Vienna was one of those cities where I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I felt tht cities like Prague, Amsterdam, Budapest etc all have these hyped up mythologies to the point where I felt like I had something to live up to when I went there.
Vienna on the other hand was a really pleasant surprise, despite the fact that my hostel was NOT good. There was nothing wrong with the actual hostel, but it was absolutely awful in terms of meeting other travellers. There were massive school groups that took over the entire common areas, making it impossible to chat to anyone. Luckily I met a great girl in my room, Lisa, who had come from Germany for a theatre school audition. We were both fairly unimpressed with the hostel but we managed to have a great time out and about in the city.
My favourite night in Vienna was when we trekked down to watch an outdoor opera screening that was projected onto the side of the Parliament building. Of course, it was all in German, but luckily Lisa was there to keep me in the loop about the most important points, and after a couple beers, it didn’t really seem to matter anyways. I think I loved it so much because it was such an event. There were tons of seating and food and drink stalls, and the place was packed! I’m not sure an outdoor screening of an opera could have garnered such an attendance back where I’m from.
And to be honest, after the party atmosphere of Berlin and Prague I was perfectly happy to have a quieter cultural night out.
If you ever find yourself in Vienna (which I highly recommend) I would suggest a trip to the Danube. Take the underground to the island in the middle of the river on a sunny day and wander around. I found a quiet dock and sat for ages reading and listening to the water lap against the shore. The sky was clear and the water was blue and I had one of those perfect moments of happiness when nothing particularly exciting was happening but I was completely blissed out, and so happy I had taken the risk to do some travelling on my own.
Read about the rest of my solo Europe trip: