We just got back from Vienna last night and I must say I loved that city! I have always been drawn to Vienna because of its rich musical history. In fact the very first thing we did was take a tour of the Vienna State Opera. The building itself is magnificent! I loved walking through and just thinking about the world’s greatest composers walking in that same space. Unfortunately we weren’t able to go on stage because they were setting up for the performance of Turnadot that evening. We tried to get tickets, but they only had standing room left. We then went to the Haus der Musik, a music and sound museum, which had some interactive exhibits that the kids, mostly Asha, enjoyed. Then we went to the house Mozart lived in during his time in Vienna. They had a whole exhibit in the basement dedicated to “Rock Me Amadeus” by Falco. That was pretty entertaining.
The next day we went to the Schönbrunn Palace, the imperial summer palace. It was crazy huge and crazy busy. We spent the first at least 1.5 hrs there in line or getting to a line. By the time we got our tickets it was a 3 hr wait to enter the palace. We decided to go to the children’s museum and zoo first. The children’s museum was pretty cool. They had a bunch of costumes from the period when the palace was used for both children and adults to dress up in. I think Asha would have stayed there all day if we let her. The rest of the museum was divided into different areas of daily life and most of the exhibits were interactive. Next we walked through the beautiful palace gardens, there is also a labyrinth we didn’t do, to get to the zoo. The Vienna zoo is the world’s oldest zoo. I think because of this I was expecting it to be kind of run down, but it was very nice and actually pretty big.
On our last full day we started at Naschmarkt. This is an outdoor market in the city center. There are restaurants there as well as other food merchants. Then as you get towards the back it turns into more of a flea market. I’m glad we went because we really enjoy checking out local markets, but it was a real pain to get around there. The walk way is very narrow and if anyone stops to make a purchase it is almost impossible to get through. Now we were there on a Saturday morning, so I’m sure it was a heavy traffic time. It may be a little easier on a weekday. In the afternoon we went to Prater, a park with an amusement park in it. We went on the ferris wheel. It was incredibly slow, which is not good when you don’t like heights, but the view was great! Asha was so excited and wanted to ride all the rides. She rode on her first real rollercoaster. I’m sure in the US she would have never been allowed to ride, but in Austria, no problem. She got off and told me it was “totally great!” Sanjay said it was also super shady. It had no seat belts just a bar that came down. The ride operator told him to just hold on to Asha and she’d been fine. Which clearly she was, but I was glad to learn this information after the fact. We had dinner by the Danube River, which was a let down. I was expecting it to be very beautiful, but it was brown and kind of dingy. Then we went back to the city center and took a carriage ride. It was more expensive than we expected, but the girls loved it, so it was worth it 🙂
I don’t want to see a schnitzel again for a long time, but if you get the chance I highly recommend going to Vienna. It is just beautiful! Around every turn there is a magnificent building, beautiful fountain, or grand statue. Sanjay and I both agreed that we would like to go back someday without the kids to enjoy the city at night for the food and music.
Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure 🙂
There is another European holiday this coming Monday, so we are heading to Budapest for the weekend. Gotta love all the holidays here!