We left Budapest and took a train to Vienna, the second leg of our honeymoon. We booked Hotel Zeitgeist Vienna Hauptbahnhof, which is located 5 minutes away from Wien Hauptbahnhof Railway Station. It was a good decision to be staying near the railway station as you do not need to take taxi to your hotel. In addition, there are many good options and even shopping stores in the railway station. This is especially important as most stores are usually closed during Christmas and Boxing Day.
Our first stop was Belvedere Palace, which was within walking distance from our hotel too. It was very grand and our photos didn’t do it justice! There was a Christmas flea market too, which totally exuded the Christmas vibes though there’s slight drizzle. We didn’t manage to get into the palace museum to visit as the queue to get in was insane so we just strolled around leisurely.
We found an authentic Thai eatery (Thais were cooking away for all orders) at the railway station, whereby there’s a super long queue. But you can’t take the Asian out of us. :p I was surprised to see Coffee Fellows Cafe as the last I saw this coffee chain was in Belgium.
The next morning on Boxing Day, we headed to Museum Quartier only to realise we were the only early birds there! First stop was St Charles Church. Tried a Viennese Apple Strudel, which is Austria’s claim to fame for food. Ticked St Stephen’s Cathedral and St Peters Church.
The cold was getting unbearable and we needed toilet so we had early lunch at a pasta restaurant. Another Christmas flea market (it’s like you will see Pasar malam when there’s Chinese New Year or Hari Raya), so I’m not complaining! Totally enjoying the Xmas vibes. Visited Hofburg Museum thereafter.
We went to Kunsthistorisches Musuem Wien after this and I think I’ve hit quota for Museum already. The thing about museum hopping is that you will get tired of it after a while as things get overwhelming. Settled for Japanese food before we catch our ballet production at Vienna State Opera.
When Vienna comes to mind, the first thing that everyone associate it with, will be Vienna State Opera aka Staatsoper. There’s many operahouse in Europe to catch a production or show so I’d highly recommend to visit one.
The 19th century building looks so pretty and unassuming from the outside. But the interior is amazing. It’s also well known for the sale of standing tickets, which one can get last minute or on the very day of the show. We booked the cheapest tickets online in advance at €87.50 for 2 pax, for a ballet production. We were so excited and everyone was buzzing with excitement when the doors were opened.
With regard to the dress code, you’ll need to be dressed in at least a smart casual attire for eg jeans. We saw few who dressed to the nines and some even in blazer suits/tuxedos! Well I guess there’s no such thing as overdressed or overeducated. If not for the cold weather, I’d have put in more effort to dress up too! Haha. If you can’t get hold of tickets, you can try getting their standing tickets on the very day. Bring a shawl/jacket to chope your place on the railings. We saw some even brought binoculars! That’s very well-prepared. We were so drained and tired that we left during the second intermission. But we were just glad to experience watching a show in Vienna State Opera.
We felt that 3-4 days will be more than enough to explore Vienna. By then, we were ready for something different and can’t wait to visit Hallstatt for a change. Stay tuned for my next blog entry on Hallstatt, which was a magical fairytale!