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Travel

Exploring Vienna

January 8, 2019

Vienna had been on top of my travel bucket list for a while, so it has understandably felt fantastic to finally visit. Up until a couple of years ago, I had not been given much opportunity to travel – growing up in a family of members who did not yearn to explore land overseas and the cultural differences had been somewhat of a let-down, and a completely unrelatable point for me. I cannot remember a time in which I were not filled with curiosity and a profound eagerness to visit as many different places as I could. I have not stopped searching for the next destination ever since being able to afford a few occasional trips. As I mentioned in a recent blog post, one of my greatest resolutions for the new year is to travel more – so I could not have been more delighted to ring in 2019 overseas.

Aside from numbingly cold weather, the trip consisted of all I hoped it would. Stunning architecture, delicious cuisine, friendly locals – and a city small enough to get around easily in, yet bursting with cultural attractions and entertainment options.

We spent most of the trip consuming hot dogs, strolling along the busy streets and visiting a couple of clothing stores, snapping many photos and dancing at clubs (and the latter is typically not my favourite past time, but I was still eager to explore the clubbing scene in the city.)

On New Year’s Eve, myself and a couple of friends met up with a few people I had never encountered before, enjoyed some drinks indoors altogether and then headed out to one of Vienna’s best clubs – Volksgarten Club Disco – for a night of heavy drinking and an emotional farewell to 2018. It was a spontaneous end to the year, which is all I could really have hoped for.

I’ve decided to compile a few fantastic restaurants/bars which I would strongly recommend:

Door No.8
If you’re ever in Vienna and craving steak, this is exactly where you should visit. My friend and I shared three different kinds of meat – each of which was just incredible – paired with some creamy truffle polenta and exceptional Austrian wine. It really was just one of those meals which could almost bring tears to your eyes as a result of its immaculate taste – I find myself salivating at the thought of it. The service was also very efficient.

Palmenhaus
Despite having to queue in for a while before being accommodated, this restaurant is worth the wait. It is situated in a former tropical house, where you will be surrounded by greenery while enjoying your meal. Minna and I feasted on a glass of prosecco and a cheese platter here – in proper vacation spirit!

Spelunke
Known to be another popular restaurant in the city, Spelunke has a modern, edgy vibe to it. The interiors consist of green leather seating and slightly dim lighting, making it a cosy place to dine. I tried some cheesy dumpling pasta and truffle mac n’ cheese here, an awfully filling and unhealthy meal but one I could not stop consuming.

Café Central
I suppose any person who has visited Vienna would know about this place, for it is considered to be the city’s main café. I have to say my feelings are mixed, yet I would still recommend it if you are in Vienna for the first time. When visiting, you will most likely be greeted by a queue to enter. Upon entering, you will first notice the stunning interior – which, in my eyes, is the main reason you would want to visit – and then the less-than-satisfactory service follows. The menu is somewhat pricey, but that can be expected due to the café’s reputation and history. However, the food is really quite mediocre, which comes across as surprising when one takes the accompanying price tag into consideration. Nevertheless, I still think this just is a classic place you must visit if you’re exploring Vienna’s main attractions. Besides its architecture, the café is mainly known for the many poets and philosophers who once frequented it.  

Das Loft
Perhaps my favourite of all locations visited, Das Loft is described as one of Vienna’s most sought-after restaurants and bars. It is located at the top of a skyscraper and offers the best views of the city, combined with my favourite lounge music. Tables require reservation but sitting by the bar does not. Additionally, you’ll want to remember to put together your best ensemble here, as the dress code is indeed enforced.

FashionTV Café
Yet another café/lounge I cannot decide if I truly like, but still one I think is worth the visit. Perhaps the main reason for recommending it is because of its name and reputation enjoyed by any fashion enthusiast, as well as the fact that it is located opposite the Vienna State Opera and the views are just exquisite. However, the interiors are what I would call slightly tacky, and the music played was very mainstream – and consisted of a lot of pitbull anthems, if you catch my drift. Nevertheless, that is all quite easily forgotten when sipping on a glass of Fashion Prosecco and adapting to the upbeat surroundings.

Here are some photos taken on the trip, all of which were photographed by Johan or Minna:

Natalya Vukovic