Interrailing - Very Vienna

I left Salzburg on an early train to head over to Vienna with a green smoothie in hand (days of rye bread and cold meats were getting somewhat repetitive!) and a spring in my step. What I arrived to though was a thoroughly depressing, hot and humid city – not what I was expecting after a few days of sea air and mountain breezes.

Whilst Vienna might not have been my favourite place I visited, the food and drink scene was the best. On my first afternoon I got so incredibly lost that it was almost impressive. However, in the moments of panicking that I’d have to make home in an archway by a car park, I did find a wonderful bookshop – Shakespeare & Company. A little homely store filled with English publications, I could have stayed in there all day. Located on one of Vienna’s oldest streets the shop is worth visiting just for the history. Eventually I found myself at a wonderful branch of Aida, the Viennese equivalent of Starbucks, for a slice of ‘come on Kate, chill out’ cake and a fancy coffee. The Sachertorte I had was pretty rubbish but the cafes are worth it just for the kitsch pink décor. I wanted some big comforting Austrian food for dinner so went for bratwurst and sauerkraut at Gasthaus Reinthaler – original rustic fare in the chic first district. The interiors haven’t changed since the 1960s and the food is brilliant but not pricey. I accidently got really quite drunk – a warning, at Reinthaler a glass of wine if 250ml, two glasses and you’re on two thirds of a bottle of red!

The poor weather in Vienna made it quite hard to do what I did the rest of the trip – wander. It was pretty grey and damp so I spent a lot of my time dashing between shops and cafes. Some of my favourite shops were Carnaby Street – the best vintage shop I’ve been to in the world! I had long old chat with the owner who goes on literal round the world trips to source his incredible stock. Bonbons was a veritable treasure trove of sweet treats. Kauf Dich Glücklich was my favourite shop though - beautiful home wear, super cool clothes and accessories and a top-notch book section. A must visit if you’re into that ‘Scandi-cool’ vibe.

For food I went to Merkur both mornings for an amazing big breakfast. You can get an omelette with salad and all sorts AND a hot drink for 5 euros! Located in the university district it isn’t far from Rathaus although I walked from the other side of town because I walked everywhere! Zum Wohl was an amazing little café where I had a restorative tomato and coconut soup with a green juice whilst sheltering from the rain - just two tables so quite and relaxing. Der Wiener Deewan was a total surprise; after thinking I was just going to go to the local Billa for a pack of cooked chicken I decided to venture out and found a gem. This is a buffet style Pakistani restaurant where the rule is ‘eat what you like, pay what you like’ which is a really lovely trust system. The food is incredible, hearty and proper Pakistani cuisine. One more place you should visit is Soho Canteen. Hidden in the depths of the National Library rumour has it even locals struggle to find the entrance; a New York atmosphere with delicious set menus for under 10 euros.

There are so many things to see and do in Vienna but you can find it all in the guidebooks! It’s city of history and so many museums you’d be able to do pretty much anything you want! It has so much spirit and I’d certainly go back to again but would hope for better weather!

Next stop, Budapest.

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