The two lovers in Klimt’s The Kiss might be Vienna’s most famous couple but there are plenty of other love affairs to guide you around Austria’s romantic capital. Here are eight unlikely pairings that illustrate the very best places to go in Vienna.
The Figlmullers and the schnitzel
For over a hundred years the Figlmuller family have been expertly pounding pork tenderloins as thin as pancakes, frying them in breadcrumbs and serving them to a grateful public. And not a lot has changed in that time. The waiters at the cozy pine-panelled Wollzeile restaurant still wear old-school tuxes, the schnitzels are still so huge that they spill over the sides of the plate and it’s still absolutely delicious.
Wollzeile 5, 1010
Elmayer and The Waltz
Winter means dance balls - evening-dressed couples gliding elegantly through the city’s concert halls to the sounds of Mozart or Strauss. Visitors are welcome, but you might want to have a quick practice first. That’s where Elmayer comes in because the city’s most famous dance school does a great one-hour refresher course to make sure you won’t be treading on any toes when you take to the dance floor.
Bräunerstraße 13, 1010
John Malkovich and Martinis
With the likes of Mick Jagger, Angelina Jolie and John Malkovich all popping by, and Gucci shooting commercials here, the Loosbar has some real star quality. They might be there for the low-lit Art Deco glamour, or maybe it’s the fact that Jean Cocteau and Orson Welles once propped up the bar, but we prefer to think it’s just because it serves the driest, and best, Martinis in all Vienna.
Kärntner Durchgang 10, 1010
St Stephen and the Sofitel
Of course the classic view of Vienna is from the top of Prater Park’s big wheel. However, if you’d like a similarly spectacular sight of St Stephens Cathedral with fine dining and serious modern art thrown in, then try the Sofitel Vienna Stephensdom. Designed by legendary architect Jean Nouvel, this gleaming glass tower boasts the best penthouse bar in town.
Praterstraße 1, 02. Leopoldstadt, 1020
Mozart and musicians
Vienna’s packed with concert halls and it’s a fair bet that most of them will be playing some music by its most famous son while you’re visiting. But for that true musical time-machine experience you can’t beat the tiny basement of his only surviving apartment. Each night a costumed quartet plays a selection of the great man’s best works to an audience of fewer than fifty appreciative fans.
Domgasse 5, 1010
Orson Welles and the Vienna sewers
Perhaps the most famous view of this most cinematic location is the classic 1949 film noir, The Third Man. It takes in many famous sights, from The Prater to Cafe Mozart, and climaxes with an underground chase. You can follow those famous footsteps with a Third Man tour through the movie’s locations, finishing up with a trip down into those famous sewers.
Hugo and the Beach
So who’s Hugo? Well, it’s a what, not a who. This mix of Prosecco, tonic water, mint and elderflower syrup fuels young Viennese before they hit the local clubs. For the best version we like Tel Aviv - the beach bar on the Danube where you can sip a Hugo as the sun goes down with sand under your feet (but possibly a blanket over your knees, too).
Donaukanal Str. 26, 1020
Phil and Film Nights
Records and DVDs line every wall, a string quartet fires up some modernist music in the corner, one table of diners are waiting patiently for the film to start: Phil is not your typical restaurant. Instead it’s a fantastic book shop that happens to serve great vegetarian food, where everything, from the art books that line the walls to the sofa that you’re sitting on, is up for sale.
Gumpendorfer Str. 10, 1060