October 30, 2014

Vienna, Austria

On Day 2 of our cruise with Gate 1 Travel, we woke up in Vienna, Austria! I loved this gorgeous city! It was so colorful and lively, with so much old world charm. There was tons to do and see. Vienna was also a fabulous foodie city! We got to eat one of the Best Desserts Around the World according to Travel + Leisure.

10 Things You Have to See in Vienna!

Gate 1 provided us with a very informative tour by a local tour guide first thing in the morning. It was extremely helpful in getting us oriented with the city. Afterwards when we went exploring on our own, we recognized the landmarks and knew where we were in relation to the city. :)

10 Things You Have to See in Vienna

Mozart Statue in the Burggarten Garden

I loved these fun pink flowers planted in the shape of a treble clef in front of the Mozart Statue in the Burggarten Garden. Too bad the statue was being renovated when we were there, this would have been an awesome picture! :)

10 Things You Have to See in Vienna

Austrian Parliament Building

This gorgeous Greek-style house of parliament comes complete with fountains and a statue of Athena out front. Not only does this building have the expected committee rooms and libraries inside, but there are also dining rooms, bars and even gyms!

10 Things You Have to See in Vienna

Town Hall

The circus was in town in Vienna!! They often have festivals and markets set up in front of Town Hall. There is always something fun going on! Around the holidays there is a huge Christmas market here.

10 Things You Have to See in Vienna

St. Peter’s Church

How breathtaking is St. Peter’s Church in Vienna? It’s so quiet and not crowded at all here because everyone is over at St. Stephen’s Cathedral. :) But St. Peter’s is definitely worth seeing too, and it’s free!

10 Things You Have to See in Vienna

Seriously dying over this organ and clock!

10 Things You Have to See in Vienna

St. Stephen’s Cathedral

Be still my heart! St. Stephen’s Cathedral is a gothic style Catholic church located right in the heart of Vienna. Its ornate spires can be seen from all over the city, and are a major sight and symbol of Vienna. Loved the horse drawn carriages out front!

10 Things You Have to See in Vienna

There are definitely more people here than at St. Peter’s Church, but we got right in with no line (it’s also free, with an optional donation box), and we didn’t feel too crowded or pushed around inside. :)

10 Things You Have to See in Vienna

Der Liebe Augustin

Loved this lush courtyard in Vienna.

10 Things You Have to See in Vienna

So much charm here. The ivy, the flags.

10 Things You Have to See in Vienna

And this narrow, secluded passageway, begging to be explored.

10 Things You Have to See in Vienna

Hundertwasserhaus

How funky is this apartment building in Vienna?? Young, hip residents of Vienna apply to live here, and once accepted, are allowed to live here for a few months at a time.

10 Things You Have to See in Vienna

Hundertwasserhaus Fountain

How fun would it be to live here?? There is not a straight line in the entire architecture inside or out! I wonder what the rooms look like??

10 Things You Have to See in Vienna

Xocolat

Xocolat was voted one of the Best Desserts Around the World by Travel + Leisure for their chocolates, truffles, and pralines. Of course we had to try some! I loved their creamy hazelnut truffle! :)

10 Things You Have to See in Vienna

Demel Eiscreme Shop

How cute is this cafe? This traditional European cafe is perfect for popping in for a snack. Be sure to get the hot chocolate with whipped cream!! :)

10 Things You Have to See in Vienna

Schönbrunn Palace

Schönbrunn Palace was the 1,441-room summer home to the Habsburg emperors of Austria. This wasn’t even their regular palace, ya’ll. This was just their summer place. It’s modeled after Versailles, and even has it’s own Hall of Mirrors. Marie Antoinette grew up here, before moving to Versailles.

10 Things You Have to See in Vienna Photo via Stephanie.

Like Versailles, Schönbrunn has large, beautifully sculptured gardens in the back.

10 Things You Have to See in Vienna

The sun sets directly behind the fountain for the perfect summer evening view. The structure at the top of the hill is the Gloriette, which houses a cafe with panoramic views of the city.

10 Things You Have to See in Vienna Photo via Stephanie.

Neptune Fountain

Another notable fact about Schönbrunn: Napoleon used the palace as his headquarters in the early 1800s when he occupied Vienna. He also married a member of the Habsburg family.

