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Galerie St. Etienne Guide to Vienna

HOTELS

 

Note: All these hotels are located in or near the center of town; less costly accommodations are available in outlying districts. Vienna is endowed with an excellent public transportation system, consisting of trams, buses and a few well-placed subway lines. Since the transportation network radiates out from the central ring, it is relatively easy to access remote parts of the city if you stay in the First District (A-1010). Tickets--which can be purchased from vending machines in subway and tram stations, at tobacconists’ shops or at your hotel--are available on a single-ride basis or for longer time periods. You validate your ticket in a machine (Entwerter) upon entering the bus, tram or subway tracks. Payment is on the honor system, but you can be subject to a high fine if you are caught without a validated ticket.

 

Very Expensive:

 

Imperial. Kärntnerring 16; A-1015. (+43-1) 50 1 10-0

www.luxurycollection.com/imperial

 

Palais Schwarzenberg. Schwarzenbergplatz 9; A-1030; (+43-1) 79 84 515. www.palais-schwarzenberg.com

[If you want a truly royal experience—at a price—this is the place to stay; but the location, in a large private park, is slightly inconvenient.]

 

Expensive:

 

Ambassador. Kärntnerstrasse 22. A-1010. (+43-1) 96 16 10.

www.ambassador.at

[Our favorite hotel: beautiful, spacious rooms; well located; and with an excellent, if pricey, restaurant, the Mörwald (see below).]

 

Bristol. Kärntnerring 1; A-1015; (+43-1) 51 5 16-0

www.bristolvienna.com

 

Le Meridien Vienna. Opernring 13-A; A-1010; (+43-1) 588-900

www.vienna.lemeridien.com

[The super contemporary design feels a bit out of place; but if old-fashioned charm isn’t your thing, you’ll like this hotel.]

 

Hotel Sacher. Philharmonikerstrasse 4; A-101; (+43-1) 51 4 56 817 www.sacher.com

[Home of the Sachertorte (a legendary dark-chocolate cake), which you can buy at their shop or sample at their café (see below) even if you do not stay there.]

 

Das Triest. Wiedner Hauptstrasse 12; A-1040. (+43-1) 589-18

www.dastriest.at

[Modern boutique hotel near the Karlsplatz.]

 

Moderate:

 

Europa. Kärntnerstrasse 18; A-1010; (+43-1) 515940

www.austria-trend.at/hotel-europa-wien/en

[An efficient, well-located business hotel.]

 

Kaiserin Elisabeth. Weihburggasse 3; A-1010; (+43-1) 51 5 26-0

www.kaiserinelisabeth.at

[Lovely boutique hotel with lots of “old Vienna” atmosphere.]

 

Römischer Kaiser. Annagasse 16; A-1010; (+43-1) 51 27 751-0

roemischerkaiser.bestwestern.at

 

Inexpensive:

 

Opernring. Opernring 11; A-1010; (+43-1) 587-55-18

www.vho.at/opernring

 

Pension Suzanne. Wallfischgasse 4; A-1010; (+43-1) 513-25-07

www.pension-suzanne.at

[Located on the site where Otto Kallir, founder of the Galerie St. Etienne, lived before the war, this pension has been a budget favorite for years. A bit quirky, but well located. For longer stays, you can get a suite with a small kitchen.]

 

FOOD

 

Austrian food revolves around the three “S”s –sausage, Schnitzel and stew. All of these are worth trying—once. After that, you may become desperate for lighter fare. Unfortunately, the typical casual restaurant—or Beisl—tends to feature the heavier staples. Austrian nouvelle cuisine is fantastic—but expensive. It can be difficult to steer a course between these two culinary extremes. With this in mind, we have tried to include a range of options beyond the obvious.

 

Expensive

 

Fabio. Tuchlauben 6; A-1010; (+43-1) 532 2222

[A hangout for Viennese yuppies, this restuarant considers itself Italian, but acutally melds a variety of continental cuisines.]

 

Mörwald. Kärntnerstrasse 22; A-1010; (+43-1) 96 1 61-161

[Located in the Ambassador Hotel, this restaurant offers modern variations on classic Austrian favorites.]

 

Steirereck. Am Heumarkt 2A/ Stadtpark; A-1030; (+43-1) 713 31 68 www.steirereck.at

[The best restaurant in Vienna, and one of the best in Europe. Exquisite, creative interpretations of traditional Austrian dishes and ingredients, with a fabulous cheese course. You do need to reserve ahead, though it is not nearly so difficult to get into as comparable restaurants in Paris or New York.]

 

Vestibül. Dr.-Karl-Lueger-Ring 2; A-1010; (+43-1) 53 24 999

[Another nouvelle Austrian favorite, located in the former vestibule on the right side of the Burgtheater (Court Theater). Before or after your meal, take a peak at the Gustav Klimt murals in the vestibule on the left side of the theater.]

