The truth about Vienna (Austria’s gem) – ChowBellaTravels

February 8, 2018

Walking around Vienna is so special, I almost wanted to keep it a secret from the world. Yet that defeats the purpose of me having a blog.  So… you’re welcome. 😉😂

Imagine a city as lively as Paris, full of music, history and culinary delights that give Paris a run for its money!  Immersing yourself in this woven tapestry called Vienna feels like a warm hug from culture itself.

You know when you are walking past an opera house that has been making people feel and see the world differently since 1869, and you just think WOW?  I am standing in front of a building that has hosted so many incredible artists. For example, Diana Damrau made the Queen Of The Night Aria so memorable to numerous audiences.

Vienna is just a truly breathtaking city that is very hard not to fall in love with.                                 Here are my highlights of spending 2 nights in gorgeous Vienna! 💕


How we got to vienna.

My family and I celebrated the new year in the snow covered Romanian mountains. On the morning we were planning to leave Romania we headed to the train station and my Dad worked his magic and got us tickets on the next train to Budapest!

Budapest is a 13 hour train ride from Brasov Romania, so the only option was an overnight train, we got a a cabin with 4 beds, which was perfect! It was my Mom, Sister and I’s 2nd train ride EVER!! So it was really exciting for us to experience, especially overnight!  After we spent 2 nights in Budapest which was amazing!! (Post on Budapest coming soon) we took a 2 & 1/2 hour train to Vienna!

The train to Vienna was great, and I got another stamp in my passport!! YAY! When you cross the border into another country in europe the police goes throughout the train and checks everyone’s passports and stamps them.

Arriving in Vienna was like a scene from a movie. We got off the train in the most clean train station we have ever seen, and then took a short taxi ride to our hotel. The whole taxi ride my  family was in aw of the gorgeous city!! We were all trying to get good pictures of the city, but it was a little difficult in the car, so I suggested that we will have more opportunities to get good pictures, im pretty sure the city will be just as beautiful later! 😂


where to stay.

Choosing a hotel in Vienna was easy for us. We love all SPG (Starwood Prefered Guest) Properties. All of their properties always have the best service, food and amenities. If you aren’t already a member, I would recommend joining SPG, we have been members for many years and usually stay at an SPG property wherever we are. And we are now platinum members with SPG, which is the highest level with them, so we are very well taken care of. And anyone can become platinum with SPG, you just need a certain amount of stays at an SPG property per year, so if I were you, I would join and start earning points ASAP!!!

We pulled up to the Ritz-Carlton, and the Bell Men ran over to open our doors and get our luggage for us. Walking into the lobby, you feel cozy and yet like you are in some sort of museum! They had horse paintings all over the wall, which made me smile, I was missing my horse time from home and this made me feel better! And not to mention they still had their christmas decor up, including these larger than life reindeer! 😍

As we were checking in, the Bell Man who was helping us was very thoughtful and brought us all champagne and Viennese cookies to enjoy. The same Bell Man took us up to our rooms, which were on the lounge level, so we had access to the lounge from 6am-11pm. He gave us a tour of the lounge before we went to our rooms, the lounge was super cozy and had yummy food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not to mention a wide variety of drink options for adults!

Walking into our rooms, there were 2 large lounge chairs near the window overlooking the city ( I saw a great reading spot) and a very simple yet elegant design!




Vienna is a really fun city to explore because it is full of incredible history, like walking down and street and coming across a building that Beethoven lived in at one point in his life! 😍

For our first meal in Vienna, we got a recommendation from our Bell Man buddy, he said the best restaurant he has been to in Vienna is Plauchuttas Gaushous Zur Oper.  I know, it is a bit of a mouthful for people that do not speak German! 🙈 So we got directions on our phone from the hotel to the restaurant, it was about a 10 minute walk, so very close if you ask me!

You would almost miss the restaurant, but luckily the crowd of people outside draws your attention. It is nestled around the corner from the opera house. We were SO lucky that our bell man friend called and made us reservations in advance, otherwise we would have had to wait 30-60 mins..

So THANK GOD!! Because we were starting to get hangry 😉😂



Plachuttas Gasthaus Zur Oper

We sat right away in the middle of the bustling restaurant, all around us the food looked and smelled SO delicious 😍

We were so happy when we saw the waiter walking our way with some bread to snack on to curve our hunger until we ordered!


I always look at other people’s plates around me before I order to see what looks yummy. The lady sitting next to us had a little pot of chicken soup with veggies that looked perfect!!

We ordered some Viennese classics, Schnitzel, Chicken soup, cucumber salad, potato salad and mixed greens.

