The Spittelberg area (Seventh District) is dotted with bars, including the perennially popular Amerlingbeisl, with its leafy garden. This relaxed pub is a must-go in Vienna, especially around Christmas, when Spittelberg comes alive with its famous Christmas market. In the evenings, you can zip a cup of ginger-apricot punch in Amerlingbeisl's canopied atrium with fairy lights for stars. The cobbled courtyard is a charming little place for a nightcap in one of Vienna’s nicest streets.
The most popular cluster of bars is in the old Jewish Quarter (First District), in an area around Ruprechtskirche known as the Bermuda Dreieck (Bermuda Triangle). Other districts with fewer tourists include the Spittelberg area, around Amerlinghaus (Seventh District) and in the Fourth District, adjacent to the Naschmarkt. Many of the best places in Vienna will not be obvious to tourists, as they are strictly marketed at locals and are not necessarily in the centre of town. Quite a few clubs operate picky door policies, where the beautiful or the correctly dressed waltz past the queue. Alternatives to the club and bar scene abound - hip and trendy Viennese still enjoy traditional favourites, such as heurigen (beer taverns) and the city's many balls.
Tickets to cultural events are available from all major concert venues and theatres. Bookings can also be made at Bundestheaterkassen, at Hanuschgasse 3 (tel: +43 1 5144 42960; www.bundestheater.at). For cultural listings, check out the monthly magazine Programm, published by the Albetinaplatz tourist office. Other listing sources include Wien Magazin (www.wienmagazin.at), Wien Live (www.wienlive.at) and Falter (www.falter.at).