Vienna Downtown Vienna
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Vienna Downtown Vienna

Vienna’s first district is often regarded as a theme park for tourists and therefore avoided by locals. However, there are quite a few good reasons to head downtown and discover some of the gems that bring unique flavour to the city centre.

It cannot be denied, even by grumpy Viennese: Vienna’s heart is gorgeous and the scenery never gets old. But even the most ambitious sightseer will realize at some point that you can’t live of air and old buildings alone so you will be looking for a snack at some point. While many local business owners avoid settling down in the area because of the horrendous rent costs, there are more than just souvenir shops selling chocolate with Mozart’s face on them or T-Shirts saying, “No kangaroos in Austria”. Don’t let the men with the grey hairdos scare you away – let’s go for a tour of Vienna’s first district: a magical experience, if you avoid the tourist traps.

Getting lost… it’s a magical experience.

Next to all the tourist traps there are a lot of fancy dining options, however, at Inigo you can enjoy great food and do your good deed for the day. Supported by Caritas, to aid organization of the Catholic Church, the restaurant gives long-term unemployed people the chance to get back into the working life. The staff is charming and the prices are very attractive considering the downtown location.


One of the best bookstores in town is located around the corner from Stephansplatz. Before Amazon and the big chain stores entered the market, Morawa was the place to go if you were looking for something hard to find. Nowadays the store still has the best magazine selection in town and is bravely facing the ever-growing online competition. They have meanwhile expanded to other districts as well, but this location is still by far the best one.


Are you bored with seeing the same selection of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream that is offered on every corner of the city? Is your idea of a crazy day at the ice cream store to order a scoop of Stracciatella? If you want to expand your horizon, try the Eis-Greissler on Rotenturmstraße. It has almost single-handedly revolutionized the ice cream scene in Vienna. Goat cheese and pumpkin oil are some of the current exotic flavours, but the menu is constantly changing.


Vienna’s opera house is considered one of the best in the world. Don’t worry, we won’t be boring and recommend you go see a performance there (you are probably already queuing for tickets anyway). Instead, you can always check out Peter’s Operncafe, where you can enjoy opera tunes at full volume while drinking your coffee. The walls are plastered with postcards and photos of old and new opera stars, the lighting is dark and it is too loud to do anything but immerse yourself in the sound of music.


Among all the museums, cafés and traditional restaurants it is hard to find decent take-out food in the city centre. Pats Brainfood solved that problem by selling healthy organic food over the counter. The place is tiny so takeout is really the only option. Gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options are all available so you should find something that fits your diet.

Innere Stadt The city centre, the oldest district full of historical sites, museum, cafes.
Neubau The 7th district is famous thanks to the MuseumsQuartier. It’s full of life, trendy shops and hip cafes.