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My wife and I visited Vienna in August of 2005 and I thought I would share some information with the board. I will omit places to stay since there are many fine hotels in Vienna and it really depends on what you are looking for. First off, I will say that Vienna was my wifes least favorite stop on our trip. It was too urban for her. She likes quaint little towns and hotels. I enjoyed it for what it was- a center of culture and fine dining.

Where to Eat
Here are a few suggestions:
Zum Kuckuck- A small little restaurant with a well thought out wine list. The venison was excellent.
Weibels Wirsthaus- We went here for lunch. Fine and extensive winelist. Much more upscale than the name lets on.
Hedrich- This was recommended to us but we did not go.
Palais Cobourg #6- Another restaurant recommended to us but we did not have time.
Pfudl- Nice restaurant with typical dishes.

Coffee Houses
A visit to Vienna would not be complete with a stop in one of the many coffee houses. Here are 2 which stood out:
Central- Probably the most ornate of the coffee houses. Just down the street from the Hofburg complex and the Lippizaner stallions.
Hawelka- Quite different fom Central. A smokey late night eccentric spot. We stayed until 2am having drinks and it was still going.

Things to See
Stephansdom Cathedral
Hofburg Complex
Spanish Riding School- Home of the Lippizaner Stallions. Depending on the time of year, you can either catch a full show, a matinee or a morning practice (the latter can get tedious).
Belvedere Gardens- Very nice gardes and palace complex.
Schloss Schonbrunn
Musikverein- Attending a Mozart concert in this beautifully guilded concert hall was one of the highlights of our trip. Info on performances of the Vienna Mozart Orchestra and other perfomances at the Hall can be found at this link.

Where to Buy Wine
Vinotech St. Stephen- There are many shops but this centrally located shop had a nice selection. They were not very helpful though.

To get a true feel for Vienna you should visit a Heuriger. Vienna is the only major city in the world which is located in a designated viticultural area. Many local growers sell their own wine and food in local establishments on the North end of town. Instead of fine dining one night, head up to either the village of Grinzing or Neustift. Grinzing is more touristy and the wine is better in Neustift. I would recommend the latter. 2 Heurige in Neustift to visit are:
Zeiler am Hauerweg
In addition, you might consider Wieninger which is in Stammersdorfer. They are probably the best winery in Vienna.

Wachau Valley
A day trip to the Wachau Valley is well worth the drive. World class wineries a little over 1 hour away. An hour drive in the other direction will take you to Burgenland and the Feiler-Artinger winery.

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It's too bad you did not get to eat at the Palais Cobourg. I ate there twice this summer and thought it was on par with the best restaurants anywhere in Europe that I have experienced.

I have also shopped several times at Vinotech St. Stephen and found my experiences there varied greatly from one time to the next. Sometimes I was totally ignored, and other times they were really very helpful. But they do have an excellent selection of Austrian Rieslings and Gruner Veltliner.

I visited Vienna 5 times during the spring/summer of 2005 and posted a similar travelogue of my experiences here.

I've had sacher torte both in Hotel Sacher & Demel - there's nothing to it beyond good marketing of a simple cake.

To get more information start with the thread on Daniel Rogov's Internet forum. You will find his recommendations (he writes for the international edition of the Herald Tribune), Julia Sevenich which is an American expat living in Austria and my own recommendations :

In addition to those recommendations:

'UNA' restaurant Tel.: +43/1/523 65 66 - a very nice Italian restaurant in the Museum Quartier (MQ). MQ is a block of (mostly) modern museums of Vienna. The Leopold Museum, which is part of the complex, is highly recommended.

New wine bar - TintoRosso +43-1-5130480. ( )

If you are into a short trip, than Krems and Durenstein (both are just more than an hour's drive along the Danube) are highly recommended. Krems has a very nice small Caricature museum, and an excellent local winery (Weingut Stadt Krems). Durenstein is a lovely old town with many excellent wineries in the proximity of the town (Knoll, Prager, F.X. Pichler & many others) . There is 10 minutes drive between them.


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