Vienna is known for its compact, historic First District with its pedestrian streets, coffee houses and sightseeing list of imperial palaces, museums and churches. But to really get to know the place you’ve got to venture further, says Viennese native Daniel Wukovits, head concierge at the swank Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna.
“Most of Vienna’s visitors stay in this small area to see the best of the city, then leave town thinking that’s all there is,” says Wukovits. “Pity, those people miss out on seeing what Vienna is really about.” Here is where Wukovits recommends his guests go exploring.
Hidden guest gardens
“These are inner courtyards in Vienna, where people meet to have a coffee or a snack of apfelstrudel. You’ll find them across the city, but most do not have a name or website. These are places where locals meet and are most popular during the summer as the Viennese love to sit outside and have a glass of spritzer. Glacis Beisl, is a hidden garden restaurant, located in the inner courtyard at the back of the Museums Quartier in the 7th District. It combines charm and a bohemian flair.” 4 Breite Gasse, glacisbeisl.at
“Vienna is known for its vineyards within the city limits. And Pfarrplatz, located in the 19th district is one of the places where you can find traditional cuisine, such as tafelspitz, a beef broth with apple and horseradish served with an amazing glass of homemade wine, and sit in their courtyard on a nice wooden bench. Wine rasps are growing along the house, known as the Beethovenhaus. Even the famous composer fell in love with this special atmosphere.” 2 Pfarrplatz, pfarrplatz.at
“This is one of my favourite shops located in the 7th district, the neighbourhood most known for its urban shopping. It offers a huge range of young designers and start-up companies selling their art, which varies from clothing to jewellery, household stuff and other things you may not need, but they are just nice to have. It offers a mix of international labels and Austrian young designers. I found a trench coat and a pair of shoes for my wife there. She loves it as well.” 20 Mondscheingasse, www.park.co.at
“The Deli at the Naschmarkt has a lively atmosphere. DJ sounds mix with the culinary experience, which focuses on organic food. Naschmarkt itself, in the 4th District, used to be only a flea market, but is now one of the biggest culinary hot spots in Vienna, offering a variety of international food.” Naschmarkt stand 421 to 436, naschmarkt-deli.at; naschmarkt-vienna.com
“This is a lovely restaurant in the 6th District with a Europe-meets-Asia vibe. The restaurant has very high ceilings and windows overlooking the Naschmarkt. Here you can sample sushi or experimental Asian cuisine, such as black-octopus risotto or cocoa-banana curry. Sometimes they have live music, too.” 36 Linke Wienzeile, on-market.at
This interview has been edited and condensed.