• Monday , 22 December 2014

See Vienna with GetYourGuide

I hadn’t expected to like Vienna as much as I did. Most of what I knew about the city I had learned from The Illusionist with Edward Norton. I’m sure Vienna is thrilled to have that as their flagship ambassador. Nevertheless, my interest about this city has been stoked slowly for many years. Our arrival felt more like a dream coming true than I ever expected.

I’m going to jump right in and say that the first thing that stood out to me about Vienna was the food.

The best food in Vienna

The best of the wurst

This was my first foray into the bold new world of pork knuckle. It’s much more appetizing than the name. That delicious looking tender pork, smooth bodied treat in the lower left is a game changer. You cut off a piece, dip it in mustard, and then dip that into a pot of fresh ground horseradish. Life changed. I also thought that I knew about wiener-schnitzel before this trip. How wrong I was. Wiener-schnitzel, for those of you who were as curious as we were, is a thin slice of pork that is deep-fried and served with a lemon wedge. It’s no doubt the inspiration for half of Mozart’s work.

Another big highlight for me was the tap water. I know it sounds odd but Vienna has some of the best (if not the very best) tap water in the world. Due to a brilliant bit of social engineering, all the water in Vienna is piped directly from springs in the Alps. You quite literally get mountain spring water, unadulterated, when ever you turn on your sink.

An interesting side note is that all coffee in Vienna is served with a small glass of water. This is a tradition of hospitality that dates back to the dawn of coffee in city. It’s also a nice way to brag about their water a little more.

Another fine part of our trip to Vienna was actually the walking tour. We had done some exploring of the city before our tour but I was personally impressed by the hidden parts of Vienna we got to see with our GetYourGuide tour guide. He took us through some of the more beautiful parts of Vienna that are only seen by the residents and gave us the best stories about the city. Our tour happened on the day that the snow came in force and it was roughly 20˚ F (-6˚ C) outside. Even so, it was worth it. Our guide was even good enough to show us the way to the best wiener schnitzel in town before saying goodbye. For a better look at the tour you can check out the video above.

The highlights of Vienna for me were:

The best food in the Prater, Vienna

 

The food, obviously.

The Prater Volks wheel

The Prater. Sure, it’s an old theme park, but that’s just what gives it so much charm. This is one of the last places in the world that you can ride a burlap sack down a wooden slide. If you really want a memorable experience that you can’t get anywhere else, then put on your vintage frame of mind and take your sweetheart to the Prater. Snuggle up as you ride through the haunted house and try to win her a prize at the archery stand. Way too legit to miss.

Top ten things to do in Vienna

Photo courtesy of Midnight Sun Photography

Walking tour of Vienna

The history is still alive. It doesn’t take long to realize that Vienna came out on top in the shuffle of European cities. It managed to modernize while keeping its charm and character. If castles, hot springs, dirndls, and all the decadent food you can dream of is your thing then make Vienna a priority.

Anybody else been to Vienna recently? We’d love to hear about it. We missed out on the royal hot spring spa at the near by castle, but we won’t make that mistake next time.

 

Psss…

We received a complimentary walking tour with Get Your Guide for an honest review and a shout out. Our opinion, as always, remains our own and unsullied. 

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16 Comments

  1. Maria
    May 4, 2013 at 10:30 am - Reply

    Oh the food! Cracking up over the way you guys just go for it with the big pieces of meat! :-D
    Maria recently posted…Wordless Wednesday – Ready to SpitMy Profile

  2. mark
    May 4, 2013 at 10:36 am - Reply

    looks like a beautiful place to visit!

