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.
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.
Chaotic and sprawling, with stalls selling everything from faux fur coats to vintage record players, this local flea market in the suburban 12th district of Vienna is a paradise for thrifters. Prices are usually very low and haggling with the vendors is encouraged. Besides a few eager trendsetters, it remains to be largely a local affair.
Neubau, the 7th district,has long been a gentrified neighborhood of Vienna, but there are still some gems to catch before they get swarmed. The area around St.Ulrich has some interesting shops and cosy cafés, and there are plenty of spots along Burggasse that are worth exploring.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.