 

Zum schwarzen Kameel. Bognergasse 5; A-1010; (+43-1) 533 81 25 11 www.kameel.at

[Specializing in classic Austrian cuisine, this revered institution also does a brisk lunchtime business in open-faced sandwiches. The Schwarze Kameel empire has lately expanded to include a separate deli, sandwich shop and patisserie.]

 

Moderate

 

Do & Co. Stephansplatz 12; A-1010; (+43-1) 53 53 969/Albertina; (+43-1) 532 96 69

www.doco.com

[If you flew to Vienna on Austrian Airlines, you've probably already sampled Do & Co's catering, which is among the best in the air. Unfortunaely, on the ground the food is not much better than top-level business-class fare. Nonetheless, the Viennese are crazy about this moderately expensive restaurant chain. The flagship branch on the Stephansplatz (located at the top of the Haas House) is better than the one at the Albertina, largely owing to the view.]

 

Goldene Zeiten. Dr.-Karl-Lueger-Platz 5; A-1010; (+43-1) 51 34 747 www.goldenezeiten.at

[You would not expect to find excellent Chinese cuisine in Vienna, but Goldene Zeiten compares favorably with restaurants in New York or London. The owners emigrated from Shanghai, and many of the dishes have the distinctive combination of sweet and spicy tastes typical of that city. The tofu variations, an appetizer, are outstanding.]

 

Plachutta. Wollzeile 38; A-1010 (+43-1) 512 1577; Auhofstrasse 1; A-1130; (+43-1) 877-7087; and other locations. www.plachutta.at

[If you must try Tafelspitz, the ever-expanding Plachutta empire is the place to do it. Beloved by Austrians, this boiled beef specialty does not appeal to most Americans, who prefer their steak rare. That said, Plachutta’s classic rendition, accompanied by an array of tasty sauces and side dishes (Beilagen), is about as good as Tafelspitz gets.]

 

Grünspan. Ottakringer Str. 266; A-1160 (+43-1) 480-57-30. www.plachutta.at

[A top-notch Beisl, this outpost of the Plachutta empire (see above) is located in the increasingly trendy Ottakring district.]

 

Sole. Annagasse 6-8; A-1010; (+43-1) 513 4077

www.ristorante-sole.at

[Neighborhood Italian with good grilled fish and pizza, among other things.]

 

Inexpensive

 

Meinl am Graben. Graben 19; A-1010; (+43-1) 53 23 334

www.meinlamgraben.at

[Meinl's restaurant is very expensive, but the deli is one of the great foods shops in the Europe, on a par with Fauchon in Paris, Fortnum & Mason in London, or Peck in Milan. If you are staying more than a few days, it’s worth stocking your mini-bar with bread, cheese and cold cuts. A Meinl picnic or snack is a great alterative to a restaurant meal.]

 

Naschmarkt. Wienzeile; A-1060.

www.naschmarkt-vienna.com

[This mile-long open-air market is located to the south-west of the Vienna Secession and the Karlsplatz. In addition to stalls selling all manner of ingredients, including wonderful cheeses, cured meats and breads, there are a number of little restaurants. On Saturdays there is also a flea-market.]

 

Sacher Stuberl. Philharmonikerstrasse 4; A-1010; (+43-1) 51 45 60 www.sacher.com/en-cafe-vienna

[The smallest and least expensive of the restaurants at the Hotel Sacher, the Stuberl (nook) offers traditional Viennese cuisine—including Würstel and Wiener Schnitzel—prepared with a relatively light touch. You can conclude your meal with a slice of genuine Sachertorte and whipped cream.]

 

Trzesniewski. Dorotheergasse 1; A-1010; (+43-1) 512-32-91; and other locations. www.trzesniewski.at

[A huge selection of tiny open-faced sandwiches washed down with tiny glasses of beer (Pfiffs). What could be better? You place your order at the counter and then take your food to a little standup table. ]

 

Würstel stands.

[Offering an array of different kinds of sausage (Wurst), these are particularly ubiquitous in the First District. The sausages are served on a rectangular paper plate with a dab of mustard (Senf) and/or horseradish (Kren) and a roll or a slice of brown bread.]

 

Konditoreien and Kaffeehäuser

 

Note: Konditoreien (pastry shops) and Kaffeehäuser (cafés) both specialize in coffee and lights snacks and usually close in the early evening. Traditionally, the former were frequented by women and the latter by men, and to some extent this bias is still evident. Both types of establishment offer a good alternative to the hotel breakfast, which can be quite costly when not included in the price of the room. Coffee houses usually provide copies of all the day’s newspapers, mounted on long sticks.

