Top Ten places to get your culture on in Vienna

Slow down, you crazy child. You’re so ambitious for a juvenile. But then if you’re so smart, tell me why are you still so afraid?


When will you realise? Vienna waits for you.

Welcome to installment number two of The Smirnoff Start Pure City Guides. Cybele Malinowski, taker of magical photographs, has given us the TOP TEN Places to get your culture on in Vienna. Cybele has previously been quoted as saying “I was about 11 when we arrived, a perfect age, where I was old enough to start understanding history, art and culture, but young enough to have a vivid imagination. To this day Vienna has had a great impact on my artistic aesthetic.” Which, if you’ve seen any of her lovely work, will make you realise that Vienna is definitely a city worth seeing for yourself.

This time around we have included a ‘Vienna Vodka Soother’ recipe, inspired by the the ‘Vienna Soother Mocktail.’ HaHA. Nice try mocktails, but no.

In other news, Cybele was in hospital and wicked high on morphine and ketamine when we spoke. Have gone through and confirmed that none of the places mentioned are made up and/or drug induced fantasies. So, happy travels!

Hotel Imperial

Address: Kärntner Ring 16, 1015 Vienna

Phone: (43) 1 501100



This. Is. Vienna. The walls are dripping in gold, you can smell the aristocratic history. Being the city’s certified, fully fledged most prestigious hotel, it might not be within your means to stay in one of the presidential suites, so you can pretend to be royalty for an afternoon by having a slice of Imperial Torte and Vienna coffee in their coffee room. Sit back under the amber light and listen to the piano player flex his fingers as he waltzes across the keys. Unlike most of the places I recommend below- this is where the locals go. Surrounded by dainty old couples dressed for the opera, he in a 3 piece suit, she in arctic fox fur and emeralds- dress like royalty and pretend for a second that the world froze in 1913 and you were part of the high society.

Address: 1060
Wienzeile, Kettenbruecke, Vienna 1040

Phone: (43) 1 270 21 56


Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 6am-7.30pm, Saturday 6am-6pm. Food stands: Monday to Saturday 6am-11pm. Flea market (6.30am-4pm) every Saturday.

Paddy’s Market eat your heart out. Naschmarkt is a food market open every day of the week with the yummiest foods and wines. But I’m not after artisan honey or local wine. Nope. Head there on a Saturday, and adjacent to Naschmarkt is the most amazing flea market I have ever seen. If you are after anything quaint and pre 1970, it will most likely be found here, and at a pretty good price too. This is a city whose historical tapestry rivals Paris- you can pick up some amazing 19th century drawings, photography, books, vintage cameras, dresses, fob watches, vases, rugs, chandeliers, art deco furniture, art nouveau paintings. It is a gold mine.


Address: Löwengasse 41-43, 1030 Vienna


This expressionist apartment building is definitely worth a visit if you are au fait with architecture and art. It’s a living breathing artwork. Hundertwasser was one of Vienna’s most loved and hated artists in Austria- his buildings are distinct and unmissable. Using a bold and bright palette of colours, textures and patterns, his buildings jump out in defiance from the uniform discipline of Viennese culture. Hundertwasserhaus is his most famous building, where his theories on green living and distinct non-conformative design model a fun and radical way of living.

Saint Augustine’s
Address: Augustinerstrasse 3, 1010 Vienna

Phone: (43) 01 533 09 47 0


I am not really a church goer- however, as Vienna is the city of music, if you want a free symphony, head to St Augustine’s mass on Sunday 11am. Get there early, as tourists are starting to cotton on. But this really is something not to miss, if you can withstand the pompous Catholic rigmarole (I just sit at the back and avoid eye contact). A full orchestra, world class choir and soloists. The notes of Mozart, Mahler, Beethoven crash from the medieval vaulted ceilings into your soul.


Address: Grinzing A-1190, Vienna

You like beer? Well, here’s an excuse to drink huge jugs of it and feel semi-cultural while you do it. On a hot summers afternoon, jump on a 38 tram at Schottentor, head to the very last stop in Grinzing, and walk up into the hills. From up here you get a great view of Vienna. If you had the foresight to pack a blanket and some wine and cheese, set up camp next to the forest and relax- this was Beethoven’s favourite place to escape, and it hasn’t changed much since. Once you have polished off the wine, head down to one of the many Heuriger- a Viennese beer hall. If you’re there in summer, make sure you find one that has a vineyard out the back. Sit down, order a schnitzel so big it rivals your oversized beer, and sing along to the gypsies and their harpsichords. Totally touristy, totally worth it.

