Vienna Bucket List: 11 things to do

Hello there!

While I was an exchange student  in a village of Lower Austria,  I got the chance to visit Vienna a few times. This city has many sides and a lot to offer! It is  beautiful, with breathtaking buildings, filled with music, art and people from all over the world. It is definitely something special. So here’s a short travel guide to visit some basic monuments and some different places in the capital of Austria.

1. Visit Schonbrunn Palace and Gloriette

This one is definitely my favorite monument in Vienna. It is known for being Princess Sissi’s Palace and it is just glorious! The tour inside the palace is payed – you should definitely check it out, if you have the chance – but you can visit the gardens for free, they are beautiful and there is a great viewpoint from the gloriette.

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2. Take a picture of Rathaus

This is one of the most imposing and tall buildings in Vienna, it is quite beautiful on its own but you can also go up and have an amazing view over the city.

3. Comtemplate St. Sephen’s Cathedral

This famous cathedral is a gothic landmark of Vienna. If you go to the top, you can see the whole city, specificaly Stephansplatz, which name obviously comes from the cathedral,

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4. Get lost in Freud Museum

Don’t miss the chance to visit Freud’s former office, to see all the old objects and to learn a bit about his life and work.

5. Check out the Naschmarkt 

This is one of the most amazing markets I’ve visited, it is quite big and it has a big variety of stores and tents, from souvenirs to pubs, restaurants, spice shops, etc. It is a great spot to have lunch or just enjoy a glass of vino verde or kaiserspritzer, two typical beverages from Austria. This one is definitely worth a look.

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6. Grab a bite Museumquartier

This city has a lot of interesting museums all around, but this area in particular is a must visit, even if you aren’t going to any museum. This is a perfect place to grab something to eat and chill out in the sun. If you do like museums, you shouldn’t miss the natural history museum or MUMOK, if you are into art.

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7. Walk around in  Stadtpark

who doesn’t love parks? This is a beautiful park to take a walk, wether is sunny or not. Here you will find fountains, statues and a nice statue.

 

8. Have fun in the Prater

Prater is a great theme park that has the oldest big wheels in the world. Tbe entrance is free, you only pay for the rides you go on,  so you can j just walk around or go in some rides. If it’s spring or summer don’t miss the water rides, they’re super fun!.

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9. Enjoy a concert in the Vienna State Opera House

A great part of Vienna’s culture is music, so if you like opera or classical music don’t miss the chance to see a live show.

 

10. Eat an Apfelstrudel in a Coffeehouse

When in Vienna be Vienese ! This is the most classic austrian thing to do. Go to those old coffee houses and have that delicious apple pie and a cappucino, it feels great specially during the winter.

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11. Pay tribute to old musicians in Wiener Zentralfriedhof

I know this may sound creepy but this is the cemitery where a lot of famous musicians are buried (e.g. Beethoven and Brahms). It is weirdly nice and interesting.

 

This are the things I found most interesting in Vienna, but of course, this city has a lot more you can see and do to such as Belvedere, Rigstrasse or Hofburg. Besides that, do not miss the chance to eat some austrian goodies like schintzel, kaiserschmarrn or goulash! Hope this post was helpful 🙂

 

Lots of Love,

Catarina

Continue reading “Vienna Bucket List: 11 things to do”

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My Erasmus experience and why everyone should go on exchange

Hello everyone!

As you know, I’m Portuguese and I’ve been living and studying in Lisbon for a few years now. When I was taking my Bachelor degree, I decided to go on an exchange program and it was definitely what got me so involved in travelling. Therefor, I couldn’t avoid writing about it. Not only because it was a very important part of my life but also because everybody needs to know how great it is!

I always wondered how it was  and I felt like it would be good for me to step away from my “real life” for a bit. So, one day (most precisely the last day it was possible to apply), I made the most spontaneous decision in my life so far, and I just applied ! Even though I was scared of being far from home and going to a completely unknown place where I didn’t know anything or anybody. I just decided to give it a chance and try doing something different for once. It that was the best decision I’ve ever made.

I did the Erasmus+ Program in Krems an der Donau, an adorable little village in the lower Austria, one hour train ride from Vienna.

Not everything went well at first, because Austrians are REALLY different from Portuguese people. So, there I went with all my heavy bags, I took 1 air plane and 3 trains to arrive to Krems and the first thing that felt weird was that nobody would help me carry my bags into the train. Second strange thing was, as I got to Krems and my landlady went to pick me up, I greeted her with two kisses on the cheek (Portuguese way) and she was a bit confused.(Actually that one is on me. I should have known, too much intimacy!!) .

Then I had some problems with my courses, which I had to change completely. Let’s just say that it didn’t start the best way.

I had a rough few first  days and I must admit 2017-03-14 15_22_44-Catarina Palma (@catarinaaspalma) • fotos e vídeos do Instagram.pngI though about quitting and coming back home but I didn’t give up, so I just randomly started talking to people and, as my birthday was coming up, I though it might be the perfect occasion for the first party and for everyone to connect. Today I am proud to say that that party I threw in my house was what got together my current Erasmus group of friends, or as we call ourselves “Krems family”.

My flatmates were also an important part of my experience, they are all amazing ! I loved living with them, since we were all from different cultures and got along so well – We had a blast!

The few months that followed were amazing and absolutely unforgettable: we partied  (a lot), we threw international dinners with food from all over the world, and specially we got to travel together to amazing places like Italy, Hungary and Ireland. (Of course you’ll hear about that on other posts).

About the actual studies (which yes, I had to work a little), I found it very exciting, as there is more freedom to choose courses that you are interested in but don’t exist in your college back home. For instants, I was studying human resources management but I was able to attend marketing and hospitality courses which were new for me and I really liked. It is also important to have contact and work along colleagues from other cultures, as it will raise your cultural awareness and set your mind for international jobs.

Another great thing about exchange: it allows you to do whatever you want and be whomever you want! You get to reinvent yourself!

Going on exchange is really challenging, because you will go alone, you will depend entirely of yourself to live and make friends, if you’re sick there’s no parents to hold you. There’s just you. I guess this is the scary part.

My advice? Put yourself out there, start conversations, make friends from all over the world, travel, party ! Enjoy every second you have, and you will see the world and life like you never did. At least that’s what happened to me. It was an amazing period of my life: it helped me to grow up and to shape who I am today and to make friends for life.

So if you’re thinking about it… JUST GO and enjoy every second, because time flies, believe me!

                                                                                                                                                        Lots of Love,

Catarina