Vienna: One Beautiful Week

//Vienna: One Beautiful Week

Vienna: One Beautiful Week

VIENNA, AUSTRIAAfter two months in Cape Town, I left to finish my travel goals for the year by visiting 4-5 more countries in Europe (It will be a year since I left home on August 14).  I felt it was important to get back out there and onto my original plan.  I found a very happy place in Cape Town, but I didn’t want to lose sight of my “travel mission.”
I was so excited to be going back to up to the EU for the rest of summer- for more reasons than one.  It’s been cold in Cape Town and the itch to hit the road was full on.  I craved more passport stamps, the wind in my hair and all the excitement of a new place.  I missed the extremely intense feeling of independence that can only come after boarding an international flight on a one-way ticket.  It’s safe to say I’ve become addicted to new places- addicted to the high that comes with it- and I’ve always been addicted to flying.  I’m a natural born travel addict, and staying still in Cape Town for so long had me itching to move again.
So, I returned to Europe and flew into Vienna.
Austria was always on my list of must-see countries.  My mother tells me I have Austrian and Hungarian in our heritage, which made it particularly interesting learning the history of the country.  Also, I read too many Marie Antoinette books throughout my life- so I was pretty excited to see the Schönbrunn Palace where her family reigned and she was raised until being sent off to France…and well we know the rest of that story.
I was mostly excited to meet the people and experience the feel of the city.  When you have an ancestral connection to a place, you’re naturally curious as to how people are culturally and socially.  Maybe you’ll find you have some things in common.  Or maybe you’ll just find a new culture that inspires you.
Vienna did not disappoint.

 Where I Slept…

Because I planned for a full week in the city, I arranged to stay at two different hostels in completely different parts of Vienna.

Both hostels provided me with everything I needed and helped me make the most of my time.
Hostel Ruthensteiner is just minutes from the city center by foot, tram or metro.  I found the location to be perfect for me- just busy enough AND quiet enough.  The rooms were super cool, each one modeled after a different famous philosopher, musician or composer from Austria.  Mine was modeled after Sigmund Freud with his quotes written on the walls and framed.  I loved it!img_9265
In addition to the beautiful rooms, I loved all of the people I met at this hostel- staff and guests.

I also stayed with was Hostel Huttledorf, about 30-45 min outside of the city center by metro.  Even though it’s a bit out of the way, the location is really beautiful and quiet.  Very relaxing and surrounded by green trees and pretty scenery.

This hostel would be considered “old school” in terms of today’s wide array of budget accommodation options.  The property is pretty big and has almost 300 beds. My favorite part of the hostel was all of the greenery surrounding the buildings.  The back “yard” of the hostel is the prefect spot for a picnic.  I found the beds to be really comfortable and the facilities sufficient.

This would be a great hostel for anyone traveling in groups as it is such a large property.  As a solo traveler, I found it a bit more difficult to meet people at first.  By day two, however, I was in the swing of things again with new friends and out navigating the city’s metro.


Trying to read this quick-style is not the easiest.  (Only got on the wrong train twice.)

Favorite Things to See/Do

Schönbrunn Palace

On my second day in Vienna, I made friends with my two room mates Ayana and Imelda from Germany.  We went and explored the city together, visiting Schönbrunn Palace and gardens together.  The palace reminded me the Palace of Versailles (Marie Antoinette must have brought some inspiration over?).

Belvedere Palace

Then there’s Belvedere Palace, adorned with a immaculately manicured lawn out front that makes you think of Alice in Wonderland.  I loved this palace before even seeing it, just for its name, Belvedere Palace.

Two of my favorite things:

  1. Belvedere Vodka
  2. Palace

Stephansplatz (City Center) 

Filled with every boutique you could ever want and endless cafes, you could wander around here all day…so I did.  It was so hard to resist shopping!  Luckily (I guess) the rain started pouring that day I in the city center, driving everyone off the streets and into the nearest cafe.  I found wine and a table outside and watched the people go by.  It was beautiful.  

Vienna city


A view of Karlsplatz, Vienna, Austria by Bret Bemis.  Follow Bret on Instagram.

Other highlights…

Free H2O
Much like nearby city Budapest, Vienna has many free water stations throughout their city. Coming from the notoriously draught California, this is something I get really excited about!

Random Awesomeness                                                                                                                      Like this wave pool full of surfers in the middle of the city (hosted by none of other than CORONA beer…So random…But yes, I had one!  When in Vienna, surf in a pool and drink Mexican beer, right?  corona Vienna.jpg
And, of course, the best part…
New friends!img_9582
I could gush for hours, but I won’t keep you.  Go book your flight to Vienna now!  
It’s so worth it.  
See a few more things to do in this beautiful city HERE.  

By |2016-08-01T06:16:59+00:00August 1st, 2016|Destinations|5 Comments

About the Author:

On August 14th, 2015 I left my life in the United States behind with the intention to never look back. I had the "American Dream" and I woke up from it, to create a new reality for myself. I sought out beauty in a world that was increasingly dark for me at the time and ended up finding more than I bargained for. With only a backpack, I traveled across Europe, South East Asia and then on to Africa. With over 30 countries stamped in my passport, I've become an entirely new version of myself with a broader perspective on what it means to be a woman in today's world. My hope is that by sharing my stories and featuring women like me from around the world, we can inspire others to break down their own internal barriers and go cross a few international borders while they're at it. I truly believe travel can be healing to a troubled soul, empowering to the lost and rejuvenating for the exhausted. Perspective is everything, and I believe in the power of "going global," what about you? is a site that started out with my stories and grew into a platform for women all around the world to tell their travel tales of trials and triumph. We all believe that the more you see of the world, the better you can be as a person who inhabits it. Women encouraging other women to grow, travel, evolve- that's what SGG is all about. ---> Read my very first blog post (see "Archives" for August 2015) to learn how this all began.


  1. Gennifer Rose August 8, 2016 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    Hi Heather! Vienna is on my list of places to visit. We just came back from Santorini in Greece and it was gorgeous 🙂
    xo Gennifer

  2. Runaway Brit August 12, 2016 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    I am moving to Bratislava next week, so I will be super close to Vienna. I can’t wait to explore it more!

  3. Marcelle Simone Heller August 13, 2016 at 4:53 pm - Reply

    We are on the countryside in Austria at the moment and enjoy the ‘Lederhosen’-culture. After that we will return to Cape Town. We travel the other way around to find Cape Town in the summer. Enjoy your travels in Europe and don’t miss out on Amsterdam!

  4. […] has given me the opportunity to meet so many different people with varied hobbies and skills.  When I was in Vienna a couple months ago, I met a musician who funded his travels by playing guitar and piano.  He […]

  5. […] we take credit cards!     2.  Getting on the wrong train taking me to the ends of the earth in Vienna, and costing me 5 hours I’ll never get back…and my sanity.  At least it was pretty […]

Leave A Comment