Grumpy Girl Traveller Series: 7 ways to make the most of your New Years Eve

First of the Grumpy Girl Traveller Series:

Can you believe it is 2019 already? It’s unbelievable… I’m still writing that it’s 2014. It will always be 2014 in my eyes. Donald Trump wasn’t in office. I was younger. Slimmer. I was still an asshole. The world was brighter.

To mark the end of the year coming far too quickly I went to Vienna to get away for the New Years celebrations as I hate how repetitive New Years Eve is at home- go out to a house party or a club and spend far too much money and end up only having a mediocre night at best. Whilst I was researching places to go in Vienna and things to do I found that a lot of the recommendations on the internet were for mainly the Christmas period and didn’t focus too much on New Years. So I thought I would write up my experiences and recommendations in a blog post to give people some ideas for New Years Eve 2015 2019.

Please feel free to add any suggestions you have in the comment section as I’d love to read them!

The streets of Vienna are paved with culture, the streets of other cities with asphalt

– Karl Kraus

Now I have to preface this list with although Vienna is absolutely stunning in the winter months due to the lights that can be found on almost every street, a lot of tours etc only run in the summer. Also visiting Schonbrunn Palace gardens needs to be done in the summer to do the beautiful gardens justice.

Strap on your butts as I can tell this is going to be a long one.

Here we go:

  1. Stay at an AirBnB

This will save you at least £100 per night, especially if you pick an apartment that is slightly outside of the city centre.

We stayed at a lovely AirBnB in Rögerstrasse, just 10 minutes outside of the city centre. As you can see it’s a stunning little 2 bed flat and really fulfilled all of our needs.

2. Go view all the Christmas lights (I know I said I wouldn’t mention Christmas but I couldn’t resist)

I’ll just leave the pictures here to speak for themselves.

LOOK AT ALL THE PRETTY LIGHTS!

3. Go to one of the Gala Ball’s

The most expensive of all the balls would be at Schonbrunn Palace, however the Sylvester Ball at the Rathaus (city hall) is much more reasonable and even basic entry tickets include all inclusive drinks (which I hated myself for the next day), however you may be places (like we were) in the accompanying wing as this is a very popular event.

At midnight we all go out on to the balcony with a glass of (free) sparkling wine and watch the countdown and fireworks over hundreds of cheering people in the square below. You also get to witness classic Viennese waltz’s and a mixture of modern and classical music, such as Johann Strauss II’s Blue Danube.

The only pictures I took I decided when in a slightly intoxicated state would look really edgy in black and white and so you can’t actually see anything. Because I am an idiot when drunk and sober.

So here are my super edgy pics:

God I’m good at this blogging malarkey!

But seriously this was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had so I cannot recommend it enough. (If someone wants to pay me to recommend it more I will try my best!) (haha seriously pay me)

4. Visit Cafe Central and watch the snowfall outside (but beware of the wait)

Cafe Central’s popularity speaks for itself

A revolutionary (Trotsky), a psychoanalyst (Freud), several writers and poets (including Polgar, Zweig and Altenberg) and an architect (Loos) walked into a café. What sounds like the start of a joke was an everyday occurrence at Café Central (est. 1876). Over coffee, cake and the odd cigar, some of the greatest poets, philosophers and – it has to be said – storytellers the world has ever seen, got together in Vienna’s most attractive coffeehouse.

https://www.cafecentral.wien/en/

with its high gothic ceilings it’s really a sight not to be missed. Also it has such a wide cake collection! I tried to eat through them all but failed miserably and just ended up in a corner cradling the words largest food baby and hating myself for having eyes bigger than my stomach.

However, like the rest of the popular cafe’s in Vienna there is normally always a queue to get in. We agreed that we would queue for 20 minutes however this turned more in to 45 minutes. Luckily the decor and food made up for it once inside. I would definitely go again despite the queue. (I know I’m British and we’re meant to be good at queuing but I am not a good queuer) (is queuer even a word? I’ve said it too many times in my head now it doesn’t seem real anymore.)

Cafe Central exterior
Cafe Central interior
Sachertorte
Schnitzel with amazing cheesy potatoes

5. Tour the city (but bring an umbrella just in case)

Or just check the weather. Don’t be like me walking round in a coat that’s certainly not waterproof with no hood and no umbrella. The trifecta of stupid.

There are a multitude of tours that you can choose from whether it’s a 7 hour walking tour, 2 hour walking tour, horse and carriage tour, or the hop on and hop off buses. I prefer the longer tours myself as you get a real immersive experience in the city and the culture but go with whatever floats your boat.

What’s that I hear?

You want more black and white photos of Vienna? Well alrighty then.

Opera house
The Golden Cabbage

St Stephan’s Cathedral

Top floor of Vienna Aquarium

Shameless plug: if you want to see more pictures that will be in colour (wow) please follow my instagram @diaryofa5ft10girl

6. Visit Loca for an incredible 6-course meal

Simply put. It’s simply beautiful. Showcasing the best Vienna has to offer.

Make sure to email them to get a reservation!

7. GOULASH

I know I know it’s Hungarian. BUT. Because Vienna is so close to Budapest they have great goulash here! Just eat it!

That’s everything from me (phew). Thank all those of you who stuck around to the bitter end!

Have a great week!

If you want to read more posts like this head over to Grumpy Girl Traveller

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What are Festive Blues?

It’s finally come time to admit it: I suffer from festive blues.

By no means am I saying that I’m a Scrooge shouting Bah Humbug at carol singers or at children skipping on their merry way to a nativity play.

However around Christmas I do become more depressed and far more snappy with people. No matter how much I want to be on my own sometimes, I believe we should be more open with how we are feeling during this time of year because it’s a good reminder that we aren’t alone and these feelings are only temporary.

What are the festive blues:

The holiday season can trigger depression or depression-like symptoms for a number of reasons:

  • economic circumstances,
  • stress,
  • life situation (break up, death of a loved one),
  • family dysfunction,
  • less sunlight,
  • Unrealistic expectations (comparing self to others)
  • Alcohol intake
  • change in diet and routine etc.

I think it’s key to remember that a lot more people are affected during the festive season than we realise. None of us are alone in these feelings but we all have our individual ways of coping.

Symptoms:

  • Feelings of loneliness
  • Fatigue
  • Sadness
  • Tension
  • Lashing out
  • Sense of loss
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of being left out

The cause of my festive blues:

This is going to make me sound like a total millennial but the major cause for my holiday blues is:

  • having very high expectations for the picture-perfect festive season and comparing my Christmas to previous years and to others.

When reality inevitably doesn’t meet my expectations, I inevitably don’t feel good. Nothing will ever be good enough.

How to combat festive blues:

  • Try and stay in the present- turn off your phone and stop comparing
  • Have some alone time- don’t isolate yourself but remember to look after yourself especially if you are burning the candle at both ends
  • Don’t compare your insides to another person’s outsides
  • Set an end of year goal
  • Start a gratitude journal
  • Give back
  • Plan a getaway
  • Speak to someone
  • Make sure you’re getting enough sleep
  • Exercise
  • Set reasonable expectations for the holiday season
  • Delete instagram temporarily

Have you experienced Festive Blues? How did you combat it?