristy but still a must do and to definitely visit the Spittelberg markets. Our first market after our first full day was Karlsplatz. We took the underground and it was a five-minute walk from there to the market. What struck me right away was what a cool way to enjoy a drink with your colleagues after work. Groups of people gathered around high top tables sipping their gluhwien and talking away. Lots of folks were out, eating, drinking, and reviewing the various stalls. Linda and I are no strangers to vendor art having frequented many art shows and art and wine festivals. In my pre-reading I knew there would be many commercial vendors and often bloggers warned of the “made in China” as opposed to “authentically Austrian” art. And yes, in our visits to many of the markets in Vienna we began to see the same stuff over and over again, but there were enough non-commercial artists to keep things interesting. Linda bought a handmade wool hat…gorgeous colors and trims. We bought a “whistle” made by an ex-Italian now Austrian artist Fabiano…made of pottery in the shape of dancing woman (etsy shop: Sportellikeramik) and purchased a little ceramic marshmallow face with a tall hat from a Tyrolian artist. Sure, we even bought some of the standard “nose gnomes” (my description) that we saw at every market to sit on the mantel piece. We purchased them for family members as well as they made great souvenirs and weren’t terribly expensive.

Two markets were right next to each other: the Freyung and the Am Hof. By the Freyung, we explored the Palais Ferstel passages nearby. Beautiful! What was also nice about visiting the different markets is that it took you to different parts of the city. We took the underground out to Shonbrunn Palace one late afternoon and went to to the market at the Belvedere after our visit there. I had my first and only taste of the gluhwien at the Belvedere…a honey/ginger concoction in a stocking-shaped mug. Kept the mug and drank a bit of the wine. There were smaller markets near the Opera House, the Hofburg, and the cathedral. The Rathausplatz (city hall) was touristy and crowded, but huge. Still didn’t regret going there. We were there in the afternoon, but I’m sure it would have been enhanced by the lights at night. One market that wasn’t on the city walks map that I read about on the blogs was the Spittelberg markets. These were three parallel streets by the Museum Quarter that hosted stalls on either side of the three streets. The K+K hotel was one street away from these three streets so we were able easily access the markets. In between the stalls were some small shops featuring jewelry and art studios. The guidebooks call this area artsy and bohemian.

SightsI’ll just go over briefly some of the things we saw and did and my take:
· We did the Rick Steves Vienna City Walk…great overview! Highly recommend.
· St. Stephen’s: Lit a candle for my deceased mom (one of my cathedral rituals); interesting artistic embellishments (staircase in particular and self-portrait of the builder)
· Haus der Musik …interesting and interactive museum…go late afternoon when price is reduced
· Hofburg Treasury...loved it…buy combo ticket for Treasury and the Kunsthistorisches Museum. Many relics, religious art and garments, crowns and jewels, and a "unicorn's horn"
· Kuns... Museum…saw many paintings I have seen in textbooks including Katherine of Aragon and one of Jane Seymour by Holbein. Well-displayed paintings.
· Tour of the Opera…check website to see the times of the tours as they varied depending on the day…liked it especially when we were able to sit down and see the set people working on stage…
· Visited St. Peter’s and St. Michael’s
· Watched the Lipizzaner horses perform…not really my thing but the arena was grand!·
Toured the Belvedere Palace (upper only) to see the Klimt “The Kiss” painting among others…worth it!
· Heard the last few minutes of the Vienna Boys Choir after the horse show in the Imperial Music Chamber. Doors were closed but a TV screen outside lets you watch. Ran over there after the Sunday morning horse show.

