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Cabinet of Chic Curiosities

Austria

Hello! I’m planning a 48 hour stop off in Vienna. I travel solo a lot but I’m quite nervous about stopping off somewhere completely different where I have no idea of the language. Do you have any idea what it’s like for an English speaker? And what are some gems to visit? I would particularly like to find some lovely and ornate architecture. Lastly, I’m looking for a hotel but not sure what area to base myself in. Please help? 

Don’t worry about the language – most everyone speaks English. Vienna is also probably the safest European big city. There’s like no crime at all.

Mission number 1: try as many of the wonderful time capsule cafés and restaurants like Café Sperl, Café Braunerhof, Café Landtmann’s, Café Prückel, Café Hawelka.
Try the three S’s! Some strudel and schnitzel and sachertorte (chocolate cake).

Where to stay: Check out this really great hotel “come as a guest, leave as a friend” and they also have a great neighbourhood guide on their site. Vienna’s most trendy and central neighbourhoods are Leopoldstadt and Margareten.

Museums & Art: Bucket list the Schonbrunn Palace as well as its incredible greenhouses. Belvedere (for the Klimt of course) and Albertina art galleries have magnificent collections.Kunsthistorisches Museum – grand like the Louvre but with morecomfy couches in each room. The Egyptian room is super cool too. 

Other day activities: To get an idea of everyday urban lifestyle of local Viennese cool kids, the Karmelitermarkt is a colourful market amidst nice old buildings, beloved-of-hipsters (Mon-Saturday).There’s also Naschmarkt, which has a great flea market section on Saturdays. 

You could also check the mansion district called “Cottageviertel” outside of the city center.

See another side to Vienna – its vineyards! Take tram 31 to the last stop, Stammersdorf.Walk down Stammersdorfer Strasse and Strammersdorfer Kellergasse. There are many different wine taverns, but one we can definitely recommend, is called “Zur Christl” with a buffet style restaurant inside where you can choose from hearty and sweet Austrian dishes and various salads. Upstairs lures a lovely terrace where one’s eye can linger over the vineyards to the churches and skyscrapers of the city in the blurry distance. 

By night: If you can’t book yourself in for a show, at least visit the Opera house. You can get standing tickets for just 10 euros.
Skip a dinner once or twice and just get a sausage instead at Vienna’s oldest sausage stand, Leo’s Würstlestand. On pretty much every street in Vienna, you will find fast food places selling various types of würstels.

Burg Kino, one of the oldest cinemas in Vienna, where they play the movie “The Third Man” 4x a week (in english), set in post-war Vienna starring Orson Wells.