When our food arrived, I was a little surprised with my soup. It was definitely not the same as the lady next to us. Mine was chicken broth with pancake noodles. It was good, just not what I thought I was getting! 🙈

But the schnitzel was actually the best schnitzel my family has ever had! Which is a big deal…

After our bellies were full of yummy Viennese food, we wanted to see more of the city. We walked all over town until it was completely dark out. I always love exploring places after dark, the energy is aways different and so fun!!  Especially during the holidays because I LOVE the lights!!! 😍😍😍


Ok, I am going to be honest with you… I was totally just posing as if I was calling a taxi. LOL we walked everywhere, which was the best way to see the city in my opinion!




We were walking and spotted a treble clef in the grass and a Mozart statue through some trees, so we walked closer and realized we had just come across the Hofburg Palace and Gardens. What a place to unexpectedly stumble upon!!

This time of year in Vienna, (although a little chilly) it is gorgeous 😍

As you see here the trees are bare and there is a slight grey tint to the sky.

This is the Mozart memorial statue in the center of the gardens is such a masterpiece! I can only imagine it in spring, with the flowers popping up through the treble clef and fragrant smell of all the fresh blooms in the air 😍💕


I really wanted a nice photo here, but… No one told me that my coat was buttoned up incorrectly. Oh well, I will always have this one!😝



The next morning we headed out to explore more of the city and go to a museum.

In January it is  chilly, you definitely need a pretty warm coat and some layers. Here is what I wore to get through the cold!

Although it was chilly, I thought the grey skies and bare trees were certainly gorgeous! !😍


-Shop the look-


Since we only had 1 full day to see all of Vienna, we decided to go on a Hop on Hop off bus tour of the city. It was the perfect solution for a quick visit. We got to see all of the city, and hear about the history with the headphones on the bus!! 🚌

We hopped off the bus at St. Stephan’s Cathedral to explore this area. This towering gothic style cathedral is a symbol around the world of Vienna. This cathedral was built in the 12th century and destroyed in a battle and has since been restored to its current beauty.

All around the Cathedral there are horse carriages you can take rides on and they go through the city! It is such a magical experience!!


Although its gone through some hard times, it has the same look and design as it once did. And if you ask me, It looks more beautiful than ever!  I really love the colors of the tiles on the  roof 😍😍  There are over 230,000 glazed tiles!!


After we marveled at this master piece for a bit, we headed back to the bus and learned more about the city. I love doing the hop on hop busses in new cities if you dont have a lot of time there. I would definitely recommend it!


As it started to get dark we got off the bus at the shopping street in the center of the city. All the Christmas lights were still up (which made me very happy!!) all throughout the streets. Imagine rows of twinkling christmas decor down every single street and a little crispness in the air!

We were very impressed on how clean Vienna was, all the streets were spotless!! Seriously one of the cleanest cities we have visited!!


After we walked for quite a while down beautiful street after beautiful street, it was time for some dinner! 😉  We were also still a little tired from traveling, so we wanted to eat somewhere close to our hotel so we could go to bed after. We had heard a lot of great things about the food at our hotel, so we decided eating at our hotel was the perfect solution!

And I was so excited to eat, that I forget to get pics of the restaurant and the appetizers.        Next time, I promise!!! 😉

My main course was definitely one of my favorite meals from our whole trip. If you know anything about me, you know that I enjoy eating yummy/healthy foods. So I got chicken breast with veggies and sweet potato mash!! I was seriously SO happy!! 😍



Then we headed off to bed to get some beauty rest, thankfully we got a full nights sleep and woke up feeling nice and refreshed!

In the morning we had about 4 hours to walk around the city before we had to catch a train to Munich. So we hurried out the door to see all we could. We started with the museums quarter, it was about a 10 min walk from our hotel.

We first visited the natural history and Kunsthistorisches museums. These two museums are right across from each other with Empress Maria Theresia monument in the center. We had just missed the christmas market that was all set up in this square. Hopefully we get to see it next year!!


At all of the museums in the museum quarter you can book tickets ahead online or at the door, either way is simple. We looked around both museums super fast so we could go get our bags and then catch our train! Overall I am very impressed with Vienna (Wien) as the locals would say, and I would definitely recommend visiting to anyone who loves music, great food, and learning about great history. I find it a special Country in Europe unique from other places! 🇦🇹😍


Let me know in the comments if you have ever visited Vienna or if you wish to! 🇦🇹

As always, until the next adventure.

Chow Bella Travels




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  • Sarah March 2, 2018 at 9:40 am

    This was so helpful!! And such a fun read! 😍