My fiancé had a work trip to Vienna one week, and instead of flying home on the Friday, Maddie and I flew out by ourselves to join him for a weekend away. It was my first solo flight with Maddie, and was a nice short one which went very smoothly. Maddie was 11 months old at the time, and we found that this was the perfect age for a city break abroad with a baby. She was young enough to sit happily in her pushchair or highchair without wanting to get out and move around all the time, but old enough to enjoy some activities and trying out the local cuisine.
We stayed at the beautiful Intercontinental Wien, a five star hotel located overlooking the beautiful Stadtpark. We had a huge executive room with plenty of space for Maddie to crawl around, and large windows overlooking the beautiful city of Vienna. The best thing about the executive room however was the access to the executive club lounge (and this is one of the reasons we love staying at the Intercontinental hotels). The lounge provides complimentary drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) as well as snacks and refreshments throughout the day as well as newspapers, WiFi and computers. It was the perfect base for our weekend city break in Vienna and we would definitely stay there again if we return one day.
Opposite the hotel was the historic Stadtpark, a beautiful park with plenty of green space, pretty flowers, play parks, statues and a river running through the park. It’s a lovely place to walk through and we spent Friday afternoon chilling in the sunshine on the grass whilst waiting for my fiancé to finish work.
We ate dinner in the Dstrikt steakhouse at the Ritz-Carlton and had the most amazing meal with mouth-watering steaks and fine wine. Even though we went in the evening, and had an 11 month old with us, we felt most welcome and Maddie received lots of attention from the waiting staff. I would highly recommend a visit if you are in Vienna.
We spent a few hours at the aquarium “Haus des meeres” and had a great time. There are eleven floors in the aquarium, (yup, 11 – it’s housed in an old WWII tower) and so I would highly recommend taking a baby carrier rather than a stroller if you go as we did have to spend quite a bit of time waiting for the lift up to each floor. Maddie was fascinated by the fish and animals that we saw, and she loved exploring each floor. There is a cafe which didn’t have a particularly great menu but it had highchairs and was the perfect place to stop for a drink or light snack. There’s also a rooftop terrace with amazing views over the city so it’s well worth going all the way to the top!
We explored the historic centre of Vienna and spent hours wandering the beautiful cobbled streets. The area is full of character and history and you’ll have plenty to see as you explore. The Gothic cathedral, St. Stephen’s, stands out with it’s stunning coloured roof and there are photo opportunities at every corner in this part of town. The area is very very busy, and I would recommend allowing some time to explore as you’ll find yourself moving slowly through the crowds. There are lots of touristy restaurants, as in every major city, so it’s definitely worth doing your research to choose where you want to eat before you arrive. We much prefer to do the research first and eat somewhere with great reviews, than to pay for an overpriced and very average meal in a tourist-trap restaurant.
We walked almost everywhere during our visit, and never felt unsafe, even when walking back to our hotel fairly late at night. The city felt really clean and was absolutely beautiful – I would love to go back again someday. I imagine it’s absolutely wonderful to visit during winter when all the Christmas markets will be in full swing.
Thanks for reading!