There is no better place to experience the laid-back elegance of Vienna's traditional café culture than at the legendary Café Central. Long renowned as a meeting place for the city's foremost intellectuals and literary figures, the café gained fame among succeeding generations for its excellent coffee, hearty Viennese cuisine, and mouth-watering pastries.
Enjoy tasty coffee and delicious treats
Located on the Herrengasse street, Café Central perfectly captures the charm of a bygone age. The Herrengasse has long been the site of some of the capital's most attractive mansion houses and grand buildings, and traffic calming measures allow pedestrians and horse-drawn carriages to make their way up the street with ease. The café serves local specialties such as schnitzel, goulash soup, and Kaiserschmarrn, allowing you to try food that's authentically Viennese while you're in the city. It's the ideal place to while away an afternoon, savoring the rich coffee and a delicious treat, browsing the vast selection of local and international newspapers, and generally watching the world go by.
Home to 140 years of Viennese history
The café was first opened by the Pach brothers in 1876, on the ground floor of the ornate Ferstel Palace. The exquisite vaulted space ringed with gleaming columns and high windows was previously the home of the Vienna stock exchange and the Austro-Hungarian national bank. By the turn of the 20th century, the café had become a favorite haunt for artists, academics, and other great minds of Europe. The regulars included Sigmund Freud, Arthur Schnitzler, Leon Trotsky, Robert Musil, and Hugo von Hofmannsthal. The poet Peter Altenberg spent so much time in the café that he used to list it as his address, and indeed his statue still watches over the space from its position just inside the door.
A traditional café for a new generation
Café Central thrived right through the 1920s, but fell upon hard times during World War II, eventually being closed in 1943. The Ferstel Palace was damaged during the war, and the grand café space was subsequently used for storage and even for a while as a basketball court. In 1982, Café Central was restored and reopened to delight a new generation of locals and visitors in search of history, culture, fine coffee, and food. Modern innovations such as takeaway cakes and free WiFi have only increased its popularity as a brilliant place to relax and socialize. For anyone seeking a taste of Viennese tradition, this is the perfect place to take a break from sightseeing.