Dominique Meyer, 61, is the director of the Vienna State Opera House. He shares his favourite view in the city he calls home.
I love walking down Domgasse after nightfall. At such a late hour, the tourists have disappeared. They crowd the street armed with cameras earlier in the day. In the twilight, the baroque façades seen through the dim light of two or three street lights are very beautiful. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived at number five. In this house he wrote Le nozze di Figaro.
If it weren’t for electricity, one would expect Wolfgang to emerge from the archway at any moment on his way to a billiard game; or Lorenzo Da Ponte to approach the house to drop off the libretto of a new aria.
Where to live: the seventh district
Called Neubau, the seventh district near the centre of Vienna has a wonderful atmosphere. There is a really international mix of people here and beautiful 18th-century buildings. It has little winding streets with pretty shops, restaurants and cafés.
Where to go for breakfast: Restaurant Hansen
Where to stay: Hotel Sacher
The Hotel Sacher has beautiful rooms and extremely friendly members of staff. President Kennedy stayed here, as has the Queen. It is also about 10 seconds away from the opera house.
Where to have lunch: Plachutta Gasthaus zur Oper
If you visit Vienna, you have to taste traditional Viennese cuisine. For Wiener schnitzel (breaded veal), Tafelspitz (a dish of boiled beef or veal) and
Kaiserschmarrn (a kind of shredded pancake), this is the place to go.
Where artists dine: Ristorante Sole
This Italian place is located on the wonderful baroque street of Annagasse, where Schubert used to study. It is equally close to the opera and the Musikverein concert hall. Established conductors, singers, violinists, cellists and pianists all feel at home at Sole, where you can stay until late at night.
Where to go for a walk: Heiligenstadt (Vienna’s 19th district)
Among the large vineyards of Heiligenstadt, which lies outside Vienna, you can find the famous tavern-like restaurants called Heuriger. If you go for a walk, you get the impression nothing has changed since the 18th century. Beethoven used to live here in five different houses, which still remain. In Probusgasse, he wrote his famous testament, a letter to his brothers in which he revealed his deafness. This house is a Beethoven museum today.
In these two places you can see the artworks of the most important Viennese painters: Klimt, Kokoschka and Schiele among others. Moreover, the architecture and gardens of the Belvedere Palace are absolutely magnificent.
Photographs: Andreas Jakwerth; Henryk Sadura/Getty; Geothea/Alamy; Ernst Wrba/Alamy; Yadid Levy/Getty; Dreamstime; Grethe Ulgjell/Alamy; Witold Skrypczak/Lonely Planet/Getty
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