My Top 5 ‘Bests’ of Vienna

My Top 5 ‘Bests’ of Vienna

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!’

1. BEST COFFEE SHOP: Volpension

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.

3. BEST ARCHITECTURE: Hundertwasser Kunstbauwerke

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.

5. BEST CHURCH: St. Stephen’s Cathedral

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.



  • Schnitzel: I have been missing out on this fried goodness for 27 years, and I cannot let anyone else make this mistake.

  • Stadtpark: A quiet escape in the center of the city.  This park is beautiful, clean, and the perfect spot to spend time hanging out.

  • Just Wander: I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to just wander this city.  There is so much beauty here.




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  • James Butler says:

    You may have inspired me to revisit this beautiful city. Thank you so much for the information you posted and the photos are gorgeous. Miss seeing you.

    • Haley says:

      Dr. Butler! Thank you so much for reading the post! I am constantly inspired by your travels as always! Miss seeing you, too.

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Haley Milan

Consumed by wanderlust, fueled by coffee, determined to live a minimalist lifestyle and collect moments, not things. Join me on my travels and an every day life of simplicity!

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  • Catching the morning flight to NYC! It won’t be cobblestone streets in old European cities, but it’ll be a concrete jungle so we’re good. Cheers to an adventure-filled weekend, friends!
  • Fell in love with Canada all over again this fall. And now it’s been named destination of the year!  I’m already planning my next trip! Oh Canada, you are a gem.
  • “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience” —Eleanor Roosevelt
Just a couple months ago I went on my first solo trip to Europe.  Traveling has quite literally breathed new life into me, and I absolutely love seeing this world with my husband by my side. But what did I learn when I had to go it alone for the first time?
I learned that my gut IS always right. I learned the best way to step out of your comfort zone is when there is no safety net. I learned that there is tremendously more “good” in people than “bad.” And, I learned that my own company...well, it actually is pretty darn great!
My solo trip was the most life-changing, liberating experience I’ve had to date.  Im telling you, you have to do it once in your life. Because what is life without adventure? I hope I never find out.
  • Some days go so fast you forget to take a breath. Other days go by slowly and you take it all in. I could use a slow-paced day with beautiful views. Is it Friday yet?
  • Hello, Sunday.✨
  • Celebrating the opening of doors tonight. And that my super hunky husband is home.
  • “the way he talked of their dreams made her want to grab his hand and run into tomorrow” - Atticus
Today is the day he comes home for good. 📸: @annamarie_akins
  • “Autumn...the year’s last loveliest smile”
  • It was a cold and rainy day here in DC, so I’m channeling summer and sunshine through IG.
  • Staring into this coffee hoping it gives me life on this Monday. May your coffee be strong & Monday short!
Side note: If you’re a coffee lover like myself, you must take a trip to Montreal! I’m convinced they have the coziest/cutest coffee shops to spend your day in!
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