Imperial Vienna is world-famous for its Viennese cuisine and Viennese coffee houses.
Visiting at least one of the following 6 famous coffee houses in Vienna will make your visit to the capital of Austria unforgettable.
- FAMOUS COFFEE HOUSES IN VIENNA
- 1. Cafe Central – the most famous Vienna cafe
- 2. Cafe Museum – the most famous Vienna cafe among artists
- 3. Cafe Landtman
- 4. Cafe Hawelka
- 5. Palemnhaus
- 6. Cafe Sacher
- WHERE TO STAY IN VIENNA
- MAP OF MOST FAMOUS VIENNA CAFES
- VIENNA DISCOUNTS AND TRANSPORTS
- MUST SEE IN VIENNA & TOP THINGS TO DO IN VIENNA
- EXPERIENCE VIENNA IN A DIFFERENT WAY
- INSIDER AND OFF-THE-BEATEN PATH VIENNA
- BEST DAY TRIPS FROM VIENNA
FAMOUS COFFEE HOUSES IN VIENNA
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Vienna coffee culture
Vienna is one of the most beautiful European capitals.
The capital city of Austria gets especially beautiful at Christmastime when the city turns into a grandiose Christmas fairytale. Not unexpectedly, imperial Vienna is praised as one of the best Christmas destinations in Europe with one of the best Christmas markets in Europe.
But to be in Vienna and not visit a famous Viennese café or a traditional Vienna restaurant to enjoy Viennese cuisine equals a serious sin.
While the Viennese coffee culture is an institution where coffee drinking is worshiped as an art, Viennese cuisine is the only cuisine in the world named after a city.
For centuries Vienna’s coffee houses have been playing an important role in the social life of Vienna. Viennese cafés are popularly known as Vienna’s public living rooms. Coffee shops in Vienna are the places where people sit for hours enjoying chats with friends and acquaintances, re-telling the latest news and gossip, reading newspapers, magazines, and literature, playing chess, billiard, and cards, or simply just people-watching.
During rich Viennese history, famous coffee houses in Vienna have been meeting points of Nobel prize winners, writers, critics, philosophers, composers, bohemians, artists, politicians, and businessmen for more or less serious discussions and debates.
European coffee culture started with the opening of the first coffee houses in Venice (Italy), Oxford (England), and Vienna (Austria) in the 1600s. But the bloom happened in the late 1800s when the Viennese-style coffee houses opened in Venice, Trieste, Verona (Italy), Prague (the Czech Republic), and Zagreb (Croatia).
Traditional Viennese coffee shops adorn sophisticated interiors with wooden floors, high ceilings, large windows, crystal chandeliers, marble tables, iconic bentwood Thonet chairs, and red velvet seats.
In 2011 UNESCO listed Viennese coffee culture as the Intangible Cultural Heritage.‘Viennese coffee houses are a place where time and space are consumed, but only the coffee is found on the bill’ – description of the Viennese coffee houses by UNESCO
For that reason, I decided to visit famous Viennese cafes on my trip to Vienna.
Best cafes in Vienna and most famous coffee shops in Vienna, Austria:
1. Cafe Central – the most famous Vienna cafe
Café Central is one of the most famous coffee houses in Vienna and arguably the best cafe in Vienna for its refined interior and exquisite service.
The café occupies premises of the former Vienna Stock Exchange adorned with monumental stone columns and a high vaulted ceiling. Large paintings on the walls and a piano in the center of the café create a sublime imperial atmosphere. Needless to say, Café Central in Vienna is one of the most beautiful cafes in the World.
Vienna Café Central guested many notable historical figures in the past such as Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler, Leon Trotsky, Josip Broz Tito, and Vladimir Lenin.
If you are a history buff, a Vienna-style coffee at Cafe Central is a must-have in Vienna.
On my visit to Vienna, I went to Cafe Central to have my traditional Viennese breakfast which included a hot drink (traditional Viennese Melange coffee in my case), croissant, roll, apricot jam, butter, and a soft-boiled egg.
