Austria : Vienna, Hallstatt, Salzburg

Austria : Vienna, Hallstatt, Salzburg
Finally, I'm back in Europe again. Well, Istanbul in Turkey is technically part of Europe, right? Lol. My travel companion for this 11-day 8-night journey is once again my mom. I made a promise to travel with her whenever I was available. Since we started travelling together in 2017, I've come to know her better and understand what's on her mind. We share our secrets and cherish our time together. This time, we're embarking on an adventure across 5 countries, and the first stop I'd like to share with you is Austria. Join me as I take you through our journey in Vienna, Hallstatt, and Salzburg.

About Austria 

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About Austria



Austria is a largely mountainous landlocked country in south-central EuropeAustria, officially known as the Republic of Austria, is a landlocked nation in Central Europe situated amidst the Eastern Alps. It comprises a union of nine federal states, with Vienna as both the capital city and one of the federal states. Austria shares its borders with Germany to the northwest, the Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia to the northeast, Hungary to the east, and Slovenia and Italy to the south. To the west, it is bordered by Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

As a kid, I was enamoured with a jewellery brand known as Swarovski. Learning that this brand originated in Austria, I made a personal promise to visit this country when I grew up, and I'm delighted to say that I fulfilled that promise. Looking back, I am fortunate that many of the aspirations I held as a child have started to materialize as an adult. I feel truly blessed.


Vienna
Vienna



Vienna, also known as Wien in German, VideŇą in Czech, and B√©cs in Hungarian, is a city and federal state, serving as the capital of Austria. Among Austria's 9 states, Vienna stands as the smallest in area but the most populous. It boasts a remarkable historical legacy, exquisite architecture, a wealth of cultural heritage, and a thriving arts scene.

Vienna holds the moniker of the City of Music due to its unparalleled musical heritage. It was the home of celebrated classical composers like Beethoven and Mozart. The world-renowned Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna Boys' Choir originate here. Furthermore, Vienna is often referred to as the City of Dreams, as it was the residence of Sigmund Freud, the world's first psychoanalyst.

This city attracts millions of tourists annually, drawn by the opportunity to explore its profound history, rich culture, and dynamic ambience. Vienna is a place where the past and present harmoniously coexist, making it a captivating destination for visitors and an exceptional city to call home.


Attractions
Schoenbrunn Palace
Schoenbrunn Palace



Sch√∂nbrunn Palace served as the primary summer residence for the Habsburg rulers and is situated in Hietzing, Vienna. The name Sch√∂nbrunn can be traced back to an artesian well from which the court obtained its water supply.

Schoenbrunn Palace



Originally constructed beginning in 1696, the palace and its extensive gardens underwent a complete redesign under the reign of Maria Theresa after the siege of Vienna in 1743. Today, this palace holds the status of a UNESCO World Heritage site, recognized for its historical significance, distinctive architectural layout, and splendid interior furnishings.

Details
Location : Sch√∂nbrunner Schlo√üstra√üe 47, 1130 Wien, Austria.
Business hours : Daily (8.30am - 5.00pm)
Entrance fee : €20 - 57 (Adults) ; €13 - €28 (Children)
How to get there :
Subway - U4. Get off at Schonbrunn or Hietzing.
Tram - 60/10. Get off at Schloss Schonbrunn.
Bus - 10A. Get off at Schloss Schonbrunn.


Hofburg Palace
Hofburg Palace
The Hofburg, which once served as the primary imperial palace of the Habsburg dynasty, is a remarkable historical site located at the heart of Vienna. Its construction dates back to the 13th century, and it underwent multiple expansions in the following years. The palace played a dual role as the imperial winter residence, with Schönbrunn Palace serving as the summer residence for the Habsburgs.

If you plan to explore Hofburg thoroughly, be prepared to allocate a significant amount of time. Unlike Vienna's other royal residences, the Hofburg is more akin to a city within the city. Situated on the southwestern fringes of the Innere Stadt, this 13th-century palace encompasses several distinct attractions. To fully appreciate the royal experience it offers, it is advisable to spend at least half a day exploring its various facets.

In summary, the Hofburg Palace, with its stunning Baroque architecture, opulent interiors, and picturesque gardens, is unquestionably worth a visit for anyone interested in history, culture, and the grandeur of the Habsburg dynasty.

Hofburg Palace



Sisi Museum
Established in 2004, the Sisi Museum finds its home in the Stephan apartments, named after Archduke Stephan Viktor. Within these walls, a plethora of personal belongings that once belonged to Elisabeth are carefully curated to shed light on the true personality of the often misunderstood Empress.

