Surprise Trip (Part V. Vienna, Austria)

Our 5th destination was not a surprise to me because Vienna is a destination that I’ve been very vocal about wanting to visit, so I had a strong hunch it would be included in the itinerary. We took a bus from Bratislava to Vienna, but when we arrived to the building of our Airbnb, Bridgette had trouble getting the key from the lockbox. I waited patiently while she kept trying to figure it out. Finally, she realized what the problem was. We had arrived one day earlier than the check in date! 😅

I didn’t want to jump in at that point, although my natural instinct totally wanted me to! I let Bridgette take the time to figure out a solution, which she did. She was able to contact the Airbnb host to ask if the apartment was available one day earlier, and it was! We had to give the cleaner some time to get the apartment ready though, so we ventured nearby to grab a bite to eat first. Much to our delight, not only did we find a Japanese restaurant to give us our much needed Asian food fix, but we even found a boba tea shop!

When the apartment was ready for us, we went back to get settled in, and I was delighted to find out that it was a beautiful, bright space attached to a rooftop balcony! Bridgette told me she knew I’d appreciate the design of the apartment so she made the decision to splurge on this rental. Aww, my daughter knows me SO well!

The space was indeed magnificent, with lots of windows and natural light. However, there was zero storage space for any of our clothes, so we basically had to just lay our suitcases out the entire time. Also, there was no shower, only the modern tub, so you can imagine the hardship of trying to wash your hair in there. 🤪 The worst part was the large window above the sofa bed, which is the only bed available. There was NO window shade there at all, so it was impossible to sleep past sunrise for me. It really amazes me how some Airbnb hosts can be absolutely clueless on how to make their space “livable” for guests. It doesn’t matter how beautiful the space is, if it’s not practical and livable, then it’s not a good space. I really appreciated Bridgette’s gesture to find an aesthetic place for us, but we both learned through that experience that practical elements were much more important. We did enjoy the rooftop balcony quite a bit though!

Fortunately, because this Airbnb was a splurge, Bridge only rented it for 3 nights and after that, we moved across town to another Airbnb which turned out to be much more comfortable and practical.

I loved our time in Vienna! We explored the Old Town, ofcourse! Bridge and I love getting lost in a new place, because there is always so much cool discoveries along the way, like cute gelato shops!

A favorite memory from this stop was the guided food tour that Bridge booked through Airbnb Experiences. We started at Cafe Korb, which is one of the oldest cafes in Vienna. We’ve done a ton of food tours on our travels, and we especially appreciate those that start off with a seated meal because it gives us time to get to know other guests. For this specific tour, we met another family from the Netherlands, and one of the kids was the same age as Bridge, so the two totally hit it off. After Cafe Korb, our guide took us by metro to a more local area for some delicious street food, including locally made bread, beef goulash, and crispy pork with mustard!

This was definitely one of the best food tours we’ve had. Besides all the local street food, there were several sit down meals where we all got to chat and enjoy each other’s company. Our guide was fantastic, and shared so much information and knowledge about the history and culture of Austria. If you’re interested in this tour, you can check out our guide’s IG page here.

Vienna is know as the “City of Music”, the home to some of the most famous musicians of all time such as Beethoven and Mozart. To get to know more about its musical history, we spent some time at the House of Music, the first museum of sound and music in Austria. It was quite interesting, as many of the exhibits were hi-tech interactive exhibits showcasing instruments from the earliest human use to the music of the present day. Definitely a good place to spend a few hours in, and you’ll guarantee to walk out with a lot more knowledge and appreciation for good music!

We also dressed up and enjoyed an evening out to hear the Vienna Mozart Orchestra. Truthfully, neither Bridgette nor I really know how to appreciate classical music, but it was still a good experience for us while in Vienna!

A few other lovely places we enjoyed in Vienna included Palmenhaus, a beautiful restaurant that was a former tropical house. It’s interior was absolutely gorgeous, and while the food was just mediocre, it’s still worth a visit!

Right next to Palmenhaus is a butterfly sanctuary that provides a nice (and hot!) way to walk (sweat!) off your lunch.

Schönbrunn Palace is another place worth visiting for its exquisite grounds, which is quite large, so plan to spend at least an afternoon there.

Vienna was one of the longer stops for us, which allowed us to slow down our pace just a notch. I think it was just what we needed at that point in time. Great planning Bridge! 😊

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