Next Stop: Vienna, Austria

In a few weeks, we will be packing our hats and mittens and heading out for a few days in Vienna, Austria.  We've never been but I'm looking forward to enjoying the lights and the fun of the Christmas markets for the first time but other than that, have made no definitive plans.


via austria.info

Has anyone been?  I'd love to hear suggestions on things we must do while there.  Which Christmas markets are the best?  What are the child friendly things to do/places to eat?  Will I freeze my earmuffs off?

25 comments:

  1. Lucky you! I've never been and come very close to book our next trip to Vienna/Salzburg/Hallstatt/Budapest for next June. At the end we decided to go to a Baltic cruise instead. I've only heard good things about Vienna. Can't wait to follow you along your trip again. :))

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    1. Oh I want to hear about the cruise. Where does it go and which line? We are taking our first Europe cruise next summer and I have no idea what to expect.

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    2. It's the 9-day Baltic capitals from Copenhagen by Norwegian. We've always been cruising with Norwegian with the exception of one short trip with Regent. This would be our fourth European/Mediterranean cruise. Which one are you taking next summer?

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    3. We are doing a Disney one also out of Copenhagen but later in the summer. You'll have to give me the heads up on your trip and what you did while in port....we are probably going to similar places.

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    4. Definitely book hotel early. I was surprised by the limited choices of nice hotels in Copenhagen. Nimb was the only I could see myself stay at. It's going to cost us.

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  2. Oooh, we're going to the Christmas markets along the Danube in a couple of weeks but are skipping out on Vienna on this trip due to time constraints.

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    1. I will be so jealous of all your trips now you are just a jump away from the continent!. Have a blast.

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  3. Hello! I've been to Vienna right around that time of year and while I don't recall which markets and such you should visit, I definitely recommend wearing long john's! You will be so glad you did. Also, make sure to go to the Sacher Hotel for the orignial Sacher torte - so good.

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  4. We did Christmas Markets in Salzburg last year with our 1-year old, and it was fantastic! It was chilly, but the mulled wine knocks the cold out like nobody's business. I was so overwhelmed by the amount of ornaments for sale that I didn't buy anything - thinking we'd do German Christmas Markets this year. Of course I'm now hugely pregnant and will be giving birth over Christmas instead of drinking hot wine and buying reindeer cuckoo clocks. . .

    Make sure to eat apple strudel!

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  5. Vienna is fantastic - you guys are going to love it! I haven't been with kiddos, but here are some of the things we did and enjoyed. The Opera House is fantastic (and even though you guys will have the bitty with you, they are having Hansel and Gretel over the next couple of months, which could be more kiddo friendly...but it is the opera, so maybe not). Melk Abbey is beautiful. We rented a BMW and my husband had just as much fun driving us out there on the autoban as I did visiting the Abbey. However, if you guys are just there for a couple of day, just focus on touring the Christmas markets with muled wine and a warm pie in hand, go to the ice skating rink, ride the Riesenrad (the big ferris wheel), visit the Schönbrunn Palace (which has lots of special activities for kiddos), the Schönbrunn Zoo, and of course, the Lipizzans at the Spanish Riding School. And it will be cold outside and warm inside, so make sure to layer. Can't wait to see all your pics!

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  6. yes!!! one of our favorite trips! we only spent a day in vienna but it was lovely. hallstatt is a beautiful trip as well and very easy driving in austria. we spent most of our time in the wachau river valley (melk abbey is super pretty) and we loved biking along the river (we went in the spring...).

    if agatha is anything like my preschooler she can survive on carbs and fried chicken. :) pretzels and schnitzel and the BEST street food - kasekrainer!

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  7. Hi!

    Coming from Vienna, I am glad to share some of the most beautiful places.
    Regarding Christmas markets: The biggest one is right in front of the city hall. I really love the market in front of Schönbrunn Palace, especially at night when the lights are on :-) Of course the Zoo would be something for the kids.

    The House of Music (http://www.hausdermusik.com/en) is really gret for kids and also the ZOOM museum for kids(http://www.kindermuseum.at//jart/prj3/zoom_2013/main.jart?rel=en) - they offer different topics the year round.

    The Sissi Museum at the Hofburg is wonderful if you want to know more about our favourite empress.
    The national Libary is also definitely worth a vistit.
    Regarding Art, the Albertina (very close to Hotel Sacher, by the way) has an exceptional art collection. For more contemporary art vistit the Museumsquartier (http://www.mqw.at/en/).During christmas time there is also a christmas market there.

