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Vienna’s 13th district has always been in the shadow of Schönbrunn Palace and its gardens, but has interesting hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Allow half a day for the imposing Habsburg residence and the gardens with Gloriette belvedere. Reserve the other half to discover the secret charms of this posh residential neighbourhood. Sneak out of the gardens at Hietzinger Tor (Hietzing Gate) and head down
Hietzinger Hauptstrasse for Kaiserpavillon (Emperor’s pavilion), an Art Nouveau gem right on top of U4’s metro railtracks. At local institutions Café Dommayer and restaurant Plachutta you can mingle with residents, their families and friends. Dommayer has risen to fame since waltz king Johann Strauss and his orchestra performed there regularly. If you want to go beyond private villa gazing visit Klimtvilla and Hermesvilla. Art Nouveau genius Gustav Klimt had his last studio in a now beautifully renovated villa, which is open during spring and summer. Hermesvilla at Lainzer Tiergarten animal enclosure and nature park is a must for all romantics and fans of Empress Sissi.