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  • Writer's pictureChristina Irvin

Vienna, Austria

I fell in love with this city fast. Eric did too.

At Christmastime it is just pure magic. Though, I'm sure I would have loved it just as much any time of year. We stayed with our friends in the Innere Stadt. Their apartment had balconies with a view of the Hofburg, and there were strings of lights down below, canopying over the pedestrian only street. I mean...swoon.

With our arrival in Vienna, our two person excursion quickly grew to an eight person adventure. With market hopping and finding little stores to wander into - we had no problem keeping everyone happy. Plus - good company is really all you need.

We managed to squeeze into a private group tour of the Spanish Riding School - something I’ve dreamt of since I was a little girl. My 10th birthday was celebrated by seeing these beautiful stallions with my best friends in DC. I’ve been in love ever since.

Setting up a private tour was absolutely worth it given our group's size, our tour guide was lovely. I recommend purchasing directly through the school because their customer service is unparalleled!

We also did a walking tour that our friends set up, and I highly recommend this too!

Adding to all the Christmas festivities, I managed to convince a few of our group to go visit the Mozart Museum. You could easily spend a day there listening to all the audio guides. We opted to casually meander through, hearing bits and pieces as we went for a more abbreviated experience!

Vienna is another place we can see ourselves coming back to time and time again. We barely scratched the surface, and we're eager to continue exploring Vienna, as well as other areas in Austria!

Top 5:

- Christmas Markets! We loved the Wiener Christkindlmarkt at Rathaus, and Altwiener Christkindlmarkt on the Freyung (potentially the oldest market in Vienna -fact check please!).

- Regina Margherita - the food was delicious and the staff was so accommodating!

- Spanish Riding School - take a tour at least, and if you've never seen a show it's a must!

- Walking Tour (go private if possible!)

- Christmas Mass at Augustinerkirche - we went to the German mass, and it was very cool.

Eric's Fave: the Food at the Markets

Christina's Fave: the tour of the Spanish Riding School

PS. Vienna is one of the most accommodating cities I've traveled to when it comes to food allergies and intolerances. Many places you could call and ask ahead for dietary changes, even for multi-course holiday meals. Every restaurant has common allergens labeled, and I was able to navigate the menus easily!

Next up...Copenhagen!

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