2 (+12) reasons to love the 2nd district – your Ultimate Guide to Leopoldstadt - Vienna Würstelstand

The English speaking magazine. Making the most out of Vienna and life.

2 (+12) reasons to love the 2nd district – your Ultimate Guide to Leopoldstadt

Bordered nicely by the Danube river and the Donaukanal, there’s no wonder why the second district has long been growing in popularity as a neighbourhood to live, and also to visit for its diverse offerings. It also hosts the biggest park in the city – so yeah, there’s plenty of reasons to love good ol’ Leopoldstadt. 

As it’s one of the most vast districts in the city, it sometimes helps to break Leopoldstadt up into pieces as if it’s a puzzle – you have the Karmeliter neighbourhood, which has the Karmelitermarkt at its core. Then you have the one looong, multifaceted boulevard of Praterstrasse, which leads into the areas that border the river, including the new Nordbahnviertel neighbourhood and the Stuwerviertel area around Vorgartenstrasse, the Wien Messe function center, and the WU university campus. We’re covering the highlights of all of this magnificent district in the following guide.

Here are 15 reasons that make the second district known as Leopoldstadt so damn fantastic:

1. Stroll along the Praterstraße – Guide to Leopoldstadt

Wandering along the boulevard of Praterstraße will either lead you to the city center, or have you walking towards the Prater (hence the name). And along your wander, you’ll find plenty of cafés and restaurants that will most probably tempt you inside.

Starting off on the end closest to the city center, there’s the popular breakfast spot – the Georgian restaurant, Cafe Ansari. It’s next door neighbour is one of the most beloved eateries in town, the sushi bar/ Japanese tapas and completely original concept that is Mochi. Both of these restaurants are blessed with gorgeous and shady al fresco garden areas.

A few meters down the road you’ll spot a whole bunch of good looking people sitting in a little square with a statue of the playwright, Nestroy at its center, and a building that looks like it’s been transported from the French Riviera. That’s where the funky cafe, Ramasuri, is located, whose colourful Schanigarten packs some serious holiday vibes.

Should you be in the mood for Korean food, there’s an excellent option nearby – Seoul. Their version of Korean BBQ is outstanding.

A little further down the road is Balthasar, which is perfect for all those who salivate at the mouth when somebody says, ‘coffee?’ This coffee shop serves up some of the best cups of the stuff in town.

Further up, not far before you reach the Praterstern train station, you’ll find a very unique cafe and restaurant, indeed. It’s set in a building styled after a Venetian palace, and it has a fetish for all things analogue, and its name is Supersense. During the day, Supersense serves up coffee and snacks in a literally gorgeous setting, while in the evening, the cafe is absorbed by its sister restaurant – Dogenhof. This wood-fired restaurant is a foodie experience that all food-loving beings should have.

2. The food spots lining Leopoldsgasse – Guide to Leopoldstadt

The street with the same name as the district it lives in leads right through the hip neighbourhood that is the Karmeliterviertel. This area is known for its restaurant scene and there’s especially a quality selection along Leopoldsgasse.

For lovers of the pizza, there is Pizza Mari, a pizzeria with a very relaxed atmosphere that kind of looks like a canteen you’d find in any Italian town. They serve up traditional Neapolitan-style pizzas, and they are definitely some of the best in town.

The next restaurant down the road, Schöne Perle, is actually what you would call a typical Viennese Gasthaus, but the place has got its own handsome modern flair. Their menu consists mainly of classic Austrian dishes, with a few international twists thrown in, all prepared in the healthy and organic way you’d expect them to be in a hipster-y area such as this one.

Also located on Leopoldsgasse is a branch of the Mexican eatery, Los Mexikas. The food and drinks being served up in amongst its colourful interior are as close as you get the authentic Mexican in Vienna, and the staff are super friendly.

The last place on this list is a café and cake shop with its very apt name, Fett & Zucker. Technically, it’s not on Leopoldsgasse but on Hollandstraße, however, since it’s still the same street, and because it’s so good, we decided to include a mention. The cakes here are incredibly good, making this the perfect cafe to head to when in need of a guilt-free sugar hit.

