Schokov - you're in chocolate heaven!
Don't even try not to buy anything here! There's chocolate in all kinds of sizes, flavours, and shapes. Dark, light, milky, almondy. Other chocolate-related products are for sale here, too. Chocolate pasta, anyone?
Vegan and lactose-free chocolates can be found here as well. Schokov's own brand is made out of purely organic ingredients, by the way.
Herr und Frau Klein
Lovely store with great things (clothes, toys, baby carriers, strollers, books,...) for the little ones. Cool toys with a retro-feeling - don't we all want a huge Barbapapa to cuddle with?
Careful: Die Sellerie is only open Thu-Sat!
The now Vienna-based fashion label art point was founded in Moscow in 1993. Deconstruction of fashion and to challenge our society's view on gender mainstream fashion are main topics for art point - the result is fashion with a twist. Check out their über-lovely shawls!
Sax & Co. - paper and everything you never thought you'd need.
Who knew a shop selling paper could be this exciting?! Two floors of lots of stuff: small toys, pens, calendars, wrapping paper, note books,...
Great place to find a last-minute gift!
Wald & Wiese - the shop for honey and truffels
Honey from all over the globe: Manuka from New Zeeland, honey with violets, organic honey, sunflower honey, chestnut honey, lavender honey, eucalyptus honey, beauty products made with honey, bee wax candles, honey candy AND truffles! Trufflepesto, trufflerice, trufflepolenta, trufflesalt, trufflebutter and then - of course - real whole chunks of truffle.
Leave Winnie the Pooh and truffle pigs outside - they'd go nuts in here.
Freitag - From truck to bag
The two "Freitag" Brothers started their company at home in a small flat. The products, bags in different sizes and designs, are made out of used truck planes - washed, sliced and carefully sewn. Freitag has become a Swiss trendsetter brand - casual and sporty! Choose between bags, cases for your beloved devices, wallets, etc etc.
Truly scrumptious! This old-fashioned candy store is especially packed before Easter, Christmas and Nikolo (Dec 6) and has a wide selection of candy, chocolates, gums and other superfast carbs. If you're here around Easter grab at least one bag of "Möweneier"; sugarcoated nougat eggs. Crunchy and smooth - the best!
Vitamines at Rauch
Drop in and grab a freshly squeezed smoothie or juice to up your energy levels. How about a Vitaminator, Beach Body or Veggie Wake Up? Or, maybe, a Happy Hangover? Snacks and coffee are served here as well.
24 October 2013
Breakfast at Café Schwarzenberg
Enjoy a traditional Viennese Breakfast at this café - the first to open its doors on the Ringstrasse in 1861! The architect Josef Hoffmann, founder of the Wiener Werkstätte, used to have lunch here and many of his outstanding works were created at the Café Schwarzenberg. Fuel up before continuing either by tram or foot to the Belvedere further South.
22 October 2013
Schönbrunn - the zoo
The "Zoo Vienna" or "Tiergarten Schrönbrunn" was founded as an imperial menagerie in 1752. It's the oldest zoo in the world baroque buildings can be found right next to modern (and more animal friendly!) zoo architecture.
Schönbrunn is one of the few zoos housing giant pandas - although it can be quite a challenge to spot them in the bamboo! ;)
I really like the rainforest house and am looking forward to the brand new polar bear compound.
Ticket prices and opening hours can be found in the provided link. Another great tip is to book your tickets online: Save 1 Euro per ticket and avoid queuing up at the ticket office! There are several restaurants and cafés within the zoo, Head over to the orang utan-house on very crowded days for a more quiet cup of coffee. There are playgrounds, bathrooms, lockers, etc. Handcarts can be rented for tired kids. The zoo is open year-round.
Schönbrunn - the Gardens
21 October 2013
Farmers' market at Freyung
The organic farmers' market on Freyung is open on Fridays and Saturdays year round. Before Christmas and Easter the market is open every day with a special section for Christmas and Easter stuff.
Stock up on fresh produce, cheese, bread and lots'n'lots of honey. Wine, fruit juices as well as take-away foods (like pumpkin soup or Blunzengröstl, blood sausage fried with potatoes and onions) are sold here.
Coffee at Kleines Café
This tiny café serves coffee and snacks. To sit outside in the warmer months is just lovely. Recognise the square? Scenes of the movie "Before Sunrise" by Richard Linklater were shot here.
The Best Käsekrainer - Bitzinger
Käsekrainer - a very typical Austrian cheese-filled sausage - is a total must when visiting Vienna. You can get it at almost any Würstelstand - hot dog stands, that is - but Bitzinger, right in from of the Albertina is supposed to serve the very best.
A slice of bread, mustard, maybe a beer and you're set.
20 October 2013
Shops at Museumsquartier
There are several nice shops in Museumsquartier. Here are our favourites. At MQ Point, right at the main entrance of the complex, you'll find fun and quirky souvenirs, accessories. Head to mumok shop (next to mumok) for exhibition catalogues, designer merchandise and more cool stuff. At Buchhandlung Walter König, right of the main entrance, behind MQ Point, you'll find an extensive collection of art books, books and catalogues on photography, film, design and architecture. It also features a small but carefully chosen selection of children's books far away from mainstream. Guidebooks and postcards of Vienna are sold here as well. It really is a great store!
