Vienna with 1000things founder and CEO Jan Pöltner

From a small idea during his studies in 2013, Jan Pöltner’s online city guide “1000 things to do in Vienna” has established itself over the years as one of the most famous websites in Austria. The 29-year old also has planned many other exciting projects just like the podcast “Radiogesichter” (radio faces) with colleague Alina Johnston or the hiking website “”, for which Jan walked around 900 km across Austria´s countryside for 50 days.

In our talk he told us about what Vienna means for him personally, where he prefers to spend his free time and what his insider tips for the city are.

What is Vienna like for you?

There’s just something very special about the city: The mixture of big village, nature and urban space, for example. It feels like every five minutes you could meet someone you know but at the same time one can enjoy the anonymity of a capital again. Also that I’m in nature very quickly, as soon as I drive out a bit and then within a very short time could party again and relax if I’d like to. That there are plenty opportunities to swim and that we’re not far from great landscapes as well – impressive mountains are pretty close for hikings. And I think that’s extremely great and I also see it as totally unique in the world – this symbiosis of close nature and city.

How does a typical day in your life look like?

There is no typical day in my life! Guess I wouldn’t like that at all. Of course I travel a lot all over Austria, with the background of 1000things, but basically all over the world as well. I like being able to work from anywhere. When I’m in Vienna, I make sure that I get around a lot and try new things – may it be gastronomy, special locations or events.

Where do you have to go in the city when you feel like partying?

It depends on what you are into, if you just want to drink cocktails with nice background music and social gatherings – then I would definitely recommend Parfumerie in the 7th district. Door 7, which is a secret Bar in the 8th, is relatively close to JO&JOE as well as The Chapel, for example, near to Westbahnhof. If it should be a little more posh or fancy, then of course Volksgarten would be the right location for you. Or O – Der Klub, but for as I call it “alternative celebrations” where you can just go to casually, definitely the the Werk, the Loft, the Chelsea and such – where I much prefer to be than in those very posh places.

Why should one definitely travel to Vienna?

The question can easily be answered by surveys: Vienna has been voted the most liveable city in the world ten times in a row. I think that’s answer enough. It is simply a totally tolerant, open and safe city that has an incredible amount to offer. Everyone could find something for themselves here – doesn’t matter if on cultural, relaxing or culinary purposes.

Where can you get the absolutely best food?

This also depends, I’m not a veeery big fan of Austrian cuisine. But if you want to eat a good schnitzel in the classic way, which is part of it for many Vienna tourists, then that is certainly terrific in Amerlingbeisl and Meissl & Schadn. There is also very good Austrian cuisine in the Völlerei on Yppenplatz. Personally, I really like tapas – for example, there are really good places in Zieglergasse in the 7th, like Toma tu tiempo or the Rhinky little plates. I also like to eat Asian and spicy food, especially at Thai restaurants – Mamamon Thai Eatery in the 8th or All Reis – Bangkok street food in the 15th, are great addresses, therefore.

Where do you like to shop?

I’m actually not that much of a shopper, but I wouldn’t even call it a special shop: The Brunnenmarkt is quite nice for shopping, even if it’s mainly culinary. Nowhere else you do get such diverse things as falafel sandwiches and Austrian sausages at the same place as Asian and Turkish snacks. Plus: You always get samples! I often like to go there and get some food. Here you can relax and maybe also take a look in the Manner shop (the world-famous pink biscuits) which is not far.

Probably the craziest thing one can do in Vienna?

Actually, there’s not the one special thing one can do in Vienna – even if you can do crazy things for sure. But when I have visitors, it’s more about what the city itself has got to offer: Very cheap public transport, with which you can travel around the clock on the weekend or go to a swimming pool for three euros all day. There are so many municipal outdoor swimming pools or even the Danube to swim in for free. Special cinemas: during the summer there is a film festival on Rathausplatz or Volkskino. Also the Christmas decorations, for which Vienna is world famous.

Your insider tip for the best view of the city?

Hm, I’m not sure if there are so many insider tips left. But something that perhaps not so many people know is that you can go up to the roof of Justizpalast and have a really great view from there.

Something that really sucks…?

How much space is still given to cars and how much it is still the focus, even though there is such great public transport in Vienna and it could be expanded even more. In relation to pedestrians and other means of transport, such as bicycles, we still give the car far too much space in general. I think we need to rethink this very quickly.

This event tip should definitely not be ignored…

Of course there are some! In summer it is definitely the Donaukanaltreiben (at Donaukanal), a free indie-festival, for example. Popfest (after all, how often can you admire concerts in a church?), then certainly the open-air cinemas that exist: Kino am Dach (a cinema on the roof, with a brilliant view over the city). Also some events at Augarten. In autumn the Viennale, a grandiose film festival, is a must. In winter, for example, there are really nice events at Museumsquartier.

When you need a bit of rest and time for yourself, where do you love to be?

At Lobau or on the Donauinsel – especially with the rental bikes, it is a great opportunity to explore those corners of Vienna. As soon as you are a little further away from public transport, you sometimes have complete bays to yourself. Also Wienerwald (vienna woods) or in the Gartencafé – a café where you can enjoy good cake and read the newspaper in the middle of quiet garden.

My grandma would say about me:

(Laughs and thinks about it) Hm … “For the fact that he used to enjoy being at home so much as a child, the boy has already been a lot around in the whole wide world”.

Thank you for the talk!

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