Prague was incredible – we saw so much, had a lot of fun, and also had truly touching experiences. We were both really looking forward to heading to Vienna to see another new city.
I couldn’t sleep our last night in Prague and woke up early before the alarm went off. I was happy to be able to catch up with some friends (benefits of having friends around the world in different time zones). We packed up and got ready before having breakfast at the hotel. We checked out early and were relieved the main station was only about a 10 minute walk because our backpacks felt extra heavy that morning. When we got to the station, unfortunately, they didn’t post the platforms trains would be on until 15 minutes before their scheduled departures. We were close to an hour early so we walked around the station with all our things and found a grocery store and bought some snacks and water for the four hour train ride.
When we found the train we were excited to see it was a little more modern and actually had air conditioning! We found our seats easily and were relieved to have reservations again because it was another crowded train! We had an Israeli family of seven around us who were really nice and so excited about their trip to Vienna. I slept on and off throughout the ride and enjoyed all the beautiful scenery as we passed many small towns. This train ride went by quicker than most others on our trip.
So my first impressions of Vienna – stunning architecture, so easy to figure out the train system (everywhere felt easier than Berlin), and our hotel was really nice. We were happy to find our room super clean and comfortable. Of course our beds were made before we got there, but we couldn’t help move in quickly!
We took a train into the main part of the city and walked around checking everything out. We went to a nice Italian restaurant that’s all over big cities in Europe called Vapiano. We ordered delicious pasta and enjoyed it outside! It was wonderful to sit by the street, talk about everything, and people watch. There were street performers nearby playing beautiful classical music on their violins so it felt like a perfect European dining experience.
While we walked around the city, we saw so much and had a blast! What blew me away over Vienna was just how much existed – that around every corner was another incredible building or statue.
The detail of the statues was overwhelming:
The Hofburg Imperial Palace has been an important part of the Austrian government since it was built in the 13th century. Some members of the Hapsburgs family and even rulers of the Holy Roman and Austro-Hungarian empires have lived here. It is now the home to the President of Austria and is a museum.
The Maria- Theresien-Platz and Memorial is a monument for Empress Maria Theresa that was commissioned by Franz Joseph I and unveiled in 1887.
And we passed by a few art museums:
We found a delicious frozen yogurt stand and enjoyed a treat while watching everything going on around us:
As we headed back and walked through the busy city streets, a man approached us asking for the time. We quickly said we didn’t know and kept walking. This is one of those moments where you’re not sure if it’s a sincere question or a guy trying to pickpocket. You never know who could be a thief. Once when I was traveling in Italy with my dad, he suddenly pulled someone’s hand out of his pocket on a crowded tram – the hand belonged to a young mother with two babies (not who you typically expect to be stealing).
We also had men whistling at us and calling out as we walked back to the hotel, which is always an uncomfortable experience, but even more so in a different country when you’re two women alone. We were so happy to make it back to our room and I think we both were able to sleep so well after the long day!