It seemed to happen overnight. Without taking issue with the economic status quo, we, the consumers of the interconnected world, wanted to do business with each other. Instead of getting products from companies, we wanted to get them from one another, with as little hassle as possible. We are surely the clever ones – cutting out the middleman. And how...
Feels like Christmas Setting the mood for the festive season, Christmas markets big and small will start dotting the city mid-month. For families, the Christkindlmarkt by City Hall is a must with its huge Christmas tree, over 150 wooden stalls, and kids’ workshops for cookie baking and ornament making. A more intimate choice would be  the traditional market on the...
Right-Wing Populist Parties Gaining Support Across Europe. Are the EU Leaders Running Out of Time to Respond to Growing Concerns? The day after the Vienna elections, the beaming faces of the incumbent Mayor Michael Häupl (SPÖ) and his leading opponent Heinz-Christian Strache (FPÖ) greeted readers from the front pages of the Austrian dailies. Standing shoulder to shoulder, the Mayor held...
A big thank you to our readers for all the wonderful and helpful feedback we’ve been getting. We’re glad to know you are enjoying the magazine and we appreciate your insights on expat life in Vienna. To the Editor, I enjoyed reading Metropole.  And I agree with the editorial that it is important to define words before making conclusions about serious...
Slaughtering the EU’s sacred cow could renew confidence in the Union Throughout Europe’s refugee crisis, warnings have proliferated about the threat to the European Union’s precious Schengen Area of border-free travel. Indeed, the warning was heard again recently, as EU ministers thrashed out a late-night agreement on border policing and the relocation of refugees. But, at a time of diminished confidence...
collaborative economy
From cars to office space, and even livestock, the Collaborative Economy is changing more than how we use things. It’s reinventing how we value property. By George Jahn & Roxanne Powell On any given day Lena Kover will wake to the sounds of oldies streamed over web radio. Busying herself in the kitchen of her 17th district apartment, she makes breakfast to...
How the refugees bring the danger of new walls between East and West The wave of refugees flooding in across the borders has caught the European Union off guard. While older EU members have attempted to help migrants and to create a common EU response, the new post-communist members have panicked. In Eastern Europe, populations are quite homogenous and politicians...
Vienna’s rent is famously low compared to other European capitals. We spoke to four Vienna dwellers – a pilot, an artist, a retired secretary and a young doctor – about how their rental choices have affected and changed their lives. Thomas Pozvek Rents privately As a pilot, Thomas Pozvek isn’t home much. When he is, it’s important for him to be relatively...
property in Vienna
Real estate can be tricky, but with patience, perseverance and a little luck, you'll own your own place in Vienna In many countries, buying your first home is a rite of passage. It’s a foothold in society – like getting married, or having a child – a building block of adult life. Not so in Vienna. Here most people are renters,...
Who says what is full time or not? Generational trends are restructuring the workplace with some unexpected results Sophie Martinetz was in her early 30s, when she decided she needed a change. A lawyer and head of business services at BAWAG PSK bank, she and her husband had come back to Vienna after several years in Berlin and London with...
A new way of documenting species digitally allows more intricate research and the images can be shared all over the world The new guy, Ommatoiulus avatar (or O. avatar for short), is a tiny species of European millipede, just two to three centimeters in length, identified this summer by a team of Austrian and Danish scientists. The authors of the...
A chronicle of Hitler’s war in the Alpine borderlands As Europe’s map was redrawn at Potsdam in 1945, Austria was again separated from Germany, and the Alpine regions regained their pre-war borders. As much as Berlin, the Alps had been the heart of the Third Reich, argues Jim Ring in Storming the Eagle’s Nest: Hitler’s War in the Alps –...
Traveler, soldier, linguist, scholar, bon vivant, grand flaneur, Patrick Leigh Fermor was one of the greatest travel writers of the 20th century. Artemis Cooper recounts his peripatetic life with great affection and humor in Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure.  Today “Paddy” Fermor is best known for walking from the Hook of Holland to Istanbul in 1933-35, which he chronicled in...
With tens of thousands of asylum seekers overwhelming public institutions, couples like Skye and Zoltan Kiss are opening their homes Skye and Zoltan Kiss found an unusual way to cope with our current influx of refugees: The two musicians from Australia and Hungary adopted a Syrian family of six – Hussam and Lula Hafi, and four children under ten. With over...
“Three people in one room want to commit suicide? Stay cool.” What keeps everyone going is the sense of humanity. You sense the Train of Hope camp before you see it. Gliding up the escalator to the main ticketing hall of Vienna’s Hauptbahnhof, you feel goosebumps, your eyes scanning for this terrifying wave of refugees. As you leave the escalator, you...
