Vienna: Tortes, Schnitzel & A Palace

I’ve been to Vienna twice; the first time I camped-out during epic, freezing temperatures and hated it, and the second time I stayed in a hostel and enjoyed it. So, first and foremost I highly suggest throwing out any idea that you might be conjuring regarding saving money and camping in Vienna… it’s the worst time, ever. Just splurge a bit and slumber inside of a nice, toasty hostel rather than freeze your buns off like I did.

Besides the Generator Hostels, my second favorite are the Wombat Hostels, and luckily there is one located right in the heart of Vienna. And an added bonus? It’s literally steps away from Naschmarkt, an amazing open-air market specializing in all sorts of great foods including some restaurants. If you’re anything like me, this will be the highlight of your stay in Vienna….

Vienna is home to the Sacher hotel, which is a world-famous spot for celebrity and royal sightings, and the place to get this baby:


The world-famous Sacher-torte alongside the world-famous Viennese coffee.. Re-produced throughout the world, but NEVER perfected. You see a theme of world-famousness stuff going on here in Vienna?

During my studies in culinary school, replicating a Sacher-torte was one of many pastries I had to produce during my baking courses. After trying the real deal, it puts the culinary-taught torte to shame. Perhaps because chefs hate baking, who knows, but eating a real Sacher-torte inside the Sacher cafe is pretty life changing.

Walking down the main shopping street, Kaerntner Strass, be sure to stop and eat a schnitzel from a street vendor. The street, not accessible for vehicles, is jam-packed with people shopping, eating and socializing. During warmer weather (such as in my second visit to the city), the sidewalks are filled with tables and pop-up restaurants, making the street much more livelier than in freezing weather. One of the highlights found on Kaerntner Strass is St. Stephen’s Cathedral, constructed in the gothic period.

St. Stephen's Cathedral
St. Stephen's Cathedral Tower

Another must see stop in the capital of Austria is the UNESCO listed Schönbrunn Palace, previously occupied by the Hapsburg empire.

Can you believe Marie Antoinette lived here as a child during the summer AND in Versailles as an adult? Talk about one hell of a life!

All-in-all, I wasn’t in awe of Vienna, even after a second stop in the city, although I did have more fun the second time around. Perhaps it’s a city that grows on you, I’m not too sure, but it is worth a stop for a giant cup of the world’s BEST coffee paired with a chocolatey-goodness slice of Sacher-torte. Yum!

Vienna, Austria
Have you been to Vienna? Is there something I missed that would have changed my impression of the city? Talk to me!

About The Roaming Bean (109 Articles)
You're probably wondering what the heck is a "Roaming Bean"... Given that I am clearly not a Bean, and my name is Jen, what gives with this Bean thing, right? A friend of mine called me JenBean as a child, and it kinda stuck. Actually, it really stuck... even my license plate says Jenbean. And seeing as I have this grand lust to wander the world, The Roaming Bean seemed suitable. I've changed my career path more times than I have my underwear (minus all the times I've gone commando).... from animating, to forensic pathology, to international business, to fashion marketing and even to my wonderful and favorite of the bunch, degree in culinary arts, nothing kept my attention. Nothing was fun enough to do every day for the rest of my life. I mean, even though I cooked for celebrities in the heart of Hollywood, CA, why the hell would I want to sweat my ass off in a ridiculously HOT kitchen for most of the day and go home smelling like beef and onions? And the chef hat?? Do you know what that did to my hair?? Enter traveling.... The rainy day I descended down the tower of Notre Dame in Paris, gripping on to the railing for dear life so not to slip and tumble to an early death from the torrential down pour that was causing a small flood in the stairwell, my life changed. When I safely made it to the ground, legs shaky from an apparent lack of fitness it requires to walk up and down 387 steep stairs, I realized my hands were stained a delightful copper color from the rusted hand rail I had so dearly clung to. Desperate to get the icky stuff off my supple hands, and no running water in sight, I did what any other hopeless idiot would have done: I washed my hands in the nearest Parisian gutter. It was that moment that changed my life... I threw away my hair dryer, my rolling luggage and my dignity. I let my hair go natural, I bought a back pack and I CAMPED through Europe for a month and a half. Yes my friends, I crossed over into a savage traveling beast. Ok, a lot of people travel that way. But I didn't. And I'm so incredibly thankful for that rainy day in Paris that made me realize the world is a pretty sweet place. That realization led me on a quest; a quest to get out there, see things, soak up some local culture and eat my way around the world (with minimal food-related illnesses, such as but not limited to raging diarrhea).

3 Comments on Vienna: Tortes, Schnitzel & A Palace

  1. I havent been yet, but I hear it is an amazing city to visit!

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