Things You Can’t Do in Vienna in Eight Hours

It’s one of my firm convictions that all those 24, 36, 72 hours in this or that city guides are basically the subversive work of the devil trying and very likely succeeding at ruining your holiday, and probably the rest of your life, but that is another, more metaphysical matter, altogether. There is simply no way…

An Awesome Walk and ALT-J @ Wiener Stadthalle

Vienna on a Sunday morning is both very closed, and very open. Shops are closed, except for tobacconist’s, a few pastry shops and newsagents. The situation of the latter is, however, more complicated: those which are open are usually split in half with a rather random red tape, and beyond the tape lies a world…

Barlove: Viennese Coffee and Cigarettes. Still.

It was one of those very rare moments when I was loitering on a street in Vienna without the actual and definite purpose of going into a coffee house, which altered, and somewhat unnatural state was caused by my having just left Café Phil about half an hour before. But, as we have learned from…

Barlove: Café Phil Vienna

Borges once said that he always imagined Paradise as a library, and he was right, only you can go one better, and picture it as a coffee house with books, or a bookstore with coffee, depends on how you look at it. And breakfast, because if it’s done right, no matter at what hour, breakfast…

Sunlight through the Snowstorm: Vienna’s Kirche am Steinhof

I have often sung the praise of the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s concert (Neujahrskonzert der Wiener Philharmoniker, a little gratuitous German never hurt anyone), which might seem odd for someone who is otherwise rather unattuned to classical music. Waltzes are however an exception, melodic and lightweight enough for the silly, familiar from Tom and Jerry…

Best of 2017 Travels

Sightseeing. The year began with an Arctic snap, which meant the Balaton was almost completely frozen over, and thus just in the perfect state for my tastes- its summery outing as a sea instead of a sea will stay forever alien to someone who grew up with an actual sea- it’s dark yes, and filled…

Accidental Strudels- The Compulsory Pre-Christmas Visit to Vienna

I realize all too well that I have by now exhausted anything new or interesting I could say about Viennese Christmas fairs (that’s last year’s post, and even the links work with Germanic precision), except that I still like them a lot, and yes, I bought that damn mug from Karlsplatz again. This although the…

A Very Short Viennese Dictionary

Blue Danube. Actually, not to be seen during 90% of Viennese day trips, because, unlike in Budapest or Belgrade, where the Danube steals centre stage, in Vienna it flows off the main axis of the city in decidedly sleepy and unspectacular suburbs. Thus, an unassuming but fundamental presence, like air and taxes. Grosser Brauner and…

Vienna Beyond Christmas

I have already entertained people with the ‘arrival in Hauptbahnhof’ drama this summer, but there is no escape from it yet, for this was the first time it was actually inflicted on me. Objectively though there’s nothing wrong with disembarking in Vienna’s shiny new central station: metro line 1 takes you to the very centre…

Barlove: Kaffemik

As per their website Kaffemik is a Greenlandic word (obviously), which stands for a traditional open house get together, where coffee is served. Presumably plenty of it, since staying awake through the eternal darkness of Greenlandic winters is probably not for the faint hearted.  My first association though was with the Romanian word mic, spelled…