Vienna, a grand capital

I’m still digesting my trip to Vienna. I must start by saying that I stayed in an ugly and apparently bit dodgy area, Favoriten, and that my hostel was very poor (no plugs next to the bed, no kitchen, despite paying 90 euros for 3 nights in a shared dorm with other 8 people).

Vienna is expensive, but I would say do book your accommodation in the city centre to avoid disappointment.

However, I also met an amazing Aussie, maybe this was the highlight of my stay, especially since she brought me to the best coffee shop ever 😉

Fenster Cafe

Vienna’s city centre is nice, there are the usual high street shops and there are a few streets which are actually really quirky, but I’ve seen a few only. The palaces are impressive, very grand and imperial, no critics there. I actually loved the quietness and the space since everything is so big.

My favourite things to do where Belvedere and Schõnbrunn, two palaces with impressive gardens to the style of Versaille.

Where to stay in Vienna
Where to stay in Vienna
Schönbrunn Palace

As I said I’m still digesting the trip, and looking at these pics convinces me that if my accommodation would have been in the centre and I didn’t have loud roommates in that poor hostel, my experience would have been completely different.

Where to stay in Vienna
Vienna State Opera
Where to stay in Vienna
St. Stephen’s Cathedral
Where to stay in Vienna

What to eat in Vienna


Also, being from the pre-Alps area in the North of Italy, I’m very fond of the Austrian food and Vienna did not disappoint. At first, I thought I could only see Italian restaurants, but I then got an eye for spotting the good traditional places. I love Austrian food!

Lunch at Pürstner was delicious, the menu had all the traditional dishes like spaetzle and soup with pancakes, the waiters were dressed in leather shorts, and the tavern was super cosy!


Another incredible food experience was having open sandwiches at this bakery/bar. I had never seen such a concept.

I opened the door and there was a long and thick dark green black-out curtain, that once opened, revealed a super buzzy space with a long counter and many baristas serving little open sandwiches slices and the tiniest beer jugs I had even seen.

And the queen of all, the Wiener Schnitzel, which I had well twice (is it ok to eat it every day? :)) at my local pub in Favoriten – yes, this being the highlight.

Where to stay in Vienna
Wiener Schnitzel

Oh yes, and then the well-known Christmas markets by the Rathaus Platz.

Where to stay in Vienna
Christmas market in Vienna
Where to stay in Vienna
Where to stay in Vienna

So what’s wrong with Viena you must all wonder?

Well, I realised what’s wrong is that it is not what I had expected and that often I idealise places. I guess the whole thing about Viena winning as the best city to live in the world, pushed my expectations extremely high. The reality is that I didn’t think it was exceptional.

The lack of recycling bins shocked me, the many times I was told ‘cash only’ also disappointed me. And I may sound spoiled but what really bothered me is to find a city still very traditional and not very technological or green.

And I just realised I didn’t mention anything about its museums and its opera, but the thing is, unless you’re rich you won’t be able to enjoy this aspect. I had the impression that everything was expensive. And there was a lack of atmosphere.

Viena is definitely not what I had expected, but I ended up enjoying it.

Now, I would love to hear about your experiences. Do you agree with anything I said?

For more European capitals travel stories, you can check my posts below! 🙂



8 thoughts on “Vienna, a grand capital

      1. We are literally one hour from departing for SE Asia, but I will try to remember to look it up when we get back. If I remember correctly, it was fine but nothing special, though the location (near Cafe Sacher) was quite good. Here’s hoping I remember!

        Liked by 1 person

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