I should probably confess that I have a bias towards German-speaking countries before I start this post. When I was traveling I by far felt the most comfortable in those countries, likely because I could speak and understand enough of the language to get by.
Of the countries I visited, Austria was my favorite. Being my favorite, it was also the only country I visited twice during my stay. Vienna, the capital city, was, in my opinion, just as pretty as Paris but smaller with all the major sights closer together. It was also so much cheaper. Having had only a day in to explore both cities and not much money, I felt that going to Vienna was better and I enjoyed it more. There were no free walking tours offered when I visited, but with a map and suggestions from the airbnb host, I found it easy to find attractions on my own.
There was also a marathon going on during my stay, so the major street around the city center was mostly closed and there was a really lively atmosphere. Because of the marathon, there was also people walking around offering free samples of chocolate candies and such (which were so delicious that I kept going back for more).
Below are photos from my trip including pictures of the palace, Belvedere Museum and garden, the National Library and more…