Behind the Museum’s Quarter and beneath the glare of the Flak tower-turned Aquarium, lives one of Vienna’s most happening neighbourhoods, which was once ranked among the 15 coolest in Europe. A multicultural community, affordable housing and an abundance of galleries and cultural hidden gems make the Mariahilf neighbourhood a hit with the young and creative. Turn your back on the tediously tourist-ridden high street of the Mariahilferstrasse, and duck between the backstreets to uncover this district’s offerings.
Markets and eating out
Hipsters get hungry too. Luckily, the Mariahilf neighbourhood is home to some of the best restaurants in town. Mama Liu & Sons, on Gumpendorfstrasse – a long stretch with many popular bars and cafes – is a no-nonsense Asian eatery with a modern attitude to cooking and a minimal decor. Another winner is Kuishimbo, a dressed down joint offering authentic Japanese cuisine.
Alternatively, partake in a little hustling at The Naschmarkt, Mariahilf’s sprawling market with 16th-century origins, and pick up some thrift gear and gastronomic organic treats. Containing over 120 stalls, the Naschmarkt sells everything from antiques to avacados. And if you are suffering from shopping-related exhaustion and in need of a caffeine injection, then pop by Café Drechsler, a coffee house fusing new and old Viennese styles, for a pick me up.
Visiting all the big name galleries such as those in the Museumsquartier, is often considered to be a no-brainer by tourists wanting to experience Vienna’s cultural side. However, uncovering emerging artists in modest settings can be a far more inspiring experience. Smaller, independent galleries, who have helped turn Mariahilf into a cultural hub, are great for avoiding crowds and discovering new names. A few to check out include Rabbit Eye Movement, Galerie Legner, and Galerie Nathalie Halgand.
The Semperdepot, an impressive Neo-Renaissance style building in Lehargasse, is where the Academy Of Fine Arts hold all their large, end of term exhibitions. Their openings, taking place at various times throughout the year, always promise to be an exciting and inspiring evening, so be sure to take a look if you happen to be in town.
Founded in the 1980s, Club Titanic is an old school discotheque where Vienna’s young and cool gather when the sun goes down. Those susceptible to bouts of claustrophobia should avoid it, but fans of techno and dancing until reality returns should climb aboard.
If you are seeking a quiet cocktail devoid of thumping tunes, consider Cafe Phil and If Dogs Run Free – or drop by both as they’re practically neighbours.The 6th district is also lucky enough to be the home to one of the city’s best arthouse cinemas, Top Kino, a small independent two screen cinema with glitzy camp interior and a decent bar. It’s an absolute must visit for all Millennial film buffs.
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