Please be advised that within the staterooms and showrooms, the taking of photographs or recordings for any purpose, including private use, is strictly prohibited during opening hours.

Details
Location : 1010 Vienna, Austria.
Business hours : Daily (8.00am - 6.00pm)
Entrance fee : €17.50 (>age 19) ; €11 (age 6-18) ; €16.50 (students)
How to get there : From the Westbahnhof (western railway terminal), the journey time is approximately 15 minutes. Take the eastbound U3 (orange) underground line and alight at Herrengasse.


Upper Belvedere Palace
Upper Belvedere Palace
The Belvedere is a captivating architectural complex in Vienna, Austria, encompassing two splendid Baroque palaces, an Orangery, and the Palace Stables. These structures are nestled within a picturesque Baroque park landscape located in the city's third district, just on the southeastern outskirts of its core. The Belvedere complex serves as the residence for the renowned Belvedere Museum.

Upper Belvedere Palace



Visiting the Upper Belvedere and the Lower Belvedere is a truly enriching experience. The wealth of art, sculptures, and impeccably designed gardens makes it a destination worthy of your time. To thoroughly explore and appreciate the Belvedere Palace and its surroundings, it is recommended to dedicate at least 3 hours to your visit.

Details
Location : Prinz-Eugen-Stra√üe 27, 1030 Wien, Austria.
Business hours : Daily (9.00am - 6.00pm)
Entrance fee : €14.60 ; €28.70 (Combo)
How to get there :
Tram - D line; 18 or O line. Get off at Schloss Belvedere; Quartier Belvedere. The Quartier Belvedere station is a 7-minute walk from the Belvedere Palace.
Subway - U1. Get off at Hauptbahnhof station.
Bus - 13A. Get off at Mommsengasse.


Strauss Garden
Strauss Garden



Vienna's musical legacy is so ingrained in the city's culture that it's virtually impossible to escape, whether you're an ardent classical music enthusiast. One of the most iconic symbols of this rich musical heritage is the statue of Johann Strauss

Johann Strauss senior (1804-1849) and his contemporaries played a pivotal role in transforming the waltz from its simple roots into the captivating and enduring musical form we know today. However, Johann Strauss Junior (1825-1899) solidified the waltz's lasting appeal. He composed timeless waltz classics like The Blue Danube, ensuring that this once-dismissed, seemingly frivolous musical style received the recognition it rightfully deserved.

A visit to Vienna wouldn't be complete without capturing a photograph of this influential figure. You'll encounter a grandiose, gilded statue of Johann Strauss, complete with his violin, located in the Stadtpark, Vienna City Park along the Ringstrasse. For those who wish to delve deeper into his musical world, a stroll to the end of the park reveals the Kursalon, one of the historic venues where Strauss himself performed. Today, it still hosts delightful concerts for those who want to relish in the magic of his compositions.

Details
Location : Stadtpark, Parkring, 1010 Vienna.
How to get there :
Subway - the closest is the cunningly-named Stadtpark station on the U4 line (about 4 minutes away by foot). The station pavilion is an Otto Wagner design.

Tram - Take line 2 to the Weihburggasse stop on the Ring.


Old Town
Old Town



Bounded by the majestic Ringstrasse, the historic Old Town of Vienna, referred to as Innere Stadt, holds the prestigious title of a World Heritage Site. In the present day, this "inner city" is enriched with high-end shops and cafes that grace the pedestrianized Kärntner Strasse and Graben. The area is adorned with art galleries and restaurants, creating a vibrant and culturally rich atmosphere on the surrounding streets.

Old Town



Without a doubt, this has become my absolute favourite spot in Vienna! The architectural beauty of all the buildings here has captivated me. The presence of numerous luxury brands adds to the allure, with each exterior boasting spectacular designs. Let me highlight one of my personal favourites, CHANEL. The boutique here is undoubtedly the most stunning CHANEL store I have ever encountered. A visit to this boutique is a must when you find yourself in Austria.

Old Town



St.Stephen's Cathedral
St. Stephen's Cathedral stands as the iconic symbol of Vienna, marking the very heart of the city. Soaring to a height of 136 meters, it proudly holds the title of the tallest church in Austria. Situated at the core of the inner city, this magnificent cathedral spans an impressive length of 107 meters.

