editor's letter
You won’t read about it in the tourist brochures. They don’t allocate any of the marketing budget to it. But still, the visitors know. And the locals are proud of it:  Vienna is the city of spies.Personally, I’d always seen espionage as a part of Vienna’s past. I had the image of the post-war black market from The Third...
Letters to the Editor
We’ve been getting lots of feedback from our readers over social media. Many thanks for your thoughts, ideas and insights! Check us out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!IN RESPONSE TO: “Ambassador to Vienna’s Vacationists”It was rather disappointing to read Mr. Kettner’s criticism of Prague, especially given his position as “Ambassador to Vacationists.” Vienna is not Prague, and Prague is...
editorial born again facts
If the recent election has taught us anything, it’s that details do not matter anymore Trump rose to power not only by tapping into notions of helplessness and despair among working-class voters, but also by making campaign promises as vague as possible, starting with his signature “make America great again.”This tactic has now crossed the big pond. On January 17th,...
Editorial when in winterland
We’re now well into winter. The last cinnamon breath of Christmas is a distant memory, and the glimmering promise of spring is still too distant to cling to Though the grey days are getting gradually, doggedly longer – we’re still encircled by a frigid, icy expanse.OK, perhaps us expats, depending on where we’re from, tend:a) to talk about the weather...
fake news
How a small number of young eastern Europeans have managed to influence U.S politicsFake news has no borders. Last fall, in the flurry of debunked reports of fraudulent ballot boxes, coded emails and child-sex rings pushed by D.C.-based supporters of Donald J. Trump, an even more disturbing pattern was playing out much farther from home.Days before the U.S. election,...
Austrian politics
Amid the erosion of the political center, little Austria may be the unlikely champion to stem the surge of the far rightIf there is anything worse than the deluge of daily disaster stories, it is the torrent of op-eds bemoaning the rise of the toxic “isms” – variously populism, nativism, exceptionalism, chauvinism, radicalism, nationalism – generally right-wing isms, largely...
Christian Kern
A quick-and-dirty synopsis of last month’s headlines in ViennaSecurity Increase After Attempted Terror Attack An 18-year-old Austrian was arrested in his apartment for allegedly planning to -carry out an attack on the Viennese U-Bahn (subway). Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka claimed that the man was “under observation for several days due to decisive leads from foreign intelligence services” and that “there...
Kurz takes over the OSCE
As chairmanship revolves to Austria, we listened to what Foreign Minister Kurz sees as the biggest challengesI arrived unreasonably early on a crisp, sunny day mid-January at the Hofburg’s modest corner entrance for the 1,127th Special Meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). For Vienna, this was no ordinary Special Meeting: ...
espionage / iran talks
Vienna has never tried to curb the activities of foreign spies. Over the past century, it’s become the go-to stage for the dramas of global espionageThe year was 2000. The setting: an inconspicuous office building on Heinestraße in Vienna’s 2nd district. A man appeared around the corner and hurried toward the building, looking over his shoulder to be sure...
Edith tudor hart
Edith Tudor-Hart photographed poverty, society and children in Vienna and the U.K. and also helped launch Britain’s most notorious ring of spies for the Soviet Union22 December 1942. A memo crossed the desk of the Soviet Secret Service, the NKVD: “Recently, ‘Edith’ sent us a detailed report through Mary on the results and status of work on ‘enormous’, both in England...
Vienna Police Department
Whether they’re uncovering drug cartels, teaching how to protect secrets, improving the image of the police department or fighting corruption, skepticism is their specialityPress Representative, Vienna Police Department In 2007, UN staffer Aeryn Gillern disappeared on foot from an exclusive gay sauna and apparently fell into the Danube Canal. The story of Gillern, a young American living in Vienna and working...
UN Office on Drugs and Crime
Whether they’re uncovering drug cartels, teaching how to protect secrets, improving the image of the police department or fighting corruption, skepticism is their specialityDrug Research Expert, UN Office on Drugs and Crime When it comes to fighting the good global fight against drugs, Thomas Pietschmann, 55, is guided by one simple credo: It’s all about the numbers. “I’m an economist by...
Computer science
Whether they’re uncovering drug cartels, teaching how to protect secrets, improving the image of the police department or fighting corruption, skepticism is their specialityAssociate Professor of Computer Science, TU Wien In the digital age, we use cryptography every day – for the encryption of emails and secure internet connections. With the threat of hacking a constant worry, these skills seem...
