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VIENNA’S EASTER MARKETS

Easter Eggs at Schönbrunn Easter Market in Vienna

Easter Eggs at Schönbrunn Easter Market in Vienna

Easter abounds in the month of March in Vienna. And I got you covered with over 10 different markets where you can eat, drink and be merry and – more importantly – finally find everything from lavender satchels to perfume his sports bag to the long-sought-after Kaiser Franz Josef egg – guaranteed to grant you instant Austrian friends-for-life at any Easter egg exchange event.
But be nimble – some of these markets are literally here today and gone the day after tomorrow.

SCHÖNBRUNN EASTER MARKET
Schönbrunner Schlossstraße, 1130 Wien
March 9 – 29, daily from 10 am – 6 pm
www.ostermarkt.co.at
Public transportation: U4 Schönbrunn

OLD VIENNESE EASTER MARKET AT THE FREYUNG

Kaiser Franz Josef Egg - yours for the taking - available for purchase at a Vienna Easter Market near you

Kaiser Franz Josef Egg – yours for the taking – would I steer you wrong? Available for purchase at a Vienna Easter Market near you

(Freyung, 1010 Vienna – near Schotten Church)
March 11 – 28, daily 10 am – 7:30 pm
www.altwiener-markt.at
Public transportation: U3 Herrengasse or U2 Schottentor

ART HANDICRAFT MARKET AM HOF
(Am Hof, 1010 Vienna – on square in front of the Plaza Hotel)

from March 11. – 28, Mon – Thurs 11am-8 pm, Fri-Sun & Holidays 10am -8 pm
www.kunsthandwerksmarkt.at
Public transportation: Herrengasse

KALVARIENBERG FESTIVAL
Kalvarienberggasse, St. Bartholomäus Square, 1170 Vienna
March 9 – 27, Mon – Fri 10 am – 6 pm, Sat & Sun 9 am – 6 pm,
Live music every weekend starting at 4:30 pm
www.kalvarienbergfest.at
Public transportation: U2 to Schottentor and then tram 44 to Frauengasse OR an insider tip from a helpful reader: hop on the 43 at Schottentor and get off at Elterleinplatz and it’s right across the street (many thanks, Sandy!)

PRATER EASTER MARKET

Wooden Easter Ornaments at Schönbrunn Castle Easter Market in Vienna

Wooden Easter Ornaments at Schönbrunn Castle Easter Market in Vienna

Prater
March 27, starting at 11 am
www.praterservice.at
Public transportation: U2 Praterstern

EASTER MARKET AT FRANZ –JONAS PLATZ
February 19 – March 27, daily from 9 am – 9 pm
1210 Vienna, Franz-Jonas-Platz

EASTER MARKET IN ALTE AKH
Spitalgasse 2, 1090 Vienna
March 17 – 28, daily 12 – 9 pm
Public transportation: U2 Schottentor and then tram 38 or 40

EASTER ART MARKET AT CASTLE NEUGEBÄUDE
Otmar-Brix-Gasse 1, 1110 Vienna
March 17 – 20
http://www.schlossneugebaeude.at/
Public transportation: U3 to Simmering and then bus 73A

EASTER IN THE FLOWER GARDENS OF HIRSCHSTETTEN
Quadenstraße 15 oder Oberfeldgasse, 1220 Vienna
March 26 – 28, daily from 10 am – 6 pm
https://www.wien.gv.at/umwelt/parks/blumengaerten-hirschstetten/veranstaltungen/ostern.html
Public transportation: U2 to Hardegggasse, then bus 95A

OLD VIENNESE MARKET IN FRONT OF PALACE HARRACH (by Freyung Easter Market)

Happy Easter Chickens

Happy Easter Chickens

Freyung 6, 1010 Vienna
March 11 – 26, daily: 10am – 7:30 am
Organic Farmer Market Freyung
U2 Schottenring or U3 Herrengasse

EASTER MARKET AT SCHÜTTAUPLATZ
Schüttauplatz 24, 1220 Vienna
March 18 – 20, daily from 8 am – 8 pm
Public Transportation: U1 to Kaisermühlen-VIC, then bus 92 A

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TOP TEN THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN VIENNA IN DECEMBER

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Vienna gets lots of visitors in December and that’s not too surprising because the city is beautiful this time of year. Here’s the top 10 things you’ll want to do and see while here in December to get the most of your visit.

