city guides & travel

{take me away № 40 | city guide № 6 : vienna, austria}


{take me away № 40 | city guide № 6 : vienna, austria}

The season of cheer is upon us — the season of twinkling lights and blazing fires, offset by brisk, dimmed days and rose tipped-noses, of warm embraces, words of fondness, and delectable delights. ‘Tis the season of joy, beauty, and love.

{take me away № 40 | city guide № 6 : vienna, austria}

And to celebrate this wonderful time of year, into a haze of history and unbound beauty we go . . . Enthralled in lavish architecture, we uncover a city like none other — arguably one of the most beautiful in all of Europe : Vienna, Austria. To a city dripping in artistry and culture, one embedded with words of history and traces of imperial grandeur created by hand, and sealed in tradition. And during this time of year, like a theatre stage, Vienna is most beautiful, and welcomes the world to take part . . .

{take me away № 40 | city guide № 6 : vienna, austria}

Vienna is the largest city and the capital of Austria, with a population of about 1.7 million and counting; but it is the culture of the Viennese that keeps the traditions and lifestyle alive. Visitors could conceivably spend days upon days simply touring the many, many fascinating museums, cathedrals and galleries alone.

[see city guide for recommendations]

But, there is always an hour to two to spare in between site-seeing — to duck into a coffee house and relax, for the Viennese are famous for their amazing coffee houses — to slip into plush red velvet seats and sip on a beverage of choice : melange [meaning milky coffee] or apuziner [somewhat akin to an espresso machiato]; and do, of course, indulge and order a beautiful pastry to accompany, be it a world-famous slice of decadent cake, torte or perhaps a strudel. Indeed, Vienna’s coffee culture is a world in and of its own, with the coffee houses being viewed as a part of everyday living — a second living room, as some have fondly referred to them.

{take me away № 40 | city guide № 6 : vienna, austria}

And for the musically inspired, few operas are comparable to those to be seen in Vienna; few operas and ballets as captivating. Notes of Mozart and Beethoven remain vibrant and present today, while legendary performances and unparalleled voices sing out amongst the antique seats and walls and ceilings — pure romance . . .

{take me away № 40 | city guide № 6 : vienna, austria}


And so, today we depart for the enchantment of this decadent and most magical time of year, infused with the splendour of breathtaking Vienna . . .

{take me away № 40 | city guide № 6 : vienna, austria}


We highly recommend a visit to charming Vienna during this time of year, nestled in cozy velvet, underneath glistening chandeliers, hung below the stars . . .

{take me away № 40 | city guide № 6 : vienna, austria}

{the christmas markets}

There are many fabulous markets and villages to visit while in Vienna, and amongst the group, we highly recommend visiting City Hall and Schönbrunn Palace. Both are renowned for their beautiful handcrafted items to admire, from wood carvings and sheepskins to decadent chocolates and candles that are perfect for gifting. Visitors will enjoy fragrant holiday treats, roasted chestnuts and glittering lights, festive displays and the glow of Christmas. Children will certainly enjoy the essence, complete with pony rides and merry-go-rounds, a treasured tradition of Vienna.

{take me away № 40 | city guide № 6 : vienna, austria}

i c e  s k a t i n g

Between the months of January and March, Vienna welcomes locals and visitors alike to enjoy ice skating at the Vienna Ice Dream rink, mirrored by the incredible neo-Gothic City Hall, complete with 5,400-square metres of skating area.  You may also enjoy a few others such as : Wiener Eislaufverein, Engelmann, Albert Schultz, and Wiener Stadthalle. Whether you wish to skate across a hill or rooftop, or perhaps across the waters of the Danube river, Vienna offers many lovely, picturesque spots.

{take me away № 40 | city guide № 6 : vienna, austria}

a  s e a s o n  o f  g r a n d  b a l l s

Vienna certainly has magic all by its own means, and yet, when a ball is to be held, Vienna shimmers in pure elegance. In fact, there are about 300 balls held during the wintertime in Vienna. Though, perhaps one of the most grand of all, is the Opera Ball which takes place in the wonderfully gilded Hofburg Palace; a ball where weightless carnation petals trickle down during The Blue Danube. A sight to see, as couples partake in the tradition of the Vianese waltz in graceful gowns, full of cheer, and the joy of the season . . .

{take me away № 40 | city guide № 6 : vienna, austria}

{a few fun facts about the city}

* World famous classical composers, including Mozart, Beethoven, Strauss [and more] have all lived and performed in Vienna
* It has the 3rd highest quality of living in European Union; people from Vienna are called Viennese
* Tiergarten Schönbrunn, the world’s oldest zoological garden, founded in 1752, is present in Vienna
* Vienna is divided into 23 districts, with the city center being a World Heritage Site

{take me away № 40 | city guide № 6 : vienna, austria}


[and finally : Demel /// a beautiful entrance /// Vienna by night]


previously :

* take me away № 01 | perfectly packed
* take me away № 02 | luggage to last a lifetime
* take me away № 03 | tips for buying luggage
* take me away № 04 | vintage & antique luggage
* take me away № 05 | the travel file
* take me away № 06 | an equestrian escape
* take me away № 07 | la maison du chocolat
* take me away № 08 | st. petersburg, russia
* take me away № 10 | holiday etiquette, part two
* take me away № 11 | travel by train
* take me away № 12 | venice, italy
* take me away № 13 | a wintry escape
* take me away № 14 | the magic of winter gardens
* take me away № 15 | bora bora
* take me away № 16 | valentine’s inspiration for a romantic getaway
* take me away № 17 | the most beautiful rose gardens around the world
* take me away № 18 | a glamorous guide to champagne
* take me away № 19 | barcelona, spain
* take me away № 20 | a tour of a few of the best millinery studios around the world
* take me away № 21 | city guides № 1 : paris
* take me away № 22 | what to pack for paris
* take me away № 23 | dublin, ireland
* take me away № 24 | hong kong, china
* take me away № 25 | the enchanting world of lace
* take me away № 26 | the cherry blossoms of tokyo
* take me away № 27 | mykonos, greece
* take me away № 28 | the lavender fields of provence
* take me away № 29 | city guides № 03 : london, england
* take me away № 30 | sail away with me
* take me away № 31 | gelato tasting in italy
* take me away № 32 | the best beach cottages to stay around the world
* take me away № 33 | lisbon, portugal
* take me away № 34 | city guide № 4 : new york city
* take me away № 35 | the charming farmhouses of italy
* take me away № 36 | city guide № 5 : vancouver
* take me away № 37 | the extravagantly lovely silks of lyon
* take me away № 38 | prince edward island
* take me away № 39 | the magnificent castles of germany

[image sources & credits : seaport airlines /// photography by TIM /// photography by TIM /// photography by mbell1975 /// photography by voldy92 /// photography by voldy92 /// photography by ilvic /// photography by TIM /// photography by voldy92 /// photography by ilvic /// photography by peter gutierrez]

Sarah Klassen
Contributor, Vancouver

Even as a girl, Sarah spent hours curled up in her home library, exploring enchanting tales, lands to be discovered and explored, intriguing stories, and timeless beauty. What resulted is a lifelong passion for love and authenticity, delightful simplicity and beautiful moments. Educated in design, marketing and English, Sarah’s keen eye and aesthetic allow her to immerse beauty and heartfelt passion into both her personal and professional projects.

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