Details
How to get there : The journey from Vienna Central Station to the city centre (St. Stephen's Square station) via the underground takes just 5 minutes, while reaching the Vienna International Centre (Kaiserm√ľhlen-VIC) requires only 12 minutes. U1 trains operate at frequent intervals, with arrivals occurring every 3 to 4 minutes during daytime on weekdays.


McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Parndorf
McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Parndorf
McArthurGlen, the operator of 26 outlet villages across Europe, including the UK's largest one, Cheshire Oaks in Ellesmere Port, is known for providing shoppers with the opportunity to save up to 70% on recommended retail prices.

The Parndorf Austria outlet features an array of renowned brands, including but not limited to Prada, Gucci, Versace, Burberry, Valentino, Longchamp, and many more. It's a shopping destination for those seeking high-end fashion at discounted prices.

Since I spend a lot on the CHANEL boutique in Prague (will blog about it soon), I didn't spend much here. I just bought some pairs of sports bras and underwear from Calvin Klein. 

Details
Location : Designer-Outlet-Stra√üe 1, 7111 Parndorf, Austria.
Business hours : Mon - Wed (9.00am - 8.00pm) ; Thu - Fri (9.00am - 9.00pm) ; Sat (9.00am - 6.00pm) ; Closed on Sunday
How to get there : McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Parndorf is a 6-minute ride from Parndorf Ort train station, with regular trains from Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest.


Food
Chattanooga
Chattanooga



Situated in the historic heart of Vienna, Chattanooga offers a menu featuring both traditional Viennese and international cuisine. Wiener Stadtbrau, a renowned local restaurant in Vienna, is positioned adjacent to the well-known Stephen Church subway entrance.

During our visit, we indulged in spaghetti bolognese, grilled sausage with bacon, and Sachertorte. All dishes proved to be delicious, and the staff exhibited a warm and friendly demeanour. I highly recommend paying a visit to this establishment.

Chattanooga

Just a heads up, Sachertorte is a chocolate cake, with Austrian roots, credited to Franz Sacher, who supposedly created it in 1832 for Prince Metternich in Vienna. It is widely celebrated and stands as one of the most famous Viennese culinary delights.

The classic Sachertorte features layers of chocolate cake filled with apricot preserves and coated in a dark chocolate glaze. Typically, it is served alongside unsweetened whipped cream. The authentic version is still available at the Hotel Sacher in Vienna. My mom and I particularly appreciate its balanced sweetness, earning it an Asian compliment of approval lol.

Details
Location : Graben 29a, 1010 Wien, Austria.
Business hours : Daily (8.00am - 12.00pm)


Hotel
NH Vienna Airport Conference Center
NH Vienna Airport Conference Center
The NH Vienna Airport Conference Center hotel, previously known as NH Wien Airport, boasts a strategically convenient location directly opposite the arrivals hall at Vienna Airport, ensuring unparalleled transport accessibility. For those venturing into the city, a quick 16-minute train ride will seamlessly transport you to central Vienna.

NH Vienna Airport Conference Center
With a total of 499 gracefully appointed rooms spread across 8 floors, guests can select from various options including Classic Standard, Standard, Classic Premium, or Premium rooms. Each room is equipped with standard amenities such as a minibar, satellite TV, and complimentary Wi-Fi, with inclusive access to the spa and fitness centre. To guarantee a peaceful stay, all rooms feature soundproofed windows, ensuring minimal disturbance from aircraft noise.

The hotel's à la carte restaurant offers a diverse selection of local and international dishes, making it our preferred choice for breakfast. The variety offered surpasses that of other hotels, contributing to our overall positive experience during our stay. Frankly, we find staying here quite enjoyable.

Details
Location : Einfahrtsstrasse 1- 3, 1300 Vienna Austria.
Cost : RM800+ - RM1,900+ per night
Check-in time : 3.00pm ; Check-out time : 12.00pm
How to get there : Just opposite of the Vienna airport. By walking distance.


Hallstatt
Hallstatt
Hallstatt is a picturesque town located in Austria, which was designated as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Austria back in 1997. It is renowned for its historical salt production. Situated on the western shores of Lake Hallstatt, within Austria's mountainous Salzkammergut region, this village boasts charming 16th-century Alpine houses and winding streets lined with cosy cafes and quaint shops. Visitors can take a funicular railway to reach Salzwelten, an ancient salt mine that features an underground salt lake, as well as the Skywalk Hallstatt viewing platform. A scenic trail leads to the Echern Valley glacier garden, home to glacial potholes and the striking Waldbachstrub Waterfall.

