Vienna’s 5th district (aka. Margareten, but we like to call her Margaret for short) is truly a mixed bag in terms of what makes up its character, and the reasons to visit if you don’t live in the neighbourhood.
It’s gritty and urban, super central, but because it hasn’t got a U-Bahn running through most of it, it’s kind of quietly sat on top of the 4th district without getting much attention. Many people even mistake places in the 5th as being located in the 4th.
Discover everything from it’s multicultural offerings to its up-and-coming food and drink scene with out guide to Vienna’s Margareten.
1. Get cultured at the Volx/Margareten – Guide to Margareten
Opening times: Currently closed due to Corona, but will open again – keep an eye out for future plays on their website!
The Volx/Margareten is the second stage of the theatre company, Volkstheater, and it’s located in the historic ballroom of the railway workers’ home on Margaretenstraße.
New, innovative, and fresh plays and projects are performed on its stage, and assistant directors will often present their premiere works here. The Volx is made for around 120 people that are seated very close to the stage, so if you’re one of the spectators, you almost feel like you’re part of the play yourself.
It’s hard to walk by the glorious Margaretenhofand not do a double-take when catching a glimpse at the beautiful architecture it’s made up of, even if you’re not normally one to stop and stare at cool buildings.
While you’re there, you should also check out the Margaretenplatz right across the street, which is a cool space to chill out, have a beer, or read a book. If you haven’t got one with you, see if the open library ‘Wortschatz’ is carrying anything you’d like. There’s also a so-called ‘Spezialitätenmarkt’ (Specialty market) happening every Thursday from 8am–6pm on the square, which is worth checking out if you’re close by.
3. It’s got plenty on offer for hardcore vintage fans – Guide to Margareten
If you’re one of those people who live by the principles of ‘one person’s trash is another person’s treasure,’ and loves the thrill of a flea-market hunt, Margareten houses a couple of the largest second-hand stores in the city for you to spend an afternoon digging around in.
One of those places is the carla Mittersteig, a huge store full of second-hand furniture, clothes, and honestly, everything you can think of. The prices are reasonable, and the proceeds go to the Caritas charity organisation.
Then there’s the mighty 48er Tandler market. You may have only heard of the MA48 as Vienna’s department of waste management, but they actually also run this absolutely rad’ second-hand store in the fifth district called 48er Tandler. This is where all of the stuff that people throw out, but is still in good condition, goes to find a new home.We know what you’re thinking – I don’t want to buy somebody else’s trash! All we’ll say is – many have reported finding absolute vintage treasures here at this massive market.
Opening times: May vary due to Corona. Keep an eye out for program on their website
This movie theatre on Margaretenstraße is a longstanding and legendary establishment in the fifth district that screens mainly arthouse movies in their original language. The place is really not hard to miss due to its giant retro-looking neon sign out front.
The Filmcasino dates back to 1911, but back then it was first called ‘Kinographentheater’ and later renamed as ‘Margeretner Bürgertheater’. In 1954, it received a full fifties fix up by the architect, Albrecht F. Hrzan, and his design has been preserved ’til today. After a not-so-voluntary hiatus of 20 years, the cinema came into full operation again in 1989 and is still up and running today in its true fifties beauty.
Actually, it could also be a fun spot for you to take your fifties-loving boo on a date and pretend you’re traveling through time to see a movie from way back when. Might get you a few weird looks, but oh well, who cares about those boring people, right? For whatever occasion you choose to catch a movie at this beautiful place, you should definitely check out their program beforehand!
If you’re ever in the area around Schlossgasse, let your nose guide you to the variety of cuisines on offer at the surrounding restaurants in the so-called Schlossquadrat. Each restaurant has its own inner courtyard garden area, which is truly idyllic.
At Silberwirt, you can experience some modern Viennese ‘Beislkultur’ and a menu that ranges from baked potatoes, Schnitzel and Stelze (drooling commences now!). The restaurant also has the ambiance you would expect of a Wirtshaus.
Also located in the ‘quarter’ is a popular Italian and Mediterranean spot – Trattoria Margareta. The highlight for meat lovers is the steakhouse, Gergeley’s. Just picture fancy dressed tables, set in a green-filled courtyard. Then slap a steak on a plate, with some good wine in a glass accompanying it, and you’ve got yourself this all-time favourite restaurant amongst those who know it. Their interior, with it’s arched ancient roof, can also be described as cosy.
6. You can travel the world with your taste buds – Guide to Margareten
Margareten sure harbours some absolute gems when it comes to a cosmopolitan dining scene.
For starters, there’s the family-run Portuguese restaurant, Senhor Vinho, which really is one of the best in the city for all things Portuguese food and an all around welcoming experience that will warm your heart. Yes, they also have Tarte de Pastel de Nata, that flaky dessert filled with vanilla pudding that we really just want to fill our bathtubs with.
If you’ve been craving all those Singhalese delicacies you’ve been dreaming about since your last backpacking extravaganza, stop by the Sri Lanka restaurant, Colombo Hoppers, for some samosas, hot curries, or godamba rotti. It’s located in an interesting location overlooking the U4 U-Bahn line and the Wienfluss (Wien river).
The Wientalterrasse (Vienna Valley Terrace) is a terrace that hangs over the edge of the Wienfluss (Wien river) and subway line between Redergasse and Spengergasse. Since the city up-cycled this urban space, it’s become a very popular spot to chill in the warmer months for those living in the area.
