Heritage, cuisine and culture: A city break in Naples

Naples, Italy’s third largest city, is full of surprises. Although widely regarded as the gateway to the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento and the island of Capri, Naples is a perfect city break option in its own right. It is a city of immense contrasts, dominated in its historic centre by breath-taking architecture which has earned the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site.

With some of the continent’s finest art on display in its museums, which also trace the history of Naples from the 8th century BC, culture vultures are guaranteed to be inspired. By contrast, a relaxing saunter through the city’s gardens is a delightful escape from the city’s hectic streets – even more appealing in the summer when average temperatures top 25C (76F).

Exploring Naples’ heritage
There are many ways to explore the historic centre of Naples, but wandering aimlessly has its own merits, particularly along the narrow, winding streets lined with traditional shops that have remained unchanged for centuries. It’s almost like looking in on a reconstructed museum exhibit, except for the hustle and bustle that makes Naples old town very much alive.

The National Archaeological Museum – just one of the important museums in the city – houses a fine collection of relics from Pompeii and Herculaneum; if you’re planning a daytrip, you’ll probably wish to view the more extensive collection of exhibits housed in the museum. For an alternative view of Naples’ past, head underground to the city’s Roman ruins, the most impressive of which is to be found under the church of San Lorenzo Maggiore, which feature an incredibly complete Roman market.

A culinary delight
Italy is world-renowned for its cuisine, but Naples is one of the country’s culinary leaders, offering an unsurpassable variety of dishes that are certain to delight. From enjoying authentic coffee and a sweet treat at a table in the street to savouring the taste of fried seafood or traditional pizza for a more satisfying meal, indulging in Naples’ foods is an unmissable part of any city break. You’ll be literally spoilt for choice when choosing a restaurant at which to dine.

Beyond the city
A trip to Naples need not mean restricting yourself to the city itself, as some unmissable local excursions offer the opportunity to soak up Italy’s cultural and historic landscape.

Only 20 minutes from the centre lie the ancient ruins of Pompeii, the ancient city destroyed by an overnight eruption of Mount Vesuvius, whose dominant presence still looms over Naples. Wandering idly through Pompeii’s cobbled streets feels like stepping into the shoes of a Roman two thousand years ago, an experience which is as mesmerising as it is haunting.

From Naples, a host of other attractions are easily accessible for a day trip, the Royal Palace of Caserta, with its delightful gardens, and the stunning Amalfi Coast among them.

From large, intercontinental hotels to intimate, family-run establishments – in addition to a large number of rental apartments – Naples offers a wide choice of accommodation to suit all tastes. With an equally impressive array of attractions to visit, you’ll leave feeling you’ve only scratched the surface of this ancient, yet highly underrated, city.

A Holiday in La Cala de Mijas: Spain at its unspoilt best

Located between cosmopolitan Marbella and historic Fuengirola, La Cala de Mijas is a tranquil haven on Spain’s enduringly popular Costa del Sol. Blessed with clean white sands, La Cala de Mijas enjoys dry weather throughout the year and temperatures between 25C and 30C (77F to 86F) in the summer and deep into the autumn. Even in November, the thermometer rarely drops below 20C (68F).

An oasis of relaxation
La Cala de Mijas welcomes but is never overwhelmed by those who visit it. It is a resort that remains authentically Spanish, beautifully maintained by its municipal council, with a host of restaurants and shops catering to every taste.

Holidaymakers brush shoulders with those who live in La Cala de Mijas all year round whether enjoying a leisurely breakfast of churros with chocolate at one of the town’s cafes or sipping a glass of manzanilla sherry on a hotel terrace looking out to sea. La Cala de Mijas boasts one of the calmest spots in the Mediterranean.

Entertainment when you want it
Whether you are seeking a couple of weeks of peace and quiet, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday living, or a holiday filled with activities, La Cala de Mijas is the perfect base for your stay in the south of Spain. There are no less than four eighteen-hole golf courses within easy reach of the town: El Chaparral; Mijas Golf; the Santana Golf and Country Club; and La Cala Resort, the largest golf complex in the country with three championship courses.

For those who enjoy the excitement of a flutter, the horse racing season at Mijas Hippodrome gets under way in October, including evening races under floodlights, when many other racetracks in the country are closed.

