Historic sights and hidden corners create a refreshing city tapestry. By Wibke Carter • Photographs Courtesy Wibke Carter
When thinking of an old-world Vienna, you might imagine hearing the clatter of horse-drawn carriages on cobblestoned streets, picture elegant ladies on the way to the opera, and start yearning for a bite of Wiener Schnitzel. But for years a fresh breeze has been sweeping through the Austrian capital which is now exploding with edgy street art, design districts, and public environmental projects. The city had been on my travel bucket list for a long time, and I finally explored both its famous sights and hidden corners.
I met with my local guide, Gabriele Steiner, at my accommodation, the design hotel Die Josefine in the 7th district. Just like Paris, Vienna is divided into boroughs that spiral out from the city center. “The first district is the historical heart while districts 1 to 9 form the inner and 10 to 23 the outer city”, she explained. “This district is immediately recognizable by the street art and graffiti which is absolutely verboten (forbidden) in the Old Town”, she laughed.