When you think of Vienna, certain things come to mind - the coffee, the pastries-- maybe even Kim Kardashian’s visit to the Vienna Opera Ball on the arm of businessman Richard Lugner! All the while, there are endless other reasons to visit – the gorgeous architectural attractions, the culture, the people and, yes, of course, the coffee and pastries. Here’s a few places not to miss.
…where to crash and get some R&R
The best words that come to mind when I think of this hotel is: uber luxury (and I don’t mean the car company…!). So if that’s what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place. Hotel Sacher Wien, a family run hotel, is on par with some of the world’s top hotels. The rooms and bathrooms are spacious and lovely, the service impeccable, and the hotel is located very close to Vienna’s main attractions, including the Opera House and Museum Quarter. As a special treat, each guest is greeted with complimentary Sacher tortes, candy and fresh fruit in their room. And don’t forget to venture upstairs to the Blue Bar and Rote Bar for an exquisite dinner or pre-opera drink – served up Viennese style!
Another one on our list of fancy (but worth a visit) hotels in Vienna is the Hotel San Souci Wien. This lovely boutique hotel boasts gorgeous rooms that are exceptionally spacious and designed with warm and inviting tones. Located in the heart of the city center, guests are just steps away from all that Vienna has to offer. Breakfast is complimentary (and very delicious!) and, as a special, treat there free coffee delicacies served between 7am and 11pm in the rooms. The spa is amazing and staff friendly as can be. Need I say more?
This 40-room quaint hotel is modern, new and priced just right for its guests. This wine focused hotel is perfect for anyone who has an appreciation for vino. Upon arrival, each guest is greeted with a complimentary glass of wine and every evening boasts complimentary wine tastings. Each guestroom in the hotel is dedicated to an Austrian winemaker (with their products in the minibar). The staff is extremely helpful and the rooms are comfortable and design centric. A Wein Wein for all!
…where to chow down and then unbutton the top button
One of the most classic and traditional coffee houses of Austria, Café Landtmann is located on the Ringstrasse in Vienna's first district. Founded in 1873, this cafe has been a popular meeting spot for many actors, artists and politicians – think Gustav Mahler and Sigmund Freud. Great for a coffee break, breakfast, lunch or dinner.
One of my favorite spots in the city, a visit to Cafe Prueckel is like time-traveling back to the ‘50s, even though the restaurant was founded in 1903. Go for breakfast, a snack or a slice of cake. I love the Sacher Torte, Melange and or just a plain old latte.
A cute little coffee spot located in a small plaza in the first district. This is where Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy go for a drink in the movie “Before Sunrise”. Definitely not a tourist trap and a must do for Vienna locals. Try the Schnittlauchbrot (Chives Bread) and an open face sandwich.
This café is a favorite of tourists, but for good reason. The Demel Cafe serves up some of the best Viennese pastries in the city and has a decor that is incredibly pretty. Established in 1786, this historic café has been around for over a century making the most delicious sweets, chocolates and pastries in Vienna. Be sure to take home some goodies as they don’t make them any better than this.
… where to drink up and get down
Onyx Bar at Do & Co Haas Haus
Do & Co is a classic Viennese restaurant, but instead of eating dinner, I like to go there in the afternoon for cocktails & drinks (I mean, you ARE on vacation!). It’s on the top floor of the Haas Haus overlooking St. Stephens in the center of the 1st district
Established in 1972, Jazzland is the oldest jazz club in Austria reminiscent of the “pods” you would find in Krakow. Jazz performances happen six days a week and they all happen in a 500-year old cellar below ground. Old photographs line the cellar featuring the many jazz legends who have played there. Jazzland is a sure thing you don’t want to miss!
I know, I know – you’ve traveled all the from America to Vienna so why would you want to go to a place called “America Bar”? Don’t let that put you off. This charming and cozy place is an architectural art-deco gem and specializes in delicious cocktails, spirits and exquisite champagne. The menu is extensive and they’re open late so there’s no excuse to miss this place!
I JUST BOUGHT THESE PANTS
…where to nab the best threads
A Viennese institution by now, Park has an impeccable selection of avant-garde men’s and women’s fashion from brands like Acne, Ann Demeulemeester and Walter Van Beirendonck, mixed with furniture items, books and fancy accessories. A must see place to shop.
One of the best stores I’ve ever been to -- Song has a beautiful selection of clothing, accessories and usually has an exhibit happening in the back. It's maybe more of a place to look than to buy ($$$), but it’s definitely worth the visit.
This perfect little design bookstore is hidden in an atrium in Vienna’s first district. You could spend a whole afternoon in this bright and quaint little space – so many rare finds that are no where else but here.
ANTS IN YOUR PANTS
…what to do when you can’t sit still
Go and spend an afternoon at the Museumsquartier in the 7th district. There’s so much to see, eat, drink and buy. Go to the MUMOK for some Modern Art and, our favorite, the Leopold Museum for some Klimt and Schiele. Stop by at the Halle afterwards for an afternoon snack or traditional Viennese coffee.
One of my favorite spots in Vienna –- the Naschmarkt – is a beautiful outdoor market full of delicatessen stands, fresh fruit and vegetable stands and small restaurants. One of our favorites there is Neni's, located further back in the market. Tip: As you are strolling, look at the beautiful buildings on the left.
Vienna’s legendary opera house that dates back to the mid-19th century is located in the heart of Vienna and features wonderful musical and ballet performances as well as the Vienna Opera Ball. Plan ahead and buy tickets for the state opera to experience traditional Vienna in all its glory
If you are into psychoanalysis (or maybe need some…!) be sure to visit the museum located in Freud's living quarters where he lived for 47 years and worked on most of his writings. The museum, built in 1971, houses over two thousand documents, photographs, paintings and sculptures.