Where to eat in Vienna as a vegetarian

Vienna is a meat lover’s paradise. After all, the city is known for the bratwurst (a giant sausage) and the Wiener schnitzel (a fried piece of hammered out veal). Now to me, they just don’t seem all that appetising. I honestly thought I would struggle uncovering where to eat in Vienna as a vegetarian, but there are a surprising number of places that do cater; you just have to know where to look.

With Tim being an out-and-out carnivore, we couldn’t go to a vegetarian restaurant in Vienna. We needed to compromise.

Here’s our pick of places in Vienna to eat vegetarian food, whilst also keeping your meat eating travel buddy happy.

Naschmarkt

Where to eat in Vienna as a vegetarian: Naschmarkt

The Naschmarkt is one of my favourite places to eat in Vienna, as it had something for everyone. While Tim tucked into his bratwurst, I had my pick of food stalls serving some of the best vegetarian food in Vienna. I chose a spicy falafel wrap from one of the vendors on the main street, and we were both happy.

If Viennese street food doesn’t take your fancy, most of the restaurants are quite highly rated for a sit-down meal. You could try some of the best seafood in Vienna, Turkish or Asian cuisine, and some good old Viennese cuisine too.

Pürstner

Where to eat in Vienna as a vegetarian: Purstner

I loved Pürstner! This primarily carnivorous tavern was an absolute gem. While there are limited vegetarian options (choose between a pasta, a salad or a cheese and vegetable gratin), the atmosphere of this place is so special. As soon as you walk in, you feel as though you’ve entered your Austrian grandma’s front room, even if you don’t have an Austrian grandma.

Where to eat in Vienna as a vegetarian: Purstner

The walls are covered with plates and little Austrian momentos, there are loads of different rooms, each with their own quirky style, it’s warm, its friendly, and it’s incredibly popular. The waiters even wear chequered shirts and lederhosen – yes you may call it gimmicky, but I loved it. On our first night in Austria, it was exactly the welcome we needed. I would definitely go back here every time we are looking for good vegetarian food in Vienna.

7 Stern Brau

Where to eat in Vienna as a vegetarian: 7 Stern Brau

7 Stern Brau is better known for its home-brewed beer than its vegetarian food. I still recommend you try it. It’s a little out of the centre, but still only a ten minute walk from our hotel. The tavern is incredibly popular so you might need to take seats at the bar, like we did.

I ordered a spinach strudel, which was incredibly spinachy. I’d recommend you only order it if you really like spinach. There are lots of other vegetarian options on the menu, so you will find something you enjoy. If not, you will definitely like the beer. It’s very good.

Where to eat in Vienna as a vegetarian: 7 Stern Brau

Many little cafes

Cafe culture is absolutely everywhere in Vienna. The Viennese love their hot drinks and cake, which is great because I do too.

Apfelstrudel and Sachertorte could have a fist fight for the city’s best known dessert. And guess what, they’re both delicious, and veggie friendly! Most cafes in Vienna serve both, but our favourites included Cafe Residenz on the Schonnbrun complex, and Cafe Museum just a few steps from our hotel.

Where to eat in Vienna as a vegetarian: Cafe Museum

Trzesniewski

Despite being a meat eater himself, celebrity chef Rick Stein shared his own opinion on where to eat in Vienna as a vegetarian in his latest TV show. He chose Trzesniewski – a fancy open sandwich shop that is full of locals and tourists throughout the day. I wish I had known about it before I went because I know I would have loved it.

You can try meat-free sandwiches with cheese and vegetables, sandwiches with fish and others with Vienna’s famous meat. Someone please go and tell me what it’s like!

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Despite what you may think, it’s actually quite easy to find some where to eat in Vienna as a vegetarian. You have your pick of restaurants, street food and little cafes to feast at – you just need to know where to look.

Where do you like to eat in Vienna? Share your favourite places in the comments below!

A Viennese Whirl-wind trip: Things to do in Vienna

Back in October, Tim and I spent 48 hours in Vienna: the beautiful capital city of Austria. It’s a place I had been to before with my parents, but going back, I was surprised by how little I remembered and how much more I loved it as an adult. The best things to do in Vienna range from wandering through parks and visiting museums to taking tours of the cathedral.

To save money and effort we invested in the Vienna Pass, which gets you free or discounted entrance into all the main things to do in Vienna. But watch out, they are only valid for calendar days meaning you can only use a 1 day card up until midnight. We didn’t realise this until we picked up our 2 day passes at 2pm and were told we only had 34 hours to cram as much of Vienna in as possible! Challenge accepted.

