Have you ever heard of this common saying? “Vienna is beautiful, but without the Viennese.”

– Well, that’s pretty accurate. I had to get used to the Viennese people, but after living and studying in Vienna for one year, I slowly but surely started to love this city. Therefore, this post is dedicated to the things I miss whilst being in Antwerp.
Starting this post with the quote above might has been counterproductive. Anyway, at least I got your attention.

Our glorious Spritzer

Let’s give it a try anyway, so let us explain this common saying first. In general, the Viennese rather focus on their own business, so if you ever smile at one or dare to greet them in the tram or on the streets, you will probably get some confused glimpses. But don’t judge us for that. We might be miserable sometimes but after a couple of glasses of our beloved “Spritzer” (white wine with sparkling water – genius), we are great company!

Our unique coffee houses

What else do we love apart from Spritzer? That’s a difficult one. Maybe our countless famous coffee houses. You can literally find them in every corner. We invented the coffee house culture so we are more than proud to stroll through the streets whilst watching tourists treating themselves to a traditional (and overpriced) Viennese breakfast or a coffee with an old-fashioned newspaper on a Sunday noon. It’s still a must-try when in Vienna, and by ordering “an großen Braunen”, you’re always on the safe side.

I personally love the Café Leopold Hawelka in the heart of Vienna. It’s like entering a time machine which takes you back to 1960. Such a cozy spot filled out by dimmed light and the scent of freshly brewed coffee and luring vanilla cream. It’s one of the most famous places in Vienna which perfectly represents the Viennese coffehouse culture.

Our Austrian foodporn

The next sentence will probably heart your heart but let’s be honest: As much as we enjoy Belgian’s naughty waffles and fries, we love our cuisine more. Oh, and don’t you dare thinking about “Wiener Schnitzel” now! I must admit that it is delicious, but there are so many other dishes to demolish, apart from Schnitzel.

Like Tirolean dumplings, Goulash, Tafelspitz and many more, hearty dishes. Believe me, if you open a menu card in an Austrian restaurant, you wouldn’t know where to start.

To top that off, we also have plenty of choices to satisfy our sweet tooth. Austrian pancakes “Palatschinken”, apple strudel, “Kaiserschmarren” or chocolatey Sacher cake, just to name a few of our delicious cakes and pastries. *Drooling Alert*

Notable about Austria is that the cuisine is sort of national, but in every one of our 9 regions, you will be served different specialties. Food is your best friend? Then you MUST visit us and take a culinary tour through Austria. Not with our trains though, they are always late.

Our good infrastructure

Keyword being late: We don’t want to be rude (again) but the public transport system here in Antwerp sucks. If the busses or trams in Vienna would be 10mins late, chaos would rule the city! We have a great infrastructure system in Vienna which we dearly miss around here. By the way, another cool thing about Austria is that you can just hop on a train and get out in a completely different area. We have it all: sparkling lakes, astonishing mountains, magical national parks and vibrant student cities. Sounds like a tourist brochure, but that’s a fact.

 

So, did any of this make you wanna go to Vienna? I’ve heard that the Antwerpians think that all other cities apart from Antwerp are for “parking”, but give us at least a chance.

Go visit the Austrian capital and be a real Viennese for weekend: Complain about everyone and everything, have one (or 2 or 3) Spritzer and stuffyour belly with simply the best food. Convinced?

Olivia Schnut

AUSTRIA