Salzburg by day, Vienna by night. Finally we arrived. And I have good vibes already, our hostel (Wombats City Hostel – The Naschmarkt) to say the least is cool. Except for the strange man in our room, the atmosphere here is great. The room is so comfortable, a nice little bathroom and the way this place is decorated is just fab. By far my favourite. We arrived pretty late, so decided to rest this evening and explore Vienna in the morning.
Our first and final day in Vienna! It’s actually so pretty here. The buildings are just so grand and majestic, it’s so stunning. I can’t get over how beautiful everything is. We started our morning off by walking to St. Stephens Cathedral (not too far from the hostel approx. 15 minutes). The Cathedral alone was a sight and a half. It was bloody massive, so much more then I expected! We took a guided tour of the catacombs for €5.50. I’ve never been in a catacomb before, never even really heard of them before until I googled it quickly but despite that it was still not what I expected. For those who don’t know, a catacomb is an underground burial place, so we had to walk down under the cathedral itself. The tour started off by showing the burials of the priests/bishops and owner/founder of the catacombs and their family. It was so strange as we were surrounded by all these coffins, but you don’t feel like there’s bodies inside them, your brain doesn’t seem to connect it quite clearly. Well I didn’t anyway, not until the tour guide said “please don’t touch, there’s real bodies inside there”. Weird. So weird. But it got so much weirder. That was just easing us into it. Further down we went to another floor, through some small dark brick tunnels (note to self: don’t take your claustrophobic friends to a catacomb again) to see the public “graveyard”. Here there were literally hundreds of bones piled up one on top of each other in a room. Literally just shoved in there filling every single space available. Apparently there are around 700 people buried here from the plague. They were everywhere, no longer attached to a body, or it’s connecting body part. There were just single bones everywhere. Did I mention this place was really dark, there was only a spot light on the bones. We were surrounded by dead people, above us, below us, to the side of us. They were everywhere. We only got to see one floor as they built on top of the ones below us to create extra burial rooms. It was stunning. And fascinating. The tour didn’t last too long, perhaps 20 minutes, which was a good thing when your friends are close to panic attack and there’s only one way out and a whole lot of people in your way, and to mention once again the bones.
Afterwards we walked around a lot, and went to the Demel Café. It was out of this world amazing, superb, so extravagant. It’s a very famous place in Vienna due to their renowned Demel cake. It was such an amazing opportunity and experience to sit in there and eat. It was so fancy, I’ve never been anywhere so fancy before. I’m not going to lie, I don’t have much money but Vienna is a place of extravagance and luxury so I splurged. I splurged and got the cheapest things on the menu and it was absolutely amazing. I had the most amazing scrambled eggs I’ve ever had in my entire life, I’m still dreaming about it. And the most beautiful chocolate cake which literally made me salivate whilst I waited for the rest of my food to be cooked. The whole experience was so divine. I could get used to this life. After a few hours in luxury, we moved on and went to the Sucession Gallery to see a real life Gustav Klimt piece. I didn’t find the gallery incredible, but just seeing his artwork in person was amazing, and most definitely worth it.
Then to add to this day even more, we decided to go to a cat café (when in Vienna right!). Café Niko. It was incredible. They had the most amazing hot chocolate, and five cats to play with. They were so beautiful. One just came and sat on the chair next to me and fell asleep. Two there just looked so majestic. It was such a cool place to spend part of our day, although the cats weren’t that playful (we went around 5pm), it was nice to just be in there with them and watch them in awe. On our way back to the hostel, we spent some time looking at all the incredibly beautiful buildings, this place is just so picture perfect. I’m running out of adjectives to describe it. I love it. In the late evening, we drunk our mini bottles of Prosecco and went to the WomBAR (hostel bar) which was nice. Had overly TMI conversations between the three of us, but it was ok as no-one could hear us over the music. Then bed it was, today has been amazing, but exhausting.
We woke up relaxedly today, although we had to check out at 10am. Had breakfast at the hostel for only €4.90 which was nice. Then walked through Naschmarkt (it’s just across the road from the hostel, talk about good location). So many beautiful foods, clothes and those massive oriental sheets just blowing in the wind, it was a pretty sight. Also many people trying to shove falafel samples in our faces (apparently falafel is “very good for baby” as one vendor say to a passerby – I sure do hope she was pregnant…). After a good nosy about, we headed back to St. Stephens Cathedral to check out the view of Vienna. Oh my. 343 steps doesn’t sound like a lot, but that was one exhausting walk up. 343 steep steps up, a dark, narrow, spiralling staircase with no points to stop and rest. The walk must continue, and to make matters worst there’s only one staircase for people going up and going down but the staircase is so narrow there’s not really the space to allow it. But I did it. I made it to the top, out of breathe, my eyes all funny and feeling slightly dizzy. But the views from the top were worth it. Vienna is so much larger then I thought! Just as stunning from above as it is from below.
Following our morning’s exercise, we went and got ice-cream once we made it down. But before I knew it, it was time to go. So we headed back to our hostel, grabbed our bags, made our way to Vienna’s main train station to board our train to Budapest.
4 cities down, 7 more to go.
Previous stop: Salzburg, Austria
Next stop: Budapest, Hungary
Top tips for Vienna:
- Eat cake in the Demel Café
- Go to Naschmarkt
- Go to the catacombs in St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the view point (but be wary if you’re claustrophobic or can’t walk up a lot of steps)
- Go to Café Niko – if only for the cats!