The duration of most of our stays this year has been two weeks. Apart from our pre-departure preparations for Grantourismo and soiree in Dubai and the days leading up to our launch party in London, only on two occasions on the trip have we stayed in places for only a week each, in Italy and in Austria.

In Italy, it was partly a case of availability and partly a case of both the HomeAway Holiday-Rentals team and Terence and I being torn between choosing either Puglia or Sardinia — an impossible choice, so we did a week in each against our better judgement. We loved both experiences equally.

In Austria, it proved to be a challenge finding a property in a ski village with early season snow, so we decided to stay one week in Zell am See so Terence could assess the snowboarding and one week in Vienna. While one week isn’t enough time to really settle into a place, we were pleased we did both, because Vienna really is a brilliant city to experience, especially if you’re staying in an apartment.

As Terence already wrote in an earlier post, the owner of our Vienna apartment had said to us that summer was really when Vienna bloomed, but we actually loved our winter stay. Sure it was cold, and it was especially icy on a few occasions when the temperature plummeted. But what we most love about staying in an apartment in winter is if you really don’t feel like heading out again into the chilly weather, you can simply stay in for the evening – something you can’t do in all hotels, unless you’re willing to order up over-priced room service. Yes, I’m talking to you, Club Sandwich.

We did end up eating out a lot, but we had a few memorable dinners in when Terence made hearty, warming winter meals, including dishes with truffles!

What we loved about staying where we did in the Fifth District was that we had the Naschmarkt a couple of blocks away – with its countless stalls and shops selling fresh fruit and vegetables, cheeses, cold cuts, meat, Mediterranean deli goodies, from Middle Eastern dips to stuffed vegetables, as well as freshly ground coffee, olive oils, wine, and tea. We also had several Billa supermarkets close by.

For our stays of less than two weeks this year we haven’t given you a Price Check shopping list, but we thought it might prove helpful for both Zell am See, when you’re making decisions about where to go for some winter skiing, and Vienna, so you can see how it compares price-wise to other cities in the vicinity, such as Budapest, Krakow, and Berlin. So here you go…

A Vienna Shopping List

1.5 litre water€0.45£0.38US$0.61
1 litre milk€0.70£0.60US$0.96
Bottle of local wine€4.90£4.19US$6.69
330ml beer€0.70£0.60US$0.96
100g Nescafe€3.30£2.82US$4.50
250g coffee beans€3.90£3.33US$5.32
50 tea bags€4.80£4.10US$6.55
1 kg sugar€0.90£0.77US$1.23
Jar of jam€1.30£1.11US$1.77
1 loaf of bread€1.90£1.62US$2.59
250g quality butter€1.30£1.11US$1.77
200g cheese€2.40£2.05US$3.28
500 ml oil€4.90£4.19US$6.69
1 doz organic eggs€3.80£3.25US$5.19
1 kilo tomatoes€2.00£1.71US$2.73
1 kilo onions€1.00£0.85US$1.36
1 kilo apples€1.90£1.62US$2.59
250 g pistachios€5.50£4.70US$7.51
Kuner Austrian mayonnaise€2.20£1.88US$3.00
End of Article


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