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How to Spend a Romantic Weekend in Vienna, Austria - California Globetrotter

A Surprise Trip to Vienna, Austria

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My darling, darling boyfriend planned and surprised me with a weekend trip to once of Europe’s most romantic cities. No, not Venice or Paris. Those can be overrated. Surprisingly, he chose Vienna, Austria as our weekend getaway. While one might not think of a large city such as Vienna even remotely romantic, and let me tell you, I was also a skeptic, I returned home with considerably different point of view. After all, what could be more romantic than strolling along beautiful buildings, wandering a castle with a love story that will move you, delicious cafes and horse-drawn carriage rides!?

Before we even reached Vienna, we made a slight detour to a small town called Admont to check out an abbey with one of the Europe’s most stunning libraries. Admont Abbey’s library is considered to be the “Eighth World Wonder” soon after its completion in 1776. And no wonder, because it was mind-mindbogglingly beautiful and took my breath away within seconds of stepping inside.

Admont Abbey, Austria - California Globetrotter

As is usual for us, the first place we like to start our sightseeing trips is in the city center, usually at the most beautiful cathedral. In Vienna, that is Stephansdom which is surround by many narrow medieval alleys, shops and cafes. The cathedral itself dates back 800 years and I’m sure has seen plenty of love stories walk through its doors. The spire of the cathedral is considered to be the symbol of the cathedral as well as for Vienna. For those interested, you can even climb up the tower to have a view over the city!

Then slowly make your way while walking down the Graben, which is Vienna’s bustling part of the city with plenty of fashionable shops, restaurants and cafes with the beautifully sculpted Plague Column in the center.

Just around the corner is the Peterskirche, another of Vienna’s oldest and very beautiful churches which was actually founded in 792 by Charlemagne. The inside of this church is absolutely stunning with an incredibly luxurious organ.

One of the most important parts of visiting Vienna is certainly sitting down for a coffee and a delicious cake in one of the many cafes around town. This is definitely an ingrained cultural identity here and I can see why a “coffee and cake break” is important. An afternoon well spent sipping hot coffee and nibbling on a delicious piece of heaven brings a day of content! Two of the best cafes we tried happen to be Café Demel (left), which once provided the palace with its scrumptious treats, as well as Café Central (right) which was definitely our favorite. Not gonna lie, we went there twice just for the “Central Surprise” which is “a beautiful blend of orange caramel, Bavarian cream and chocolate”.

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Finally we made our way to the Hofburg, which was the former Emperor’s residence. From Michaelerplatz, the majestic entrance to the Hofburg stands before you. Part of the complex Imperial Palace is the Alte Burg which was once the residence of the now mysterious Empress Elizabeth aka “Sisi”, the Crown Jewels and the Imperial Silver. Being an absolute history nerd and regency lover, I naturally had to do a tour of the palace.

While today the life history of Sisi is somewhat mysterious, the love that her husband, Emperor Franz Joseph was certainly inspiring. He definitely loved her possibly more than she loved him, but the love he carried for her even though she was most often anywhere but Vienna, is true commitment.

From both the Stephansdom and in front of the Hofburg, one can catch a horse-drawn carriage ride. They say one has not truly been to Vienna until they have gone on a horse-drawn carriage ride. You can catch a ride for either 20 or 40 minutes, or you can even negotiate with the drivers, especially if you have the Vienna card. The best time of day to do a ride is absolutely as the sun is just beginning to set and into the Blue Hour. The ambiance couldn’t possibly be more romantic, and is actually quite the perfect time for any marriage proposals! I should know because my darling boyfriend proposed to me while enjoying one of these romantic rides. Naturally, I said YES! Gentlemen, take notes!

Between mid January and the beginning of March, in front of the Vienna City Hall you can find the Vienna Ice World skating rink. Perfect for couples looking to skate in unison together while enjoying the glow of the city hall and the aroma of Glühwein wafting in the air. While we did not personally ice skate, it was sure lovely to watch others.

Vienna, Austria - California Globetrotter

The next morning we headed over to the Schönbrunn Palace, home to one of Austria’s most romantic love stories. The palace itself was completed in 1744-49 under the reign of Maria Theresa. She and her husband, Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor loved each other so deeply, they couldn’t stop having children. 16 in fact! One of whom included the infamous Marie Antoinette who would later become the Queen of France. They loved each other so deeply, that upon the sudden death of her husband, Maria Theresa wrote in her diary the exact length of their loving marriage and would continue to wear black for the rest of her life. What could possibly be more inspiring to a new couple recently engaged the day before!?

Vienna, Austria - California Globetrotter

We also took a couple more strolls through the main city center again, (mostly so we could enjoy another coffee and cake from Café Central!) but so we could also check out the Austria National Library which is another stunning library that absolutely must be seen in Europe which can be found in the Hofburg Complex at Josefsplatz. Frescos dominate the ceiling, endless rows of books line the walls and statues add to the stunning beauty.