The real Spain
Spain is a country renowned for its fiestas (festivals) and Mijas is no exception. The beautiful village of Mijas, a twenty minute drive away into the mountains, celebrates its annual fair in September, which includes traditional dance, costumes and music. And in La Cala itself, in October, the whole town comes out from its homes to watch and follow the statue of its patron saint, Saint Teresa, being paraded through the streets accompanied by its talented home-grown brass bands. It is an event that sees every generation come together and a wonderful opportunity for visitors to join in a celebration that gets under the skin of Spain’s culture.

A part of the world famous for its hospitality, a holiday in La Cala de Mijas may be one that you just never want to come to an end.

Travel Tips: How to Travel Like A Local

For a new generation of travellers and holidaymakers, spending two weeks on a sun lounger without meeting a single person outside of the hotel just isn’t going to cut it. While some real relaxation time is definitely on the agenda for most of us when we go away, we also want to experience a little of the culture, see a few important sights, and mingle with the locals. Some top tips for holidaymakers seeking an authentic experience in Europe are given below.

Order A Local Coffee
Simple, and yet taking coffee with the locals gives a real insight into a country’s psyche. In Italy, stand at the bar with the people on their way to work and order a cappuccino or latte (but never after 11am – for Italians, milky coffee is a breakfast drink). It’s cheaper to stand or perch at the bar than to take a table, and a small coffee with a pastry is likely to only set you back around £1.50 in a local place. In Spain, order a cortado (one part espresso to one part milk). In Vienna, the local favourite coffee is a Melange, similar to a cappuccino.

Take A Cookery Class
The food that’s predominant in a culture says a lot about that culture, and the teacher will usually be a native, too. Cookery classes are a fun and inexpensive way of getting in touch with your host country, and you’ll have a new skill to share with your friends when you get home, too.

Go Beyond the Big Name Sights
It’s natural to head for the Eiffel Tower in Paris, or the Guinness Storehouse if you’re in Dublin. And you should see these things. When you’ve taken your photos though, have a wander through the backstreets, or, even better, see if you can get tips from a local for finding a really authentic local pub, restaurant, or other local highlight. There are also tonnes of “expat” blogs online too, and with articles on things such as “the Hidden Florence”, with a little research you’ll get beyond the tourist traps in no time.

Order Food Like A Local
In Italy, adding cheese to a pasta dish with fish is considered a no no. In Turkey, a dish called menemen is eaten as a weekend brunch food (it consists of vegetables, baked eggs, and cooked tomatoes). Turkish salep is also not to be missed: it’s a hot drink made of orchids which just isn’t available outside of the country as the orchids are not exported. In Berlin, make sure to order Berliner Weisse beer: you can either have it plain, or flavour it with a green or red syrup (the green one is herby and the red one fruity).

So, find out what the typical local treats are and enjoy! 

How to get a good night’s sleep on holiday

A holiday should be an enjoyable, relaxing experience – but if you can’t sleep well while you’re away, it may end up being something rather different. Most people sleep best in their own homes, so it can be difficult to get used to a hotel bedroom. Here are a few tips to allow you to wake up in the morning refreshed and ready for the day ahead.

Freshen up the room’s air
Overly hot, stuffy rooms are unlikely to be comfortable places to sleep, especially if you’re staying somewhere with a warm, muggy climate. If your hotel has air conditioning, make sure it’s switched on as soon as you arrive. You can stop the air drying out too much by leaving the door to the bathroom open after you’ve had a hot shower. If there’s no AC, then sleeping with the window slightly open is often a good idea, as it will allow air to circulate.

Get the right bed
There’s no more important item of furniture in a hotel room than the bed, so be choosy when you’re making your reservation. Look for hotels that advertise new beds, since these are likely to feel smoother and more comfortable. Bear in mind that larger mattresses are often softer than smaller ones, so a double bed rather than a king-size one may be more suitable for you if you prefer a little more support at night. Don’t feel pressured into accepting a room if you don’t like the bed.

Bring a little piece of home
One reason for sleeping poorly on holiday is the unfamiliarity of your surroundings. You can help make your hotel room feel a little more like a home by packing a photo or two in your luggage and placing them on your bedside table. It’s also a good idea to take something small from your normal evening routine and bring it with you on holiday. For example, if you usually have a particular drink or snack before bed, ask room service to make it for you and bring it up at the appropriate time.

