My Underwhelming 24 Hours In Vienna, Austria

Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.
— Anthony Bourdain

After spending Christmas and Boxing Day in London, I continued on with my #DecemberToRemember travels. Because travel was limited on the holidays, I decided that flying out on December 27 would be easier. I took the Gatwick Express train to the airport and after having Nando’s for breakfast, I was well on my way to Vienna. When I landed, I immediately had a bad taste in my mouth. It could have been me being paranoid, but I felt like the Uber driver matched with me was deliberately driving in the incorrect direction and wouldn’t pick up the phone. I ended up sitting at the airport for about 20 minutes longer than anticipated while waiting for another driver. I tried to shake it off and enjoy the scenery behind me because it was a lovely view. I could see the mountains and I definitely had The Sound of Music in my mind.

As I mentioned in my London post, the sun sets incredibly early in some parts of Europe and I knew that I would not have that much day time. While I originally had in my mind that I would stay in Vienna for 2 days, I decided to make it one. Why? I really wasn’t that into visiting but I wanted to give it a chance. It’s not like I go to Eastern Europe all the time and figured I might as well -see- it because I hate living in a world of "what if".


Where I Ate

Keep in mind that I only stayed in Vienna for 24 hours and so unlike most of my other posts, this section will be a bit limited.

  • Restaurant Stella Marina: I checked for recommendations using my BFF Yelp and hopped around in Uber’s around the city. This place was a gem. The owner is also the waiter and chef. You never know what’s on the menu but his pasta is the business. I would definitely eat here again if I ever came back to Vienna.
  • Leo Hillinger: Cute wine bar with great service! Although I was the only black person in the establishment I did not feel as though I was being treated differently or stared at.
  • Cafe Sacher: There are a ton of cafes in Vienna and I wanted to go to one that reminded me of New York Cafe in Budapest. I settled on Cafe Sacher due to its proximity to the palaces I would be visiting. It was cute but no lasting memories were made. They ran out of the cake I wanted but my drink was super strong.
  • Because I was catching a bus to Prague, I decided to visit the sister store of Aldi and get some light snacks (and wine).

Where I Stayed

I had such a favorable experience with Wombat’s City hostel in both Budapest and London that I decided to give their Vienna location a chance. It wasn’t as “luxurious” as the other locations but because I was only staying for one night, I ultimately didn’t care. The rooms were definitely smaller, as was the downstairs bar, but I felt safe in the neighborhood and just wanted a good night’s rest.

Funny story: I actually checked into the wrong room and didn’t even realize it until AFTER I had taken a nap and was attempting to put my items in the locker. My bad.

Where I Played

  • MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art: I always try to check out the art when I’m in a new place and I enjoyed my time here. The exhibits had some socially conscious messages and I was surprised to see so much English. Some of the pieces even featured black faces which of course made me smile. It was a much needed relief to stay inside while it was frigid outside.  
  • Der Hannes: It was a Wednesday night and after hanging out at the bar at the hostel I wanted to at least say I stepped outside so I went here. The servers were cool and I enjoyed the music. It wasn’t too crowded but it got the job done.
  • Schwarzenberg & Belvedere Palace: Most blog posts I had seen talking about Vienna included visits to the palaces. As I had a departure to Prague coming, I wanted to at least see the gardens. Naturally, because it was chilly there weren’t too many plants to see but the palaces were extremely grand from the outside and I enjoyed seeing the different statues.

I fully acknowledge that 24 hours is not long enough to get the true feel for a city and maybe it has a different vibe during the summer, but I was over it and ready to move on. I was definitely pleased with my choice not to stay longer than planned. Vienna reminded me of Brussels, and if you all can recall, while I made the most of my time there, I’m not in a rush to go back. What I will say is that I appreciated the slow pace of Vienna because for the rest of my #DecemberToRemember I turned UP (as I am sure you saw on my social media stories).

  As I have been on my travel crusades for going on 3 years, I have learned that everything is not for everybody and things should not have to be forced. Similar to my experience in Brussels, even though I was underwhelmed by my 24 hours in Vienna, I'm glad I went. Read more about where I ate, stayed, and played on the blog now. 

As I have been on my travel crusades for going on 3 years, I have learned that everything is not for everybody and things should not have to be forced. Similar to my experience in Brussels, even though I was underwhelmed by my 24 hours in Vienna, I'm glad I went. Read more about where I ate, stayed, and played on the blog now. 

Have you been to Vienna? What did you think? Let’s chat about it in the comments!

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