Let me share our list of things to do in Vienna:

Sightseeing bus
The Vienna hop on and hop off bus is the perfect way to get around and learn about the city at the same time. I know people will probably mock a traveller wannabe that goes on the buses – I can imagine them saying “dude, you have to find your own way”, but all lines of the sightseeing bus are included in the Vienna Pass and they teach you far more than you’d ever care to read about in a guidebook. What’s not to love?
More info…

Schonbrunn
Like something out of Versailles, Schonbrunn is a huge and wide summer palace built for the Hapsburg monarchs over 300 years ago. I’ll be honest, the outside is much more impressive than its 1,441 indoor rooms. They won’t let you in to half of them anyway. We whizzed around the bits you can get into in about 20 minutes, and most of that was spent waiting for fascinated tourists to get out of our way. Every room is impressive, granted. But they’re all similarly impressive and it’s not good to drool over other peoples’ wealth. So we didn’t. The gardens, however, were fantastic. Pristine lawns and hedgerows, with an enormous fountain and (other building) out the back. We could have stayed there for hours.
More info…

Things to do in Vienna: Schonbrunn

Apfelstrudel show
Also on the Schonnbrun site is Café Residenz – said to be home of the apfelstrudel. Every day, almost by the hour, an apfelstrudel genius shows hungry visitors how to make the famous Viennese dish in a kitchen auditorium. While the baker is stretching the dough with their elbows (yes, really), everyone is given a piece to try. You could tell it had been sitting out for a while but it was still good. They give you a recipe and sell ingredients in the kitchen shop if you wanted to give it a try at home.
More info…

Stephansdom
This huge cathedral looms over Vienna and is one of my favourite religious buildings in the world. Its roof is covered with yellow, green and black tiles making it much more interesting than your usual cathedral stone. As well as the grand statues and porticos in the main part of the building, you can visit the towers and look out over the city and the roof in more detail. If you’re not scared of heights, it’s definitely something for the list.
More info…

Things to do in Vienna: Stephansdom

Catacombs tour
Also in the cathedral, you can visit the underground crypts and tombs. The main tomb is reserved for bishops and other significant figures from Vienna’s past, but there are smaller rooms dotted about for storing the bones of victims from the Black Plague. It’s pretty harrowing but fascinating to see. I couldn’t look at everything and the frequent reminder from the guide not to get left behind otherwise he’d lock us down there forever made it seem even scarier. Go if you dare… it ended up being one of my favourite things to do in Vienna!

State Opera House
The Staatsoper is a pretty iconic building in Vienna, one that you’ll walk past even if you didn’t mean to as it’s considered the hub of tourist activity in the city. The Pass doesn’t get you access to a show, but you can wander inside for a quick look around the foyer if you don’t look too shifty. Of course, don’t try going to a show without a ticket!

Things to do in Vienna: Staatsoper

Art History Museum & Natural History Museum
These two buildings stand opposite each other in perfect symmetry – but because of the sheer magnificence of the exterior, you’d expect them to house royalty rather than pieces of art and dinosaur bone. I’ll tell you a secret – we didn’t actually go inside because the outside architecture and gardens were good enough for us. Grecian style statues and fountains stand in very neat patterns in the central courtyard.
More info…

Things to do in Vienna: Kunsthistorisches Museum

Stadtpark & Burggarten
We couldn’t miss the opportunity to visit the many famous parks in Vienna. Stadtpark is home to Johann Strauss and is always full of tourists trying to emulate his pose. Not that Vienna is particularly busy, but the park still came as a welcome relief from central crowds. Burggarten’s most visited sight is the famous Mozart statue, complete with a treble clef made entirely from bright red flowers. It’s one of the most iconic images of Vienna and you can see why!

Things to do in Vienna: Burggarten

Naschmarkt
The Naschmarkt mainly sells frankfurters or other sausages served in bread roll coats and bread roll hats (see photo). I managed to find plenty of falafel stalls to keep me happy. There are also a few restaurants and souvenir stands too. It’s where the locals go to enjoy a stein of beer or twelve. If I lived there, that’s absolutely where I would be.

Things to do in Vienna: Naschmarkt

Overall, we had a great time on our long weekend in Vienna. I would certainly recommend it as a city to explore if you’ve got a weekend free. Keep this list of things to do in Vienna close, and you’ll never be stuck for somewhere to go or see.

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What have I missed? What would you do with 48 hours in Vienna? Share your ideas in the comments below! 

2016 Travel Highlights: My Year in Travel

2016 has been a pretty weird year. But, ignoring Trump, Brexit and far too many tragic celebrity deaths, it’s been a pretty incredible year for me when it comes to 2016 travel highlights. My blog turned 1, I ticked a few places off my bucket list and I racked up a whole 8 trips abroad with just 29 days annual leave.

This post shares my 2016 travel highlights month by month:

January
Our 2016 travel highlights started with my first visit to Scandinavia. Copenhagen was chosen as the destination for my Christmas present to Tim, thanks to its newness to us both and its endless list of things to see. Having been warned off the city for being too expensive, we were pleasantly surprised to find the flights were cheap and the accommodation was reasonably priced, but we were travelling seriously off peak. January had just begun but the festivities of new year were a distant memory as many of the major attractions (including Tivoli Gardens – a place I longed to see) shut up shop for the winter. Despite this, we still managed to fill our days wandering the streets, drinking lager and eating open sandwiches. And we couldn’t have been happier. Warmer, sure, but not happier.

