Although Vienna is landlocked, it’s not without its fair share of sunbathing spots. Instead of making the five-hour-drive to Croatia’s coast, you can lay down a towel on the sands of Danube Island, or head to a bathing complex. When the sun’s shining, the lounger-lined lidos are the place to be.
Europe’s second longest river, the Danube, runs right through the city. And in it, you’ll find Danube Island. It’s fringed with over 25 miles of beaches and is ideally placed just a few minutes from the city centre on the U1 subway line. Here, you can throw down a towel and wiggle your toes in the sand, or even take a dip in the water. Plus, if you’re visiting in June you might catch the annual Danube Island festival – the biggest free open-air party in Europe.
Vienna isn’t brimming with beaches, but there’s a water-filled sanctuary just outside the city centre in the form of Oberlaa’s Therme Wien. You can get there using the trains and trams, or it’s a half an hour drive away, but it’s definitely worth the journey. You’ll find 26 warm water baths, 23 saunas and steam baths as well as spa facilities, restaurants and a gym. It’s open all year round apart from December 24th and makes the ideal escape from the city.
The apple strudel has made its way into the pastry cases of bakeries and cafés all across the world, but nowhere makes it like they do in Vienna. It is, after all, their most famous dessert. And with good reason – this roll of flaky, buttery pastry hides layers of apple, raisins, sugar and cinnamon. It’s like Granny’s apple pie, with a twist.
This recipe forms one of Austria’s national dishes. It’s made by boiling beef in a broth of aromatic spices and is served with root vegetables, crispy potatoes and lashings of the soup. It often comes with sauces like apple-horseradish, and a white sauce made from sour cream and chives, so you can dip as you please.
This cake is so imbedded in Austrian culture that there’s a National Day dedicated to it on December 5th each year. And it tastes as impressive as it looks. This decadent chocolate cake has a layer of apricot jam in the middle and is iced with a thick chocolate glaze. It’s served with a compulsory mound of whipped cream – delicious.
This dish has been gracing the pages of Vienna’s restaurant menus since the 18th century. It’s traditionally made with a thin cut of veal that’s coated with egg and rolled in breadcrumbs, before being fried and plated up with a wedge of lemon.
It doesn’t get much better than a piping hot mug of rich chocolaty goodness, and the Viennese people have got the recipe for this classic beverage down to a T. They keep things simple, melting grated dark chocolate into warm milk, and sweetening it with sugar. A dollop of cream on the top is the perfect finishing touch.
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