Photo by Zac Steger
Spittelberg: Vienna's Little VillageIt's just a few blocks in the 7th district, but the cobbled streets, historic Biedermeier architecture and plethora of boutiques, trendy bars, restaurants and entertainment make Spittelberg one of Vienna's most charming historic neighborhoods.
Slightly off the beaten path near the Museums Quartier, Spittelberg was built up in the late 1700s to early 1800s around the local hospital. ("Spittel" is the Austrian German word for hospital vs. the "Krankenhaus" in Germany.) The area gradually fell into disrepair in the early 20th century and, by the 1960s, was known for drugs and a red light district. It was nearly razed, but local support lead to it being restored.
In summer, it's one of the best places to go to eat in a Schanigärten, a fancy local word for street side outdoor dining. Popular spots include the shaded inner courtyard of the Amerling-Beisl, Zu ebener Erde und erster Stock, with its full immersion in Biedermeier, or outside at the oldest restaurant in Spittelberg, Witwe Bolte, which also offers an excellent selection of vegetarian options.