For the tenth year VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary (organized by VF Betriebsgesellschaft mbH) will take place at Messe Wien, located next to the Prater – one of the biggest parks in Vienna. I met Michael Todt, the director of a Motel One, which recently opened in the area, to find out about the best spots around.
Kristina Kulakova: The second district has developed a lot in recent years. What are your favorite places around?
Michael Todt: If you are here during the semester it is always nice to check out places on the WU Campus. There are always a lot of different events and parties going on. Also the gastronomy is really good there. They have around seven restaurants; my favorite is called “campus”, where they have very good burgers. The place has really a nice atmosphere. You will have some meeting appointments in one corner and an afternoon party going on in the other – it is an interesting and lively mixture.
I would also suggest a visit to the campus to people who are interested in design and architecture because it is outstanding.
Are there any hidden spots in Prater?
I love the Hochschaubahn (the roller coaster), one that is made only of wood and is already amore than 60 years old. I recently visited a the family Kremser/Pichler who are owners of the property since 1971. Great people, great place! We were backstage where they store all the wooden parts and tools. Attractions like this bring up the old spirit of Prater, the historical one. That’s one thing that they are currently trying to bring up again (the historical Prater) as it is already 250 years old. Prater is a great place.
Where is the best place to waste time in Vienna?
I have to say Prater (laughs). I often go there with my girlfriend. Well, it is the best place, and I love it there because you have the green park area and the Wurstelprater amusement park, a very unique combination. And there is five or six kilometers of running track. You can do everything in Prater.
What is the best souvenir from Vienna?
That is a very difficult question. What I bring is Manner waffles. In Germany we have it but not in that many variations, and the packaging is not as nice. What I really like are the wines from the wineries in the city and the idea of having the UNESCO protected wineries within city borders. I think it is unique in Vienna.
What is the best upcoming event for you?
In 2016 Prater will celebrate its 250-year anniversary. We are awaiting it, of course, at the hotel, but me too personally.
Imagine you lived in another city and you have a stop in Vienna during a connection flight for five hours. Where would you go?
I would walk through the first district. If I don’t have any appointments or anything else, I would probably sit in Café Francais in front of the Votive Church. It is my favorite restaurant. It is a very comfortable place. I could sit there for half a day and read a book. It is also great for breakfast.
What is your favorite building in Vienna?
The Votive Church. For me, it is the greatest place indoors as well as from the outside. I also like the area around it. Speaking of modern architecture – the WU Campus. What fascinates me the most are the e-learning center and this wave thing.
What is your personal instruction for Vienna?
I would send my friends to the first district and to see the usual places like Schönbrunn, which I really like if it is their first time in Vienna.
I play croquet with my friends and did that already a 100 times in Prater on their previous visits. We also like to play cards. We do that often at the Schweizerhaus as they have a very nice garden and you can sit outside there. And then we go and have a game of croquet in the green area.
Other than that, one should naturally visit the Albertina. And an absolute must is a Würstelstand. In my opinion, the best one is located near the Votive Church. You need to try a “16er Blech” Ottakringer (beer from the 16th district of Vienna) or whatever beer they have there, taste a Käsekrainer (cheese filled sausage), and if one doesn’t want a beer, order a glass of red wine. To finish the day, maybe a schnapps. So the Würstelstand is obligatory for all my friends who visit Vienna. (laughs)
What is your favorite bar in Vienna?
I like the Roo bar, an Australian pub. I used to work in Vienna five years ago, and my office was right next door to that place.
What is the sound of Vienna?
Classical music, of course. My personal sound is good electronic music in combination with the experience of the Danube Canal. I often run there with music in my ears, and the same music you hear in Berlin, you can easily hear here, and it will give you the same feeling.
What is the aroma of Vienna?
Maybe some kind of mixture between lilac, white wine, horseradish, Käsekrainer. Everything. I don’t have one specific thing.
Motel One is an official hotel partner of the VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary.
Under the motto “Great design for little money”, Motel One successfully combines the concept of the low budget and designer hotel trade with first-class city centre locations. High service standards, valuable materials and good design are the distinctive features of all 51 Motel Ones.