Kunsthalle Wien is Vienna's exhibition venue for international contemporary art and discourse. Check put the website for information on exhibitions: http://www.kunsthallewien.at/en/.
Kunsthalle is open daily.
Austrian expressionism, secessionism, modernism: Schiele, Klimt, Kokoschka, Moser, Wiener Werkstätte. A fantastic collection. The parmanent exhibition also include Vienna 1900 - Viennese art at the turn of the century.
The building stands in contrast to the darkness of the Mumok and the yellow facades of the original structures.
The museum is closed on Tuesdays!
Café Leopold - Food and Coffee
International food with great coffee and a perfect view over Museumsquartier - a great place to have lunch AND rest your feet between museum visits.
Mumok - MUseum MOderner Kunst - looks almost like a monolith, clad with basalt lava. The museum houses around 9000 works of art: paintings, photos, furniture, sculptures and architectural models. Significant works of Classical Modernism, Nouveau Réalisme, Viennese Actionism and Pop Art can be found here.
The museum is open every day.
Museumsquartier (MQ) is one of the largest art and culture complexes in the world
Historic buildings from the 18th and 19th century and contemporary museums form a unique architectural ensemble and create a special ambience. At the Museums Quartier Wien, the production and experience of art form an inseparable whole with recreation and relaxation. Entering the courtyards is free - pay for the museums as you go or get the MQ kombi-ticket if you plan on visiting more than one museum.
Visiting with kids? The Zoom museum hosts exhibitions and workshops for different age groups, but you'll definitely need a reservation (www.kindermuseum.at)!
Start your day in the lovely and small Ölz Bakery - a traditional brand from Vorarlberg (western Austria) serving great coffee, big pots of tea, great Austrian breakfast from piquant plates to sweet things like honey and jam. The bread is always self-made - sometimes you can watch the bakers at work!
19 October 2013
Today we went to Naschmarkt and bought some sweets. It was great!!!
Embrace Mother Nature at Naturhistorisches Museum
Just like Kunsthistorisches Museum, this grande dame of a museum was built to host a vast collections of all things natural. Its massive collections do not only feature a whale skeleton, dinosaurs and loads and loads of stuffed animals in taxidermy heaven, a seemingly endless rock collection but also Venus of Willendorf, the busty 25 000 year-old statuette. Check out the frescoes, some made by the famous Josef Hoffmann, on the walls and ceilings, depicting nature scenes from all over the globe.
Shop and café can be found in the museum.
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien
The museum of fine arts opened to the public in 1891 and houses one of the biggest art collections world wide. The building and the one opposite, the Museum of Natural History were planned and built as museums. Everything in here is dedicated to art: check out the frescos as well as the collections - they all compliment each other. The extensive exhibition can make even the biggest art lover gasping for air - be sure to pick up an audio-guide or join a tour to be sure not to miss the most exquisite pieces. The Kunstkammer, a reopened part of the museum, is a "museum within the museum" and hosts pieces collected by the members of the royal House of Habsburg.
There's a café in the museum as well as a museum shop.
This has become one of the favourite bakeries among the Viennese. Organic, regional and very very tasty. Expect long lines here on Saturdays when everyone comes here to load up on carbs for their Sunday breakfasts. The croissants are to die for, the bread loaves fantastic. Pick up a jar of silken apricot jam straight from the Wachau, organic pesto or home-made fruit syrup.
Sugar rush at Demel
Demel! Like a dream in cream and sugar! Established in 1786, this Viennese confectionary shop is one of the best stops to refuel your blood sugar. Fantastic cakes, cookies, tarts already enchanted the Austrian Royal Household ages ago - you'll love it too. Come here for coffee and a Mehlspeise (dessert), check out the bakery where beatiful cakes are decorated and relax in Viennese splendour. The best dessert cakes: Fragilité - a small but substantial tart, made with nuts, cream and more nuts
Sachertorte - you'll have to try it anyway!
Cremeschnitte - a classic: vanilla custard and puff pastry
The staff is friendly and polite, this place is used to tourists but doesn't show it. Reservations can be made - a good idea on Sundays or around the major holidays when the city is packed. Salads, sandwiches and the usual Viennese classics are served here as well.
Come here in a group, order a couple of cakes and enjoy!
St. Stephen's Cathedral
Finished in the 1400s the cathedral is one of the main sights of Vienna. Step inside to take in its size, visit the catacombs or climb up the narrow stairs to the southern tower to get a bird's eye view over the city. Another, less strainful option is to take the elevator to the top of the northern tower, where there's an outside viewing platform. It's fee to get inside the church, but you'll have to pay for the towers and the catacombs.
