First of all, we continued our love of train travel during the trip from Budapest to Vienna. Our little one slept THE WHOLE WAY, which was amazing!!!!! We were able to alternate reading our Kindles next to her stroller while she napped and writing about our travels on the laptop, which was the best of both worlds. Unfortunately in Vienna the weather caught up with us – this was the first city where we really were negatively impacted by heavy rains and storms throughout our two night stay. (We don’t count having to spend 3 hours on a river barge in Prague enjoying multiple courses of food and drink a negative impact on our plans). During our first night we meandered the streets of downtown Vienna and walked around the grounds of the Imperial City complex gathering intel for the next day’s touristing. Our plans changed a bit as our little one slept in the following morning, but we happily obliged by changing our schedule and got a late start to visiting the city. We started our adventure by hitting a grocery store and stocking up on baby food and two umbrellas – not fancy but we were excited to have both!
With umbrellas in hand we headed for the live butterfly museum – and fortunately our little one was old enough to appreciate all the floating and flitting butterflies – truly a hit and quite possibly the highlight to our time in Vienna. After the museum we continued on a walking tour around the Imperial City and passed the Reichstag on our way to the famous Julius Meinl Grocery store – which is essentially an upscale World Market complete with several Restaurants, Bar and basement Wine Bar. We decided to take advantage of the bad weather by biding our time in the basement Wine Bar at the prime hour of 2pm – which meant we had the entire wine bar to ourselves, which was a great opportunity to feed our little one snacks while we sampled Austrian wines and cheeses. After our leisurely wine bar experience we browsed the grocery store and picked up snacks and food for a hotel room picnic dinner for us while drooling over all the amazing food on offer.
Fortified by wine and snacks, we continued our “cultural immersion” of Vienna by bar-hopping back to the hotel and prepared for our next train trip to Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Guidebook – For the next leg of our trip we used Fodor’s Eastern and Central Europe
. We don’t’ normally use books that cover such a wide area because it means they only cover the cities; but in this case that was all we were covering as well. We occasionally hit an area not in the book but overall it was a perfect fit. It was great only having to carry around one book for more than 2 weeks of travel. For travel in Europe Fodor’s travel books are our go-to.
Transportation – As always we arrived by train, and of course loved it. Once in Vienna we traveled to and from our hotel to Vienna center via the metro. The metro was clean, easy, and a great way to travel.
Lodging – We stayed at the Suite Novotel Wien Messe for $71 a night. We love the Suite Novotel brand. It’s our favorite brand of hotel to stay in as a family overseas; I highly recommend them for families. The Suite Novotel Wien Messe was perfect; a large clean room with room divider and twin bed, mini bar and both tub and shower. It was located outside the city center, but it was an easy ride on the metro into town.
Schmetterlinghaus, (Imperial Butterfly House) – This is a great stop for families! It is located in the historic area of Vienna, adjacent to a lovely park. Our plan had been to visit the museum and then have a picnic in the park, (though the weather did not allow for our picnic). – Great respite from sightseeing for family travel