Hallstatt



Hallstatt is known for several distinctive features, such as its houses seemingly perched like swallows' nests nestled between the lake and the mountainside. The town also boasts the higher valley, ancient salt mines, breathtaking vistas, and cultural attractions that narrate its thousands of years of history.


Attractions
Central Square Marktplatz
Central Square Marktplatz



The market square in Hallstatt, a UNESCO World Heritage town, is undeniably one of the most charming spots in the area. It serves as a gathering point for visitors from around the world who come to admire the historic square, framed by picturesque small houses. In this square, you can discover cosy cafes to unwind, restaurants, a bar that's popular among people of all ages, accommodations, and, of course, souvenir shops.




At the heart of the square stands the imposing Holy Trinity statue, which, 66 years after its installation, bore witness to one of the most significant disasters in Hallstatt's history. On September 20, 1750, a fire broke out in the Keferb√§cks house, the present site of Caf√© Derbl, consuming a large portion of the square, and leaving it in ruins. This catastrophic fire claimed the lives of four individuals and razed 35 houses in the town centre. The estimated cost of the damages caused by this devastating fire, in the currency of that era, amounted to 32,025 guilders.


Hotel
Hotel Heritage
Hotel Heritage



Nestled in the car-free old town of Hallstatt within the Salzkammergut region of Upper Austria, The Heritage Hotel offers complimentary wired internet access in rooms and free WiFi throughout the property. Occupying three meticulously restored historic buildings, the hotel boasts a bar and a sunlit lakeside terrace. A charming café with a winter garden awaits guests directly at the Hallstatt boat dock. The on-site restaurant, Im Kainz, serves up traditional Austrian dishes paired with fine wines.

Hotel Heritage
Every room and suite at the Heritage Hotel provides enchanting views of the city and Lake Hallstatt. Individually decorated, these accommodations are equipped with cable TV, a minibar, and tea and coffee-making facilities. The main building, Haus Kainz, hosts the breakfast room, café, and bar, along with additional amenities such as a sauna, infrared cabin, and an elevator.

Hotel Heritage



This breakfast view is truly appreciated, offering a picturesque scene with stunning mountains and lakes surrounding the restaurant. While the buffet breakfast selection may not match the extensive variety found in Asian countries and the United States, it is satisfactory. The staff is friendly, contributing to an overall pleasant staying experience. I look forward to revisiting this place in the future!

Details
Location : Landungsplatz 101, 4830 Hallstatt, Austria.
Cost : RM1,000+ - RM1,500+ per night
Check-in time : 3.00pm - 9.30pm ; Check-out time : 8.00am - 11.00am
How to get there : Heritage Hotel Hallstatt is 50 yards from the centre of Hallstatt. By walking.


Salzburg
Salzburg
Salzburg is a captivating Austrian city located near the border of Germany, offering breathtaking views of the Eastern Alps. The city is intricately divided by the Salzach River, with the medieval and baroque structures of the pedestrian-centred Altstadt (Old City) gracing its left bank. On the opposing side lies the 19th-century Neustadt (New City). The Altstadt, famously known as the birthplace of the renowned composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, is meticulously preserved and now serves as a museum that showcases his childhood instruments.

Salzburg



Salzburg holds the distinction of being the filming location for the classic movie The Sound of Music. The city's narrow winding streets and expansive squares, along with its exquisite baroque architecture, have earned their rightful place on the UNESCO World Heritage List.


Attractions
Altstadt Salzburg (Old Town)
Altstadt Salzburg (Old Town)



The Historic Center of the City of Salzburg, also known as the Altstadt, is a district situated in Salzburg, Austria, and it has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.

Due to the rain, we didn't venture out much. Instead, we took refuge in a cafe and enjoyed a cup of hot chocolate for a good 2 hours.

Altstadt Salzburg (Old Town)


The lively Altstadt, or old town, is anchored around Getreidegasse, a charming pedestrian thoroughfare lined with shops that offer traditional costumes and antiques. For those interested in the life of the great composer, Mozart's Birthplace houses exhibitions about his early years. Within the Domquartier, you can explore the magnificent Salzburg Cathedral, which boasts a domed structure from the 1600s, as well as the Baroque Residence, where you can admire artwork by renowned artists such as Rembrandt and Rubens. To reach Hohensalzburg Fortress, there are two options: a steep footpath or a funicular ride. The fortress is home to several museums and offers panoramic city views.

