We’ve got a problem. I’ve just spent several minutes trying to find a blog post about Vienna, where I went with Maria back in May when we decided to go on a spontaneous Eurotrip. Someone recently asked me  something and so I was looking for a blog post to check a name of one of the restaurants. I looked and looked and.. I didn’t find anything. And why didn’t I find anything? Because I’ve never written the freaking blog post! I just thought I did! I have no idea what happened to my brain but I was sure that the Vienna guide has been up on the blog for month! So now I need to ask you a favour. Can you, just for a minute, pretend that it’s May? That the leaves aren’t falling, that the sky is not gray and that you didn’t leave your house this morning contemplating whether to wear a scarf or not. You can? Great! So let’s teleport ourselves to sunny Vienna!

I’ve spent two days in Vienna so this blog post contains all the info you might need when planning a short trip to the city. You’ll find out how much the public transport in Vienna costs, where to sleep and what you have to put on your ‘must-see’ list. There are some monuments and stricly tourist spots and some more interesting, alternative ones that you might want to visit once you get bored with all the Habsburg splendor. I’ve only been to Vienna once before, in winter, for a few hours. So basically I’ve not seen much of Vienna before 😉 After this trip I definitely liked the city, even though I felt it’s quite contradictive – inaccesible on one hand, yet inclusive on the other.

There won’t be any food-related reccomendations in this blog post. I wrote it all down and it turned out there’s so much text, that I had to split it into two parts. So go ahead and check the foodie guide to Vienna here [the link will appear here as soon as I finish translating that post into english]. You might also be interested in other blog posts that were created after our Eurotrip. Maria wrote about everything you need to know when travelling throught Austria, Hungary and Czech Republic by car (how much does it cost, what do you need to have with you and where it’s best to park your car). And I’ve written two other alternative city guides – one is to Brno and the other to Budapest. Be sure to check them out as well .



Cheap accomodation in Vienna – hostel or Airbnb?

As far as accomodation in Vienna goes, I highly reccomend you to, first of all, think about it in advance. I mean, more than three days in advance. Since our trip was rather spontaneous and we didn’t know wheen we’ll be able to leave as well as whether we go in a group of three or just the two of us, we didn’t book anything until the last possible moment. And because of it we had to change our plans quite a bit. We were supposed to go to Vienna before we visited Budapest, but there were absolutely no free rooms left in hostels anywhere in the city. At first we considered booking an apartment via Airbnb, but in the end it turned out thaat it’s just Maria and I travelling, so this option was deffinitely too expensive. But be sure to check out the offer if you’re not on a tight budget or are travelling in a bigger group. There were some really beautiful places.



In the end we booked two night at the Ruthensteiner hostel which I found in one of the posts on Adamant Wanderer blog. We took quite a lot of inspiration from this blog so I highly recommend you check it out. We chose this hostel because of it’s location. It’s not in the strict city center, which is both and advantage and a disadvantage, depending on what you’re looking for. We found it perfect because, firstly, it’s right in the middle between the city center and the Schönbrunn Palace, and we wanted to visit both, secondly, the ‘more remote’ (well, not really) location made it possible for us to park our car and not spend a fortune. Moreover, I thought the Ruthensteiner hostel was great. It was clean and quiet, there’s lots of common space dowstairs so you get to meet new people if you want to, there’s an indoor bar selling local beer (what a dream!), the staff is incredibly helpful and… there’s an amazing garden!

At this point it’s worth mentioning that public transport in Vienna is not the most expensive I ever encountered, but for us, Poles, it’s not cheap either. A normal ticket costs 2,4 euro so we decided to go for a 48-hour pass instead (there are also 24- and 72-hour passes available). For those we paid 14 euro each but found it really helpful. We were able to travel around the entire city by buses, trams and tube. The most important thing is we saved a lot of time by choosing this option. And during our short trip, time was definitely the most valuable thing.




Like peeling an onion

I have to admit that I enjoyed Vienna less than I did Budapest. The capital city of Austria is elegant, pompous, albeit rich in history. It’s perfect and creepily symmetrical (which actually makes it heaven for photographers and Wes Anderson fans). It’s simply royal as f*ck. No other way to put it. And it makes it less friendly. Harder to get to know. Yet I’ve got a gut feeling that once you get to the bottom layer of this onion of the city you find real magic. I had similar feeling towards Berlin during my first visit. Then I came back again and again, every time guided by locals from different interests and background. And I fell in love with Berlin. Now it’s one of my favourite cities. I feel like I could fall in love with Vienna as well. I just need a gatekeeper. Someone who knows all the cool spots that tourists have no idea about.



Wes Anderson style

You don’t really have to look far to admire the elegant, monumental, royal side of Vienna. Monuments are on every corner. There are breathtaking Palaces, baroque tenement houses, lots of columns, sculptures, fountains and richly ornamented buildings. There are also trees and hedges cut into geometrial shapes looking so perfect that you can almost imagine a person measuring them with a ruler. In the end I did not have enough time to visit amazing gardens and the Schönbrunn Palace that I mentioned before. I’ll have to leave it for the next visit. I am, however, satisfied with the numer of Habsburg monuments  and overall symmetrial goodness I did manage to see in the city center.

