I had never really considered Vienna before, however upon reading an article by Andrew McCarthy in National Geographic last fall, it came onto my radar.
He wrote, “I have arrived in Vienna with a simple plan: to live as local a life as possible. Instead of discovering this famously imperial city from the comforts and security of a hotel, with an attentive staff to stand behind me, I’ve decided to plunge in on my own terms and rent an apartment—and not in the city center I know to be the heart of tourism, but in one of the outer, more “local” districts. I have always found that the less insulated I am from my surroundings, the richer are my experiences.”
The article was a perfect description of why I like to stay in apartments when I travel, and all of a sudden I found myself wanting to experience this Vienna apartment lifestyle that Andrew wrote about.
This was my first trip to Austria let alone Vienna, but instead of getting a guide book, I relied upon social media to bring me my tips! The Go with Oh crew was busy gathering Vienna tips from their readers for me to follow. And as usual I ran out of time to do them all, but I was able to follow many of them.
Winning Tip – @cambridgecook Demel cafe on Kohlmarkt has better cake than Sacher Hotel #Vienna
The person who provided the tip about Café Demel knew exactly how to get my attention…chocolate. I loved the fact that the tip went against the norm of eating sachertorte at the typical tourist spot, Hotel Sacher, and instead directed me to a much better option! The scent of chocolate enveloped me as I walked into Café Demel. There’s a retail store there selling sweets, a bar for a quick stop, a traditional coffee shop upstairs, and a bakery where you can view them making the sweet creations in back. This place will entertain you for hours!
View video of my sacher torte tasting at Cafe Demel.
@SophieR In Vienna, check out the fabulous houses designed by eccentric architect Hundertwasser.
This was a super easy tip to do since my apartment was only 2 blocks from the Hundertwasser House! There’s lots of great architecture to ooh and ahh about in Vienna, but this one sort of makes you go “huh?” Of course I made a quick stop at the colorful and very Un-Austrian looking building!
@IreneHaidner Wiener Schnitzel types ummm good .. a must try if you haven’t
Not only did I try Wiener Schnitzel, I tried sausages, potato salads, and plenty of beer!
@cambridgecook Trzesniewski on Dorotheergasse off Graben for tiny open faced sandwiches and tiny beer “Pfiff” #Vienna
I didn’t exactly get to Trzesniewski, but I did get to try the tiny open faced sandwiches called Brötchen that they make when I was visiting a friend who was holding a cocktail party! Yum!
@aerofede Another great idea may be going to an Opera,or visiting the opera theater,depending in what’s available
I had multiple tips telling me to get the cheap standing room tickets for the opera; however, even though I like a good bargain, I opted to see a string quartet instead of a standing ticket at the opera. Instead I took a great tour of the opera house! For a mere 5 Euros you can go on an English tour of the famed Opera house. Not only do you get to see the magnificent seating and balconies, but you even get to step on stage and see just how massive it is for yourself.
Since I love string instruments, I utilized the great ViennaUnwrapped.com event listings to determining if there were any classical concerts happening during my stay. I found a quartet performance in a smaller theatre which I splurged on. I really enjoyed this as I felt a bit more local this way and was able to see yet another gorgeous Viennese theater. Plus, what’s better than hearing Mozart being played live while in Vienna?
@STACEYLCRONIN Schoenbrunn Palace is an amazing must see!
@IreneHaidner My first suggestion in #Vienna, #Austria is #Castle #Schönbrunn @ottsworld @GowithOh #travel
A short metro ride out of the city center transported you back into imperial Austria. I suggest you pack a picnic lunch and go wander around the woods and gardens (it’s free!) and find a little secluded spot to relax. It’s not hard as the gardens are huge. I also took the indoor tour while I was there and loved getting a first-hand look at the opulence of the imperial Habsburg Family.
Get to the outlaying towns
@cambridgecook Outskirts Wine Tavern (Heuriger), not in Grinzing! Wieninger & Mayer am Pfarrplatz have great food & wines.
I actually had a friend take me out to a wine tavern on the outskirts of Vienna. It was a completely different feel from the rest of Vienna!
Ask the Locals in Social Media!
In addition to the Go with Oh tips, I reached out to a few Austria based bloggers to get some advice. No only did I get some excellent local tips on what non-touristy coffee houses to go to, Andreas offered to show me around! I had been following Andreas on twitter (@travelwriticus) for quite some time, and it was a treat to get to meet him in person and have a few days with him showing me the city and answering all of my silly questions about Austrian culture. He was my lifeline in Vienna.
My favorite ‘Andreas tips’ were food based!
Go to Café Pruckel for the best Wiener Schnitzel…seriously was the best I’ve ever had.
Go to the Naschmarkt to see a variety of outdoor stalls and shop for your apartment.
I’ll be writing much more about some of these tips in detail over the next week, but be sure to check out all of the Vienna travel tips I received in the Go with Oh competition!
Disclosure: Go with Oh hosted my apartment lodging in Vienna. However, all of the opinions expressed here are my own – as you know how I love to speak my mind!