The two capitol cities of Slovakia and Austria are the closest together in all of Europe- and with only an hour trip by train, of course we had to visit Vienna! I would like to return some day and really explore the city, as we only had about 10 hours. Fortunately, Vienna’s Christmas markets stay open until the New Year, so we got to enjoy those as well.
One of many palaces in Austria, the Belvedere was built by the reigning Hapsburg family during the 18th century, and today is located only a few minutes away from the train station! As we were on a tight schedule (and budget), we didn’t go inside and chose instead to wander around the grounds. They were beautiful even in late December, so I’m sure they’re stunning in the spring and summer! The gardens are a slightly higher ground than the rest of the city, offering a lovely view of Vienna!
Karlskirche- St Charles’ Church
This 18th century baroque Austrian cathedral is one of the main sights of Vienna- and it did not disappoint, dominating the Karlsplatz square it sits on. We did not go inside, as there was a classical music concert going on inside!
Viennese Christmas market
The only Christmas market still open was located at Maria Theresien Platz- named after the Empress Maria Theresa, mother of Marie Antoinette and only female Hapsburg ruler! This Christmas market was more expensive than any other one I’ve been to- so we just looked! (Read more about Christmas markets here!
By this point in the evening, nearly everything was closed- but that didn’t stop us from checking out the Austrian Parliament- in a gorgeous classical location.
Rathaus- Vienna City Hall
Originally I thought for sure this gorgeous building was Parliament or something equally distinguished- but it is the city hall of Vienna! The Christmas markets were beginning to be taken apart, but the decorations were still there, brightening it up!
St Stephen’s Cathedral
Churches make up a big portion of Vienna landmarks, thats true! This cathedral is the main church of the city- and visible from nearly everywhere in Vienna! This medieval cathedral is now the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna, and shows a unique colorful tiling on the roof that is seen in Central Europe- I’ve seen similar tiling in Budapest and Bratislava.
Snapshots of Vienna
Although we didn’t spend a whole lot of time in Vienna, it was a wonderful day trip and I would love to go back for more than a dashing through the city. It was a beautiful city, with some of the best images not being famous churches or monuments- just regular streets.
Have you been to Vienna? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!