10 Things You Have to See in Vienna

The rooms and apartments inside are gorgeously decorated and are very similar to those at Versailles. It’s definitely worth seeing if you are ever in Vienna!

10 Things You Have to See in Vienna

Tree Tunnel, Schönbrunn Gardens

We definitely needed more time to explore Vienna. I want to go back!

The next day we woke up in the most breathtaking, postcard-picturesque, quiet little town on the Danube River, in the Wachau Valley. More to come soon!!

Have a great weekend, friends!! xoxo


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A review of the 9-Day "Sound of Music" Gate1Travel European Danube River Cruise from Budapest to Munich.

After an amazing (and delicious!) few days in Budapest, it was time to get on the cruise!! We took a 9-day cruise with Gate 1 Travel from Budapest, Hungary to Munich, Germany. We got to see 4 countries and 7 cities. I loved waking up in a new city every day! We explored fun cities like Vienna and Salzburg in Austria, and wandered through quiet, postcard-picturesque villages along the river.

Here is a link to the exact cruise we took.

A review of the 9-Day "Sound of Music" Gate1Travel European Danube River Cruise from Budapest to Munich.

Our ship was called the MS Sound of Music!

A review of the 9-Day "Sound of Music" Gate1Travel European Danube River Cruise from Budapest to Munich.
Let me show you around our ship. :) It felt very cozy and not too big. There were only about 120 passengers on the boat. This was the lounge, with panoramic windows all around.

A review of the 9-Day "Sound of Music" Gate1Travel European Danube River Cruise from Budapest to Munich.
And this was the dining room. The dining room was very fancy!

A review of the 9-Day "Sound of Music" Gate1Travel European Danube River Cruise from Budapest to Munich. There was even a spa!

A review of the 9-Day "Sound of Music" Gate1Travel European Danube River Cruise from Budapest to Munich.

Here was our room for the week. It was of course on the smaller side, but there was still plenty of room for the two of us, even with our two giant suitcases. :) We had an Outside Cabin with French Balcony on the Danube Deck. It was in a great location (on the main floor, near the restaurant) and I loved being able to relax in the comfort of our own room with an amazing view of the scenery as we cruised by!

Tip: If you have multiple electronics you want to charge at night (phones, camera, laptop, iPad, Kindle, etc) be sure to bring a power strip with multiple outlets. There were only 2 outlets in the room, both on the desk. If you like to have your phone on your nightstand when you sleep, you may want to bring an extension cord as well. Make sure they are just plain, cheap power strips and not surge protectors. Surge protectors could short out because of the voltage difference when traveling internationally. (This happened to me before, and I never tried it again!)

A review of the 9-Day "Sound of Music" Gate1Travel European Danube River Cruise from Budapest to Munich.

And here’s a peek at the bathroom! It had surprisingly good lighting, water pressure, and counter space, and it came with all the amenities, like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, bar soap, liquid hand soap, sewing kit, vanity kit, hair dryer, etc.

A review of the 9-Day "Sound of Music" Gate1Travel European Danube River Cruise from Budapest to Munich.

All the food on the cruise was GORGEOUS!!! Just look at some of the beautiful, locally inspired dishes we were served! Lamb, prime rib, crepes, fried mashed potatoes, and some of the most beautiful desserts I’ve ever seen.

Hungarian Parliament Building at night, Budapest, Hungary

We began the cruise with incredible nighttime views of Budapest as we sailed out of the city.

Hungarian Parliament Building at night, Budapest, Hungary

How stunning does the House of Parliament look??!

Day 1: Bratislava

Bratislava Castle, Slovakia

We left Hungary’s capital of Budapest, and the next morning we woke up in Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia (formerly Czechoslovakia). This was our view of the beautiful Bratislava Castle high on a hill as we left the ship. We couldn’t wait to start exploring.

The Blue Church in Slovakia. You HAVE to see the inside of this church!! I want to get married here!!

Oh my gosh you guys. How GORGEOUS is this stunning blue church in Bratislava??! Just wait until you see the inside…

The Blue Church in Slovakia. You HAVE to see what it looks like on the outside!! I want to get married here!!

This is the Church of St. Elisabeth, commonly known as the Blue Church. It’s the perfect shade of blue inside and out!

The Blue Church in Slovakia. You HAVE to see what it looks like on the outside!! I want to get married here!!

