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.
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.
In this case vintage doesn't mean that the stuff has been worn before, that it looks ragged or smells of moth balls. It rather feels like a please-touch museum of past fashion. The collection consists of selected pieces from the years between 1880 and 1980 - anything more recent than that you will look for in vain. The owners of the boutique have got such a good touch for beautiful things that the Flo has become world famous: Stella McCarney, Marc Jacobs and Kate Moss have been here to look for glamorous garments from the 1920s, New Look from the 1950s or whacky designer pieces from the 1980s. The shop also has traditional costume, headdresses and extravagant jewels.
SIGHTS in Vienna:
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!
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.
The Freihausviertel is not a sight that you'd find on page one of your guide. It's more a highlight for the advanced visitor to Vienna, who has ticked off Hofburg and Co. and now has time to enjoy. The programme: A stroll through what is probably most creative and hip neighbourhood of Vienna. Near the Naschmarkt you will find small shops, beautiful cafés and good restaurants, in the Schleifmühlgasse reigns contemporary art. A mild summer night visiting vernissages, sauntering from gallery to gallery with a glass of wine in your hand - it sure won't get any better than that.
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.
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 legendary Café Landtmann is located directly at the ring road next to the Burgtheater. It's a Viennese tradition to go there after the show. When Franz Landtmann opened his café in 1873, it was the city's most spacious. It still is one of the most elegant, even if the elegance appears a little old-fashioned. Here all the Vienna clichés come true: The waiters condescend to serve with bow tie and verve, the coffee comes in 15 different names and the pastries make you drop on your knees. Three times a week (Monday, Tuesday and Sunday night) even the musical cliché holds true, with live piano music in the background. The wonderfully modern winter garden is new and makes for a nice contrast to the classic and somewhat stuffy part of the café. If you sit for a little bit longer until you get hungry, it doesn't matter so much: The cuisine is typically Viennese and much more than just a coffeehouse snack.
STAY in Vienna:
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 Pension Nossek is often booked up months in advance, and that's understandable. If you happen to know a nicer and more charming hotel, please let us know. The family run establishment is more than 100 years old, and it's clear to see: stucco ceilings, parquet floors and Vienna period furniture create a very special atmosphere. Prices are relatively favourable, which is surprising given its location. The Pension Nossek is located directly at the moat in the first district, from some rooms your can even see the posh shopping street. There are a colourful mix of guests, ranging from the university professor to the backpacker. Doubles start at 115 euros at night.
Luxury hotels represent a multitude of lifestyles and living spheres. One version is a modern, contemporary design paired with vintage. Another one is traditional luxury with precious materials and the flair of bygone times. That's what Kempinski in Moscow represents. And rightly so. After all, Kempinski, founded in 1897, is the oldest luxury hotel group in Europe. The Nikol'skaya welcomes its guests after six years of renovation in several buildings around the corner of Nikol'skaya Street and the Lubyanka square. In the style of the Belle Époque: opulently adorned with marble and dark oak wood, red velvet and beige wallpapers, golden décor and crystal chandeliers. Already in the lobby the hotel alludes to the times of ocean steamers, when people clad in pearls and fur sipped champagne from crystal flutes. But you can still do so - in the Kempinski lobby, lounging on art déco furniture under a colourful glass cone. That's good old luxury, redefined!