In the next edition of Tales from Austria, I had the pleasure to get insights from a fellow travel blogger and a passionate photographer, Zofia from Poland. She talks about her disappointment during her first stay, museum adventures, aimless strolls around the city, sightseeing, culture, Apfelstrudel and more Apfelstrudel. Whether or not she regrets having visited Vienna, we will find out in this second part of the series.
Tell me about your stay in Austria: Well, I still have lots to discover. I’ve only visited Vienna so far. I went to the Austrian capital twice. The first visit was a weekend trip in fall, the second took place in spring so I could see two different faces of the city. It was worth it. The seasons make the place feel so different…My trips were mostly sightseeing, wandering around Kunstforum and catching up with Austrian friends. Classy, fun, that’s the right way to do it in Vienna.
Why did you choose Austria as your travel destination? Well, Vienna has a pretty good PR in the world so I’d risk a statement that most of the European travelers has it on top of their bucket lists. Also, I have close friends in Bratislava. Every single time I visited them I was tempted to just escape to Vienna for a tiny bit, get a nice apple strudel and a coffee, see some art exhibitions, walk around the open market and go back. Last but not least, I spent five years studying Western and Southern Slavonic Studies. Vienna was such an important place for the history, literature and cultures of the nations I studied that I just had to go one day. It seems that I had quite serious reasons to head to the Austrian capital. I did so and…to be honest, the first visit disappointed me. It was rainy gloomy and…boring. I was just bored. Even the strudel didn’t make me feel better. Weird as it sounds. The second visit changed everything. I had absolutely no plan for my time in Vienna. I just wandered around, got lost, discovered the Blue Danube shores and the Prater and ate tons of cheap, good food at the open market. My favorite Vienna is outside of the Ringstrasse. There is so much more to discover than just the Habsburg legacy.
Vienna has a pretty good PR in the world so I’d risk a statement that most of the European travelers has it on top of their bucket lists.
What’s the best experience that you remember about your holiday in the country? Visiting the Frida Kahlo exhibition at the Kunstforum, exploring the open market, chasing after the art noveau buildings and spending lazy hours at the Danube bank watching the world and the boats flow by.
Can you name some of your favorite spots?
Kunsthalle. Because my country could never afford hosting half of the exhibitions they have.
Naschmarkt, the open market. I love how picturesque it is and how large selection it has. Also, it can be a pretty good value for money if you look for it carefully. I hate shopping but I loved this market. Isn’t this a good recommendation?
The Danube bank. I love this river. And I love it in Vienna more than in any other city. It’s amazing how lively and joyful the banks get in spring or in summer. The sun and the water just bring everyone together. I wish every big city could have a place like this. Also, this river is so damn photogenic.
Splurge on museums, even if they seem expensive, they are worth it.
Any further recommendations for future visitors to Austria? Splurge on museums, even if they seem expensive, they are worth it. Cook your own food or buy it from supermarkets, this will let you save a lot. Don’t be afraid of public transport, it’s clear and efficient. Learn a couple of German phrases, this will make your life way easier.
What makes Austria worth coming back to? The cultural offer, the richness, the history….and apple strudels of course.
Classy, fun. that’s the right way to do it in Vienna.
Zofia Bałdyga aka Zof is a Polish NGO worker interested in international migration issues, translator from Czech and Slovak, an occasional poet and photoblogger. A visual addict. Her blog, The Picktures presents photo essays from her travels. Currently based in Armenia, she feels at home everywhere but her favorite places in the world are Prague and Yerevan.
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***All images featured on this blog entry are creative properties of Zofia Bałdyga.***