In Vienna, plants and humans can sit side by side and enjoy the sunlight, high ceilings, and dazzling views of the royal gardens. Formerly a greenhouse built for Austrian emperors, Palmenhaus now serves as a cafe, bar, and lounge where folks can dine amidst exotic flora.
The first iteration of the greenhouse was built in 1822, overlooking the expansive Hofburg palace gardens. Nearly 80 years later, Austrian architect Friedrich Ohmann built the extravagant, steel-and-glass Jugendstil structure that still stands today. After a multimillion dollar renovation in 1998, the building now boasts more than 22,000 square feet of magnificent flora, food, and even a bunch of butterflies. (You’ll find them in the Schmetterlingshaus, or “House of Butterflies.”)
Want to dine al fresco? You can venture out onto the Burggarten, a vast patio overlooking the former emperor’s gardens. You’ll find all sorts of delicious items to munch on, from freshly-baked pastries to fish dishes to decadent desserts. Though the lunch and dinner menus change daily, you can always expect to find the classic Viennese morning meal of handmade rolls, jam, and blossom honey on the breakfast menu. But, no matter what you order, the best part of your meal will likely be feasting your eyes on the greenery and glass fit for an emperor, or at least his plants.