Grüß Gott Vienna

Last month we took a short trip to see Vienna and its Christmas markets.
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We had always wanted to see at least one of Europe's famous Christmas markets and had never been to Vienna so it seemed like a good fit. Of course with a toddler in tow, it made it a little more complicated but we still had a great trip.
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As you would expect, it was cold and quite dreary during the day.  Luckily there were beautifully outfitted markets on nearly every corner in the city center as well as gorgeous light displays hung on the pedestrian streets.  It certainly made for much more enjoyable strolls.
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The Christmas markets themselves were more fun to eat at than shop at.  Almost all of them seemed to have similar wares for sale.  We did make a few purchases - namely some lovely olive wood bowls to bring back as gifts - but the food is where it's at.  Hot sausages, fried bread, and hot waffles were our favorites. I never quite took to the spiced wine but hot cider on a cold night = perfection! It seemed the whole city was out celebrating the season and we were happy to be there to share.
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When exploring a new city, we tend to take it by foot and just stroll around to get our bearings. But since it was so chilly, we decided to take one of those obnoxious tourist buses around town. It worked out really well - both as a break from the chill as well as a spot to learn a few fun facts about the city while Aggie caught a nap.
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We made a visit at the Schonbrunn zoo which was excellent.  Definitely a stop worth visiting.  The palace grounds were also beautiful to walk around in and of course they had a bustling Christmas market right at the center.
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A trip to Vienna would not be complete without a stop at the Belvedere to see Klimt's famous Kiss painting as well as the rest of the collection.  Now Aggie is a little older, we can add the odd museum back into the itinerary.
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We spent a few hours at the Naschmarkt on our final full day.  We tend to love local markets but this one was a bit of a bust for us. I think we went on an off day or time.
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We also stopped at the famous Prater amusement park which had its charms even in the winter.  I'm sure its a lot more fun in the warmer weather.
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Overall a great trip to see another one of Europe's beautiful cities.  I'm glad we got to experience the fun of the markets but I think I might save our next European visit for a warmer month.

11 comments:

  1. Vienna was a bit of a bust for us. We went early in the Christmas market season and encountered some really unpleasant vendors. It just put me off my game the rest of the day. Schonbrunn was beautiful though.

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    1. Oh sorry to hear that. I didn't have that much interaction with the vendors except for checking out so no issues there. What was the problem on your trip?

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  2. Would you be willing to do a travel post on traveling internationally with a baby / toddler? The gear you bring, how you deal with time-change, what flight times / activities / hotels seem to work best? You are such an inspiration; babies do not mean an end to adventures!

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    1. A lot depends on the age of the child. We definitely packed differently when she was 6 months old than we do now but we are essentially light packers. That is pretty key to traveling with her - if you are weighed down with too much stuff, it becomes a drag to get anywhere. We don't restrict travel to any one time of day so no words of wisdom there. As for hotels, I'm a big fan of apartment hotels - having a kitchen and a bedroom is so key when traveling with a child. Hope that helps!

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  3. I miss Christmas markets! The best way to have the hot spiced wine is with a shot of Ammeretto. It smoothes it out. Loved reading this post!

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  4. Small world! My cousin and her boyfriend were there in early December. He took this video while he was there (he's a film maker so it's pretty great!)

    https://vimeo.com/148789649

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  5. I just love your travel photos, as a photographer I'm embarrassed that I haven't ever gone anywhere worth photographing. I must do it! Aggie is so adorable in that sweet outfit.

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  6. Love the travel posts! Have you put together a travel post on how you do this often? Air travel is the most expensive portion of the trip, do you have tips on getting reasonable flights?

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    1. Thanks Libby. We actually travel much less frequently now that we did pre kids. We are loyal to one airline and fly it exclusively so we rack up miles that way and make sure to use our miles in the most cost effective way - but there isn't any big secret in that. We also tend to travel off season (although that will be harder as my daughter gets older and pulling her out of school isn't as easy). Ultimately, we just make travel a priority over other expenditures and save accordingly.

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  7. Hello from Zambia. A trip to Vienna's markets is definitely going on my travel bucket list. I love that city, and am usually scrambling for a trip to take in December to get some air miles so I can maintain my airline status. I'm embarrassed to admit that I thought they only had the Christmas markets in Germany.

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  8. Oh wow, the stuff dreams are made of!

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