There are many wonderful hotels in Vienna, in those I normally stayed for business, I could never afford privately. Here they are nevertheless mentioned: probably the best house in town is the fabulous Hotel Imperial, vintage, elegant, a grande dame, 5star service. In the hotel café Niki Lauda (my old boss) has his breakfast in the mornings and in the rooms, the hotel offers chic Bulgary amenities. Just across the street, one block away you’ll find the elegant, but no less beautiful Hotel Bristol, where I could spend the night once when we organised a press trip to one of the 180 Viennese balls. The trip will be memorable, the hotel also. It is situated directly opposite the Vienna State Opera.
A much more cheaper place to stay, but nevertheless nothing for backpackers is the “Hotel Alstadt Vienna” at Rennweg (near the Museum Quarter). Since years, the house is directed by an art lover who is a detail freak in a very positive way and wants his guests to feel at home. Each room has a different look. Some rooms even have a private terrace. The breakfast (there's no restaurant) is served in the stylish red lounge, where oce seated, you don't wanna leave. You cannot start a day in Vienna any better.
That's the real problem: the Austrian cuisine is so fantastic, it’s hard to choose. It is very rich at least if one stays with the classics. IF you spend more than just the ordinary weekend in the city, I bet you will gain weight. Sorry, I' just saying.. so - bring your sneakers!
Then there is the Beisl. Which is somehow a very down to earth restaurant with a focus on regional cuisine. My favorite pub is the “Immervoll” (Means: Always crowded). Again, the name is right. Everyone loves this Beisl, so it’s simply always crowded. You will find it on one of the most beautiful places in Vienna, the Franziskaner Platz. Not easy to get a table outside in the summer, if you get one: you are lucky! Everything here is uncomplicated, good and plentiful. : Weihburggasse 17 Phone: 0043 1 5135288
At “Glacisbeisl” in the Museum District, you will also get a very good regional cuisine in a chic ambience. Last time I’ve been there I almost ordered Blunzenröstl because I thought it sounded so delicious - but the waiter was so kind to remind me that this is blood pudding...didn’t I mention that Austrain is a foreign language, right? So be careful what you order!
If “kim kocht” (Kim is cooking), it will not come to any confusion. For the famous TV Chef Sohyi Kim heads probably one of the best and most famous gourmet restaurants in Vienna for years, which attracts foodies from all over the world. For a very good reason. It is really her every evening in the kitchen, which is hard for her fans to believe but always puts a smile on their faces when she comes out of her kitchen to welcome every guest personally. The food is vegetarian, Asian, inspired by the five elements and everything is so good that the waiting list is long. Very long. It may take weeks to get a table, but it's worth it!
Tips to spend your time:
Of course you can shop till you drop in Vienna. It really is worth it to leave the Kärtnergasse behind and go to the Maria Hilfer-Strasse, where the Viennese shop. (A Trzesnewski is also very close) From there, enter the smaller streets where you will find designers from Vienna. The streets to the left lead eventually to the Naschmarkt, which is a market which is a beautiful old market just like in a picture book, a temptation for foodies.