How to Communicate in Austria
German is the common language in Austria. Most people I spoke with understood and spoke English, yet it’s always a good idea to learn the basics when visiting another country.
- Please = bitte (pronounced bitter)
- Thank you = danke (like anchor with a d in front)
- Hello (formal) = Grüßgott (groose-got)
- Hello (informal) = Servus (sair-vuss)
- Goodbye (formal) = Auf Wiedersehen (owf-vee-duh-zane)
- Goodbye (informal)
– Tschüss (choos; Austrogerman)
– Baba (bah-bah; Viennese)
– Ciao (quite acceptable)
Where to Stay on a Budget
Cool place to meet people.
The hostel has everything BUT A/C.
Cheap drinks (including a free one for guests) at the bar.
Lots of places for chilling, including a naturally lit cafe/lounge area used for breakfast.
There’s a larger one in Budapest. It’s located in the Jewish Quarter (District VII).
Where to Eat on a Budget
Good, local spot in the Jewish Quarter. Kind of hidden so keep an eye.
Good prices and large location, including terrace and many indoor tables.
Has a wide variety of local brews and serves a sort of calzone in pita bread… sooo good!
Service was great and people spoke English, even the ones who didn’t, tried their best to understand us. There’s WiFi so you can use Google Translate for any specifics like dietary restrictions.
The Best of Austrian Food
Schnitzel (breaded and flattened lamb or pork)
Sacher cake (dense chocolate cake)
Best Places to Visit for Foodies
This place is a bit fancier, hence, a bit pricier. You can get a drink or simply walk by the cafe where Mozart and Beethoven used to play.
If you’ve saved up for at least one nice dinner, this place serves great local food, including the schnitzel, which is a must-try in Vienna if you have no dietary restrictions.
First coffee shop in Vienna. Freud and Trotsky used to visit.
It’s supposed to be the most centric location in Vienna. Meaning that this coffee house is right in the middle of Vienna.
THE place for Schnitzel. Reservations are required and can be made through the website. Be prepared for a huge proportion if you get the Schnitzel. It is meant for sharing.
Beautiful Places to See in Vienna
St. Stephen’s Cathedral
Medieval Cathedral from the Roman Empire. It has since been restored, and like everything in Vienna, is it immaculate.
There are classical concerts performed inside the Cathedral. I recommend checking the website for schedule and pricing.
Most walking tours depart from the Cathedral since it’s a centric location that connects with many shops and restaurants.
Mozart lived and composed in this apartment in the 1700s for many years. This is an expensive area, and it is said that the cost of living here is what bankrupt him.
It has since been restored and now offers tours.
A beautiful synagogue, now a Holocaust memorial site.
You can book a tour and see the interior.
Sigmund Freud Museum
The museum is basically an apartment. You literally have to get buzzed in to come in, both to the building, then to the apartment.
Even with student discount, it was more than I was expecting to pay. We opted for not going in since, from what we could see from the entrance, it was mainly composed of books and sketches. I could read these from my local library for free, I thought.
The palace is further from the center. You’ll have to take the metro or light rail there. The price for a 100min ride is 2.40 EUR… not the cheapest. Still, you don’t have to enter the Palace, which is now a museum, to appreciate its beauty.
My fellow Mexicans can enter this museum for free since it hosts “El Penacho de Moctezuma”. A beautifully hand-made headdress with feathers and gold pieces. It was originally used as a sort of crown for Moctezuma II, the Aztec emperor during the Spanish Conquest. No similar pieces remain in Mexico, and according to the Weltmuseum, this piece would not survive the transatlantic flight. Hence, the free entrance to Mexican citizens to the museum. So bring your Mexican passport or IFE!
My friend and I found it ironically hilarious that the city call is called “Rathaus”.
Despite its name, the Rathaus is a beautiful and massive building. It holds multiple events. During the summer, I had the fortune of attending the summer film fest. The exterior is surrounded by pop up restaurants and bars, with plenty of seating facing a large screen playing films. I attended a space opera conducted by Venezuelan conductor, Gustavo Dudamel. Needless to say, this was an out of the world experience… get it? Because it’s a space opera?…. [Crickets].
Last but not least, my favorite… street art.
Vienna has an amazing and extensive street art scene that goes along the river.
You can start your walk here. During the summer, they have local bands playing next to the river in the evenings.
To appreciate the art, I recommend walking along the river as far as you can. It goes along the metro line so you don’t feel like you’re stranded and heading to nowhere.
These murals have been approved by the city, but of course, there also a few rebel designs floating around.
I hope you enjoy your time in Vienna. Other, relatively near, cities that I greatly recommend are Prague, Krakow, and Budapest. Follow me on Instagram @joyzcortez for updates on new posts! Remember to enjoy every moment of your trip, even when getting lost or tired, focus on the good things and BE PRESENT!