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    1. Visit a Christmas Market. With over 20 markets to choose from, there’s something for everyone. Here’s a list of Vienna Christmas markets from my 2014 post with links. Note that the special events have probably changed but otherwise the markets and descriptions usually stay pretty consistent year for year.
    2. Indulge in some Glühwein while at that market. For your own Glühwein recipe – check out my “How to make Glühwein” post.

      Gluehwein at Schönnbrunn Castle Christmas Market - photo courtesy of M. Gardzina

      Gluehwein at Schönnbrunn Castle Christmas Market – photo courtesy of M. Gardzina

    3. Have lunch at Cafe Central – they have what’s called a “Menü” option on the weekdays and it is usually a soup and a main meal consisting of a meat or non-meat dish and rather reasonably priced. Be sure to make reservations or you might have to wait for a table or not get one at all. You can write to them for reservations at the email address on the Cafe Central website but reservations are only valid if you receive a confirmation email (usually pretty quick response time).
    4. See the mosaic of the Last Supper. Do this after your visit to Cafe Central, since the Minoritenkirche with the mosaic is a two minute walk up the road from the Cafe.  More about this amazing piece of art work in my post: “Napoleon, Jesus and the Free Masons: the Last Supper in Vienna.”
    5. Have an authentic Austrian dinner in one of Vienna’s oldest restaurants – the Griechenbeisl. Again, reservations are a necessity. Check out my post about the Greichenbeisl restaurant entitled, “If the Walls Could Speak – A Schnitzel with Turkish Invaders, Beethoven, Twain and Johnny Cash.”

      Fancy Schmancy Aida Krapfen

      Fancy Schmancy Aida Krapfen

    6. Try a Krapfen. Don’t know what that is? Kind of like a apricot jam filled doughnut – more on the subject here: “Krapfen – Getting Fat in Honor of Fat Tuesday.”
    7. Definitely, definitely, visit a Coffeehouse to catch your breath, read a newspaper, discuss the world, and maybe even have some coffee. These two posts should help you with that: This one has a list of choice coffeehouses: “Vienna and her Coffeehouses – Sit Back and Smell the Coffee,” and this one describes a bit of the coffeehouse culture: “Place to Visit in Vienna – Coffeehouses.”
    8.  Digest some art and see some museums. Check out my post “Things to See in Vienna – Art Museums and Street Art.”

      Entrance to the Griechenbeisl

      Entrance to the Griechenbeisl

    9. Visit the Austrian National Treasury and check out some amazing artifacts like the legendary holy lance/ Spear of Destiny. More about that on my post:”The Holy Lance (“Spear of Destiny”) & the Power to Rule the World.”
    10. Take a stroll through the park of the Schönbrunn Castle and be sure to hike the hill behind the castle up to the gorgeous Gloriette where you can have a hot cocoa and if you’re timing is right, listen to some live piano music.
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IF THE WALLS COULD SPEAK – A SCHNITZEL WITH TURKISH INVADERS, BEETHOVEN, TWAIN AND JOHNNY CASH

Eating and sleeping are the only activities that should be allowed to interrupt a man’s enjoyment of his cigar. – Mark Twain

Print This Post Nestled amongst the cobblestones of the Vienna’s 1st district, beside the beautifully orange- and gold-tiled Greek Orthodox Church, is Vienna’s oldest tavern. 1350 (a whopping 665 years ago!) is the first documented date that the building is mentioned in Vienna city records when the place belonged to a knight commoner (yep – even knight status apparently has its hierarchies) by the name of Lienhart Poll. As early as 1447, the building was first used as a tavern which was named “Zum Gelben Adler” (To the Yellow Eagle).

