As I continued to bounce around from capital city to capital city in Eastern Europe with my friend Kaddi, the road led us back into “Western” Europe in the capital city of Vienna, Austria. The bus ride there was nice. Only about five hours and we got to stop in Slovakia’s capital city, Bratislava for a brief hour or so.
A little more about Vienna. . .
When we arrived in Vienna, Kaddi and I went to our hostel to drop off our luggage. We stayed at HI Hostel which was about $19 per night. I do not recommend staying here as the vibe was bad, there were too many rules, horrible WiFi and beds, and not your typical college crowd; there were more older folks.
Immediately following that, we met up with our friends Javier (Mexico), Gabriel (France), and Paul (France) who had gone there the day before from Budapest. They were with one of Paul’s friends studying in Czech, Guillam (France).
Javier showed Kaddi and I around the city as our “tour guide” since he had done a guided tour the last time he was in Vienna only a few weeks prior. It wasn’t the most informative tour, but he did a good job of remembering the path and showing us all of the sites of Vienna City Center.
Eats and Drinks
After our “tour”, we decided to grab a beer. We went to Café Benno which was a nice bar/café a little bit outside of the center of the city. Their beer was reasonably priced ($4/pint), and they offered board games and a perfect little private room for us that made me feel like we were inside a room of a log cabin. We stayed there for quite a while playing cards until we decided to make our next move; dinner.
We went to Cosmopolitan, a restaurant in the middle of city center, and I got traditional Austrian Goulash and dumplings ($10). It was fairly good, but not my favorite traditional food I’ve ever tasted. After dinner, we decided to do our own pub crawl through Vienna.
We went to an Irish pub, Dick Mack’s, before going to three more pubs; Pickwicks, Kitsch, and White Rabbit. They all had different vibes to them which gave the night a little bit of zest.
Happy Hour Deals:
Pickwicks happy hour: 10-12pm every day
Kitsch drink deal: $3 vodka drinks all weekend
The next day, we went to check out the Schönbrunn Palace where Kaiser Franz and Sissi lived for many years. It was absolutely beautiful on the front side, and only got more beautiful around back with the most precisely maintained gardens I’ve ever seen, fountains, and a big hill showing off the best view of the city of Vienna.
Kaddi and I met up with another friend that night, Olga, in Unplugged for dinner ($7 pizza, $4 beer) before leaving for drinks at another place.
In the following days as we had concerts on back-to-back nights, we were scraping for inexpensive things to do during the day.
The Hundertwasser House, which I was actually most excited about in Vienna, was vastly disappointing. The house needs a new paint job, and the growth of the roof-top trees, although a nice initiative to grow forests within a city, obstructs the view of the art. We stopped at the Belvedere Palaces, which probably ended up being my favorite sight of Vienna. It is a beautiful area and a must-see in Vienna.
Later, we took a stroll through Weiner Reisenrad Park for a bit. It was sincerely a nice relaxing day, but I found myself getting bored of Vienna. It is one of the cleanest, most beautiful cities I’ve ever been in, but lacks inexpensive or alternative attractions.
I would go back to Vienna, but probably only if I had a reason for it. It truly is a great city but not superb for visiting in my opinion. We stayed up until 5:30 A.M. that night waiting for our transport. We saw it pointless to pay for another night in the hostel when we would only spend a matter of hours in a bed. I quickly said bye to Kaddi as I had to run off to my bus, and we parted ways.
I want to thank Kaddi, again, for an excellent week and introducing me to so many new friends. It was all that I could ask for.
Other Attraction, Bars, and Restaurants. . .
- Hofburg Palace – Baroque palace with museums
- St. Stephen’s Cathedral – City icon in middle of city center
- Prater – amusement park
- Museumsquartier – Baroque district with museums
- Kolar – can get lunch/dinner and a beer for under $13
- The Sign – voted the best bar in Vienna two years in a row