presse agent Shay Lowe

where: Vienna, Austria

when: April 2013

why: Business. I was personally invited by Swarovski headquarters in Austria, along with 300 other delegates from around the world, to attend a 2-day summit.

when did you book this trip? January 2013

which airlines did you use? Air Canada & Austrian Air

where did you stay? Hotel InterContinental Wien (Vienna). Located in the Stadtpark district, it’s minutes from the Ringstrasse and Kaerntner Strasse – an exclusive shopping district with tons of great cafes and restaurants.

what did you love about your accommodations? I absolutely loved the location of the hotel. It was ideally situated in the heart of Vienna and across from the most beautiful park. The hotel was elegant and relaxed, yet perfect for business.

what you did not like so much about your accommodations? A little too much hustle and bustle going on during the conference. I prefer a boutique feel.

what is the one experience that stands out from your trip? The gala dinner at the historic Palais Liechtenstein.  It was magical.

did you meet any interesting people? If so, who? I was the only Canadian at the summit. I met so many interesting people from all over the world – France, Denmark, Spain, Japan, Brazil, ­­Israel and more.

places of interest you visited while in destination: Hofburg Palace, the Imperial Treasury, the Sisi Museum, Spanish Riding School, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna State Opera and Stadtpark (across from my hotel).

any hidden gems you discovered? Random old bookstores and antique jewellery stores throughout the shopping district.

favourite restaurants? You can’t visit Vienna without having schnitzel, and everyone kept saying that Figlmüller was the best in the city.  Of course it was so busy and it’s difficult to get a table if you don’t have a reservation. The restaurant is very small, intimate, but classy, and has been family-run for over 100 years. I had the classic schnitzel and potato field salad. It was exceptional and so delicious. Light and not greasy. The portions are huge so thankfully I had dinner guests to share with. I also had lunch at a fantastic Greek restaurant called Orpheus.

shops?  There are too many to name! Vienna has everything ranging from quaint shops, old bookstores, to elegant brands, mainstream, and flagship stores. The best shopping district is in the Old City, which now has the Golden Quarter with it’s luxury high-end stores as well. A beautiful mix of everything.

who should go? Vienna is one of the most beautiful cities that I have ever visited and I’ll definitely be going back. It’s rich with art, culture, architecture and visually beautiful. It’s an incredibly romantic city, but still relaxed and there is so much to do with a family.

Ever the glamour girl, Shay Lowe is an entrepreneur, jewellery designer, and a lover of travel. See Shay’s jewellery collection here and  follow her on Twitter @shaylowejewelry.

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