“What shouldn’t I miss on my visit to Vienna?” That is one of the most frequent questions I get asked by friends and family who come here on holidays. Actually, Vienna has so much to offer, and caters for so many tastes, that I always find it hard to comprise everything to fit a day or two! Even though the most popular attractions are the Schönbrunn and Stephen’s Cathedral, personally what I always recommend is taking some time to wander around the old little streets of the Innere Stadt (First District).
Just walk without any addresses and ‘let your soul be your pilot’, like Sting says. This part of the city is, in my opinion, magical. In fact, this was the Vienna that existed until 1850, year in which the city expanded its boundaries.
In the Innere Stadt there are many houses of the 18th century with magnificent façades. However, what many ignore is that many of these constructions have charming courtyards, which are hidden little gems. Did you know that the typical Vienna courtyard – also known as Pawlatschen- was once a meeting place between neighbors and even a way of connecting two streets? Anyone can access and visit them, so if you are feeling like getting away from the typical touristic route, this is my advice on which Courtyards to visit:
– Singerstrasse 7: The Deutschordenshaus.
One of my favourites. There are two courtyards, which have façades from the 17th century and a nice back view of Stephansdom
– Singerstrasse 11 and 16.
Attractive courtyards with open access balconies:
It has an adorable courtyard and an original gift shop. Only open on week days.
Another favourite. Full of green, with antique doors that transport you to the old, old times
A little lovely courtyard with even cooler stairs that connect to another courtyard.
A little courtyard with charming details:
Heiligenkreuzhof. Schönlaterngasse 5
It joins the Schönlaterngasse and Grashofgasse. The oldest buildings of Vienna can be found here.
Aaand in case you are wondering if these place are close between each other, here is the map with all the addresses from the above mentioned courtyards 😉
I hope you enjoy it!