vienna at christmastime is pretty awesome. i’ve been wanting to go to vienna for a while, and after seeing pictures of the big market, i was sure december was the right time to visit! we both got caught under the spell of this amazing city and its festive delights.
after church and a lovely lunch at tal and anita’s on sunday, we said goodbye to our darling neice and beloved brother and sister…
and then drove through liechtenstein (fun!) and all the way across the “arm” of austria to vienna. i should have snapped more photos of the drive, which was super gorgeous. we passed by dozens of churches and castles perched on hills, there were many snowcapped mountains in the distance, and there were segments of road surrounded in perfectly frosted forests. it was lovely!
we got to vienna late and then first thing the next morning we headed straight to schonbrunn palace. the outside and grounds were so regal and beautiful (i love the yellow!), and especially fun to explore because there was a big christmas market set up in front. we also went through some of the interior rooms but couldn’t take pictures. it was really fascinating and luxe and shiny and grand.
^^ we learned that snow globes were invented in vienna! there were so many cool ones to look at. ^^
^^ and marmalades in every flavour conceivable! ^^
^^ pretzels!!! i really love me some giant soft pretzels. ^^
^^ and what do you know?! mozart was hanging out outside the palace gates! ^^
our next stop was belvedere palace, which also had a nice christmas market set up in front. isn’t this building so gorgeous! i went into the museum and thoroughly enjoyed seeing klimpt’s the kiss and more of his paintings (along with a bunch of other spectacular art).
^^ i can’t believe i didn’t take more photos of all the yummy swiss/austrian/german food we ate at the markets. bratwurst, pretzels, amazing pastries, gummy candy, cheeeeese, flatbread pizzas, soup in bread bowls. these noodles were really delicious (can you tell i liked them by my nearly empty bowl?!) ^^
^^ it was forbidden to take a photo of the original kiss…but don’t worry! there’s a “selfie point” where you can take a photo with a copy – haha! ^^
we went from the belvedere to the heart of the city – the cathedral of course! and there was another christmas market there! we stumbled upon st. peter’s church down a narrow alley, and went in right as an organ concert was playing! all the interior pictures below are of st. peter’s, which we were pretty stunned by as the organ music filled it up.
after dark (and bundling up a bit more – it was chiiiiiilly!), we headed for the iconic, main christmas market in front of the city hall. on the way we happened across another market with live music! i got some roasted cinnamon almonds and felt pretty dang happy wandering around the stalls!
and then…the big one. it was completely magical and perfectly enchanting and just perfect! click through for lots of pictures.
^^ it was hard to capture, but there were tons of lights up in the trees all around the market. so cool! ^^
^^ lots and lots of meat. that and sweets were the main staples. ^^
we hit up one last market before calling it a night. this one is between two big museums, and it had the best kinderpunch we had tasted yet. a big part of these markets is hot drinks in festive mugs to sip while enjoying the stalls and atmosphere. most of these hot drinks include alcohol. but, luckily! there’s the kinderpunch option – for kids and for mormons! :) every cup of kinderpunch tasted a little different, and at this last vienna market we got one with vanilla in it that was soooo yummy!
^^ i love that the hot drinks are served only in super cute mugs. you pay a deposit on the mug and after you’re done drinking you can get a refill, or return the mug and get your deposit back, or just keep it! we kept our mug from this market because it was our favourite we’d seen so far (and it was only two euro!) ^^
the next morning on our way out of vienna, we stopped by zentralfriedhof, a huge cemetery on the outskirts of the city. it was really beautiful, and we saw the graves of a bunch of famous composers: brahms, shubert, strauss, and beethoven! there is also a monument honouring mozart, although he is not buried there. apparently there’s a bunch of mystery surronding his final resting place.
we drove back into the mountains of austria next – stay tuned for pictures of that beauty!