Now let’s just stop here for a moment to appreciate the age of this place. The good old US of A is a

A look into the Griechenbeisl from outside

A look into the Griechenbeisl from outside

mere bubbling 239 years old. This place is almost 3 times older than that. Imagine! I know I’m a sucker for nostalgic tales but how can anyone resist wondering about the musings, confessions, sweet nothings, inspirations, gripes and debates these walls have witnessed while sheltering those who have passed through its doors from the harsh elements of fires, plagues, wars, and weather. Isn’t it cool to imagine?

Translated, the name “Griechenbeisl” means “Greek Tavern” but the Zwiebelrostbraten, Wiener Schnitzel and Tafelspitz you’ll find on the menu are all true Viennese specialties and have nothing to do with Greek food. The Greek in the tavern name refers to the Greek traders and merchants who liked to dine here in the 1800s.

The house came under attack twice when Turkish invaders attempted to seize Vienna (1529 and 1683). A remnant is still visible inside the tavern  — a cannonball from 1529 which was unearthed during renovation work in 1960 and remains stuck in the wall near the stairway at the entrance.

Former Guests of Griechenbeisl

Former guests of Griechenbeisl – Mozart’s signature is above the red label

Over the centuries, the tavern has expanded and along with it, the amount of rooms. Today there are eight dining rooms, each preserved in a different era and style. My personal favorite is the Twain room which you can request when making reservations (always make reservations before coming) but can be difficult to score since it is often reserved for private parties. The room is considered a historical monument and the ceiling is filled with the signatures of all the famous folks who have dined and drank within the walls. If you don’t land a lucky table in this amazing room, kindly ask your waiter if it is possible to have a look in. The waiters have long sticks that they can use to point out some of the better known guests. Historic guests include Beethoven, Mark Twain, Schubert, Wagner, Strauss, Count Zeppelin, Mozart, and Brahms to name a few. Then you have the more recent “promis” and these include, amongst others, Johnny Cash, Pavarotti, Barry Manilow, and Phil Colins.

Griechenbeisl Signatures in Mark Twain room

Griechenbeisl signatures in Mark Twain room

The guy who seems to be sleeping off his hangover in a cage in the floor at the entrance isn’t some sorry sap who failed to pay his beer tab. Well, then again, maybe he is.  But if you pause and listen, you might hear him whistling the song written in his honor and since sung by beer-mug-swinging admirers for decades– “Oh du lieber Augustin.” Supposedly he (Marx Augustin) sang and drank here in 1679. But he became famous because he was so intoxicated that when he fell into the pit dug out for the city’s plague victims, he simply made himself cozy and slept off his hangover (and you thought you woke up in some shocking places the morning after). We all know the amazing clensing powers inherent in an Austrian apricot Schnapps, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that good old Marx climbed out of the grave the next day and was fit for another round (and I’m not talking about the row-row-row-your-boat musical kind).

A dining room in the Griechenbeisl

A dining room in the Griechenbeisl

A meal in the Griechenbeisl will set you back — just for the main course — anywhere between 17 and 28 € depending on what you order. Granted, not cheap but this is no fast food joint and they do take plastic. Waiters decked out in suits and bow ties who can switch languages in a blink of an eye and actually correctly serve your Zweigelt in a decanter are bound to send your date’s heart aflutter. The menu is in German and English and you might even get some live music accompaniment from a zither for your meal (if you really want to show what a good guy you are, discreetly tip the zither player as you leave). The wine cellar is currently being renovated and sometime later this year, the restaurant plans to host wine tasting events. This isn’t Applebees or The Cheesecake Factory so leave your shorts and tennis shoes at home. Dressy casual is fine here but don’t expect to eat and run. Have an appetizer, have a Grüner Veltliner or Zweigelt, a Melange, a Schnapps and some very good Viennese food and then sit back and listen to the rustic tales of history and whisper to the walls some new ones of your own.

