With only a day to explore Vienna, I knew I had to hit the highlights and search for the hidden gems all in a day’s work. The capital will stun you with its impressive architecture, and bewitch you with cozy cafés and undeniable charm. A few spots stood out in my hustle to ‘see it all!’
One does not visit Vienna and not indulge in cake and coffee. It’s likely you’ll find a café or pastry shop on every corner in the city. On my quest to find the ‘Best Viennese Cafe Ever,’ I may have overshot how many I thought I could go to. There is such thing as too much coffee, I’m sad to report. Find your caffeine high in the well-known spots like Café Central (go in the morning before the crowd arrives) or make your way outside the hustle and bustle of the city center to find hidden gems like Volpension.
Nestled on quiet corner in a quaint neighborhood you’ll find Volpension by the blue neon sign. Neon signs typically indicate some kind of late night dive bar with beer-sodden floors; quite the contrary in this case. Welcome to “Granny’s living room” a spot that feels like home.
The concept is superb. Opas and Opis serving their homemade delicacies for the masses. Cozy nooks, vintage couches, and old family pictures creates the ultimate hygge (if you don’t know the term, look it up!). You’ll order your cake from the grannies who are mixing, baking, and having the best time right in front of you. Shout out to the woman in line with me who translated my order to granny; I seriously needed the homemade whip cream!
Prior to my solo trip, I had never eaten at a sit down restaurant by myself. Crazy, I know. What I loved about Volpension, was that if you were alone, they would sit you at the table with other people. While it was awkward at first, I actually made great conversation with the two people I sat with. It truly felt like hanging out at a home.
As for the cake? Mouthwatering. The melange? perfection. Run, do not walk to this gem.
Considered the “village in the city” it cannot be missed. Whether you’re in the vicinity or not, make the trip to this neighborhood. I’ve always had a thing for cobblestone streets and picturesque lanes. You’ll get a feel for Old Vienna here.
Vienna is known for their heurige, wine taverns. We just happened to stumble upon one as my trusty Austrian companion, the rain, joined us. Weinstüberl Horvath was a low-key spot with rustic digs and perfectly chilled Austrian wine. There was also like three people in the entire tavern so it was the perfect hideaway.
Sure, there are gorgeous castles, majestic churches, and ancient buildings, but we find that in almost every European city. And while I don’t want to discount them, there’s also a lot to be said about the ‘weird’ structures; the ones that take you by surprise. Colorful, quirky, downright unusual is the best way to describe the architecture that is Hundertwasser Kunstbauwerke.
Just check it out.
Why not enjoy the city from above with a drink in hand? We headed to SKY bar cafe and sipped cocktails as the sunset over the city. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful day.
As you make your way off Graben street (popular shopping district), you’ll find St. Stephen’s Cathedral rising above the other buildings. The oldest parts of the church date back to the 13th century. Mozart was married here!
I’m overwhelmed every time I visit European churches. Here in Vienna, St. Stephen’s cathedral, is one of the most beloved landmarks by Austrians. With the impressive Gothic architecture coupled with an equally magnificent interior, I can definitely see why.
Unfortunately, it was closing when we got there, but if you have time I suggest climbing the spiral staircase to the top of the South Tower for some breathtaking views of the city.