Melbourne Travel Guide – Things to Do, See & Eat

My first destination in Australia now got my new favourite city in the world. Being overwhelmed at first and feeling uncomfortable, I fell in love more and more day by day and now I am already excited to go back.

Besides the wonderful cafés, pubs, shops and sights obviously the people I met there are a huge reason for my Melbourne love as well.

In this travel guide, I tell you all my beloved places to go to, things to see and facts to know that I discovered in 2 ½ weeks in the city and I will hopefully be adding more experiences and favourites when I go back soon.

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Blog posts from Melbourne

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Things to know

When you arrive at the Melbourne Tullamarine airport you can take the Skybus to the city for 19$

Melbourne has a Free Tram Zone in the CBD area which means that you don’t need to pay when travelling in this zone or when you use the Free Tram Route 35 that goes around the CBD. This makes exploring the city 100 times easier, quicker and cheaper and it was so practical to not worry about your ticket.

 

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I only paid for going to St. Kilda and Brighton Beach (both 20-30 minutes away from the centre) and otherwise I used the free tram and walked the rest.

Melbourne has a free Wifi in the whole CBD area which was great to use google maps, check out places and it also worked in my hostel (as most hostel Wifi’s are shit :D )

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I never ever thought that Melbourne is so cold! I’ve been there in the End of September / Beginning of October and even though it was 18-24 degrees at that time, I always wore all my warm clothes because the wind is freezing. When you are in the sun and protected from the wind it is nice but in the shades and windy streets, it feels like winter.

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The vibe of the city reminds me of a mix between London, Seattle and New York (even though I haven’t been to NY). I can’t really describe why, but the people, their style, the shops and restaurants have this urban hipster vibe (in a very good way!) – especially Fitzroy.

There are a lot of awesome Vintage Shops in Melbourne. This is another reason why I really want to go back – so I can shop the perfect Vintage Levi’s Mom Jeans and Shorts as well as Dr. Martens, cool Hoodies, band t-shirts and awesome jackets…

Fitzroy is the coolest, hippest, nicest area in Melbourne and especially the Brunswick street is awesome! Nice shops, cafés, restaurants, pubs and vintage shops.

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Apparently, Melbourne has the best coffee in the world! I don’t know if that is really the case, but at least they have the most coffee shops in the world (per person), but not the big chains – Melbourners love their individual, cute coffee places and you find them at every corner.

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Where to Stay

Of course, I can’t tell you which place is the best to stay in Melbourne as I haven’t tried them all.

In the beginning, I’ve stayed in the CBD area the Nomads All Nations hostel that was cheap, but not very clean and nice. The vibe and the kitchen weren’t that great and considering that it wasn’t even a good price (24$ for a 12-bed-dorm). They offer free pancakes for breakfast as well as tea, coffee, pasta and rice which is great!

Afterwards, I moved into The Nunnery in Fitzroy. I really recommend this area and also this hostel, but it is also pretty expensive (35$ for 12-bed-dorm). The vibe there is super chilled, it isn’t that big and it’s easy to meet people. Everything is clean and they offer free breakfast, tea, coffee and pasta as well as specials like a pub crowl, soup, BBQ or movie night every week.

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What to do

For me, the most important thing when visiting a city, is walking through its streets and soaking up its vibes. Not the sights but the streets, buildings and people give it its charm.

You will see a lot of Asian people, shops, supermarkets and restaurants, many barbers & hairdressers, coffeeshops, chocolateries & bisquiteries.

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Streets I recommend to check out are: Brunswick Street in Fitzroy (vintage shops, cute cafés, restaurants & pubs, many vegan places), Lygon Street in Calton (many European and especially Italian restaurants), Fliders St, Bourke St, Swanson St, Elisabeth St, Collin St (in the CBD) and Little Bourke St (Chinatown).

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At Federation Square a lot of open-air (Veranstaltungen) take place. You also find an aboriginal museum and ACMI Museum (modern, technology) there. The immigration museum is another recommended one on Federation St.

The Eureka Tower is the highest building in Melbourne and you can enjoy an awesome view from above over the city. Sadly I didn’t do it, but it is on the top of my things to do next time for sure!

 

The Queen Victoria Market is one of my favourite places in Melbourne. They don’t just sell fresh fruits & veggies for a great price (and offer so many different options), but also the best hummus I ever had and yummy bread, sweets and take-away dishes. There is also a part that sells shoes, clothes, souvenirs and everything else you could think of.

Another market in Melbourne is the South Melbourne Market that is meant to be great as well.

