Get to know Viennese coffeehouse culture on this three-hour tour that winds through Vienna’s cobblestone streets. The walk from one storied coffeehouse to the next, each housed in architecturally ornate buildings, provides a different way to see the city, and gives you a taste of famed Viennese coffee and pastries.
Viennese cafés have provided inspiration to writers like Peter Altenberg and Stefan Zweig, as well as historical figures such as Sigmund Freud. As you walk through the city, your guide will tell you all about the history of coffee in Vienna, how the culture evolved into what it is, which celebrities frequented each café and how Viennese locals most often enjoy their cups of coffee.
Many of the coffeehouses in the city date back to the late 1800s and early 1900s, and UNESCO recently awarded the title of Intangible Cultural Heritage to the city’s coffeehouse tradition.
Meet your guide in the morning to embark on a walking tour of Vienna’s most important coffeehouses for about three hours. The tour starts and ends with coffee or a treat at the first and final stops.
Part of the draw of Viennese coffeehouses is each one’s near-mythical history. For instance, the Café Central, open since 1876, was frequented by Sigmund Freud, Leon Trotsky, Peter Altenberg, Stefan Zweig and Vladimir Lenin. The café’s more prosaic attractions include homemade pastries like warm, flaky apple strudel topped with vanilla ice cream and pancakes with apricot jam, in addition to a long coffee list. The building was inspired by Italian architecture, and the interior boasts marble pillars and high vaulted ceilings.
Café Weimar has been open since 1900, and is beloved by artists and visitors of the Vienna State Opera. The decor pays homage to its location and patrons with details like lampshades made of French ballet skirts. Café Weimar also offers a breakfast menu, featuring Viennese classics like chocolate croissants and organic muesli, as well as a variety of egg dishes.
Café Hawelka has been open since 1939, with just a brief hiatus during World War II. It’s located in Vienna’s First District, among high-end shopping streets and restaurants aplenty. Run by the same family since it opened, Café Hawelka gives off an intimate feel, with marble tables, comfortable traditional sofas and red walls that seem to glow under the soft lighting.