A coffeehouse in Vienna is anything but an ordinary place. As a vital institution to the city’s culture, it embraces the simple pleasures of life and creates a stimulating forum for locals and visitors alike. Inside one of the many cafes strewn about the city, you will find pastry cases decorated with colorful petit fours and flaky strudels that can be savored alongside a mélange or an aromatic specialty coffee drink made to order.
Intent readers lounge with newspapers and books, and groups of people linger at tables or in comfortable armchairs for hours on end sometimes.
Vienna is home to a variety of people with diverse pursuits, and the city offers hundreds of cafes to choose from to reflect this. There are many coffeehouses that are famous for the artists and thinkers who have called them home. Café Central, for example, was a retreat for Sigmund Freud and Leo Trotsky, and to this day remains an epicenter of sophistication and intellect. Just as the Viennese people have done for generations, take the opportunity to explore the city’s options and find a coffeehouse of your own that suits your interests. Indulge yourself in the essence of Vienna and revel in the Gemütlichkeit that the coffeehouse of your choice has to offer – but make sure you have plenty of time to enjoy your cup of coffee in-house, because take out will not be available.
Add a twist to your coffeehouse experience: Sign up for one of the “Vienna Coffeehouse Conversations,” a series of popular events that pair up visitors with locals for one-on-one chats, on subjects ranging from travel to family, from cultural to food. Echoing a time when the likes of Sigmund Freud, Stefan Zweig and Gustav Klimt would gather with acquaintances in cafés to exchange ideas and debate, the Vienna Coffeehouse Conversations are a great way to experience the city's cultural history, learn more about what's going on in town -- and make friends along the way. The event includes a three-course menu, plus a “conversation menu” with ideas to get the conversation going. So popular are these discussions that they often continue beyond the allotted two hours.