The city of waltz and opera also shimmers with cultural innovation. Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, head of the Museum of Applied Art, and his art historian wife, Karin, take in its highlights.
“We go to Café Ansari ($$) time and again,” Christoph says of the new Georgian spot in Leopoldstadt, a historically Jewish neighborhood that’s now Vienna’s answer to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. “I order the Lammkibbe (lamb meatballs with peppers and tahini).” Karin loves to sit on the cobblestoned terrace—“it transports you to another century.”
Nearby, the couple enjoy the Wiener schnitzel at former gasthaus Skopik & Lohn ($$$) nearly as much as the mind-bending ceiling mural by Otto Zitko. “It’s a cool hangout for the local creative crowd,” Christoph says.
“The best place for gift-shopping is the Confiserie Altmann & Kühne, in Innerstadt,” Christoph says. “Ask for the small chocolates—they’re packed in the most beautiful boxes, with patterns from the Wiener Werkstätte.”
He gets his accessories down the street at Knize, a heritage men’s-wear shop that’s been making suits since 1858. “I’m too tall for the jackets,” Christoph, who is six-foot-six, says with a laugh, “but I love the scarves.”
For women, Karin recommends Song, a fashion-forward boutique that carries labels such as Dries Van Noten and Olympia Le-Tan.
For Christoph and Karin, weekends are made for long walks. One of their favorites: a stroll to a traditional Austrian Heurige (wine tavern) called Dorfschenke Neustift, on the tourist-light northern edge of the city. “The road isn’t big enough for the buses,” Karin says.
Christoph is a devotee of the Vienna State Opera. “Every night there are over 500 standing-room tickets available, often for only three euros.”
$ Less than $25
$$ $25 to $75
$$$ $75 to $150
$$$$ More than $150