My Raw Experience in Vienna, Austria
Updated: Mar 27
I wanted to share my raw experience of visiting Vienna, Austria as a solo female (and Jewish) traveler.
Here is my journal entry copy and pasted from after my first full day exploring the city:
DIARY POST: Vienna Day 1
Wow. I’m in love. I don’t know if it was something specific, or a combination of things… But really, wow.
I’ve caught myself laughing out loud to myself and even just smiling while walking along.
Despite it being colder than anything I think I’ve ever experienced, I’m loving the crisp cold air. My cheeks are flushed, my nose is rosy and a cloud of warm air escapes my lips with every breath.
I have to say here - I am so happy I purchased wool socks, a sub-zero undershirt and a thermal jacket. Oh, and gloves! And a warm headband for my ears! Basically, I am really happy I went through the effort of getting my shit together! I think it’s easy for Israelis to misinterpret what a “cold winter day” really looks and feels like.
I started the morning with what I thought was going to be a very intense sightseeing itinerary. I had 9 items on my list and doubted if I would be able to tackle them all. But similar to most major cities in Europe, I ended up getting them all and more! Apparently they are all closer than what it seemed on Google Maps!
I’m ashamed to say that until I landed in Austria, I didn’t realize their official language is German (I thought maybe there was some Austrian language or something 🤦♀️). BUT, this meant I get to live out my Dwight K Schrute dream and find every opportunity possible to say “kutentag” 😂
Before coming to Austria, I was warned that they aren’t so nice to tourists and it’s even apart of their culture to be “grumpy” but honestly, that couldn’t be farther from the truth for me! Everyone was so ridiculously kind and social. I had full on conversations with almost every person I came across and they were all so great. Literally I’m smiling now just thinking about it, it makes you feel so warm inside when people are kind and it definitely contributes to my love for being here.
On this note, I think it’s crazy how not that long ago, Jews were forced to wear a Star of David while walking through these same streets and were later targeted, attacked and killed during the holocaust. And now, with it being COVID days and needing to show ID in every indoor location, I’m “exposing” that this light skinned, light haired and light eyed girl is Israeli, and therefore Jewish. No one has been rude to me after seeing this, like I said everyone has been incredibly kind… But that’s besides the point. I’m just so pumped that I can walk around freely, flashing my Israeli passport with pride, and I am safe. Respected.
Okay, back to my day seeing the city… 😊
Up until the day before my flight to Austria, I planned on doing a trip that was full of diving deep into the best that the Austrian nature has to offer… That is until I realized they are all closed off for the winter 🤦♀️. Which is probably why I basically have had all of Vienna to myself! Literally every location I went to was empty of tourists and left me to enjoy, soak in the scenery, and capture some shots without anyone getting in them. Really, a dream. Not to mention the cloudy overcast weather that made it perfect for photography all day long! Lesson to learn, sometimes traveling in the off-seasons has its privileges 😉
One thing I noticed pretty immediately after arriving is that there is an overwhelmingly amount of options for vegans. At Starbucks all of the ads on the board behind them is for vegan options, and they also offer vegan sandwiches and desserts (the vegan sandwich was the best vegan sandwich I have ever eaten). The grocery store has expansive shelfs of vegan food, whether snacks, ready-to-eat food, or fridge items. Next, at the drugstore I found vegan skincare, vegan tampons, I EVEN FOUND VEGAN CONDOMS (?!?). I don’t know if these things are not vegan normally, but these products shout it from the rooftops! Anyways, I am very curious as to what the vegan hype here is. It’s awesome and I am realizing now the lack of these options in Tel Aviv.
After the drugstore, I stepped into a marijuana store, because you have to, right? The girl working was exactly as you would assume would be working there. She was so chilled and laid back and extremely funny. I found a gift that she “swears by” and even got convinced to purchase marijuana gummies. I don’t know what I was thinking 😂 I’ve never taken edibles and I don’t plan on it. I also don’t know how I’ll bring it back into Israel but hey, it’s all for the experience 😉
Lastly, I want to make a short comment on how much fun it’s been traveling solo. I can take as long or as short a time as I want in each place. I can randomly stop to change my lens for a shot. I can wait 10 minutes for a train to pull past again so I can take a picture. I am queen!
Anyways, after a full day of walking around the city and taking pictures, I’m now back in a Starbucks booking my hostel for tomorrow in Salzburg. I think I’m going to order a full body massage the day I get back to Tel Aviv. My equipment is freaking heavy.
I’ll post in a separate blog update all of the places I visited in Vienna in one day.