Shopping/Misc. sights: · Overall window shopping on Karntner Strasse, Graben, and Kohlmarkt
· Tried the Sacher torte at the Café Sacher…had to! Yes, it was rather dry but the whipped cream helped! Nice to sit for a bit in the pretty drawing room.
· Walked through Demel’s ( a famous pastry shop)
· Purchased some cologne from J.B. Filz Perfumery on Graben 13…an 1850 fragrance…authentic perfume shop
· Walked in to the Black Camel…wished we were hungry…the tea sandwiches looked delicious!
· Interesting upscale supermarket near the Black Camel
· Too cold for gelato from Zanoni and Zanoni (near Hotel Austria) but saw it.
· Viewed statue of Gutenberg and the Anker Clock
· Lobmeyr (a 200 year-old glassware shop) and Swarovski both on Karntner Strasse

Restaurants: Although we like good food at a good value and I’d like to zero in on those places based on reviews, I’ve learned not to put the time in researching restaurants. Either we aren’t in the area when I thought we’d be in the area or when we want to eat something, we want to eat now, wherever we are. I usually ask the hotel ahead of time to make recommendations so I can research them and then ask the hotel staff again when we arrive. Something I have learned is not to go out your first night, sleep deprived, looking for a restaurant with vetting it first. It usually turns out to be a bad choice…just my experience!

Near Hotel Austria:
· had a recommended meal at Beim Czaak (lamb shank, pumpkin soup, chocolate mousse)
· welcoming Italian restaurant nearby but didn’t have room for us…Rossini

Near Hotel K+K:
· Italian restaurant called Ragazzi (swordfish, chicken pesto pasta, chocolate mousse)
· Amerlingbeisl… down one of the Christmas Market streets. My first taste of chicken schnitzel with cranberry sauce and German potato salad. Delish! Highly recommend!

Firsts: · Uber! Three times! Airport to Hotel Austria was 35.27 euros Hotel Austria to Hotel K+K was 7.24 euros Hotel K+K to Marriott’s Moxy (essentially The Airport) was 28 euros
· Handing a bag of laundry over for a laundromat to do! We packed light because of all the heavy outerwear. I went to the recommend Rick Steves laundromat (well, it looked like a typical dry cleaners…no machines in sight) mentioned in his book. It was a 20-minute walk from Hotel Austria but it was worth it (near Opera/House of Music/near a post office). They charged by the weight so three days worth of clothes was 15 euros. I dropped the bag off around 8AM and it was ready around 2PM. Washed, dried, folded, and placed in a handled, plastic bag.
· Packing for c-c-cold! 32 degrees brand mock turtleneck was a staple as a first layer; Eddie Bauer jacket—top layer. Too cold to wear just long sleeves and a puffer vest. The raincoats weren’t worn either. Didn’t need our compact umbrellas as there was no rain during the daytime. I wore Easy Spirit “Embark” boots or my Arcopedico’s “Peta Black” leather boots. Linda wore her Ecco Soft 7 Tred W boots the entire time. Mittens, scarves, earmuffs a must. I carried a small cross-body purse and carried a lightweight cotton tote bag (good for the guidebook, gloves, maps,etc.) Experienced about 6 snowflakes before they stopped.

Hits! (after Misses! I wanted to end on a positive note!)

Misses! (Literal and Figurative)
· One of the places I should have checked out was right across the street from Hotel Austria…the Schonlaterngasse area including the Heiligenkreuzerhof courtyard and the Basiliskenhaus. Fodors had a good write up of the area and I didn’t re-read it until AFTER we moved to the next location. I had taken pictures of the façade but clearly there was more to it.
· The sausages…not really taken by them. I’ll take a British Banger any day!
· After touring Paris’s Opera Garnier with the Marc Chagall dreamy ceiling, the Vienna State Opera House’s auditorium just couldn’t compare.
· Missed going in to the Augustinian Church

Hits!· The illuminations! If it hadn’t been so cold, we would have been out there every night looking at them again and again!
· Hotel Austria! A solid gem in a great location!
· Just talking with other travelers/locals: the sweet family at the airport, the pilot from Dubai at the horseshow, the family we met at a restaurant, the Uber drivers, the artists at the Christmas markets.
· The Entire Trip was a hit…the art, the architecture, the relics, the markets, the time spent with my sweetheart! So glad we experienced Vienna at Christmas!

Janeyre is offline  
Old Dec 30th, 2019, 05:50 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 695
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What a fun report! And really appreciate all the tips and details. We plan on going to Vienna next fall, but I hope to go back and experience the Christmas markets some day too.
PegS is offline  
Old Dec 31st, 2019, 10:09 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 56,660
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
Thanks so much for your great TR and particularly your memories of the Hotel Austria where we spent 4 nights about 8 or so years ago at the beginning of a tour of eastern Austria. We loved it just as much as you did - perhaps it appeals to travellers of a certain age or perhaps it's just a good solid well-run hotel. Sounds as if it's not changed much anyway.

