We visited Vienna at the end of February 2018. We arrived in Vienna at lunch time on a bus from Bratislava.
The taxi from the bus station to our hotel was 15 euro. We stayed in the 25 Hours Hotel after a long search on Air BNB and booking.com. I read about this hotel on a Vienna travel blog and made a note of it. I did my usual accommodation research and found that the Air BNB options were more expensive than 25Hours Hotel. The other hotels were also more expensive and old fashioned in comparison. I can’t recommend this place enough. It’s modern, the staff were friendly, it’s right beside the town hall/museum quarter and it’s close to the metro.
The icing on the cake was the spa, the free yoga classes and the eco friendly shampoo and soap that was cruelty free! This hotel was made for me!
We stayed in the standard double room (98 euro). You can stay in a room with a bathtub on the balcony for 187 euro. Sadly that was out of our price range, but the outdoor bathtub nearly tempted me. I suggested we stay one night in the room with the bathtub and one night in the standard, but they don’t let you use the bathtubs in the winter months 😦
I should also note that I write this blog purely because I enjoy it and I don’t get paid to advertise hotels. I only recommend places I truly love. Thankfully they have hotels Berlin, Cologne, Dussledorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Paris and Zurich. I will definitely stay in 25Hours again in future.
We checked into the hotel and walked to Naschmarkt. This outdoor market is 1 mile long and has been running since the 16th century. It was such good fun bantering with the vendors. They shout at you “where are you from” and “try this, it’s an aphrodisiac”. You will get bombarded by vendors giving you free tasters. We nearly had enough samples to fill us for lunch. They vast array of hummus and olives in all different flavours and colours is worth a visit alone. With plastic free fresh produce, falafels and walls of spices and teas it’s a vegans delight. Don’t miss this! On Saturdays they have a flee market at the end of the mile long strip. I was also pleased to find hot mulled wine stands along the market as it was below zero temperatures that day!
We walked to the Opera House in the hope of getting tickets, but we were unsuccessful. I would suggest researching online before your trip and booking in advance. The tickets can range from approximately 45-150 euro. You can get tickets for 3-4 euro if you are willing to spend half a day queuing for standing tickets, and then willing to stand for the entire show. It was a bitter cold day and our time was limited in Vienna, so we opted out! The queue is indoors for the most part.
We took a walk around and stumbled across Hofburg Palace and the Palmhaus. Go in for a nosey or make reservation to make sure you get a table.
Café Demel is another tick on the tourist list. You can walk in and buy from the shop or queue at the back to get a seat in this beautiful café. We didn’t fancy the queue and opted out!
After exploring on foot all we were exhausted and slightly numb. It was an extremely cold day, so we went back to the hotel to warm our bones in the sauna, before heading back out at night time to the Town Hall. Over the winter months this Town Hall Ice Rink runs daily. You can pay for the whole day of skating, but we were pretty wrecked after an hour of fast skating around the rink and through the trees. This was probably our highlight of Vienna. Do not miss this!
Thankfully our hotel was 5 minutes from the Town Hall or we nipped back to the hotel for dinner at 1500 Food Market. I was able to request a vegan pizza. We went up to the 25Hours hotel rooftop bar to check out the snowy balconies before bed. The restaurant and rooftop bar were busy. I reckon it’s a popular place for the locals at the weekend.
The hotel staff suggested we go to the Burggasse area for Breakfast. It was a 5 minute walk from the hotel. This is a popular place for the locals, and we had breakfast in das mobel café. It had vegan options on the menu and vegan brownies so I was in my element.
I ordered the vegan black bread (coloured with charcoal) with coconut carrot spread and pink chickpeas. Really delicious! I wish we had time to come back here so I could try the rest of the vegan options.
Burggasse is right beside the metro so we jumped on the train to Schonnbrun Palace.
Schonbrunn Palace is a UNESCO world heritage site. The palace has 1441 rooms, and Mozart played here at age 6. You can stay in the palace, if you are willing to part with a good chunk of your spending money.
We walked around the grounds in the snow and sunshine, and found ballet dancers, water features, a zoo, and a café in a monument at the top of the hill to the rear of the palace.
The grounds also have a palmhouse and botanic gardens (7 euro), an orangerie (3.50 euro), maze, labyrinth, playground (5.50 euro), Hapsburgian Imperial Stables and rose gardens, but we had tired ourselves out by then. You could easily spend a whole day here and it’s free to walk around. There’s an apple strudel show outside the Café Residenz every hour (6 euro). You get a sample, the recipe and a free hotline service when making it yourself at home and need help. They also have a panorama train that takes you around the grounds (7euro, 50mins). If you have a Vienna Pass everything is free!