Transparency International Austria
Whether they’re uncovering drug cartels, teaching how to protect secrets, improving the image of the police department or fighting corruption, skepticism is their specialityHonorary President Transparency International Austria Corruption is something no country is proud of.  So many cringed when a succession of banking scandals, fallen federal ministers and shady lobbyists sent Austria careening down from 10th to 23rd on Transparency...
be a spy
Are you cut out for 00 status? Improve your combat skills, polish your manners, and become wine, poker and dance floor savvy. It could just save your lifeIn America, spies in trench coats are usually bugging your office and listening in on your phone calls. In Britain, her majesty’s secret servants are busy codebreaking between rounds of cricket.In Vienna,...
big data
Data science is currently among the hottest fields of study and its practitioners are in high demandFor many, the 21st century buzzword “Big Data” conjures up fears of “Big Brother,” the personified surveillance state of 1984. Many of us have grown utterly dependent upon digital technologies that feed “the cloud” with a constant stream of our personal data –...
black-market crime
How does Austria deal with Europe’s estimated €1 trillion shadow economy of black-market crime, petty tax evasion and corporate profit shifting?In Vienna, a tax fraud sting begins with an innocuous questionnaire, printed in German, English and several Slavic languages. In this polyglot city, bordering the former communist east, finance investigators approach waiters at lunchtime, construction workers in the afternoon, or bordello...
Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany
In Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany, Norman Ohler shows how methamphetamines made the German Blitzkrieg possibleAs German Panzers overran France in the summer of 1940, their drive and endurance astonished Winston Churchill, who wrote in his memoirs, “I was dumbfounded. This was one of the greatest surprises of my life.” Many wondered if this was indeed a super race. ...
Stefan Zweig
The story of Stefan Zweig’s exile years is compellingly told in George Prochnik’s literary biographyIn spite of his fame, Austrian novelist Stefan Zweig was never comfortable with his public role. At a New York press conference in 1935, he repeatedly evaded questions about political developments under the Nazis, refusing to “speak badly about Germany,” although his own work had...
The Third Man
Graham Greene’s The Third Man: An iconic portrait of gloom and corruption in Austria’s postwar capitalGreat cities have their architectural icons, the Eiffel Tower presiding over the City of Light, Big Ben brooding beside the Mother of Parliaments, the Empire State Building still dominating Manhattan’s thrusting skyline. Vienna has its own splendid pile, the gothic Stephansdom whose single spire...
The Vienna chapter of the Women’s March on Washington was a flashback to 1960s activismby Caroline Stevenson & Dardis McNameeIt was Saturday, January 21, the day after the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States. In Vienna, as in Washington DC, Paris, London and some 50 cities around the world, women (and men) were...
Melange
We met with Cold War expert Oliver Rathkolb to talk about the city’s spy-filled past and how it’s impossible to keep a secret in ViennaIt’s hard to spend time in Vienna’s intellectual or academic circles without bumping into Oliver Rathkolb. Director of the Institute of Contemporary History at the University of Vienna, he is the go-to guy on propaganda,...
Gußhausviertel
GußhausviertelTaking a stroll just behind Karlskirche into the 4th district is a calming experience. Gone is the buzz of tourists and traffic snaking its way through the city. Instead, the streets are filled with venerable Palais and townhouses that often host foreign embassies, giving it a quiet sense of purpose; some would say a call of duty to their...
String Quartet
The enduring fascination of string quartets for musicians, composers and audiencesThe remarkable thing about the string quartet is how it endures. There are plenty of combinations of instruments, even matching instruments: say, trumpets, trombones and tubas. Composers also continue to find fancy new foursomes (I’m sure there’s a piece for piccolo, ukulele, basset-horn and harp somewhere).But the string quartet...
Ennio Morricone
The legendary soundtrack composer goes on tour, celebrating 60 years of musicIconic, influential and prolific with over 500 film and TV scores and over 100 classical works, Ennio Morricone is easily the most recognizable film composer of all time. Rising to fame for his genre-defining (and often parodied) “spaghetti” western soundtracks for Sergio Leone, his works include A Fistful...
Accordion Festival
On its 18th birthday, this world music festival explores SpainStill going strong after 18 years, the city's own International Accordion Festival continues to showcase the instrument in various unexpected ways by both local and international talent. This year's theme, Viva España, focuses on the Iberian Peninsula, with numerous Spanish combos coming like the Barcelona Gipsy Balkan Orchestra. Featuring Spanish...
Vienna Theatre Project
The Vienna Theatre Project puts on Ayad Akhtar’s The Who and the What, where logos, mythos and gender intersectFour actors and a director huddle around a table, poised over scripts with pencils in one hand and coffee in the other. There is a flush aroma, a black velvet backdrop and two relic stage lamps, braced in each corner behind.Today...

Sleuth

Sleuth
Vienna’s English Theatre presents Anthony Shaffer’s exemplary thriller, filled with deceit and deceptionEver popular on English-language stages since its premiere in 1970, Sleuth is highly structured, stylized and notorious for its many unexpected twists – the audience of the original production was even asked to keep mum about the plot as the complicated storyline was a major factor in...
Georgia O'Keeffe
Georgia O’Keeffe stars in her largest retrospective outside of her home countryMost people first get to know Georgia O’Keeffe through her voluptuous flower paintings: large, generous images in lustrous colors – of irises, poppies or lilies, blossoms whose sensual curving petals fold back to reveal the pollen-coated stamens within. The focus is sharp, the edges delineated, in an opulent hyperrealism...
Film Stills
Film stills as drama suspended, art as advertisement: Even if you’ve never seen the movie, chances are you know the imageThey are the indelible visuals of the 20th century; they overshadow even the horrific images of wars. They are iconic bits of collective memory: Max Schreck as Nosferatu in monstrous silhouette, his claws reaching down to the helpless viewer;...
