"Still a city of dreams" Vienna by morgenhund

Vienna Travel Guide: 7,781 reviews and 19,956 photos

My adopted home!

Vienna is a city that never ceases to astound me - I still have to explore a lot of its nooks and crannies - that's one reason why I love the city as it seems to be made up of lots of smaller towns which all seem to come together to form Vienna. There is a rich cultural diversity in Vienna, and its location at the very heart of Europe makes it also an excellent starting point for travelling around Europe.

Vienna's climate is not entirely predictable - winter temperatures have fallen to -15°C and summer temperatures have swung from 38°C to 23°C in an hour! Sometimes February can be freezing, and sometimes you can be outside in shorts - I kid you not!

Vienna has a special place in my heart, as it has become my home. Since moving here in July 2000, I have experienced the highs and lows, from the close to down-and-out shivering in a flat in winter where the gas and electricity have gone wrong - to the joys of owning a high-ceilinged Altbauwohnung a mere 10 minutes from the city centre. From arriving as a tourist, through being branded an expat, I have become a Neuwiener - although I still do things in a British way.

Vienna has of course become a place of work as well as being a home, and three days a week I am based in the Oesterreichische Nationalbank - which means I have an art collection to enjoy - walking through the corridors of the building! It is also a mere stone's through from the Altes AKH (now Uni buildings) which is home to a number of fine bars and eateries.

Web Links:

Falter - the online listings guide
Wien wie es isst - the online restaurant guide for Vienna
Vienna Tourism site - Official Vienna Tourism site

A popular myth: Vienna is expensive

As with anywhere you choose to travel to, Vienna appears expensive for tourists - but in reality it depends on how you cut your cloth. If you go out in the 1st district (city centre inside the ring) to restaurants the whole time and stay in upmarket hotels, Vienna is expensive - however Vienna also has a lot of more reasonably priced alternatives.

Given the fact that the public transport network is 1) very reliable and 2) very reasonably priced you can easily enjoy what Vienna has to offer on a relatively tight budget without being forced to sacrifice your enjoyment of the city. Staying in outer districts anywhere on the underground network (U-Bahn) can save you a lot of money) and eating simply in the outer districts will not cost a king's ransom. The area I live and go out in - the 4th and 5th districts has a lot going for it and is very reasonably priced.

The Seven Year Itch

I've spent over 7 years in Vienna now - having been derided by many (jealous?) friends who claimed I'd not stick it 6 months. So by rights I should have the seven year itch... I am not going to move on, but would agree that the city I have called home since July 2000 has become all too familiar, so my seven year itch will really involve me discovering new places to go in Vienna rather than moving away - there are a host of nooks and crannies that I have yet to explore - so that gives me a new mission - and a very enjoyable one at that...

Exploring the outer districts has given me a greater insight into the fact that Vienna is not as Austrian as it may seem - after all a real Viennese probably has at least 1/4 of his/her ancestry from elsewhere!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:safe, a big city with character
  • Cons:too conservative and bureaucratic for some
  • In a nutshell:The heart of Europe
  • Last visit to Vienna: Jan 2008
  • Intro Updated Jan 16, 2008
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Reviews (100)

Comments (33)

  • Herkbert's Profile Photo
    Aug 12, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    Thanks for the great tips. Big help in planning our trip to Vienna in December. Tom

  • amaterasu98's Profile Photo
    Jun 24, 2009 at 8:46 AM

    I'm sorry, but I live in Favoriten all my life (35 years) and NEVER had anything happen to me! Be careful while walking around at night everywhere in the city, especially close to Schwedenplatz where quite many drunk people roam around and may harass you.

  • wanderingbtrfly's Profile Photo
    May 8, 2009 at 11:12 AM

    Thank you for all your helpful tips!

  • Oct 12, 2007 at 2:22 AM

    Looking forward to 5 days in Wien in December - will definitely return to your page later! Greetings from snowy Tromsø, ~Mette

  • Sep 22, 2007 at 2:58 AM

    Very disappointed, cafe is bad or unless not so good as one expect to be and very expensive. And cakes are good (as in many other confectioner´s shops in Europe) but not excellent

  • y2ketan2007's Profile Photo
    Sep 12, 2007 at 11:03 AM

    Excellent page on a amazing city.I'll surely visit Vienna one or two more times in my lifetime.

  • zlatiq's Profile Photo
    Aug 15, 2007 at 5:44 AM

    great tips,esp. the transportation ones-so useful in organizing my visit to vienna; thanks

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo
    Aug 2, 2007 at 5:19 AM

    Mike, I've enjoyed starting on your Vienna pages, but I'm having major internet problems and will have to return later.

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Jul 9, 2007 at 12:22 PM

    Mike, I should have read your view of Vienna before I came - you have all in I need, including the complicated names of coffee, lol :-) Ha, and I would have shopped at Zotter, lemon chocolate :-) evening smiles to Wien :-)

  • mvtouring's Profile Photo
    Feb 22, 2007 at 9:50 PM

    Definately time for me to come back to Vienna. Was my first stop on my first overseas trip ;-)

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