STAY in Vienna:
Wombats: The Base
It doesn't get cheaper than this. Nevertheless, the Wombats was recently voted the cleanest hotel in the world. Those two characteristics make it the perfect place for people who don't intend to spend much time in their hotel anyway. The Base has had its base in the 15th district since 1999. Since its concept has been so successful, The Lounge followed in the Mariahilferstraße. In 2011, The Naschmarkt will be opened. The flair is typical of a well-kept, no-frills hostel: Friendly staff, sociable guests, simple rooms. Absolute highlight is the beautiful sun terrace. And if you can't stand a stranger snoring next to you, you don't have to. In the Wombats you can rent a double, where you don't even have to share the bath and toilet with your new friends. Doubles start at 50 euros, and a night in the dormitory at 12 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 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.
SHOPPING in Vienna:
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.
When cold, rains and storms make for challenging weather, there is nothing nicer than to slip into a piece of knitting art by designer Sibylle Bauer-Schmidt. In the tailor's workshop next to the shop you can buy the exceptional yet wearable. The skirts, jackets, coats and sweaters radiate from colourful elegance and tasteful creativity. The knitted fabrics, from which Sibylle Bauer-Schmidt produces her fashion, are produced exclusively for Sibylle Bauer-Schmidt. If you shop here you purchase a piece of her passion and a potential favourite.
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.
SIGHTS in Vienna:
Few Vienna visitors can get by without a single visit to the imperial family. One of the most beautiful destinations with an imperial crown is the Schönbrunn Castle. The imperial residence from the 17th century attracts 6.7 million people a year - just follow the masses, you won't miss the main entrance. You can join a tour though the parlours, side rooms and rooms, or you just retire into the palace garden, where you can make your own discoveries. Find your middle ground in the imperial maze, jaunt to the Roman ruin or climb the glorious Gloriette, the belvedere on the Schönbrunn hill. Too little action? Then go play with the wild animals in the most beautiful zoo in Austria, visit the small desert house or the tropical plants. Attention: A sunny day just flies by in Schönbrunn.
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!
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.
EAT in Vienna:
To turn an old wine tavern into a young, modern eatery you need nothing more than a young and modern cook. Ringsmuth has learned in the Steirereck, now he expresses himself in the admittedly more modest 10th district. The cuisine is down-to-earth. However, the classics Rindsgulasch (beef goulash), Wiener Schnitzel, Zwiebelrostbraten (onion beef roast), Backhendel (roasted chicken) are prepared with the extra pinch of creativity, which makes them even tastier. The lunch special is a particularly good deal: Soup and main dish can be had for a modest 5,90 euros. The combination of highest quality and super fair prices makes Ringsmuth unbeatable.
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!
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.