“Street” scene from a recent visit to the Griechenbeisl:
Conversation at a neighboring table filled with no less than ten older refined gentlemen and not one single lady.
Waiter: Ah! A round of just gentlemen!
One of the guests from the table: laughing Indeed! Tonight we left the ladies at home.
Waiter: I don’t believe a word of it. Tell the truth. You guys all got kicked out. Print This Post

Griechenbeisl: Fleischmarkt 11, 1010 Vienna (subway: U4 or U1 to Schwedenplatz)
Open daily from 11 am – 1 am (food service: 11:30 am – 11:30 pm)
Definitely call and reserve a table and try to score the Mark Twain room: +43 1 533 19 77

Griechenbeisl Wikipedia Entry

 

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Who’s on First, What comes Second, Vienna Building Codes, a Tower and Creative Genius

(HOW TO BE HIGHER THAN THE LEGAL LIMIT – for a limited time only)

Not macht erfinderisch. – Austrian adage (literally: Necessity renders innovation)

In Vienna, Abbot and Costello wouldn’t have been talking baseball (see video below) in their classic “Who’s on First?” skit, they would have been discussing floors.

“Who’s on first? What comes second? And where I am?”

No, the Viennese aren’t trying to have a little fun by putting one over on their foreign guests. (Though it is amusing the first time you witness an ignorant out-of-towner boldly, athletically, opting to take the stairs only to realize four floors up that the third floor is actually maybe the fourth, fifth or even the sixth).

Yes, the Viennese were being creative with their numbers long before it became fashionable on a worldwide scale to do so.

Rathaus at Sunset - view from Skyliner

Rathaus at Sunset – view from Skyliner

When the Vienna Building Ordinance stipulates (as it has for centuries) that no resident buildings within the so-called “Gürtel” (districts 1 -9) be taller than 5 floors – no problem. Start your building with a ground floor (Erdgeschoss). Maybe add a Mezzazin, Hochparterre or Belle-Etage and go from there to the first floor. What? A Mezzazin is supposed to be a half-floor, you say? No worries. No one’s checking. As long as the top floor is the 5th, all is good in the Empire. In the Republic. In the inner districts. For goodness sake, even the Vienna City Hall has a Mezzazin.

View of Burgtheater and St. Stephans from Vienna Skyliner Tower

View of Burgtheater and St. Stephans from Vienna Skyliner Tower

Despite Viennese finesse for creative solutions, the city has indeed managed to keep the building heights within the inner districts low and thus maintain a beautiful old town skyline for centuries. Now that’s good city planning.

And precisely the reason why you have to get yourself down to the Rathaus before March 8th. Because right now you can ascend the “City Skyliner Gondel” — a temporary tower –erected beside the Vienna City Hall (Rathaus) in honor of the Ringstrasse’s 150th anniversary and the 20th Anniversary of the Vienna Ice Dream (Eistraum) Skating Rink at the City Hall. Yes, the UFO-looking contraption has caused a fuss among some fun-spoiling Viennese sour grapes steadfast in their century-old ordinances (I would expect nothing less) but they’ve had their turn. Now it’s yours to enjoy a good view of this beautiful city. Go now while the winter sun is shining and don’t miss the limited opportunity (until March 8th!) to pay your 7 € (kids pay 4 €) and boogie on up the 81 meter high tower (you’ll be up 60 m high) that will offer you a slowly turning, 360 degree panorama view of Vienna. Buy a drink at the stand while waiting in line and take it up with you. No problem. The queue moves quickly (60 people per trip fit in) and the trip up lasts 7 minutes (one minute up, 5 minutes turning, one minute down). All seats are good because the tower turns and everyone ends up standing up anyway. Give a shout out to the little Rathaus man on top of the Rathaus. Maybe he’ll wave back. (In which case, don’t opt for the alcoholic beverage next time you go up).

How to get there: Subway U2 to Rathaus or to Schottentor and walk over or take trams 1, D or 71.
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Abbot & Costello: Who’s On First:

READ MORE:

Kurier: Kurier Article on Vienna City Skyliner

Wirtschaftsblatt: http://wirtschaftsblatt.at/home/nachrichten/oesterreich/wien/4641944/81-Meter-hoher-Turm-auf-dem-Rathausplatz-in-Wien

Der Standard: http://derstandard.at/2000010596318/Wiener-Eistraum-eroeffnet-und-mit-ihm-ein-81-Meter-Turm

 

 

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