A holiday in Vienna

This is a hard post to write. My blog is for me to remember the highs and lows of our year in Italy and Vienna was a holiday (slotted in with Nic’s history conference) that holds both highs and the lowest of lows for me.

Life has so many turns and bumps, when you have been clear sailing for a long time and thinking life just can’t get any better the bumps land hard and everything you know to be so turns into a series of free-falling, not knowing what to do or how to stop. I am going to talk about Vienna as the beautiful city it is, however, please excuse my lack of excitement and lack of cake photos…the wheels fell off my holiday before I could eat cake.


We arrived in Vienna on Wednesday morning, bright and early as we had decided to take the overnight train from Florence to give the boys yet another travelling experience. The train is very easy and if you are short then probably a very comfortable ride, however, Nic and I were wishing we were a foot shorter when we laid on the sleeper beds.

We stayed in yet another Airbnb apartment and I have to say it was excellent. I wasn’t sure if I had made the right decision when booking it as it was a bit out of the centre, however, when we arrived and met our host we all thought it was perfect. The place was big, bright and beautifully decorated in a vintage theme. Asta our host was very helpful and left us to our own devices. Perfect.

In the museumsquartier

In front of the monument to Maria Theresa near the Museumsquartier

To fill in the day we decided to take a leisurely walk around the city centre also ignoring the tiredness that was creeping in. Vienna is beautiful, let me state this clearly. The city is very easy to walk around, however, if you would rather use public transport then you have trams, subway or bikes to choose from. I have to say the subway is the cleanest I have ever seen ( I’ve seen a few) and extremely easy to operate, people are very happy to help if you need it.

I’m not sure if it was because we have been living in Florence where you can feel the grime and dirt of past centuries peeling off the buildings, but Vienna seems incredibly clean, bright and new. It was like they had just painted all the buildings ready for the tourist season.

We were hungry after our city tour and it was getting late so we decided to look up a traditional eating spot in our travel guide. Of course the two we thought sounded good were on the other side of the city. The first one was gone, replaced by a craft store (must have been really good!), however, the second restaurant (Figlmüller) which was just around the corner was an excellent first choice for experiencing Vienna, afterall it is all about the schnitzel!!

Max AFTER he'd eaten

Max AFTER he’d eaten

This place was fantastic and the schnitzel excellent. All their schnitzels are bashed out to 34cm of pure deliciousness. The crumbing light, crunchy and morish. Our server recommended a salad to share and this was actually one of the highlights of the trip. The four of us couldn’t get enough of it, the dressing was a perfect combination of sweet and sour. The potatoes were Nic and my favourite, while Alex couldn’t get enough of the carrots…as for Max, he was loving the 34cm schnitzel!

Wiener Schnitzel

Wiener Schnitzel

We rolled out of the restaurant feeling very happy, satisfied and up for a little more walking. Vienna has a wonderful cafe and food scene that I wasn’t expecting, I will have to do a photo journal post just so you can see what I am talking about. Now though I will take you on a photo journey of Vienna so you can see what I mean when I say it really is beautiful. As for museums I can highly recommend the Kunsthistorisches Museum which contains an amazing collection including one of the world’s largest collections of Old Masters.

A side view of Hundertwasserhaus

A side view of Hundertwasserhaus

If you are up for a hike just outside the city centre, then go and check out Hundertwasserhaus, a beautiful apartment building designed by Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. This was a favourite of mine.


While Nic was at his conference the boys and I checked out the Belvedere which is another dramatically large palace that was commissioned by Prince Eugen of Savoy.

Alex loved petting the fish

Alex loved petting the fish

A view of Vienna from the top of the  water animal zoo

A view of Vienna from the top of the Haus des Meeres

And if you are travelling with kids then I highly recommend a morning spent at the indoor water animal house, the Haus des Meeres. Lots of animals to look at and fish to pat and monkeys walking by…not to mention the view of Vienna from the top of this somewhat very ugly building.

A rear view of the palace from the gardens

A rear view of the palace at Schloss Schönbrunn from the gardens

On our last day we headed out to the Scholss Schönbrunn, which is the former summer residence of the imperial Hasburg family. This place is incredible, from the ballrooms to the gardens. The day was easily spent wandering around the grounds and palace rooms.

I will leave you here and write about the food scene next, something that deserves its own attention.


36 thoughts on “A holiday in Vienna

      • I am not too far away in Berlin, and if you ever wanted to hop on a plane or train and spend a few days away from things (although maybe more time in a strange place is the last thing you need, I don’t know), you are more than welcome to stay here with us and just de-stress! We could cook together 🙂 Let me know. Anyway, sending healing thoughts your way.

      • Thank you so much, that is so kind of you. Right now I need to stay here and put my family first, it’s great to know I have a cooking companion in Berlin x

  1. Love you lots Camilla…whatever it is you have lots of love coming your way and remember the old saying, because it is true…this too shall pass! One more from my mom up in heaven…God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference! Love
    Heather and Will

      • Do you need your friends to come visit? Kathleen and I can be on a plane tomorrow and we would be!!! On a happy note there is a fabulous cooking school in Door COunty, believe it or not! It is called Savory Spoon http://www.savoryspoon.com/ The woman who runs it Janice is a gem!!! She is amazing. check out the website. They are in Sicily 5/20-27 on a tour…would be fun for you to meet. If they had room I would have come with them! Hugs, kisses and prayers…Heather

      • That is so kind of you, but I’m OK. Small steps.
        The savoryspoon cooking school looks wonderful, your so lucky to have it in the neighbourhood. I’d love a trip to Sicily, I’ll have to pop in when I am next in Door County…one day.
        Thank you Heather x

  2. My heart sank when you said lowest of lows. I hope your family is all safe and sound. And my goodness 34 cm of schnitzel is a LOT of food….looks lovely!

  3. This was great post on Vienna! I love the photo of Alex petting the fish! I haven’t been to Vienna in so slong, it has probably changed alot. We eat Wiener Schnitzels alot here in Hungary, I just like it better if it is made from chicken or turkey. I am sorry about your “lowest of lows” 😦 I hope you are ok, or you will be soon. xoxo Fanni

  4. Vienna looks fabulous and is definitely on my list of places to visit. Sorry to hear you experienced the ‘lowest of lows’, hope things are on the up very soon for you 🙂

  5. Gosh, it sounds like a rough ride. You managed to write very well about Vienna considering your introduction – the Schnitzel and the Hundertwasserhaus especially grabbed my attention.

    But I’m sending you my love for whatever’s happened to take the wheels off all that. It can be harder when you’re somewhere unfamiliar.

  6. Oh my, how lovely… And that schnitzel! My tummy growled. I am so excited for your next post.
    Also, the photos of your family are great! Your family is beautiful!

  7. Italy and Vienna are beautiful … but must feel an awful long way from home when the wheels come off. Thinking of you and hoping you are ok. Deb Callaway x

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