3. The Karmeliterviertel – Guide to Leopoldstadt

The Karmeliterviertel has become one of the most trendy neighbourhoods in Vienna in recent years. Despite the fact that it exudes a rather laid-back and unpretentious vibe, the attraction is that it’s full of cool cafés, bars, and restaurants. It’s just the right amount of neighbourhood feels mixed with cosmopolitan city offerings.

Located at its heart is the Karmelitermarkt, which through the week hosts a few permanent food stands and quality eateries, like the bosses of the burger from Weinschenke, the masters of the Vietnamese kitchen, Ngyuen’s, and the gourmet pizzeria, Pizza Quartier.

Meanwhile, on Saturday morning, it transforms into a bustling farmer’s market. The prices may be high, but the vibe is buzzing and the artisanal foods up for grabs are top notch.

Not far from the market, you can find a classic where fun has been had for generations after generations – the board game coffeehouse, Café Sperlhof. They’ve got a huge selection of games piled up all over the place, plus an extra room where you can play billiards, table football and ping pong. This place is legendary.

Should you be in the area at a later hour, than the stylish Hammond Bar is perfect for some superb cocktails.

4. All of the treats along Taborstraße – Guide to Leopoldstadt

Taborstraße, one of Vienna’s oldest streets, is a 2.5 km long road that connects the Donaukanal with Vorgartenstraße. It takes you past some noteworthy spots like Karmeliterviertel, the Augarten and the Nordbahnviertel. Yep, it’s one long street. Let’s have a look at some of the many places worth checking out along it.

Start your journey along this street right at the Donaukanal, where you can check out the eatery and bar with the grafitti-riddled facade, Spelunke, a unique bar that serves up stellar drinks in an interior that makes for the perfect setting for a fun night out. If you look up and strain your neck a little from Spelunke’s entrance, you might see people wining and dining on the relatively new rooftop bar, Juwel. 

On the other side of the street, you can elevate yourself – with an elevator – in SO/ Vienna hotel right up to its fancy-schmancy rooftop restaurant, bar and lounge, Das LOFT. On the 18th floor, you’ll have a grand view over the city – kinda’ perfect for a fancy romantic date and some schmoozing, if you ask us.

A bit further down Taborstraße, there’s the Asian-Austrian eatery, Figar Bao.Bun, serving freshly steamed and filled bao buns. If you’re up for a sweet treat after filling your belly with baos, pay a visit to one of Veganista’s vegan ice cream shops.

Close to where Taborstraße meets the Augarten, there’s the bar that is infamous amongst the students of Vienna for its cheap drinks – Bricks. There, you’ll find loooow-priced cocktails. If you’re looking for something more hip though, you can hit up Franz von Hahn, which is just off of Taborstrasse.

Also, just off of Taborstrasse on the edge of a quaint little square is the beloved bohemian-looking bar Tachles, and the vegan eatery, Harvest.

5. Chilling on Leopold’s side of the Donaukanal – Guide to Leopoldstadt

With its graffiti-ridden walls, the bar-lined waterside strips known as the Donaukanal is one of the hottest spots in the city during summer, both literally and figuratively.

Whether you’re up for just chilling in the sun, with a beer in hand and your feet dangling over the water, or visiting one of the many beach bars, this is the ideal place to feel like you’re on holiday without having to leave the city limits. And speaking of beach bars, the second district side of the Donaukanal has some great ones on offer. You can check out our guide to what’s happening along the Donaukanal in 2020 for more details. 

Be sure to check out our guide of Donaukanal dos and don’ts if you want to make the most out of your visit to the Donaukanal.

6. The up-and-coming Stuwerviertel – Guide to Leopoldstadt

The Stuwerviertel – the triangular neighbourhood between Lassallestraße, Ausstellungsstraße and the Danube – is quickly fighting off its rough reputation of the past and becoming one of the next up-and-coming neighbourhoods in Vienna. The foodie scene alone here is worth checking out.

First of all, there’s the healthy bistro, Karma Food on Ausstellungsstraße which is serving up good vibes and pop art-looking food. Plus, they have a magnificent al fresco garden in which to enjoy their flavoursome dishes.

Then there’s the ‘younger’ take of a Viennese Beisl (a pub), Stuwer – we just love this place for how it blends old with young vibes.

