Live like a local: Vienna

When visiting a new city, it can be hard to tell the difference between tat and treasure. Tripadvisor can be both a blessing and a curse, as one bad review might put you off from visiting a place that might otherwise be a gem. The best tourist guides are probably the people who know the city best, so here are some insider recommendations! The focus this month is on Vienna.

Attempt to be cultured at… The Austrian National Library Considered by many as the world’s most beautiful library, you might have seen it on Pinterest or Tumblr. But even if reading isn’t your thing, you won’t be able to tear yourself away from this haven for booklovers. The towering shelves and old-fashioned stepladders reminded me of the Hogwarts library!

library

Enjoy a lazy lunch at… Zwölf Apostelkeller You’ll have to venture away from the heaving streets and down what feels like a hundred steps to find this secret paradise. Dating from the 1300s, this restaurant is a favourite with natives and visitors alike thanks to the quality of its traditional Austrian cuisine. A must-try is the Käsespätzle, Austria’s delicious take on macaroni cheese.

apostel

Shop the day away at… The Naschmarkt Like many European cities, Vienna morphs into a ghost town on Sundays, so be sure to buy your holiday gifts on a weekday or Saturday. You won’t have any trouble finding things to buy at the Naschmarkt, which boasts 120 stands selling wares from the world over. When your feet start to ache, the market’s very own DJs pump tunes to reinvigorate tired shoppers and you’ll be too busy spending to notice that night has fallen.

naschmarkt

Grab an ice cream at… Zanoni & Zanoni This is the gelato equivalent of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory but you won’t see any Oompa Loompas here. For the princely sum of three euros, three scoops of fruity or chocolatey goodness can be yours. There is a flavour for every colour of the rainbow, from bright lemon to nutty pistachio to rich caramel. Pull up a roadside seat to indulge in a spot of people-watching or take your bowl of heaven to a nearby park to enjoy in peace.

zanoni

Party the night away at… Puff If your holiday antics have been too sedate for your liking, a final-night trip to Puff will soon change that. A relative newcomer to the Viennese nightlife scene, this bar had a past life as a brothel before its hipster revamp. Be sure to order a cocktail machine to share amongst your friends and watch your creation chug to life before your very eyes…

puff

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