A Christmas in Vienna

personal | travel

“We walked in the cold air

Freezing breath on a window pane”

Ah, Ultravox. It’s like you walked beside me as we wandered around those Christmas markets, snacked on pastries and drank hot chocolates (or gluhwein!). At the end of 2018, a few weeks before Stu and I were about to move to Canada, we decided to spend Christmas in Vienna with my parents and sister. It was a super short trip, more to spend time with family than anything else. But we of course made some time for the markets while we were there!

Vienna might seem like a bit of an odd choice. It came about more because of compromise than anything else. My parents live in Malta, my sister lives in Ireland and, at the time, Stu and I were in England. So, we decided it would be nice if we went somewhere we would all have to fly to. There wasn’t a huge amount of thought that went into it. Han and I had a conversation one day, while I was visiting her in Dublin, that went a little something like this:

H: Where shall we go for Christmas?

S: I dunno, Vienna?

H: Ooh, that sounds good! Let’s do it!

Hahaha, seems wingin’ it runs in my family 😉 Han works for Airbnb so she was able to sort out accommodation for us. We stayed in a stunning apartment in the middle of the city, a short ride on the U-Bahn to all the prime spots.

Vienna is a city of incredible architecture and culture. I wish we’d had a bit longer to explore. But we only had a couple of days, one of which was Christmas Day. We did get the opportunity to wander around the grounds of Belvedere Palace, though. We also stopped briefly into St. Stephen’s Cathedral one rainy day before wandering the surrounding streets. I would love to have gone and seen one of the famous classical concerts but I guess that means we’ll have to visit again some day!

Vienna may be a city full of beautiful architecture. But, when it comes to Christmas markets, this place has them all. I’ve never seen so many markets in one small area! In fact, I was almost “Christmassed out” with all the markets! We got lucky with a little snow on Christmas Day. But the highlight of the trip, for me, was sitting around watching ‘The Man Who Invented Christmas’ with my family. Oh, and sampling my first taste of schnitzel!

Thanks for a memorable Christmas, Vienna!