We kicked off our holiday travel taking an early morning flight from Abu Dhabi to Dusseldorf before our final transfer to Vienna. We arrived in Vienna at about 7:30 pm local time and checked in to our room at about 8:30 pm. It was a full day of travel but given the crazy stories many have had to endure during this time of year we had a very easy go of it. We got to the airport early and had a quick breakfast in the Al Dhabi Lounge before heading to our 9:00 am Air Berlin flight.
The flight was amazing and luckily we only had about 30% of seats filled on board. We were able to stretch out across our entire row and watch a good selection of In-Flight Entertainment and were very impressed with the service and food options even in economy. The layover in Dusseldorf was a comfortable and uneventful 4 hours in the Hugo Junkers Lounge. Our final flight was to Vienna was fully booked but it was a quick hour flight and we were in the Vienna airport breezing through to the City Airport Train in no time.
Stepping out from the subway station was beautiful, we arrived on a cool, wet night and it started to rain a bit but it was refreshing coming from the Abu Dhabi sunshine. We went the wrong way initially from the station but eventually we found our hotel and it was absolutely gorgeous. We were greeted warmly and treated to a stunning Park Hyatt Suite which was the nicest room in which we have ever stayed. Before going to the room we were given a personal tour of the property which had just opened in June 2014 after a massive conversion from the buildings original purpose as a 100-years-old bank.
The property managed to preserve some of the cool architectural details of the old bank such as the restaurant “The Bank” which makes use of the old bank lobby and teller stations, and the indoor pool which is located in the old bank vault. The hotel also had a beautiful lounge on the main floor, including an adjacent whiskey and cigar room which featured an extensive selection of premium whisky and cigars. All in all, we both agreed that this was the nicest property we have ever visited and the service was top notch. Every day when we returned they kept the stroller in the lobby for us so we didn’t have to haul it up and down the building and stairs throughout the lobby.
We had a lovely time exploring Vienna and enjoying quality family time while seeing some beautiful sites. Vienna is a large city but not overwhelmingly so; it has a very efficient public transportation system which we accessed by purchasing a 3 day Vienna Card . The Vienna Card allowed us unlimited use of subways/trams/buses and gave discounts on tickets at many attractions and restaurants. With our hotel located in the “inner ring” of the city, we found that it was incredibly easy to simply walk out the hotel doors and explore.
The Christmas markets were a main draw for us in choosing Vienna as our holiday destination, and they did not disappoint. The markets were fun to wander through, while drinking some coffee of mulled wine, eating some amazing treats, and shopping for some unique gifts. The city was alive with people; most of the attractions and sites we visited were fairly crowded but the crowds gave a good energy to the city especially over the Christmas Break.
After 3 days of touring the city we had seen most of the major landmarks and sites that were open in the winter. We enjoyed the food scene, had a great time wandering around the city, and always felt safe and comfortable walking around and bringing Matteo along. If you plan a trip to Austria, be prepared that dogs are allowed everywhere including restaurants, subways, trains, shops, and hotels. I have heard it stated in more that one place the the Viennese like dogs more than kids. The dogs we saw out were always very well behaved and leashed, never really causing us to give them a second thought after our initial curiosity was satisfied.
All in all, Vienna was a beautiful city and we both agreed it would be a great place to return to in the summer or spring months when the weather allows for new activities to explore. After our three days in Vienna, we made our way to the train station to hop aboard on our way to Salzburg for Christmas.