Living abroad away from family and friends is hard. Each day goes by and it makes you question whether it was worth the move. But it makes it worth it when your friends visit you and you go on amazing adventures together! I’ve been lucky enough to have many friends come over to visit me in London or I’ve travelled to meet them somewhere in Europe. Definitely helps with the home sickness! But the goodbyes are just as hard.
My best friend M and I always dreamt of going to Paris together and going on an adventure somewhere around the world. This year we were determined to make it happen! Plus she really misses me haha.
I met her in Vienna, it was my first time in Austria and it won’t be the last. I know I say this a lot about European cities, but Vienna is definitely up there on my list of livable cities. We did the usual tourist sight seeing in Vienna, and I fell completely in love with this photogenic city. It feels similar to Paris only everything is in walking distance, although it is smaller than Paris, there is a lot to do, see and eat! Plus it was a lot cheaper than Paris!
The twin museum buildings, one is the Natural History and the adjacent one is the fine arts. It cost €10 per entry for each museum. Or you can buy a Vienna trip pass which will include some of the tourist sites.
We didn’t have time to go check it out, but from what we’ve heard inside the building is quite beautiful and one of the buildings you can go up on the rooftop for a view of the city.
Outside the Spanish Riding School.
One of our highlights were visiting the national library. The entrance fee is €7 per person, and it was worth seeing the detailed painting on the ceiling and in general the beautiful historic building. It was like walking into the ballroom of Beauty and the Beast.
Also visited many cathedrals, they’re free and they’re beautiful!
Got lost in a university.
Entered the Palace of Justice purely for the architecture.
Now, Vienna is known for it’s classical Mozart music, opera and ballet.
We opted for a symphony at the Royal Palace which had opera and ballet segments. As much as the performance was excellent, I personally would not recommend you book it. Not only did I feel we got ripped off (booking via online, it was actually cheaper to book in Vienna!) but I felt we got misconstrued. The concert was not in the palace, but in a garden room on the outskirts of the grounds on the palace, and you definitely didn’t feel like you were in the Palace at all. It was not worth the taxis ride there. My advice is stick to the opera at the State Opera House.
The museum quarter where people hang out when it’s sunny.
Vienna is known for its pastries, cakes and desserts! Don’t forget to try an apple strudel!
We went to the Cafe Central for our dessert fix.
I highly recommend this quaint hidden restaurant for a romantic date, Durchhaus. It has a cute courtyard with vines and grapes hanging down above you, very sweet!
A romantic date with your bff counts too right?
Our original plan was to spend a day in Hallstatt, however the tours there were expensive, so were the trains! We decided to hire a car and drive there ourselves, mainly because it worked out to be the same price only we weren’t abide to a schedule.
Hallstatt (pronounced in German Aus-stat) is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to, it comes an easy second after Annecy! My only tip is that finding a parking spot was hard, there are some car parks but they are hidden behind residential streets.
Once you get there, you can easily spend a few hours there, or just relax by the lake like we did.
Everything was so picture perfect.
Very happy to be in Hallstatt, even after the 3 hrs drive.
The cathedral up on the hill is worth a visit. Not only is the cemetery beautiful, but there’s a mini catacombs room where entry is €1. They ran out of spots for the grave yard so they dug up all the bones and compiled them in the room, and decorated the skulls as a respect for the dead.
We took the cable car up in the mountains to see the whole view of Hallstatt. €16 return ticket.
Spotted a beautiful door on the way home.
It was very hard saying goodbye to Hallstatt.
The following day we said goodbye to Vienna as we made our way to Paris.
Out of total coincident, we landed in Paris on Bastille day, which I also attended the previous year!
Always time for a tourist photo.
Sunset at the Louvre is absolutely captivating.
When in Paris, when I can’t afford €6 Coke I have to drink wine instead. And of course cheese and bread.
We stayed in Montmartre this time round. This would be my 6th trip to Paris, so I won’t go into details about where I went, but please do enjoy these photographs.
Went to the most expensive high tea ever! But it was worth it to check out this beautiful Hotel, Plaza Athenee.
Beautiful streets of Paris, always make me think of Midnight in Paris.
Went to check out Musee Rodin.
A quick visit to the Galeries Lafayette and checking out the rooftop terrace view of Paris.
Stopped by Luxembourg Gardens.
And seeing the view from the top of the Pantheon.
We also did a day trip to Rouen, a very cute french town!
I told myself this was the last time I’ll visit Paris for a long time as I’ve been there 4 times now in the last 2 years. It’s still one of my favourite cities, and I’m still drawn to it.
I won’t be surprised if I’ll end up there again for Bastille day next year!