Avoid night noise
Many hotels, even quite expensive ones, are less peaceful than you would hope. Sometimes the problem is noise from public areas or other guests’ rooms filtering through thin walls; sometimes it’s the sound of traffic from the street outside. Rooms on higher floors are usually quieter, as are those at the rear of the building. A top-floor room will have no noise from above, either. Finally, pack a pair of earplugs – though make sure you’ll be able to hear if the alarm goes off.

Keep the room dark
Lots of people find it easier to sleep when the room is dark. If the curtains don’t quite meet in the middle, and are letting light in, try clipping them tight with a couple of clothes pegs – strange but effective! Another option is to try a sleep mask, which is basically a blindfold! You’re unlikely to be given one on the plane when you’re flying to a European destination, so it’s best to buy one before you leave home: even the highly rated best-selling pure silk sleeping mask only costs a few pounds on Amazon, and is well worth the investment.

A taste of Northern Culture: A city break in Gothenburg, Sweden

A city break provides the perfect antidote to the usual summer perils of sunburn and sand in your picnic hamper. Not only will you avoid the bustle of crowded resort towns, a city break can also give you a genuine insight into the culture of the country you are visiting.

A fashionable destination
For the traveller set on selecting something a little bit different this summer, a journey north to Scandinavia can be an inviting prospect. Always a popular destination, Scandinavia is especially fashionable at the moment thanks to its cultural exports in television and literature. And where better to sample this cultural smorgasbord of the north than in Sweden’s second city, Gothenburg?

No culture shock
Exploring the city may remind Brits of home. Crossing the Gothia river, leaving a traditional pub on your way to visiting the fashionable clothing shops along cobblestone streets, you may understand why the locals refer to their city as “Little London”. Gothenburg is like Britain’s capital in many ways. Indeed, the big surprise for many visitors is the almost complete lack of any culture shock that will greet you. Along with the comfortingly familiar blend of historic and stylishly modern buildings that characterise the city’s landscape, you will probably find that most of the people you meet will speak perfect English – and most are more than happy to practice their second language with visitors!

Gothenburg Culture Festival in August
Gothenburg makes for an exciting destination throughout the summer, as the city transforms itself into one big venue for the extensive programme of events that make up the Gothenburg Culture festival. The 2015 festival runs between the 11th and 16th of August, and includes everything from street performances and concerts to exhibitions of renowned artists and environmental sciences. It is a truly mixed bag of entertainment.

Climate
Gothenburg temperatures are generally a little fresher than most of the British Isles in the summer, and 20C (68F) is viewed as a good seasonal average. Take a day trip out to the coast, though – to stunning Saltholmen, or to the quiet coastal town of Marstrand – and you will enjoy a summer’s day every bit as bright, peaceful and picturesque as anything Europe can offer.

Dining
Whether you find yourself dining by the coast, or perhaps in the city’s feskekörka (literally “fish church”), fresh seafood is the dining experience of the city. Meatballs may be the national dish, but fish is Gothenburg’s main passion. Drinking and dining can be costly hobbies in all parts of Sweden, but you will usually find that the quality of service makes up for the higher prices. Equally, accommodation is a little pricier than you might expect in the UK. And, while every price point is catered for, you may find that you are getting a little less for your money than you would expect back home if you always choose the budget option.

Travel Information
The good news is that not everything about your trip is expensive. Gothenburg has great connections to the outside world, with train links to Norway, Denmark, and to the Swedish capital Stockholm. The city has a ferry port and two airports, both offering direct flights to and from the UK. Flights out of Heathrow run twice a day and prices can be very competitive, with a return trip easily coming in below £150 per person if you are flexible with your travel arrangements. Similarly, the exchange rate has become increasingly attractive to Britons in the past year, so cash in your sterling, buy a few thousand kroner, and make this summer the perfect time to live out your dreams of a Nordic adventure!

Holiday Inspiration: Combine history and beautiful beaches in Zadar, Croatia

While Dubrovnik is the best-known of Croatia’s Adriatic cities, Zadar, located further to the north, has typically been overlooked by British travellers. This is a shame, because Zadar has a similar blend of medieval and Renaissance history with stunning natural beauty while still remaining relatively uncrowded, especially early in the season.

Beaches
The Zadar region is home to a mix of both sandy and pebbly beaches running all along the coastline. Kolovare beach is the traditional destination for locals, while tourists often gravitate to beach camps outside the city itself which offer a wide variety of activities, including boating, surfing and more.

