Vienna for me again! It’s sort of weird going back to these places within the same month, but at the same time, it’s almost like you know the place so well now. Anyways, we took a train to Vienna this time, which obviously cost more than a bus, but was much more comfortable and time-saving. Flying in and out of Vienna is just way too expensive! Anyways, you take a train from the Keleti station in Budapest, and you arrive at Westbahnhof in Vienna in less than 3 hours. I would suggest to pay a bit more to get assigned seats, since many tourists seemed confused when they bought cheaper tickets without seats. You basically have to look around for empty seats, although their train system is super high tech, and you can tell where people are getting off for each seat! Anyways, we didn’t even bother dropping off our bags and headed to the Schonbrunn Palace. It was Christmas Eve and the last day for the market! I got the Baked Potato with Ham and Cheese, and it was so delicious! Tons of sour cream, and the potatoes were so soft! We then took our bags and arrived at Meininger Hotel, which is really a hostel. It was super clean though, and we found many families staying here. It’s bunk bed style, but we had our own private washroom. Our location was the one in Downtown Franz, so I did find that it was not as convenient as the previous hostel I stayed at, but definitely much cleaner. I believe they also have another location that is more central.
Our Vienna trip was pretty much similar to my previous one, as I just took my family around to see those must-see tourist spots. You can read about it here: Traveling in Vienna. The only exception was visiting the Mozarthaus, which K was pretty excited about since she’s a piano player. I, on the other hand didn’t really know what was going on, but we got a pretty good family deal somehow. Be sure to ask about it if you’re in a group! I don’t have a picture of the house, but it’s where Mozart stayed from 1784 to 1787 and is the only Viennese residence left today. You basically get an audio guide and just click on the numbers as you walk through the rooms. You’ll hear tons of music and understand a bit more about Mozart’s life. Worth it if you’re a Mozart fan. In the afternoon, we walked around the Christmas markets, before they closed for the holidays. You need to be careful when coming around Christmas time, as everything basically begins to shut down. We ended up strolling around the streets near Stephenplatz and ended up at St. Stephen’s Cathedral. They had lights shining against the building and they were having some sort of mass for Christmas Eve.
On Christmas Eve, basically everything is closed, including restaurants. We had Tripadvisored some restaurants, and in the end, found them to be closed. We wandered the streets of Stephenplatz and finally came across Pizzeria Venezia. We were starving and it was going to be Italian food or McDonalds. McDonalds for Christmas Eve dinner? Nope. Pizzeria Venezia it was. The restaurant was actually packed since it was probably the only few restaurants open and tourists were just piling in. The lower level is for smoking, and the upper level is smoke free. A got the Seafood Linguine which she said was really good. A light olive oil sauce and tons of seafood.
K and I shared two dishes. First, we had the Black and White Seafood Risotto. This was actually really good! The black risotto was squid ink based, while the white risotto was a creamy Parmesan. Both sides had an abundant of cuttlefish, so definitely lots of chewiness and texture going on.
Our second dish was the Schnitzel. Probably not something they’re famous for here since it’s Italian food, but I wanted to try some Viennese Schnitzels! It wasn’t too bad actually, with a thin layer of coating and the pork being tender. A huge portion, but I did find myself feeling like I was eating fast food, since it was a lot of deep fried food on my dish.
Overall, I wouldn’t suggest going to Pizzeria Venezia if the other restaurants are open and you have other choices. It’s average Italian food, but nothing too special. Service was also a bit slow for us.