The first few times I visited Vienna, more than ten years ago, it was for the Christmas market. I found it a very serious city and was impressed by its countless ostentatious buildings exuding the grandeur of past times. So when I went back recently, with my boyfriend, I was interested to explore beyond the imperial buildings in the centre and breath in the real Viennese life one could only find in a real neighbourhood. For this we chose to stay in Neubau, Vienna’s 7th district.
Although not considerably far from the historic centre, Neubau seems a world apart from the Mozart-costumed opera ticket sellers in front of Stephansdom, the horse-drawn carriages near the Hofburg, and the crowds gone chain-shopping along Mariahilfer Straße.
The neighborhood’s allure has less to do with historic architecture – although the residential architecture, with its pastel coloured façades and beautiful corner apartments, is just as jaw-dropping – but rather with quirky shops specialising in everything from vintage clothing and furniture, to records, board games, or pepper mills. Old style photo labs are also quite popular in the area. Walking along Burggasse – considered one of the most interesting streets in the city – or Neubaugasse we were spoiled for choice. Homey cafes and restaurants live side by side with trendy brunch places, and one can savour a Viennese-style coffee with a slice of poppy seed cake in a furniture shop, lying on a comfortable sofa and browsing design magazines. Museumsquartier, the Viennese centre dedicated to modern art, is also part of the neighbourhood, and same goes for Spittelberg, dubbed as the “village in the city,” a collection of cobbled-stone streets with tiny local taverns and idyllic squares.
The times when Neubau was an open farmland, the location of the city’s silk factories, are obviously long gone. Nowadays it is breathing a fresh energy coming from its large student population, young families and artists who call this neighbourhood home. We felt really privileged to have our home base here for the few days we spent in Vienna.
Burggasse 24 – Vintage clothing shop and cosy cafe with a laid-back, living-room feel. We loved the smell of burnt wood coming from the fire in the stove!
Figar – Breakfast as late as 4pm, good vibes and fancy drinks. And extremely busy!
Das Möbel (“The Furniture”) – Furniture is constantly changing at this contemporary-interior-design-store-cum-cafe, our favourite retreat in Vienna.
Ulrich – Fantastic food and great service. The “Big Easy” and the “Vegan Wake-up” were amazing!
Toma Tu Tiempo – We definitely took our time enjoying a Spanish inspired lunch at the shade of olive trees.
Zum Mogulhof – The tastiest Indian food I’ve had in a long time.