Sunday, June 24, 2012

Coffeehouses in Vienna

One thing you won't lack for in Vienna is a place to go and drink coffee. You'll often find there is one opposite your hotel, which is very handy when you wake up late, miss breakfast, and need something to wake you up in the morning. Not that we've done this on a very regular basis. Much...

There is something about Vienna's wide variety of coffeehouses that is very comforting. We suspect they used to having to cater to hungover tourists and locals, so the staff generally speak softly and give you what you want with the minimum of fuss—in our case normally something greasy such as fried sausages and a large pot of coffee.

Of course, coffee drinking isn't just for those who have been out the night before. Vienna's coffeehouses are great places to meet friends for a chat and catch up. If you're feeling peckish, you can enjoy a range of sweet treats along with your coffee.

We prefer to go to the old city for our coffee as you can relax underneath the magnificent architecture and simply relax. Whether you go to Café Sacher, one of the most luxurious cafés in Vienna, or one of the many small coffeehouses surrounding it, you can find the perfect atmosphere for you. You see, the Viennese coffeehouse is more than simply a place to enjoy coffee; it's an institution. Writers such as Karl Kraus and Elias Canetti,  artists such as Gustav Klimt, and other creative geniuses all sat down in various coffeehouses to relax and discuss ideas. Whether you go to the Café Hawelka or the Café Museum, you are sitting in a piece of history.

If you fancy something a bit different, however, you might want to try Haas & Haas, which offers a variety of breakfasts from around the world. You can sit down and order a full English breakfast while your partner has dim sum, the Chinese breakfast, served in a bamboo steamer. Café Sperl is famous for its soft boiled eggs and ham, and Café Drechsler, our personal favorite, offers great sausages and goulash—a perfect hangover cure.

When you have a coffeehouse just over the road from your hotel, though, you will find that it's the perfect place to have a midmorning snack and just generally relax. That's what makes Vienna's coffeehouse culture absolutely fantastic—they are relaxing, charming, and elegant. And the coffee is great, too!