Indignation
First-time director James Schamus brings Philip Roth's novel Indignation to the screenBeing an outsider is never easy – especially when you’re too clever by half. And perhaps harder still in 1950s Ohio, the setting of ­Indignation, a worthy adaptation of Philip Roth’s 29th novel, a semi-autobiographical recollection of his college years.A first-time director but venerable screenwriter and producer (notably for...
Werner Herzog retrospective
Iconic and iconoclastic, the famous German director is celebrated in a retrospective at the Austrian Film ArchiveVienna’s Filmarchiv Austria currently has the distinction of hosting the first truly comprehensive retrospective of the work of Werner Herzog, that steadfast "soldier of cinema," as he himself so memorably put it.Mostly renowned in the German-speaking world for his early films with the...

Musicals!

Musicals
Vivid color, audacious dance moves and spirited show tunes define a genre making a modern comebackHot on the heels of La La Land’s box office and critical success, the Gartenbaukino is hosting a retrospective of golden age musicals showcasing the significant influences on Damien Chazelle’s latest film.Predecessors of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling transport their audiences twirling and soft-shoeing...
Spy Issue
For the “Spy Issue” we went to Vienna’s sister city of espionage, London. There we delved into the ‘60s era of fashion unnoticed and put together timeless looks for our very own MoneypennyWhile Europe was crawling with spies in the 1960s a subculture evolved in the U.K. termed the “mods” or “modernists” because they listened to modern jazz.  You’ll...
Opinion
Fashion’s dark side is cleverly disguised in fancy sets and luxurious outfits; Here are some pointers on how to survive the fake laughsIt’s been 10 years since I entered the fashion circus and much like the glitter and magic of the big top, the world of fashion works hard to look as good as it does. Let’s take a...
Nychos
Nychos is a rising star of the Viennese and international graffiti scene. He gave us a look into his life as a street artist from a beach in Maui, because even outlaws need a vacationWho are you? I am Nychos, a graffiti artist and illustrator from Austria.You created a platform for like-minded artists in 2005. Tell us about it. I founded...
my favorite things
Too much of anything is bad, but too much of good whiskey is barely enough. Mark Twain
Steinthal
Steinthal’s stripped-back dishes showcase the best of local produceDaniel Steiner and Benjamin Wieselthaler are inseparable – “there hasn’t been more than a day or two in the last five years that we haven’t seen each other,” laughed Daniel, whose impulsive eagerness is complemented by Ben’s quiet, thoughtful demeanor. The two travelled, ate and cooked together before deciding to open Steinthal...
On the Menu
The new Neapolitan-style pizzeria Via Toledo entices with a Valoriani oven and lots of southern cordialityVienna has its fair share of ristorante italiani, particularly in the 8th district, where pizza, pasta and other delicacies from our southern neighbor confront you at every turn. Via Toledo, the latest entry into the game, is named after an ancient street in the...
lindy
The Markterei Lindy hops onto the after-work bandwagon with their new evening event, TanzereiThe historic grand hall of the Alte Post (Old Post Office) looked like a scene from a musical, its green, cast-iron pillars framing couples twirling about madly as the industrial-age glass roof reverberated with swing music.I hadn’t even had the chance to take off my jacket...
wine accessories vienna
These three shops in Vienna offer excellent wine accessories By Catherine Hooker & Leopold WinklerEven if it’s not included in the Mercer Quality-of-Life rankings, a well-paired glass of wine with dinner is an Austrian hallmark of making the most out of everyday life. With the temperatures down and the allure of a vineyard stroll less than appealing, we stopped by...
Sports
The Okanagan Hockey Academy turns out talented players in St. Pölten, hoping to win over Austria and EuropeThe hall echoed with yells, scraping skates and sticks smacking the ice as 12 young hockey players raced around the rink. Hoping to reach pro-level speeds upwards of 50 km/h and shots reaching over 160 km/h, the players skated at breakneck speed,...
arlberg ski resort
The proud Arlberg region looks to the future as a new lift system makes it the largest continuous ski resort in AustriaThe Fantastic Gondolas party above Lech am Arlberg felt like a psychedelic high: Dots of green and yellow chased each other over craggy snowfields like an elaborate dance of Alpine fireflies as pictures of flowing lava were projected onto...
espionage
Ahhh, Vienna! It’s the city of Gemütlichkeit, semi-precious neutrality, badly and well-kept secrets as well as the go-to location for the odd diplomatic or spy-related kerfuffle. We felt the city should have the last word on its own secrets. Get out your magnifying glass and enjoy!
SHARE
Previous articleWhere to Watch Super Bowl 2017 in Vienna
Next articleRecipe: Steinthal’s Catfish Rissoles 
Stories are what make a city great. METROPOLE tells Vienna’s in English. Whether it’s insights about personalities, businesses or ideas, METROPOLE curates them for an international public. Looking to enrich your experience here? METROPOLE recommends events and locations to help make your Vienna story worth the telling.