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Vienna Diary: The Sightseeing and Shopping

July 23rd, 2010 · 1 Comment · travel

Vienna Diary is a short series about my weekend at Life Ball. Now that the big awesome online package for The Huffington Post is complete, thought I’d share with you all the extra tidbits of glamour and glitz that didn’t make it in.

Wondering where to go during your trip to Vienna? Take a little trip with me through these photos and I’ll make a couple suggestions.

In Vienna, every corner I turned there was always something grand to see. The sweltering heat reaching the mid to upper 90s didn’t stop me from exploring the cobblestone streets of Vienna, but it did limit how far I was willing to venture from the hotel. It was ridiculously hot, but I was prepared – packing only lightweight dresses for this trip.

These first handful of photos you’re looking at are in the Museum Quarters of Vienna. I didn’t get a chance to go into any of them but I did enjoy just wandering around the perimeter. There’s so much to see!

If I did get to pick one museum, I would’ve gone into the Natural History Museum, above, just because I’ve heard the architecture alone is worth admiring. Hard to believe it was opened to the public in 1889 and has always been a museum. Everything in Europe is always being re-purposed.

The Museum of Art History is just across from the Museum of Natural History. Pretty much identical but with all these buildings in a cluster it’s just so very grand to see!

As a journalist on this trip, one of the perks was the free tour guide they provided to anyone who wanted to see the sights. I chose the Vienna Opera House, there’s just something very romantic about it.

The box seats.

The grand chandelier was up for cleaning.


The main entrance

An intermission room

The ceiling

With perfectly pruned rose bushes and antique fountains, a morning stroll through Volksgarten, just next to the Burgtheater and City Hall was a lovely way to start the day.

On the bus ride into the city we crossed a river and I saw this pool. What a cool concept!

It was a quick trip into Belvedere, but I was able to view the Gustav Klimt paintings on display. Full of color and emotion these paintings are amazing!

When I knew that I would be going to Vienna, I hit up the blogosphere to find out where to go in such a short period of time. There a quite a few blogs by Americans in Vienna, but Kate from Transatlantic Sketches had some very helpful personalized suggestions. To get in some good shopping she suggested Mariahilferstrasse, pictured above and below. Walking around, it seemed that it was the street where locals and tourists go. You’ll find H&M, Mango, Zara all the European staples but also a lot of local shops.

In an attempt to escape the heat, I slipped into Cafe Ritter only to realize there was no air conditioning! The iced coffee there was sweet and bitter, so delicious! I spent an hour or so just taking everything in and writing postcards.

Neubaugasse was another area suggested by Kate. It’s known as the street of specialists. I enjoyed  looking at all the handmade items and people watching on this street. Of all the things to buy,  I actually went into Billa, a grocery store, (Kate’s suggestion)  where I stocked up on Haribo candy and Milka chocolate for the friends and family back home. I’m so addicted to the saft baren and sour strips!

I did some damage inside this chocolate store!

Le Meridien, the hotel where I stayed, was right on Ringstrasse. It’s in the city center so it’s easy to access the museums, government buildings and within walking distance to good shopping. The area is also very picturesque!

Okay, so in Vienna, there were some very eye-catching things that don’t really fit in any of the categories in my blog posts. But thought I’d just post them all down here. The tall water fountains were pretty funny and appealed to my fifth-grade sense of humor. “Wiener wasser” was printed at the very bottom of each fountain ; )


1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Kate // Aug 3, 2010 at 6:20 am

    Hey! I am SO GLAD to see that my suggestions were helpful! It seems like you really tackled Vienna in the short time you had there–way to go!! I was with my family in Michigan during the AIDS Conference, but I heard it was hot, so congrats on looking so cute and fresh throughout the whole city! Not easy without the US’s omnipresent air conditioning… :)

    So happy you enjoyed your time in Vienna!

    xoxo! kate

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