Forget Sissi, Schönbrunn and Apfelstrudel: According to the Viennese, their humor is the city’s most remarkable accomplishment.
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 that you’ve truly arrived. That’s humor fluency! I’m not sure what my first Viennese joke was, or even ...
With the Neue Mittelschule, reformers tried one-size-fits-all – with dismal results. Education Minister Heinz Faßmann’s pragmatic approach deserves a chance As I listen to the latest round of policy boxing over the new Pädagogik-Paket (Teaching Pack...
press freedom is declining in Central Europe
With press freedom declining across Central Europe, Austrians have to stay vigilant to defend the rights of journalists.Poland is under siege. So is Hungary. The forces arrayed against our proud, confident nations are numerous, ...
Austria’s comedy scene gets some international flair as English language stand-up grows in Vienna Downstairs, the room is cozy but packed, the bare brick walls bathed in warm, yellow light. Excited chatter comes from an array of mismatched seats as ...
“Wiener Schmäh is maudlin, weepy, self-pitying, but also nostalgic, wistful, gemütlich and comforting.”If you really want to know what Wiener Schmäh is, ask a German. So say the Viennese cabaret duo, Gebruder Moped (Franz Stanzl and Martin Strech...
Schmäh may not be the first thing you notice when you arrive in Vienna. But it comes up soon enough In school, for example: My children were astonished to discover that copying from classmates (“das Abschreiben”) was business as usual – what in Amer...
The outcome may indicate how the dialectic between supranationalism and nationalism will play out in much of the rest of the world. The United Kingdom’s “Remainers,” who still hope to reverse Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, have plac...
A thousand women are challenging the boys’ club of science by making a research expedition to Antarctica to raise awareness for climate change.Antarctica is a giant, untamed wilderness. Home of the geographic South Pole, it has no nations and n...
The Austrian chancellor as a mixture of Hitler and Mozart on the cover of Newsweek. Please relax! Leni Riefenstahl, the director and scriptwriter of Nazi art and moviemaking, must have been hired as picture editor at the US magazine Newsweek. Austr...
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 interest toward Central Europe in the 1980s, the late Tony Judt decided to learn Czech. Why not Polis...
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 sucking it up and skiing, and falling, and skiing, and falling, and skiing again until I didn’t fall I’l...
Pop star and comic Otto Jaus waxes poetic about fame, being funny and attempts to define the many meanings of the word Schmäh.
Through history’s adversity, the Polish have shown enormous resilience. Free and thriving today, their country is trying to find its place in the world. A century ago, Poland was so poor that the government decided to build a ship-port in Gdynia in ...
“Wiener Schmäh is saying Schlagerl (mini-stroke) instead of Schlaganfall (stroke). It’s a way of being obsessed with death without ever talking about it.”Hannes Duscher and Roland Gratzer host an evening show on radio FM4 called Vorglühen (Prepar...
As the annual Vienna Art Week rolls in again, the city fills to the brim with artists, with hundreds from around the world dropping by to open an exhibit, give a talk, or present their latest works. With almost 200 events, there are plenty of occasio...
Rebirth of a Diva After success in London, The Bodyguard settles into its new home at the RonacherSingers die, but their songs live on. At least, that’s the reasoning behind Bodyguard – the Musical, a stage adaptation of the 1992 movie of the sa...
An Old Master Comes to Town The KHM journeys into the quotidian magnificence of Pieter Bruegel the ElderThe works of Flemish renaissance painter Pieter Bruegel the Elder have an ineffable quality, giving them an allure that has only grown over ...
Mesmeric Metamusic Composer Olga Neuwirth creates magnificent soundscapes from apparent chaosFollowing one modernist paradigm in the fine arts – that a painting is nothing more than some colors and shapes – can music be defined merely as some ...
brunnenmarkt
While Vienna’s inner districts will never lose their allure, Brunnenmarkt and its vibrant surroundings can offer an edgier alternative, providing a compelling and stimulating model of integration.
Danse Macabre Visually spectacular, Luca Guadagnino’s reinterpretation of Suspiria is flawed but atmosphericThe threshold to womanhood might not be the most obvious theme for your run-of-themill horror story, but Suspiria, a reimagining of Dario...
To Vienna, with Love In Kevin Wignall’s new thriller, Vienna takes the spotlight and steals the showWith a name like To Die in Vienna, Kevin Wignall’s new novel might give the impression of being one of those dark, death-obsessed literary di...
Anna Seghers’ Morality Play Available in English for the first time, The Seventh Cross addresses the damage and deep divisions of ordinary life under the NazisSeven political prisoners escape from the (fictional) Westhofen concentration camp in ...
The award-winning restaurant Taubenkobel lures you to its Vienna popup – and with good reasonDespite its off-the-beaten-track location in Schützen am Gebirge, Burgenland, Restaurant Taubenkobel is an icon of Austrian gastronomy: serving Pannonian...

Sports | Hit Me!

With more women getting involved in combat sports, we visited one of Vienna’s all-women gyms. The only man in the room has no arms, legs, hands, feet or hair. Going by the name of Bob, every day this pitiful creature gets beaten and punched by women...
Two years after the first Black Protest, a new wave of Polish feminism gathers steam, raising awareness not only about abortion rights, but empowering women in all aspects of their lives. Seen from the outside, the protests may seem in vain. After t...
The Lürzer Alm redefines the popular ski resort Obertauern. Just 3 hours and 38 minutes away from the heart of Vienna, the snow-covered peaks of Obertauern hold a special place in the hearts and minds of Austrians. Coming to prominence in the 1960s ...
Previous articleBohemian Rhapsody
Next articleQuotable Quotes | Schmäh
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.