I didn’t stay in Vienna long enough to have a deep experience with the culture nor did I take enough photographs on my long bike ride through the city and along the Danube, but I do have a lot of great information here to share about this fantastic capital city in Austria.
I stayed at a laid-back hostel called Ruthensteiner, which has a great outdoor courtyard, bar, and lots of musical instruments available for use inside, including a beautiful piano. The staff was very helpful and friendly, and I enjoyed talking with a beautiful and intelligent girl from Milan who works there. She told stories of her travels and advised me to go for a long bike ride along the Danube. She made me feel very welcome at the hostel and I enjoyed chatting with her in the mornings.
Vienna has a very happy, calm, intelligent vibe, and is not much of a wild, party-city in comparison to other wild, European cities, although you can find it here and there are some very cool hangout spots to check out. The city is very clean, organized, and the people were very educated and kind. I rented a bike from my hostel and rode along the Danube as recommended. After my long bike ride along the river, I intentionally got lost riding my bike in the city and randomly came across some cool restaurants and bars along the Danube Canal that provide an awesome area to relax during the heat of the day and warm nights of summer.
Strandbar Hermann at the Urania is a sandy beach area in front of the canal where the crowds come in to enjoy the relaxing chairs, hammocks, food, and music.
The sandy beach was jam-packed; and just a five-minute walk away on the canal, you can take a dip in a floating pool-boat at Badeschiff.
This floating pool is about 30 meters long and is open until 10 pm. This is the best way to go swimming in the heart of Vienna, and it is so cool to be swimming on a floating boat in the Danube Canal. There is a nice restaurant and bar connected to the pool on a second level, providing a good view and a cooler breeze.
I met a group of locals at a common table at the restaurant in front of Badeschiff.
They recommended me to go to Volksgarten Pavillon – as it was Thursday night and there was an event going on there at Volksgarten which is located in the Museums Quarter.
I was warned not to show up after 9pm because of the long lines, but I did anyway and had to wait for almost an hour to get inside this wonderful outdoor venue loaded with stylish locals ready to mingle. Volksgarten was alive with great music and beautiful hangout spots outside along the garden areas. I definitely recommend events at this place if you want a great place at night to meet people and have drinks.
Again, my stay in Vienna was way to short to have a full experience here as I missed out on so much this city has to offer. There are so many great museums to go to and a ton of great exhibitions always ongoing – and of course, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart settled here and composed some of his best-known symphonies in Vienna; so you can also visit his house, The Mozarthaus, and learn a lot about this amazing composer in Vienna.
Next time I will have to check out more of what this laid-back, classic city has to offer. I was given lots of recommendations that I will pass on. Here they are:
Check out the Naschmarkt especially on the weekends as it has lots of stalls, food, wine stalls, cafes, restaurants, and sometimes live music. A favorite bar of a friend there is Bar di Mar which is an excellent seafood spot. Naschmarkt is about 1.5 kilometers long.
If you take the Ring Road – or Ringstrasse (a circular road surrounding the Innere Stadt district of Vienna), you can get on and off here at lots of the main sites. You can get a pass at one of the stands – better to get the 5-day pass if you plan on staying long and it is good for metro and trolley.
Figlmueller is where to go to have the biggest schnitzel in the city with some schnapps of course. The Vienna Plater is a huge park with a huge ferris-wheel. This is a great place to just hang out and I have been told there are some strange clubs around there too.
There are also lots of great trails in and around Vienna to explore including the nearby vineyards. This is a very nice bike-ride and will get you out of the city and into a bit of nature.
If you are feeling adventurous you can bike about 2.5 hours to (or take a bus) to Neusiedl am See – Lake near Vienna and wine region. This is a very nice place to stay overnight or camp. My friend’s favorite restaurant there is Mole West, which is a chill spot with very good food, great parties, and live music. Check out the upcoming events. www.mole-west.at/en/
Other notable places to check out are Flex Café, Adria Wien, Tel Aviv Beach, Vienna Schützenhaus, Summer Stage, and beach club Sand in the City on Heumarkt.