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.
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!