2016 travel highlights: Copenhagen

March
Our March trip was a bit closer to home as we spent a weekend in Cambridge. We had a couple of days to explore the beautiful university city, filling our time with a punting trip along the river, eating in boutique restaurants and sleeping in a cosy little Airbnb apartment. We were walking in Stephen Hawking’s footsteps as we found his old college,  crossed the city’s famous bridges and walked through its many beautiful parks. We really enjoyed our visit to the city and would definitely recommend it to others looking for an alternative weekend to London.

2016 Travel Highlights: Cambridge

April
April was the month I found a new country to rival Spain as my favourite place on earth. Sri Lanka just seemed to have it all – culture, beautiful landscapes, wildlife, sunshine and some of the most friendly people I’ve ever met. We went on the Wild About Sri Lanka tour with On the Go Tours and were treated to a fantastic group and one of the best tour guides I’ve ever had. The tour enabled us to take in the main sights of the country – Sigiriya, Dambulla, Kandy, a train ride up into the hills of Nuwara Eliya and some incredible game drives in the national parks where we were lucky enough to see elephants, monkeys, birds and even an elusive leopard. It was easily one of the best trips of my life and, ignoring the elephant orphanage, I loved every minute.

2016 Travel Highlights: Sri Lanka train

May
Just a few days after returning from Sri Lanka, I was back at Heathrow on a plane to Tokyo for a long weekend in May. I wouldn’t normally make a habit of travelling a 24 hour round trip just to spend 48 hours in a city, but it was all thanks to a trip my office had planned to say thank you for our hard work over the past year. Who was I to say no to a free trip to the Far East?! Having visited before, I made the most of going to the places I wish I had gone to last time. This included Tokyo Skytree, a karaoke bar and, of course, Disneyland Tokyo.

2016 Travel Highlights: Tokyo ladies in kimonos

June
To celebrate my birthday in June, we flew over to Lisbon for a long weekend. It quickly became one of my very favourite cities thanks to its laid back European feeling, stunning architecture and one of the tastiest little pastries that I made it my mission to eat as many of as possible (I managed 8 in three days).
A week later, Tim also treated me to a weekend away in Kent where we stayed with our lovely friends Kat and David and visited the historic town of Rochester.

2016 Travel Highlights: Lisbon

July 
No Would Be Traveller list is complete without a mention of Valencia, so of course we headed there in July. I spent another week in the Spanish school Españole, learning the language and living like a local in a perfect apartment right in the centre. We spent the weekend taking a tapas tour, visiting the oceanografic (huge aquarium) and taking in the city’s fantastic atmosphere. Of course, I loved it.
We also spent a luxury weekend away in Evesham in the Cotswolds. Having won the chance to drive a BMW i8 for the weekend, Tim was in his element and I was too as it meant I could explore the local area, eat meals with over 5 courses and drink Pimms in the garden of a luxury hotel. July was good to us!

2016 Travel Highlights: City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia

September
We spent September pretty close to home with a weekend trip to Berkhamsted to celebrate Tim’s birthday and our anniversary. We stayed in a beautiful log cabin we found on Airbnb and loved exploring the town using it as our base. Our weekend was spent visiting Berkhamsted Castle, watching a movie in the beautiful Art Deco cinema, The Rex, and eating in some fantastic restaurants. Just like Cambridge, Berkhamsted is a fantastic place to go if you’re looking for somewhere outside of London but with enough to keep you busy. That’s why we chose it in September.

2016 Travel Highlights: Weekend in a log cabin, Berkhamsted

October
October was one of the busiest months for us, as we spent a weekend in Vienna, another in Brighton and a week in India.
I had been to Vienna before with my parents, but it felt different to go back when I could choose where to go and what to see. We took advantage of the Vienna Pass so we could get fast track and discounted entry to all the main sights including Schonbrunn, Stephansdom and trips on the tourist buses.
To celebrate 10 years since I started university, we returned to Brighton to stay in a big house with my old housemates and their significant others. We reminisced by visiting the university campus, eating at our old favourite restaurant and taking a trip on the new i360.
The month culminated with India, where we were back on an On the Go Tours trip to the Golden Triangle. We took in Delhi, the Taj Mahal at Agra, the Amer Fort in Jaipur and incredible wildlife at Ranthambore National Park.

2016 Travel Highlights: India's Golden Triangle - The Taj Mahal, Agra

November
To make up for a pretty busy October, November was a quiet month for travel, but we still managed to squeeze in another trip to the Cotswolds to celebrate the beautiful wedding of my brother and sister in law in Moreton-in-Marsh. It’s a beautiful little town and well worth a visit if you fancy a taste of little England!

December
We rounded off 2016 in style, at the rooftop garden of Herodion Hotel in Athens. The fireworks display next to the Acropolis was spectacular, and a once in a lifetime experience that we were very grateful to have. Apart from the wonderful New Year’s Eve celebrations, our long weekend in Athens was full of good food, amazing sights and snow. Yes, really, it snowed in the city centre for the first time in about five years and we were there to witness it!

2016 Travel Highlights: Athens

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Overall, 2016 has been one of the best years of my life and I can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store. With plans to visit Hong Kong, South Africa and Hungary already in place, it just might be even better. 

What did you get up to in 2016? What are your travel plans for 2017?