Literature lovers should begin the tour from Literature Museum, which is one of the best literary museums in Europe. Stefan Zweig, Thomas Bernhard, Johann Nestroy, Arthur Schnitzler, Franz Kafka, Friederike Mayröcker, Ingeborg Bachmann, are only some of the authors whose literary spirits were well presented through their photos, letters, manuscripts, literary objects, first editions, literature related ephemera as well as media, audio and film stations.
Vienna is a kind of city that makes you want to read everything. After a long museum-day, right before the very last coffee of the day, you might be in need of buying new books, just to learn more about Vienna's "fin de siecle" or to buy Zweig's The World of Yesterday (if you haven't read, yet! -it is the book to feel the soul of Vienna).
Shakespeare & Company is the best English Bookshop in the city offering a wide range of books and literary magazines on numerous subjects.
LITERARY VIENNA | in the footsteps of Stefan Zweig
Café Hawelka: Built by Leopold Hawelka, this place is famous for being Zweig's favourite coffeehouse.
Mostly over-crowded during lunch time, so not an ideal place to read and write, rather a must-see because of its historical value.
address: Dorotheergasse 6, 1010 Wien, Austria
S.A.LAMIS AT SHAKESPEARE & CO
Café Bräunerhof: Another traditional Viennese café and restaurant Bräunerhof is famous for being the favoured place of Thomas Bernhard. Surprisingly, although being famous, it is not expensive at all, but don't even dare to ask about wi-fi!
address: Stallburggasse 2, 1010 Wien, Austria
illustrated by Ekaterina Dubovik
“For this quiet, unprepossessing, passive man who has no garden in front of his subsidised flat, books are like flowers. He loves to line them up on the shelf in multicoloured rows: he watches over each of them with an old-fashioned gardener's delight, holds them like fragile objects in his thin, bloodless hands.” ― Stefan Zweig, The Post-Office Girl
books & coffee :
In Literature Museum, there is a chess set on display made out of bread, to refer Zweig's story Schachnovelle, (The Royal Game or Chess Story), in which the protagonist fabricates a chess set out of his bread and begins secretly to play in order to keep himself sane in prison.
Did you know that?
"Viennese Coffee House Culture" is listed as "Intangible Cultural Heritage" in the Austrian inventory of the "National Agency for the Intangible Cultural Heritage" a part of UNESCO.
Café Museum: Built in the late 19th century, this cafe has been a meeting place for intellectuals like Elias Canetti, Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka, Karl Kraus, Robert Musil, Joseph Roth.
The place organises regular readings. Sacher is a must-try!
address: Friedrichstraße 6 / Operngasse 7, 1010 Wien
The museum has three floors, (one is used only for a temporary exhibition), the other two communicate the Austrian intellectual history from the end of 18th century until today. "Schreiborte" (writing places) section is a must-see, for being a pure inspiration for a writer.
The literary tour ends at the Wiener Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera) which is an opera house with a history dating back to the mid-19th century.
There is a comic opera written by Stefan Zweig which is called Die Schweigsame Frau (The Silent Woman). It is composed by Richard Strauss.
literary traveller tips:
read before your visit.
What could be better than drinking café mélange at a Viennese café before starting a literary tour of the city.
Since the end of the 17th century, the Wiener Kaffeehaus culture has been celebrated by the intellectuals, composers, musicians, philosophers, writers, poets, artists, dreamers, wanderers, bohemians and of course by the coffee lovers.
Stefan Zweig described the Viennese Coffeehouse as "a sort of democratic club, open to everyone for the price of a cheap cup of coffee, where every guest can sit for hours with this little offering, to talk, write, play cards, receive post, and above all consume an unlimited number of newspapers and journals."