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Vienna Neighborhoods

The neighborhoods in Vienna are called "districts." Here's a good map. On all the street signs, you'll see a number before the name of the street (or "strasse"). That's the district number. Here are some neighborhoods of interest.

Innere Stadt (The Ring)

Innere Stadt, also known as "The Ring," is the name of the first municipality district in Vienna and is considered the city centre. It's home to St. Stephen's Cathedral, the State Opera House and much of the city's dining, shopping, and business establishments. Innere Stadt is highly walkable and easy to spot on a map, as it's encased by the circular Ringstrasse, the street that follows the route of the former city walls. Up until 1850, Innere Stadt was Vienna.

Spittelberg

Spittelberg is one of Vienna's most fascinating neighborhoods. Some consider the entire 7th district to be Spittelberg while others define it as just six cobbled streets behind the MuseumsQuartier, which are protected from development by the government. The area once belonged to a hospital (1700s to 1800s) but gradually became rundown and devolved into a red light district. The government had plans to tear Spittelberg down in the 1960s, but support for the area sprang up from all over Vienna, and instead of demolishing it, the city restored it and now protects its colorful, dollhouse-like architecture—and you won't find drugs and prostitutes here anymore; just homes, bars and boutiques.

Freihausviertel

The fourth district, south of Naschmarkt, is known as Freihausviertel. Many guidebooks don't show Freihausviertel. As a result, you'll find yourself out of tourist-land and among the locals when you visit there. Freihausviertel, which means "Free House," is named for its history of sheltering poorer Viennese citizens. That doesn't mean it was exempt from Vienna's cultural wealth: in 1791, Mozart's Magic Flute premiered there at the Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden, which sadly no longer exists. Today, you'll find art galleries, tea cafes and an assortment of odd shops like Babette's, where you can buy spices or take a cooking class.

Karmelitermarkt

Karmelitermarkt is in Vienna's 2nd district, located north and east of the ring. Though not as big as Naschmarkt, it's the city's oldest market. The crowds are less thick, so you can shop in peace here and enjoy mingling with the locals. Karmelitermarkt is especially busy on weekend mornings when the farmers come in to sell their crops—many of them organic. It's located between the streets of Leopoldsgasse, Im Werd, Haidgasse and Krummbaumgasse.

Naschmarkt Neighborhood Including Gumpendorferstrasse

Naschmarkt is Vienna's famous, ever-present flea market, and the whole area surrounding it has turned into a center of shopping, dining and entertainment. Within the flea market, you'll find exotic delis and specialty shops (definitely visit the vinegar man), and stepping out into the 4th and 5th districts will bring you to intriguing furniture stores and cafes open late into the wee hours. Naschmarkt is located along the Wien River just south of Innere Stadt.
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