Vienna is a beautiful, clean and safe city with a rich culture, varied shopping options and a particularly peaceful atmosphere. For some reason, before I visited Vienna, I thought there wasn’t a lot of things to do there. I was so wrong!
So, let’s start with the architecture, because you cannot visit Vienna without paying attention to it. the buildings are ancient (but preserved) and reveal the rich history of the city, and with the white colors and marble as a landscape- it’s a paradise for bloggers, just saying. Culturally, it seems that a week in Vienna will not be enough to see all that it has to offer: The city is full of quality museums and a unique opera culture, excellent concerts, theater plays, etc.
If you’ve come this far and you wonder how food has not come up yet– it’s a sign you know me too well by now! I kept the best for last: it’s hard to get into a restaurant in Vienna and not eat delicious food- from Viennese schnitzel with yummy spätzle on the side, beef goulash, juicy sausages, and all the variation of potatoes you can dream of, to unique desserts such as apple strudel or crepes with a lot of different fillings.
I visited Vienna in December which means… Christmas! This is one of the most decorated, glittering and filled with Christmas- markets cities I have ever visited. I highly recommend planning your visit during this time of the year and enjoying an unforgettable Christmas experience, and of course, towards Christmas 2019 I will publish a focused post on the subject.
But… the fact that my trip revolved around the Christmas markets and the fabulous decorations made me miss many of the city’s attractions- and therefore I will not elaborate on attractions in this post. Beyond that, Vienna has a lot of beautiful gardens and courtyards of palaces that I did not get to see because of the cold weather. In a sentence, the city is perfect in every season, and I’ll probably have to go back to fill in the gaps!
I stayed in the beautiful hotel Living Hotel an der Oper in the PERFECT location: the 1st district, a minute walk from the opera house, a 5-minute walk from Karlsplatz and a 10-minute walk from Stephanplatz. Another significant advantage of the location is that the subway station is right in front of the hotel entrance. Whether you sleep in this hotel or !another- try to aim at this location, because there is no better!!
The hotel is a sort of like an apartment hotel with cozy, clean and spacious rooms. We had a Superior Double Room, which included a spacious living room, a double bed and a bathroom with a shower. We were pleasantly surprised by the enormous size of the room, which is not typical of European cities. The receptionists were nice and courteous, and the whole experience was positive.
Café Landtmann– one of Vienna’s oldest and most famous cafes founded in 1873 and considered a culinary institution. As a psychology student, I was very excited to discover that one of the celebrities who used to eat there regularly was Sigmund Freud! The Viennese design is classic, the atmosphere is unique, and the food is excellent. It is recommended to try the famous kaiserschmarrn dessert and the wonderful apple strudel. We had breakfast and dinner at Cafe Landtmann, and both of which were wonderful. You must book at least a week in advance.
- Café Central– we had a great breakfast in this classic and ancient café that exists since the 19th century. The place is famous for its high, arched ceiling full of chandeliers, a design that creates an atmosphere of springing back in time, and a dessert display that is hard to remain indifferent to. Freud had not left Cafe Central either, and it was rumored that an anonymous young man by the name of Theodore Herzl would sit there on a regular basis. You should make reservations in advance.
- Café Diglas– a wonderful coffee shop where locals arrive in the mornings to drink a cup of coffee and read a newspaper from a variety of newspapers held by wooden poles, as in the old days. The design is classic, meticulous and not too flashy, the breakfasts are varied, and the desserts are excellent. Do not miss the bread pudding, served with hot vanilla sauce. Amazing!
- Palatschinkenkuchl am Naschmarkt– a small restaurant in the Namschmarkt market that serves blintzes/ palatschinken/ crepes– whatever you choose to call it- with a variety of fillings, salty and sweet. The place is simple and inexpensive, but the taste? Devine!!!
I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Café in der Burggasse 24– a chic café place with a charming vintage-style design. The space resembles a small, cozy living room, thanks to the sofas, armchairs and warm fireplace. Recommended for breakfast or coffee & cake throughout the day.
- Ribs of Vienna– an amazing meat restaurant located in an impressive 16th-century cellar. The menu includes juicy pork ribs in a huge variety of different sauces, and excellent steaks at ridicules prices. There is no doubt that this is a paradise for carnivores! The place tends to be jammed with diners, so it is recommended to make a reservation in advance.
- Puerstner– a great classic Austrian restaurant which was recommended to me by a local friend, offering a wide variety of (HUGE) local dishes, including unique and surprising dishes that I haven’t tried in other restaurants. We shared a dish of beef with crispy onions and roasted potatoes- a description that doesn’t do justice to this wonderful dish!
Great for anyone looking for a true Viennese experience.
- Plachutta Wollzeile– an elegant Austrian restaurant serving excellent local food. The most famous dish of the place is the tafelspitz- roast beef with Austrian-style soup. I personally did not try the dish, but I really enjoyed a Viennese schnitzel and a special dish of beef fillet with a mushroom sauce. The cheese strudel dessert was great and was very different from any other strudel I tasted! It is recommended to make reservations in advance.
- Restaurant Rote Bar– the wine bar of the legendary Sacher Hotel. From the moment you enter the restaurant, it is quite clear that this is an extraordinary experience: the walls, chairs, ceiling and curtains- all in deep red color, giving a sense of royal dining room from ancient times. The atmosphere is pleasant and intimate, the service is excellent, and the menu is sophisticated and unique. We ordered a first course of pumpkin, a main course of pasta in a wonderful truffle sauce, and a great dessert that contained so many ingredients that it’s hard to describe it. Other than that, we also received “on the house” excellent hot bread, first course of fish and a variety of cookies for dessert; The abundance and the “chef’s treats” reminded me of the Michelin restaurants I visited. If you want to feel like kings for a day- this is the place! Reservation is required.
- Bitzinger Wurstelstand Albertina– a famous hot dog stand opposite the opera house, which is considered one of the best in Vienna. The veal sausages filled with cheese were perhaps the best sausages I’ve ever eaten! It is strongly recommended, despite the long turn and the fact that you eat standing up.
- Gerstner K. u. K. Hofzuckerbacker– a beautiful café right in front of the Opera House. On the ground floor there is a bakery and a store, and the restaurant itself is on the top floor. Recommended for coffee and cake