All the gingerbread! A quick visit to Vienna.

So on Friday night we drove down to Gatwick, as we had a super early flight the next morning- getting up at 5am was not my favourite way to start the weekend, but it turned out well in the end.

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We dropped our bags at the hotel and headed out on a walk- it was pretty cold but not as freezing as it could have been (yet).

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There were plenty of little Christmas markets on street corners- I love seeing all the gingerbread houses.

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Plus plenty of very grand buildings- neither of us had been before and it was a great city to walk around- I think it would be lovely in the summer too as there were so many parks.

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Just like in Cologne (we went there last year) all the markets had different cups- when you bought Gluwein (mulled wine) or any hot drink (Andy had that whereas I had a hot chocolate), you pay a deposit (a couple of Euros) and then get that back when you return the cup.

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There were a few bigger markets that we walked to- in the day they were not too busy so we could look at what was on offer (and take photos).

2014-11-22 12.36.56There were so many amazing food stalls- these pretzels were gigantic- I don’t think the photo does it justice. We shared a marzipan pretzel (oh yes) in the evening.

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Yet another market, by this church (cathedral?) with the most impressive patterned roof.

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The gingerbread stalls were my favourite- we bought one to take home as we had one last year and it was just so good. Although some of the phrases piped onto them were a bit amusing- #yolo or #b*tch being the strangest two.

We had a rest in the hotel for a bit before heading out in the darkness to see the beautiful lights. I was not sure about food options, thinking it would be all sausages and stew, but there were a few veggie options about (although one market was so huge that you had to just get something when you saw it as you might not find it again)- I ended up having a jacket potato with cheese (my German is not the best, but I could translate that for sure) and Andy had a bread bowl filled with tomato soup- just like Boudins in San Francisco!

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We went back to the biggest two markets, and they were just so pretty (but also rammed).

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There were plenty of lanterns in the trees, including cupcake ones!

We were pretty shattered (and also freezing- it was so much colder after dark) so headed back for a long sleep- according to my vivofit I walked 29,000 steps- not too shabby! On Sunday we got a train pass and went out to the Schonbrunn Palace which is a big palace (over 1000 rooms) with enormous gardens- perfect for a walk. It also had a large Christmas market.

2014-11-23 12.15.28The sun even came out for a bit.

After a little walk around we fancied a warm drink – Andy again got the mulled wine, and I noticed on one menu an After Eight hot chocolate, and it stated alcohol free. The day before when I ordered my hot chocolate they asked if I wanted cream (I can’t remember what the word is, but it is a long word but it was written on the menu so I was prepared…) and I didn’t but this time they didn’t ask (and it wasn’t written so I didn’t think it would be included). The lady poured out the hot chocolate, covered it in cream and then stuck an actual after eight chocolate in the cream! I am not a huge fan of cream, but I put up with it because it held the chocolate in place!

2014-11-23 11.58.17Although the chocolate melted quickly!

2014-11-23 11.58.29Cheers!

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Then we walked to the top of the hill for stunning view of the gardens and Vienna.

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Then we walked back to the main building, had another mooch around the market before getting the train back to the city centre. I was going to buy a few gifts, but the shops had shut by the time we got back, plus we had hand luggage only so I was a bit limited with what I could bring back.

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Our flight wasn’t until 9pm so we had time to re-visit our favourite markets before collecting our bags and heading to the airport. We still managed 22,000 steps for the Sunday- impressive!

It was a great weekend away- the flight was under 2 hours and because we didn’t check bags it was really speedy at both ends. The train from the airport to the city centre takes 16 minutes, and the centre was really walk-able too, with plenty of markets around.

Now we need to decide where to go next year! So far we have been to Copenhagen, Bruges, Cologne and Vienna, and I must say that the Germanic ones win so far for festiveness, food and gifts. I mean, last year I had a marzipan and nutella filled crepe, this year a marzipan pretzel- sounds good right?

Are you a fan of Christmas markets? I love that they are becoming more common over here too- we are off to Bath in a few weeks as theirs is always a nice one too.

What Christmassy food would you go for at a market like that?

 

 

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15 thoughts on “All the gingerbread! A quick visit to Vienna.

  1. Marzipan pretzel?…Wow! 🙂
    Your trip literally sounds about the same amount of travel time as it does for me to visit either set of parents. Very doable in a weekend.
    Despite working in Birmingham for a little while at the end of Uni I never visited their Christmas market but we plan on heading over in a couple of weeks. Lincoln is supposed to be lovely at Christmas time and I’d like to go there one year.

    • I have heard great things about Lincoln, but I think they are only there for one weekend or something so you have to time it right.

  2. Oh my life, a marzipan pretzel?? This sounds amazing. It looks lovely and so Christmassy. I do so love Christmas markets. I remember Bruges’ one two years ago was fairly rubbish which was so disappointing. There’s a nice one near us in Winchester which is supposed to be good.
    And not this weekend but next I’m off to Berlin to visit friends and we’ll definitely be going round the markets for that. And my friend speaks German so navigation and picking things from menus is always so easy!

    • I bet Berlin will be amazing- the German ones win for sure. Yes, we went to Bruges and although all the chocolate shops were lovely, the market was tiny.

    • We bought a gingerbread cookie to bring home to share (a Christmas tree one) and some rooibos gingerbread tea (because I have to buy tea) but that was all. We only had hand luggage, so although we had some space we didn’t have loads. Also, I was going to get a few more bits but by the time we got back to the centre on Sunday some shops were shut.

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