Category Archives: Die besten Wien-Tipps

Freundschaft schließen

One of the things I knew I was leaving behind when moving to a new city was my friends group. People I’ve been hanging out for years, meeting almost every day and celebrating milestones with, would no longer be by my side. It was a bit unfamiliar, because I wasn’t sure what I’d find here, how the people would be and so on and I think this is something every person moving to a new country can relate to.

I think I was lucky in that sense though, and quite soon after I moved to Vienna. I wouldn’t call myself an extrovert or someone that makes friends very easily. However, I know that hobbies or extra-curricular activities are a great ground for bringing people together, especially in a place like Deutschakademie, which emphasizes friendly attitudes and provides socializing opportunities every month as well.

As such, I went to the first Stammtish event, where I got to know my colleagues better. Some of us aren’t in the same class anymore, but we do meet once in a while to catch up and have fun. It’s exciting because we all come from different countries and have different backgrounds and we get to learn a lot from each other. For instance, this is the last meeting at a Mexican Restaurant, introduced by one colleague, where we are enjoying some Nachos and a nice beer together. If you are curious about the Local, it is called Tin Tan, and can be found near the City Hall (Rathaus).

On the same topic, yesterday I found out that I was making a mistake in German. You don’t say ‘Freunde machen’, but ‘sich befreunden‘ or Freundschaft schließen‘ or even ‘Freunde finden‘. Hope that helps!

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Wiener Würstelstands

Today I’m gonna talk about a quite typical and beloved Viennese landmark – these Wiener Würstelstands that seem to be everywhere throughout the city. Normally, they’re found in high-key spots throughout the city (see, for instance, the one in the photo near the Wiener Staadsoper) and are very popular when it comes to grabbing a bite on the go, a quick snack in between classes and some are even open late into the night – the go-to food option for after a night clubbing.

What types of sausages can you find throughout the city? A LOT!
There’s Frankfurter, Debreziner, Käsekrainer, huge Käsekrainer, Bratwurst and Currywurst, Waldviertler, Käsekrainer, Frankfurter, Burenwurst, a spicy Burenwurst and Waldviertler, Debreziner to go with bread or a roll or in a Hot Dog. There is also a wide variety of sauces to go with them, sometimes even including soy or vegetable sausages for vegetarians.

Try not to be overwhelmed by the different options out there, and instead try out as many as you can, over time, and determine which specialty appeals to you more. I’m sure that you can end up saying ‘Today I’d be more in the mood for Käsekrainer, but maybe a spicy Burenwurst is in sight for tomorrow’.

The stands typically have a selection of drinks – soft drinks, beer – to compliment your snacking experience. They say you can’t visit Vienna without trying a Würstelstand, and there’s a reason for that! So enjoy, and let us know in the comments below what you thought!

The Eistraum – Skating at the Rathaus

Along with the cold season, comes a beloved tradition in Vienna – putting together the skating rink and connecting alleys at the Rathausplatz. The skating area is huge, and there are also places where you can get a snack or a hot beverage, while you rest a bit, and enjoy the spinning skaters.

There are lights and beautiful decorations around, and you can’t help but feel that cozy wintery feel while you’re having fun with friends or your special someone. The admission price for adults is 7.50 €, and if you want to rent your skates there, it is an additional 7 €.

Keep a lookout, cause The Eistraum opens on 17.11.2017, and is at your skating disposal until 4.03.2018. Have fun and see you out there!

Maria Theresien Platz

Just north of the Hofburg, you can find the Maria Theresien Platz, a square that was created in the 19th century. In the middle of the square there is a huge monument of the Empreress, in whose memory it was named Maria Theresien Platz.

After doing a bit of research, as well as after a visit to Schönbrunn, I found out that Maria Theresa was an Austrian archduchess, and Holy Roman Empress of the Habsburg Dynasty. She reigned from 1740 to 1780 and was also mother to Marie Antoinette, of which you may have heard as being the last Queen of France before the French Revolution.

Maria-Theresien-Platz is bordered by two majestic museum buildings, which mirror each other: Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts) and Naturhistorisches Museum (Museum of Natural History), which I already told you about in a previous article. They are both constructed in neo-Renaissance design with large domes, very pleasing to the eye and attractive for tourists.

The area in between the two museums is inviting and quite exquisite, consisting of formal gardens, statues, fountains and nature, at the center of which stands the colossal monument. The day I visited it for the first time, even though it was pretty cold and rain clouds were threatening, it was such a serene atmosphere, children laughing, families spending time together, street artisans playing with huge bubbles. Quite lovely, don’t you think?

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Naturhistorisches Museum Wien

On my very first visit to Vienna, in February 2017, I got the chance to see the Naturhistorisches Museum Wien. You can find it on the Ring Straße, the visitor’s entrance being by Maria-Theresien-Platz, a wonderful outdoor area with a big statue of the Austrian Empress.

The museum is really big and the tour is quite long, so it will take you most of the day. Its history is shaped by the passion for collecting of renowned monarchs, the endless thirst for knowledge of famous scientists, and the spirit of adventure of travelling researchers. There are several wings, which host categories such as geology, sea creatures, dinosaurs, butterflies, mammals and even a planetarium, which I enjoyed tremendously.

We also stopped for a bite to eat and a refreshment at the inside Café, which has an impressive architecture and being one of the first buildings I saw in Vienna, it made me pay attention to the architecture of the city as a whole.

