On arrival at the airport we purchased a week-long metro pass (Mon-Mon), then took the train and metro to our hotel. After settling in we decided to start with a visit to St. Stefans Cathedral and the pedestrian shopping area between it and the Opera building.
St. Stefans interior
side street near St.Peter’s
Now that is a Christmas shopping street! Leandra was inspired to purchase a few items… after shopping we had a warm up at Cafe Mozart, then walked past some of the famous buildings of Vienna.
Vienna Imperial Palace
On the way back the hotel for a well-deserved nap we walked through the Museum Quartier Christmas market
That evening after dinner we made our way to the main Christmas market in front of the Rathaus.
Still spectacular, and it remains our Christmas market favorite for the visuals. Plus there are quite a few tasty treats to try…
Our first stop Tuesday morning was the Schönbrunn Palace, a few stops away from the old town by metro. Of course they too had a Christmas market, and as with our earlier visit, we enjoyed a Sissi Punsch and shopping.
The market here tends to be rather calm, and my parents spent some time browsing for Christmas gifts. Originally we intended to walk up the hill to the small cafe with views over the city, but the snow became increasingly heavy and eliminated any views from afar. At one point it actually felt like we were in a snow globe!
After about an hour with no letup in the snow we decided to retreat to the hotel to regroup.
On the way back we got off the metro at Kettenbrückengasse and walked through the Naschmarkt – that side of the market is perhaps the only time we’ve experienced hawkers in Vienna, and it seemed a little less visited. As we made our way to the Karlsplatz side of the market it seemed the stalls became calmer and more established. Leandra did score some nice curry spices from one of the stalls in the middle.
After warming up back at the hotel we decided to visit some heurige (as described in a previous post) so the rest of Tuesday was spent in pubs and restaurants.