 

South of the Yarra River, you can find the Royal Botanical Garden (that I only saw a small part of and want to go back to!)…

…as well as the National Art Gallery that had a Moma exhibition from New York at the moment and the Arts Centre Melbourne where I really wanted to see the Australian Ballet dancing Spartacus, but the tickets where too expensive sadly.

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St. Pauls Cathedral, State Library Victoria, City Square and Melbourne Town Hall are worth a look as well.

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Walk101 do a Free Walking Tour in the centre of the city as well as in St. Kilda. Originally I wanted to do both, but I only made it to the centre tour which was a lot of fun and I highly recommend it.

You go to the meeting point, join the tour, meet a lot of other travellers, learn a lot about the city and history as well as some insider tips from the tour guide and in the end you pay as much as you can / want to.

The laneways in Melbourne are very famous with their street art. You just need to walk through some smaller streets and you will find amazing artworks. At ACDC lane and Flinders Lane (and the areas around), you will find the most famous pieces and walls. But also the streets of Fitzroy are great to see some pretty street art. The cool thing is, that they change daily/weekly because artists make new sprays all the time.

Furthermore, Arcades are very popular in Melbourne and I recommend to walk through the beautiful Royale Arcade and Block Arcade for it’s amazing architecture and the  Centreway Arcade to find cute book, vintage and soap shops.

To get a little bit outside the big city vibes I highly recommend to go to St. Kilda for one day. Especially when the weather is nice. The pier is only 25 minutes by tram away from the centre and you will find some vacation and beach vibes there. It’s great to stroll through the pedestrian zone and the not so busy streets, enjoy the peace in the Botanical Gardens or sit at the beach.

Behind the famous amusement park, I found a real oasis: VegOut an urban garden community that allows you to walk through the patches and forget that you are in a huge city.

Another great getaway that is even more quiet and peaceful is Brighton. A suburb of Melbourne about 25 minutes by train away from the city centre. The famous Brighton Bath Boxes are located there and you can enjoy some sunny time at the beach.

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Where to eat

Melbourne and especially Fitzroy is full of amazing (vegan) food places. Literally, every pub offers vegetarian and even vegan dishes but you can also find hundreds of beautiful, hipster, chic cafés that all have avocado toast, granola and even acai on their menu. Many coffee shops sell raw slices and vegan cookies as well as delicious looking banana bread or carrot cake.

It would already be worth coming back to Melbourne just to try out more food places, as I obviously couldn’t (or wouldn’t want) to afford eating out every day for every meal – but I really wished to!

 

Degraves Street

Degraves St is a pedestrian street where cafés, coffee shops and bakeries as well as restaurants and bistros are side by side and everyone can for sure find something to satisfy their taste buds.

I’ve been to Mock Turtle on Degraves St and…

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…here I ate the best Avocado Toast of my life. I can not really imagine someone being able to top it. Sadly it wasn’t vegan and I forgot to ask for a vegan option, but it was amazing and so worth it… I mean look at the variety of toppings and the bread was just delicious (which isn’t always the case if you are used to the great German bread :P ) and the Avo smash perfectly ripe and creamy. The price was pretty high but I would still always come back!

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Slow Poke

Another great breakfast place that is located on Brunswick St. A super quiet café that has a small courtyard where you can sit peacefully and enjoy the sunshine. Their orange juice is fresh pressed and they have some amazing looking baked sweets. They also have a yummy lunch menu.

I ate buckwheat chocolate granola with coconut yogurt and cacao nibs, almond milk and canned peas which was amazing. The Avo Toast looked good, but by far not reach the one from Mock Turtle.

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I fell in love with the philosophy of this place and I am so lucky that they have one local in Sydney (and about 5 in Melbourne, even in St. Kilda). This place is run by volunteers and they offer a completely vegan buffet for lunch and four dishes to choose from every day for dinner, as well as a dessert. At the end you pay the amount you think the food was worth it – and I tell you, the food is amazing!

We tried all the dishes they had that evening and everything was super delicious and I am really sad that I only went there once in Melbourne. I’ll definitely go there lots in Sydney!

Lord of the Fries

If you crave some unhealthy food, go to Lord of the Fries! A completely vegan fast food burger chain that make amazing burgers and delicious fries. They don’t advertise to be completely vegan, to attract everyone and to amaze them with the vegan deliciousness. And it’s also fairly cheap!

