Ideas

Pro & Con | Winter 2019

The Still of the Night by Dardis McNamee Some come to Vienna wishing it were Rome or Madrid, bistro nights in Trestevere, or partying on the Barrio de Las Letras. Vienna’s so quiet. Where’s the action? The answer is, underground, or on the roof, in an old warehouse, or under the arches of the Stadtbahn. Or simply, inside. In […]
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Should the Viennese Really Take that Much Pride in Being Unfriendly?

No one can say Vienna is a sore loser. After Austrian media picked up the Expat Insider study’s City Index ranking Vienna the second least friendly city for expats, the “news” spread like wildfire.

Profiles | Antonia Matschnig

Matschnig’s approach to DJing has been called everything from “experimental,” “post-club,” “hybrid,” to “deconstructed.”

The City and Land of Music

Vienna made music ... and music made Vienna. As told by “Metropole” writers – a libretto for life in the Austrian capital. With an overture by our Editor in Chief Dardis McNamee.

Profiles | Matthias Naske

Matthias Naske has been director of the Vienna Konzerthaus since 2013 where he works on bringing music to a broader audience.

The Long Road Home

A century after the end of the Habsburg Empire, and 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Vienna has finally resumed its role as the hub of Central and Eastern Europe

Profiles | Wolfgang Muthspiel

He’s made over 30 albums and tours all over the world. Yet, although he’s grateful for this substantial career, he’s never had the feeling that he’s “made it.”

Home Is Where the Housing Is

Vienna's population is growing fast, but the city's commitment to social housing means people in all parts of society can still afford to live here.

Maria Theresia Is to Blame

In September, over 220,000 Viennese students went back to school. Some go willingly, some have to be dragged, but Austrian parents have a stock response to unwilling schoolgoers: Blame Maria Theresa

Democracy’s Second Wind in CEE

METROPOLE and GLOBSEC will be cooperating on a range of activities, initiatives and events in the upcoming months to promote democracy in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)

Profiles | Wolfgang Zerobin

“All components of public service – water, sewage, trash, energy – must remain in communal hands. Our public utilities belong 100% to the city. This is – and must – be important.”

Profiles | Stefanie Lamp

“It’s really necessary to bring all the people together and talk as often as possible. Of course, you can’t make everyone happy because people want different things – but you can try.”

Profiles | Martin Giesswein

Twice a year, Martin Giesswein goes on a “digital detox,” foregoing the internet and all devices for a couple of weeks. Not an easy task.

Profiles | Daniel Pratl

“When people look at traffic lights, they see only red, yellow, and green. They have no idea about what lies beyond those colors."

Matti Bunzl: Staging the Conversation

At the Wien Museum, the US-educated Austrian scholar wants to use the incidents of history to question the way we live now.In Vienna, museums are ...

The Choice for Europe

Amid foreign efforts to undermine Western democracy, decisive questions increasingly can only be addressed in Brussels.So here we are, at press ti...

For Love of the Game

At a gaming café outside Vienna, Monika Racek, the CEO of the Admiral Casinos and Entertainment AG talks addiction, legislation and why old ladies pla...

Profits, Politics, Patronage

More revenues, more products and more gambling addicts. With the state reaping both taxes and profits, laws mostly protect operators, not consumers. 

Hitting Home

“Economists,” American novelist William Gilmore Simms is quoted as saying, “put decimal points in their forecasts to show they have a sense of humor.”...

Profile | Karl Schlag

Economics Professor, University of ViennaIn an unpredictable world, you need strategies that do not rely on being able to predict others. In this ...

The Choice for Europe Ⓜ️

So here we are, at press time, with Austria’s governing coalition deservedly in tatters. After the release of a fatally compromising video the far-right vice chancellor H.C. Strache has been shown the door.

Austria’s Hidden Champions

Between 175 and 200 Austrian companies are considered to be hidden champions. That’s the highest density per capita in the world. These companies are ...

Trojan Dragon?

Austria is likely to benefit from the New Silk Road, the mammoth Chinese infrastructure project spanning two continents. But strategic thinkers in Was...

Pam’s Jam

She’s a fresh faced, bright-eyed optimist with an easy laugh. She is also confronting a task daunting enough to wipe the smile off the sunniest of dis...

Banking for the People

In the first installment of our new series of how expats built their careers in Vienna, we talked to Maurizio Poletto, the designer behind E...

Timothy Snyder’s Call to Action

In an age of confusion, historian and author Timothy Snyder looks to the past for a guide to the future of the West.On a pleasant evening in late...

Europe Goes to the Polls

It is a rainy Friday night, and Ulises is sitting with his girlfriend Laura at a winebar at the Naschmarkt in Vienna. Ulisesis from Madrid and La...

Growing Green Cities

Where Beethoven found inspiration for his Pastoral symphony and Schubert wrote his songs, a new initiative seeks answers to a sustainable future.W...

Profile | Natalia Corrales-Diez

Founder, Fund of Excellence, Erste Group“Human capital is the oil of the 21st century. Ten years ago, it was all about big data. Now it’s ...

Profile | Herbert Schweiger

Director, Die Wiener Volkshochschulen“When the world is spinning faster than you are, you need help to keep moving forward – so ...

Profile | Angela Köppl

Environmental Economist, Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO)“Even though we were among the first movers towards susta...

Profile | David Jandl

Forest Ranger“We’re very proud of the fact that the very concept of ‘sustainability’ originated from forestry.”If a tree falls...

Growth and Its Discontents

Central Europe has experienced a soaring economy in the last two decades. Yet the disaffection of many shows the limits of what economic gro...

