Alternative title, “The One with Dave Matthews.”
This past weekend, Vinn, Copley and I traveled to Vienna, Austria to see Dave Matthews in concert. At least, that was Vinn’s reason to go. Two birds one stone: seeing a new city (one that has been on my bucket list way before we moved here) and Vinn getting to see his favorite band in concert in Europe. I mean, when would that ever happen again? Probably never.
So, Friday morning we packed up the car and drove the 6 hours to our AirBnB in downtown Vienna. The apartment was on the top floor of the building and we had to climb about 8 flights of stairs to get there, but it had a great view, a nice terrace and was a 5 minute train ride to all the major spots!
When we arrived, we dropped off our stuff and hit the streets. We basically walked around to tire out Copley, hit up a touristy Italian restaurant and walked around the main street, Kaernterstrasse.
This church was right around the corner from our apartment. Isn’t it stunning? That is one thing I love about Europe – you walk down a street, turn to your left and you see something incredibly beautiful and incredibly old. We just don’t have things like this in the States.
This is the Hofburg Palace and it is the former imperial palace and was built in the 13th century. I just love how it’s all lit at night. After seeing this, we headed back to our apartment to call it a night.
On Saturday morning, we got up bright and early and just started walking. Instead of taking the train, we decided to walk to breakfast in an attempt to make Copley tired because she does much better at restaurants when she’s ready for a nap. We walked for 3 miles before 10 AM.
We walked past yet another gorgeous church, this one is Karlskirche or Charles’ Church. It was built in the 1730’s and is Roman Catholic. This picture is not edited in anyway, p.s. The weather was just absolutely gorgeous. The church is a baroque church and is considered the most beautiful church in Vienna. I would have to agree. Not pictured: a college age couple totally making out on the side of the fountain. Nothing says Catholicism like teenagers making out.
We then made our way to Stadtpark and walked through there because the cafe we wanted to try was on the other side. We noticed that a lot of parks had ‘Hunde Verboten’ or dogs forbidden signs, but dogs were everywhere. Come to find out, you can take your dog into most parks, they just can’t be on the grass. You can definitely tell that this is enforced because the grass was insanely green everywhere!
We grabbed breakfast at Cafe Pruckle where we sat outside, drank the Vienna version of a cappuccino and eggs. Vienna is known for their coffee houses and you can definitely tell. The coffee is so delicious and is on about every corner.
We kept walking around the city and our next stop brought us to St. Stephen’s Cathedral with its multi-colored tile roof and gorgeous Gothic architecture. Unfortunately, there was a lot of construction going on around the cathedral so we couldn’t get too close, but it is absolutely stunning.
We then made our way back to Hofburg and the Museum Quarter. One great thing about Vienna is that a lot of the major attractions are within a 15 minute walk from each other, except for the Schonbrunn Palace, which is a train ride away. We hit most of the major stops on our first full day.
And once we got there, we decided it was time to take a break. I ordered the famous Sachertorte and a glass of prosecco. Not a bad break. Sachertorte is a specific kind of chocolate cake that was made for Prince Wenzel in Austria in 1832. It is a famous Viennese dish and is pretty good. It’s not the best cake I’ve ever had and is very dense for a cake, but, hey, if a city is known for chocolate cake, I’m gonna try it!
Easter was also in full bloom around Vienna. I love the idea of these Easter trees with little eggs as ornaments. I wanted to buy a bunch but had to stop myself because I would have no where to put them.
Vienna has a Museum Quarter, which is a little “neighborhood” of museums and all were incredibly gorgeous. Since we brought Copley, we couldn’t go inside any of them, but we aren’t real museum people. We like to see some art, but are more about sights. And fountains.
Speaking of fountains, Vienna knows how to do a fountain!
This one isn’t super famous, but I just think it is so pretty. It’s simple but makes a statement.
It was about 3 PM by this point, so we decided to make our way back to the apartment for a little break (we had walked about 25,000 steps already) and drop off Copley before dinner the Dave Matthews concert. We stopped by Parliament and the Rathaus on our way.
Seriously, model dog.
Just another gorgeous church.
After dropping off Copley, Vinn taking a nap and me reading on the terrace with a glass of wine, we headed to dinner at Figlmueller and had the best and biggest schnitzel of my life!
I mean, look at that thing. It is overflowing off the plate! But seriously, this Wiener schnitzel was the best I’ve ever had and schnitzel is a plenty here in Germany. I think it’s because the meat is really thin and the breading ratio is just perfect. If you ever go to Vienna, I highly recommend Figlmueller.
After dinner, we headed to the Dave Matthews concert. This concert was only Dave and Tim and an acoustic version of songs. I’m not the biggest fan but I actually really enjoyed the show. We were in the 12th row so we could really see how impressive the guitar skills are and all of Dave’s facial expressions while he sings. The best part was when Dave whipped out some practice German to say, “I would like to apologize for the president.” Everyone abruptly fell over in their chairs in laughter and Vinn and I high-fived each other because we understood his German attempt!
The concert was at the Wiener Konzerthaus, which is absolutely stunning!
It was really special to see this show especially because this is something Vinn really wanted to do. It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience. And it was totally worth it to see Vinn so happy.
After the concert, we went back to the apartment and promptly passed out.
Sunday, our last full day of the trip, was a day I’d like to call, “Day of Palaces.” We started with a trip to the Schloss Belvedere, which unfortunately did not have fountains of vodka all over.
But there were a bunch of animal heads all around. Naturally.
Then we grabbed breakfast, drank another cappuccino and dropped Copley off so we could visit the main Vienna attraction, SchonBrunn Palace or Schloss Brunn. Dogs are not allowed on the premises at all at the palace.
The palace started as a summer residence and hunting ground for a holy Roman emperor and was most likely erected in 1518. 1518! Isn’t that crazy? It’s also crazy that this was just a summer residence, like no big deal, we only live here for a few months a year.
The grounds are incredibly stunning and there’s even a zoo on site, several fountains, cafes and a hill that provides amazing views of all of Vienna. The tradition continues to climb to the highest point for the best view pictures.
I could have stayed there all day. I just needed a glass of wine and something to eat. So, that’s what we did next.
Our final dinner brought us to Plachutta, a well-known restaurant that is frequently visited by celebrities. We saw pictures of Christoph Waltz, Kate Hudson, John Kerry and more. The restaurant is known for Tafelspitz, which is basically a dish where everything is brought out to you in a pot and you start with bone broth, then dish out the meat and the sides. It is meant for two. A lot of people ordered it, but we decided to get our dishes of filet and salmon. And then I had the best creme brûlée of my entire life!
The caramelized sugar on top was burnt to perfection. If you tapped it with your fork it would not break. I am not ashamed to say that I ate this entire thing. By myself. It was probably the highlight of the trip.
We came back to the apartment, slept and then woke up and hit the road. It was certainly a fast trip to Vienna but one that I won’t soon forget. The city is so pretty and I really didn’t know what to expect. It was a pleasant surprise. Another success trip complete.
Here’s a Pinterest image if you want to ever plan your own trip to Vienna:
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