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Capital of Cool

We all know Vienna to be a traditional and classic city, associated with operas, palaces and sachertorte – but there is so much more to discover. In my search for the trendy side of the Austrian hotspot, I quickly discovered that the Viennese can also be artistic and hip. Discover the Capital of Cool!

Discover the Capital of Cool!

‘Shipshape hotel’

Urban living room

My first goal is to find a hotel that fits seamlessly into the ‘new’ Vienna, and I am off to a great start with The Daniel. This funky hotel – with an iconic sailboat hanging from the roof – has a very informal atmosphere and serves honest and tasty food, partly because of the on-site bakery.

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The decor is smart casual and feels like a cosy living room. The bedrooms are spacious and soothing (mine even boasts a hammock!). It is only a 15-minute walk downtown, however The Daniel also rents out bicycles, electric scooters and Vespas. The Vespa turns out to be a golden find: it gets me everywhere in no time and I can park wherever I want.

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Under the banner of Mike Tekst & Beeld, independent photographer and journalist Mike Raanhuis (1975) works for various advertising agencies, digital magazines, and other companies. Mike’s images reinforce his writing, while his texts give new dimensions to his photography. Mike specialises in revealing the essence of people and their environment, in articles such as this one. See website.

Relax in retro style

The best market in town

I wander around the Gumpendorf neighbourhood, a district busy with numerous trendy restaurants, eateries and shops. One of these is Phil, a new kind of book and record store. Sink back in a lazy armchair with a drink and a pastry and enjoy the music.

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A five-minute walk from Phil, I come across the Naschmarkt, a very popular market loved by locals and tourists alike, with over 120 stands selling fruit, vegetables, juices and clothing. You can also eat freshly cooked culinary delights from around the world. Immerse yourself in the local culture and pick up an authentic dirndl or a pair of knickerbockers.

Relaxen in retrostijl

Beste markt van de stad

De eerste tip die ik opvolg is struinen in de buurt Gumpendorf. Hier hebben de afgelopen tijd talloze hippe restaurants, eethuizen en winkeltjes hun deuren geopend. Eén daarvan is Phil, een boekhandel 2.0 waar je relaxt in vintage fauteuils, drankjes en taartjes bestelt en waar lp’s te beluisteren en te koop zijn.

Op vijf minuten lopen van Phil vind ik de Naschmarkt, een bekende – oké – maar zeker ook een onmisbare markt van Wenen. De 120 stallen verkopen niet alleen groente, fruit en verse sapjes, maar eten: van Vietnamees tot Italiaans. Wie helemaal op wil gaan in de cultuur koopt hier zijn authentieke dirndl of knickerbocker.

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Museum city

Creative meeting place

Vienna is a city built on culture. The Albertina Museum boasts a stunning collection of more than 65,000 works by big names and definitely belongs on the Vienna to-do list. But I am even more taken with the MuseumsQuartier (MQ): the large square, framed by approximately 20 cultural institutions and museums, serves as a meeting place for creative types, students and art lovers.

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The MQ is an ideal starting point for exploring art and culture and one of its highlights is the modern art-oriented MUMOK. It has a wonderful collection of pop art on display and museum tours are given by local artists.

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My tour ends at a downtown rooftop café, where I enjoy a highly recommended grand view of the city. I conclude my day at the Schnitzelwirt, which according to locals is the place for an authentic, traditional Wiener schnitzel. And they were absolutely right.

Tuk-tuk tour

Not-to-miss Wiener schnitzel

In her stark white electric vehicle, Seba from Welovetuktuk – the only tuk-tuk company in the city – takes me on a Coffee Tour. Born and raised in Vienna, she gives me a whirlwind tour and we end up in two of the trendiest cafés in the city: Jonas Reindl and Balthasar. The owners welcome all of your questions, so this is the perfect opportunity to learn about the best coffee.

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Tuk op de tuktuk

Wiener schnitzel als must

Bij de in Wenen geboren en getogen Seba van We love Tuktuk – het enige tuktukbedrijf in de stad – neem ik de Coffee Tour. In haar spierwitte, elektrische (!) tuktuk laat ze me Wenen in een sneltreinvaart zien en belanden we bij twee toonaangevende koffietenten; Jonas Reindl en Balthasar. Doordat je de eigenaren ‘t hemd van het lijf mag vragen, kom je alles te weten over de beste koffies.

Mijn rit eindigt op een dakterras in de binnenstad, vanwaar ik een subliem uitzicht over de stad heb. Wát een aanrader. Mijn dag besluit ik bij de Schnitzelwirt, volgens inwoners dé plek voor een onvervalste, ambachtelijke wienerschnitzel. Ze hadden gelijk.

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For my last drink in Vienna, I go to one of the countless pop-up bars along the Danube Canal. This is also a popular meeting place for locals who gather for a beer and to toast the beauty of the city. Vienna certainly is very beautiful, and – contrary to popular belief – also really hip and happening.

A second chance for instruments

A toast to the city

There are two more hotspots on my list. First, I visit the Freihausviertel district, which was recently discovered by the trendy and creative Viennese. Here you will find Flash second hand music, which mostly sells used top-of-the-line guitars; a fabulous place to browse.

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