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One of the grandest cities of Europe, Vienna is a must see and deserves 3-4 days at least. A schnitzel sampling tour alone will take a few days.

Restaurants:

  • **Cafe Pruckel: 100 years old, another classic. Do a breakfast and appreciate the decor and care of the historic furnishings.
  • **Cafe Schwartenberg: classic coffee house, 100+ years old. An experience, if a bit touristy and gruff.
  • **Gasthaus Witwe Bolte: Excellent traditional Austrian food, restaurant is 250 years old, has indoor and outdoor setting, in the cute Spittelbergg quarter.
  • **Gigerl – Der Stadtheurige: a tourist-oriented spot, but I remember it having a fun energy and traditional Austrian food.
  • *Griechenbeisl (one of the oldest restaurants in Vienna), Griechengasse 9. Cute from the outside, we were strongly discouraged from going, ‘just for tourists.’
  • *Lugeck: didn’t love this. It’s totally fine and you need a reservation, but it’s a little modern-generic and lacking personality.
  • *Palmhouse: I wanted to love this, but didn’t particularly. Same food as all the other coffee houses, casual vibe, feels touristy.
  • ***Meissl & Schadn: The name Meissl & Schadn is a Viennese restaurant legend, but their new premises, just opened at the Hotel Grand Ferdinand, feeds modern versions of the boiled beef and schnitzels of yore to sophisticated diners. Excellent food in a lovely setting, we really liked this. (#1 for potato salad per Galen)
  • ***Schnitzelwirt, Neubaugasse 52: Galen’s #2 vote for the best Schitzel. The potato salad is better at Meissl & Schadn. Traditional, crowded, extremely popular, perfect lunch spot. This is also right in the middle of the best shopping area (for local/higher end stuff).
  • ***Skopik & Lohn. Leopoldsgasse 17. Lovely. We enjoyed this for the walk to the other side of town, the setting, the food, the service. Best schnitzel, according to Galen.

Hotels:

  • **Ruby Lissi Hotel & Bar, Fleischmarkt 19, 1010 Wien. Hip but a nice location and pleasant enough.
  • Hotel Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom [bar with an amazing view]

Sites Outside the Ring Road:

On the way back from Schonbrunn, stop at the **Majolikahaus of Otto Wagner (exterior tile). It’s not worth going out of your way, but if you’re in the area it’s pretty. From there you can walk through *Naschmarkt, a food and flea market that’s been there since the 16th century, and really isn’t worth it at all.

  • *The Secession Building: Art Nouveau exterior and Klimt paintings in situ. Erected in 1897 by Joseph Maria Olbrich as an architectural manifesto of the Vienna Secession group, designed to underline their break with conservative exhibition space Künstlerhaus.  The Art Nouveau building (currently under renovation) is one of Vienna’s most compelling constructions, home to Klimt’s Beethoven FriezeFriedrichstraße 12, 1010 Vienna, Austria +43 1 5875307. Tuesday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. We found this a decidedly minor stop. The Frieze is quite interesting, but it’s a steep price for a 15 minute visit.
  • **Hundertwasserhaus and Kunsthaus Wien: spectacular modern architecture, definitely worth seeing (very creative). Take a bus there, it’s several miles from the town center.

Museum District / Inside the Ring Road:

  • **Augustinerkirche: lovely and delicate. Quite tall inside (church is hidden inside the walls of the palace), narrow, white walls. Great acoustics, impressive statues.
  • *Peterskirche: Baroque, rather small but ornate. Didn’t leave a major impression.
  • **Roman Museum: a fairly minor affair, but we enjoyed it for a clear perspective on the ‘shape’ of the city and how the Roman city influenced the architecture.
  • *Spanische Hofreitschule is the only institution in the world which practices classical equitation in the Renaissance tradition. It has been in existence for approximately 450 years, and the style of the uniform of the riders is nearly unchanged since the beginning. Only Lipizzaner horses, which are bred at the federal stud Piber in the Austrian province of Styria, are trained here. http://www.srs.at/en_US/visitor-centre/Tues-Sun 9-4. Galen likes this more than Alicia.
  • [Didn’t do] Vienna State Opera Dazzling, world-famous opera house. 
  • [Didn’t do] Hofburg Imperial Apartments Lavish main residence of the Habsburgs.
  • [Didn’t do] Hofburg Treasury The Habsburgs’ collection of jewels, crowns, and other valuables — the best on the Continent.
  • [Didn’t do] Museum of Applied Arts (just go for an hour, only the old collection. NOT the new!)
  • [Didn’t do this trip] Kunsthistorisches Museum World-class exhibit of the Habsburgs’ art collection, including works by Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Bosch, and Bruegel. The impressive palace in which the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna (Museum of Art History) is located was first opened in 1891, and primarily exhibits works of the Habsburg collection. It is considered one of the five most significant fine art museums in the world, with collections of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman Antiquities, alongside sculptural works and pieces of decorative art. The museum’s stairwell features 40 spandrel paintings and other works between arches and columns, 11 of which were created by Gustav Klimt. Maria-Theresien-Platz, 1010 Vienna, Austria +43 1 52524. Tue – Sun, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Thu, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • [Didn’t do] Burgtheater: The Burgtheater was inaugurated in 1741 and is considered one of the most important German-speaking theaters in the world. It features four ceiling paintings by Gustav Klimt created between 1886 and 1888, next to works by his brother, Ernst Klimt, and the artist Franz Matsch. Next to the theater of the antiquity in Taormina, Sicily, Klimt also depicted the London Globe Theatre and the finale of Romeo and Juliet. Visitors can learn more about the collection on a guided Klimt tour. Universitätsring 2, 1010 Vienna, Austria +43 1 514444140
  • [Didn’t do] Albertina: nice space, modern and contemporary art. Not crazy about the exhibits they have right now.

Outside of town:

For a half day trip, take the tube to U4 to Heiligenstadt, bus to Kahlenberg. Download Beethoven Pastorale sympomphy #6 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbfa86bTD34), which was composed in this area, walk to Heuriger sirbu, walk through the vineyards overlooking the city, end up at pfarrwirt (http://www.pfarrplatz.at/en/heuriger/the-heurige.html). Make a reservation at Laudhaus Mayer. Don’t order bottles of wine, order Gemischter Satz (heuriger) – carafe. (We really enjoyed this – the bus ride is through a lovely wealthy part of town, the walk down has great views and wine tasting in the summer, and Laudhaus Mayer is a lot of fun.)


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