We booked the short tour to go inside the palace and I got a sneaky photo inside the main hall. The audio guide for the tour was interesting and helpful to understand what you were looking at. Don’t do the tour without this!
14.50 euro (short tour 22 rooms)
17.50 euro (long tour, 40 rooms),
or free with a Vienna Pass.
We got the metro back into the city centre and jumped off at St. Stephens Church. It’s free in, but you pay to go to the roof in the smallest lift I’ve ever seen. If your claustrophobic, climb the 343 steps instead. I went up to see the tiled roof but be warned it was bitter cold up there. You can also do a tour of the catacombs below.
There’s also a rooftop bar called ‘Lamee‘ that has a free view of the church roof tiles, although you’ll have to buy a glass of wine or a coffee to sit there.
We walked to Vegiezz for lunch. This is a chain vegan restaurant and we saw two on our walks around the city.
After a long day and a lot of walking, we went back to the hotel for our last go in the spa before dinner.
We went to Glasc briesl for dinner. It was a 5 minute walk from the hotel and suggested by the travel guides provided by the hotel. Good food and decent prices. The Vegan dish only 9.80 euro. I was surprised by the prices. I was warned how expensive Vienna was, but our most expensive meal was in Bratislava.
Our flights were in and out of Bratislava so we booked our train back to Bratislava for 10 euro. When booking the train back to Bratislava we booked online with ‘Go Euro’. It told us to use the ticket machines at the station and use the code to print our tickets. This didn’t work and we ended up in the help desk. They only printed them for us out of pity! I would suggest printing the tickets in your hotel or buy the tickets on the ‘OBB‘ website only. You can also buy tickets at machine in Haubanhof Train Station really easily. There was a Starbucks in the station with a vegan option! They had run out unfortunately. Bring food with you!
There were no vegan options in Bratislava airport! In fact the two food options left a lot to be desired. Eat before you go or bring food with you, vegan or not!
Things we missed in Vienna
- Belvedere Palace – (UNESCO) 20 euro or Free with Vienna Pass
- Vienna Opera http://www.viennaconcerts.com
- St. Peters Church – oldest (and apparently nicer than St. Stephens)
- St. Michaels Church – large crypt, 4000 corpses including mummified corpses.
- Hofburg Palace – in between the church and the gate, there is a small excavation with a glass covering. Archaeologists found remnants of a roman settlement.
- Vienna City Hall – (we didn’t enter the building, just ice skated in front of it! In the summer there is a film festival where the ice rink lives in winter.)
- Votivkirche Church
- Austrian Parliament Building
- Burgtheater – Austrian National theatre
- Hundertwasset Haus – It is considered cultural heritage. You can visit the house for free and take pictures from outside. The museum is 12 euro or free with Vienna Pass.
- Kunsthauswein Museum
- Church of Assisi
- State Hall, Austrian National Library – (7 euro or free with VP, 10am-6pm) 200,000 value books and a beautiful building.
- Albertina Museum – Monet and Picasso and highly recommended (12.90 euro or free with VP)
- Time Travel Vienna – multimedia shows, 50 cinemas (19.50 euro or free with VP)
- Capuchin Church + Imperial Burial Vault – resting place of emperors and empresses (free with VP)
- Leopold Museum – (13 euro or free with VP)
- Mumok Museum – Pop art, cubism futurism, surrealism (11 euro or free with VP)
- Natural History Museum – largest and oldest meteriote collection (10 euro or free with VP)
- Bank Austria Kunstforum – Modernism, Impressionism, Avant Garde and Van Gogh ( 11 euro or free with VP)
- Melk Abbey Church
- Johann Strauss Apartment
- Sigmund Freud Museum
- Kunsthistorisches Art History Museum
- Zentralfriedhof Cemetery – 2.5milion tombs including Beethoven)
- Karl Marx Hof – 1km long. Longest single residential building in the world (19th district)
- Watch an Ice Hockey match
- Palais Coburg Wine Cellar Tour – stunning according to a travel blog I read.
- Prater – large public park with 250 attractions including a Ferris wheel, Madame Tussauds, Prater Museum, Planetarium, indoor skydiving, bungee jumping etc. Free entry, pay per ride. Closed Nov-Mid March, however the Ferris Wheel remains open.
- Vienna Ringstrasse – former medieval city walls, 5.3km. You can rent bikes and cycle or there’s a tram that covers the route.
- Volksgarten + Augraten parks
- Lainzer Tiergarten – Hike (U4 subway, end of the line Huttledorf 25 mins from Vienna) red line = longer route and orange line = shorter route. Lunch at Rorhaus after.