Walk past the Vienna State Opera
Walk towards Kärtnerstrasse; you'll see the famous Vienna State Opera right across the Ringstrasse. If you'd like to hear an opera you can buy the tickets here or online.
The building, finished 1896, was heavily criticised by the public - one of the two architects committed suicide soon after.
Check out Karlsplatz and relax ;)
Daniel Bakery - Breakfast
18 October 2013
Sofitel Bar "Le Loft"
Mochi - Japanese with a couple of great twists
This stylish and modern restaurants will leave your tastebuds singing and hollering with delight. Soft shell crabs, kim chi, gyoza and fantastic sushi. The young owners are super friendly, the staff friendly and eager to help to choose the best dining experience and combination of tastes, texture and dishes. Mochi is open all day, if you have dinner in mind a reservation is essential.
Great food at "Meierei"
The Meierei is situated in Stadtpark, right next to Wienfluss. The building has to floors, the upper is dedicated to the haute-cuisine restaurant Steirereck (two stars in the Guide Michelin and expensive). On the lower level you'll find the more easy-going Meierei ("dairy farm" in english); choose a table outside if weather permits and watch the people strolling by. Typical Austrian cuisine with a twist is served here, all prepared with ingredients of the highest standard. Try the Wiener Schnitzel here - you'll find no better. 120 different cheeses are on the menu, as well as Viennese pastries. Why don't indulge in apple strudle - freshly made at 1pm every day.
A great selection of mainly Austrian wine is served here. The service is perfect, the prices not bad - the quality of the food is excellent. Breakfast, lunch and dinner and all kinds of high-caloric snacks throughout the day are served here.
A stroll through Stadtpark
Take a couple of deep breaths and stroll through Stadtpark, Vienna's first park that was open to the public - and not only to the emperor! Set up in 1860 this elegant and well-maintained park has everything from big lawns, a pond, the Wienfluss, a playground and walkways.
Otto Wagner - "Postsparkasse"
If you stand at Georg-Coch square you can wonder about the two facing buildings: the Otto Wagner Postsparkasse and the old war ministry (today office of different ministries). Which one is older?
The war ministry was build between 1909 - 1913.
The Postsparkasse (postal savings bank) was constructed between 1904 and 1906.
University for Applied Arts Vienna
Visit MAK - Museum for Applied Arts
Coffee at Café Prückel
The atmosphere in Café Prückel is amazing. Immerse yourself in the Old Vienna, the fin de siècle enjoy a stopover in this almost timeless place. Typical newspaper racks, formally dressed and very attentive waiters, chandeliers and a view of Vienna's beautiful Ringstrasse.
The clientele is an interesting mixture of the young and the old: designers, artists, students, lawyers in suits, old ladies with their plump little dogs in tow. The University of Applied Arts is situated right opposite on the other side of the street, together with the MAK museum.
Order a typical Viennese Melange, and a menu of the day (together about 11€). The food is fantastic and will be served within a few minutes!
Don't forget to go check out the bathroom: You'll walk through the kitchen and head down a mint green staircase.
Designer In-Hotel Daniel
The Hotel Daniel - "smart luxury" is situated right next to Belvedergarden.
It will welcome you with a boat slipping from the roof by Erwin Wurm - an Austrian artist.
Choose between sleeping in an Airstream "Trailer" ( 16m2 - from 112€), a "Smart" room ( 16-18m2 - from 92€) or "Panorama" room ( 22m2 - from 112€) - all ways are just great, but I would prefer the Trailer one ;)
If you want to feel, sleep and live like a local there's only one way: Airbnb. There are so many great apartments for Vienna listed. From cheap rooms in a student living community up to luxury flats! Search what suits you best!
How to get around
Vienna has probably one of the densest public transport networks in the world. The "Wiener Linien" offer different tickets starting from a single trip ticket that is valid 90min for EUR 2. There are ticket machines at every subway station or you download the android or iOS app.
During the night, there are night busses and on weekends the subway runs 24h as well.
Within the Ring Strasse - the street that circles the city center - everything is in walking distance.
On sunny days you can also take one of the city bikes. Registration takes about 10min per person and costs EUR 1. Lending a bike is always free for the first hour. When you return the bike at one of the city bike stations you have to wait 15min before you get another hour for free.
When to go
Vienna is worth a visit all year round but each season has its ups and downs. Spring is usually lovely, with warm sunny days and lots of possibilities for sitting outside and enjoying a nice melange. Summer can be very hot and the city is bustling with tourists. Lots of Viennese flee the city in July and August when temperatures can come close to 40°C. Be mindful that some cultural institutions, like the State Opera House, are closed over the summer. If you come in summer you'll have to try the great gelato! Fall in Vienna is mostly beautiful; the air is crisp, the sun is still warm. The weather can be cold, too - but what a great opportunity to cuddle up at a café! The cute Viennese Christmas markets open mid-November - Glühwein, anyone?
Winter can be cold and above all very windy.
The majority of shops are closed on Sundays and on public holidays. Museums, especially those also catering to kids, are busiest on weekends and school holidays. Some museums are closed on Mondays.