24 Hours in Vienna
With so much to do and see in Austria's capital, a mere 24-hour stopover may leave you feeling frustrated and desperate. But if you only have time to skim the surface, here's what you simply shouldn't miss.
Sample a taste of the typical Viennese coffeehouse experience at
Café Central (palaisevents.at), conveniently located next to the cozy-luxe
Style Hotel (stylehotel.at), where rooms are spacious despite the boutique property’s portfolio of just 78 impeccable rooms. From here, you’re just a stroll away from the Kohlmarkt shopping strip (Chanel, Louis Vuitton et al.), as well as the Imperial Hofburg Palace and St. Stephen’s Cathedral (where Mozart married Constance and near Mozarthaus, where the musician lived during the height of his popularity, while composing the Marriage of Figaro).
Next, check out local, unique shopping stops like the
Dorotheum (www.dorotheum.com), which offers almost daily auctions for everything from costume jewellery to modern art, as well as rooms overflowing with deals for items that don’t sell at auction, and
2006FEB01 (www.2006Feb01.com), which showcases fashions by Roger Vivier, Viktor & Rolf, Temperley and Marchesa, as well as dresses fit for the Vienna ball season. On Karntnerstrasse, you’ll find Hugo Boss, H&M and
Hotel Sacher (www.sacher.com), where you can pick up a souvenir Sacher-Torte chocolate cake. (The hotel also boasts the best spa in the city.) For glassware collectors,
Lobmyer (www.lobmeyr.com) serves up enough crystal to make your head spin, including by innovative new designers, this despite its in-house museum displaying designs that date back to 1823. (The shop used to supply emperors.)
Hungry yet? If you can score a table at lunch time,
Figlmuller (figlmueller.at) is
the place for schnitzel. Otherwise, head to the posh Hofburg Palace gardens greenhouse,
Palmenhaus (www.palmenhaus.at), for fresh fish specials. While here, historian fashionistas should check out the
Sisi Museum (hofburg-wien.at), which shows off the empress’ jewelry and other accessories.
Continue museum hopping at the
Belvedere (www.belvedere.at) and
Albertina (www.albertina.at), which include works by the French Impressionists and masters like Michelangelo, Rubens and Durer, as well as by national heroes like Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka.
The Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts, www.khm.at) is home to one of the world’s greatest art collections, featuring masterpieces by Titian, Velazquez and Bruegel.As for contemporary Viennese art, head to the
MuseumsQuartier (www.mqw.at), where the former imperial stables now exhibit modern art at the Leopold Museum and MUMOK and also host an array of cool restaurants, cafes and shops like the Lomography Shop, which sells a fun range of cameras known as Lomos, featuring fish-eye lenses and coloured flashes.
Mars Art Supermarket (www.M-ARS.at) sells works by young artists in a casual, non-intimidating supermarket-style environment. Along Gumpendorferstrasse, you’ll find cool shops, restos and cafes like
Phil (www.phil.info), where you can help yourself to food, drink, books and music, and everything is for sale, even the glass you’re drinking from and the seat you’re sitting on. Down the way, the Naschmarkt’s colourful market stalls offer everything from fresh produce to artisanal oils and vinegars.
If you still have energy to spare, check out
Steirereck in Stadtpark (www.steirereck.at) one of the best, most exclusive restos in city. Osterreicher Im MAK (Museum for Applied Arts, oesterreicherimmak.at) is another culinary gem and popular hangout. And
Passage (www.sunshine.at) offers a glimpse of the city’s club scene.
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