Why I'm loving living in Vienna.

Sorry for the long silence, but I´ve been pretty busy with things on account of me moving country and everything, like becoming austrianafied and eating schnitzel among other various cultural things (because eating is definitely part of the culture, how else would I become a true Viennese without trying ALL the cakes?!).

But I´ve decided that I´m not going to feel too guilty, because well life is for living and YOYAO!(you only year abroad once, yeah I made that up).

And there's just so much to do in Vienna I've been incredibly busy (despite only working 13 hours a week ahem). It's quite overwhelming really , but in a nice now-I-actually-live-in-a-city-not-a-rubbish-isolated-town kind of way. So really, Vienna has been pretty great so far but when I first arrived, I'm gonna be honest...I wasn't exactly head over heels with the place.

Maybe I was still in mourning for Italy and Gelato, or maybe it was the murky February weather (apparently this is the worst month in Vienna) but on my first wander around I just thought it looked, well... a bit grey and boring.

Whaaaaat? But Vienna is supposed to be beautiful!

I know, I know but the looming imperial buildings just looked so cold and unfriendly.

But as I wandered around more of the city and began to remember which street lead to where, (I have problems with my sense of direction),  I came to realise that Vienna is just very different to the tightly packed, shutter-clad houses and cobbled streets of Milan I'm used to. And usually we tend not to like different.

Although some parts do look similar...

This look familiar to anyone? (The Duomo hint hint)
It was just a matter of getting used to the grandeur (and the haughty Viennese).

And a matter of finding my way around, without having to check the map every two seconds. That's when you discover that Vienna isn't quite so big and it doesn't feel quite so overwhelming or unfriendly.

So then I fell in love with the city.

The famous Schonbrunn, a short walk from my house!

Vienna from the hills
Especially because going to coffee shops and eating cake is a way of life here.

Yep that's a coffee with a load of cream on top! mm so healthy...
I was desperately craving this after being in Italy for 7 months where a coffee is a quick caffeine hit, downing an espresso at the bar. I mean, you just don't go for coffee. But here in Vienna, it's totally acceptable to sit for hours (not even an exaggeration) in the same spot, with the same cup of coffee, chatting your life away.

At Oberlaa

 Why would you ever want to leave when it's this beautiful?!
Cafe Central, one of the oldest (and some say the best)
It's a work of art, not cake!
You will probably be hours because its going to take you forever to get the waiters attention! (They're notorious for this, oh and for being grumpy and occasionally sarcastic, adds to the charm though I think).

So this is basically how I spend my free time, I mean the whole of my first weekend was basically spent gorging on cake.

Sachertorte for lunch...

Kaiserschmarrn (pancakes) for "an afternoon snack" at Landmann's.

What a life!

And now I even get to count all of this as research because I'm going to write my year abroad essay on it! Before you say anything, it has actually been approved by my lecturer so there! Which means the Viennese coffee house culture is an actual academically recognized thing. (I'll just point out, it's a pretty genius idea in my opinion, although I am already worried about the sheer volume of sugar I have been consuming so far).

Of course there is far more to life in Vienna than just coffee and cake (although it's still a pretty major aspect I would say).

Vienna is also a very musical city.

walked past this guy, just tinkling away
So there seems to be a concert or opera on every night here. Now, I'm not a particularly big fan of classical music and other sophisticated things like that but I will go to see an opera at some point and swan lake (my fave ballet) is on in a few weeks and recently, I stepped foot into a Jazz club for the first time to watch Jools Holland - a very cool and talented guy- (plus special guests) play.

It was quite possibly the classiest night of my life.

I went in not really knowing what to expect,  I mean I don't even listen to Jazz! But I came out buzzing, you know when you just feel genuinely happy. It was that kind of music, a lot of blues and soul that you just couldn't help having a little dance to in your seat.

In between all the coffee and cake and cultural things, the rest of my time is taken up by working as an English teaching assistant in two schools. And that's one of the other reasons I'm loving life in Vienna right now; being a teaching assistant is so fun!

Of course, it was terrifying at first, standing up in front of a group of students, who some of them aren't much younger than me (I teach 15-19 year olds), especially for a quiet, shy person. But after the first few lessons I began to relax and realised it's actually pretty great being a TA. And waaaay better than being stuck in an office all day. You get to interact with people all the time and have interesting discussions and debates (although some classes just never seem to want to speak!). And although it's hard to plan lessons (especially when teachers give you an odd topic or are just like do whatever you like), it's fun being creative.

The only thing is:
1). I am very short
2). I look fairly young.
3). They don't wear school uniform here

You guessed it...
Sometimes I'm mistaken for a student! Which is always rather amusing. I have to awkwardly break it to them that err actually I am allowed in the staff room.

And finally, the other reason I am loving life right now is the people I've met. Sounds cliche' I know, but it's just so nice that there are a lot of other TAs that you can hang out with. In Italy I spent a long time feeling incredibly lonely, probably for a few months even, but here I sort of had a group of friends straight away. And the best thing is, we all have similar interests. We all want to do the touristy things and explore Vienna and the nearby cities, so you always have someone to do stuff with.
Like eating schnitzel
Exploring the hills of Vienna

Impromptu trip to Prague this weekend anyone? (Yes that's happening).

I'm not going to say I'm enjoying Vienna more than Italy, because I think it's unfair to make that comparison when it was a completely different experience. Big city vs little town, being paid an actual wage vs just getting by , 40 hour week vs 13 hour week.


So far, my time here is everything I imagined the year abroad to be. 

Sorry mum but I think I might not want to come home....


  1. Just been reading your blog. I get it girl don't hang around on my account...LIVE YOUR LIFE !


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