 

Austrian coffee is strong, though not as strong as Italian espresso. The most common varieties are: Mélange (coffee and steamed milk; an Austrian variation on cappuccino); kleiner Brauner (a small cup of black coffee, served with milk and sugar on the side); grosser Brauner (a double of the same); and Eiskaffee (coffee and vanilla ice-cream). Mélange is sometimes served with whipped cream (Schlag), and Eiskaffee almost always comes with whipped cream, unless you request that it be omitted (ohne Schlag). Coffee is usually served on a small tray with a glass of tepid water on the side.

 

Café Bräunerhof. Stallburggasse 2; A-1010; (+43-1) 512 38 93. [A genuine old-style Kaffeehaus, similar in atmosphere to the Tirolerhof (see below).]

 

Dehmel. Kohlmarkt 4; A-1010; (+43-1) 53 51 717-0

demel.at

[One of Vienna’s most renowned Konditoreien, Dehmel went to court against the Hotel Sacher for the right to market the famous Sachertorte. The verdict was a split decision: each venue is entitled to use the name Sachertorte, but the recipes for this rich dark-chocolate cake vary slightly. Try both versions and see which you prefer.]

 

Gerstner. Kärntnerstrasse 15; A-1010; (+43-1) 51 24 963. www.gerstner.at

[A classic Konditorei; the pastries are better than the savory foods.]

 

Café Landtmann. Dr.-Karl-Lueger Ring 4; A-1010; (+43-1) 53 20 621 www.landtmann.at

[A traditional Kaffeehaus located near the Burgtheater (Court Theater) and various government offices, Landtmann is a favorite with actors and politicians.]

 

Café Mozart. Albertinaplatz 2; A-1010; (+43-1) 51 30 881 www.cafe-mozart.at

[A pleasant all-around café with good but not fabulous food, tempting ice-cream treats and attractive outdoor seating in summer.]

 

Konditorei Oberlaa. Neuer Markt 16; A-1010; (+43-1) 513 29 36–0/Babenbergerstrasse 7; A-1010; (+43-1) 586 72 82–0; and other locations www.oberlaa-wien.at

[In addition to wonderful pastries, this Konditorei serves delicious open-faced sandwiches; one of our favorite lunch spots. This is a chain, with other locations outside the First District.]

 

Café Schwarzenberg. Kärntnerring 17; A-1010; (+43-1) 512 89 98 www.cafe-schwarzenberg.at

[The best of both worlds: a Kaffeehaus with Konditorei-quality sweets.]

 

Sluka. Rathausplatz 8; A-1010; (+43-1) 40 57 172 www.sluka.at [Classic Konditorei near the Vienna City Hall.]

 

Café Tirolerhof, Führichgasse 8; A-1010; (+43-1) 512-7833.

[A somewhat timeworn but truly authentic Kaffeehaus where you can linger for hours reading newspapers for the price of a cup of coffee. Now that indoor smoking is restricted, the Tirolerhof is cleaner, but perhaps less atmospheric than formerly.]

 

Heurige

 

Heurige are distinctive Austrian wine bars, often run by the vintners themselves. In addition to wine, Heurige usually offer a selection of hot and cold foods, which are ordered from a central counter. Grinzing (A-1190), the principal winegrowing district of Vienna, is home to numerous Heurige. These are especially popular in summer (tourists come by the busload), when guests sit outside at long wooden tables amidst the grape arbors. An alternative to Grinzing, with a bit more local atmosphere, is Gumpoldskirchen, a wine town about 20 minutes away by train. In the fall, the new vintages are introduced; look for signs advertising Most (unfermented grape juice) and Sturm (slightly fermented grape juice).

 

Beyond Schnitzel, Goulash and Strudl: A Few Austrian Specialties

 

Beuschl: A stew made of veal (Kalb) or pork (Schwein) lung and other innards; not for the faint of heart.

 

Eierschwammerl: Wild mushrooms, similar to French chanterelles; often served with stews or scrambled eggs.

 

Fritattensuppe: A light bouillon with thin strips of pancake.

 

Kaiserschmarrn: A dessert pancake containing rum-soaked raisins, served with confectioner’s sugar and fruit syrup.

 

Knödel: Bread dumplings that may be round (similar in size and shape to Matzo balls) or flat (Serviettenknödel), Knödel often accompany stews. Sweet variations, filled with fruit jam, appear on dessert menus.

 

Liptauer: A moderately spicy spread made of soft farmer’s cheese and paprika, mixed with ingredients that can include mustard, anchovy paste, capers, caraway seeds and onions.

 

Mohr im Hemd: The name is unabashedly racist (moor in a shirt), but this dessert is delicious: it is the forerunner of the now-ubiquitous molten chocolate cake and comes cloaked with whipped cream (the white shirt).

 

Palatschinken: Eastern European crepes, these thin pancakes can have either savory or sweet fillings.

