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District 1 contains almost everything that has made Vienna famous: the Hofburg Imperial Palace and the Butterfly House; the Town Hall and Parliament; the Opera and Albertina. It is also where the famous shopping streets and the historic coffee houses are.
Some people might think it is old-fashioned, or possibly even kitschy, but one thing it definitely is, is unique.
The Museum for Applied Art/Contemporary Art – MAK for short – is one of the most important of its kind in the world.
This store consists exclusively of items that are truly hip and popular. Fashion by trend labels such as Dries van Noten, Céline and Bernhard Willhelm, unusual designer furniture and home accessories, and carefully selected jewellery.
This restaurant has captured the Viennese zeitgeist: the large dining room contains a nostalgically tiled bar and a shelf of magazines.
This smart establishment is in District 2. It’s worth a visit just to see the fabulously painted ceiling in combination with the white napery, wood-panelled walls and ball-shaped lights.
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The finest food from morning till evening, inspired by Oriental and specifically Israeli specialities, can be found at Neni on the Naschmarkt.
Alexander Ehrmann has transformed an 1886 pharmacy into a Mecca of natural skincare and beauty.
This sophisticated hotel is situated in the pedestrian zone, directly opposite St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
One of the oldest markets in Vienna. Although the Carmelite Market is smaller and less well known than the Naschmarkt, it also has fewer tourists.
Measuring 2.5 million m² and with 330,000 graves, the Central Cemetery is the most important one in Vienna, and provides the final resting place for people of any religion.
The MuseumsQuartier – MQ for short – is right at the heart of Vienna, and consists of a total of nine museums, courtyards, garden restaurants, cafés and shops.
Despite being over 100 years old, this establishment has lost nothing of its cosiness – you could even call it «urgemütlich».
Owner Ingrid Raabe produced a number of films on the subject of fashion for the ORF, Austria’s public service broadcaster, and back in 1978 opened her shop for vintage fashions – not surprisingly called Vintage.
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When in Vienna, it is essential to visit the Trzesniewski – with the fabulous by-line of «Unspeakably good rolls» in District 1 close to the famous Graben.
This luxurious 202-room hotel in a listed mansion is close to the city park. The Vienna State Opera and Albertina are also in the direct area.
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The place is called Coffee Pirates and it’s a coffee paradise. I could spend hours there. Unlike many coffee shops, it is not part of a chain but an independent shop founded last year by a couple of Austrian round-the-world hikers.
If you’re visiting Vienna, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to attend a Vienna State Opera performance for only three or four euros. I recommend arriving two to two and a half hours before the performance and buying a standing ticket. So don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes!
HIGHLIGHT OF THE TRAVEL EXPERT
I think one of the loveliest places in Vienna is the Palm House in the Castle Gardens.
Take a stoll along the Donaukanal (the «Danube Canal») from the Schottenring underground station to Schwedenplatz and back and enjoy the view of the river and the Viennese graffiti. Vienna has really pumped up its outdoor bars over the last few years, so have a drink in one where you can relax and wriggle your toes in real sand.
The history of Viennese porcelain began in 1718, since when it has been held in high regard all over the world.
BAR & NIGHTLIFE
Everyone comes here – well-to-do gents, fine ladies, wild or creative youngsters – and they all feel completely at home in this «American Bar», drinking cocktails, smoking, and listening to lively discussions or the jazzy music.
A dimly lit old café with plenty of history and a charm that is all its own. The velvet sofas have faded in the daylight and there isn’t a menu; instead, the slightly eccentric waiters recite the offer to guests: coffee, tea and hot chocolate, apple or sweet quark strudel.
The two shops contain all the classics, new publications and cook books in other languages as well as books on nutrition and fiction, and more on the general subjects of cooking and enjoying.
Often called an «architectural masterpiece», this art deco church was built in Vienna by Otto Wagner.
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At Therme Wien, you can really recover from the hustle and bustle of Vienna. This thermal spa is less than thirty minutes from the city centre and offers pure, unadulterated relaxation.
The Albertina Passage Dinner Club caters to the tastes of those seeking an elegant evening with exquisite cuisine.
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The dishes served in the spacious restaurant of the Museum for Applied Art are prepared with passion and commitment.