I ate a “Fish-burger” and sweet potato fries with vegan aioli and tried the normal fries and the classic burger from a friend and everything was yummy. But I still wouldn’t want to go there every second day, because you can really taste that it’s not healthy at all :D

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Madam Saigon

… is a better option when you want something healthy and cheap. This bistro makes great Asian dishes and they have vegan options on their menu. I tried the vegan noodle salad bowl with tofu and it was delicious, fresh, healthy and great for lunch while only costing 11$ (7€).

Zero Gradi Gelateria

A friend who has been living in Melbourne for a while crowned this place to the best Gelataria in town and they have vegan flavours too (and not only fruit sorbets). I combined vegan chocolate and coconut and it tasted amazing – creamy, chocolat-y and not too sweet.

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More great (vegan/healthy) places that I sadly could not try this time:

  • Fina’s Vegetarian Café
  • Pina Chocolate Café
  • Veggie time
  • Smith & Daughter
  • Veggie bar
  • Nice Guy
  • Particle
  • Urban Projuice
  • Yong Green Food
  • Vegilicious
  • Radhey Chai Bar
  • Tahina Bar
  • Mantra Lounge
  • Rue de Creperie
  • Loving hut Richmond

And you will find a lot more by just walking through the streets (especially Brunswick St)!

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What’s in my Backpack for One Year of Work & Travel in Australia

For about 10 months I’ve been preparing my work & travel journey. Reading books, blogs and talking to people. I scrolled through hundreds of articles about what to pack as a minimalistic backpacker, female backpacker, Australian backpacker or on a long-term journey…

I tried to filter what I think I will really need and use and gave my best on packing very minimal. My backpack contains 60l and weights 10kg (which is pretty good for my first time backpacking and without any experiences). In addition to that, I have a small 12l daypack that carries some extra stuff.

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Backpack

I bought this backpack because it was cheap in comparison to the brand backpacks and the quality felt good. It also has a back support that I could easily remove so it’s a lot lighter like that. It has many straps to adjust (too many in my opinion, but I could cut them off if I want to).

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For my daypack, I chose a small and unspectacular one because I am not carrying a lot on an everyday basis and I don’t like too many pockets and straps because they annoy me.

The size is good to carry my camera, water bottle, snacks, papers and wallet like I do every day, but for the plane (where I needed my laptop, pillow, kindle, food, water bottle, papers and more) it was too small and I had to take an extra bag with me on the plane. I also always carry one with me for when I go food shopping.

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Clothes

Luckily, I can replace some things in my backpack when my cousin or my parents visit me. For now, I have some more warm clothes like two hoodies, longsleeves and an extra pair of shoes that I’ll get rid of when it’s summer. Right now, it’s only around 16 degrees Celsius in Melbourne so I’ll be good with an extra layer of clothes.

With all my clothes I tried to stay in the dark colour palette (or it’s stuff that I don’t care too much about) so that I only need to wash one machine every week and not separate into light and dark laundry. I’ve heard that white and light clothes get yellow/grey so fast while travelling and they also get dirty so much more easily, that’s why everybody suggests to leave them home.

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The only ‘unpractical’ t-shirt I brought is my self-made tidy t-shirt, that I have to wash with my hands. But I love it so much so it’s worth it and one t-shirt is washed quickly in the sink.

  • 2 long sleeve shirts
  • 3 t-shirts
  • 4 tops

I don’t have specific workout clothes or pyjamas with me because I feel like being okay with my regular clothes. I’ll just wear one of my comfy shorts for sleeping/working out and a t-shirt and that’ll be fine.

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  • 2 comfy shorts
  • 1 jeans shorts
  • 1 pair of long pants/jeans (very stretchy & comfortable)
  • 1 pair of flowy pants (sun protection on hot days)
  • 1 pair of long leggings (I wore them on the flight)

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Through reading all the blog posts I learned that you should never pack something that you are not sure about or that you can only wear on specific occasions. That’s why I tried to pack clothes that are practical and functional for every day (hopefully!)

  • 1 thin blouse (great sun protection)
  • 1 t-shirt dress (that I can always quickly throw over and be good to go)
  • 1 pretty dress (short, comfy and suitable for every day or special occasions)

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It was really hard to decide how much underwear I am going to take. Some people suggest to only take 5 and wash more often, others had 10 pairs with them so they don’t need to wash that often.

I decided to take 8 pairs so that I can wash around once a week and always have one pair as an extra.

  • 8 pairs of underwear
  • 2 bralettes (because I don’t wear bras)
  • 1 sports bra
  • 2 bikinis
  • 6 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair of elastic stockings

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Organizing

I bought some drybags to organize my clothes and keep them together and I highly suggest that if you travel with a backpack otherwise, you won’t find anything.