  3. Turner - Around the World in 80 Jobs
    May 4, 2013 at 11:54 pm - Reply

    God this city is awesome. I missed the pork knuckle though. I just loved the coffee and cigarette culture.
    Turner – Around the World in 80 Jobs recently posted…Want To Get a Job as an International School Teacher Abroad? Nancy knows how.My Profile

  4. Hogga
    May 6, 2013 at 2:12 pm - Reply

    vienna looks so delicious!
    Hogga recently posted…The Worst Vacation EverMy Profile

  5. Savi
    May 9, 2013 at 3:01 am - Reply

    This post makes me VERY, VERY hungry
    Savi recently posted…Demystifying Boho LuxeMy Profile

  6. Si @thedepartureboard.com
    May 11, 2013 at 8:29 am - Reply

    Ah Vienna, so beautiful! That Pork Knuckle looks delicious…must return soon. Oh and I forgot The Illusionist was filmed there.

    Love the blog, Kind Regards, Si

    ps. We would love to invite you to TheDepartureboard’s Most Travelled Club it’s FREE and fun! Details here: http://www.thedepartureboard.com/can-you-become-thedepartureboards-most-travelled-you-might-win-prizes A great opportunity to promote your site as well!
    Si @thedepartureboard.com recently posted…STEP 22 – Drink a Cool Dry Sake in JapanMy Profile

  7. Anita Mac
    May 11, 2013 at 11:11 am - Reply

    Love that they still have the old burlap sack….that is too fun! Love your face on the food highlight pic…I think that just says it all!
    Anita Mac recently posted…Paris Is Always A Good Choice!My Profile

  8. @mrsoaroundworld
    May 12, 2013 at 9:05 am - Reply

    Vienna is so on my hit list – and you brought it up a lot of places! I mean it! Fab photos, guys!
    @mrsoaroundworld recently posted…My Flight: Qatar Airways business class @QatarAirwaysMy Profile

  9. Fiona
    May 12, 2013 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    I have been wanting to visit Vienna ever since seeing the movie “Before Sunrise” – loved your video tour too guys. Maybe I’ll make it there this summer.
    Fiona recently posted…Designer Ibiza: Hotel Ocean DriveMy Profile

  10. Raul (@ilivetotravel in Twitter)
    May 12, 2013 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    Guys, I love Vienna for pretty much the same reasons: food, drinks and history. Two visits and I think may be I am due for another!
    Raul (@ilivetotravel in Twitter) recently posted…Photo of the Week – Sunset over the SerengetiMy Profile

  11. Kieu ~ GQ trippin
    May 13, 2013 at 10:41 am - Reply

    I’m with you – I didn’t think I’d love Vienna as much either when we first arrived. I love everything about that city especially the food!
    Kieu ~ GQ trippin recently posted…Where To Stay: ThailandMy Profile

  12. Jess
    May 13, 2013 at 6:51 pm - Reply

    I loved the food in Vienna! I’ve never had so many little cakes and tiny cups of espresso in my life. I still don’t think anywhere else makes a sachertorte nearly as good.
    Jess recently posted…Listening to the Chicago Cultural CenterMy Profile

  13. HTC One ST GPS
    May 15, 2013 at 7:04 pm - Reply

    Vienna stands as one of the most beautiful places of the world. If you want to refresh your mind you can visit this wonderful city. It will leave you in awe because of the breathtaking sights it owns.
    HTC One ST GPS recently posted…HTC One ST GPS for Tours and TravelsMy Profile

  14. lola
    May 19, 2013 at 7:23 am - Reply

    i think i’d enjoy Vienna a lot more had i done a tour with Get Your Guide too. looks like you guys had a blast.

  15. Dave Briggs
    May 26, 2013 at 11:57 am - Reply

    I remember spedning a few days here as i cycled through Europe – Brings back happy memories, especially when it comes to the meat feasts!
    Dave Briggs recently posted…Acer Iconia A1 – Exclusive Bloggers EventMy Profile

  16. Jacob Marlfoyle
    June 12, 2013 at 2:54 am - Reply

    I had been traveling to the Vienna, and was fortunate to enjoy many foods writing here. Hopefully next time I will be back to enjoy all.
    Jacob Marlfoyle recently posted…Facebook Contest – Win a free Halong day trip for two every week!My Profile

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