We got a train from Budapest to Vienna and my word, what a palava. The ticket was on my phone but I had around 5% battery and we idiotically hadn’t bought an adapter with us. The only print out we had was one that clearly stated “this is not a ticket” on it.
The train itself was like one of those old James Bond carriage ones with little 6 seat cabins in. It was ridiculously claustrophobic trying to find our cabin as the walkway was so tight and there was sooooo many people all trying to find where they were going, most of whom were carrying luggage. Once we found where we were supposed to be the relief was amazing. It was one of those dreadful experiences I’m really glad we had if you know what I mean.
The journey took about two and a half hours. Once we arrived we got an Uber. I love Uber. Not so much in England, but in foreign countries its a real godsend. The app installed on your phone is international (I managed to charge mine through a USB on the train by the way). So straight away it eliminates having to track down a taxi number either through Google or at the station and of course trying to ring someone.
It also allows you to put the destination in through the app and gives you your fare before you order, so no more lost in translation conversations on where you are supposed to be going, and of course its impossible to rip tourists off as the fee is set before they know if your local or not!
All in all I think its great and Vienna is a great city to travel through.
As we were only staying in Vienna one night we decided to get a luxurious hotel instead of our now beloved Air B&B route.
It was a beautiful hotel and everything we expected. We knew we were going to fall in love with Vienna but we decided to have a much needed nap and check out some bars then do the sight seeing the next day.
The first place we went to was called Mel’s Craft Beer Bar and my word what a winner.
I think it was the best best craft beer bar we have been to and pretty much established itself as the bench mark for us. The decor was perfect, the food option good and by the look of it plentiful.
The drinks menu was very impressive also, we took a lot away from the place for our venture. Michelle liked it as she said she would happily come here just with Heather whether it was Craft Beer or not which is important to us.
Craft Beer it was though and we found a great one from my list. Not Austrian but surprisingly Alaskan!
No.209 Alaskan Smoked Porter by the Alaskan Brewing Company, set me 40 euros for the bottle but I think it was worth it. Strong, black, takes you on a journey and the fact it was bottled in 2008 made it even more appealing. You can tell it’s smoked it had a really strong flavour of it coming through. Delicious.
The one thing that let Mel’s down was the slow service, it took an age to pay the bill, which was a shame as it was practically perfect otherwise.
We had booked a meal in a restaurant called ef16. I found it on trip advisor and it was the eighth best rated restaurant in Vienna out of 3646. So you could say we were fairly excited.
It was empty when we arrived but soon filled up, it had a really nice welcome and immediately great service. We were going to have wine with our dinner, but a beer first to settle in, and bang…
No.210 Trumer Pils. This is a classic pilsner really. Smooth refreshing, bubbly and light, everything you want from a lager really. Very hard to find such a good example so readily available on our shores
After polishing that off and ordering a lovely bottle of red, our food arrived. But I had made a huge mistake.
Vienna in Austrian is Wien. Which is of course the birthplace of the Wienerschnitzel. I thought as I was here, in one of the best restaurants in Austria I had to try what Vienna is culinarily famous for. Unfortunately it’s just not my cup of tea. I’m sure it was a great example it just doesn’t do it for me as a dish. Michelle’s steak on the other hand…
Pretty much perfection. It had a chilli chocolate sauce that gave it an amazing depth of flavour. To say I was jealous would be an understatement!!
Though I chose incorrectly it was a fantastic restaurant with fantastic company. We were starting to get a little merry and finding the language amusing.
Maybe it was time to make our way back, everyone had seem to have come and gone in the time we sat and enjoyed ourselves.
During our giggly walk we found ourselves in high spirits, again amused by the language, we saw this place which reminded us of our often partner in crime Heather Engel.
We didn’t really want to go back to the hotel straight away and we found a cool little bar still open.
Very quiet as you can see but the bloke behind the bar was very nice and we didn’t feel rushed at all. The thing that surprised us most was that you could still smoke in pubs! We’ve found this unimaginable now as it’s been so long since the ban started in England and we both work in pubs, but this city, which seemed very clean, health conscious and in most places downright posh still embraced it!
It was hardly a craft beer pub yet I still managed to get two off my list. One Austrian and one German.
No.211 Schwechater Zwickl is an unfiltered lager. Very hazy I dont think it would sell well in England. I found it very nice though, tasted very fresh with a sweet floral flavour.
and No.212 Commerzienrat Riegele Privat is actually a German beer. It was my third lager of the day and I had enjoyed them all. Quite malty, definitely biscuity and especially easy to drink on a night out.
All in all a great night. We managed to make it back to our hotel for a nice day of sightseeing before catching a train.
Vienna is a really wonderful city, the architecture is breathtaking.
This was just a street. There is so many tall, old buildings that streets have either been cut through them, or they were built incorporating throughways.
We found an amazing destination. Cafe Central. Incredibly famous and historic, opened in 1876 it can count Leon Trotsky, Sigmund Freud, Vladimir Lenin and even everyone’s favourite Adolf Hitler as some of it’s patrons. It was touristy but that was only at the beginning as you get your own booth and the place is a delight.
We had a little light lunch then pushed on as I wanted to find another Viennese speciality Sachertorte.
It had started to snow by then so we were glad when we snuck into one of the most authentic Sachertorte cafes in Vienna.
A lovely end to a lovely city, we would definitely like to go again. One word of warning though. If it starts to snow it’s absolutely beautiful, I mean it’s the homeland of the snowglobe, but it’s a long walk to the station!!!!!