Good morning. This week we’re off to the beautiful capital of Austria…Vienna!
This vibrant European city is situated on the Danube River, and has been called home by the likes of Mozart, Beethoven and Sigmund Freud. Vienna is jam-packed with incredible palaces, museums, churches and much more. Regardless of your age, Vienna is a brilliant option for a city break.
Need to know…
✈️ Flight time: 2hrs
⏰ Time difference: +1hr
🔌 Travel adapter: EU Standard Type C
💷 Currency: Euro
🌡️ Weather: Today a high of 32°c
😋 Must try dishes: The Wiener Schnitzel (a breaded and fried veal escalope) and the very famous Sachertorte (very chocolatey cake!).
🚲 Getting around: Vienna can be explored by foot, but also has a great transport system with trams and an underground making it really easy to get around the city. For just €14 you can get a 48hr city pass, giving you unlimited access to all public transport options.
💬 Key phrases & slang:
Danke (Thank you)
Moizeit (Enjoy your meal!)
What to do?
🍰 Try one of the most famous desserts in the world…
If you’re planning a trip to Vienna, then a visit to Schönbrunn Palace is a must. This magnificent palace was the main summer residence of the Habsburg rulers. The imposing yellow building can be a bit of a tourist trap and whilst the palace has some magnificent rooms to tour, if you fancy avoiding the throngs of tourists you can explore the extensive gardens completely free. Simply head towards the palace but bear right under the arch, then make a left turn through the rose garden and you’ll be able to spend a day wandering around some amazing gardens. Top tip - if you head up the hill to the Gloriette, you can climb the steps to the roof (it’ll cost a few Euros per person), where you’ll get the most insane views of Vienna!
🦋 If you’ve been doing the traditional tour of Vienna then you’ve probably spent some time at the Hofburg. Just behind that and on the edge of the Burggarten is the Schmetterlinghaus. Set in a beautiful art deco building is one of the coolest butterfly houses you’ll visit. Packed full of amazing tropical plants, a waterfall and around 500 beautiful butterflies. If you’re visiting in the summer, the greenhouse gets pretty toasty (we learnt that the hard way 😂).
🍫 No visit to Vienna is complete without trying the World-famous Sacher-Torte. Originally concocted in 1832, the Austrian State Chancellor had tasked his kitchen staff to create an extraordinary dessert to impress his guests. Unfortunately the main chef fell ill, so the task fell to the 16 year old apprentice chef Franz Sacher. The dessert was a huge hit and soon became a fan favourite of the imperial court, quickly gaining a cult following. If you want the authentic experience tasting this chocolatey dessert, then take a visit to Café Sacher Wien or Café Bel Étage. They’re both on the same street and if you head to the latter, we highly recommend asking for a seat upstairs!
🍣 So sushi probably isn't the first thing you think of when taking a trip to Austria, but we stumbled across one of the best Japanese restaurants we’ve ever visited! Mari’s Metcha Market on Kaiserstrasse is a market come restaurant serving some of the best Japanese food outside of Japan.
If you’re after some authentic Austrian food, then you have to visit Gastwirtschaft Schilling. This cosy restaurant has existed in one form or another since 1898, has the most friendly staff and some fantastic food 🤤.
While you’re completing your eating tour of Vienna, a trip to Naschmarkt has to be on the agenda. Here you’ll find some great small restaurants offering some amazing Middle Eastern food - yum!
🎡 Finally, for a fun-filled day, take a trip to Prater Wien. This amusement park is packed full of nostalgia, rides, and a giant ferris wheel dating from 1897. There’s everything from rides for thrill-seekers, to a ghost train, amusement arcades, a railway and more!
Where to stay?
🪴 Enjoy a spritz on a beautiful roof terrace…
If you’re after somewhere well located and super trendy, then look no further than the Hotel Ruby Marie. This hotel is just a short walk from Vienna Westbahnhof (the main train station), making it a great base for exploring the city. The hotel itself is super stylish, and features a cinema room (with daily screenings), a yoga room, and a beautiful roof terrace covered in plants and trees (a great place for an afternoon Aperol Spritz!).
Next up, the Guesthouse Vienna. This homely, calming boutique hotel is situated close to the Hofburg meaning there’s plenty to explore right on your doorstep. The hotel has an open terrace for outdoor dining where you can enjoy some of the in-house freshly baked bread. The rooms all come with a wine cooler and 4 bottles of complementary wine 🤯. The large hotel windows mean that after a long day exploring the city, you can relax in your room, sipping a glass of wine and enjoying a spot of people-watching.
For our last suggestion why not consider the beautiful Hotel Motto. There’s been a hotel on this site since the 17th century and the current incarnation is fantastic. The style is a blend of Parisian glamour meets 1920’s Vienna. There’s a small gym, as well as a sauna and steam bath. These are definitely on the cosy side of things so get ready to make some new friends 😅. The rooms are all unique and immaculately decorated, whilst breakfast is a must, with a fantastic menu of smoothies, pastries, crepes and more! If the weather’s good then make sure you head up to the roof terrace where you can enjoy some great views across the city.
The City of Canals - Venice
Next week we’ll be exploring one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Built on more than 100 small islands, Venice is a labyrinth of a city, ready to be explored! Discover beautiful buildings, great restaurants and perhaps most importantly, the city’s traditional Bacari.
We really want to leverage the incredible travel knowledge from the thousands of subscribers that make up our Porter community. Therefore, if you’ve ever Venice, let us know the things you loved doing, or the places you stayed at. If we love your recommendations we’ll feature them in next week’s newsletter.