Visit This Odd Destination To Decide If Some Of Europe's Most Expensive Coffee Is Worth It

Coffee fiends may visit Italy for delicious cappuccino or Sweden for its local fika culture. However, one of the most unique and expensive cups of Joe in Europe is hidden behind a window in central Vienna, Austria. That's where you'll find Fenster Café, a humble coffee post where taking your brew to go is the only option. Just walk up to the window, order your coffee, and be on your way or linger on the street outside — but don't expect to be offered a seat inside.

As Fenster's owner explained in a blog post, the café's concept happened accidentally when a friend offered them a warehouse with a window overlooking the street instead of a traditional retail space. Eventually, the business was named Fenster, the German word for "window," and the rest is history. The café is now known for its charmingly graffitied exterior and coffee that it proudly refers to as the "best in the world."

Most famous is its best-seller, the Fensterccino. The drink consists of an espresso shot and foamed milk, served in a waffle cone. The unique drink-meets-dessert creation isn't cheap, even if ordered through an unassuming window. At €11 (about $12), the Fensterccino is the priciest item on the menu.

Fenster has earned a reputation for its prices

If you visit Fenster Café, you might notice a sign declaring that the coffee shop serves the most expensive coffee in Vienna; we don't doubt the claim. Fenster may even serve some of the priciest coffee in Europe based on the Fensterccino alone. However, this reputation wasn't the café's intention. For one, the café originally struggled to find an affordable supplier for the Fensterccino's cone and had to work around costly shipping and manufacturing snafus. 

The first cones leaked, and Fenster's owner had to experiment to develop a high-quality alternative. More important than the cones, though, is the coffee. The café uses only premium, specialty beans that are ground and brewed using the best equipment in the business — which might partially explain the high prices.

Still, €11 is a lot to spring for a single cup of coffee, and some travelers on a budget expecting cheap international vacations may want to skip the Instagrammable Fensterccino in favor of another beverage. On Fenster's menu, you'll find espresso shots for €2.50, lattes for €4.50, macchiatos for €5, and alcoholic coffee drinks for €5.50 (starting prices). The window coffee shop also serves ice cream for hungry customers starting at €4.50.

Where to sip your premium brew

You'll have to visit its window to decide if Fenster Cafe's coffee is worth the steep price. From Südtiroler Platz Station, near the Vienna Central T station, take the U1 metro line to Schwedenplatz. From there, walk south, away from the canal, turning right on Schwedenplatz until you reach Hafnersteig. Follow the road and take the stairs to the alleyway, where you'll find Fenster café's front.

The coffee shop is in Vienna's Innere Stadt, a neighborhood packed with walkable streets and picturesque sights. Grab your cup (or cone) and tour the area on foot, making sure to spot the ornate Ankeruhr clock, St. Stephen's Cathedral, Column of Pest, and St. Peter's Catholic Church, all just a few minutes from Fenster. If you continue a little further, about 15 minutes from the café, you'll arrive at Hofburg, a magnificent palace complex. Several historical buildings are located on the grounds, and you can stroll past the attractions and through the garden freely with your drink in hand.

If you'd rather sit back and relax with your cup of Joe, head to the nearby promenade lining the Donaukanal. While locals often use the path for walking and running, you'll also find some people casually sitting next to the water or on nearby benches. Rudolf Park, an eight-minute walk from Fenster, is another spot where you can sit and sip while enjoying a slice of nature in the city.