Vienna – Biking City

For me, one of the most pleasant aspects of Vienna was how bike-friendly the city was. It is the 16th bike-friendly city in the world, and 4th in Europe. Vienna has over 1.300 km of cycle paths, some of which are in areas with hardly traffic. There is a public bike rental system – Citybike -available to rent in order to get around, and several other bicycle rentals and bike sharing providers, which makes biking the most exciting way to discover Vienna.

Within my third visit to Vienna, I invested in a bike here as well, which now, after my move,  I use every day to get to class and from class, and during the weekend, sometimes I take the Donau Kanal route, which is so great and freeing, to pedal alongside the water and the nearby floating ships.

The Ring Straße also has a wonderful route, which I bike on the way to the Donau Kanal. It was a pleasant surprise to see how many people are biking in Vienna, certainly an improvement to my homecity. It was also an adjustment, to pay attention to other bikers in traffic, and to be mindful of pedestrians, or even more so, as a pedestrian, to make sure to avoid the bike lanes. Funny story: sometimes, I’m so used to standing at the traffic light on the bike spot, that as a pedestrian I sometimes find myself in the same spot and say “oooh, wrong isle”.

How do you like the biking culture in Vienna?

The Vienna Stadt Oper

Right across the street from the DeutschAkademie is the Vienna Stadt Oper, one of the most beautiful buildings in the city and a historical landmark.  The opera house was the first major building on the Vienna Ringstraße and as difficult as it is to believe now, it received a lot of opposition from the locals, when it was just in project, back in 1861.

The plans for the beautiful building were drawn up by architects August Sicard von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll.Its construction lasted 8 years, until 1869, and it consisted of Neo-Renaissance style by the renowned Czech architect and contractor Josef Hlávka.

The first play ever to be hosted in here was the opening performance of Don Giovanni on May 25, 1869. Don’t you just wish you could be there? This historical building has suffered some damages towards the end of World War II, when the opera was under bombardment.

Nowadays, it sits in all its glory, after being restored, and millions of guests walk through its doors every year. The tickets are usually quite expensive, but I recently found a local tip, that you can get standing tickets, starting from 3 €.

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Topfenknödel – what a sweet delight

Everybody who’s lived for a while in Austria knows what Topfenknödel are. I myself have fallen in love with them, they somehow managed to find their way into my kitchen at least once a week, so I’ve decided to share this traditional Austrian dish with you.

I did a little bit of research on the subject and apparently, originally, the Topfenknödel came from Bohemia, but very soon they became a permanent component of the Viennese cuisine. In comparison to the curd balls (popular in Germany), you don’t have to bake but boil them.

I’ve only tried the pre-made variety (I recommend the ones from Igloo), but I’ve heard you can make your own from scratch too. I’m sure there are a bunch of recipes out there. For the pre-made variety, all you have to do is boil the water, then add the dumplings, let them boil for 15 minutes, then take the pot off the fire and let it sit for another 5 minutes. Add the croutons, and you’ve got yourself a tasty dessert, or you can enjoy them as a meal on their own – they are pretty filling.

Mahlzeit!

Hauserl am Stoan

Every time I visited Vienna, in the months leading up to the big move, I took a trip up to Hauserl am Stoan, a wonderful little Gasthaus outside on Vienna, on Höhenstraße. Before you reach there, there are many little spots where you can stop and admire the view over this beautiful city.

Inside Hauserl am Stoan you will find welcoming, friendly staff – one of the best things I like about it – and a related, carefree atmosphere. The place is very rustic, decorated with many traditional ornaments thrown together over the years. Large wooden tables accommodate hungry guests and promise them delicious home-made treats: Orangen Marmelade, Pumpkin Pie with plum compote, baked apple slices with cinnamon sugar. Yum! The main courses and soups are also very good and very reasonably priced.

They also have themed parties and events, such as for Halloween and other major holidays. It is surely my favorite getaway location, for a relaxed weekend evening, in the outskirts of Vienna.

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Schönbrunn Zoo

Last summer, on one of those fabulous hot Vienna days, we took a visit to the Schönbrunn Zoo. It’s a really interesting landmark to see, as it is the World´s oldest zoo, constructed in 1752.

See more than 700 species of animals, such as giant pandas, Siberian tigers, orangutans, and elephants, or you can immerse yourself in the Amazon and experience the tropical rain forest. There is also a panorama train you can take, but we haven’t gotten around to that, since it was pretty late and we didn’t have time to see the whole courtyard, up to the Gloriette.

We did however see lions, penguins and elephants (for the first time ever for me!) and I was quite pleased with the upkeep of the place – the animals had sufficient time to move and run around, the cages were huge and well taken care of, and they sometimes even had a special area that was completely obscured to visitors – this is the reason why we unfortunately didn’t get to see the polar bears.

It was a really interesting outdoor experience and I definitely wish to go back next spring and perhaps dedicate more time to it. What do you think of the oldest zoo in the World?

Sisi Museum

Who, visiting Austria, hasn’t heard about Sisi? A well known figure, with a fascinating story, and yet frequently misunderstood. I was intrigued with her, ever since visiting Schönbrunn, and wanted to learn more, so I paid a visit to the Sisi Museum.

It’s found in the Hofburg, in the Stephan apartments and here you can find numerous personal trinkets that once belonged to Elisabeth, which are used to help bring the Empress’ true personality to life. Over the tour, you learn about her life as a young girl, about her life at court, the so called ‘Sisi Myth’, her travels as well as about her assassination.

I realise that for Austrians, Sisi is probably such an overtalked subject, a clichee even, but for people who first come here, it’s a pretty nice story that gives you a glimpse into the life of Austrian Royalty.