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Vienna: A Cultural and Architectural Jewel

When thinking of Vienna, those familiar with Austrian culture often imagine the iconic horse-drawn carriages reminiscent of medieval Europe and a plethora of legendary composers hailing from this beautiful city, such as Mozart, Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Johann Strauss, and Josef Haydn.

Vienna’s rich cultural, architectural, and classical music heritage make it a treasured gem of Europe and a global heritage worth preserving.

A Beloved Capital

Unlike many other capitals, Vienna is adored by both tourists and locals. In many countries, locals often have mixed feelings about their capital cities due to rapid urbanization, globalization, and diluted cultural identity. The Dutch may not be fond of Amsterdam, Italians often have complaints about Rome, and the French frequently criticize Paris. Similarly, I have often felt frustrated by the crowded streets of Hanoi. Contrary to this trend, most Austrians I met during my visit spoke of Vienna with genuine affection and admiration, viewing it as a treasured place to live and visit.

A Harmonious City

To me, on my first visit, Vienna felt especially modest, welcoming, and harmoniously balanced.


Vienna enjoys a temperate Central European climate, with warm midday temperatures and cool mornings and nights, never as harsh as the nights in the Czech Republic or Germany.


The city’s atmosphere is orderly and clear, reflecting German cultural influences (since Austrians speak German, albeit with a different dialect). Yet, it is more modest, bright, and scholarly like Stockholm, Sweden, and possesses the vintage charm of Prague. Above all, Vienna embodies a unique Austrian quality: intellectual, open-minded, and profoundly considerate. This might be why Austria is also the homeland of renowned psychologists like Sigmund Freud and Viktor Frankl.


Vienna’s city center is a beautifully balanced mosaic of medieval architecture, baroque castles, modern buildings, brightly lit shops, and elegant bars.

Memorable Moments in Vienna

Vienna has gifted us with countless fleeting yet unforgettable moments:

Strolling the Streets

We wandered along grand boulevards and historic sidewalks, from classic squares echoing with horse hooves to quiet, cobbled alleys. We stopped at an old bookstore café named 777, enjoyed robust espressos with chewy bread, met the silver-haired owner who loved to travel in his mind, and bought a philosophy book as a keepsake.

A Rainy Friday Night

On a rainy Friday night, Vienna remained lively with the World Cup match between Belgium and Brazil. We ducked into Cuban Drinks pub and quickly befriended Mamun, the cheerful bartender, because all three of us supported Belgium. We spent the evening watching the game, cheering for Belgium, drinking beers, eating Chinese noodles, and chatting with Mamun, who had lived in Vienna for many years. For him, Vienna was an “open city for everyone.” That night, Mamun mixed various cocktails and treated us to free drinks until we were too tired to drink anymore.

Living in the Suburbs of Vienna

Perhaps the most memorable part of our trip was staying in a local house in Wolkersdorf, a suburb of Vienna.

A Warm Welcome

Our hosts, Louis and Franz, whom we found on Airbnb, welcomed us warmly into their charming wooden house. Despite getting lost and making Franz wait for us at the station, he kindly picked us up and brought us to their cozy home. Louis gave us a tour of the beautifully designed yet simple and nature-integrated house. She had prepared our room thoughtfully, with a comfortable bed, a small gift of chocolate, a bookshelf filled with Friends and Harry Potter DVDs, and a soft, relaxing sofa.

Exploring Local Delights

One evening, Franz took us to a local restaurant with fantastic food, where we enjoyed dishes like matjesfillet and roast pork, paired with wine and fresh beer. The friendly service and beautifully presented meals made the experience unforgettable.

The Austrian Hospitality

Many Austrian people we encountered during our trip seemed to exude a modest intellect and thoughtful behavior. Waking up in Louis and Franz’s sunny, breezy garden house, listening to classical music, and playing on the trampoline in the serene, lush garden were joyful and peaceful memories for both of us during our stay there.

Daily Adventures

We explored the quiet, sunny, and sometimes rainy streets of the suburbs, stopping at a nearby supermarket for brunch sandwiches and a roadside pizzeria for lunch. We often visited a small café run by a friendly owner who had visited Vietnam 15 years ago and loved it so much.

A Brief Yet Impactful Stay

Austria revealed itself to us in simple yet memorable ways during our brief visit: a garden house with locals, a few encounters, horse-drawn carriages, a cinematic view of Vienna at dusk, a café, narrow cobbled streets…

Vienna’s Lasting Impression

Every scene, street, and face we encountered in Vienna has become a lasting memory, explaining why I believe Vienna and its people radiate humility, intellect, and profound thoughtfulness in every small gesture.

Vienna, July 2018


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