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mtaussig's picture

Sachertorte, Café Crawls and other delights of Vienna

on Wed, 06/27/2012 - 10:11
Vienna, Untour, Cafe Culture

In 1832, Prince Wenzel von Metternich charged his personal chef with creating a dessert for a dinner for several distinguished guests.  The chef pawned the job off on his 16 year old assistant, Franz Sacher...and the Sachertorte was born.  Now, the Sachertorte could credibly make the claim to being the most famous chocolate cake in the world. 

The cake consists of two layers of dense, not overly sweet chocolate cake (traditionally a sponge cake) with a thin layer of apricot jam in the middle and dark chocolate icing on the top and sides.

nickfortunatus's picture

Vienna's tastiest day trip

on Tue, 06/26/2012 - 10:55
Danube River dock at Krems, about 45 miles west of Vienna

As you may well know, Vienna is traditionally renowned for, among other things, its cafés, music and formal balls (like the Opera Ball). However, wine is quickly ascending "Why is Vienna famous?" list. As Austrian wines have become more popular outside the country borders, more and more oenophiles are adding Austria (specifically the Wachau Valley region) to their list of vineyard meccas around the globe.

Since many Untourists are following (or already have followed) suit, here's a quick guide for getting from Vienna to the Wachau Valley and enjoying the trip all the way. Get ready - it's gonna be a big day!

nickfortunatus's picture

Top 8 insider tips by Untourists for Salzburg and Vienna

on Thu, 06/21/2012 - 10:22
Untours recommends visiting Hallstatt, Austria, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

After each Untour, we ask our Untourists for feedback on their experience with us. This is important to us to make sure you had the best possible experience on your Untour and to give us some great advice on how to make your next Untour even better.

One of my favorite questions we ask is this: "Are there any special discoveries you would like to recommend?"

nickfortunatus's picture

How to stretch your euro in Vienna

on Tue, 06/19/2012 - 10:55
Fruit shop in Vienna's Naschmarkt

When I'm on a trip, it's almost a certainty that I buy something that reminds me that I've been there (you know, in case my amnesia flares up again). It used to be t-shirts, more recently it's been things for my daughter (who turns one on Saturday!) and sometimes I just need to have that mug or keychain or any other ilk of generic souvenir. Maybe you're the same.

mtaussig's picture

Tasty Cultural Clues in Vienna

on Mon, 06/18/2012 - 10:45
Cafe Landtmann, Untours, Austria, Vienna

Head over early to the St. Stephen's Cathedral, one of the crown jewels of Vienna's stellar architecture.   (The cathedral opens at 6 am.) to beat the throng and psyche yourself up for the 343 steps to the viewing platform at the top. Reward yourself with coffee at Cafe Landtmann (pictured above). This landmark cafe, founded in 1873, can count Sigmund Freud, Gustav Mahler and Marlene Dietrich as former clientele. 

Don’t miss spending time in a Heuriger which is a uniquely Austrian establishment that showcases Austrian wines and food. Heurig means this year's (as an adjective) in Swiss German

mtaussig's picture

Untourists of the Week: Dian & Bob Reid

on Mon, 06/18/2012 - 10:05
Untours, Belvedere, Austria, Vienne
Here's why there's no picture of Bob & Diane in Vienna: "...none of our travel photos include the two of us.  We are more interested in a uncluttered photo of the object of interest, I guess.  Can you run a stock photo of one of our favorite sites in Vienna such as a beautiful park, the Belvedere, opera house or Musikverein?"  So instead we offer this beautiful picture of the Belvedere by Ivo Jansch

Tell us about your most recent Untour?

We visited Vienna with Untours in 2006 and made the recommended rounds for a week.

mtaussig's picture

Do's & don'ts: Austrian Etiquette

on Wed, 06/06/2012 - 09:34
vienna, culture, etiquette, untours
The Austrian people are known for their warmth, but, in Austria, informality doesn't always equate with warmth.  Here are some hints for how to show your appreciation for their hospitality in a way that the Austrians will appreciate. Note:  The Viennese are specialists in formal manners and to this day, may make a more formal and ornate greetings than in other parts of Austria.   A gentleman kissing a ladies hand is still done, in the certain circumstances and style.  (Note: Don't try this unless you were born in Austria, and know exactly what you are doing.)
mtaussig's picture

Free Music in Vienna

on Wed, 05/30/2012 - 10:44
Augustinerkirche, Vienna, music, Untours
We're just about to the end of May, our month for featuring content on the Untours of Central Europe.  As you may know from our featured Untourists , many people choose a trio of cities  -- Prague, Budapest and Vienna -- as a way to explore this region.  In June, we will be featuring Austria on the blog.  So today, in a nod towards transitioning between Central Europe, we focus on Vienna, and a wonderful way to hear music for free.

Some of the highest quality sacred music you are likely to hear is free, if you can be at one particular place and time in Vienna: at 11:00 a.m.

mtaussig's picture

Untourists of the Week: Jim and Kathy Snyder

on Mon, 05/14/2012 - 10:21
Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Wachau, Hurtigruten
Jim and Kathy Snyder went to Prague, Budapest and Vienna in 2011.  Here are their impressions.

Tell us a little bit about your most recent Untour.

We went to all three cities and they were all great in their own way. 

Prague highlights were

  • The Charles Bridge (We could walk there in five minutes from our fantastic apartment, the Vlasska),  We didn't need our host landlady for anything, as Alena your staff person in Prague had us super well prepared, but we got the feeling she was very happy to help if we needed it. 
  • The Jewish Quarter
  • The Konopiste Chateau  ( about an hour outside Prague, and
mtaussig's picture

Jean and Jim Hall: Untourists of the Week

on Mon, 05/07/2012 - 09:35
Prague, Untours,
This week we depart from our normal question and answer format to let the Halls tell you about their trip in their own words.

In June of 2011 my husband and I took a Prague/Vienna Untour, and were very happy with the whole Untours approach.

The best thing was the accomodations!

In Prague we stayed at VLASSKA, a second story apartment in the Mala Strana.  The location was optimal:  far enough into the Mala Strana so that quiet reigned; near enough to the Charles Bridge to get there in 5 minutes.  Around the corner was a church that offered frequent, inexpensive, excellent concerts.