We started of at MuseumsQuarier, then admired the buildings of National History Museum and Museum of Fine Arts located just a few hundred meters away. In case of the latter, my comment about Wes Anderson makes perfect sense. Especially since the famous director has curated an exibition there, presenting his own personal selections of objects drawn from the museum’s historical collections. It’s on show until 28th of April 2019. After  we were done with the museums, we walked through the park to take a look at an enormous Hofburg Palace.



The Habsburgs definitely did not spare any resources. All of the buildings leave a great impression on tourists. I regret that we didn’t get to see the inside of the National Library. We got there too late and it was already closing, but from what I was able to see, it puts Hogwart to shame. Plus there’s a Globe Museum that is said to be amazing with all the old globes and maps making you feel like an adventurer from the past (think Indiana Jones but posh). While walking around, we also stumbled upon Stallburg, which is a place where all of the horses that drive tourists around are kept. To be honest, it looks really impressive. And they have a better, more desired address than any of the people I know 😉 If you have enough time I recommend you a little walk to check out the Palm House as well. There’s a fancy restaurant inside which looked beautiful but I decided to save my coin for food elsewhere.



To be frank, I liked the strict city center, the old town the least. Without a Chanel two-piece I felt out of place. The further from the center we went the more I enjoyed it. Of course you do have to immerse yourself in all things royal once you’re in Vienna but enough is enough. We did end on a high note though. The last fancy place we visited was the Belvedere Palace. We went there specifically to visit the botanical garden (I’m a fan of visiting one in every city I go to), but the palace itself and the surrounding gardens were the most symmetrical thing I’ve seen in my entire life. No joke.




Off the beaten path

After looking at all the fancy buildings we did feel like our brains are about to explode. So we moved on to completely different spots. We visited an architectural marvel, one of the weirdest building I’ve ever seen, Hundertwasserhaus. It’s an expressionist landmark and an apartment building where people live. It’s colourful, it’s definitely not symmetrical and there are plants incorporated in the design. It was definitely a well needed break from all the marble, white walls and perfectly trimmed hedges.

But the place we liked most of all was Naschmarkt – a huge food market in the middle of the city. In there there’s a selection of restaurants, bars and cafes as well as vending stalls where you can buy local delicacies. Or 20 falafels for 2 euro. I’ve written more about this place in the food-related post so be sure to check it out to find out what we ate, what we drank and what we bought as a souvenir.

Another unsual tourist attraction (which I’ve seen on Adamant Wanderer’s blog as well) is Narrenturm, also known as Fool’s tower. It’s a rather creepy looking round building that brings Panopticon to mind. It was build in 1784 used to be a psychiatric hospital. Now it’s a Pathologic-Anatomical Museum and is available to visit. Just be sure to plan your visit well as it’s only open on Wednesdays and the weekends and the opening hours are rather short. Plus watch out for the ghosts that are surely hunting the corridors!



We did visit some cool spots completely by accident as well. I really enjoyed taking a break and chilling out in one of the communal gardens that are scattered across the city. The locals where looking after the plants or admiring what they’ve already accomplished. We enjoyed the inclusive face of Vienna as well. It’s a very LGBT friendly city. Note the traffic lights next to the pedestrian crossing in the city center. There are couples holding hands depicted on majority of them. Some of them are straight and some are not. Same with the toilets in some of the restaurants we went to. The common practice is having three, instead of two bathrooms – one for women, one for men, and one for ‘we don’t care, it’s none of our business’. Cool, I wish Warsaw was more like Vienna in that regard!


There are still some spots on our ‘to do’ list, that we did not have time to visit this time around. Check them out if you have more than 2 days, I feel like they’ll be pretty cool. First one of those is the Museum of Applied Arts. I’ve only heard good things about it. It’s said to be filled to the brim with top-notch design exhibits. I recommend you visiting it on Tuesdays as it’s the only day when the admission fee is cheaper (normal ticket costs 5 euro than, instead of 12 euro). I’d love to visit Supersense as well. This place is hard to describe. It’s a mixture of a museum of analog technology, a shop and a cafe. It’s also said to be interactive. And it’s all located in a beautiful neo-gothic apartment. The last curiosity on my list is a Woruba church. It’s a weird contemporary building made of concrete blocks and looks as if it was made by aliens. All in all, there’s lots to do in Vienna, you just have to know where to look.


See you for dinner!

And now, since this blog post is exceptionally long anyway, there’s nothing more for me to do but invite you to read the sond part of my guide to Vienna. In there it will be all things food related. I gathered my restaurant, cafe and bar reccommendations as well as some tips on where to buy local products to take home with you. There are some traditional spots that were opened over a century ago, as well as some brand new, hipster spots that look good but serve great food as well. You can check it all out HERE.



If you’ve been to Vienna let us know what are your favourite spots. Did you get the same feeling I did, that it takes time to really get to know this city? I’d love to give it another chance, go back and try to get to know it better, but I need some insider info on what’s worth seeing that’s not necesserily described in travel guides and blogs or showcased on Instagram 😉