Oh, and be sure to check out the Vorgartenmarkt area – there’s a Farmers’ market every Friday and Saturday, offering a solid range of fresh fruits, veggies, and meats. Meanwhile, during the week, there’s also permanent food stands stocking fresh produce, baked goods and other types of regionally-sourced goodies.

One of the best Ramen kitchens in Vienna, Mochi Ramenbar, is also located in the market, while the Neopolitana pizza at its resident pizzeria, Pizzeria Il Mercato, is bellísimo! (look at us using fancy Italian words)

7. The glorious green and fun that is the iconic Prater – Guide to Leopoldstadt

The 2nd district is the luckiest of all districts to play host to the city’s green playground, the Prater park and fun fair, known as the Wurstel Prater.

The 6-million square meter Prater park (think 2,420 football fields) has plenty of green meadows for you to lay down a blanket, or your lover – so perfect for a picnic and what-not. We also recommend escaping into nature and getting lost in the forest near the Lusthaus end of the Prater Hauptallee boulevard.

The Würstel Prater, the amusement park, is a place rooted in everybody’s psyche who grew up in the city, and also those who adopted the city as their home. This fair dates back to ‘ye good old times of the Austrian Empire in the 18th century. It’s got snack bars, stalls and all the other typical fun things you’d expect at an amusement park. Oh, and of course, there’s the famous old Wiener Riesenrad (ferris wheel), which boasts one of the best outdoor views over Vienna.

We’ve actually got 13 bizarre and fascinating Prater facts for you if you’ve got some spare time on your hands for an unexpectedly interesting read – this park has seen some fascinating history!

Also, for one of the best beer gardens in the city in which you can feast on one of the best Stelze (pork knuckles) in the city, a visit to the Schweizerhaus is in order.

8. The bizarre and futuristic looking WU Campus – Guide to Leopoldstadt

This university campus, commonly referred to as the ‘WU,’ houses the University of Economics and Business. It’s sandwiched between the Prater park, the conference and event hall, Messe Wien, and the horse trotting course at Krieau.

It was designed by a crowd of talented architects and the results are very, very impressive. If you haven’t taken a stroll through the campus yet, you certainly should. And you don’t have to be a student to make this worth doing. Just a walk to marvel at the array of different architectural feats is worth doing. The heart of the university campus, the Library and Learning Centre, has often been dubbed as ‘Spaceship,’ or even a cruise ship. Quite fitting, we’d say.

Also, in and around the campus, there are a few cafe and restaurants worth checking out, like Burger’s Bar.

Best Vegan Burgers In Vienna

Best Vegan Burgers In Vienna

9. The Balkan grills and exotic food shops – Guide to Leopoldstadt

With a multicultural population living within its borders, the 2nd district has a lot to offer if you love a neighbourhood in which you can pretend your somewhere else in the world by entering some of the food places that populate it.

Around Vorgartenstrasse and close to the river, you’ll no doubt catch a whiff of the Balkan grill restaurants doing their thing. Popular ones include Homolje Grill , Semberija Grill and Grill Park.

Meanwhile, the neighbourhood is peppered with exotic food stores selling foods from all over the world. There’s also a few Kosher and Halal grocery stores and restaurants.


10. Take a trip to the Nordpol – Guide to Leopoldstadt

MON–FRI: 5pm–11:30pm
SAT–SUN: 12pm–11:30pm


Wiener Schnitzel with a mixed salad = 17.80€
0.5l beer (Augustiner Helles) = 4.10€

It’s located far out in the netherlands of the district, but it is well worth the visit.

The legendary restaurant, Am Nordpol 3, can be found at the back end of the Augarten where it sits, kind of hidden. The interior looks like you’ve stumbled into the flat of some chaotic artist, but that’s what makes this place so charming.

On the menu, you’ll find treats of the Bohemian kitchen, together with some tasty, traditional Hausmannskost (house specialties). And by the way, the Schnitzels they serve here are huge and are some of the best in the city.


image via facebook.com/saunastrandklubs

11. Party like there’s no tomorrow at Pratersauna & VIEiPEE – Guide to Leopoldstadt

Waldsteingartenstraße 135 & Csardastraße 135, 1020

The second district also has something to offer for those people like us that love to party into the early morn’. Situated in the Prater, and neighbouring each other, is the legendary Pratersauna and the Hip Hop-ping club, VIEiPEE.