Some of the region’s best beaches are on the island of Pasman, where our photograph at the top of this newsletter was taken; a boat trip to Uglijan island also gives access to neighbouring Pasman, far enough from the tourists of Zadar to be pleasantly peaceful, but close enough to be perfect for an afternoon journey.

Climate
Zadar’s Adriatic climate is hot in summer, but not scorchingly so; average highs in June hover around 26C (79F), while in July, the hottest month, they can approach 30C (86F). Sea temperatures are mild, and cool evenings are a popular time for strolls along the promenade or through the old town. Bars, restaurants and cafes typically stay open late.

The old town and more modern attractions
The heart of Zadar is the old town, a compact medieval city with narrow, cobbled streets. Highlights include the many historic churches, the oldest of which is St Simeon’s. This church houses the resplendent 14th-century silver reliquary of Saint Simeon, the city’s patron saint. Other historic sites include the church of St Donat, now a museum, and the Roman forum.

More modern attractions include the Sea Organ, built in 2005 along the waterfront promenade. This intricate network of underwater pipes turns the action of the waves into haunting music.

Medieval Festival in July
The community is proud of its medieval history: in July, Zadar plays host to a medieval festival, complete with parades and tournaments. Look out for displays of marksmanship with the crossbow, a traditional weapon still held in high regard here.

Kornati Islands National Park
Just south of Zadar lies the Kornati archipelago, a group of over 100 small islands. Many of these are part of Kornati Islands National park, a protected area of stunning beauty. Cruises through the mostly-uninhabited islands offer a chance to see a wide range of natural environments in a small area, as well as an opportunity to sunbathe or swim in isolated (though still popular) spots like the sandy Lojena beach.

An update on car hire following the DVLA changes

New rules
The following information is a summary of the DVLA advice site. This information does not apply to people living in Northern Ireland.

Since 8 June 2015, the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence isn’t valid and is no longer issued by DVLA. The paper counterpart was introduced to display driving licence details that could not be included on the photocard.

A new computer system has now taken over from the paper counterpart, which includes some vehicle categories you are entitled to drive and any endorsement/penalty points.

Since 8 June 2015, new penalty points (endorsements) are only recorded electronically, and won’t be printed or written on either photocard licences or paper driving licences.

If you are hiring a car on holiday, the hire car company will need to see your driving licence. Some companies will also want information on any endorsements/penalty points too.

You should check with the hire company what they need to see when you hire a vehicle. If you’re asked for evidence of what vehicles you can drive or confirmation of any penalty points, you can request a unique code from the government’s website which allows you to share your driving licence details, or you can download a summary of your driving licence record. The code lasts for up to 72 hours and will allow the hire companies to make any necessary checks.

If you cannot generate a code online then you can call 0300 083 0013 and DVLA will provide you with a code.

Alternatively, you can call DVLA on 0300 790 6801 and leave permission for your driving record to be checked verbally by a nominated hire company. This also applies if you have a paper licence that was issued before 1998.

Not all vehicle hire companies will ask for this information and we advise that you check with your hire company.

Useful links
For full details, see https://www.gov.uk/government/news/driving-licence-changes
To generate your code, go to: https://www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence

Our conclusion and simple advice:
The BBC has reported that some people have had problems using the new system.

Our advice is simple:

1. If you’re hiring a car, then just before you set off on your holiday, generate a code just to be on the safe side in case your car hire firm asks for it. You’ll need your driving licence number, your National Insurance number, and the postcode associated with your driving licence. BE CAREFUL! The code only lasts for 72 hours, so do this as close to when you leave your house as you can.

2. There are lots of pitfalls for the unwary when hiring a car abroad. You can find out more on this below, and at our sister site CHEW Insurance.

Special offer: 10% discount on Car Hire Excess Waiver Insurance
Most car rental companies charge an excess if you have an accident. This means that you will be responsible for the first part of the claim.

The part you are responsible for is called the “excess” and it varies from one car hire company to another. However, it’s usually between £500 and £2,000 depending on the vehicle type you rent – but it can be substantially more on high-value cars.

You can protect yourself against these charges by purchasing an excess waiver, sometimes known as a Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW). Some companies will try to sell you a waiver when you book the hire car, often with hard-sell tactics, but it can cost over £20 a day! It’s better to buy your policy in the UK before you travel: you’ll save money and get more comprehensive cover too.

So if you’re hiring a car when you travel, go to CHEW Insurance and use discount codeJUL15 for a 10% discount.