News Monitor

European Elections AheadWhen an entire continent goes to the polls, we should pay attention to what people have to say. From May...

News Monitor

Trouble in LederhosenAll the ingredients for a slow news day story were there: a much-loved local showbiz star, Nazi-accusations and some ...

News Monitor

WRONG SKILLS OR WRONG SKIN?“No one has to live out their days in Rohrbach,” headlined the daily Der Standard (06.02.19). How the...

74, 73, 72 … The Countdown to Brexit Has Begun

Following the rejection of Theresa May’s Brexit plan by a devastating majority of 230 votes in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister (PM) had to fa...

Snow Chaos in Austria: Avalanche Alarm Level Red

The Alps have become an extremely dangerous area in the past couple of days. Heavy snowfall and avalanches have led the authorities to issue the highe...

#HaveweMET? | Warda Network

Stepping out to Warda Network's rooftop balcony reveals a panoramic view of Vienna's picture-perfect 8th district. This, apparently, is the city f...

The US Midterms and the Consequences for Europe

The world has watched the US midterm elections spellbound. But for Europe, even the Democratic victory in the house of representative might not bring ...

The Power of Culture

How Austrians know who they areOn November 18, the afternoon temperature suddenly dropped to an icy chill and the first flakes of snow b...

Special Report | A Banana Republic, if you can keep it

The OSCE in Vienna monitors elections around the world. Its report on the US midterms found the elections to be just as fair as those in the ex-Soviet...

Profile | Friedrich Schipper

“In war, culture is anything but irrelevant. Destroying someone’s cultural identity is just as painful as any physical wound.”Friedrich Schipper o...

Anna Karnitscher | Profiles

“Coffee culture is booming. Which also means that these days, we even have to compete with the fancy espresso machines people have at home.”Café W...

Profile | Danielle Spera

“If we read people’s memoirs of the buildings important Jews lived in, a lot of them do not exist anymore. We are trying to tell the stories of what h...

A Flatlander’s Lament

What is it like to have fear of heights in a mountainous country? Austrians have absolutely no understanding for this. So how to get over it? By sucki...

Empire to Republic | The Polish Paradox

Poland wants to sit at Europe’s big table, but Poles have learned to be critical, ironic and contrarian, in defiance of politics. After turning his i...

Kurz and Austria Rising

The Austrian chancellor as a mixture of Hitler and Mozart on the cover of Newsweek. Please relax! Leni Riefenstahl, the director and scriptwriter of...

Op-Ed | The Brexit Endgame

The outcome may indicate how the dialectic between supranationalism and nationalism will play out in much of the rest of the world. The United Kingdo...

Opinion | Déjà vu All Over Again

With the Neue Mittelschule, reformers tried one-size-fits-all – with dismal results. Education Minister Heinz Faßmann’s pragmatic approach deserves a ...

Publisher’s Letter | Schmäh Eats Sarcasm for Breakfast

Some people say that when you begin dreaming in a foreign language you have mastered it. That may be, but I say, it’s when you begin telling jokes tha...

Viennese Humor | Tour de Schmäh

Forget Sissi, Schönbrunn and Apfelstrudel: According to the Viennese, their humor is the city’s most remarkable accomplishment.

After Sexual Harassment on Facebook l Controversal Verdict in Sigrid Maurer Trial

On October 9, an Austrian judge hands down a controversial verdict. A young woman, called Sigrid Maurer, has to pay €4,000 to Albert Lastufka, the own...

Risk & Reward

After 1989, Austrian companies were among the first to invest in Europe’s “Wild East.” But in assessing political risk, they have to up their game. T...

Expat’s Voice | The (Other) Sound of Music

Austrians like to show off their serious appreciation of classical music. But if you want them to erupt into joyful singing, you’ve got to play them s...

Expat’s Voice | The Future is Female

Three women now head the parties of the opposition. A small revolution for AustriaSometimes reality overtakes prophecy. Christian Kern was quicker...

Opinion | Women’s Rights Sell-Out

The Austrian government has cut essential funding for feminist organizations and initiatives – a move that says a lot about its image of womenThis...

Profiles | Karin Fleck

Founder, Vienna Textile Lab“If synthetic dyes originate from crude oil, does it make sense to be using them for a 5-euro T-shirt you throw out aft...

Profiles | Toni Steinmetz

Regional Secretary, PRO-GE Vienna“Some say, ‘Live and let live.’ I can only live well if I can allow others to live well and be able to look after...

Profiles | Helene Wagner

Deputy Head of Special Exhibitions, Vienna Technical Museum“Our goal isn’t to say to our visitors, ‘OK, here’s the future, take it or leave it.’ W...

Profiles | Thomas Gratzer

Executive Director, Production & Technology for Manner Schnitten “Vertical production is an essential component of urban production. Our factory...

Cover Story | Hidden Giants

Austria may sometimes appear frozen in time. But below the surface, its people power one of the most vibrant globalized economies in the world Skis, ...

Feedback From Our Readers

Many thanks for your thoughts, ideas and insights! If you have something to say about Vienna or a story you read here, tell us all about it. Send your...

Re-Imagining Galicia

The mythic region at the edge of the Empire was once the cultural heart of Eastern Europe. Today, it is the engine of change pulling Ukraine to the We...

Explore Glorious Ukraine

Europe’s second-largest country flaunts the blue of its skies and the golden fields of wheat in its flag – but Ukraine has so much more to offer....

The Art We Live In

 Often appreciation is just a question of perspective. As a high school student in Vienna, I spent warm afternoons riding my bike down th...

The Architecture of Empire

Across the sprawling Habsburg monarchy, castles and courtyards, opera houses and onion domes projected their power and today the heritage of a shared ...