1. That this whole cliche of the people of Vienna being unfriendly is not (completely) true
When the times got tough, the city saw countless examples of people coming together in response to a very challenging time. Now, while we’re sure many still experienced infamous Wiener Grant, the number of stories floating around of people helping each other out definitely outweighed the ‘Viennese are so rude!’ stories.
2. Vienna’s restaurants are the city’s innovators and we miss them dearly
A number of Vienna’s restaurants have adapted to the challenging times in a variety of creative ways. All kinds of unique take away and delivery food experiences have popped up, especially since the beginning of the second lockdown. This hasn’t made it hard for us to keep supporting them by ordering their tasty delivered treats.
We also realised how much we miss the cafe and restaurant culture of this city and appreciate this part of our lifestyle so much more.
3. That no matter how hard you try to stop them, people in Vienna will find a way to drink Glühwein and Punsch on the streets
Even when the government introduced the – ‘no Punsch stands and no selling of alcoholic Punsch allowed! – nothing could stop the people of Vienna meeting in the freezing cold and sipping on a clandestinely sold Gluhwein, or a batch they’ve made at home. What can we say – people in this city love their Punsch stand past time.
4. How many beautiful parks there are to discover in Vienna
With everything closed, many of us took to the parks of Vienna to exercise, or just to simply change the scenery from the innards of our apartments. This led to many of us discovering big and beautiful parks we never knew existed before, but we’re sure glad we know of now.
5. How many cool local small and independent stores there are in Vienna
With the announcement of the first lockdown came a push on social media for everybody to try and buy from local stores in support. This led to many local stores transforming themselves into online stores, and many people doing some research (in the many hours they had at home) to discover them.
6. That the most important thing to the people of Vienna when things go to sh** is that they keep their butts clean
Supermarket shelves around the world were stripped of toilet paper as soon as the lockdowns were announced, and Vienna was no exception. Maybe that’s the true sign we’re a civilised bunch – that the most important thing to us when things turn ugly is that our bums are still clean.
7. How to survive silent Sunday’s in Vienna
With lockdowns making every day look like a Sunday in Vienna, we’ve become a pro at enjoying our lives in the city, even when everything is closed down. So, Vienna Sundays?! Bring ’em on!
8. Vienna needed a global pandemic to make the neighbours of the city speak to each other
Until this year, we’d only known our neighbours as the kinda familiar faces we’d mumble greetings to on the stairwell of our building. All that changed in 2020. As we spent more time at home than ever before, meetings between neighbours in the hallway became a daily occurrence. Some people were even going shopping for their neighbours that were in the so-called ‘Covid-19 high risk group.’ This is a huge leap from pre-pandemic when Vienna could often feel like a very isolating city to live in.
9. That the people of Vienna will queue for bread
With only a couple of people allowed in a bakery at one time, you would often see queues formed outside the city’s bakeries. It goes to show how much we love our bakeries in this city.
10. That simply taking a walk in Vienna is great and can be counted as an activity
There are 3 kinds of walker you might have seen around Vienna since lockdown #1:
The extended-walk-home-from-work walker: For those of us who weren’t confined to home office most of the year, walking home from work became a pleasurable thing to do. Yep, that’s how cringey things got in 2020.
The poor mum or dad trying to keep their kids busy and not go crazy walker: To all of those mums and dads out there who were juggling work and kids during this year of lockdowns – we salute you!
The meeting and drinking with a friend walkers: This was a solid social-distancing option for people to see each other throughout this year and many were doing it. You’d see them with a Glühwein or beer in hand circling a neighbourhood. Until you’d see them at some point heading home as they’re desperate for a piss.
11. We all dearly love the heroic medical personnel of Vienna
Understandably and rightfully so, a lot of love has been sent the way of those working on the front line of the pandemic.
12. …and that a politician can still be loved by the people of this city
We think it’s safe to say that never before has a Minister of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection been so popular in Vienna. In conversations, you’d often hear people praising Rudolf Anschober for his handling of the pandemic.
13. That the Viennese past-time of ‘complaining about the weather’ can be replaced by us complaining about something else
We never thought it possible, but apparently, Covid has proven us wrong.
14. What the Stadthalle looks like during the daytime
With a mass testing center having been set up in the Stadthalle in December, we got to see what the concert venue looks like during the daytime. We prefer it dark with a band on stage, but still, it was an experience.
15. Vienna has a drive-in cinema
Who knew?! Vienna has a so-called ‘Autokino’ (translation: drive-in cinema)! Visits to the drive-in cinema become really popular in summer for the first time in a long time – amongst those with a car, of course.
16. It’s possible to go clubbing while sitting down
Many of Vienna’s clubs adapted to the times and hosted sit down concerts and DJ sets throughout 2020, which was… well… weird, but the next best thing to the real clubbing thing.
17. That a pandemic won’t stop us protesting for things we believe in and are bigger than ourselves
Thousands of people took to the streets during summer protesting in support of the worldwide movement, Black Lives Matter. With the events in America triggering a wave of attention to be directed at discriminated minorities, police violence, and systemic racism, Vienna woke up and explored its own situation regarding these issues.
It was uplifting to see the number of people supporting these causes and speaking out against them in a time when they’re probably also individually facing challenges of their own.
18. The fruit and veg’ box delivery services offered in this city are awesome!
There was a boom in people having fruit and veg’ boxes delivered to their homes throughout 2020, so many of us realised the thrill of receiving fresh seasonal fruit and veg direct from the farmers.
With the terrorist attack happening this year, people commonly expressed shock that this could happen in our peaceful city, and understandably so. There was also a feeling around the city that the attack was personal, triggering anger and sadness amongst many as if the attack had been waged directly on them. This tragic time was felt by the whole city, and our feeling of invincibility as a safe and peaceful city will take a while to be restored, we assume.