Giving Vienna a second chance

Vienna is a city I’d always wanted to visit and that wish finally came true for me last year. My family and I spent five days in Vienna, doing our best to live like locals, and had an enjoyable time. Still, I left the imperial city feeling less than 100 percent in love with it. I was glad to have gotten it out of my system but decided I wouldn’t be upset if I never went back to Vienna again. Almost a year has passed since that trip and, for some reason, Vienna has been on my mind quite a bit. And wouldn’t you know, as the travel gods would have it, there is a very good possibility that I will be returning to Vienna later this year. I don’t know what’s more surprising: The fact that I’m getting a second chance to travel to Vienna, or that I might actually be looking forward to it.

Katholische Kirche St. Michael | Vienna, Austria

Katholische Kirche St. Michael | Photo by Jim Nix via

So, it got me thinking: What should I do and see upon this return trip to Vienna? This time around, I will be traveling with only my mother. Since my kids won’t be with me, I’ll have a bit more freedom in designing an itinerary, one that won’t have to cater to children, include only family-friendly Vienna hotels, or revolve around nap schedules. I’m not sure what Mom has in mind, but I have some ideas.

First, I’d like to see Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss” at Belvedere Palace. The famous painting, along with the largest collection of Klimt’s work in the world, is housed in the Upper Belvedere. On my first trip to Vienna, we wandered the gorgeous Belvedere grounds but didn’t go inside any of the buildings. I see this second trip to Vienna as a second chance to see “The Kiss” so I need to make sure it happens.

Belvedere Palace | Vienna, Austria

Belvedere Palace

Vienna is synonymous with music and with names like Mozart and Beethoven. Walking the picturesque Viennese streets, one can almost feel the music and creativity in the air. For these reasons, I can’t think of a better place to have my first opera or orchestra experience than Vienna. The Vienna State Opera building is stunning and a destination all on its own. I can only imagine that seeing a performance there would be nothing short of magical.

On my first trip to Vienna, it was all about trying local beers. On the next trip, I’d like to focus on local wines and visit a traditional heurige, or wine tavern. This is where Viennese gather to relax in a welcoming environment, and where only Viennese wines are served. Many heurige also serve food that is specifically selected to pair well with the current wine selections.

Last but not least, I plan to eat more cake, drink more coffee, and spend more time in cafes. I’d like to show my mom a true Viennese coffee house. Perhaps I’ll take her to one of the more fancy-pants places, like Café Imperial. Already, I can hear the Sacher Torte calling my name…

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21 Responses to Giving Vienna a second chance

  1. Sarah Ebner March 18, 2015 at 3:48 pm #

    I can’t believe you went and didn’t go to a coffee house. That’s the city’s calling card 🙂
    Sarah Ebner recently posted…Disneyland Paris by RobertMy Profile

    • Francesca March 18, 2015 at 7:07 pm #

      Oh, I visited the coffee houses my first time there. On my next trip, I want to visit even more!

  2. Brittany Bergman March 20, 2015 at 8:39 am #

    How fun! You can’t go wrong with more coffee, more cake, and more cafes. That’s the stuff a good trip is made of. 🙂 I hope you enjoy it more than the first time and that you have a lovely time with your mom!
    Brittany Bergman recently posted…Sunburned in Santa Monica & the Magic of MalibuMy Profile

  3. Elaine J. Masters March 20, 2015 at 11:00 am #

    Seeing Klimpt’s work in person is a great reason to visit Vienna! Along with everything else the beautiful city offers. Glad you had a chance to do some wine tasting too. I can’t wait to visit.
    Elaine J. Masters recently posted…Things to do in San Francisco – Sutro Baths and the Cliff HouseMy Profile

  4. Tanj from A Travelogue March 21, 2015 at 2:01 am #

    Oh my my my the sachet torte! I had then when i was in Salzburg! 🙂

  5. Dana March 21, 2015 at 7:48 am #

    The State Opera house is simply amazing and the sound is outstanding.

  6. Sophie March 21, 2015 at 8:19 am #

    Oh wow the Vienna State opera house is stunning! This has got me thinking about places I have been that I didn’t really like. I think I need to give Los Angeles another chance!