Dying!! I want to get married here!!

Exploring Bratislava, Slovakia. I never knew how much hidden beauty this town held!

We spent a sunny afternoon strolling through Old Town, Bratislava.

A Pink Palace in Bratislava, Slovakia

We passed the pink and gold Primatial Palace.

Exploring Bratislava, Slovakia

In the square in front of Primatial Palace was a fountain with the emblem of Bratislava.

Exploring Bratislava, Slovakia

It was even on the manhole covers in Old Town!! Too fun!

The Roland Fountain in Bratislava, Slovakia

The Roland Fountain is in the heart of Old Town.

A quiet street near St. Michael's Gate, Bratislava, Slovakia

Next we walked down a gorgeous pedestrian street, toward St. Michael’s Gate.

A quiet street near St. Michael's Gate, Bratislava, Slovakia

We passed this quiet, cobblestone alley near St. Michael’s Gate.

A quiet street near St. Michael's Gate, Bratislava, Slovakia Photo via Stephanie.

Love.

Grassalkovich Palace, where the President lives, in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Finally, we went to see the President’s House, Grassalkovich Palace. It was kind of a mix between the White House and Buckingham Palace!

Grassalkovich Palace, where the President lives, in Bratislava, Slovakia. Photo via Stephanie

The gates were golden and gorgeous.

Grassalkovich Palace, where the President lives, in Bratislava, Slovakia. Photo via Stephanie

There were even two guards out front who never moved! :)

Pink Wedding Cake House in Bratislava, Slovakia

On our way back to the boat we passed this fun pink wedding cake house.

Stay tuned for Day 2 from our cruise!! We head to Vienna, Salzburg, Munich and more! :)

Here’s a map of everything we saw in Bratislava, in case you want to find them on your own! :) Everything is within walking distance and you can see everything in 1-2 hours.

Click here to see a larger view of this map, with a list of all the places we went.

More to come soon! :)


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If you’re thinking about adding Budapest to your travel itinerary and are looking for restaurant recommendations, here are some of our absolute favorite places and foods you MUST try if you ever get to Budapest! :)

Budapest has AMAZING food. Here are the foods you MUST try in Budapest!! Still dreaming about the Kurtoskalacs!

Budapest is one of my favorite food cities!! We LOVED the food in Budapest. Here’s a glimpse at some of the amazing food we had in Budapest. It was all incredible!!

Budapest has AMAZING food. Here are the foods you MUST try in Budapest!! Still dreaming about the Kurtoskalacs!

Kürtőskalács

Kürtőskalács are a popular Hungarian pastry found at festivals and outdoor markets. They’re made from a sweet, yeast dough which is cut into long strips, then wrapped around a cylinder and rolled in sugar. It’s then baked over hot coals while being slathered with butter so the surface gets golden brown and the sugar caramelizes to forms a shiny, crispy crust.

Budapest has AMAZING food. Here are the foods you MUST try in Budapest!! Still dreaming about the Kurtoskalacs!

Seriously dying over this crunchy, caramelized, sugary crust!! I could eat one of these every single day!

Budapest has AMAZING food. Here are the foods you MUST try in Budapest!! Still dreaming about the Kurtoskalacs!

You can also get them with different toppings like cinnamon, coconut, cocoa, and almonds. We loved the cinnamon one!!

Budapest has AMAZING food. Here are the foods you MUST try in Budapest!! Still dreaming about the Kurtoskalacs!

Cafe Ruszwurm

Cafe Ruszwurm is one of the oldest traditional cafes in Budapest. It’s also one of the best! It’s only a 2 minute walk from Matthias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion so you should definitely not miss it.

Budapest has AMAZING food. Here are the foods you MUST try in Budapest!! Still dreaming about the Kurtoskalacs!

They offer a wide range of tempting treats and pastries, like the traditional Hungarian Dobos torta pictured above. This soft cake is layered with chocolate buttercream and topped with caramel.

Budapest has AMAZING food. Here are the foods you MUST try in Budapest!! Still dreaming about the Kurtoskalacs!

However, if you only get one thing, I highly, highly suggest you get the Ruszwurm Cream Cake. This cake is out of this world! A heavenly, light vanilla cream is sandwiched between two layers of decadent puff pastry, then topped with a dusting of powdered sugar. One of my favorite things we ate in Budapest. I am still dreaming about this cake!

