Vienna Journals

Vienna: a Tough Nut to Crack, But Worth the Eff

A November 1999 trip to Vienna by ScottytheBody

Pension Shermin Photo, Vienna, Austria More Photos
Quote: Many American and foreign tourists return from the town with an all-too-familiar backhanded-compliment: "it was clean, and culturally very rich, but it just seemed cold." Read this guide and we'll try to show you how to best experience the REAL Vienna, with honest, genuine Gemuetlichkeit and a Servus!

Vienna: a Tough Nut to Crack, But Worth the Eff

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Overview

Vienna Skyline Photo, Vienna, Austria
Quote:
Vienna is a seasonal town, and the best things to do are dependent on the time of your visit. In Summer, you will have to contend with the crushes of tourism throughout Europe, and Vienna is no exception. Many restaurants and cafes will open their street-side seating and the city takes on a festive, outdoorsy atmosphere. Fall offers the abundance of the harvest, less crowds and above-all, the tradition of Heurigen -- Austria's unique wine experience. Wineries are allowed to sell, for the period of about one month, their fresh wine and serve food. Think of it as brew pubs for the grape-oriented set. Winter, prior to Christmas, is beautiful. Austrians begin celebrating Chris...Read More
Pension Shermin Photo, Vienna, Austria
Quote:
Simple, friendly and efficient pension with outside-the-first district rates yet exceedingly close to the action.

Comfortable beds, great showers and nice, quiet atmosphere with a simple but excellent continental breakfast included in the rate.

This is a perfect place for people who are not interested in frills, but don''t want to sleep in hostels either.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 3, 2001

Pension Shermin
4, Rilkeplatz 7
Vienna, Austria
+43 158661830

Rosenberger City Center

Restaurant | "Rosenberg Markt"

Quote:
This is the downtown version of a popular roadside restaurant chain. Enter off of Kaertner Strasse (the main drag through the first district) on the Opera end of town. If you're a vegetarian or just sick of sausage, potatos and other Austro-fare, head here for one of the best and only salad bars in the city. About $5.00 buys you one trip through on a medium plate and $7.00 will get you a large plate. The salad bar features fresh lettuce and vegetables (not the pickled options you are normally served as "salad") as well as potato salad and other substantial offerings. The restaurant also features several other stations featuring Austrian specialties and meats, pasta bar...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 4, 2001

Rosenberger City Center
Maysedergasse 2
Vienna, Austria
01/512 34 58

The Wuerstle Stand

Restaurant

Quote:
Wuerstelstands and their more ethnic counterpart the Turkish Imbiss, are excellent Vienese resources. The three best (convenient) Wuerstelstands are the one located at the opera, which sells the best Kaesekrainer in the city (cheese-filled Sausage with bread, $4.00). The Hot Dog Spezial mit Scharfen Senf from the Wuerstelstand on Kaertnerstrasse as you walk towards downtown from the U4 Schwedenplatz station is a delight and a bargain at $2.50. The method for preparing these is to slice the end off of a minature bagette and impale it on a heated spike. The spike warms the bread and toasts the inside while your sausage is grilled. Then, a shot of what they call "Barbeque Senf", or "BB...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 4, 2001

The Wuerstle Stand
Kaerntnerstrasse
Vienna, Austria

Wieden Brau

Restaurant

Quote:
This is an urban brew pub located pretty close to the first district. Cozy and friendly, the brewery features a hit-or-miss array of beers that generally border on excellent (the many wheats and some of the Helles biers) but sometimes verge toward the unfortunate (Hemp beer!) when they try to out-hip themselves.

The food here is cheap and excellent and includes toasts, gulash, pastas and other traditional Austrian fare.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 4, 2001

Wieden Brau
Waaggasse 5
Vienna, Austria
(1) 586 03 00

12 Apostelkeller

Restaurant

Quote:
This place, while heavily touristed, is worth the trip. With a foundation that dates from the beginning of the 12th century, one cannot help but to be overwhelmed by the history of this special wine cellar.

The food is excellent, but a little beyond "budget" classification (although not expensive by any stretch). Wienerschnitzel here is a prize, and if you visit during the right time of the year (fall), be sure and get Sturm, fresh, milky-sweet wine served by the 1/4 liter.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 4, 2001

12 Apostelkeller
Sonenfellgasse 3
Vienna, Austria
51-67-77

Flex

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Attraction

Quote:
Flex features a revolving line-up of "clubs." If you are into indie rock, drum and bass, break beats, hip hop, dub, big beat, illbient, house or soul flowered funk, then you will probably find a night that piques your interest. The club is typically Euro Smoky but filled with lovely youth. Enter from the canal side and head to the left to get to the club. Head upstairs to check your coat, get a Red Bull and a drink at the bar and get ready to roll! Don't even think about showing up until 10PM at the earliest as it seems that things really don't start cranking until late night. Another interesting side note is that this club serves as a hub for activist resitance to the ult...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 3, 2001

