Recently I had a few days off in a row and decided a spontaneous trip was in order. I hadn’t seen my sister Lizzie & her boyfriend Jarett for a while and they’d just moved into a new flat in Vienna, Austria, so I booked my tickets and off I went!
After my flight from Hong Kong I had just a few hours to quickly get home, unpack, shower, re-pack and make my way to the airport, so I was hoping I remembered to take everything with me that I needed for the couple of days.
Lizzie had just arrived a few hours earlier on a flight from the UK where she’d been visiting our mum, so her and Jarett were already waiting at the airport when I arrived. Since it was evening and I’d been travelling all day, we headed straight to their apartment and did nothing more than catch up and chill out!
The next morning we were woken by the lovely sunshine streaming in through the curtains, and after breakfast at home we set out to do some exploring. Jarett (who is American) has a German course for a couple of hours every weekday so he made his way there and we arranged a meeting point for lunch a bit later on. Lizzie and I got on the bikes and cycled through the pretty streets of Vienna, making our way to the Prater.
I kept making us stop for pictures as there are just so many beautiful buildings! Lizzie lived in Vienna for a few years while she was at university there, so she knows her way around quite well. I’ve visited quite a few times but it’s still such a pleasure to see all of the old architecture every time!
Almost all of the roads were very bicycle friendly, with cycle paths everywhere.
We cycled along past the river Danube, or the Donaukanal, as it’s called in German, where we spotted loads of cool graffiti along the waterfront, as well as tons of beautiful blossom! Spring is definitely one of my most favourite times of year, I just love seeing all of the beautiful flowers and cherry blossom out in the sunshine.
It didn’t take us too long to get to the Prater, which is a kind of permanent funfair. The area that makes up the Prater has been around for hundreds of years, and since 1766 when coffee-houses and cafes were allowed to be built there it has been used for the public as well, which led to the beginning of the modern Prater.
Nowadays it’s full of fairground rides, a huge ferris wheel, as well as plenty of cafes, food stalls and other attractions.
Since we were there mid-week, and it was the middle of the day, most of the rides were either not running, or only had a few people on them. I can imagine during school holidays and weekends that it gets pretty busy!
Since we had arranged to meet Jarett after his German class, we hopped back on the bikes and cycled towards where we having lunch. Of course stopping to take a couple more pictures of some gorgeous buildings!
The restaurant we went to, called “Kussmaul” was down a quaint, cobbled little side street, filled with pretty plants.
Lizzie and I sat in the conservatory area with a huge glass front so we could spot Jarett when he arrived. We had a super tasty lunch there, and although it was a little pricey, it was definitely worth it, as we all polished off our plates!
For dessert we made our way to a cafe that wasn’t far from the restaurant, and shared the creamiest white choclate cheesecake. Very indulgent, but very delicious!
Our plan had also been to visit the “Hundertwasserhaus”, however we decided to all head back to the apartment together to relax a little bit, and leave that for the next day.
We were up again bright and early the next morning, and decided to head out for breakfast together before Jarett’s German class. It was another beautiful sunny day, although there was a little bit of a chill in the air still.
We took the underground to a place called Mr & Mrs Feelgood, which is a super cute cafe with lots of tasty but healthy choices. (Flower eating is optional.)
After a delicious breakfast, Jarett headed off to his class and Lizzie and I decided to head to the Hundertwasserhaus, which we hadn’t got round to doing the day before. It was around a ten minute walk through some peaceful residential streets, and soon enough we came across what we were looking for.
The Hundertwasserhaus is actually an apartment block, which was built after the idea and concept of the Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser.
It’s crazy and colourful, and even the streets are built to be uneven – “an uneven floor is a divine melody to the feet” – as he says. The roof is covered with grass and there are even trees growing from inside the rooms which extend outside. People do live there, though apparently the waiting list is a couple of years long!
After checking out all the cool architecture we slowly made our way back to the apartment, as Lizzie had a bit of work to do. Later on in the afternoon we decided to jump on the tram and make our way over to a super cute Viennese ice-cream parlour called Tichy. We’d been seeing adverts all over Vienna for it, and Lizzie and Jarett assured me it was by far the best ice cream in Vienna!
There are two separate rooms, one which is any little girl’s dream – pink velvet seats, chandeliers dripping from the ceiling, and more girly touches than you can imagine. Since it was full in there, we sat in the other area, which was equally as charming as all of the waitresses had pink stripy dresses!
I had a mint ice cream sundae, which was just delicious. Jarett had some kind of ice cream ball, filled with an apricot paste and covered in what tasted like crushed ferrero-rochers on the outside! They seemed to be what Tichy is famous for, as we saw quite a few other people order them and even some of the adverts just had pictures of these ice cream balls.
After our afternoon treat, we headed out into the sunshine to make our way home. We decided to walk halfway instead of taking the tram as the weather was lovely and we wanted to check out the neighbourhood. There were so many pretty flowers everywhere, I couldn’t help but take more pictures!
My original plan had been to stay one more night and take the afternoon flight back to Dubai, but that’s the only problem with being cabin crew and getting cheap flights – if it’s full, you’re left behind! Suddenly the flight the next day had filled right up and there was no chance I’d make it, so I decided to take the overnight flight leaving that evening.
Luckily there were still a few seats available, although it was looking a bit hit and miss at the airport as they sent me away first of all. In these situations you always have to have a back up plan, and luckily I’d left enough time before my next duty flight to get back to Dubai. Fortunately all went well and I even got an aisle seat, perfect!
I had such a nice time in Vienna, so thank you so much to Lizzie and Jarett for having me to stay. We got lucky with the weather, although it was a bit grey, spring has most definitely sprung!