We didn't get to see any Christmas markets as we were there in a very rainy July but they certainly sound appealing. thanks for sharing your trip with us.
annhig is offline  
Old Dec 31st, 2019, 02:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,621
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I was in Vienna for a few days at the end of a Rick Steves tour in December 2017, and loved the markets, illuminated streets (each street different!), and the general ambiance. So happy to hear you enjoyed Vienna, too.
elberko is offline  
Old Jan 1st, 2020, 04:42 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 346
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I was there at the same time! The Karlsplatz market was also my favorite, such a festive atmosphere. It's also the mug I chose to bring home.
memejs is offline  
Old Jan 2nd, 2020, 05:22 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,807
Received 26 Likes on 5 Posts
We enjoyed seven years in Vienna before returning to the U.S. this summer; Christmas market season was hands-down our favorite time to be in Europe; our favorite markets were (the one-weekend only) Palais Neiderösterreich and the artsy market at Spittelberg. Beim Czaak was a relatively convenient meeting spot for lunch from DH's office and was especially enjoyable in the summer on their outside tables; hope you enjoyed it, as well.
fourfortravel is offline  
Old Jan 4th, 2020, 08:19 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 248
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you, Peg S, annhig, elberko, memejs, ad fourfortravel for your comments! I do want to add that I felt our timing was just right...Dec. 9-17. Even in the seven full days we were there, more and more signs of the holiday began to appear...bundles of Christmas trees filled some of the pedestrian-only streets for locals to purchases, a church that was not decorated the first time we went in was decorated with pine trees and lights the second time. I originally thought the earlier in December the better in terms of the crowds, etc., but I'm glad it worked out for the dates it did. Only the Rathausplatz (City Hall) Christmas market felt crowded but festive and fun! We went there on a Saturday and apparently it usually attracts the crowds. It didn't hamper our visit there, just required we sometimes had to wait a bit to move directly in front one of the stalls and work harder at staying together.

And also wanted to re-iterate for future Christmas market visitors, plan ahead and download the Christmas Market map I suggested. Neither one of the hotel clerks offered up any information of the Christmas markets to us at check-in, and I never saw any one with any kind of market map walking around (not that I walked around with mine in hand!)
Janeyre is offline  
Old Jan 4th, 2020, 05:52 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,372
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I enjoyed your trip report. Thank you for sharing it!
travlsolo2 is offline  
Old Jan 30th, 2023, 10:28 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 448
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I just stumbled across this Trip Report! This one and your one to Alsace both sound amazing! How did you do in both regions weather-wise? Was there more indoor activities in Vienna? I assume there is no outdoor cafe-sitting in December?

I love the idea of both of these places but I'm a bit nervous the weather may be to much for my Los Angeles blood.

Thanks in advance!
lrice is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2023, 12:55 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,030
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Very much enjoyed this report. As it turns out, we shall be in Vienna two nights exactly the same week as yours this coming December. How cold was it? We are (former) skiers living near NYC so used to cold weather. Made notes of your favorite spots, we skied in Austria 35 years ago, saw Schunbrunn, St. Stephens, Spanish Riding School, so will pass on them now. One biggy on our list is the Hundertwasser Museum and the Secession with the huge Klimt friezes. (The former is a la mode of Gaudi, whose architecture fascinates me.) We're doing our first river cruise, so dinners will be included, but there is always room for a cafe and pastry on chilly afternoons! Thank you!
aliced is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2023, 08:46 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 248
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you, trvlsolo2, lrice, and aliced for the positive feedback! Yes, the cold! All I can say is dress warmly.. from your wool socks, to multiple layers, to scarf or cowl, and gloves and hat and/or earmuffs.

One place that we somehow missed in Vienna was the Kapuzinergruft, the burial place of the Hapsburg royalty. Saw this crypt in a Hapsburg documentary recently and thought, how did we miss this? Vienna has so many indoor activities to go along with all the outdoor markets. We really enjoyed our time in Vienna!

Janeyre is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -