The Vienna Coffeehouse Conversations is a monthly event that connects travellers with locals in 1:1 conversations at traditional Vienna coffeehouses, in English.
I am a native Viennese and love Vienna even more since I moved away, though I frequently visit my home town and family there. My dad used to chat with locals whenever we went on holidays abroad, and we made many friends all around Europe. I realised, though, that many travellers find it difficult to connect with residents.
I had the idea to run the Vienna Coffeehouse Conversations when I read about conversation meals held for locals in Vienna last year. They were so popular that they sold out, with more than 100 locals on the waiting list for the next events.
The Vienna Coffeehouse Conversations also enable travellers to re-invent the world-famous and UNESCO-recognised Vienna coffeehouse culture, echoing a time when Sigmund Freud, Gustav Klimt and Stefan Zweig met acquaintances in cafés to exchange ideas and debate.
As we arrived in Vienna on 22 Dec the snow started to fall. We walked through the city to the Christkindl Market, Christmas lights everywhere. Roast chestnuts and gluhwein. Each window of the town hall decorated as an Advent Calendar and each day a window is opened, to reveal a painting which will be sold later in aid of a children's charity.
Christmas Eve, frosty cold under a blue sky, we drove an hour south of Vienna with friends and their children high into the mountains for sleighing - with much falling around in the deep snow. Oh such fun!
Christmas day we went to St. Barbara, a small Ukranian orthodox Catholic church - beautiful voices in harmony - magical. Afterwards we ate close by at the Hotel Post: goose with all the trimmings and chocolate gateaux. In the afternoon we walked in the snow in the enchanting Schoennbrunn gardens, then coffee and kuchen in Cafe Gloriette.
A Christmas we'll remember always.
BA from Heathrow to Vienna
Train from Vienna to Semmering for day trip - one hour
Google map: bit.ly/SQe8LT
Film-lovers cannot miss ‘The Third Man’ Guided Walk in Vienna. This unique tour will trace the steps of Orson Welles (as Harry Lime) and Joseph Cotten (as Holly Martins) and will take you to most of the film locations in central Vienna, put the movie in a historical context and tell you curiosities about the filming, Orson Welles and the locations themselves. It will even take you to a special location where the film’s famous soundtrack is played by a scitar player, creating a truly special atmosphere. ‘The Third Man’ was shot on location all over the Austrian capital and this walk will give you a great insight of the locations of this classic film and what it was like to live in post-war Vienna. This guided walk was created by Dr. Brigitte Timmermann, the founder of Vienna Walks & Talks and it runs Mondays and Fridays at 4:00.
Mondays and Fridays at 4:00pm.
The tour starts at: U4 Station Stadtpark, Exit Johannesgasse.
Time: 2 to 2.5 hours
Magistrat der Stadt Wien, Wien Kanal
+43 1 4000 3033
Google map: bit.ly/GT8Jg8
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