I just returned from a weeklong trip through Austria and Switzerland! I traveled with a few women in my program––Sophie from the University of Southern California, Annabelle from Emory University, and Ania from Georgetown University––and had a blast visiting cities and towns in central Europe. I have created a list of my favorite and least favorite things about the trip, in case you ever visit those places!
My favorite thing we did in Vienna was a walk through vineyards in the northern part of the city. When we decided to go to the vineyards, we did not know it would be a real hike, but we definitely broke a sweat (and then it started raining on us…). Despite the rain, we had beautiful views of Vienna and got to try some delicious local wine.
We also really enjoyed the museums in Vienna. We got lucky because the Long Night of Museums (an event where almost all the museums in the city were open between 6pm and 1am and you can get into as many as you want with one ticket) was going on on Saturday night while we were there, so we got to visit quite a few. Although we only made it to three museums that night, we went to more the next day. My favorite museums were the Mumok, Leopold (both modern art museums), and the Haus der Musik (a museum about famous Austrian composers and music from Vienna). Would definitely recommend all three!
The worst experience we had in Vienna was at a pizza restaurant right near our hostel. We had passed by it a few times and thought it looked good, so before we went to the Long Night of Museums, we decided to give it a whirl. We had the worst service of our lives because it took over an hour to get our pizzas and the servers were not paying any attention to us. It took forever for them to greet us and then everything just took so long to be brought over. Then, once the pizza came, it was not even very tasty. The whole event was not terrible, though. We sat next to two older women from the United Kingdom who were very sweet and distracted us from our growling stomachs.
By far the best part of being in Salzburg was staying with my friend Juan. Juan was a good friend of mine from Hamburg, who is now studying opera in Salzburg. He let us crash in his living room and took us to a few places around the city. We made dinner for him and his roommates one night as a thank you for letting us stay with them. Getting to hang out with him again was really special and fun because it felt like old times.
One of the days in Salzburg we took a day trip to St. Gilgen to visit Lake Wolfgang. We had gorgeous weather to wander around the lake and through the village. It was perfectly picturesque!
The worst thing about Salzburg was that I was under the weather for two of the three days we were there. Although I did not let the cold hold me back from having a good time, it put a bit of a damper on my time there. Thank goodness it cleared by the time I got to Switzerland, though!
Honestly, I think the two cities in Switzerland that we visited, Lucerne and Zurich, were two of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited. I spent one day in each city before heading back to Berlin.
In Lucerne, my favorite thing we did was go into a few towers along the Musegg––the fortification wall built around the city in the middle ages. We had the most incredible views. The architecture mixed with the lake and mountains made the landscape look more like a painting than real life. (The featured image of this blog is the view from one of the towers!)
The best part of Zurich was wandering around the city. We went for a long walk along the lake as well as through the old town. We got to pass by (though unfortunately not go into) Cafe Voltaire, which is where the art movement Dadaism was born! I had just learned about Dadaism in two of my classes, so getting to see where it started was pretty special.
The worst thing about Switzerland was how EXPENSIVE everything was. We had been warned that things would be pricey, but we did not realize just how bad it would be. We ended up eating very little while we were there because prices for even a basic salad was more than we wanted to spend.
Back in Berlin!
By the end of the trip, it felt good to come back to Berlin. And to top off the incredible week, my host family from Hamburg came to visit! It was fun to bring them around Berlin and do more touristy things than I am used to. They really are like family to me, so it felt like home to spend time with them again.
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<p>I am a rising junior at Connecticut College majoring in Architectural Studies. When I am not studying or constructing three-dimensional architecture models, I can be found playing ultimate frisbee or helping run the Womxn's Empowerment Initiative at Conn. After graduating from high school, I took a gap year to work as an au pair near Hamburg, Germany, so I could not be more excited to return to the country and share with you my adventures!</p>