Originally founded sometime in the sixties, the Pratersauna was as an actual sauna and swingers club before it became the party spot it is today, with its pool, and club that blares House, Techno and Electronic music most nights of the week.

Meanwhile, its neighbour has different music tastes. VIEiPEE has dedicated itself to the hip Hip-Hop crowd and invites one and all to bounce up and down and flirt with whoever will flirt right back at ya’ to the finest tunes. You’ll definitely feel like you’re in one of those music videos when partying there…OK, maybe not, but maybe if your imagination is really strong.


12. The beautiful Augarten – Guide to Leopoldstadt

Whether you’re looking to be active, or relax a little, the Augarten is perfect for both of these pursuits. Its many meadows, sectioned off by manicured hedges and flower beds, are the perfect spot to lie back and make shapes out of clouds. It’s well kept paths are also optimal to plan out your running routes.

If you want to grab something to eat, or drink, you can do so at the bunker turned bistro, Die Schankwirtschaft. There’s also the idyllic looking restaurant, Sperling, spreading itself out from the old palace plonked in the middle of the park. That’s right, there’s a palace here. There are also a couple of old concrete war towers that loom above it all. It’s all a bit random at the Augarten, and that’s probably why people love it so much.

Also,  you can catch a popular open air cinema that takes place here during summer – Kino wie noch nie. It’s hosted by the Filmarchiv Austria, so as you would expect, the program is eclectic.

13. The new face known as the Nordbahnviertel – Guide to Leopoldstadt

The Nordbahnviertel is where the former train station, Nordbahnhof, was once located. It’s currently being transformed into a completely new and unique neighbourhood of Vienna. Actually, when strolling through the modern and boxy apartment blocks there, you wouldn’t even know you’re in Vienna. Young families have flocked here, while there are also new cafés, restaurants, and shops popping up in the area.

Go and have a breakfast bagel, or maybe a delicious sweet treat at Ullmann’s Zuckerbäckerei and swing by Sasha Coffee on the Austria Campus to enjoy a cup of specialty coffee there. The recently opened café, Cowome is another good spot for grabbing a coffee in this area.

This magnificent Middle Eastern restaurant, Habibi & Hawara, which is known for its unique marrying of Austrian Schmäh and Oriental cuisine, has also opened a new eatery in this quarter of town.

A huge new hotel, The Student Hotel, has also moved into this area, bringing with it a few new culinary options in their restaurant known as The Commons.

While there’s still construction going on here, this area will become more and more on people’s radars.

14. The tragic history of its name & its Jewish history – Guide to Leopoldstadt

OK, so this is not a reason to love the 2nd district, however, we feel its important to acknowledge Leopoldstadt’s history in this guide. When wandering around the 2nd district, you may see a few families or individuals dressed up in the full orthodox Jewish get up. This is a commonplace sight in the neighbourhood. This is because, as it has been for many, many years, the 2nd district hosts a center for Vienna’s Jewish community. That’s why you’ll also find quality Jewish restaurants like Bahur Tov, and Kosher grocery stores like Shefa scattered throughout the district.

According to Wikipedia, in 1625, a Rabbi obtained the right for Jewish people of Vienna – who were scattered around the city at the time – to establish a central Jewish community in Leopoldstadt. This led to it becoming known as the Jewish ghetto, or ‘Im Werd’ around the 17th century. Then came along Leopold I, who for some ridiculous reason, despised the Jewish culture, and he went about destroying the Jewish community of the city. This was a popular move amongst the non-Jewish population at the time, so they named the district after him – Leopoldstadt (Leopold’s city). Yep, one of those tragic stories that furrow your brow and boil your blood, but an essential one to be told when talking about Leopoldstadt.

Get content that you love in your inbox!

#nospam - only the good stuff that makes you smile and helps you make the most out of Vienna...and life!

We’re committed to your privacy. We will use the information you provide to us to contact you about our relevant content and services in the form of a newsletter. For more information, check out our Privacy Policy.