A trip to Vienna is like an unforgettable journey through time. In a city that understands perfectly how to unite tradition and modernity. Encounter splendour and gentility on one side of the street, and healthy big city bustle on the other. Meet, in the midst of this, with a touch of small-town flair, pride and cultural history.
Over the next 24 hours, we will wander Vienna’s streets on foot, see a great deal and marvel at even more. With countless contrasts along the way. For Vienna is impossible to pigeonhole.
10 am–12 pm – Café Phil:
Breakfast in Café Phil. Be sure to bring some time and a chilled-out attitude with you! Café Phil is a shabby-chic café, furniture flea market and reading room all in one. Everything you find here can also be bought and taken home with you. This includes the chairs on which you can make yourself so comfortable. A varied breakfast spread is offered here. Whether an Alpine enthusiast, Italy fan, gourmet or hedonist – there is something for everyone.
12 pm–1 pm – Naschmarkt:
Around the corner from Café Phil is the Naschmarkt city market. Culinary souvenirs can be found here in the permanent market lined with little stalls offering specialities from around the globe. Should you still be feeling full from breakfast, we can first take a stroll along Vienna’s main shopping street, Mariahilfer Strasse.
1 pm–2 pm – St. Stephen’s cathedral + Manner flagship store:
From the Naschmarkt, we will pass by the Vienna State Opera and Hotel Sacher (where the famous Sachertorte was invented). Our next stop is the most expensive street in Vienna: Kärntner Strasse, which is a popular haunt of elegantly-dressed older ladies. In the winter, the street is filled with hundred-year-old fur coats. At the end of this street is St. Stephen’s cathedral. Perhaps even more importantly though, we will stock up with an original Austrian product here: chocolate wafers from the Manner store.
2–2:45 pm – Spanish Riding School:
We have now reached the Hofburg imperial palace. The Spanish Riding School with its Lipizzan horses is based here. Unfortunately there’s no time to take a look inside. Instead we must make do with the carriages lined up outside. These are the traditional single-horse carriages pulled by brown, grey, black or white horses offering romantic city tours. We will then continue on foot across Heldenplatz.
3–4 pm – Museum Quarter:
Nestled between the splendid Volkstheater, sprawling Heldenplatz and Vienna State Opera is the place to be: the Museum Quarter, which is known as the MQ for short. In the summer, loungers are available here for chilling out; in the winter, there are hip Christmas markets, and all year round, fantastic shops offer countless little gift ideas.
4–5:30 pm – Café Sperl:
A trip to Vienna is not complete without a visit to an original Viennese coffee house! Café Sperl is one of the best preserved and the one with the best home-made cakes. This is not merely a café though, but rather a Viennese institution. For legendary figures of the likes of Beethoven and Mozart met here back in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Indeed, to this very day, people do not merely come here for a tasty slice of cake and a coffee, but rather also to read, relax or work on their laptop. The Viennese coffee culture forms part of the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage.
5:30–6:30 pm – Bootik 54:
Vintage lovers should head for Bootik 54 located at house number 54 on Neubaugasse. Hipsters will find a true paradise here. Original items from America and the rest of the world in the 1970s, 80s and 90s have been compiled here following meticulous detailed research. The shop is almost bursting at the seams – meaning there is all the more to explore. Be sure to bring some time with you!
6:30–8 pm – Schnitzelwirt:
Traditional Viennese Schnitzel are served directly next door. They may only be referred to as original Viennese Schnitzel if they are made from veal though. In the Schnitzelwirt, they are served in the traditional style with no sauce or side dishes. People sometimes queue onto the street for a table here. Those inside will enter another world! A world of Stammtisch meetings, a witty landlady, men who have become a permanent fixture, and large convivial groups kicking off an unforgettable evening. The perfect atmosphere awaits.
8–10 pm – Clash:
The Clash is like a house party at your grandmother’s: you will immediately feel at home and thoroughly welcome. Affording a casual living room look, the Clash is packed with students deep in discussion at the tables or chilling out on the worn-out sofas. This helps make the beer taste that bit better.
A night on the town:
The alternative crowd meets for drum ‘n’ bass in the somewhat scruffy Flex. Indie, rock and punk are offered in the vaulted cellar in Chelsea, which is one of the oldest Gürtel bars in Vienna built beneath the elevated railway track. House and pop are played in the Volksgarten.
Those who prefer electro will feel most at home in the Prater Sauna, a club with great DJs, tasty cocktails and a pool high over the roofs of Vienna.
For all those who prefer to bar hop, I recommend what is known as the Bermuda Triangle around Schwedenplatz. You really can get lost there in the very truest sense of the word. It also isn’t far from here back to the MEININGER hotel.