    If you want to go to the surroundings also you could visit the monastery of Klosterneuburg- 900 years of history and brilliant wines to be found there- and not as far as Melk (although the Abbey is really beautiful)
    Food: hmm- original traditional viennese kitchen- Plachutta at Wollzeile would be my first choice. Have some Sachertorte at Hotel Sacher, or visit Demel or Gerstner for typical viennese cakes and coffee. Cafe Central is also really nice or Cafe Landtmann next to the Burgtheater.
    More relaxed and if you want to enjoy our nice wines you could go to Grinzing to a Heurigen.
    Enjoy your visit and Servus from Vienna!
    Elisabeth

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  8. Vienna at Christmas would be magical! I've been mid-summer a few years ago, during a road trip through cities in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. Vienna was, hands-down, our absolute favorite city. We did Vienna pre-kids, which would make my suggestion easier, but my number one tip is to go out at night. Wander the city. It's very safe and well-lit, and everyone turns in relatively early after dark. It's as if you get the city to yourself, and it's amazing. We did our favorite walking around and looking at things at night. One night we even stumbled into a fun film festival that was happening, with old movies playing on big screens in a park. Otherwise, it was seemingly just us...enjoying the beauty and history that is Vienna! I would love to go back. Enjoy!! Can't wait to hear about it.

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  9. Ahh this will be so much fun! We were just talking about going there because there were some great deals. Not much help on what to do but can't wait to see photos and what you will do with your daughter. So fun!

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  10. Ahh this will be so much fun! We were just talking about going there because there were some great deals. Not much help on what to do but can't wait to see photos and what you will do with your daughter. So fun!

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  11. Been to the markets there and in Germany and France. They basically sell the same goods at all the markets so it really is a matter of where you are. Lots of ornaments, dried flower arrangements, dried herbs, local linens ( from that country) nutcrackers, nutcrackers, nutcrackers! and cheeses and smoked meats, jams. Kinda like the holiday markets you would find here in the USA only more. I did not buy much because I found that a lot of the ornaments and nutcrackers I could find in Marshalls or Homegoods but of course you always buy a little something!! Enjoy the atmosphere and dress warm!!!!

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  12. that sounds fabulous, in philly they do a german xmas village every year, but once i'd like to experience the real thing. we are debating austria for early summer...the first commenter about vienna/salzburg/hallstat has the idea, and we might go to cesky krumlov which i've heard a lot about.

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  13. Has there really been a place in the world that I have been and you haven't?! Hah. Sorry- I can't be of much help. I went in the middle of summer a looooong time ago.

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  14. Vienna is beautiful! Since you have the little one, you could take her to watch the Lippizaners practice, instead of the concert. The stables are next door.
    https://events.wien.info/en/1c4/morning-exercise/
    Schonbrunn palace is beautiful, but we were not there during the winter. Of course the Prater has the large Ferris wheel. There is so much to see and do, and the local transportation there makes it all very easy to get to. Have fun!

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  15. We were there this past February with two little ones... our 4 year old loved the butterfly house (heated! indoors!) and the schonbrunn tiergarten zoo. we were there on a chilly rainy day but it was still excellent... many of the animals were inside their shelters but they had large plexiglas doors so you could actually see them better than if they had been out roaming, plus there were the big indoor exhibits for the rainforest and elephants and monkeys and cats. she was not a fan of the schonbrunn palace tour itself ("when are we leaving?") and the lippizanner practice would have been too boring for her. (I got to go while the grandparents & daddy took the kids to the butterfly palace.) the public transportation is awesome... just riding the street cars could provide a lot of entertainment!

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  16. Was there a few years ago for Christmas- a magical time to see the city! We loved the markets at Belvedere Castle; the Albertina and Leopold Museums. We took a day trip to Klosterneuburg to see the Essel Museum and that was a fun break from the city.

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  17. You should also consider going to Salzburg while you're there. I studied abroad in Vienna and the Sound of Music Tour is honestly a fun and unique way to see Salzburg.

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  18. Vienna was our favorite Christmas market!! Bundle up, we were not dressed appropriately and froze our butts off (we went Thanksgiving weekend). Our favorite markets were the one in front of the Rathaus (City Hall) and the one at Schonbrunn Palace (although it's pretty small). Make sure to go inside the Rathaus because they have kids activities inside, I had read about it but completely forgot to go in when we were there! Also there is a great children's museum in Schonbrunn palace. Can't remember what else we did - the kids were young so I don't think we did museums, I think there is a horse riding school but we got there late and couldn't get tickets. We had nice schnitzels for dinner (covering the entire plates!) and off course, lots of gluhwine!!

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  19. If you have a fur coat - wear it! You will be so jealous of the women in old, vintage, huge fur coats - and how warm they look!

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  20. We loved seeing the Lipizzaner horses! They have practice sessions that are cheaper if you don't want to/can't get into a full out show. We were there in the spring and really enjoyed the zoo but I doubt that'd be much fun in the cold!

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