Cafe Central Vienna Austria: Herrengasse 14, 1010 Vienna;
Cafe Central Vienna hours: Mon-Sat 7.30 am – 10 pm, Sun 10 am – 10 pm
2. Cafe Museum – the most famous Vienna cafe among artists
This famous Viennese coffee house has been a well-known meeting point for many prominent Viennese artists. Famous Viennese artists like Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka, Egon Schiele, and Otto Wagner have been regular guests of Cafe Museum.
If you are an artsy person or an art historian, you will enjoy the atmosphere of the Vienna Cafe Museum.
At Café Museum in Vienna, Austrian coffee is served according to the Viennese coffee tradition: with a glass of cold tap water, a silver spoon, and sugar cubes wrapped in paper and all served on a silver tray.
Cafe Museum Vienna: Operngasse 7, 1010 Vienna;
Cafe Museum Vienna hours: Mon-Sat 8 am-midnight, Sun 10 am-midnight
3. Cafe Landtman
Café Landtman in Vienna is another famous Vienna coffee house that has been a popular gathering spot for many industrials and politicians, as well as artists in Vienna.
Among many well-known guests who enjoyed its classy atmosphere were Gustav Mahler, Marlene Dietrich, and Romy Schneider.
Cafe Landmant is oen of the most classy coffee houses in Vienna.
Wooden newspaper holders are a compulsory accessory of a typical coffee house in Vienna.
Cafe Landtmann Vienna: Dr. Karl Lueger Ring 4;
Cafe Landtmann Vienna hours: daily 7.30 am-midnight
4. Cafe Hawelka
Café Hawelka is one of the best Vienna coffee houses.
This family-run coffee shop in Vienna has been the favorite meeting point of bohemians and artists of all kinds because of its cozy atmosphere. Among many prominent guests of Vienna’s Cafe Hawelka were Peter Ustinov and Andy Warhol, just to name a few.
If you have a bohemian personality, probably you will enjoy this famous Viennese coffee shop the most.
Cafe Hawelka is the most bohemian coffee house in Vienna.
In 1939 Leopold Hawelka opened the coffee bar and since then the family Hawelka has been running this famous cafe in Vienna. Until 2012, the year when Leopold Hawelka died, every day the owner used to stand at the entrance of his Vienna cafe to greet his guests.
Cafe Hawelka Vienna: Dorotheergasse 6, 1010 Vienna;
Cafe Hawelka Vienna hours: Mon-Sat 8 am – 2 am, Sun 10 am – 2 am, Tue closed
If you are a seafood lover like me and you are looking for great value for money, the Palmenhaus (Palm House) should be on your Vienna itinerary.
This popular Viennese restaurant and bar offer a unique dining atmosphere while sitting among the palm trees in the elegant Art Nouveau (Jugendstil) building. Actually, Vienna Palmenhaus is a greenhouse with high ceilings that was built in 1822 as the Emperor’s glasshouse for tropical plants. Vienna Palm House has had its looks since 1901 when it was renewed. The Palmen house is one of the loveliest coffee houses in Vienna.
The Palmenhaus in Vienna is located near Albertina and the State Opera. During sunny days the visitors usually indulge on the terrace overlooking the Burggarten, the park connected to Hofburg (the Imperial Palace in Vienna).
Traditional Viennese cuisine is based mainly on meat meals, such as Wiener schnitzel (the famous fried veal coated in breadcrumbs dish from Vienna, and one of the most famous foods in the world), or Selchfleisch (smoked meat).
But as a pescatarian, I opted for something more international. After all, Vienna is a cosmopolitan city. I took a delicious grilled Norwegian cod fillet with coriander-tomato crust, chickpea ragout, and wild basmati rice. I had no regrets about my choice. My meal was nothing less than perfect.
