Part 2: Vienna and the MQ

Exploring the MuseumsQuartier (MQ) is a great introduction to Vienna. The museum complex offers a mix of art and culture right in the heart of the city. Not only is it home to some of Vienna’s best museums, it also functions as a communal space for outdoor events like the yearly MQ Winter with Djs, Iglu-Bars, light projections and a curling area. In the summer, the MQ comes to life with outdoor bars, music events and the famous “Enzo”-loungers.

There is lots to see and do around the MQ…

Morning:

Start your morning with breakfast at the Café Leopold located above the Leopold museum. The amazing brunch spread is accompanied by a great view of the quarter. In the summer the upper patio area is the best spot to enjoy a cup of coffee and watch the buzzing courtyard. At nighttime the cafe turns into a bar/club, so check the event schedule while you’re enjoying your breakfast.

The morning is the ideal time to check out the city’s museum scene. The monumental buildings of the Natural History and Art History museums across the street host  impressive exhibitions that will keep you captivated all day. The Leopold museum gives a introduction to some of the most renowned Austrian artists: Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka.

The mumok is located in the imposing grey basalt cube in the MQ. This modern art museum hosts contemporary photography, film and video art, installations, sculptures and paintings. Little fun fact: The outside of the building is musical –  knock against the walls and you will hear them resonate.

Mumok Vienna

Photography by Matt Kilburn

Lunchtime:

There is plenty of lunch options in the MQ. My favourite is the well hidden Glacis Beisl which has it’s entrance at Breite Gasse. The “Beisl” hosts a cute glühwein-garden in winter, complete with a little wooden cabin outfitted with blankets to snuggle up. In summer their beer garden is a popular spot to dine.

Burger de Ville Vienna

Photography by Maria Müller

Just a few blocks down from the MQ the 25hours hotel is located. On warm days the airstream trailer “Burger de Ville” offers some of the best burgers and fries in the city. The hotel bar “Dachboden” on the upper floor is a great choice in winter and summer. Enjoy an espresso after lunch overlooking the Parliament.

Afternoon:

Right next to the architecture centre in the museums quarter you will find the Corbaci Café. Under it’s oriental tiled roof dessert specialities like Marillenknödel or Apfelstrudel are served.

Corbaci Vienna

Photography via http://www.austria.info

Right behind the MQ you will find the cobblestoned quarter Spittelberg. It’s galleries and artisan shops make it an ideal place to hunt for little gifts and souvenirs. Speaking of souvenirs- who doesn’t love a retro-selfie? There is an old photo machine right at the MQ point entrance. Be patient, the old machine takes a while to spit out your sepia- portrait.

Dinnertime:

One of Vienna’s best Italian restaurants is just up the street of the quarter, on Burggasse. I Ragazzi is famous for authentic Italian pizzas from the woodburning oven, made with buffalo mozzarella and freshly shaved prosciutto di parma. The pizza “I Terroni” and “Ragazzi” are highly recommended as well as their limoncello. Just saying.

At night:

The Donau Bar (Danube Bar) is an old synagoge transformed into a cool bar with the help of daily changing light projections and Djs. Oh, and there’s a sausage stand located right in the bar. Brilliant. Classic sausage orders are the “Käsekrainer mit Kren” (cheese sausage with horseradish) and “Waldviertler” (smoked sausage). Sausages are usually eaten with mustard, horseradish and a piece of bread. After this snack you should be ready to sleep party.

Later:

If you’re lucky, the Volkstheater hosts a party at their “Rote Bar” next door – nothing says Vienna like partying under a chandelier. Another good party address is the quirky Wirr a few blocks down on Burggasse.

Volkstheater Vienna

Photography via http://www.falter.at

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Best Of Instagram: November

November was a very exciting month – wrapping up work projects, getting ready to head out of town to get married, spending weekends in class and…enjoying some spectacular cold days in the sun! This weekend, my Canadian and I are heading to my “Heimat” Germany. As well as Munich we will visit Bamberg, Vienna and Budapest. Stay tuned for snaps and stories from Europe. Happy Glühwein-Season and see you in 2015, Vancouver!

Mayne Island was the second Gulf island I got to check out (next to Salt Spring) and I loved it. Especially the Japanese Garden and the Springwater Lodge were worth the rough ferry trip.

The view of English Bay on a blue bird day is hard to beat. This shot was taken on the afternoon of Remembrance Day.

Running in this city rules. Passing by tourist sights, running to the sound of crashing waves and stretching at the beach makes me grateful to live here, year-round. And grateful for gloves.

Somehow we managed to get our German wedding organized from afar. On top of work and school it was a challenge at times, but we even found the time and patience to make our very own, handmade invitations.

Early December we got hit by snow. It didn’t last for very long but seeing our doodley dog go nuts in the powder was very much worth the grey mud we had to wade through for the rest of the week.

Best of Instagram: October

I can’t believe it is November already. Last winter I expected snow and ice in Vancouver. People fly out to the “Great White North” from all over the world to go skiing, I thought. Now I know better. While there is snow on the mountains, the city gets rain and grey skies, but snow – hell no! I don’t mind as long as there is enough snow for wintersports in the mountains and fun events happening in the city. And there are plenty: The Vancouver Christmas Market is a favourite (starting on November 22nd), christmas shopping at Circle Craft awaits (opening on November 11th) and the VanDusen Festival of Lights is coming up (starting on 10th of December). And my trip to Germany, Austria and Hungary in December is getting close too!

In the meantime, here are some snaps to remember a beautiful October:

Stanley Park at it’s best. The sunny days in October brought back memories of the amazing summer we had.

Seattle is just a short train ride away from Vancouver. I love this city for many reasons – the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibition and the retro-cool Space Needle are two of them.

Vancouver’s Public Art was fun in the sunshine. Now the Biennale installations bring colour to grey days. The “Love your beans” Installation at Charleson Park is one of my favourites. Watching people climbing the beans has become a favourite spectator sport on the seawall.

You know it is fall when the historic Sylvia Hotel is turning red.

My second trip to Seattle was complete with a visit to the amazing Seattle Art Museum. The current exhibitions are worth a visit. I love spending all day in the museum…

November started with a sunny morning, perfect to get some fresh air after a long Halloween night and enjoy the last fall colours at Queen Elizabeth Park.