Lastly, before leaving Vienna, we made sure to check out the Hundertwasser Haus – a unique apartment complex building created and designed by the famous Austrian artist, Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser which translates to something more like “Peace-realm”, “Rainy Day”, “Darkly multi-colored”, “Hundred Water”. The building is among several in Vienna as well as in Germany and other parts of the world that showcase his unique artistic abilities to combine nature and architecture together, incorporating elements of a Moorish mosque with the features of Spanish villages and Venetian palaces.

Vienna, Austria - California Globetrotter

So, as I mentioned before previously, I left Vienna with a new outlook on city romance. A city can be as romantic as you possibly make it to be, so long as you’re with the one you love! Vienna will now always have a very special place in my heart as the night that changed my life forever!❤

For more on places to visit in Austria:

Hallstatt

Innsbruck

Salzburg

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Author: California Globetrotter

At 14 I started traveling the world with my parents and was hooked! By 21 I was studying abroad in Heidelberg, Germany. By 26 I sold all of my belongings and bought a one way ticket to Germany to teach English. Little did I know, I'd meet the love of my life and end up traveling to the most romantic and idyllic towns in Europe and becoming a long-term expat in Bavaria! My name is Lorelei and I'm just your typical CaliGirl, Sunset Chaser, Fairytale Dreamer, Dress Lover, Traveloholic, Beer Drinker!

49 thoughts on “A Surprise Trip to Vienna, Austria

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  5. Aw that’s so cute! I couldn’t agree more. It all depends on yourself.

  6. From the outside that Cathedral looks very similar in design to the Matthias Church in Budapest. I’d love to go to Vienna one day. it’s definitely on my list. The buildings look amazing! #MondayEscapes (Water Gypsy)

  7. I love Vienna! The library is amazing. You should have gone to the globe museum too🙂

    #MondayEscapes

  8. We visited Vienna for the first time last June and I was as surprised by the city as you were. We want to go back, as we missed so much. Good on you, choosing a boyfriend with such a romantic streak. And good on him, choosing to propose in Vienna. Congratulations to you both!
    #MondayEscapes

  9. Oh wow how romantic I bet you were thrilled, it looks os stunning. Vienna is somewhere I would love to visit x

  10. Let me first say that your boyfriend nailed it! The places you guys visited were amazing. I will be more than happy to visit Vienna. The picture of you two kissing is very cute. Wish you the best!

  11. Vienna is such a beautiful town with amazing buildings and museums ! I had the chance the chance to visit in November so I could enjoy all the xmas markets but I would love to explore it under a bright sunshine🙂

  12. I do think that Vienna’s romantic, nice photos! #monday escapes

  13. I’ve wanted to go to Vienna for so long now…gorgeous photos. And those libraries are so spectacular. What an amazing way for your boyfriend to propose – congratulations! #mondayescapes

  14. Gorgeous photos, those libraries are absolutely stunning! Something to look forward to on my next trip to Vienna😀 I drooled a bit at the pictures of the cakes, yum! I had a great time on my recent second visit to Vienna, I’m glad you liked it too😀 #MondayEscapes

  15. Oh how lovely of your boyfriend! I have always wanted to go to Vienna, but never realised quite what a romantic city it is. Truly wonderful architecture and enjoyed the love stories that are attached to them! I can just see us on a horse drawn carriage – except my son is screaming on it too!🙂 Thanks for liking up with #MondayEscapes

  16. What a romantic story! I LOVE the look of that first library – thank you so much for telling all about it. Your trip to Vienna sounds heavenly and your photos are fantastic #MondayEscapes

  17. Wonderful pictures! I can’t even remember when I was in Vienna, I think I was 18!!! Time to go back, I miss traveling Europe so much! I’ll be around and will read more of your posts!

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  20. Congratulations on your engagement! Vienna is spectacular – I was also blown away with how beautiful it is. I definitely have to put the libraries on my must-see list for the next time I’m in Vienna!🙂

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  25. We had our honeymoon in Vienna and loved it

    This post brings back fond memories

    #citytripping

  26. Woo hoooo!! Congratulations on your engagement. That’s amazing and what a fantastic city to do it. The architecture is beautiful and I certainly like the sound of ‘having’ to sit in a cafe and have coffee and cake! I love the library you visited too – simply stunning. Thanks for linking to #citytripping

  27. What a beautiful way to celebrate your engagement! Congratulations and best wishes to you both! Beautiful photos too – the Hundertwasser haus fascinates me.

  28. Huge congrats on your engagement. What a lovely and picturesque trip. Some of your photos remind me a bit of the inside of the Vatican, so detailed and so stunning. It looks like an amazing place to visit. #citytripping

  29. We recently spent five hours in Vienna (of which more later) and would love to return
    #citytripping

  30. What a pretty city! Thank you for sharing your romantic engagement with us. Many congratulations! #citytripping

  31. Congratulations! What a perfect place to get engaged and how lovely to have this post and trip to bring all the memories flooding back. That first library looks incredible too, as ornate as a palace. #citytripping

  32. I would pick Vienna over Paris or Venice anytime. And wow, I got goosebumps when I read about the proposal! What a perfect location to pop the question – on a horse drawn carriage. How do you say no to that?? #CityTripping

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