FEW self-respecting locals will wait until lunchtime before eating their second meal of the day. Trzesniewski (trzesniewski.at) is technically a sandwich shop but really it’s an emergency service for unfortunate Viennese caught between main meals. The earliest surviving outlet “on Dorotheergasse in the Inner Stadt, the area bounded by the grand boulevards of the 19th Century Ringstrasse and the Danube Canal” has changed little since it opened in 1904. The house special has stayed pretty much the same, too: a slice of dark rye bread spread with rich egg and mayonnaise, and chased down with small glass of beer called a pfiff.
One pfiff is enough as it’s time to catch a U-bahn subway train to Klimt Villa (klimtvilla.at) in the 13th District suburbs. Buy a 48-hour travel card (viennapass.com) and you’ll get unlimited public transport journeys and discounts or free entry at most museums.
The Unter St Veit station is just 30 metres from the villa and you can walk in the garden where Klimt’s naked models outraged the neighbours, and wander through the studio. There are reproductions of his paintings and the Japanese prints that inspired masterpieces such as Death and Life.
You can see the original at the Leopold Museum (leopold museum. org/en) in the ostentatiously grand Museum Quarter. Vienna has many Hapsburg palaces, but this huge complex is actually the former imperial stables. Once occupied by Napoleon’s troops, it is now a lively cultural centre with some great cafes, bars and restaurants.
GO for lunch at Glacis Beisl (glacisbeisl.at/info/). Hidden away at the back of the Museum Quarter, this traditional Viennese cafe serves big portions of warming Austrian grub, such as Grammelknodel auf Gabelkrut (dumplings filled with pork crackling, served with steamed cabbage) and plate-sized Viennese schnitzel.
With the day drawing to a close, you can stay where you are, as the cafe terrace is festooned with lights and there is a gluhwein stall. Alternatively, enjoy a brisk walk through the Volksgarten, a world heritage-listed public park, and back to the Inner Stadt and the Freyung Christmas Market, the place to buy candles and organic farm products.
The really big market is on Rathausplatz, between the Burgtheater and the looming neo-gothic city hall. From November, Rathausplatz has a huge ice rink and more than
150 stalls that sell drinks and food from different regions, although I saved myself for dinner at Vestibul (vestibuel.at) in the Burgtheater.
Klimt painted theatre’s ceilings between 1886 and 1888 with scenes from plays that include Romeo and Juliet, and was awarded a medal for his work by the emperor.
The food is good too: by Viennese standards, “saddle of pigling” is dainty fare, though elsewhere the menu translations can be a little