Discover More, Vienna by Marion Vicenta Payr

We sent Marion out with a DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Vienna to get her perspective on what it means to use a travel guide in her local area.

I selected a variety of photos that showcase the traditional and modern sides of Vienna. I wanted to highlight that Vienna has a rich history, but also a contemporary side complete with modern restaurants and interesting street art. I also wanted to highlight the area’s architecture and natural beauty.

Name:Marion Vicenta Payr

Can you sum up Vienna? Vienna is indeed the heart of Europe. It’s a mix of history and modernism, and an eclectic melting pot of different cultures and personalities. But it’s also a city full of charm and nature. It has a soothing vibe to it. That’s probably why it’s constantly recognized for its high quality of life. It’s a city where you stay centered and aware.

Can you sum up the people of Vienna? Vienna’s people are probably not the friendliest or most open-minded in Europe, but they have a charming nature. You might need a little time to get Viennese people to warm up to you but once you get to know them, you’ll discover they’re very kind and welcoming.

What was the experience like looking through a travel guide for your own local area? Absolutely new. I had never read a guidebook for Vienna, so it was interesting to see which areas were selected and which sights were highlighted. Of course it’s hard to sum up a city between the covers of a book, but the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide really captured the beauty and history of Vienna. I enjoyed reading historic facts and background information about areas and buildings I had visited, but never really taken the time to explore. I really felt like a tourist as I was deciding which areas to explore and which sights to check out.

How did the guidebook influence the photos you took of Vienna? The guide inspired me to do a photo story about the contrasts of old and new in Vienna. The book focuses a lot on the historic sights of Vienna and I wanted to emphasize that Vienna also has a modern and artistic side that’s inspired by its former imperial glory.

Occupation: Mobile photographer, traveler, marketing specialist.

Describe a perfect day in Vienna: In Vienna you start your day with a Viennese coffee and a semmel (roll) with homemade jam. As Vienna is a very walk-able city, strolling around the quiet streets and parks (Augarten is my favorite) is a relaxing way to kick off the day. For anyone fancying a little more to eat for breakfast, go to Die Au at Augarten and enjoy the brunch on the weekends. They serve the best bread you’ve ever had in your life. After that I’d recommend a visit to some of our contemporary art galleries and museums. For lunch, check out my favorite vegetarian restaurant in Vienna called Tian. In the afternoon I would suggest renting a Citybike to explore the Donaukanal neighborhood. After a dinner at Motto, you should check out a club like the Pratersauna.

What do you love about Vienna? I love Vienna on Sundays. The shops are closed, people aren’t working, and the streets are very calm. This is the perfect time to enjoy how a city with almost two million inhabitants can suddenly feel like a small town again.

What do you dislike? Subway trains that don’t have air conditioning in the summer.

What would be surprising about Vienna to a visitor? How cheap living in Vienna is, especially considering the high standard of living.

If Vienna was a person or character who would it be? Karl Lagerfeld. A little old fashioned on the outside, but with a lot of ideas on the inside. He’s glamorous, direct and not always a sweetheart.

What was your impression of the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide? The book is very comprehensive and shows a great amount of detail. I especially loved the beautiful drawings of parks and other monuments in the book. You can really grasp the rich beauty of Vienna when browsing the guidebook.

We have teamed up with our friends at DK Eyewitness Travel to bring you a VERY exciting giveaway. 20 DK Eyewitness Travel Guides and 2 big Global Yodel prints are up for grabs! Who wants them? Jump over HERE to win! 



Name:Marion Vicenta Payr

Best place to eat in Vienna?

Tian for vegetarians. Tel Aviv Beach for cool Israeli cuisine. Restaurant Schnattl for authentic Austrian cuisine. And Veganista for amazing vegan ice cream that even non-vegans will adore.

Best place to drink?

Le Loft for an amazing view over the rooftops of Vienna, or the rooftop terrace of Hotel Lamée. Then there’s Café Leopold for the hipster in all of us.

Best place to shop?

Sneak In for sneakers, Comerc for fashion, and Inoperable Gallery for street art.

Best outdoor activity?

For adrenaline junkies: bungee jumping off the Donauturm, the highest building in Vienna. For the rest of us: cycling through the city. Vienna has amazing bike paths and not too much traffic.

Local tip?

There’s a former bread factory that has been transformed into a gallery called the Ankerbrotfabrik. On the old grain silo there are huge works of art by street artists such as Shepard Fairey and Faith47.

If someone was visiting what must they do?

Explore the vast gardens of Schönbrunn. Go in the evening before the garden closes to see the sunset.