5 Reasons To Visit Vienna
Thursday 7th June 2012 | Osh
Vienna was the hub or classical music, so it's steeped in a lot of ornate history. While it has this prim-and-proper surface from such a background, Vienna is in actuality a very laid-back city, now famous of its electronic music output and cult record stores.
Vienna likes its wine. But more than alcohol, it's main tipple is a little more caffeine-based; Vienna is famous for its abundance of coffee bars, and the Kaffeehauskultur (Coffee House Culture) is the Viennese way of life when it comes to meeting friends, reading the newspaper, or going on a date.
Despite its slight reputation for being a 'proper' city, the nightlife is anything but quiet. Apart from the usual bars and cafes, parties and festivilles rage on through the night. The cafes in fact stay open until the early hours, not just on weekends but through the working week too.
#4 Ball Season
If you are lucky enough to visit this wonderful city during carnival season, you should attend one of the exquisitely glamourous balls, many of them in such decadent surroundings such as the Holfburg or City Hall. The biggest one is The Opera Ball in the State Opera - it's a truly sensational experience.
#5 Exchange Rate
Austria are part of the Euro, and at the moment it's quite close; 1 quid equals just over 1.25 Euros. When you hear the name 'Vienna', you think of marble arches and stately homes - however, it's no more expensive than London, Paris or Rome, so your funds shouldn't be too stretched.
Welcome to Vienna (on a budget)
1. Das Moebel Cafe
If you're seeking to while away an hour or so sipping one of Vienna's 500 beers, why not do it in a bar where everything, from the pictures on the wall to the chair you're sitting on, is for sale? The bar is basically a shop cleverly disguised; it's an outlet for local designers, acting as a showroom for them - and dogs are allowed too. What's not to love?
Feeling a bit retro? Looking like a film set from Casablanca, along with your usual selection of 1001 whisky varieties there are also a roster of cigars to choose from - and did we mention the 370 cocktails available? It's even been highly praised by The New York Times, saying that it has 'a laissez-faire ambience that combines aspects of Vienna's grande bourgeoisie with its discreet avant-garde.' Very sophisticated.
Cocktail heaven. Located in central Vienna, and the epitome of what a cool bar is, Alcazar is also styled after the 1940s like Barfly's, but with a decidedly contemporary streak. One-off music events litter the bar's calendar, and add that with over 100 cocktail combinations which it's popular in Vienna for, you're onto a winner.
1. Maschu Maschu
If you're in a bit of a hurry, Maschu Maschu has two branches: one located on Rabensteig which is more of a takeaway pit stop, while the other in Neubau offers a much better sit-down service. The portions are generous and the price is also great, offering brilliant falafels and kebabs. It's also right by main public transport links.
Average meal price: £7.50
While booking is an absolute must for this popular restaurant, the wait will be worth it as Figlmüller offers Weiener Schnitzels that are famous in Vienna. It's a beisl (pub) rather than a full-on restaurant, but the service is fast and friendly, with a great atmosphere and famously delicious food.
Average meal price: £12
3. Lebenbauer Vollwert Restaurant
Vegetarian? Hungry? Then this place is the perfect pit-stop. While it’s famous for catering to veggies, the carnivores amongst us can still enjoy the chicken and fish dishes on offer. Make the most of their on-the-house appetizers.
Average meal price: £15
1. Meininger Hotel
Located in the city centre, and at a low price too. Pool, table football and a PlayStation await you if you’re not feeling particularly outgoing - but when you’re so close to many of Vienna’s best sights, you’d be crazy to stay in!
£12 per night
2. Hostel Hütteldorf
Boasting a large garden for those hot summer nights, free breakfast and a locale only 15 minutes away from Vienna’s city centre, Hütteldorf is the ideal place to spend your sophisticated sojourn.
£13 per night
3. Westend City Hostel
Slap bang next to Westbahnhof, Vienna’s main train station, Westend City Hostel offers an impressive amount of features: free wifi, fridges, bicycle parking, free luggage storage and a common room, among other things. It’s also located near the museum mile of Vienna, so a stay here is optimum for having a particularly cultured stay.
Located directly beneath the Danube Canal, Flex has even been voted as one of the best clubs in the world. There’s a free view whilst sitting on the Danube Canal whilst you rest your feet. This club hosts a vibrant range of artists from newcomers through to successful international acts.
A former sauna in Vienna’s Prater has rapidly gone upmarket and developed into one of the city’s most prominent clubs. There are seven floors of Techno and Electro in this stylish and original location.
This nightclub is located directly on Praterstern, and continues to be the main driving force behind the renaissance of nightlife in Vienna’s second district. Fluc hosts parties and concerts without entrance fees upstairs and with moderate admission for club nights and concerts downstairs.