Chit-chats Travel Tuesday

Five Things I Learned About : Vienna, Austria

Words: @oliverinstead • Location: The Schönbrunn Palm House, DDSG Blue Danube, etc.

If you’re following me on social (find me on Instagram / Twitter), you probably know that I spent most of the past week in Vienna. As anticipated, it was an awesome trip and throughout my brief stay there, I made a few observations and now I like to share ’em with you so here are five things I learned about the lively capital city of Austria.


one Where to find the best food in town

The only word you need to know to find tasty and not overpriced food in Vienna is “Naschmarkt” (pronounced nosh-mark-t). During the day, this lengthy market is home to bakeries, butchers, fishmongers and stalls selling spices, fruits and veggies, cheese, etc. At times it can be a lot for your senses to take it but at night, it becomes the perfect hang-out spot for cool Viennese kids and tourists alike.

Two places you absolutely need to try here : DO-AN and NENI – both of which you can find delicious vegetarian dishes in abundance.




two How to identify a smoke-free restaurant/cafe

Before you rush into booking a trip to Vienna, beware that until the nationwide ban comes into force, in 2018, it is still legal to smoke in some restaurants and cafes here. So if like me you have a distaste for secondhand smoke, this is probably not the best city for you… however, I picked up a couple of tricks to easily identify a smoke-free establishment:

1. As obvious as it may sound, a no smoking sign at the door is always a safe indication to go by.

2. If 1 fails, the second easiest way to spot a smoke-free place is to see if there are any ashtrays on the tables.

Having lived in the UK for some time, it’s easy to take for granted that smoking is forbidden in all enclosed public areas – just take these simple steps and you won’t have to dine in clouds of cancer-causing smoke.




three Ample sightseeing time needed for Schönbrunn

Any experienced tour guide would agree that the Schönbrunn Palace is one of the must-sees in Vienna but I’m probably the only person who will warn you that the palace itself is actually the least exciting element of the estate… at least for me it was.

Personally, I enjoyed the Palm House, Wüstenhaus and the zoo so much more than I did at the palace.  That said, everything is very well planned and presented so if you want to explore Schönbrunn properly, prepare to dedicate a full day there.


four The Vienna Pass is worth it

To visit all the sights that I’ve mentioned up ’til this point and many others that I didn’t manage to see, I recommend getting a Vienna Pass. With one of these, you are not only granted access to many Viennese attractions as well as the right to cut the queue, but you also get unlimited use of the big yellow Hop On Hop Off bus, which operates in multiple routes.

Quick tip: Keep a close watch on the website as they often have a sale on, which I took advantage of.


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five See Vienna by night

Every evening after a long day out, we would go for a walk in the city before/after dinner and for me, Vienna is one of those cities that don’t come alive until the sun has set… at least that’s how it appeared during wintertime (speaking of which, coats are essential for the winter months.) The lit up window displays and the late night Bratwurst-snacking pedestrians really offer something special…


Have you ever been to Vienna? Let me know your thoughts and if you have any questions regarding my trip, please don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments below or hit me up on social @oliverinstead or if you simply enjoyed this post more than anything, also let me know.
#TravelTuesday returns next month after my yet another five-day trip to Copenhagen so stay tuned and I’ll see you in my next post!! 😉


Oliver ❤

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  • Reply
    November 16, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    Awesome! I’ve still not been to Vienna, but I really want to! What made the palace less appealing to you? Was it packed with tourists? That usually puts me off haha.

    • Reply
      November 17, 2016 at 3:02 pm

      It WAS packed with tourists but I expected that. My issue with it was that there was nothing particularly interesting that differentiates itself from any other palaces I’ve seen… it was like an “oh cool, another European palace” situation. Still worth a visit, just don’t spend too much time in the actual palace because there is a lot of other things to see there too. 🙂

      Oliver x

  • Reply
    Emily Hughes
    November 16, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    Vienna looks like a beautiful place to visit!

  • Reply
    November 18, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    I’ve never been to Vienna but it looks lovely. Nice to see you enjoyed your trip and shared it with us.

  • Reply
    Old Fashioned Susie
    November 21, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Oh I’d love to visit Vienna. I also take the no smoking thing for granted and am always surprised when its so common in other places

    • Reply
      December 7, 2016 at 11:34 am

      I did too but I soon learned that smoking indoor is very much part of the Viennese culture when the first coffee shop I stepped into, BOOM! Thick clouds of second hand smoke! 😀

      Oliver x

  • Reply
    Ruth Fishwick
    November 21, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    Vienna is one of those cities that has always been on my bucket-list, however thanks for the heads up about the lack of smoking ban! I found Amsterdam to be the same earlier this year and I did tinge the experience somewhat! However wondering around the city at night sounds amazing! Great post!

    Ruth //

    • Reply
      December 7, 2016 at 11:36 am

      Really? I love Amsterdam and I’ve never had problem with that. 😀

      Thanks for the comment, and yes, go even if it’s winter time because it’s just such a beautiful city!

      Oliver x

  • Reply
    Alexander Jud | LXNDR Street
    March 13, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Hey Oliver,
    I really enjoyed this post, because it gave me a different point of view, a different perspective of Vienna. Which is my hometown since about a half year. I really liked how you spelled out Naschmarkt so that english natives can understand the pronunciation. If you ever visit again, be sure to hit me up! I would love to show you the city again, from a native point of view!
    Great post, keep doing you.


    • Reply
      March 13, 2017 at 11:46 pm

      Hi Alex,

      Thanks for leaving a comment! I’m glad you enjoyed the post and yeah, loved Vienna so much… even though it was freezing cold. I’ll be sure to hit you up next time I’m back~ Always cool to see a city through a native’s eyes!!

      Oliver x

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