^ schonnbrun tunnel is a can’t miss !
^ Have you ever seen a cleaner subway? Me neither. (Also there were more tunnels like these with all sorts of different patterns / colors. Pretty sweet. )
Sometimes if I’m very lucky – very very lucky – Porter lets me dictate my blog posts to him. Doesn’t happen all the time. Some days he pretends not to hear me when I ask, and other days I get a flat-out “nope”. But occasionally, if I catch him between tasks, and he’s feeling abnormally helpful, he’ll agree to it. Today is one of those days. I love being a blogger, but the one thing that I think pretty much the whole world could do with a little bit less of is screen time. Some days you just need a break and want to be productive without having that incandescent, artificial light flashing in your face. This is when having a husband/typist really comes in handy.
We’ve spent the past week in Vienna. A city that both of us we’re really intent on getting to for somewhat unknown reasons. Ever since the inception of planning this trip, Vienna was on our must-go list, even though neither of us had ever been to Austria and didn’t really do much background research on the city as a whole before arriving. I guess we’d picked up tidbits of info here and there and had clung to the kind of urban adjectives we love: clean, sophisticated, old-world architecture, walkable, and good coffee. So those were the expectations we had for this place when we landed just a few days ago, and it has over-delivered on every single one. Not just the sidewalks, but the streets the cars drive on look as though they’re literally mopped every morning. The people here have that sort of Germanic efficiency about them, but are nonetheless warm and helpful and inviting. Each street is more beautiful than the last, the buildings look almost Parisian, except that the majority are painted white with the brightest gold accents we’ve ever seen. One stunning street gives way to another and then another and then you start to realize that the city overall is one of the most beautiful you’ve ever seen, not just the type of place that has beautiful nooks and crannies or neighborhoods, the way its seems to go with most large European capitals. Horse-drawn carriages clip and clop down every single street, and it was a sound we grew accustomed to falling asleep to and waking up from (possibly one of my favorite details of our time here).
The coffee was phenomenal, but the culture around it was even more impressive. Vienna is absolutely inundated with coffee houses, and not the dive-in kind, the kind that are intentionally aesthetic and thematic and draw your eyes again and again. The food culture her too is beyond impressive. I’ve never seen so many vegan options in such a small city. It seemed crazy to me being here, walking the streets every day that so few people make Vienna a priority, opting for a bigger city, a more well-known metropolis.
It is so so worth visiting, and I know thats a silly way to say it, but everyone who sent us messages advising us to go here or there had this kind of second-hand excitement for us just over the fact that we were getting to go. When we landed and saw it for ourselves, we instantly realized why. Its a city without a single shortcoming I can think of, and definitely a city we could’ve spent a whole lot longer in. Even the subway stations, which usually are my least favorite part of nay urban place were stunning and clean and had their own cafes underground where people just hung out (have you ever seen anybody willingly just hang out in a subway station before?!)
…& then, added to all this, there was Naschmarkt: a little section of the city Porter and I fell totally in love with. It’s made up of store stalls and small restaurants all sort of tucked into eachother the way a Christmas market would be, except is always there. And every day around 5pm people would pour in for afterwork drinks and a bite to eat and the busyness wouldn’t quiet down until late late at night. It kind of feels like the heartbeat of the city, and it’s the one area that lets you know that Vienna doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s a city thats aware that its beautiful, but humble enough to have those areas where you can really just unwind and hang out and know you’re surrounded by people who want to do the same.
If you’re thinking about coming here don’t think, just book it. I’ve been to a lot of places at this point (as has porter), and out of all of them I think this is the least likely to be a let down. For anyone. Old, young, a family, a couple, it doesn’t really matter, theres’s something for every age and stage here. If you do get the chance to go, stop in at these places for us, we promise you won’t regret it:
Figar for a breakfast burger
Collio for dinner (get the pumpkin gnocchi)
Voodies for the french fries
Health Kitchen for a healthy lunch (soba noodles were especially great)
The Guesthouse Brasserie & Bakery for all day breakfast
Joseph Brot for all of the bread & pastries
Anna Lisa & Porter