Do you remember your first dream destination?
Before I started travelling regularly, I had this mental image of a charming European city where every single little thing is too photogenic for words—a city refined with elegance, history, arts and culture.
Like everybody else, I imagined it to be Paris. But it took me really long until I realize what I was really looking for is Vienna.
When will you realize… Vienna waits for you
Around this time last year, I resigned from my first job—a job I can proudly say I have built a solid career on for 3.5 years. But we had very different directions moving forward, and so we parted amicably. Soon, I embarked on a mini-sabbatical to Europe with the wise words from Billy Joel ringing in my ears.
Vienna represents that very special chapter of my life where, for the first time, I stopped chasing society’s expectation and chose passion. Vienna taught me that it’s okay to slow down, that I can choose to get what I want or just get old.
Vienna taught me that the rest of our lives are ahead of us and it won’t be going anywhere… so we better enjoy the journey and live the moment.
Indeed, where most European capitals are full of people rushing, everything is much more relaxed in Vienna.
Sure, being an open-air museum and not to mention plenty of performances shown daily in this city, there are plenty to see and do here. But Vienna works just as fine when I’m just strolling leisurely with nowhere in mind, just breathing in the air and being in the moment.
And Vienna, like life itself, is beautiful. We just forgot to pause to fully appreciate it sometimes.
1. Uniqueness: 15/20 — On first look, Vienna might not exactly break away from the classic European mold. But look beyond the obvious and you’ll find a vibrant city bursting with culture.
2. Aesthetic: 18/20 — The many baroque architectures and well-manicured gardens which decorate the city are absolute chef-d’œuvre.
3. Integrity: 13/15 — As popular as the city has become in the 21st century, Viennese has so much heritage to be proud of and has done an incredible job at preserving what made their city so popular in the first place.
4. Significance: 11/15 — This is where classical music as we know it today is born, after all. Operas, theaters and fine arts have also had a long history with Vienna.
5. Shelf Life: 15/15 — Vienna has my vote as the European capital to retire in—it just has that special charm where you can just sit down doing nothing and still love it.
6. Access: 15/15 — Well-connected to the world’s major cities and consistently ranked near the top of world’s most livable cities indices. It may have a reputation of being an expensive city, but you’ll be surprised to learn that you can easily do Vienna on a budget too!
Destination Score: 87/100
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