  7. dannielle March 21, 2015 at 8:59 am #

    Nothing wrong with eating more cake!!
    dannielle recently posted…What Would You Do with a Second Chance?My Profile

  8. Aileen March 21, 2015 at 8:16 pm #

    I haven’t been to Vienna and your post got me excited! Anyhow, it’s great that you’re going on a 2nd visit, maybe that time around, you’ll find yourself falling in love with it. 🙂
    Aileen recently posted…For the Girls: A Perfect Weekend Plan in New York City!My Profile

  9. Leah March 22, 2015 at 5:36 pm #

    I’m so happy you’re returning to Vienna. It’s one of my favorite European cities. I have another trip planned in the summer. Enjoy!
    Leah recently posted…Custom Travel Map GiveawayMy Profile

  10. Brianna March 22, 2015 at 8:05 pm #

    I Lived Vienna’s wine and cafe culture. For a more grown up hotel I recommend the San Souci Vienna
    Brianna recently posted…8 destinations on my radar for 2015My Profile

  11. tammyonthemove March 23, 2015 at 8:23 am #

    I felt the same about Vienna when I first visited. It is a beautiful city, but it was also a bit too snobbish and clean for me. I like more gritty places I guess.
    tammyonthemove recently posted…Volunteering Abroad: What’s it like to volunteer with CUSO International?My Profile

  12. Raquel March 23, 2015 at 4:25 pm #

    It looks so pretty and I am so excited to have seen this on Twitter. We are going to Vienna in May and I have never been so I am so excited. So the first place I look for suggestions in bloggers! Glad to have found you. New follower on Twitter too!
    Raquel recently posted…Celebrating the Magic of SpringMy Profile

  13. Traveling Ted March 23, 2015 at 6:49 pm #

    I need to give Vienna a second chance myself one day. I did not even spend a whole day there. I arrived on a night train from Munich and left on a night train to Amsterdam. Those crazy college days.
    Traveling Ted recently posted…Montreal ice fishing adventure at Peche BlancheMy Profile

  14. craig zabransky (@StayAdventurous) March 24, 2015 at 7:05 am #

    I’d like to give Vienna a first chance some day, but i think your strategy of stronger drinks (by volume), more desserts and a kiss can make any city better the second time around, no?

    stay improving, Craig
    craig zabransky (@StayAdventurous) recently posted…The Party Plaza in Colima State, MexicoMy Profile

  15. Susan March 24, 2015 at 10:52 am #

    It’s supposed to be so beautiful. It’s on my to-do list. Everything deserves a second chance so great of you to try it again!
    Susan recently posted…Best Bits London: Odette ToiletteMy Profile

  16. Chanel | Cultural Xplorer March 24, 2015 at 11:53 am #

    I am in love with Klimt! I actually dedicated a whole article to him. Unfortunately I was sick during a lot of my time in Vienna, so I didn’t get to see nearly all that I wanted to, so I will have to return 😀
    Chanel | Cultural Xplorer recently posted…A Visit To Dachau: Germany’s First Concentration CampMy Profile

  17. Lance | Trips By Lance March 27, 2015 at 12:38 am #

    I agree with the above sentiment that I need to give it a first try. Looks like a great drinking holiday.
    Lance | Trips By Lance recently posted…How I Find Trip Planning SuccessMy Profile

  18. Karl March 29, 2015 at 9:25 pm #

    Love Vienna, helps that so many are named Karl 😉 Take a look at the criminal museum for something offbeat to see.
    Karl recently posted…Spring Skiing at Waterville ValleyMy Profile

  19. Jolanta aka Casual Traveler April 11, 2015 at 11:50 am #

    Have I really not commented on this piece yet? I can’t believe it! Thanks for the tips, of course! I am compiling a list of places to see during our stay in Vienna, though we’ll be there only a couple of days. I am planning to hit a few cafes in between sightseeing, hoping that my husband will realize that Vienna’s reputation for good coffee is well deserved. We’ll see.
    Jolanta aka Casual Traveler recently posted…In the footsteps of movie stars: Boston TV & Movie Sites On Location Tour with JavierMy Profile

  20. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) April 14, 2015 at 5:46 pm #

    Really hope it’ll live up to expectations this time! I had the opposite feeling when I went – I though I wouldn’t love it that much but I absolutely did! Then again, I spent a LOT of time on cake shops so that may have influenced me

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