UK Driving Licence changes on 8th June could affect your holiday car hire

The abolition of the paper counterpart to the UK driving licence is threatening to cause travel headaches for holidaymakers planning on hiring a car abroad during their holidays – but there are solutions to hand.

From 8th June 2015, only the photocard licence will be valid in the DVLA’s shake-up of driving licences, which will mean all points and endorsements will now be recorded centrally on a computer database. Police, insurance companies and car rental agencies in the UK will be able to access driver data via an online service, by telephone or by post.

However, concerns exist that vehicle rental companies in foreign locations such as airports and hotels, which are extremely popular with British holidaymakers, are unaware of the changes and will still require customers to produce their paper counterparts before releasing hire cars.

Important steps to take before leaving the UK

If you plan on renting a hire car during your holiday abroad, there are some important steps you should take before departing for the airport:

• Log onto the DVLA website (www.dvla.gov.uk) with your driving licence number to obtain a code which you should give to the car rental agency when you arrive to collect your vehicle. However, this code is only valid for 72 hours, which is fine if you are scheduled to collect your hire car on your arrival at the airport or hotel.

• If you aren’t collecting your car until later in your holiday, you’ll need to log onto the DVLA website while abroad to obtain your code. Watch out for roaming charges: use an internet café, if available, or check with your mobile phone provider if a bundle can be added to your account so that you can browse the internet at a competitive rate.

• Retain your paper counterpart and take it with you on holiday, even though it has no validity in the UK. If the car rental agency insists on seeing it, you can produce it, irrespective of whether it is needed at home.

• Log onto the DVLA website and access your driving licence record, which will summarise any convictions, points or endorsements held against you. Print it out and take it with you abroad, so that you have more evidence of your right to drive if needed.

By taking these simple steps, you can depart for your holiday reassured that you have all the necessary paperwork to be able to rent a car, without worrying whether news of the driving licence changes has filtered through to your destination country.

You might also want to consider Car Hire Excess Waiver Insurance. Get a quote at our sister site CHEW Insurance and get great value cover today.

Tuscany: Beaches, wineries, and unmissable cities

The natural beauty of Tuscany, a region in central Italy, is every bit as mesmerising and varied as the picture postcards suggest, from the cypress-lined olive groves, to the wineries, to the long, untainted golden sands and beaches along the coast. This is a land where a gentle drive or peaceful saunter through the undulating countryside is an absolute joy, as you look down on an isolated farmhouse sitting amid swathes of lush green fields or over a sea of golden sunflowers beneath the rich blue sky. Yet a visit to Tuscany is far from complete without exploring some of the region’s magnificent cities, where you can witness the birth of Renaissance art or the splendour of Italian architecture – and every city is as individual and unique as the last.

Volterra

Sitting dramatically on a hilltop, the ancient city of Volterra is arguably one of the most impressive day trip destinations in the world. Hidden behind a cinnamon-brown wall of sienna stone, Volterra is – in literature at least – a city of vampires, a reputation you’ll appreciate as you wander with your partner through the eerily silent streets, bathed in the dark shadows of traditional Italian houses. From the grand Piazza dei Priori, encircled by medieval buildings, to the breath-taking Roman amphitheatre, Volterra reflects two thousand years of history yet is so small that it can be easily navigated on foot in a day. In truth, though, no guidebook can do this city justice or enable the tourist to soak up the remarkable atmosphere; a personal visit is absolutely essential.

Pisa

Famous for Torre pendente di Pisa, Pisa is an eternally popular university city. Arrive early and you can appreciate Earth’s most famous leaning tower without the hordes and take a more leisurely climb to the top for a view over the Piazza dei Miracoli and the surrounding buildings. Beyond the Square of Miracles, you’ll adore exploring the narrow streets with their smattering of traditional craft shops or the Piazza dei Cavaleiri, once the headquarters of the Knights of St Stephen. The city museums – the Opera del Duomo and Museo delle Sinopie – are also well worth a visit.

Florence

It was here that the Renaissance was born, but Florence is not a city only for die-hard art enthusiasts. With a fine collection of museums, churches and palaces housing some of the world’s most prized artistic works, art and architecture blend seamlessly. Among the must-see sites are the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, whose white-edged terracotta dome dominates the skyline, the library of San Lorenzo, with its exhibition of Michelangelo’s works, and the Ponte Vecchio which spans the River Arno. An afternoon appreciating the Giardini di Boboli is a great outdoor activity, with its statue of Andromeda and other fine sculptures.

