The Vienna tourist board has launched a new campaign to convince tourists to stop reading online reviews from other travelers.
The tourist board is instead asking tourists to explore Vienna on their own terms.
The message from the Vienna tourist board comes as more of a warning than advice. The warning is simple: if you base your visit to the city on online reviews, you will certainly miss out on some great experiences and you won’t have a great time. On top of the typical review platforms, there is Unrating Vienna, which uses genuine feedback on some of the city’s landmark sites. Through this feedback, they can provide an interesting insight as to how platforms like TripAdvisor and Google reviews can often produce strange results that don’t line up with peoples’ experiences.
If you look on TripAdvisor or Google for reviews about Vienna’s attractions, you will likely find a lot of strange reviews, some of which are quite comical. But think about it, is a one-star review of St Stephen’s Cathedral based on “not enough towers” a good thing to base a day trip around? The fact of the matter is that tourists come from all walks of life, and they all have their own unique wants and desires. When you’re looking at a review for a cultural landmark, you can read a person’s opinion, but what if they left no explanation? What if they went to that opera house because they got dragged there by a more enthusiastic fellow traveler, when they just wanted some good Austrian beer at a local pub?
When it comes to going on a tour, especially to a city like Vienna, sometimes it’s better to just go with your gut. Reviews can be great for many things, but unless you feel the exact same way as every other human being about Vienna, reviews will be of limited use to you.