During the summer I got explore the stunning city of Vienna. The streets were filled with well-dressed men and women against the backdrop of beautiful buildings. Here are my favourite street shots I took during my time there:
I was extremely excited to wake up in the hotel knowing I have another full day in Vienna. I feel like we only saw a glimpse of what the city has to offer yesterday.
The Prater is a famous fairground featuring the huge ferris wheel. I love both rides and heights so it ticked all the boxes for me. It was an absolutely baking hot day so after a ride on the wheel we headed to the log flume. The funfair was free to get in and all the rides were extremely affordable. And best of all unlike theme parks I’ve been too, the longest queuing time was 5 minutes!
View from the top of the wheel
After all this excitement we headed for the considerably calmer setting of St.Stephens Cathedral. Although not religious myself, the architecture of the huge building built back in 1160! Entry was free of charge and there was plenty of seats for visitors to sit and reflect although it was so busy it would’ve been hard to zone out.
As we were taking in the stunning interior of the church a huge thunderstorm hit. So we decided to take cover in the best place possible- the shops. After a few new outfits (and lunch) was bought we planned our next move- walking through the bustling streets back to the free film festival where the opera Carmen was being shown. With Ice cream in hand and the stars shining above we enjoyed our last night in the city.
Hiding from the rain in H&M
Locals and tourists mixing at the Music Film Festival
Overall I really enjoyed Vienna, two days is nowhere enough time to see everything with the sheer number of galleries and museums almost overwhelming. I really want to return to see more and experience the famous opera (currently on a summer break). The atmosphere of the city feels older than close cities such as Budapest which has a much younger feel. But if you want a mixture of culture, a good climate and kind locals then Vienna is well worth a visit.
It has taken more than one attempt to visit Vienna. Ill-timed illness as it were caused me to miss out on Vienna earlier this year but finally, this summer I managed to experience the Austrian capital and all it has to offer..
As with most holidays it started with our plane being delayed and spending an abnormal amount of time in the airport Starbucks. But eventually we were on our way, the flight was just under two hours from London Gatwick. Due to the delay we arrived at night- but this didn’t stop me being impressed with Vienna from the off. The airport was clean, the train station was clearly sign posted and getting through passport control took literally two minutes!
The lift ‘artwork’ in the hotel
After a good night sleep in our comfy yet slightly creepy hotel room we headed out to see Vienna. First up food (obviously). Cafe Central famed for having customers such as Totsky, Stalin and Freud and serves pastry and hot food all day. Given the grand surroundings I was expecting a very high price tag- but instead I consumed the most beautiful food for an incredibly reasonable price.
With full stomachs and time ticking on we decided we should probably see a bit of culture. The museum quarter is packed with museums (of course) but also a well though-out central area with chairs for reading, cafes and a water fountain. Each museum takes around half a day to go round so we had to pick one, we went for the Kunsthistorisches Museum which opened in 1891. It turned out to be the most stunning building I’ve ever seen, it’s packed with original artworks by painters such as Michelangelo, Rembrandt and my personal favourite Gustav Klimt. It’s so big I had to make use of all the sofas placed in all the rooms to give my feet a rest.
After loosing track of time we left and explored more of the city. The city was buzzing and completed by chance we were there during the Vienna Music Film Festival. It’s on for the whole of the summer and takes place in front of the magnificent town hall. Its a big screen showing music-related films with 100 food stalls and around 2000 seats for the audience. And best of all its FREE. It would be unheard off to have an event like this free in somewhere like London.
So with the sun setting we bought some burger, fries and settled in for a night under the stars watching a live recording of an Alicia Keys concert. Tomorrow we have a full day planned- shopping, the famous Prater fairground, St.Stephens cathedral and returning to the film festival.
Two weeks ago, on my way to visit my grandparents I got given a leaflet advertising the ‘Peoples March’, a demonstration against Brexit, in Central London on the 23rd June. I am always on the look out for new photography opportunities and as I was already heading up to Birmingham to catch up with some university friends this proved the perfect pitstop.
