I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! We certainly had a lovely quiet Christmas out in the countryside with some close family friends! Continuing from the first post (which you can read here), we will now go into detail of our second day in Vienna.
Bakery and Belvedere
We woke a little later than the day before, but still got out relatively early to begin our day at the Belvedere Art Museum. On our way, we stopped by this bakery in the metro and had a great breakfast of Ciabatta salami.
When you buy your ticket at the Belvedere, you have three standard options: Ticket 1 allows you only entrance to the Upper Belvedere museum (pictured below) which contains the Klimt collection. Ticket 2 (known as the Klimt ticket) gives you access to both Upper and Lower Belvedere (pictured above) while the last ticket option includes both Upper and Lower Belvedere, as well as the Winter Palace, which is not directly nearby.
It was a grey, cloudy day, and perhaps even colder than the day before. But the views of the palace, especially the gardens, were still magnificent. There is a little Christmas Market out in the front as well. It is nice, because it is so much less crowded than the one at the Rathaus, however, it blocks an amazing shot from across the pond, which is rather iconic for the museum.
There were no pictures allowed inside the Belvedere at all, just like the Sisi Museum. If you are familiar with art, you may have heard that the Belvedere is home to a collection of Klimt pieces, featuring the renowned “Kiss”. While you cannot take a picture of it, they have a real-sized fake in the next room that you can pose with…Naturally, I did. We toured all of the Upper Belvedere palace, and started to get a bit hungry…
We decided to check out the Christmas Market. I was craving some orange punsch, which we actually tried outside the Hofburg palace at (yet) another Christmas Market. It is orange soda and rum and it is rather typical of Vienna. In fact, I was hard pressed to find gluwien! (hot wine). This sort of mac-and-cheese dish was also perfect to warm you up and tasted great!
You will noticed that punsch is rather expensive, averaging at about 6 euros, but that is because it usually comes in a lovely Christmas-y mug that you can keep!
We decided to go visit Rathaus a second time, but a few hours earlier than yesterday, in hopes that it would be much less crowded and more enjoyable. We were not disappointed! It was definitely easier to get around and enjoy the different stalls. There was also no mist, so I could take better pictures! Yay!
Not going to lie, we mostly came back to hit up some food stalls…First, Wayne wanted to try these Elephant ears, and then we had a second helping of mouth-watering, mind-blowing mini doughnuts. There were made fresh, and covered in strawberry sauce, which basically looked like melted jam, and garnished in whipping cream. I could kill for this sweet treat! We sat down in the park by the market and enjoyed our snacks. We also bought a couple souvenirs, and Christmas markets are some of my favourite places to shop for, because while there are the tacky and typical booths, there are also the unique, hand-made and beautiful crafts.
Alternatives to the Rathaus for a second visit would be the Shonbrunn Palace, if you like baroque architecture and decor as well as history; the Vienna Zoo if you really enjoy that sort of thing; or the Albertina museum housed in the Habsburg palace and currently has an exhibition on Matisse, Picasso and Edward Munch.
For our last night in Vienna, we wanted to get try some more typical dishes. We went to a restaurant called The Vienna Cafe, not far from Stephansplatz because we knew they would have Pork Knuckle. Apparently this dish is mostly popular in the summer, when there are beer gardens open. It is exactly what it sounds like, the knuckle part of the foot of a pig that is roasted for a few hours, making it very tender.
Vienna is also very well known for their Coffee and Cake culture. Their specialties are apfelstrudel and Sachertorte, which is chocolate cake. This is what I ordered, and I realized what they mean when they say it is not like North American chocolate cake. It has a dry texture that I was not a huge fan of, but I did like that it wasn’t all that sweet, since that is what I usually don’t like about chocolate cake. So I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it.
And that concludes our time in Vienna! Overall, it is a lovely city, with a lot of fine art and culture. I wouldn’t mind coming back here again!
Have you been to Vienna? What was your favourite part? Are you planning to go soon? Let me know in the comments below!