Cafe Central

Address: Simmeringer Hauptstraße 50, 1110 Vienna
Herrengasse 14
1010 Wien

Phone: (43) 1 533376424


Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 7:30am-10pm, Sunday 10am-10pm

Go to Bourke St Bakery and chances are you are sitting on a milk crate next to some of Sydney’s leading architects, designers, musicians- or, a smackie. Go to Cafe Central (ideally in 1907) and you will find yourself in the middle of a heated philosophical debate between Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky, or you could end up getting a free analysis from Sigmund Freud or Carl Jung. Ok, well chances are, you won’t get analysed- the wait list is pretty long, but as soon as you walk in here, it doesn’t seem like a distant reality. Aside from a random i-phone flash, it’s hard to differentiate this place from the early 20th century. Like all Vienese places of notoriety, a grande piano takes centre stage, patrons clapping and singing along to song of the yesteryear. Make sure to get a cafe mit schlag the apfelstrudel. mmmmmm.


Address: Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Wien
Museumsplatz 1
A-1070 Vienna
Phone: (43) 1 525 00 0


Opening Hours: Monday 2pm-7pm, Tuesday and Wednesday 10am-7pm, Thursday 10am-9pm, Friday to Sunday 10am-7pm

Museum of Modern Art. OH MY. I would go to this building if it were completely empty. Its a massive block of basalt that has been dropped in the middle of the Museumquartier of Vienna. But I do have a fetish for concrete and basalt. With over 9000 artworks, featuring Warhols and Picassos that I have never seen before. Focusing on Pop art and photorealism (and contemporary photography), this place is a massive basalt block of inspiration.

Leopold Museum

Address: MuseumsQuartier Wien, Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna
Phone: (43) 1 525 70 1505


Opening Hours: Daily: Mon: 10:00 – 18:00 Wed: 10:00 – 18:00 Thu: 10:00 – 21:00 Fri – Sun: 10:00 – 18:00

Just across from MUMOK, this is a MUST! THE MUST! See Vienna’s greatest artist’s greatest artworks in world right here. The Leopold houses the world’s largest collection of Egon Schiele’s works. This is where I discovered him back in 2001. Bring paper, pen and watercolours and spend the day studying his fantastically sexual and intimate art. It still makes me blush. Leopold also has huge stocks of Gustav Klimt, Kokoschka, and Viennese workshop masters Hoffman and Moser. My personal favourite museum of all time.


Address: Dorotheergasse 17 , A-1010 Vienna

Phone: (43) 1 515 60 0


Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 9am-5pm, On Sundays immediately prior to the Auction Weeks 10am–5pm

This is Vienna’s largest auction house, though it could be classified as a gallery, with artworks dating back to medieval times, old master paintings that you would expect to see in the Louvre, manuscripts from Beethoven, Mozart, Strauss, and antique furniture to die for. The best thing is, you can buy it all, and some of it is a relative bargain. Deck your house out with original Hoffman furniture, adorn your walls with Klimt sketches. Oh, and did I mention the art nouveau jewellery? There are small Dorotheum branches across Vienna- don’t be confused. Go to the Palais Dorotheum, behind the Hofberg.

Cafe Konditorei Diglas

Address: Wollzeile 10, 1010 Wien

Phone: (43) 1 51257650


Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 8am-7pm, Saturday 9am-7pm, Sunday 10am-7pm

In case you haven’t guessed by now, Vienna is two things. 1. Art and Music 2. Cakes and coffee. There are cafes all over the old city, and I’ve tried and tested them all. I’ve been sampling the tortes and strudels at Diglas since I was 11, and this local cafe is my personal favourite. They make all their cakes and sweets on site, and they are to die for. Lunch and dinner is served, but save space for the cakes! This is old school Vienna. Chandeliers, gold wallpaper and red velvet booths. Make sure you stop by here, and say hi from me.

Visit Cybele’s blog at

Below is her photo series ‘50 Shades of Grey‘ which was shot in Vienna on a leaky old camera she bought in Naschmarkt and really just speaks for itself: