A trip to Vienna the months before Christmas is like going to the mother of all Christmas markets. The inner city is full of small stands full of handcrafted items, punch and glühwein. In the evening the whole city is lit up of Christmas decorations, and full of people just enjoying them selves.
I had the opportunity to visit Vienna three times during 2017 and 2018. The first two was for work, back in 2017, but we had some time off in the evenings. I just loved the city and could walk for hours on the streets with my camera. In 2018 I went back with my wife, just to have a good time and enjoy the city. Perhaps even see it in daylight.
When I talk about Vienna, I refer to the ”First District” or the ”Innere Stadt”. There are 22 more Districts in Vienna, so the city is much more than this – but the ”Innere Stadt” is the part I think most people visit as they come to Vienna for the first time. The District is not that big – the best way to explore it is no doubt by foot, but if you get tired there are buses and trams that can help. My favorite tram was a small veteran tram, that I saw several times in the city.
There are in fact several small Christmas Markets in the city. To be honest when you have seen 10 (or even 3) Christmas Markets you have seen them all. Luckily there are much more to see in the city. If you are into photography, like me, it is a gold mine. I brought my Leica M240 for all three visits, with some different lenses. The second trip was in fact the first time I used a 28mm lens on the camera – the Voigtländer Ultron 28/2. I soon learned that a 28mm lens, a M240 and a pair of glasses was not a good combination. I simply could not see the whole frame in the finder.
When you are in Vienna you must spend some time in the great cafés. Try the Apfelstrudel with vanilla cream and a cup of coffee, and just relax. A trip to Schloss Schönbrunn can be a nice thing to do – but do it early in the morning. It get’s crowded during the day. But if you are a Leica Freak like me, there are some things you can’t miss as you are in Vienna.
There are three Leica shops in Vienna – one of them is called just that ”Leica Shop Vienna”. The shop is in fact two shops; one for new stuff, and one vintage shop. I especially like the vintage shop. It’s almost like a museum of Leica cameras and lenses (there are in fact other brands as well). Then there is an official Leica Store as well. It could be a good thing to save some money (a couple of years?) before you visit the stores. But it can be fun just to visit and see all the beautiful cameras.