Some of the world’s most renown coffee houses are steeped in history.
While, the very first coffee houses didn’t originate in Vienna, the beautiful capital city of Austria is arguably the birthplace of the most famous coffee houses on earth.
The first coffee house opened in Vienna in 1683. With it came many of the characteristics that we still associated with coffee house culture, from a place to sit and reflect to the meeting places where artistic minds sparked creativity in one another. These coffee houses are now one of Vienna’s most treasured legacies.
There is something undeniably romantic about the Viennese coffee houses and their history. Some are ornately decorated with high vaulted ceilings, while others ae quaint little corners of privacy. Some are filled the beautiful music of local pianists, while others are steeped in a sense of quiet reflection.
The one thing that each of the Vienna coffee houses have in common is that they each have a story to tell, and we bet that if the walls could talk, we would hear tales of love, sorrow and the intimate thoughts of some of the most creative minds that we have ever known.
Have you been thinking about whisking your love away for a romantic vacation? We want to suggest that you forgo the typical romantic venues and head to Vienna instead. A tour of the famous coffee houses will inspire romance and an appreciation for the rich history, which in many cases is over 300 years old.
Once in Vienna, where should your romantic coffee house adventures start? We have picked out 6 of our favorites to inspire you.
1. Café Schwarzenberg
Café Schwarzenberg is one of the last standing, of what was once over 30, Ringstrasse cafés. While the Café Schwarzenberg doesn’t lay claim to famous visitors or artistic minds that graced its tables in years past, it is one of the most cherished in the city because of its old-world charm.
In 1978, when the owners of the café were planning on selling the property to an auto dealership, the mayor at the time swooped in and saved it from its impending doom. While at the time, Café Schwarzenberg underwent renovations that modernized it, there are still many of the original architectural elements that remain throughout the café. Spend a leisurely afternoon admiring the historical details and the beauty that almost became a parking lot.
2. Café Central
Café Central is one of the most legendary cafes in Vienna, located in the central part of the city. Since its opening in 1876, Café Central’s grand décor has served as the backdrop to conversations, gatherings and quiet reflective thought of some of the most creative and revolutionary minds of our times.
Sigmund Freud, Leo Trotsky and Peter Altenberg are just a few of the names that considered Café Central to be their home away from home. Of all the coffee houses in Vienna, Café Central is arguably one of the most beautiful, and a must see for any romantic Vienna getaway.
3. Café Mozart
Although it has gone by different names, Café Mozart has been in existence since 1794. Through the centuries it has remained a quiet meeting place for artists, writers and business people alike. There is something soothingly comfortable and welcoming about Café Mozart. Maybe it is the idea that years of history, creation and innovation have started in the seats of this café.
Today the café is looked upon as a pillar of Viennese culture and a fine example the traditional coffee house experience.
4. Café Museum
It only makes sense that a coffee house called Café Museum would be the meeting place of famous artistic minds. Guests such as Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Karl Kraus and Otto Wagner are just a few of the famous names that spent many hours in Café Museum.
When you step into Café Museum, what you will see is a renovation of the past. During the 20th century when the Café Museum was bustling with coffee and creative energy, the atmosphere was warm and cozy with iconic faux red leather upholstery. Later, renovations included a simpler, more pure and minimalist look that left patrons cold. It wasn’t until 2010 when the Querfeld family stepped in and restored much of the cozy charm that the Café Museum once again became a popular meeting spot.
A stop at this coffee house is essential for artists, lovers and anyone who appreciates how the beauty and charm of the famous café has been restored and revived over the years.
5. Café Bellaria
This beautiful café, steeped in the history and tradition of Viennese coffee house is located close to
Kunsthistorisches Museum and the MuseumsQuartier. This is the perfect spot along your coffee house tour after you have spent the afternoon in the local museums. If you are lucky, you might find yourself there at the exact same time that a local pianist fills the room with romantic mood music.
The atmosphere is laid back, and the desserts are irresistible. Plan on spending a leisurely afternoon here, lingering over lunch and sipping on Viennese coffee, with your special someone.
6. Café Hawelka
We round out or list with a love story. Café Hawelka is the child born of lovebirds Leopold and Josefine. The two fell in love, married and the next day opened their first coffee house, which would later become the Hawelka. It was in this café where Josefine made famous her Buchteln, yeast rolls filled with jam, which has become the signature evening scent of the café, even though it is no longer the late Josefine that bakes them. Leopold, who lived to the age of 100, sat in the entrance of the Café Hawelka and personally greeted his guest almost every day for 70 years.
Today, the passion of Leopold and Josefine can still be felt in the Café Hawelka. The café is considered a meeting place for artists and lovers alike.
If there is one place on earth where love meets coffee, it is Vienna. Our list only begins to touch the magic of the Viennese coffee house. The city is rich in beauty and coffee culture, and there is so much to experience. Are you planning a trip to Vienna, or maybe just dreaming about one?
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