The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.
After bidding farewell to my mom in Prague after three adventurous weeks together, I backtracked to Vienna to enjoy one of Europe's most celebrated cities. If you like sumptuously-decorated royal palaces, delicious food, and unbelievable architecture, Vienna is a city not to miss. Granted, it's significantly more expensive than the Czech Republic and Croatia, but well worth the extra expense. I arrived in Vienna in mid-December, and visiting the Christmas markets backed by sprawling palaces or the towering Rathaus was quite the experience. (I'm starting to learn that exploring new cities in the winter isn't as much fun without Christmas markets.)
Apart from good sights and food, Vienna is an extremely bike- and transit-friendly place that even takes gender into account when planning. So much so that in 2013, a UN report ranked it as the most sustainable and prosperous city in the world, coming in first for productivity, quality of life, infrastructure development, equity and social inclusion, and environmental sustainability. And for dogs, the city is fairly pet-friendly with many dog parks, although dogs must ride transit with a muzzle and "pet ticket." Another all-around win for cities.