Ruszwurm Cukrászda
Budapest, Szentháromság utca 7, 1014 Hungary
www.ruszwurm.hu

Budapest has AMAZING food. Here are the foods you MUST try in Budapest!! Still dreaming about the Kurtoskalacs!

Pest-Buda Bistro

Pest-Buda Bistro is a classic Hungarian bistro, just a short walk from Matthais Church, and the perfect place to pop in for lunch after visiting Fisherman’s Bastion and the church.

Budapest has AMAZING food. Here are the foods you MUST try in Budapest!! Still dreaming about the Kurtoskalacs!

I had the Chicken Paprikash, a typical Hungarian dish featuring roast chicken in a creamy red pepper sauce with buttered, homemade noodles. Fabulous!

Pest-Buda Bistro
Budapest, Fortuna utca 3, 1014 Hungary
www.pestbudabistro.hu/en/

Budapest has AMAZING food. Here are the foods you MUST try in Budapest!! Still dreaming about the Kurtoskalacs!

Comme Chez Soi

Comme Chez Soi was one of our favorite meals in Budapest. The food was delicious and the service was out-of-this-world incredible. As soon as we sat down, we were immediately brought two complimentary glasses of champagne. After we ordered, they brought out a complimentary caprese appetizer while we waited for our food. We each ordered a bowl of tomato soup, and I got the Pasta Carbonara while Stephanie got the Spaghetti Bolognese. We could not stop eating.

After dinner they brought out a complimentary glass of dessert wine and THREE desserts! (Sorbet, a chocolate truffle, and a mini chocolate lava cake.) Finally, they served us a shot of limoncello. When the bill arrived, the whole meal (for both of us) was only about $41 US dollars. After we paid they brought us each a box of six Belgian chocolates.

It was incredible. They are a very small restaurant with only 8 tables, so be sure to make a reservation. We tried to go our first night (around 7pm) but were turned away. Fortunately we were able to make a reservation for our last night in Budapest and it was so worth the wait!! Definitely add Comme Chez Soi to your must list for Budapest!!

Comme Chez Soi
Budapest, Aranykéz utca 2, 1051 Hungary
www.commechezsoi.hu

Budapest has AMAZING food. Here are the foods you MUST try in Budapest!! Still dreaming about the Kurtoskalacs!

Lángos

Lángos are a Hungarian specialty! It’s deep fried dough in the shape of a personal sized pizza. They’re a favorite street and festival food. They’re usually served with savory toppings, like garlic butter, cheese, and ham. But we were in the mood for something sweet, so I talked them into putting Nutella on ours. :D If we’d had more room I would’ve totally gotten a sweet and savory! Either way, this Hungarian treat is not to be missed in Budapest!

Budapest has AMAZING food. Here are the foods you MUST try in Budapest!! Still dreaming about the Kurtoskalacs!

Gelarto Rosa

How gorgeous is this rose gelato??! Right at the corner of St. Stephen’s Basilica is Gelarto Rosa, serving up amazing authentic Italian gelato in the prettiest cones ever. It was so pretty everyone was taking pictures of their cones, not just crazy food bloggers! ;) People were even stopping on the street asking us if they could take pictures of our ice cream!! Crazy!!

Budapest has AMAZING food. Here are the foods you MUST try in Budapest!! Still dreaming about the Kurtoskalacs!

Not only is it pretty, the gelato is incredible!! They had flavors like vanilla bean, sea salt caramel, hazelnut, dark chocolate, and cookies and cream. They even have rose gelato macarons!! This was a lavender macaron with lavender gelato. Swoon!! There’s always a line, but it moves quickly and is well worth the wait. Truly a work of art!

Gelarto Rosa
Budapest, Szent István tér 3, 1051 Hungary

Budapest has AMAZING food. Here are the foods you MUST try in Budapest!! Still dreaming about the Kurtoskalacs!

Pomo D’oro

One of my favorite things about Budapest was that it was truly a melting pot of cultures. We had our pick of authentic cuisines! I had some of the best pizza of my life at Pomo D’oro. The crust was thin and chewy. We got fresh mozzarella di Bufala and pepperoni. Be sure to ask for mozzarella di Bufala! I fell in love with it when we were in Italy a few years back, and this is some of the best I’ve had since. We split it, but could’ve easily eaten a whole pizza each. I would definitely go here again!

