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.
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.
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…