"Still a city of dreams" Vienna by morgenhund
Vienna Travel Guide: 7,781 reviews and 19,956 photos
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.
Falter - the online listings guide
Wien wie es isst - the online restaurant guide for Vienna
Vienna Tourism site - Official Vienna Tourism site
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.
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:safe, a big city with character
- Cons:too conservative and bureaucratic for some
- In a nutshell:The heart of Europe
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