Trattoria Pomo D’oro
Budapest, Arany János utca 9, 1051 Hungary
www.pomodorobudapest.com

Budapest has AMAZING food. Here are the foods you MUST try in Budapest!! Still dreaming about the Kurtoskalacs!

Hot Dog Cold Beer

Chips on a Stick!! How fun are these??! We saw everyone walking around with these and had to try them for ourselves. They were delicious! What is it about food that makes it so much more fun to eat it off a stick??

Budapest has AMAZING food. Here are the foods you MUST try in Budapest!! Still dreaming about the Kurtoskalacs!

They also had a fried snickers bar!! Too fun! This place is also very near St. Stephen’s Basilica. Stop by for a snack after going up to the top of the dome! :)

Hot Dog Cold Beer
Budapest, Zrinyi 14, 1051 Hungary
http://www.hotdogcoldbeer.com

Budapest has AMAZING food. Here are the foods you MUST try in Budapest!! Still dreaming about the Kurtoskalacs!

Jack’s Burger

Just a couple doors down from Gelarto Rosa is Jack’s Burger. We walked by one day around lunch time and could not resist this saucy bacon cheeseburger on a brioche bun. It was fabulous!

Jack’s Burger
http://www.jacksburger.hu/en/

Budapest has AMAZING food. Here are the foods you MUST try in Budapest!! Still dreaming about the Kurtoskalacs!

Gringos Amigos

In the mood for Mexican? Gringos Amigos is kind of like a Chipotle, where you order your food at the counter and they assemble it in front of you. Homemade tortillas, pulled pork, roasted chicken, guacamole, everything is made fresh in store. How cute are the complimentary Aguas Frescas with the little sombreros?? I got a quesadilla and it was great! The pulled pork definitely had a unique (and good) flavor I’ve never had before. However you could totally get something similar at Chiptole or any Mexican restaurant so if you’ve got a limited time in Budapest, don’t make this a priority unless you’re a Mexican food fanatic. :)

Gringos Amigos
Budapest, Alkotás utca 47, 1123 Hungary
gringosamigos.com

Budapest has AMAZING food. Here are the foods you MUST try in Budapest!! Still dreaming about the Kurtoskalacs!

La Botte

Okay, Stephanie and I both love pizza so much, we went out for it twice while we were in Budapest! And because it’s just that darn good, we ordered the exact same thing at both places– Mozzarella di Bufala with Spicy Pepperoni. We’re not even sorry! ;)

Budapest has AMAZING food. Here are the foods you MUST try in Budapest!! Still dreaming about the Kurtoskalacs!

I LOVED the crust here. It was amazing. I may have even liked it better than Pomo D’oro. (Even though overall, out of the two, I preferred Pomo D’oro.) However, the spicy pepperoni was VERY spicy. Unfortunately it over-powered the subtle flavors of the mozzarella. I like spicy food, but in my opinion, this was too spicy to be enjoyable. However, I would TOTALLY go back here and get just a cheese pizza, a caprese pizza, or another topping. That crust is totally worth trying again!

Ristorante La Botte
www.labotte.hu
Budapest, Váci street 72, 1056 Hungary

Budapest has AMAZING food. Here are the foods you MUST try in Budapest!! Still dreaming about the Kurtoskalacs!

Taverna Dionysos

A delicious authentic Greek experience. This is the cutest Greek cafe with a gorgeous view overlooking the Danube river. The food great and service was wonderful. We split a sampler platter so we could try a bite of everything. They brought us out a Greek feast!! Of course we had to try dessert too. :) This place was right by our hotel, and it was the perfect first meal of the trip.

Taverna Dionysos Étterem
Budapest, Belgrád rakpart 16, 1056 Hungary
www.taverna-dionysos.hu

 

Hungry for more?

Check out our food guides for:

Scotland
London
Paris
Amsterdam
New York

 

More From Budapest!

Don’t miss our other posts on Budapest for more recommendations!

Budapest, Part 1
Budapest, Part 2

And be sure to check out my friend Stephanie’s post from Budapest to see all her fabulous photos!!

 

Thanks so much for looking! Have a delicious weekend! :)


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