EAT in Vienna:
In a way it is unnecessary to recommend this restaurant: When you see the little Biedermeier house at the Spittelberg, you won't want to go passed it anyhow. The restaurant is just as enchanting as it is simple; the only thing where one has over-egged the pudding is with the name. It serves Viennese cuisine, rather down-to-earth and simple yet tasty. The drinks are regional, too: Most wines and also the liquors are from Austria. We don't know whether or not Nestroy would come eat here. But you should, in any event!
If you want to go out into nature, you should climb the Wilhelminenberg, where you don't only have a great view onto the city, green and purely romantic, but also eat excellent Schnitzel. Amidst other Vienna specialties you find Schnitzel variations that will spoil you for choice: Cordon Bleu, Unbreaded Schnitzel, Salzburg Schnitzel or Wiener Schnitzel? The search for a favourite is on. A tip for vegetarians: Don't forget the delicious desserts!
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.
STAY in Vienna:
Minimalism and discreet luxury? Not here: In these apartments it's a virtue to show off, be it with nude statues, leopard fabrics and loads of cushioning. If you stay in Vienna for a longer period and don't like the atmosphere in hotels, the exclusive Niky apartments are your best bet. The service is just as perfect as in any hotel, and the catering comes directly from the gourmet restaurant Niky's Kuchelmasterei. Niky's staff are also happy to put together an exquisite wine selection for you. So relax with a good glass of wine in the whirlpool that is waiting in your marble bath. What do you think? A night in the suite costs about 247 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 hotel has 25 rooms that are so cosy that you immediately feel at home. The rooms are tastefully furnished and situated around a living-room, where a minibar and a well-stocked library invite you to stay for a while. And if you don't want to leave the house at all, you'll never get bored. The hotel has its own cinema showing Austrian classics. Moreover, there is a spa to relax and a wonderful garden, which makes you forget that you are in the middle of a big city. Tipp: Just around the corner you find the star restaurant Hollmann Salon. A night in a double starts at 140 euros.
SIGHTS in Vienna:
The Viennese aren't exactly famous for being fast and lively. Yet once a year half of Vienna is on its feet, in order to show that cosiness toughens you up. The Vienna City Marathon is the greatest running event in Austria and has been taking place since 1984 and on April 14th, 2013 it's time again! The course is particularly beautiful: There is a relatively relaxed start at the Wagramer Straße, from there the runners cross the city centre, along the Mariahilferstraße and finally on the ring road to the Heldenplatz (Heroes' Square). In case you are in a really good shape, you may admire the most beautiful corners of the city before becoming a hero. The spectators are almost as committed as the runners and contribute greatly to the event. Breathe deeply and run!
The Naschmarkt is a paradise. For cooks, for gourmets, for idlers, people watchers and those too-cool-for-school. It's becoming increasingly difficult to get any real bargains, yet you can get just about anything for exotic cuisine. Herbs, fruits, fresh meat, fish, teas and sweets. The Naschmarkt really is the perfect spot for those with a sweet tooth. The Viennese come here not only to buy ingredients, but also for eating out in one of the many great, international restaurants. You really can't go wrong anywhere, and mostly you have to hunt for available spots anyway. Insiders like the Deli, the Neni and the recently remodelled Café Drechsler. Shopping tip: Near the metro station Kettenbrückengasse the prices come down a little.
SHOPPING in Vienna:
Anne Morel was born in France. With shoes on her feet, as she claims herself. Whether or not that's true, the passion for fascinating footwear remained and was imported to Vienna with a tad of Parisian flair. The good thing about this shop: High heels are out. This is because Anne Morel thinks ahead, and only when a woman stands firmly on the ground can she look good. This is why there are ravishing shoes with road grip, in any style, from ultrafashionable to sporty elegant. Oftcourse, the whole selection is from cutting edge French labels such as Maloles and Pataugas.
It seems that it got a little tight in Nathalie Perstich's shop in the Schleifmühlgasse, between kitchen and cookbook collection. Thus she opened another one in the middle of the first district. Just as in the original Babette's, there are loads of cookbooks. But the exuberant selection of unusual spices from all over the world is new. There is reason to doubt that the Naschmarkt can compete with that: 70 spices are kept in the mysterious spice chest. They are offered in bulk, plain or mixed by hand into great concoctions. Would you like to have the luxury spice of all? Then you should try the legendary, because extremely rare Kampot Pepper from Cambodia. Hungry? Then wait for lunch. Soups, curries and savoury pastries are prepared with the spices on offer; maybe that will facilitate your choice a bit.
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.