50 Must-Dos for Every Viennese – Book Tip
A novelty for connoisseurs of Vienna… and for everyone who loves something special
Do you live in Vienna and know your hometown like the back of your hand? Have you seen it all already? Or are you here on vacation looking to experience the “special” side of Vienna? Then the book 50 Dinge, die ein Wiener getan haben muss (50 Must-Dos for Every Viennese) is an ideal companion to see Vienna through different eyes. Astonishing and unexpected, bizarre and lovable things can all be found in this book, alongside unknown facets of well-known landmarks. Or have you already gone for a walk along the rain gutters of St. Stephan’s Cathedral, cut roses in the Volksgarten or saved classic fonts?
Alexandra Gruber and Marliese Mendel both live in Vienna. They confess that Vienna really does live up to the obligatory clichés of the waltz-souled Danube metropolis with the luster of the bygone Habsburg monarchy, all the kitsch and the proverbial morbidity. Yet they maintain that there is also a modern Vienna, the Danube is mostly not blue, not all coffeehouse waiters are grumpy and even the Viennese fear death.
The book’s contents should surprise both long-established Viennese and visitors, open everyone’s eyes and spark curiosity.
Astonishing, original and more…
Attempting to introduce all of the tips mentioned in the book here would be beyond the scope of this summary – everyone can read the details for themselves. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t want to withhold an excerpt from you.
Take the “loft tour of St. Stephan’s Cathedral” for example. It may sound rather boring at first, but it offers an indescribable view and unusual insight into the otherwise hidden world of “Steffl” (the Viennese’s nickname for the cathedral). The high point of the loft tour is walking along the rain gutters of St. Stephan’s Cathedral, which is possible thanks to their width of half a meter. This is without a doubt a unique experience, possible only in fair weather on special days between July and September.
By contrast, the “flashlight tours” in the Hofburg Palace only take place during the winter months of November, January and February, also only on selected Saturdays. Strolling through the rooms of the Hofburg in the dark, equipped with only a flashlight, listening to mysterious stories and anecdotes, feels like being transported back to the distant past, to another epoch.
In terms of “Sightseeing Special”, the “belly” of the Burgtheater, the underground storage of the Museum of Natural History, or the last paternoster elevators you can still ride in Vienna, are all introduced. Pure nostalgia.
The tips range from the Vienna Planetariums to “tweed riding” by bicycle all the way to “street gaming” or a visit to the “little” or Bohemian Prater amusement park. Details on tours of Vienna’s cellars or the “Third Man” tour also appear, as do public bath and camping vacations or hiking in the city of Vienna.
Do you know the “Sammlung für Stadtschriften” (Collection of City Fonts)? Or have you taken a horse-drawn carriage through the Central Cemetery? Nature lovers also get their money’s worth: There’s lots to discover, from the Vienna Woods to the local mountains of Vienna, down to the Danube waters or into the immediate vicinity of the city. These are optimal choices for a weekend trip or the next Sunday excursion. There’s even a chapter dedicated to the historic “Viennese public toilets”.
You can see that this book offers unique and many new ideas. I have already penciled in some suggestions for the coming year.
My tip: Give this different kind of Vienna guide as a Christmas gift and give your loved one lasting joy.
Wishing you lots of fun giving this book or reading it yourself!
German title: 50 Dinge, die ein Wiener getan haben muss
Authors: Alexandra Gruber and Marliese Mendel
MSRP: approx. € 20.00
Also available as an eBook from various retailers.
Published by Pichler Verlag / Verlagsgruppe Styria GmbH & Co KG in September 2015