Flex
Donaukanal/Abgang Augartenbrücke
Vienna, Austria 1010
+ 43 1 533 75 29

Historical Museum of the City of Vienna

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Attraction

Historical Museum of the City of Vienna Photo, Vienna, Austria
Quote:
This museum houses the unique history of the city. It is multi-leveled, so don't think that the primary level with the special exhibit is the end of the road -- press forward if you don't find the exhibit interesting and hit the treasure troves upstairs. This museum's highlights include two full scale models of Vienna; one prior to the great rennovations under Wilhelm and one after (the Hapsburg leaders decided to tear down the wall around the city and commisioned the great architects of the day to build a series of marvelous civic buildings in its place including the Parliament, Art History and Natural History Museums). Also featured, and not to be missed, is a full display ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 3, 2001

Historical Museum of the City of Vienna
Karlsplatz
Vienna, Austria 1040
+43 1 505 87 47 8402

Jogging Donauinsel

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Attraction | "Jogging in Donau park"

Quote:
This is a great place to get your run in, should you need to. The lakes are encircled by running paths, and you would be in the good company of the many Wieners who feel that getting out and exercising when the weather is "frisch" is vital for one's health. When you're finished you can ascend the tour for a stellar view or hang out on the many benches around the lake to watch old men play chess as if they've been in the same game since 1984. Also nearby is the UNO-City, which is the United Nations building in Vienna. Most people don't realize how important a city Vienna was and has been on a diplomatic level. OPEC will even meet here on occasion, and, during the cold war, Russian and...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 3, 2001

Jogging Donauinsel
Donauinsel
Vienna 1220

Belvedere Palace (Oberes Belvedere)

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Attraction | "Belvedere"

Belvedere Palace (Oberes Belvedere) Photo, Vienna, Austria
Quote:
Great museums in a super setting. This palace once housed Prince Eugene, now it is the home of Klimt and Biedrmeyer works as well as innumerable other art treasures. The Belvedere also features a grand view of the city from it's large, open courtyard. No doubt you will want to see the wonderful collection of the famous Secession-era paintings and artworks, including the over-exposed but no less wonderful The Kiss by Gustav Klimt. The collections are housed in the Belvedere palaces, which Lukas von Hildebrandt built between 1714 and 1723 as a summer residence for the military commander Prince Eugene of Savoy. After years of careful renovation, the palaces of the Uppe...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 3, 2001

Belvedere Palace (Oberes Belvedere)
Prinz-eugen-strasse 27
Vienna, Austria A-1030
43 01 79 55 7 0

Kolar

Attraction

Quote:
Catacomb-like with multiple small rooms and very smoky, this is the party scene for those who are just past the Bermuda Triangle age (the triangle is an area of bars that are heavily frequented by the 18-24 year old crowd).

This place, which appears to be owned by the almost mafia-like Kolaric group of beer importers, pours ungodly amounts of excellent, stiff Budweiser Budvar (not the Anheiser-Bush product, but the Czech export).

Snacks are mediocre, but the atmosphere is great -- simultaneously mellow and raucous.

I heard a guy wearing leather pants try to pick up on an American girl by talking to her about Formula 1 in this place!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 4, 2001

Kolar
Kleeblattgasse 5
Vienna, Austria A-1010
+43 1 533 52 25

Playa Flamenco

Attraction

Quote:
This is the widest, largest, and most unbelievable beach on Culebra. If you like crystal blue waters and sand the color and texture of powdered sugar, this is the beach for you! Protected by reefs on either side, the two-mile-long beach is also highly popular and, on the weekends, filled with Puerto Ricans from the mainland having a good time. This isn't a bad thing at all, adding a festive element to the normally near-deserted beach, but if crowds are not your thing, head to a different beach on the weekends. Once used as target practice by the Navy, a couple tanks remain as reminders.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 23, 2003

Playa Flamenco
Flemenco Beach
Vienna, Austria

Quote:
Be sure and head to the 8th and 9th districts if you're feeling adventurous.

Vienna is a very safe city, but if you want to see some of the true grit, these areas serve nicely. Plus, due to low rent costs, the neighborhoods house tons of diverse elements including students, artist, musicians, junkies and whatever suits you. Entertainment options abound and many of the city's best clubs take place around here.

Please see other entries for more details.

WUK (Werkstat Und Kunst)

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Story/Tip

WUK exterior Photo, Vienna, Austria
Quote:
Neither nightclub, nor museum, nor film house nor exhibition facility, this squat-turned-legit culture house is all rolled into one.

Located in a blue-collar area of the 9th district, you can smell the pollution when you head here, but it's worth it.

Films, photography, amazing night club with an ivy-covered courtyard, plays and other cultural delights are the order of the day.

Pick up a schedule at the door or visit www.wuk.at for more information before you visit.