It’s been exactly three weeks since I packed all of my things into a car and left the city I spent the last year in – Vienna. And the two weeks before that must have been some of my favourite weeks I’ve ever spent in this city. I have to admit, Vienna and me are not best friends – we tend to have more of a love/hate relationship. I get scared in lone alleys at night, yet amazed by the awesome bars which can be found. I cannot stand the city and its emotionless people in the winter, but love the Viennese christmas market season more than anything. And if you asked me before those two weeks, I definitely would have told you that Vienna is worth a holiday, but not a move.
During these two weeks without work I however rememberd the Vienna I got to know during the weekend trips I spent there in the years before. If you just have a little look around, there’s a ridiculous amount of things to do, especially in summer. Oh, and did I mention the food? Unless you’re looking for a variety of Asian cuisine – please correct me if I’m wrong on that point, I always love to learn new things – you have incredible food choices in Austria’s capital city. Of course, when travelling to Vienna you can try the obligatory Schnitzel, but I would advise you to go for a nice pork knuckle (in good old Austrian “Stelzn“) instead. The reason I love the Viennese food scene however are not the typical Austrian places – although those are amazing – it’s the incredible alternative food scene. Especially when you look for a creative breakfast, Vienna is the place for you to be – and if you need some inspiration, check out the Frühstückerinnen – they write about breakfasts in German, but I’m pretty sure you get the point from the pictures. By the way, the picture below are some amazing breakfast Tacos from Erich – highly recommend that place, especially in summer when it’s warm and you can sit outside.
One thing I love to do when exploring a new city is get a view of it from above. I’m pretty sure I spent minimum three hours on top of the Empire State Building and stared down at the city and its beautiful lights. Oddly, I’ve never done this with Vienna, a situation that definitely had to change – and as it happened, more than once. The first one was combined with a ridiculously long walk without socks and followingly – blisters – but the view was worth it. In the outskirts of Vienna, you can walk up a hill in the Lainzer Tiergarten to get to the Wienblick – a place in the middle of a forest, which makes the city appear really small in comparison to the world around it. On top of the Gloriette I realized that Vienna lacks one thing most cities have – a proper skyline. Since houses within the inner districts cannot be higher than the highest existing buildings, and sights are spread out all over the city, every view from above is different. So although at that point, the roofs of Vienna were nothing knew to me, I fully enjoyed my third stop – dinner on top of the Kahlenberg. My personal favourite however was the evening tour at the St Stephen’s cathedral. The tour is in German, and its first half is a presentation about the roof and its reconstruction after WWII, so I’m not sure if I would recommend it to a non-German speaker. The best part however does not require any German – they take you to one of the towers and then lead you through the gutter – at least that’s what they call it – around the roof of the cathedral. Just like that, you get a breathtaking view of the city from within the city. If you are in Vienna in summer and have a free Saturday evening, definitely go there!
I have the feeling I’ve been rambling along for way too long already, so I’ll just summarize the rest of my favourites and the pictures below. Stand up paddling on the Neue Donau is not only an amazing exercise, it’s also a nice way to spend some time with a friend and chat along while going past a lovely scenery and the DC tower – one of my favourite buildings in Vienna – just try not to catch too many algae ;) The pictures are from the 3CityWave, Schönbrunn Zoo, Schönbrunn Castle, Belvedere Castle – in case you didn’t know, Vienna used to be part of a European monarchy, so there’s no lack of churches and royal buildings – the Heldenplatz and the Donauinselfest – the Sean Paul concert, just in case you were wondering.
Of course, there’s loads more to see, and my list of things I wanted to do while living there was by far not finished – and to be honest, writing this post makes me miss it at the moment – but these are some of the things I’ve enjoyed during my last days in Vienna. If you have the chance, definitely go there in summer, and check out everything that’s on. You’ll find more than you could ever manage to do during just one stay!
xx, K (: