Coffee fiends the world over all think they know best when it comes to the perfect roast, but no arabica experts can claim to be a true connoisseur until they have sampled coffee at an authentic Viennese Kaffeehaus. Being one of the most iconic cities in Europe, Vienna is a must-stop on any Danube River cruise and with almost a whole day to play with, you will have more than enough time to stop for a coffee or three (yes, it’s that good).
To save you a little time, we’ve put together a list of some of the best places in the city.
Opened in 1876, this famous Austrian cafe is much more than just a coffee house; it’s an institution. Once upon a time, the grand, vault-ceilinged Cafe Central was a meeting place for some of the greatest minds in Europe with the likes of Sigmund Freud, Leo Trotzky and Peter Altenberg regularly among its clientele. Today, the cafe stands as an exquisite place to sample the city’s coffee and delicious pastries. Awarded TripAdvisor’s 2014 Certificate of Excellence, the cafe is a must for those who love history, coffee, literature and the arts in equal measure. Address: Herrengasse/Strauchgasse, 1010 Wien
Another classic place for coffee where artists old and new have long convened to discuss the merits of their work, Cafe Hawelka has a dimly-lit charm all its own. Art and coffee are the two main themes here, which come together perfectly to create a unique history and a one-of-a-kind atmosphere. Hawelka has played a massive part in Vienna’s art scene, earning it the title of one of the city’s most famous cafes. Located very centrally, it’s the ideal place for a coffee stop off and after 10pm it really starts to liven up as artists from all generations come to mix. Address: Dorotheergasse 6, 1010 Wien
Soon after the death of Mozart, this cafe was set up in the square behind the Vienna Opera House in tribute to the great composer. Like the man’s music, the cafe is elegant and refined, while there is also the option for both indoor and outdoor dining and drinking. Although Mozart was born in Salzburg, he spent much of his time in Vienna where he composed a great number of his classic operas. He eventually died in the city, and has since remained one of its most famous adopted sons. A trip here is not just a quality coffee experience, but a glimpse into yet another fascinating chapter of Vienna’s incredibly rich history. Address: 1010, Albertinaplatz 2
Although Cafe Pelikan does not boast the same deep histories as the cafes above, its status as a traditional Viennese coffee house makes it worthy of a visit. Serving plenty of authentic Viennese food, the Pelikan is an excellent stop off for lunch as well as a caffeine hit. Perhaps the best part about the Pelikan is its proximity to the Danube, making it easy to go for a scenic stroll straight after your drink. Address: Franz-Josefs-Kai 57, 1010 Wien
Another open and elegant coffee house that’s been a mainstay in Vienna for over 100 years, Cafe Schwarzenberg has its fair share of Austrian coffee specialities on offer. The first cafe on the Ringstrasse - one of Vienna’s most splendid boulevards - also excels in terms of food, so don’t be afraid to try something delicious - we recommend the grilled prawns. As well as food and drink, the cafe also hosts regular events such as readings and concerts, so be sure to check in on the website during your visit - you might catch something excellent. Address: Kärntner Ring 17, 1010 Wien
With so many top river cruise lines offering Danube river itineraries, there are plenty of unmissable opportunities to visit these coffee houses. Check out AmaWaterways, Emerald Waterways, Riviera Travel, Saga River Cruises and more, or view our Danube River Cruises and try some of the best coffee in Vienna.