I never planned on going to Vienna. It was one of those stop-over starting-points for a three week roam around Europe. I met Dylan there while he was working abroad and what was supposed to be a meeting point for a day, turned into three and then four as we fell in love with the city.
Our days passed as we wandered and drank espresso, coffee shop hopping and vintage shopping. Our nights we spent playing cards in dark stone bars and eventually saying to one another, “Just one more day.”
It is fascinating to find that sometimes the most unexpected and briefest stays can become the ones that really stay with you.
Let me tell you, for me Vienna was all about Neabau, the 7th district in Vienna, a cultural and artistic hub. And I do mean artistically in the largest sense of the word. That is to say, care is given to everything from furniture making, to street art, to espresso. The general direction of all in this area is aimed to please your locally sourced and newly imagined senses. It’s a feast.
My favorite Coffee Shop in Vienna is the Burggasse 24. Bonus – it also happens to be my favorite shopping as it doubles as a retail space loaded with heaps of good vintage. They’ve got amazing coffee, tons of chill/work space, and a delicious menu that kept us coming back day after day to try something new. I’m a huge fan of finding something that works and then giving it the love it deserves. Burggasse 24 has nailed it in my humble coffee-loving-shopping-seeking opinion.
Favorite bar in this city full of favorite bars has to be, Liebling. We were sent here on the recommendation of our new friend, and the owner of Hotel am Brillantengrund. He told us it was where he and his friends hangout and we were looking to settle into the local scene for an evening.
The space is concrete, redone, and yet not touched. They manage to make it equally as warm and inviting as it is hip to be at. In the backroom you can sit and listen to the chatter of locals having a drink and a smoke, the laughter gets louder as the evening passes.
If you’re looking to eat grab a table out front and watch the foot traffic in the area, which is always a pleasure as it serves as it’s situated right drag of Neabau.
The part one of this two part travelogue features Hotel am Brillantenbrund because I literally could have just lived there forever. Read all about their unique taste I aim to emulate, the amazing food I kept on going back for (made by Mama), and the reason it’s central location in the 7th district is everything you could ask for.
The space also doubles as my other favorite spot to work at, hang at, play cards at, drink at, and especially eat at. Read this to find out why.
Once I knew I was going to Vienna, the Palmenhaus Schönbrunn became one of my “must-see in the city” sort of things. I don’t like to jam pack my travels, rather I choose one or two things and then I allow myself to explore what I find along the way. The Palmenhaus is one of the last existing greenhouses at the Palace Park. There was originally four and several were destroyed by bombing during WW2. It opened in 1882 and is one of the largest exhibits of it’s kind. It is stunning. You will feel like FernGully guaranteed.
And while you’re there be sure to grab a drink in the adjoining Cafe Palmenhaus (which is nothing short of Insta drool material). While you can grab a table outside and people watch, I preferred the bar indoors where you can sip your cocktail with the ivy draped, sky-high ceiling, two hundred year old architecture vibes.
Must See: The National Library
A good library for me is akin to a church for some people. I literally worship the works that are housed in these places and the National Library in Vienna actually brought me to tears.
The grandiose nature that was once dedicated to literature is remarkable, and the handwork, carvings, and paintings that adorn every inch of the space are in themselves worthy of a visit. It is the largest Baroque library in Europe and houses 7.4 million items in it’s collection. Drool.
Vienna won my heart and cast itself as my most likely to live in city abroad. I also found out later it’s been many a times voted the most livable city in the world, so this makes sense now.
There is a warm feeling to it that attached itself to my every interest at every corner. It is big and bustling and yet you can tuck away into a coffee shop or a stone bar and feel as intimate as you can muster. It just goes to show that there are so any places you never thought you would visit, and the next one you stumble into might just be your next new home.