Vienna is a city of unde-stated cool, often mistaken for being a place purely for classical music buffs and coffee-lovers. Venture into the lesser known areas, however, and you’ll soon discover that there is much more to the Austrian capital than meets the eye. Here are a few hidden gems to visit before word gets out.
Café Prosecco-Bar Piccaro
Originally strictly a local haunt, this old school-style bar has recently attracted the attention of Vienna’s younger population, who enjoy jugs of bubbly for under 10 euros. The word is spreading quickly, however, so be sure to visit before the hoards descend.
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Lerchenfelder Str. 57, 1070 Wien, +01 920 3048
The old Jewish district, over the River from the heart of the city, has a distinctive character that separates it from the rest of Vienna. The square at the end of Praterstraße is a delightful spot, with a small and sweet vegan ice-cream parlour and Japanese restaurant, Mochi.
At the Brunnenmarkt, you can find some of the best falafel wraps in the city for just 2 euros and gigantic loaves of bread for as little as 80p. The area surrounding the market is slowly being gentrified, with Yppenplatz often being cited as the latest hip hangout.
The Schönbrunner Bad
Hidden in the wooded areas surrounding the majestic Schönbrunn Palace, this swimming pool complex is a hidden haven in the sweltering summer months. Comprised of two pools, one for adults and one for children, and a sizable veranda for sunbathing, it is a fantastic place to spend a day in the heat. Prices have been climbing ever higher in recent years, however, so be sure to take a visit soon.
Schönbrunner Bad, Schlosspark, 1130 Wien, +01 817 5353
Mariahilf, the 6th district of Vienna, is full of fun and interesting spots to explore. Take a detour down the backstreets of the well-trodden track of Mariahilfastrasse and you’ll discover a wealth of trendy haunts. Check out the small women’s flea market on Gumpendorfer Straße, which opens on the weekends for designer pieces at low prices.
Market at Karmelitermarkt
The Schöne Perle restaurant in the Karmelitermarkt has established itself as a hotspot for foodies, with a kitchen that is putting a new spin on traditional Viennese cuisine. Marktlücke, an atmospheric restaurant serving Austro-Medditerean cuisine, is also worth a visit.
Schöne Perle, Große Pfarrgasse 2, 1020 Wien, +43 1 890 3204
Marktlücke, Große Pfarrgasse 5, 1020 Wien, +43 1 890 2055
Lengthy queues are common outside this low-key Turkish food stand, but it’s well worth the wait. Falafel sandwiches made using pitta-style bread, wraps (durum in German) or chicken kebabs are on offer — tasty and fresh with a generous salad of crunchy lettuce, cucumber, juicy tomatoes, topped off with a choice of spicy or yogurt sauce. The service is quick and uncomplicated and the prices are low. Accompany with a cold can of beer and be sure to visit before the queues grow even longer.
Berliner Döner, Zieglergasse 33A, 1070 Wien, +0699 1037 8610
The 15th district lies directly next to Hietzing, home to tourist ridden Schönbrunn Palace and the city’s zoo. However, in stark contrast, the low-key neighbourhood has an entirely different character, and is slowly emerging as one of the trendier areas of the city. A few hip bars, cafes and restaurants have popped up in recent years, making it a popular place for students and young people to set up camp. Now is a good time to explore.
This Japanese noodle bar was so popular when it opened that the owners shortly decided to open up a takeaway joint, OMK, opposite, for the overspill of customers. The restaurant combines ‘traditional Japanese cuisine with various international cuisines’ and is becoming ever popular with locals and tourists alike. Be sure to visit.
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