Vienna is considered the world’s best place to live and I had to see it to believe it. After spending a night in Athens airport to catch an early flight to Vienna, taking a shuttle to the city, an underground and a bus, I still did not make it to my hostel. I was dead tired and could not even read street names. It so happened that the street name I was looking for had the name that was not written in proper english. Why it had to be the street that I was looking for? So, after asking few people around, I finally made it to my hostel. Oh — what a charming hotel it was. It is called Believe it or Not! (Look it up in the hostelworld.com. Highlly recommended). I felt totally at home instantly and I was more than grateful to find that it had its own washer and dryer – totally free. I don’t think I was ever that happy to wash clothes.
Memories from Vienna:
1. My hostel gave me this map of Vienna from Use It – It is a free map for young travellers made by locals. Totally worth it. It had tips and tricks for everything you want to do in this pretty city.
2. Best ever falafel from Maschu Maschu. Seriously, I have tried tons of falafel before but the one from there just melted in my mouth.
3. $4 Opera – I have never seen an Opera before and was never into classical music before. But, when I heard you can watch the show for 3 euro, I could not deny. Ofcourse you have to stand the whole time. I paid 4 euro so that I could stand at the bottom – apparently a better standing place. It was an amazing experience watching all these fancy people dressed up – women in gown and gloves and men in tuxedo. The opera itself was looooonnnnggg but the experience was priceless. And yes the architecture of the building is quite impressive.
4. Trip to Schonbrunn palace (a little versailles) was totally worth it. The fall colours around the palace totally added to its beauty. A short walk up the hill to see the view was amazing. Seeing Versailles in Paris and then seeing this now makes total sense.
5. The gothic church, Stephansdom and a walk on the busiest street in Vienna (my guess), Graben. And, don’t forget to try take a loo at the world’s oldest Art-Noveaue undeground toilet built by the famous Viennese architect Dolf Loos. A trip down there was pretty fancy for me.
6. I have been on the road for 2.5 weeks by the time I reached Vienna. Being an asian, I craved for rice, curry and something spicy. When I mentioned that to one of my hostelmate (from france), she happily volunteered to cook an indian meal for me and rest of the people staying at the hostel. She happened to be a cook/food reviewer for a local newspaper in France. That was the best thing ever — seriously. Rice and curry. I was in food heaven after eating all that. Thank you Denise for cooking such a wonderful meal. I will never forget your sweet gesture.
7. When I accidentally picked up a carbonated water bottle instead of the regular water, the cashier first asked me if that is what I wanted. When I said, I wanted a normal water, he simple told me to pay now and then pick the right bottle on my way out. Whaaaaaa — that does not happen in Canada or US. Cashier here will make you go back and bring the right one while the other people wait in line. Unbelievable!!!!
I found Vienna very calm. People are friendly and helpful. Every city has a place that is considered a little shady but I was told there is none in Vienna. No wonder city retains its coolness and bags the world’s best place to live every year. So long Vienna..I will be back.