Category Archives: Culture

Stroll through the Naschmarkt

Simply on the must see list, this place has everything you could imagine. Things like a huge flea market, farmers market, dried fruit and nuts, and restaurants. See this for a link to an Austrian website: Flohmarkt am Wiener Naschmarkt jeden Samstag ganzjährig

The market can be reached at the Karlsplatz and Kettenbruckengasse stops on the U4 line.



Tickets for the Vienna Boys Choir

Q. My mom is coming to visit and I’d like to take her to see the Vienna Boys Choir, but the links are so confusing. Has anyone done this already? (Posted 4/22/2013)

A. We’ve gone to the Sunday mass at the Hofkapelle, which is very nice and feels special, although the boys are up in the organ loft so you can’t see them while they sing the mass. They do come down at the end and sing one more piece after the mass. I went there in person to get tickets — it’s in an inner courtyard above the Schatzkammer and it’s only open these times:

Friday / Saturday: 11:00 to 13:00 and 15:00 to 5:00 p.m. 

Sunday / Sunday: 8:15 to 9:15

Viennese Balls

Q. Does anyone know of a place where you can get information on ALL the balls in Vienna?  We’re trying to figure out what to go to, and I don’t know how or when to get tickets. (Posted 11/8/2012)

A. Search the Vienna tourism board’s website; this website is very comprehensive and is regularly updated to include information on current and near-term events. (Read our review of the tourism board’s website here.)

A. There is a ball calendar on

A. The same people that maintain this website also put out a hard copy ball guide book each year that includes not only a comprehensive list of balls and dates, but also the dress code for each, where to buy/rent tuxedos and dresses for the balls, etc.

Wien Museum at Karlsplatz

The Wien Museum at Karlsplatz is a great little museum that offers a glimpse of Vienna’s history. There are changing exhibits but the permanent displays include an impressive collection of knights and war exhibits from the Turkish occupation.  Of course, there are lots of paintings to enjoy and kids (and adults!) generally like examining the two miniature displays of Vienna.

Bet you didn’t know:

  • that there is free admission the first Sunday of every month (yes, it’s true – just walk on in!)
  • that there is a kids’ play area right next to the museum’s cafe on the ground floor. Although certainly geared towards the younger kids, this is a great rainy/cold day activity especially since access to the cafe and play area is free – any time and day (it might be closed during special events though). And, on the weekends from 11am on, staff people bring out additional toys for the kids!

For more information:

Gray Sundays in Vienna: Exploring the Essl Museum

The holidays have come and gone, and we’re all facing three or four months of cold, gray Sundays in Vienna. It’s a good opportunity to check out some of lesser-known attractions in and around town. We have a list on our refrigerator!

Essl's well-known flying rabbit sculpture, in the courtyard.

Essl’s well-known flying rabbit sculpture, in the courtyard.

Today, we visited the Essl Museum of of Contemporary Art in Klosterneuberg. This is about twenty minutes outside of town by car, or you can take a free shuttle bus Tuesday-Sunday departing from the Albertina Museum in the 1st District. For departure times, see this page.


One of the more representative pieces.


A giant wooden head.

The Essl Museum presents about ten different exhibitions per year in a large, boxy space. The focus of the collections is Austrian and European art after 1945. Because it is modern art, after all, some of it is just weird and ugly 🙂 But, we saw many pieces that were beautiful, clever or humorous as well.  On the whole, it was a very good exhibition.

I really liked this one.

I really liked this one.

Very Warhol.

Very Warhol.


“Needle and Haystack” by a Czech artist.

We also had lunch in the café, which offers several vegetarian dishes along with the usual schnitzel and wurstl. The Asian noodles and tofu curry we ordered were bland by American standards, but quite tasty, and included a lot of fresh vegetables. We followed them up with a yummy cherry torte and coffee.


For the young or the young at heart.

There is a nice bookshop: though most of the books are in German, there are a few English ones, and some great kids’ books in both languages, as well as posters, toys, and jewelry.

Speaking of kids, there appear to be a number of children’s activities at the museum. For more information, visit this page.

I would not personally bring a baby, toddler or very active preschooler to the Essl–there are just too many things that they can’t touch, and the large exhibition halls amplify noise (as one family with a baby discovered while we were visiting). But I saw older kids, say 5 and up, who seemed to be enjoying it quite a bit.


Modern landscapes at the Schömer-Haus.

A couple of blocks away, the museum also exhibits art in the local headquarters of Baumax (the Schömer-Haus). This collection is not as interesting as the art in the Essl itself, but it’s easy enough to stop by on the way back to Vienna and check it out.  On a Sunday, the building looked closed, but the guard let us in and turned on the lights for us.

So, if you need somewhere warm to go on a cold, gray Sunday, I recommend the Essl Museum!

An der Donau-Au 1
3400 Klosterneuburg

TUE-SUN: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
WED: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m

Reviewed by Kelly.