It’s surprisingly difficult to give stuff away. Busy city people don’t expect anything offered on the street to compete with what they know, and visitors assume you’re trying to sell them something they don’t need. Location: Mariahilfer Straße, on a wet and windy afternoon two days before the Gemeinderatswahl, the Vienna State elections. A volunteer has an armful of NEOS...
In mid-autumn, it is already dark by 19:00 in Vienna. Crossing the Ring at Schottentor, the street glistens under the glow of the streetlamps in the light rain, as passersby take shelter under the columned portico of the Bank Austria building. Completed in 1912, just two years before the Great War, this magnificent Bankhaus on Schottengasse was state of the...
Munch at the Albertina: Isolation and despair, yes, but absolutely worth it You may want to fortify yourself with a good lunch before going into this show. Have something cheerfully Viennese, and don’t order anything cold. It’ll be chilling enough once you get inside this rather – it has to be said – relentless exhibition of bleak early lithographs and prints....
Wien Modern, the festival for new music, in its 28th year Apparently Wien Modern wants to change its image. This year the nearly month-long festival of “masterpieces of new music” is embracing pop music. With the motto “Pop.Song.Voice.” it seems as though the festival would like to span the gap between the “normal” classical music listener and the fans of Vienna’s...
The Korean-American comedian is bringing her shameless stage style to town. "I have come to murder your ignorance,” Margaret Cho bursts into a laugh. The ruthless stand-up comedian will be kicking off the European leg of her Psycho Tour in Vienna. Her humor is sharp, dark and unapologetic. “Ignorance, violence, rape, homophobia, everything that we’re seeing killing people, I want...
With Pierogis for Grown-ups and a Kindergarten with French Fries, this is a neo-classical Wiener café with a special heart for children. Neo classical café – what´s that? A café trying to upgrade itself to smart eatery? Or a Beisl massquerading as a café? Manager Robert Sulzer describes his new (since August) Gustl Kocht as a “café with restaurant quality food”....
Chef Denis König of Le Salzgries: The brasserie reloaded – a French treat for your special guests Denis König came to Vienna to study structural engineering, but (luckily for us) he opted for the culinary arts. In 2000 he took over an old café on the Marc Aurel Straße, to the irritation of the regulars who wanted neither change nor...
An all-star cast and crew take on the information age’s hero of our time in the biggest production to date With a life story already resembling a screenplay, it was only a matter of time until the rise, fall and triumphant return of the mercurial co-founder and CEO of Apple would get the Hollywood treatment. After two unsatisfying attempts, the...
Abel Ferrara recreates the final day of the Italian poet, film director and political radical Never one to shy away from controversy, director Abel Ferrara (Bad Lieutenant,The Funeral) pays tribute to one of his cinematic heroes: Italian iconoclast Pier Paolo Pasolini, who also shocked audiences with graphic depictions of sex and violence (albeit in a more conceptualized manner). Frequent collaborator...
Steven Spielberg revisits the Cold War from Brooklyn to Berlin, when private citizens brokered prisoner exchanges since governments weren’t on speaking terms It’s no secret that Steven Spielberg is a history buff, covering territory both familiar (Schindler‘s List) and obscure (Amistad). This time, it’s a bit of both as he tells the tale of the first spy exchange on Glienicke bridge,...
In this documentary, a small island community struggles to face its problems with dignity Director Jakob Brossmann expertly captures the mood on this small island (population: 4500) on the forefront of the refugee crisis, alternating scenes with evocative images of the Mediterranean off-season. Giving time to both migrant issues and everyday trials like restoring essential ferry service to Sicily, the...
Tunnel: the popular student hangout and live jazz club gets a “reboot”, refusing to fix what’s not broken Reinventing a classic is fraught with pitfalls: It’s easy to alienate your regulars, and the new clientele remains wary of your past. Tunnel, a cavernous café catering to an eclectic mix of students, aging boomers and all those in between, has managed...
Feschmarkt
Vienna has succumbed to the concept market: a compilation of fashion, design and food vendors brought together for their new, trendy or popular offerings. Fesch'markt If something is “fesch” it’s good-looking, or handsome; the word almost includes a flirtatious wink. The Fesch’markt, now in its 5th year, is all about fesch. The people range from bearded hipsters to stylish elderly women...
The high altitudes and fresh powder on the Kitzsteinhorn glacier makes it the perfect place to start the ski season Few things are finer than a ski escape in fall. When the leaves have turned brown and soggy, the tongues of fog have crept into the valleys and much of Austria feels slightly forlorn, it’s time to rummage in the...
Shpock-Strbac
We asked one of the founders of the flea market app Shpock, Armin Strbac, whether he thinks the trend of people transacting with each other is driven by the customers or by products like Shpock. Dear Metropole, Trends have always been initiated and propelled by people. Good products are also oriented towards the needs at the heart of those trends. In our...