Schnitzel, Strudel, and Bratwurst.....

5:21:00 PM

         I loved Vienna!! Many other travelers that I met in Vienna have likened that city to Paris, and I agree completely!

With such a classy and romantic charm, and half the size of Paris, it was a wonderful place to visit for 5 days. As a musician I was like a kid in a candy store, while walking the streets of the city that has basically been the International center for classical music for centuries. I made sure to visit the Haydn House and write my name in his famous guest book, the Schubert House, the Mozart apartment where the famous composer wrote some of his biggest works, the burial grounds and monuments of the famous composers, and of course the famous opera house!

At the Mozart apartment you can buy an admission pass for all the composer museums and save about 5€ that way. And at the opera house, assuming that you don't want to pay 200€ for a ticket, you can buy a STANDING ONLY TICKET the day of the performance for only 4€, but let me give you the low down on that......
       Assuming the opera starts at 7:30pm, you need to get in line (at the special standing only line that is NOT located at the normal ticket counter) around 4:30pm with your bratwurst dinner in hand, and ready to wait. And sit on the floor. For a couple hours. You cannot leave the line or save a spot for your boyfriend in line because the Austrian man who is patrolling the line WILL NOT ALLOW IT. Trust me, I think I saw a Russian marriage break up because of this policy.  Then, at 6:10pm, the window opens and every one in line gets up off the floor, pulls out their 3-4€ from their pocket (CASH ONLY), gets their ticket then turns the corner down the hallway towards the theatre AND STARTS RUNNING FOR THEIR LIFE.

    I join in on the running until we all get to another line in front of some closed double doors. People are frantically trying to figure out if they should go to the double doors to the left, or the double doors to the right. (Insider tip: they go to the same place.) 5 minutes later, they open the doors, checking your tickets as you walk through and then it starts again: a somewhat elegant display of pandemonium. Your mission here, should you choose to accept it, is to get the best spot possible in this opera box that they've turned into a standing only area. So then, after you have found your spot/ been pushed into a spot during the chaos, you TIE A SCARF on the railing in front of you to mark your place. This might not sound very official, BUT IT IS. This is how it's done, so, BRING A SCARF. By this time it is about 6:45 and you can go back to your slow European evening of cappuccino and strudel until show time.

Yes, Apple-strudel is a must have in Vienna! As well as Bratwurst from a street cart (seriously, it's sooooo good) and Weinerschnitzel. What is Weinerschnitzel? It's has nothing to do with chili-cheese like in America. Weiner means "Vienesse" and Schnitzel is a very thin fillet of boneless meat that gets breaded and fried. Mostly served with lemon and French fries. A Vienesse staple. I had no idea what I was ordering when I ordered Weinerschnitzel, and was surprised to see a plate of fried food served in front of me that strangely resembled American cuisine. Consensus: it was delicious. Finish off Vienna with a trip to the Schönbrunn Palace. Get there in the early afternoon and pay admission to walk around inside or just enjoy the gardens for free. Either way plan on walking up to the top of the hill around dusk and enjoying a cup of coffee at the cafe as you watch the lights turn on outside the palace and the sunset behind the city skyline. Gute nacht, Vienna.

Just remember: "Eine bratwurst, bitte."

Love, your #TravelBee

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