 

Preiselbeeren: Small red berries, similar to Scandinavian lingonberries; often served, as a jam or compote, with venison (Reh) and other game dishes.

 

Salzburger Nockerl: Vanilla soufflé.

 

Schinkenfleckerln: A relatively light dish made with flecks of noodle and ham (Schinken).

 

Tafelspitz: A special cut of beef (Rind), shaped like a mountain peak (Spitz), served boiled.

 

ART MUSEUMS

 

Albertina. Albertinaplatz 1; A- 1010 ; (+43-1) 534 83-0 www.albertina.at [One of the world’s foremost collections of works on paper. The current Director, Klaus Albrecht Schröder, has solved the problem of displaying these fragile works by mounting loan exhibitions highlighting and augmenting different aspects of the permanent collection.]

 

Belvedere/Österreichische Galerie. Upper Belvedere: Prinz Eugen-Str. 27; A1030/Lower Belvedere: Rennweg 6 a; A-1030; (+ 43-1) 79 557-0 www.belvedere.at

[The national museum of Austrian art, housed in two magnificent Baroque palaces. The Upper Belvedere is where you will find such icons as Gustav Klimt’s Kiss and Egon Schiele’s Family; the Lower Belvedere usually houses temporary exhibitions.]

 

Museum Gugging. Haupstrasse 2; A-3400 Maria-Gugging; (+43-664) 8490695 www.gugging.org

[Founded in 2006, this museum is affiliated with the Gugging Haus der Künstler (House of Artists), which for decades has offered housing, workshop space and exhibition opportunities to exceptionally talented mental patients. Located about 20 km northwest of Vienna, Gugging can be difficult to reach if you do not have a car. By public transportation, take the U4 subway to Wien-Heiligenstadt and transfer to Bus 239 in the direction of Maria Gugging—Lourdesgrotte; get off at the Donauklinikum stop.]

 

Kunstforum. Freyung 8; A-1010; (+43-1) 537 33 26 www.ba-ca-kunstforum.at

[Funded by Bank Austria, this Kunsthalle mounts impressive loan exhibitions, mainly of classic modern art.]

 

Kunsthalle Wien. Museumsquartier; A-1070; (+43-1) 521 89-33 www.kunsthallewien.at

[Changing exhibitions of contemporary art.]

 

Kunsthistorisches Museum. Maria Theresien-Platz; A-1010; (+43-1)525 24-0 www.khm.at

[A world-class museum on a par with the Louvre, London’s National Gallery and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. In addition to central European masterpieces, the collection is especially well endowed with paintings from countries that had historical ties to the Hapsburg dynasty, such as Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. Breughel, Cranach, Dürer, Holbein, Titian, Velasquez, Vermeer --- the list is endless, and endlessly rich. As if this weren’t enough, the Kunsthistorisches Museum also houses an impressive antiquities collection. ]

 

Leopold Museum. Museumsquartier; A-1070; (+43-1) 525 70-0 www.leopoldmuseum.org

[The largest public collection of paintings by Egon Schiele, plus works by a number of lesser known 20th century Austrian artists. Though not always on view due to their fragility, the works on paper by Gustav Klimt, Alfred Kubin and Schiele are spectacular.]

 

MAK (Museum für angewandte Kunst). Stubenring 5; A-1010; (+43-1)711 36-0 www.mak.at

[Vienna’s Museum of Applied Arts not only shows classics like Josef Hoffmann and the artisans of the Wiener Werkstätte, but mounts innovative contemporary exhibitions.]

 

MUMOK (Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien) . Museumsquartier; A-1070; (+43-1) 525 00 www.mumok.at

[Modern art, with an emphasis on late 20th century and contemporary work.]

 

Museumsquartier. Museumsplatz 1; A-1070; (+43-1) 523 5881-1731 www.mqw.at

[This immense complex, located behind the Kunsthistorische and Naturhistorische Museums, was once the Imperial stable, and later a convention center. Today the complex contains a number of cultural attractions, including the Kunstalle Wien, MUMOK and the Leopold Museum.]

 

Secession. Friedrichstrasse 12; A-1010; (+43-1) 587 53 07 www.secession.at

[Founded in 1897 by Gustav Klimt and his avant-garde contemporaries, the Vienna Secession is still devoted to the exhibiton of its members' work. Most tourists, however, visit this landmark building for its amazing exterior architecture and to see Klimt's Beethoven Frieze, installed in the basement.]

 

Wien Museum. Karlsplatz; A-1040; (+43-1) 505 87 47-0

www.wienmuseum.at

[The history of Vienna, as interpreted by this museum, also includes the city’s artists, and the collection contains important works by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and others.]

 

When You Come Back . . .

 

Contact us at gallery@gseart.com with your comments, suggestions, updates and corrections. Enjoy your trip!