Vienna, Austria has a special place in my heart. In 2007, I went on a university exchange for four months at the Vienna University of Business and Economics. It was the first time I moved away from home and had the freedom to live and explore on my own while embracing different customs, languages, and cultures.
When Wien Tourismus (“Wien” is Vienna in German) reached out to me to check out their Vienna Now campaign and share my memories of Vienna, I gladly took a trip down memory lane. Here are some of my unforgettable memories of this beautiful, European city that are still fresh in my mind 10 years later:
Chocolate was everywhere in Vienna! Some unique and memorable chocolate treats I had included: Mozartkugel (marzipan balls wrapped in foil, with Mozart’s face on them), Sachertorte (Viennese chocolate cake), and Manner (a brand of hazelnut wafers packed in a very recognizable pink packaging).
It’s hard to visit a cultural city like Vienna, and not appreciate the city’s dedication and talent in art and music. The birthplace of Mozart was in Austria – in fact, you can visit one of his only surviving Viennese residences in the city, which is now a museum. We also went to see an opera performance – my first time ever — at the beautiful Vienna State Opera.
The Viennese Heurige
Most exchange students, including myself, were partnered up with a local Austrian student responsible for getting us set up and accustomed to our new city. One of the activities we did together was to visit a Heuriger, a cozy wine-centric experience where the wine produced by the local vintners is served with delicious, fresh food.
The Christmas Markets
Europeans go all out for Christmas! In the weeks leading up to the most festive time of year, I checked out several beautiful Christmas markets set up at historical sights around the city. Market vendors sold everything from ornaments to jewelry to baked goods in wooden huts, and hot mulled wine was readily available at every market we visited.
During my European exchange, I travelled to 13 countries in four months. Located in the middle of Europe, Austria is landlocked between the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany. This means that Vienna is never more than a short plane ride (or slightly longer train ride) away from another country, and very easy to travel to and from.
My fond memories and experiences of this beautiful and culturally charged city are from ten years ago. Although I’m sure many of their historical tourist attractions have stayed the same, many of their local attractions – like restaurants and cafes – have changed. When I visit Vienna again, I would turn first to their tourism board – Wien Tourismus – to help plan my trip.
This post was sponsored by Wien Tourismus / Tourism Vienna. All opinions are my own.