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Döbling, the 19th district of Vienna, is known as one of the city’s more bourgeois neighbourhoods, located high up in the hills and surrounded by vineyards. We take you on a tour of some of the top things to check out in this quaint former village.
Döbling is one of the best places to check out Vienna’s wine taverns, locally known as Heurige, due to its extremely close proximity to many of the city’s largest vineyards. Autumn is the best time of year to sample the wine and there is a “wine hike” organised around this time that takes you around some of the best wine inns. One of the most popular areas, Nussdorf, is a favourite for wine buffs – check out this page for more details.
Known as the “green lung” of the city, Vienna’s massive woods cover 1350 km² of land, taking you across 9,900 hectares. The part that adjoins Döbling contains impressive, panoramic views of the capital and is ideal for hiking. You can take an idle ramble or head off to the hills for a good few hours.
This leafy area of Döbling is well-known for numerous reasons, but perhaps most importantly for being an area where Stone Age human settlements were discovered. The Baroque church that stands at the top is its most defining feature and can be spotted from around most of the city.
This is a lesser known outdoor pool, but one of the best partly due to its impressive views over Vienna’s modest skyline. Open between May 2 and September 16, it is the perfect place to enjoy a quiet afternoon.
Home of Vienna’s Japanese school, Döbling has had a “Twincity” cultural agreement with Japan for many years. The Setagayapark, established in 1992, is a tribute to Japanese culture and contains various features, including a teahouse, and many elements typical of a Japanese ornamental garden. In the spring, cherry trees blossom and the gardens explode with rich colour.
You’ll find some curious architecture around this area of the city, both old and contemporary. The Zacharl House is one of the most peculiar, standing out for its otherworldly and oriental appearance, not in keeping with much of the surrounding buildings and structures. The history of the structure is also peculiar, as it was originally an “insect killing powder” factory. It remained empty for many years until 2006, when it was turned into a space to host artistic projects.
German-born Beethoven was an important figure in 19th century Vienna, residing in the city for many years after he moved to study with Mozart. His apartment in Döbling has become a Mecca for classical music lovers, giving the opportunity to explore intimate parts of his life and work. The exhibition was extended in 2017 to include around 19 rooms that contain historical instruments such as Beethoven’s grand piano, which was altered to amplify the sound due to the composer’s deafness, and various notes and letters. There is also a Heurige (wine tavern) next door where you can sample local wines and cuisine.
“Red Vienna” is the term given to the era when the city underwent drastic transformations in terms of healthcare, education, childcare, and cultural reform. This was the time when the capital was democratically governed by socialists after suffering from the aftermath of World War I and the collapse of the Habsburg monarchy. As a tribute to the era’s legacy, a permanent exhibition called “Red Vienna in the Laundry Room” can be found in the section of the building that formerly housed showers and water tanks. This exhibition contains a mini-museum that explores the history, manifesto, and key figures of Red Vienna.
Being a very traditional area of the city, it is no surprise that Döbling contains several restaurants serving authentic Austrian cuisine. Heurige (wine taverns) often have a buffet. However, if wanting a more formal dining experience, there is a wide range of venues to choose from. Restaurant Eckel, which was established in 1901 (although in a different location), is a good choice for traditional cuisine with all the classics including Wiener Schnitzel and Apple Strudel.
As is the case with every district of Vienna, having coffee is imperative. There are a few great spots for a post-walk coffee or beer. Two of the best and most highly recommended are Cafe Cottage, which has modern vibes, and the Salettl Pavilion, which is tucked away and surrounded by greenery.