So… when do you want to go?
These are only three of Tuscany’s finest cities and with others – Siena, San Gimignano, Lucca and Arezzo – to explore, you’ll be spoilt for choice on your visit to Italy’s most beautiful region.

The average high temperature in June is a pleasant 27C (81F), rising to 30C (86F) in July and August. However, July and August are peak times, so visit either in June if you can, or September, when the temperature high is still 27C (81F) and the queues are a little shorter.

Vienna: The city of music, cake, and so much more!

A couple of members of our team have just come back from a wonderful few days in Vienna. Here, they tell us all about it, and share the best places to go.

Without doubt, Vienna, the capital of Austria, is one of the most charming cities in Europe, if not the world.

Often described as the “City of Music”, it unsurprisingly has a wealth of entertainment for music lovers, and has been synonymous with classical music for centuries. MozartBeethoven and Strauss all lived here and in fact, the former homes of both Mozart and Beethoven are open to the public – both are highly recommend places to visit whilst in the city (although maybe not so much if you have trouble with stairs, because Beethoven’s apartment is a somewhat challenging climb up four flights of a spiral stone staircase!). However, your reward is to see one of Beethoven’s own pianos, complete with five pedals!

There are also several venues where you can watch a live classical music concert. If you are familiar with the world famous New Year’s Day concert from Vienna, it takes place at the Musikverein in central Vienna. The “Golden Hall” of the Musikverein is absolutely spectacular, with its ornate chandeliers and architecture, and many don’t consider a visit to Vienna complete without watching a concert performed here. The “Mozart in Historical Costumes” concert is especially good and even includes some light-hearted opera! Vienna also has a beautiful opera house where tickets to performances are readily available on most days, and in the evenings you can watch a live video feed from the opera house, free of charge, on a big screen outside.

Of course, Vienna has much more to offer than just music.

Lovers of paintings will appreciate the Museum of Art History, where you can see the works of famous artists such as Raphael and Rubens, or you can head on over the road to the Albertina to see original paintings by Monet and Picasso.

Architecturally, Vienna is stunning, reflecting its imperial past, and almost every road in the city centre has beautiful buildings for you to admire. The Ringstrasse, which is the main road encircling the city centre, is lined with numerous awe-inspiring palaces, and many of the city’s biggest hotels are also converted palaces! There are lots of beautiful parks too, and the old town doesn’t get too crowded, making this a relaxed city break. The temperature is pleasant to walk around, without being too hot: the average high through the summer is around 27C (81F).

At the centre of the city is Stephansdom, the beautiful St. Stephen’s Cathedral, from which you can grab a stunning view of the city from its steeple. This is a particularly good landmark to use as a reference point when searching for potential places to stay: because it is at the heart of Vienna, any hotel within the vicinity is in an ideal location – particularly if you wish to discover Vienna by foot (which is widely considered to be the best way, despite there being an excellent transportation system, including an easily accessible tram).

Foodies will be in their element in Vienna because the cuisine is exceptional. First, there’s the famous Weiner Schnitzel (head to Figlmüller if you want to experience the real deal – a massive schnitzel that overhangs the plate – but you’ll have to book ahead, because it understandably gets very busy). Then there’s the delicious and world-famous Sachertorte, a chocolate cake with apricot jam created in 1832 for Prince Wenzel von Metternich; if you want to experience the truly authentic version, then the Hotel Sacher is the only place to go!

If cake is something you like – and let’s face it who doesn’t! – then you will be in heaven once you see the selection of freshly prepared cakes on offer in the cafes all over the city.  There are so many to choose from, but if you like history then you can visit Café Centralwhere Sigmund Freud, Trotsky, Lenin used to visit, or Café Mozart which serves not only the most delicious cakes, but also a wonderful breakfast. The hot chocolate there is probably the best in the world, and the delicious brioche croissant will set you up nicely for the day.

The cafes in Vienna are coffee houses above all else though, so make sure you know what you want to drink before you enter one, as these specialist coffee connoisseurs will stare at you blankly if you simply order a coffee! The true traditional way to drink coffee in Vienna, and still the most popular way today, is the “Melange” (oddly pronounced in a French way). It is milky, and similar to a cappuccino. At the best coffee houses it is served in a quaint cup and saucer, usually with a small chocolate or nougat on the side and always with a glass of water as well, so you definitely won’t leave the café thirsty…unless you eat too much cake that is!