I arrived at the meeting place half an hour before the start, there was an air of both excitement and confusion among the people gathering to make their voice heard. It was clear the amount of people far exceeded expectations at over 100,000 and many had no idea where the march actually started..
Through sheer luck and determination (and no logic) I ended up at the front of the march along with all the tv cameras and political figures.
It was a purely peaceful protest with samba bands, face painting and people singing. With so much going on it was hard to know where to look let alone photograph. I aimed to capture a mixture of people along with incorporating the backdrop of Central London.
The light was extremely bright so I used a ND filter and focused on shooting with the sun behind me. If you want to see more images from the protest check out my latest Instagram story @madisonbeachphotos.
And if you’re looking for some travel inspiration check out Emily’s blog. Emily is one of my closest friends; both my roommate in Bangladesh and travel buddy in Eastern Europe and has just moved to Australia! A great travel writer and even better friend, head over to her new blog and give it some support!
Belém, a district famous for it’s custard tarts and monastery, is just a short tram ride away from the city centre. Unfortunately for us the tram didn’t turn up for half an hour and the queue was so long we wouldn’t of got on the first couple of trams that arrived.
So we made the decision to take the metro- only problem was the metro doesn’t go to Belém. So just two metro’s and a train later we finally arrived. First impressions was busy- so so busy. Filled with tourists and students spilling out the cafe’s and taking in the beautiful architecture of the monastery.
Like many visiting, first stop was lunch. After trying to find a seat in a few restaurants we stumbled into a burger place. Turns out this place was a cosy, artisan burger joint and the best decision we made all day- it was absolutely delicious. Unfortunately I was so hungry I ate it before I could take a picture but this is the front of the restaurant, if you ever visit Lisbon I highly recommend a visit..
With our stomachs full we headed to the windy riverside to see the gigantic monument; Padrão dos Descobrimentos.
The 171ft tall monument was finished in 1960 after 2 years of construction. It sits on the edge of the Tagus river and has a viewing platform at the top. There are 33 sculptures surrounding the monument representing figures (mainly white men) from history, with Henry the Navigator leading from the front.
The size and detail makes this a must see for a visit to Lisbon, as is the most famous Portuguese custard tart cafe. Pastéis de Belém house’s the most secretive recipe in the whole of Europe. The recipe was first created by monks 200 years ago and the recipe has not changed since. It is so secretive only 3 people know the recipe-and they won’t travel in the same car together. The custard tarts are so popular on an average day they sell 20,000!
The queue came out the entrance all around the block. But as we weren’t planning on returning to Belém during our time in Lisbon we joined the masses. And to be fair, the queue went down extremely quickly and before we knew it we were inside ordering a couple of custard tarts to take away. And boy, did they live up to the highest of expectations, well worth the wait.
To end the day we headed back into the centre of Lisbon, this time by bus, and took a funicular up to a stunning viewpoint across the city to watch the (cloudy) sun set.
One lost boarding pass, a dropped phone and a two hour delay later we were out of Gatwick and finally on a plane flying to Lisbon.
We landed at 2.30pm and after a brief walk found ourselves on the metro. The station was incredibly grand and decorated with black and white murals.
It’s a relatively short journey from the airport to the centre of town (30 mins) and we soon arrived at the metro stop nearest our hotel. As we clambered up the stairs with our cases out the station we came to a stunning view; statue’s and a beautiful square in one direction and the sun shining on a winding river the other.
After taking too many photos we checked into our hotel. We’re not normally ones to complain but the room we were given in this highly-recommend hotel was very dark, claustrophobic and had an odd bathroom-you could see through from the bed..
But the staff were extremely helpful and moved us into another room which has both natural light and a bathroom with an actual door. So after quickly unpacking into our new room we went to explore.
We didn’t have much time left before the sun set so we just wandered around the local area, got some dinner and headed for an early night after having to get up at an inhumane hour for a delayed flight.
My first impressions of Lisbon are as good as they could be; pastry shops everywhere, trams and a beautiful riverside walk. I am really looking forward to getting to know this city and it’s history more in the next few days.