EAT in Vienna:
Club Sunshine in the Meierei, Roxy in the Opernpassage, Babenberger Passage at the Volkstheater and the radio station 98.3 Superfly - the Viennese party crowd associate these names with Sunshine Enterprises. Now, also the Albertina Passage Dinner Club is on the agenda of the lifestyle label. Located in a former pedestrian subway at the Viennese State Opera, it hosts jazz shows on an own stage, and offers a cigar club, a smokers' bar and culinary creations by Alexander Kumptner, a former student of celebrity chef Reinhard Gerer. Inspired by Quentin Tarantino's Jack Rabbit Slims Twist Contest the architects at Söhne & Partner have created the low-keyed venue for up to 300 guests. These amuse themselves in intimate boxes, sipping cocktails like Persian Mule or Espresso Martini and indulging in raw wild salmon with black avocado and glazed snails with parsley sauce. After a live programme the DJ puts on tunes and provides the right mood for a night out that will last until the early morning hours. That's simply Sunshine Enterprises.
The Karmelitermarkt is becoming increasingly more chic, and the pick of eateries, where one can sit down after the stroll through the market, is becoming more difficult. To the Schöne Perle, with the nicest waiters and the most modern home-style cooking? Or for Georgian flatbread to the Madiani? Far from it: The real connoisseurs drink their Marktachtel in the Marktachterl. The eatery was recently made over from a greasy stall into a cosy market restaurant, and with a keen sense and taste. Now the kitchen is managed by Josef Hohensinn, the former associate of Reinhard Gerer. The restaurant serves top class Vienna specialties. Tip: Try the white house wine, it's phenomenal.
The Palmenhaus is such a nice place that it easily manages the balancing act between tourist trap and local hot spot. It's existed since the turn of the century, and a look at the glass-steel construction alone is worth the visit. Now parts of the building have been remodelled by the architect duo Eichinger-Knechtl and were modernized in the true sense of the word. The palm trees and the view over the enchanting Burggarten have remained. Try to find a spot on the terrace or at the Brunnenbar (at park level). You can spend wonderful summer nights there, tastefully set to music by Viennese DJs. Plus: Great cuisine, great cocktails.
SIGHTS in Vienna:
If you haven't been to the theatre in Vienna you've missed something. The most elegant is located at the ring road, directly opposite to the City Hall. The Burgtheater has a long tradition, yet it is known as one of the most modern stages in the German-speaking world. The repertoire includes international classics and contemporary works, much of it from the rich tradition of Austrian plays. On the small stage, the Kasino, it even gets a bit more zeitgeisty and progressive: Young, courageous directors and playwrights have a platform that is no less professional than Mother Burg. Although some in the theatre city like to pretend that theatre is a pleasure for high society only, it's not at all the case: The audience is a colourful mix, and an unofficial dress code is at place - if at all - in the boxes. Tip: Going to the cinema is probably more expensive than a visit to the Burgtheater, since one hour before the start the remaining tickets are sold for half the price. Works most of the time.
Long live the central cemetery? the song by the Austropop legend Wolfgang Ambros hits the nail on the head. Admittedly, the quote is so Tuesday, but it really is one of the most beautiful places in the capital. If you like cemeteries in general, you have to take a walk there, in order to get some of the morbid charm of Vienna. Three million - some of them famous - names have been chiselled in stone, thus Vienna counts more dead than living inhabitants. With a list about who's been put to rest where, you can start on a vivid grave tour, in search for Mozart, Beethoven and Falco in sometimes quite sumptuous gravesites, as well as the Presidential Vault with the remains of Dr. Karl Renner and Thomas Klestil. Well worth seeing is also the Jewish part of the cemetery, the resting place for Buddhists and the phenomenal Art Nouveau church by Otto Wagner. Tip: You either resign yourself to only seeing parts of the cemetery, or you go to the most favourite sites with the bus line 11.