Palmenhaus Vienna: Burggarten 1, 1010 Vienna;
Palmenhaus Vienna hours: Mon – Fri 10 am – midnight, Sat 9 am-midnight, Sun 9 am – 11 pm
6. Cafe Sacher
Finally, I ended my day with a traditional Viennese coffee and a piece of Vienna’s famous cake Sachertorte at the glamorous and iconic Sacher café in the worldwide known Hotel Sacher Vienna.
Café Sacher Wien is one of the most elegant Vienna coffee shops. And, undisputedly one of the best Vienna cafes.
Just to add here, if you have a sweet tooth like me you need to know that Viennese cuisine is best known for Austrian cakes such as Apfelstrudel (a pastry filled with apples), Palanschinken (the Austrian pancakes with apricot jam), or already mentioned Sacher torte (a famous Austrian chocolate cake and most likely the most famous chocolate cake in the world).
Where to get the best Sachertorte in Vienna? In Sacher cafe of Hotel Sacher in Vienna, of course.
Cafe Sacher Vienna: Philharmonikerstrasse 4, 1010 Vienna;
Cafe Sacher Vienna hours: daily 8 am-midnight
WHERE TO STAY IN VIENNA
Recommended Vienna accommodation – Vienna hotels, and Vienna hostels:
UPSCALE: The Amauris Vienna – Relais & Châteaux – this 5-star hotel is located on the historic Ring Boulevard, within walking distance to the Vienna State Opera and the Musikverein concert hall. The hotel has a perfect location, luxuriously furnished rooms, and an attentive staff. It is a must-stay place in Vienna for luxury travelers!
MIDRANGE: Motel One Wien-Staatsoper – is a wonderful 3-star hotel next to Vienna Central Station and within 5 minutes from the city center by Vienna subway. It has an excellent location, modern rooms, and friendly staff. It is great value for money!
BUDGET: Vienna Boutique Hostel – is a lovely and quiet hostel with a good location and super clean rooms. It is 2.4 km from Vienna City Hall, 1.9 km from Kunsthistorisches Museum, and 3 km from Vienna Volksgarten. Vienna Boutique Hostel offers a fantastic stay in Vienna for budget travelers.
MAP OF MOST FAMOUS VIENNA CAFES
Click here to see the map of the best cafes in Vienna I have created to help you see the exact location of these famous coffee houses in Vienna, Austria. You can download the map and find them easily once when in Vienna. You can download the map offline from Google Maps. Click here to view the Google Map.
VIENNA DISCOUNTS AND TRANSPORTS
MUST SEE IN VIENNA & TOP THINGS TO DO IN VIENNA
Visiting cafes in Vienna Austria is a must. But don’t miss visiting other great sights in Vienna. Learn about the history of Vienna and experience the royal atmosphere of the old capital of the Habsburg monarchs, the capital of the Austria-Hungary Empire, and the seat of the Holy Roman Empire.
Best things to do in Vienna and the best things to see in Vienna Austria:
Introducing Vienna – the Capital of Habsburgs
Schonbrunn Palace (Skip-the Line) and Vienna City Tour
Schonbrunn Palace and Gardens
Vienna Spanish Riding School
Mozart Concert at the Golden Hall
Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in Karlskirche
Classic Ensemble Vienna in St. Peter’s Church
Mozart & Strauss Concert in Kursalon in Vienna
Mozart & Strauss Concert at the State Opera in Vienna
EXPERIENCE VIENNA IN A DIFFERENT WAY
INSIDER AND OFF-THE-BEATEN PATH VIENNA
BEST DAY TRIPS FROM VIENNA
Have you been to Vienna? Have you visited some of the best coffee shops in Vienna? If not, would you like to visit famous Viennese cafes? In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading this post about Vienna Austria cafes, and some interesting facts about the coffee houses’ history.
If you spend only 2 days in Vienna at Christmastime, you will have a lifetime memory.
No matter when you visit charming, imperial Vienna; Vienna in autumn, Vienna in winter, Vienna in spring, or Vienna in summer will always welcome you with old-world cozy Viennese coffeehouses and restaurants.
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