Do I think about Vienna often? Lately it seems I do. Here are 7 reason why.

Posted by Jennie

ONE. Klimt, Schiele and Moser ( Technically that’s 3)

Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Koloman Moser. 3 of Vienna’s greatest artists, all part of the Secession Movement. In art terms the movement was a breaking away of younger and more radical artists from an existing academy or art group to form a new grouping, the most famous being the Vienna Secession formed in 1897 and led by symbolist painter Gustav Klimt.

Schiele was a protege of Klimt, coincidentally all 3 died in 1918.

The Kiss
Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss at The Belvedere
Egon
Self Portrait by Egon Shiele at the Leopold
lovers-koloman-moser
Lovers by Koloman Moser, also at the Leopold

TWO. The Only Vermeer in Vienna

The Dutch master Johannes Vermeer painted only 34 canvasses. 4 are in Amsterdam, 2 in Berlin, 1 in Brunswick, 2 in Dresden, 1 in Dublin, 1 in Edinburgh, 1 in Frankfurt, 3 in the Hague, 4 in London, 2 in Paris and 1, The Art of Painting is at the Kunsthistorisches in Vienna.

Vermeer
1 of only 34 Vermeers in the world. This is “The Art of Painting” which Vermeer kept in his studio as a show piece for potential buyers

THREE. Sacher-Torte

It’s been called the world’s most famous chocolate cake. The original sachertorte can only be enjoyed at the Hotel Sacher in Vienna. In our week long stay, we had sachertorte at least 3 times. There will be a line for sure, so here are some tips. If the line is too long at the Cafe Sacher, or if you’re short on time, the cafe right beside it, Cafe Stube is owned by the hotel and serves the same pastries. You can also go inside the hotel and have your sachertorte at the hotel lobby or the Blue Room.

Sacher
It’s actually a tiny slice. I can easily have 2. This is at the Blue Room of the Hotel Sacher.

When my blog partner Pinky visited Vienna, she tried both Hotel Sacher and Demel’s version of the chocolate cake. Which did she prefer, read her blog post here.

There was actually a 9 year dispute known as the “cake war” as to whom could claim to have the “original” recipe.

Eventually an out-of-court settlement was reached, under which Hotel Sacher became the one that could say it was the original producer of the sachertorte.

FOUR. Sunset at Das Loft

Das Loft is a bar on the 18th floor of Sofitel Vienna Stephensdom. Floor to ceiling glass windows offer a breathtaking 360 degree view of Vienna. On the summer evening that we were there, sunset views were as intoxicating as the Aperol Spritz!

Sofitel
The golden hour at Das Loft. St Stephen’s Cathedral is still the tallest structure in the old town.

FIVE. Opera for Everyone

Vienna Opera tickets can be very expensive and hard to come by, they will also most likely be sold out. But if you don’t mind watching it on a giant screen, come early to get a good view of the performances, real time outside the famous Opera House.

Opera
Locals and tourists enjoy free performances on the big screen on a balmy summer evening

SIX. Love Wins

In quirky things like the staircase leading to the Albertina Museum and in everyday things like traffic lights, Vienna is a city that is liberal and tolerant and is all the better for it.

The city has been home to gay architects, composers and even Emperors over the centuries, leaving behind a legacy of open-mindedness and acceptance.

Albertina
The steps of the Albertina, there was a Keith Haring exhibit while we were there
Traffic Light
Traffic lights show same sex couples holding hands

SEVEN. Public Spaces & Herb Gardens

I can’t speak for winter in Vienna, but in the summer months, the city blooms. There’s lavender growing wildly and randomly. Near our airbnb was a lush and aromatic herb garden in a Metro stop between 2 busy intersections.

Lavender
Lavender in the middle of the city
Herb Gardens
A well kept herb garden beside a Metro station

And amidst all these blooms are public spaces to sit, chat, eat, read, lie or just watch the world go by.

Public Spaces
Public spaces make happy cities
Public2
Free wifi and unlimited lounging on comfortable purple recliners at the courtyard of the MuseumsQuartier