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Vienna's 10 Best-Kept Secrets

Vienna's 10 Best-Kept Secrets

Picture of Bethan Sweeting
Updated: 14 June 2017
A treasure trove of culture, the capital of Austria is renowned for its architecture, classical music and wealthy status. Once home to significant historical figures including Freud, Wittgenstein and Mozart, it’s no wonder Vienna attracts so many visitors. Look a little deeper with our guide to some of Vienna’s best-kept secrets.

Der Wiener Deewan – Pay as you like Pakistani Buffet

This is an all-you-can-eat buffet where you pay what you like. Der Wiener Deewan serves fresh, simple, authentic Pakistani style curry. With every carb-filled side you could want to accompany your meal, from naan bread to rice to potatoes, you can guarantee a hearty meal here.

Der Wiener Deewan, Liechtensteinstraße 10, Vienna, Austria, +43 1 9251185

Beach in the City – Danube Canal

Vienna holds a reputation as an ideal city break location so you may think there’s no chance of glimpsing a bit of beach-based relaxation. Fortunately this misconception is proved wrong and visitors can find sandbank beaches on the Danube canal, with adequate room to recline in a deck chair and imitate other seaside joys such as building a sandcastle. You might want to think twice about taking a dip in the canal though; its murky waters aren’t the most inviting. Afterwards, replenish at one of the canal-side restaurants such as Telaviv Beach and stroll around after sunset, stumbling upon some evening entertainment down by the riverside.

Market at Karmelitermarkt

Venture across the river, away from the main tourist area and you will discover the city’s Jewish quarter. The street named Karmelitermarkt is where you’ll find the best market at which to do your authentic shopping with a bounty of fresh, local produce to choose from. Meander through the stalls and sample regional goods, or delve into the nearby restaurants and characterful cafes. Try Cafe Mima for some real Viennese delights.

Karmelitermarkt, Vienna, Austria

Badeschiff Boat Party

Vienna has a varied and pumping nightlife scene; perfect for letting your hair down after a long day of sightseeing. Places like Flex , an underground riverside club known for its gritty vibe and wild reputation, attract a large crowd for an assortment of drum and bass and DJ nights. However, if partying in the city is too mainstream for you, head to the less conventional side and check out Badeschiff: a canal boat club with a swimming pool on the upper deck.

Badeschiff, Donaukanal, Vienna, Austria, +43 660 3124703

Cafe Phil – Coffee, Books and Vintage Shop

Located a stone’s throw away from Museumsplatz, Phil is a cozy cafe to spend a pleasant afternoon enjoying some of the best Viennese coffee. There are vinyl records and books to peruse along with beautiful vintage furniture.

phil, Gumpendorfer Str. 10-12, Vienna, Austria, +43 1 5810489

Street Art

It is no secret that Austria’s capital has a huge variety of history and art to ponder, but none is more intriguing than current, controversial, authentic, politically-charged street art. Found down by the river and dotted all over the city, Vienna’s graffiti accentuates its beauty by juxtaposing strongly with the smooth, well-retained and manicured architecture telling of the town’s past wealth and success. Lose yourself in the backstreets whilst spotting your favorite spray-paint sensations.

Street Art Vienna
Street Art Vienna | © Bethan Sweeting

Opera

An unmissable night out in the home of world class classical music is surely the opera. Catch a concert, recital or take a trip to one of the iconic venues around town; you may think this is a pricey affair but turn up 90 minutes before a show and you may be able to grab yourself a last minute standing ticket for as little as €3! The most amazing value for money for a performance made up of the most talented musicians and actors, the opera is a real Viennese treat.

Under the Bridge Railway Bars

Turning the eerie mystery of railway bridge darkness into a lively hangout is a string of quirky little bars. Competing to make the most noise, the trains rumble loudly on the tracks above and the music and chatter of the revelers below shouts back. For any Chelsea football fans out there, don’t miss the Chelsea bar, the small venue is covered head-to-toe with crest-branded paraphernalia.

Chelsea, U-Bahnbögen 29-30, Vienna, Austria, +43 1 4079309

Porgy & Bess Jazz Club | © Rygalyk

Porgy & Bess Jazz Club | © Rygalyk

Porgy & Bess Jazz Club

Vienna doesn’t just do classical music, so if you’re looking for something with a bit more swing and cabaret character look no further than Porgy & Bess. It may take some time to find, hidden in the little city alleyways, but once discovered it’s sure to be a favorite. Immerse yourself in the hazy, alternative music scene evocative of the prohibition era and join a buzzing crowd to party the night away.

Porgy & Bess Jazz Club, Riemergasse 11, Vienna, Austria, +43 1 5128811

Damage Unlimited

A bizarre but satisfyingly amusing emporium, Damage Unlimited sells everything you need for a fantasy themed night out on the town. If you’re trying to scout out an Orc mask whilst you’re staying in Vienna, don’t panic, here’s where you’ll find it.

Theobaldgasse 20, Vienna, Austria, +43 1 5865686