Food & Travel

Winter in Vienna

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Winter in Vienna

Article by Julia


I always wanted to visit Vienna for two main reasons: Klimt’s paintings and the desserts! As a former art student and a sweetness enthusiast, I can tell you that is the dream.

Vienna is such an exciting city, especially from a cultural perspective, so spending there just two nights was surely not enough to really experience everything, but it was great enough to make me feel happy and satisfied.

This really is the ultimate central European city, with the baroque streetscapes and imperial palaces, an immense cultural wealth, an almost pampered food culture and vibrant design scene. From old to new, and salty to sweet, it has everything covered.

Actually, I have to take a moment and admit it also has the winterest (I can give myself the liberty to create that word) winter ever; I do not think I have ever experienced cold in such a way, but hey, even that is just another unforgettable thing about Vienna.

I am a strong believer of walking being the best way to bond with a place, yet I was very pleased the Vienna metro was so easy to use and made exploring the city in the freezing temperatures much more pleasant. Indeed, it is quite a big city so opting for the public transportation is a good idea. If you are staying for a short period, I suggest you opt for a 24/48/72-hour ticket (depending on your time). I got the 24-hour ticket (just €8) which compared to the price of the single use ticket (€2.40) was quite a bargain.

Once you are settled with your metro ticket and your warmest coat and boots, you are ready to explore!

It was such a nice feeling walking down the big streets, surrounded by imperial architecture (keep in mind I used to be one of the kids watching the animated series about Princess Sissi), the beautiful cathedrals, the busy squares and so many museums! I think Austria is the country for which I can count the longest list of people I know who are important in the arts and culture scene.

My top sites to see in a short trip to Vienna would be: St, Stephen’s Cathedral; Museumsquartier, a large area containing baroque buildings (most of them museums) as well as modern architecture; the Vienna City Hall (Rathaus) – an extraordinary building, especially when lit during the night; the Vienna State Opera; Belvedere – I chose to visit Upper Belvedere as Klimt’s Kiss resides there.

*(I did not have enough time to wait in line, but if you do, check the Opera’s calendar and do get a standing room ticket; it is a cheap ticket – hence the long waiting in line, providing you an opportunity to see a Viennese opera but as the name implies, not a sit with it. You also get to see the interior of the building almost for free, so I think it is still a win – win situation).

Going back to my top sites, the great thing about visiting Vienna in the winter is that every single one of these locations has its own Christmas market in its square, filled with so many treats and material goods. I have to admit though; my favorite market was the Rathaus one! It was such an amazing feeling to see the lit wooden houses under the giant gothic building, which seemed to have a warmer vibe with all the light decorations.

The punch is always a Christmas market MUST and there were so many options to choose – although my favorite was the berries one (sweet delicious punch and floating berries)! Like the markets in Budapest, Vienna too has a very environmentally friendly approach to food service. The mugs in Vienna were shaped like red boots and that just added more to the fun. I will keep going back to the fact that wintery Vienna is very cold, so keep your mug filled at all times. Warmth and alcohol just equal to funny comfort in a day (especially night) out. Walk around the market to take all the smells / colours / beauties in (and keep your feet warmer by moving them), refill your mug at any stand and in the end keep it for a good memory or exchange it for your deposit money.

My favorite foods from the trip were the spiced pumpkin soup in the bread bowl (I really got to love those soups in bread bowls) – the creamy texture was perfect, and the topping with pumpkin seeds and seed oil just made it even better; the Würstl – Viennese sausage hot dog – grilled excellently, so crispy on the outside but so soft on the inside; and the many desserts! I especially loved the apple strudel (I actually tried that at a coffee house so that was my poshest meal in Vienna) and the Brandteig Ringe – a delicious bagel like dessert, filled with brandy cream and sweet frosting (that might be one of the reasons I`ll want to get back to Vienna soon).


Oh such lovely and sweet memories! A city not to be missed!


Photography by Julia Janku

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