Let’s be honest; when planning out our weekends for the upcoming months, Vienna wasn’t really on our radar. Spending a weekend in Austria isn’t very realistic when you’re living in Montreal. So when Austrian Airlines reached out and asked us if we would like to partake in their campaign promoting their new direct flight to Vienna, we just had to jump on the opportunity!
Disclaimer – this post is sponsored by Austrian Airlines. They kindly flew us to Vienna and back from Montreal. All opinions are as always our own.
Because we’ve both been working full time since moving back to Montreal in February, we knew we’d have to make it a short trip. We opted for a long weekend (thanks Queen Victoria for the mid-may bank holiday!).
A Long Weekend in Vienna
Our weekend started Thursday evening after a full day of work. We made our way from the airport directly after work and had the most easy breazy experience. Yay for travelling carry-on only and checking in online the day before! After a quick beer at a local microbrewery, we made our way to our gate to board our Austrian Airlines flight. You can image how happy we were to get to our premium economy seats and discover that we had enough leg room to fit another person at our feet (even Sam, who usually struggles to fit his long legs between his seat and the one in front of him). We were then greeted with a welcome drink and overnight comfort kits.
After take-off, we were served a delicious 4 course meal with an assortment of cheeses, warm bread rolls (if you saw our Instagram Stories – you’ll know), salad and a yummy cheesecake for dessert. Honestly, it was the best plane meal we’d ever eaten (but we’ll admit, most of our past plane meals were hard to beat! 😅). After watching a few movies on our 12 inch screens, we shut our eyes and opened them a few hours later to descend into the start of our European weekend.
How to get to Vienna’s City Center
Upon landing in Vienna, we made our way to Hauptbahnhof via the Vienna Airport Lines bus – we recommend getting the return ticket for €13-. You purchase the tickets from machines located right at the bus stop just outside the main terminal. Hauptbahnhof is the city’s main train station and connects you to the rest of Vienna.
After stopping by Budapest for a day, it was time to head back to Vienna to start exploring this gorgeous city. We came in with very little expectations as we didn’t know much about the city and quickly realised it isn’t on the main European backpacker route as many travellers sadly skip right past while going from Prague to Budapest.
After this, we really recommend you add a stop in Vienna on your Europe itinerary. Even if it is only for a few days it’s a city that’s perfect for a long weekend! Here’s all our favorite places from our 48 hours in Vienna.
Brunch at Ulrich Vienna
We started our 48 hours in Vienna in the way most weekends should start : an outdoor brunch at Ulrich overlooking a beautiful church. We loved everything about Ulrich; the food, the ambiance, the coffee. It reminded us a lot of the Melbourne cafe culture, with dishes that seemed to come straight from our favorite Australian cafes, but in a beautiful European setting!
The Hofburg and Museum Quarter
We then made our way by foot to the historic area of the city to marvel at the beautiful Austrian architecture. We walked by countless beautiful buildings including many of Vienna’s museums located in the Museum Quarter, the famous Hofburg Palace, the Albertina and the opera. Every few minutes we had to stop to and gaze in admiration at how beautiful and detailed every single building was.
Coffee at Joseph Brot
A combination of jet-lag, little sleep and lots of walking meant it was time for a coffee break (as if we ever need a reason for a coffee break in a new city). We stopped by Joseph Brot for our much needed afternoon pick me up. What a treat! The beautiful aesthetic, friendly staff, refreshing iced coffee and delicious strudel all charmed us.
Enjoy a Spritz
After getting on the underground (one of the easiest public transit systems to navigate) and checking into our hotel, we grabbed some bikes and headed back out to take some photos while the light was beautiful. We then found a cute little terrace to have a drink and some dinner. Everyone seemed to be drinking various kinds of spritzes so that’s what I opted for. Everything was delicious and the view was just perfect!
Vienna’s Palace of Justice
After grabbing breakfast at our hotel, the day started at one of the most astonishing buildings we have ever set foot in. Built in the late 1800s, Vienna’s Palace of Justice houses the Supreme Court of Austria.
It is more of a work building than it is a tourist attraction which honestly adds to it’s charm. It is free to enter and open to the pubic, but do note you need to go through security to access the building. We spent over an hour wandering around the Palace of Justice and taking photos of the beautiful architecture.
Make sure to not just stay in the mail hall and find the elevator to go up to the 6th floor. From the rooftop cafeteria you’ll get a gorgeous view of the city. Make sure you respect the people working in the building by not talking loudly and not getting in their way!
Coffee at J . Hornig Kaffeebar Vienna
We could spend our days hopping around from one café to the other while travelling (and at home actually!). There’s just something about people watching in a new city with a great cup of joe that it so comforting and Vienna surprised us with some awesome cafés. We stopped by J. Hornig Kaffeebar to fuel up and rest our legs for a bit. They even had Oatly which was a huge plus. Their oat milk latte was one of the best we’ve had anywhere!
Afternoon photo walk in Vienna
One of our favorite things about Vienna was how pedestrian and cyclist friendly it is. On our last day, we spent all afternoon wandering around without any specific aim, just soaking in the beauty of the city. Some places we particularly loved and highly recommend passing through with your camera are the Volksgarten, the Rathaus (town hall) and the little cobblestone streets around the Hofburg.
Relaxing end to a long weekend
After a LOT of walking and biking all around town, we decided to have a chilled evening and picked up some Bao buns and drinks at our hotel. We definitely could have used another full day and more in this amazing city to check out a performance at the famous Opera house and stroll down to the Shloss Schoenbrunn, but all in all we were happy with everything we were able to see in our two short days. There’s a certain charm about everything in Vienna which we fell in love with, and although we just skimmed the surface of all there is to do here, we know that you’ll enjoy your time here no matter what!