I woke up day 2 of the road trip in Vienna bright and early.
I started out my day with a run. I knew the Belvedere Palace was near the hotel…but I wasn’t sure where. I ran a short way down the road to an open gate and saw the park and stairs that lead up the back of the Belvedere Palace. I ran around, taking pictures feeling absolutely blessed to start my day this way.
After breakfast, I headed out and walked over to the main center of Vienna where the vast majority of museums are located, the State Opera, and Hofburg Palace. It’s also where you can buy tickets for the various tour buses and tickets for concerts at different locations across the city. There are a lot of museums in Vienna, and I wish I’d had more time to visit more of them. In the end, I decided to visit the Hofburg Palace.
Hofburg Palace and the Habsburg Dynasty
I didn’t realize at the time, when I made the decision to visit the Hofburg Palace, which is the former imperial palace and current official residence and workplace of the President of Austria, how learning about the Habsburg Dynasty was going to play a crucial role throughout my road trip. The Habsburg Empire ruled over a huge part of Europe until 1918.
I toured the authentically-furnished Imperial Apartments, the Sisi Museum and the Silver Collection. The silver collection was mind boggling. The amount of silverware, plates, the size of the center pieces, candle sticks, and other table setting items was incredible. Every castle and palace I’ve visited as fascinated me; the luxury, beauty, and magnificence of these places are an enthralling look into the lives of royalty.
Elisabeth of Austria, or Sisi, was the wife of Emperor Franz Joseph I, and thus Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary. She was an intriguing woman to learn about, and later in Budapest, I learned just how much the people of Hungary loved her. Her beauty was undeniable and her untimely death devastating. The American culture became a bit obsessed with her and produced many movies about Sissi. In one of her salons, she actually had workout “equipment” (different wooded apertures) which she used in order to stay slim and in shape.
Once I left the Hofburg Palace, I got on the Hop-on-Hop-off bus and took a quick tour around other parts of the city, where I learned more about Vienna. Upon returning, it was past noon, and I was starting to get hungry. A different line of the Hop-on-Hop-off bus went to the Naschmarkt, followed by Schonbrunn Palace. It took a long time for that bus to arrive, and I was super hungry by then, so it made sense to stop for a late lunch at the Naschmarkt. I’m so glad I did. The food was absolutely delicious.
After my yummy meal, I walked around the market. The Naschmark is a must stop on your visit to Vienna, either for lunch or dinner to ensure you experience some culinary excellence. It’s also a market with 120 stands filled with fruit, vegetables, fish and meats and various delicacies from every country around the world. Even compared to Marrakesh, I’ve never seen a place with more spice and herb selection.
I wanted to make it back to Schonbrunn Palace to take the tour I’d missed the night before, but it was getting late in the afternoon, and I didn’t feel I would make it with enough time to get the most out of it.
Instead, I visited St. Charles Church, which was built after a plague raged in Vienna from 1713 and 1714, killing over 8,000 people. Emperor Charles VI, took a solemn vow to build a church in the honor of his patron saint, the “plague saint” Charles Borromeo. Once inside the church, you can take an elevator and then stairs to the top tower.
I’d had a full day, so after getting some ice cream, I headed back to the hotel. A drive the Budapest awaited me in the morning.
How About You?
Have you ever visited Hofburg and Nachmarkt? Feel free to comment below or contact Ann’s Adventure Writer and Blogger here.