I'm going to go ahead and make that bold claim without feeling bad about it. You know why? Vienna in the spring is a glorious place. The parks are green and flowers bloom. Cafes put tables outside, and people sit for hours. Free city bikes magically appear on street corners.
One of the things I've learned in my six months in Vienna is that the more time you spend here, the more things there are to see.
If you’re just visiting for a few days, though, you’ve got to start somewhere. Which is why I’m taking you on a tour of just 3 streets and 3 squares—that way you’ll see the highlights of the very core of the city.
Part One: Kärtner Straße to Stephanplatz.
Can you believe this? The day I took this photo it was pretty cold and dreary, but on nice days, the whole place is packed.
Gift shop mania. Apparently they'll send a Sacher Torte anywhere in the world for you, and it will stay good for up to three weeks unopened. Is this even possible?!
Kärtner Straße is a major shopping street. Lots of clothing stores, lots of cafes, lots of gift shops for the tourists (resist! these stores are tacky!).
One thing you can go down a side street to see is Loos' American Bar. Loos was an architect with a very distinct aesthetic, and he designed this bar with an American exterior.
|I've never had a drink there because I think it would be crazy expensive, but it's cool looking.|
Check out the tiled roof. It’s hard to see in a picture, but in person, it’s amazing. There are almost 250,000 tiles making the pattern you see there as well as the two-headed eagle that is the symbol of Austria. You can see it if you walk down a side street, though.
Across the square from Stephansdom is the Haas House, home to the upscale Do & Co Hotel. Look at the glass--you can see the reflection of Stephansdom in it! You can visit the Onyx Bar to get an unparalleled view directly on the cathedral. If you’re going on a weekend night, you’ll probably need a reservation, so call ahead. You can find out more here.
My sister and I went on her last night in Vienna, and it was the perfect way to close her trip—a really special place and view out at the heart of the city.
The tour will continue next week as we head from Stephansplatz down Graben and towards the Hofburg Imperial Quarters!