I also got a belt bag and 2 more bags with me and I would even suggest taking 3 because I use them a lot. I got one for shoes and the other for food shopping and storage (because at the hostel you store your food in the kitchen area / in the fridge and you need to pack it in a bag).

  • 1 drybag 6l (for underwear, socks, bikinis)
  • 2 drybags 12l (one for bottoms & dresses, other for t-shirts & tops)
  • Deuter belt bag
  • 2 eco-bags

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Shoes

I’m probably not going to carry 4 pairs of shoes with me for my whole year. I plan to get rid of my converse when the weather is warmer and I am wearing sandals a lot, but until then 1/3 of my backpack is shoes…

  • Running shoes (that I can wear for hiking and long walks in cities)
  • Converse
  • Sandals (I know, not the sexiest kinds of shoes but they are super comfy and I already got used to them)
  • Flip flops

It’s hard to tell what you will need at the end of the day because you never know where you’ll end up and what you’ll do, but I still only packed clothes that I knew I will wear a lot. If I will miss something I’ll just tell my parents to bring it or buy it here. That’s so much better than taking way too much stuff with you and carrying it around without wearing it and I already got used to wearing the same stuff almost every day.

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Toiletries

I got a toiletry bag that you can hang which is super practical for hostels where it can be wet or gross sometimes. My towels are super thin, quickly drying micro phaser towels and I got a small one ( 30 x 50 cm) and a big one ( 75 x 150 cm ).

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For shampoo, shower gel and face wash I decided to skip big plastic bottles that are heavy and used up quickly and bought solid soap bars instead. I find it super practical on one hand and it’s also so much eco-friendlier and better for skin and hair because it is all natural.

My face wash is by The Body Shop and I use the “Duschbrocken” from a small German start-up brand that is shampoo and body soap in one. I already used it three times and I love it – the smell is amazing (I got “Frieda Früchtchen”), it feels super moisturizing to my skin and hair because it contains a lot of natural oils and I can’t even tell that I used it at all because you only need so little product. My hair feels really great using it and it doesn’t gets greasy more quickly than usually.

I decided to only take a come with me and so far it’s been alright. If I miss it too much, I’ll just buy one.

For shaver, period hygiene products, deodorant and body lotion I also went for the eco-friendly version because it lasts so much longer and is more practical in many ways. I’ll talk about that in another blog post about eco-friendly & minimalistic beauty products for travelling soon!

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  • Duschbrocken (shampoo & body wash) (*PR-Sample)
  • Face soap
  • Shaver (plastic free!)
  • Shea butter as body butter (in the Body Shop container)
  • Toothbrush (plastic free!) (*PR-Sample)
  • Toothpaste
  • Wolkenseifen Deo crème
  • Coconut oil (in a little container)
  • Lavera face moisturizer
  • Come
  • Hair ties
  • Menstrual Cup
  • Nail scissors and nail file
  • Eye Brow Pen (only “makeup” I take with me)
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand cream

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Medicine

I only took a few things with me because you don’t have to be prepared for everything. In case you really get sick you can buy whatever you need. Also, I would suggest to not take a whole package with you – it’s just not necessary.

  • Nurofen painkillers
  • antidiarrhoea medicine
  • Eye drops
  • sore throat tablets
  • plaster

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Food

You aren’t allowed to take most food to Australia, but packed food is alright.

  • Many oat and dried fruit bars
  • Vegan chocolate
  • Instant Oats (I didn’t end up taking it with me bc I was afraid they wouldn’t allow me to bring it because it contains nuts, but they didn’t care a lot so I should have brought it…)
  • Chewing gum
  • Cinnamon
  • Veggie Broth
  • Reusable water bottle (1l)
  • 2 food containers (750ml and 450ml)
  • Camping fork-knife-spoon
  • Vitamin B12 drops
  • Vitamin C tablets

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Important Documents

  • Passport
  • Drivers licence & international drivers licence
  • Visa
  • Flight documents
  • vaccination certificate
  • Some Australian dollar
  • important addresses & phone numbers
  • copies of important documents

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Other Stuff

  • Wash paste
  • Locks for lockers at the dorm room
  • plastic zip bags (to store and organize all the small stuff)
  • travel neck pillow (that you can blow up)
  • Earplugs
  • Sleeping mask
  • Pen & pencil
  • notebook

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Electronics

I tried to minimize my technical gear, but you just need some electronics if you plan to take some pretty pictures and videos.