- Krapfenwald Outdoor Pool – 4 euro
- Oberlaa Therme Wien – Indoor + Outdoor thermal pools
- Kahlenburg or Cobenzi hills – good views.
- Wienerwaud – Viennese forest and Heuriggendof Grinzing restaurant (expensive)
- Am Himmel – outdoor area with Celtic horoscope tree and Oktogon Restaurant (bus 38a/U4 towards cobenzi)
- Danube Island – recreational area, sports and beach activities, water playground, swimming. restaurants and free concerts in the summer.
- Wakeboarding at Donaukanal – summer only
- River Cruise
- Mariahilfer Strasse – shopping street
- Karntner Strasse – Vienna High street
- Kohlmarket – luxury Shopping
- Kirchengreasse, Lindengrasse, Neubaugrasse – hipster shops
- Spittelburg street – shops/cafes, closed sundays
Local food + Drink to try
- Apple strudel
- Chicken Schnitzel – Figlmuller’s has repution for being the best schnitzel, so expect a mass of tourists.
- Chocolate Torte Cake – Café Demel
- Mineral Drinking water from the taps comes straight from the alps
- Wine – Vienna is one of the few capitals in the world that produces it’s own wine
Food and Drinks
- Café Central – UNESCO building
- Café Speri
- Lugeck – recommended for traditional Austrian food (reservation required).
- Wratschoko Gatwirkschaft – Austrian style food in 1800’s pub
- Gasthaus Kopp – recommended on a travel blog I read.
- Mini Restaurant – Hungarian food recommended on a blog, reservation required.
- Hotel Sofitel – roof garden + sunset views
- 57 Lounge + Restaurant – tallest building in Austria
- Lamee Rooftop – views of St. Stephen’s Church
- Miranda Bar
- Sign Lounge
- 7th + 8th district – night clubs and bars
Vegan food spots we missed
- Le Burger – Austrian chain restaurant that drove out mcdonalds from the main shopping street. They serve low card lettuce wrapping instead of bread.
- Tian– wonderful vegetarian restaurant
- Vegetasia – 100% vegan Taiwanese
- YAMM – vegetarian, self service (2.70 euro per 100g) expensive, near Opera
- Kostlich – 1-2 vegan options, lunch only
- Weltcafe – ethically sourced and organic, 2 vegan options
- Brass Monkey – vegan Cupcakes
- Harvest – vegetarian, vegan options. Lunch menu (weekdays) and Sunday brunch.
- Veganista – vegan ice cream
- Pinocchio – Pizza with vegan cheese option (hole in the wall)
- Deli Bluem – vegetarian, lots of vegan options + organic breakfasts
- Swing Kitchen – 100% vegan fast food (8 euro meals)
- Fett + Zucker – vegan cakes
- Nom Nom Vegan Bakery
- Bio Bar – vegetarian, ask for vegan options
- Blue Orange – bagels + sandwiches with vegan options – English menu
- Cupcakes Wien – vegan options
- Delicious Vegan Bistro – beside Naschmarket but hard to find. Lunch + dinner Pizza and juice bar.
- Easy Going bakery – vegan cake pops and cake
- Landia – vegetarian with vegan options
- Pirata – 100% vegan sushi
- Dr. Falafel – vegan options
- Mikkamakka – 100% vegan, self service local dishes
- Rupp’s – vegetarian Irish pub with cheap vegan options
- Café Telegraph – Omni – Serves Avocado Burger
- Simply Raw Bakery – zoodles, savoury crepes, raw pizza + cupcakes
- Die Bio Bar Von Autun – 100% vegan across the street from Simply Raw Bakery. Serves Schnitzel and Goulash
- Hollerei – vegetarian with vegan options
- Motte Am Floss – beet burgers on the Danube rover. (The café upstairs is cheaper)
- Nimmersatt – 100% vegan + Organic take out
- Maran Vegan Bistro – 100% vegan supermarket + deli counter
- Formosa food – 100% vegan Asian food including curry soy schnitzel
- Loving Hut – 100% vegan on Favouritenstrasse
- Vegana Indiana – 100% vegan, gluten free + seasonal
- Voodles – 100% vegan
- Elmira – 100% vegan
- Uli’s Veganeria – 100% vegan
- Tuwi – 100% vegan
- Salonpafond – vegetarian options, organic locally sourced food
You can have a look at my Bratislava and Vienna Pinterest Board
If you have any more tips or good vegan places we missed in Vienna, I’d love to hear! Please comment below.
Enjoy your trip, and return safely,
the wandering boomerang 🙂
Check out my other vegan + travel blogs…