wE Started the Friday with a lie in and home made pizza then flew from Gatwick to Vienna in the evening. We (Girlfriend and I) arrived in Vienna around 8pm local time. We arrived at the hotel (room was a lovely big apartment room), dumped our bags, changed our clothes, freshened up and was ready to go out for some food and drink. The receptionist was very helpful and showed / told us to go left, hit a McDonalds then you will be at the start of the famous strip. What did we do? We went right!
We got lost, kept seeing churches and thought we must be in the main strip. However we kept getting lost. We decided to walk back and we saw McDonalds by fluke! (Turns out not the right McDonalds). As it was getting late we jumped into the restaurant next to McDonalds named Yamm. It turned out to be a buffet. We ordered a couple of beers and decided to look at the buffet (buffet was closing in 5 minutes). The food didn’t look appealing so we swiftly drank our beers and popped into McDonalds for food. We both had the chicken burger meal deal – not the start we expected (I wanted Schnitzel). After McDonalds we decided to walk back to the hotel (Using our phones as we were uber lost) and drink near the hotel. There was a bar opposite named Kolar so we decide to go there for a beer. The beer wasn’t as nice and everyone smoked in the bar – not used to people smoking in bars anymore (our clothes stank when we got back to the hotel room). Then we went to sleep!
On Saturday we woke up earlyish and went down for breakfast. The breakfast selection wasn’t bad. There was a small selection of hot food (Girlfriend enjoyed the fake taste of frankfurters) and cold selection (I enjoyed chocolate cakes with holes in the middle). The breakfast staff by the third day knew our tea requests and tried to make conversation about where we were from. After breakfast we decided to try and find the strip again (by turning left). Success! – We found the strip and started to go sight seeing. We were also trying an offline Trip Advisor App for Vienna (pros and cons discussed later). We walked past the main cathedral ( but decided to do it later so not to get invaded by opera touts) took some photos of the opera house (without realising) and then did our first church, which turned out to be the best attraction of the holiday.
The church was called St Charles’ Church. The inside of the church is a typical church which has been nicely decorated but the interesting thing was that you were allowed to get to the top of the church by lift and steps (stairway to heaven) – Shock! Horror! Gasp! You may say in sarcasm. However, the interesting thing about the steps was that they were steps held up by scaffolding and you were only allowed a maximum of 10 people on the steps at any one time- still not quite Shock! Horror! Gasp! But there was a slight element of danger.
The view from the top was great but no photograph could reflect it. Talking about photographs this was our first holiday with the DLSR camera so huge amounts of photos were taken and the quality was superb. It was also a key give away of being a tourist (as well as the foldable map of the city). After the church we decided to brave the opera touts and go inside the cathedral (not much to say). Then we did another church (St Michaels Church) – Yes, Vienna is all about its churches. Following the morning of churches we decided to get warm by going to a Starbucks (visited it quite a few times) because it was incredibly cold outside (even with all of our layers on including base layers)! After Starbucks we decided it was time for lunch. We looked around and stumbled upon a Viennese restaurant serving Schnitzel – Jackpot! It is what we wanted the nigh before so we decided to go for it. We both had Scnitzel and chips.
This was such a disappointment. The schnitzel was so dry. The chips were abysmal. The meal was rubbish but the beer tasted alright. After the meal, we went to Museum quarter. The Kunsthistorisches Museum had an Egyptian section, Bunte Gotter and art. The most interesting section was the Bunte Gotter section. This was because some of the statues had been painted. This was bizarre and something I had never seen before. It felt like they were kind of destroying history by painting them, at the same time it made them more exciting.
After the museum, we went back to the hotel via the supermarket (to buy beer) and chilled out for a couple of hours. We changed clothes and went to Das Heinz (on the way it started to snow!!!). Das Heinz was a popular Viennese restaurant recommended by the Trip Advisor app. The restaurant recommendations seemed to be the best section on the app. Other advantages of the app were showing the attractions but I would advise using a guide book in conjunction with the app because a guide book gives you more information and details. Also a disadvantage with the app, was that sometimes the compass was incorrect and the distance was incorrect in offline mode. Das Heinz was great.
It was a small restaurant (lucky to get a seat without reservation), had a great vibe, décor and the food tasted lovely. We both ate goulash for main and drank white wine.
My girlfriend also ordered dessert of a chocolate mousse which she enjoyed.
After the meal we decided to walk to the strip and find a pub. We ended up in an area dubbed the ‘Bermuda Triangle’, full of pubs near the strip and ended up at a cheap underground cocktail bar named ‘Om Cocktail Bar’.
The cocktails were vile. It’s like for each cocktail they had syrup of the cocktail which tasted nothing like the cocktail and added alcohol to it. They also did shisha which we partook in. Afterwards we were out of money, drunk, had a burnt hand (I accidentally knocked over the shisha pipe and my girlfriend touched some ash) so we went back to the hotel to sober up and sleep. Before we slept we did drinking games using water to try and sober ourselves up. It turned out to be a fun great way to stay awake and force water down so the next day you have less of a hangover! Then we slept.