The Museum District is a cult for the Viennese: In the summer you sit on the Enzis (colourful open-air furniture to stretch out on), sip take-out drinks and listen to the DJs. In the winter it's time to take in culture in one of the museums or muse about which of the great restaurants or cafés to go to this time? Take in the street life: 60,000 sqm art and lifestyle are waiting for you! The architecture of the museums is phenomenal: The most modern buildings were combined gracefully with baroque originals. At the square you find the Vienna Art Gallery, which houses many events, the Museum of Modern Art and the Rudolf Leopold Collection. Beyond the three big ones near the square there are also several smaller cultural institutions that are even more exciting, such as the Austrian Museum of Architecture (www.azw.at) or the Tanzquartier (dance house - www.tqw.at). The little ones find cultural happiness in the Jungle Children's Theatre or the Children's Museum. If you are looking for unusual souvenirs, this is also the right place for you: Many small shops sell knickknacks for back home. Our tip. Sit down in one of the cafés and watch people!
SHOPPING in Vienna:
Disaster Clothing has become an institution in the Neubaugasse. Any one, whether teenager or a bit more mature, will find something here, provided they're looking for something cool. Pieces by established labels, such as Custo Barcelona, Desigual, Amarillo Limon and Skunk Funk are on display next to young Austrian designers such as Elke Freytag, lila, Maronski, Dejan, and Esca. The standards include Freeman T. Porter, Kyuichi fairtrade and biocotton Jeans. You always find something, because there is always something different to choose from in the DC, and always in limited edition. The shop complements and changes its stock every two weeks, so feel free to stop by more often than once.
Fashion designer Kathi Macheiner is chiefly a graphic designer, no doubt about that. The prints on her creations are full of bizarre animals and crooked figures.The perfect street wear for happy surfer girls and every one else who wants to look like them. Sixxa is hip, since Sixxa is hip, since even comfortable clothes look great here. Shirts, underwear, cool hats, jackets and knee-high stockings. The dirndl is a particular gem: Only knee-long, but otherwise cut in the classic way. The key: Polka dots and apron with a skull.
The name says it all: Sandra Haischberger truly produces the finest of the fine things out of porcelain in her studio. Delicate white is adorned with birds and insects, English lace patterns from the Tudor period are kissed back to life and fragile vases are waiting for flowers to be put in. On top of that many lamps, cups and bowls, everything made in extremely limited editions, and thus really something special. The surprise: Haischberger's art is still affordable.
STAY in Vienna:
In the Trieste it might very well be possible that there are celebrities snoring next door: Robbie Williams is a regular, Kylie Minogue was here and even David Bowie checked in. They all love the style by the British designer Terence Conran. He gave the 300-year-old horse station, in which the elegant hotel is located, a complete makeover. In the Trieste the big city is just as far away as its guests wish. Rooms with their own terrace or green garden are ideal for entirely zoning out. The Silver Bar is also worth a visit - Robbie Williams had this jewel recreated in the backstage area during a concert in Vienna. Doubles start at 293 euros.
The idea is as good as its implementation: Design at a low price. The word design, which tends to be used in inflationary ways, means nothing but modern furnishing. But the hotel excels in it. It's obvious that you have to save some money somewhere with this concept, and in this case it's the location. You can reach the city centre relatively quickly by metro, but on foot or by bicycle the trip becomes a workout. The rooms aren't particularly spacious, but since there are more interesting things to do in Vienna than to hole up in the hotel room, this is not a big problem. And if it is, you can still stretch out in the bar, which is open to its guests 24 h. A night in a double starts at 69,- euros.
The beautiful Art Nouveau building has apartments that fulfil nearly every demand. You can get apartments starting at at a cosy 25 or up to a spacious 90 sqm, the latter providing enough room for up to seven people. Of course there is everything that you need in the kitchen and bath room, and the big apartments even have a washing machine and dishwasher. The apartments under the attic are particularly great. They are not cheap, but you have a direct view onto St. Stephen's Cathedral. Tip: For 5 euros a person you get breakfast room service. A night in the cute suite starts at 155 euros.