On the 1,000 square metres, there’s plenty of space to sit on wooden benches, while many sit on the neighbouring grass area, or simply on the wooden decking – it has a great urban jungle vibe going for it.
8. Literally climb walls at the awesome space, Blockfabrik – Guide to Margareten
Bouldering enthusiasts, and those who want to try out what all the fuss is about, will get their money’s worth in the 5th district at the indoor climbing park, Blockfabrik.
This is not your typical ‘climbing cave’ – the Blockfabrik scores with a light and airy atmosphere where you can work on your bouldering skills while finding your way along different routes. They’re also offering various courses in case you want to learn from a pro! It also has a great cafe/ bar set in its inner courtyard.
Margaretenstraße is lined with grungy bars and a cast of cafes, and breathes a neighbourhood-like charm. It shoots out from the city center, buries itself deep into the 4th and extends its long arm into the 5th.
The beloved corner café on this street, Propeller, sparked the instant attraction with the people of Vienna when they opened their doors a couple of years ago. With its big windows and bright & charming atmosphere, this is the kind of cafe you want to spend hours in.
Up the road is the institution for many wine-lovers in this city, Pub Klemo. It’s been around since 2006, and this is the place where your wine education either begins, or continues in an exploratory manner. The food at Pub Klemo is worth looking into, as well. Try their homemade pasta and soup – you won’t regret it.
Another noteworthy spot on Margaretenstraße, on the 5th district side, includes the retro-chic and arthouse cinema, Filmcasino. Their film screening program is one of the most well curated in the city, and having a drink in its foyer before the film time is an experience in itself.
10. It hosts some of the best classic & non-touristy Viennese coffeehouses or Wirsthaus – Guide to Margareten
For over 100 years, the old, but very much alive, Café Rüdigerhof, has managed to hold onto special, uniquely Viennese, flair. The coffeehouse/ restaurant is over 100 years old and carries Viennese culture like no other; from the classic coffeehouse interior to the tables full of older guests playing cards and the waiters with their Wiener charm. Their beautiful shady garden by the Wienfluss (river) is a favourite in summer.
Another location that’ll send you back in time is the traditional Austrian tavern, Zum Alten Fassl, at Ziegelofengasse.
Their kitchen is renowned for making all the Austrian favourites, from Tafelspitz to original Wienerschnitzel – if it’s Austrian, they probably got it on their menu. The super friendly restaurant also functions as a guesthouse for tourists who enjoy that ‘Grätzl’ feeling of Viennas’s 5th district.
Another reason why people like visiting Zum Alten Fassl might be, because it was Falco’s go-to local. The Austro-Pop musician actually resided there for several years.
11. The idyllic front yards of old buildings along Zeinlhofergasse – Guide to Margareten
This particular neck of the woods isn’t one you’d purposely enter – Zeinlhofergasse is one of those street corners you just happen to stumble upon that ‘wow’ you at first, and then lead you to ask yourself how the heck you got there.
The decadent apartment buildings here were originally designed by the architectural duo, Fellner & Helmer, whose style of work you can see in the Volkstheater and the Ronacher theatre. Once you’re in the Zeinlhofergasse, specifically their apartment complexes and the courtyard-like impression of the street give you the illusion of being in a completely different European city. But what really makes this street corner stand out are the resident’s lovingly-kept front yards. So while you’re taking a walk around Margareten’s widely gritty, urban street scene, don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers!
12. The food and drink offerings of Schönbrunner Straße – Guide to Margareten
Closer up to Pilgramgasse, you’ll find another veteran (a much-loved one, especially amongst students) known as werkzeugH. If you don’t know it – the place boasts a huge outdoor seating area with grungy feels, and an interior that packs jungle and living room vibes (we say jungle because of all the plants in there). You can read more about it in our write-up about the legendary place.
13. Eat your way through the district – Guide to Margareten
As we’ve already made clear in this guide, the 5th has a lot on offer for foodies. Let us take you on a brief tour of a few more places to check out in the 5th:
Our first stop is along Wiedner Hauptstraße at Omnom Burger where you can find burgers made completely from scratch (that#s right, every single ingredient that goes into making them, including the sauces.
14. It offers some of the best Turkish & Oriental food in the city – Guide to Margareten
As far as the 5th district is concerned, there are heaps of places to discover diversity on a plate. With a massively multicultural population, you can find eateries serving up fantastic Turkish cuisine, Balkan fare and more. It’s also got a bunch of quality Turkish bakeries with cabinets showcasing their strong baklava and Turkish sweets game.
On the other spectrum, but still not far off from the likes of falafel and flatbreads, is the culinary experience that is Apadana. In this colourful Iranian restaurant, you can find an array of traditional meals out of the country, like home-made safran ice cream with safran, and the classic cream puffs called, Nun Khamei. No judgment from our side if you order more than one plate. 😉
Siebenbrunnenplatz is surrounded by restaurants that will take you on a culinary trip.
Meanwhile, in another part of the district at Peace Kitchen, you’ll be met with specialties out of Pakistan, Syria, and other dishes from the Mediterranean side.
Meanwhile, food isn’t the only reason to dive into the multicultural vibe of Margarten. Just walking through the district fills you with that good stuff that a ethnically diverse, multicultural city can give you.