Whenever you want to travel within Europe, it might be useful to check out Lufthansa flights. Major cities can be reached within only an hour or maybe two, and most fares within Europe are around 100 Euros for the round trip, which is pretty affordable. For my flight to Vienna, I booked with Lufthansa, but ended up actually flying with Austrian Airlines. They are so adorable! On our way to the runway, they actually played the Waltz in the entire aircraft! I though it was great, the perfect way to start off the weekend in the former Habsburg Empire. (The people next to me actually complained about the music - how can you complain about Wiener Walzer when you're on your way to Vienna?!)
The airport is connected to the city with an array of public transports ranging from regional trains to busses, so it's really easy to make your way into the city. What most people might underestimate is that Vienna is a pretty big city, so make sure you find a central hotel or hostel. I quickly realized that the main reason my hotel was so cheap was probably the fact that it was somewhere in the outskirts of town... Luckily, the public transport system is really good in Vienna, and the commute wasn't too much of a hassel (even though it took 40 minutes...).
But now the important part: Vienna! Oh how I love this little city! It is full of monuments and statues and old buildings full of history and character! And the food! Oh the food! Austria is one of my happy places as a foodie, because they really know how to make a foodie happy :) I went to the city center and did some last minute outfit shopping for the conference, and the very friendly shop assistant directed me to a small, hole-in-the-wall place not far from the "Stephansdom" (probably the most-famous cathedral in Vienna) called "Palatschinkenpfannerl" This will probably sound very strange to most of you, but the translation is actually pretty easy. "Palatschinken" are Austrian pancakes and "pfannerl" means *Pan*, so basically the place is called *Pancake Pan* - very original ;) They offer sweet and savory pancakes and a few other Austrian specialties and the prices are relatively reasonable for the city center. I highly recommend this place!
|The Stephansdom contrasted with a modern building in the city center|
|The Spanish Riding School|
Before I drove back to the airport and left this beautiful city again, I decided to indulge in one more local delicacy and invest the rest of my money in "Kaiserschmarrn" at the Café Landtmann. The coffe house has a long standing tradition in Vienna and is one of the few places where you can completely sink in to the forgotten bourgeoise charme of Old Europe. It is located close to the infamous "Burgtheater" and it is usually difficult to find a seat there on a Sunday afternoon, but I was lucky and got to enjoy my beloved "Kaiserschmarrn" in the pompous dining room :)
|Worth every penny!|