That’s everything I took with me to Australia! I will for sure make an updated version after a few months to see what I had to buy or what I didn’t need and gave my parents.

What is something you could not travel without?

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 * This is an affiliate link. If you purchase something through this link I get a commission and you support me and my work, but it doesn’t affect the price for you. Thanks!

* Dies ist ein Affiliate Link. Wenn du etwas über diesen Link kaufst, bekomme ich eine kleine Provision und du unterstützt mich und meine Arbeit. Der Preis ändert sich für dich dabei natürlich nicht. Danke!

 

Girls trip to Vienna – What We Saw, Did & Ate in 3 Days

Some weeks ago one of my best friends and I spontaneously booked a trip to Vienna that we have thought about for a while already.

We spend three very hot but wonderful days in Austria’s capital city and had lots of fun together.

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I have already been to the city three years ago for New Years and really liked the vibe of the city and always wanted to explore it for some days with good weather.

On my Instagram @mind.wanderer you can find a highlight called ‚Vienna‘ and see some of our favorite memories from this trip. In this post, I am going to share everything that we have done that I can recommend you to do on your own city trip and some amazing veggie food that we have discovered!

 

Transportation

Flixbus has amazing routes that cover many cities in Germany and lead to Vienna overnight which was super nice. We started around 10 pm in the afternoon and got to Vienna at around 7:30 am so we had the whole day to explore.

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We spend two nights in the A&O Hostel/Hotel that we have already been to in Leipzig last summer and really like. It’s pretty cheap but has all we need: clean and comfy beds and bathroom and their breakfast is pretty amazing as well (for that price).

In Vienna itself, we bought two-day passes for metro, tram and bus which I can highly recommend to see as much as possible. They are only 8€ a day and totally worth it.

One day we booked a Big Bus Hop-on-Hop-off Ticket which is very pricey but also super interesting because you get some information while driving and practical to see all the sights.

On our third day, we caught the Flixbus at 10.30 pm back home so we really had three full days in the city but only payed for two nights for the hotel.

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Day One

After we arrived at the bus terminal we went to our hotel which was located at the main train station (but there is another A&O Hostel which is one of Vienna’s hip districts so I recommend you to go there instead) and left our luggage there to explore the city center.

Because it was Sunday morning the streets and public places where super empty which was weird but nice and calm. We came  back on our third day in the afternoon and it was so busy and packed, so we could really enjoy the pretty buildings alone on our first day.

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For brunch we walked to the café & bistro BlueOrange to enjoy an amazing vegan breakfast with a bagel, hummus, avocado, salad and a small fruit salad and a yummy juice.

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Afterwards we drove to the well known „Prater“ a public place with rollercoasters and other ride facilities as well as food and the famous Prater ferries wheel. We rode a carousel that moved up super high so we had an amazing view over the city.

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It was super hot all three days in Vienna so we needed a cool down. At the Danube there is a „bathing ship“ that has a pool and a bar on deck and we spend a great evening there.

The day ended with cocktails and games at our hotel.

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Day Two

The next day we drove through Vienna with the Hop-on-Hop-off Bus which was super interesting because we saw many buildings that we wouldn’t have time to visit all ourselves and we learned a lot from the audio guide.

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We walked through the garden of the Schönbrunn Palace which was beautiful and ended at the old Danube to refresh and spend some time relaxing with the locals.

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For Dinner, we went to an amazing all vegan restaurant called „Veggiezzz“ which is part of a chain in Vienna and ate super delicious burger with fries. They also had sandwiches, wraps and healthy bowls as well as yummy dessert and I would love to try more from there menu the next time I visit Vienna!

That night we went to the rooftop terrace of the Ritz Calton Hotel and had a beautiful view over the city at night and some amazing (but super pricey :D ) drinks.

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Day Three

On our last day, we visited the Belverde Palace which is super beautiful (we liked it even more that Schönbrunn, even tho it’s not as popular).

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As well as the Museum of Modern Art „mumok“ that we really liked as well. And enjoyed the cold water basin in the museum’s district.

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We also went to the café and vintage shop „Burggasse 24“ that is pretty popular and had some amazing vegan cake there.

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After all the culture we did some shopping at Brandy Melville and had a had time finding something good (and veggie) to eat for our last day.

We ended up at Vegetasia a completely vegetarian Asian restaurant that had an all-you-can-eat buffet which was amazing! It’s so great when you don’t need to check if you can eat this and just grab whatever looks good :D

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We had an awesome time together in Vienna and I am already looking forward to explore Bali with my two best friends next summer!

Have you already been to Vienna before? How did you like it?