EAT in Vienna:
Matthias Euler-Rolle was the youngest radio host in Austria and grew to fame through the channel Ö3. Today he is programme director of the soul radio station Superfly.fm. And owner of a bar. At the end of November 2012 he opened his own bar called Puff in the Girardigasse in the sixth Viennese district. Everything happened quietly, almost secretly. It's a cool joint, used to be known under the name Girardi Club where easy girls welcomed their guests. Today this is different. The bar was designed by the Viennese Walking-Chair design studio and you sit under light objects made of PET bottles and sip cocktails that do not know frippery and affectations. The bar has the first Gimlet machine in the city which stands directly on the counter.
It wasn't all that long ago that Christian Petz was one of the most decorated cooks in Austria. Actually, he took his leave of the starred cuisine. It should become something completely different, relaxed and detached from the gourmet turmoil. And that's exactly what it became: the restaurant Holy-Holy! in the Viennese Badeschiff. The awards followed him: two toques and 15 points at the Guide Gault Millau awarding surprised Petz and his crew. The concept of the Holy-Moly is laid-back: eating at a high standard, served by a casual service staff in jeans and t-shirts. The dishes are sometimes even served on a sheet plate. The graffitis on the wall fit the atmosphere. A corkage of 14 euro allows you to bring your own wine. The sun deck and the big pool of the Badeschiff haven't changed comparing to last year. New additions for summer 2011 however are the Urban beer garden, the Fest.Land.Bar with champagne and shrimp cocktails and the fish market. If you buy a fish, it can be grilled for five euro. Also new: the club restaurant in the stowage of the Badeschiff. You may smoke here. In this sense: smoke on the water!
It is rumoured that not even in Italy you can get a pizza so wonderful like the one that comes out of the oven at Maria's Pizzeria. Up until 8 p.m. the eatery belongs to the children, who watch intently what the pizza baker is doing. Starting at 9 p.m. the adults take over, and only those with reservations. The young owner has lived in Naples. Upon her return she just imported a piece of Italy to Vienna, in a literal sense: The flour and tomato sauce come directly from bella Italia, the rest from local farmers. For dessert there's Panna Cotta in all variations imaginable as well as bitter espresso. The furnishing? Just as straightforward as the menu, and that is simply perfect.
STAY in Vienna:
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.
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.
The Méridien is the youngest of the extravagant houses at the ring road. The lack of tradition is balanced with super modern design and fancy styling. The furnishing in the rooms is minimalist but tasteful, and at night the hotel bar Shambala turns into a happening club scene: DJs such as Rodney Hunter and Erdem Tunakan make you dance with an international crowd. If you are mildly hung over the next day you might want to visit the fitness area: One round in the pool or a relaxing steam bath will refresh tired spirits. A night in a double starts at about 180,- euros.
SIGHTS in Vienna:
In the Hofburg you not only find the office of the President Heinz Fischer and the National Library, but also something that seems to be of a magical attraction for the tourists: The Imperial Apartments. The Hofburg was the imperial residence of the Habsburg, it was the seat of government and administrative centre of the Empire as well as the winter residence of the imperial family (in the summer they lived in Schönbrunn). You will get an overview when you take part in the one-hour-long tour. During that hour you will also be led through the Sisi Museum and the Imperial Apartments of Sisi and Franz. In the Schweizerhof, the oldest part of the Hofburg, the treasures of Habsburg dynasty can be admired, including the imperial Austrian crown, the royal treasure of the Holy Roman Empire with the imperial crown or the enchanting jewels of Habsburg empresses and princesses, i.e. parts of the original jewels of Empress Elisabeth.
Those who live close by never move any more. And those who don't, come from all over the city to relax in one of the most beautiful parks in Vienna. In the Augarten every one finds a place. Even the two huge flak towers from World War II have been integrated and made themselves indispensable. The runners run around, the slackliners balance between the trees, while a few more senior park lovers meet for a Boccia game. The hits this summer are already taking shape: Advanced Frisbee and Viking Chess. If you don't know what that is just ask a park inhabitant, they tend to be rather communicative. After the whatever-it-is match you can return the favour with a beer, spritzer or icecream, which the Awawa-Beisel, also called Bunkerei, provides. And when it doesn't happen to be summer? Then the Bunkerei offers punches. And the Augarten itself is beautiful in every season. Tip for families: For the little ones there is a children's pool and countless playgrounds.
When the schedule is tight and you need to get moving, we suggest combining your morning jog with a sightseeing tour: Just run around the ring road and admire the magnificent buildings. Shortly after the start you pass the parliament building: Pallas Athena is turning her back to the parliament, maybe not a wise decision. Then you move on to the Rathausplatz, with City Hall and Burgtheater, then on to the University at the Schottentor, passed the Bourse, the Urania, and the MAK (Museum of Applied Arts). Along the chic Kärnterring you reach the Opera. If you need more action still, you can turn into a park on the way. The Volksgarten, the Stadtpark or the Burggarten are possibilities. Tip: The round also works with the tram (you have to change lines) or a rented City Bike.
SHOPPING in Vienna:
The Yppenplatz is the heart of the trendy neighbourhood around the Brunnenmarkt. This is where Lisi Lang's showroom is located. Her true name is less well-known than her label Lila, whose product line is sold in many shops in Vienna. The Lila garments are most beautiful, however, when they keep to themselves: The small, bright shop is only opened on Saturdays, so one can purchase the entire collection at once. The package includes: Skirts, dresses, coats, shoes, lately even for men and children. As usual the cuts are astute and the clothes extremely comfortable.
There's no better place for a design centre than the new hotel of a star architect. That happened in December 2010 in Vienna: after a two-year construction phase, the design centre stilwerk Vienna finally opened. With roughly 30 shops, the building becomes a hub for design. On four floors and around 6000 square metres, design enthusiasts find everything that got style: furniture, living accessories, gift articles, fabrics, consumer electronics, lamps and fashion. The new stilwerk Vienna can be found in building of the new Hotel Sofitel St. Stephan's Cathedral which - as one might assume - is not located next to Stephansplatz but the Danube canal. The hotel itself is a piece of design - projected by Pritzker prize winner Jean Nouvel with fantastic lighting installations by artists Pipilotti Rist. stilwerk, known for being a hub for (interior) design and lifestyle accessories with internationally known brands for more than 14 years, has opened its first branch outside Germany in Vienna - following the success in Hamburg, Berlin and Düsseldorf.
Shanti Yoga Store
Of course, this is not all about yoga mats, yoga bags and cushions. It's interesting for all who look for relaxation everywhere, enjoying cool and comfortable fashion. This doesn't have to be hidden in your gym bag, but can be worn on the streets, too. The manager Birgit Kohl sells beautiful pieces by labels from the American scene, for example colourful shirts with brilliantly coloured Buddha and Chakra appliqués by Lily Lotus. Her advice is great, and you can touch, try and compare everything.