Austria Leberkäse



Experimenting with Austria's Leberkäse for the first time. This baked, crusty loaf typically blends finely chopped pork, bacon, and beef. While the texture is satisfactory, I found the taste a tad too salty for my liking.

Details
Location : Altstadt Salzburg, 5020 Salzburg, Austria.
Business hours : Generally Mon - Fri (9.00am - 6.00pm) ; Sat (9.00am - 6.00pm)
How to get there : The Old Town of Salzburg is situated to the south of the main train station, approximately a 20-minute walk or a 10-minute taxi ride away. Spanning the Salzach River, the Altstadt is best explored on foot, although city buses are available for transportation within the district.


Mirabell Gardens
Mirabell Gardens



The Mirabell Palace and Mirabell Gardens are among the most significant attractions in Salzburg. This complex is protected as a monument and holds the distinction of being declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Mirabell Gardens


Notably, several iconic scenes from the renowned movie The Sound of Music were filmed in the picturesque Mirabell Gardens. In one memorable sequence, Maria, portrayed by Julie Andrews, and the seven children joyfully danced around the Pegasus Fountain while singing the beloved song Do Re Mi.

The Mirabell Gardens, originally designed in 1690 under the supervision of Archbishop Johann Ernst von Thun, offer visitors a chance to explore various enchanting features, including the Pegasus Fountain, Grand Fountain, Hedge Theater, Dwarf Garden, Rose Garden, and the Orangery.

Details
Location : Schloss Mirabell, Mirabellgarten, Mirabellplatz 4, 5020 Salzburg.
Entrance fee : free
Business hours : Daily (6.00am - dusk)
How to get there : Mirabell Palace is located on the eastern banks of the Salzach River, just a brief stroll from the historical center. Access to the Mirabell Gardens can be found adjacent to the Landestheater at Schwarzsteinstra√üe 22.


Wolfgangsee
Wolfgangsee



Lake Wolfgang, situated primarily in the state of Salzburg, Austria, is among the most renowned lakes in the Salzkammergut resort region. The municipalities bordering its shores include Strobl, and St. Gilgen with the villages of Abersee and Ried, along with the market town of St. Wolfgang in the state of Upper Austria.

Wolfgangsee



The stunning landscape showcases a harmonious blend of water and mountains. Accessible by car via the highway (just 30 minutes from Salzburg), the lake is a beloved destination for both locals and tourists alike. Surrounding the area are cafes and restaurants, a designated bathing area, and the opportunity to rent paddleboats, adding to the allure of this picturesque locale.

This location is incredibly stunning and often overlooked! It's a must-visit when you find yourself in Austria!


Hotel 
Wyndham Grand Salzburg Conference Centre
Wyndham Grand Salzburg Conference Centre
The Wyndham Grand Salzburg Conference Center is conveniently located, just a 20-minute stroll from Salzburg's Old Town and a mere 250 meters from the main train station. Guests can enjoy the fitness centre, sauna, and indoor pool on the property. BarRoque offers a delectable array of Austrian and international dishes, complemented by an extensive selection of exclusive drinks and cocktails. The famed Mirabell Gardens are easily accessible, within a 10-minute walk from the Wyndham Hotel & Conference Center.

Wyndham Grand Salzburg Conference Centre
Each of the 253 rooms and the exclusive deluxe suite provides a tranquil escape with the crisp, contemporary lines of modern design, a calming neutral colour scheme, and picturesque views of the city or the majestic Alps. Unwind on your spacious pillow-top bed while enjoying the flat-screen TV or staying connected with complimentary WiFi for your social feeds. In-room climate control, including air conditioning, and soundproof windows ensures a perfect atmosphere for your relaxation.

Details
Location : Fanny-von-Lehnert-Strasse 7Salzburg 5020, Austria.
Cost : RM800+ - RM4,400+ per night
Check-in time : 3.00pm ; Check-out time : 12.00pm
How to get there : 250 meters from Salzburg local station.


Alrighty then! That concludes my Austria itinerary. I hope you all enjoyed reading it, and feel free to drop a comment if you have any questions. Stay tuned for the next post, where I'll be covering the Czech Republic / Czechia. Don't forget to check out the Austria travel vlog below. Cheers!


Travel Vlog
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#ShiniInAustria
For more photos, search the hashtag #ShiniInAustria on Instagram. There, you can also find additional details about my personal experiences during the trip.


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