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One of the obligatory visits for anyone visiting Vienna and wishing to take in one of the city's most authentic and popular attractions is the famous Naschmarket, the great food market. A stroll through the market is time well spent, as the sensation is somewhat akin to that of a museum dedicated to good food. The fact is the name says it all: "Naschen" meaning "savour".
A real jewel among the city's markets, the more than 120 busy stalls offer an attractive display of goods and are distributed throughout the Wienzeile area between Karlsplatz and Kettenbrückengasse.
Bordering the river Wien, the Naschmarkt, a classic that has its roots in the 16th century, is one of those food markets that assails the senses, greeting the visitor with an a ebullient presentation of colours and aromas and offering everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to busy restaurants purveying delicious meals and snacks.
For the hungry visitor, it is hard not to find something to your liking among the wide range of dishes on offer here, as the culinary repertoire includes everything from sushi and kebabs to Austrian specialties such as Wiener Schnitzel, and Palatschinken, a delicious, hearty pancake stuffed with jam. Gourmands can add fresh fruit, cottage cheese or chocolate to their menu.
In addition to an assortment of exotic teas, fruits, herbs and spices, the market is also known for its selection of stalls selling Greek, Turkish and Asian products. The market also features florists and butchers as well as dozens of varieties of tasty bread, wine, cheese and even handicrafts such as Czech marionettes, the typical Russian babushka dolls and Turkish footwear.
Every Saturday at one end of the market the Flohmarkt, or flea market, is installed, offering a dazzling array of second-hand goods. If you are one of those who enjoys exploring this type of market in search of a little gem to take home, this is the best place in the city. Bargaining, rather than being a recommendation, is something that is expected.
The Naschmarkt has become both something of a cult area and a meeting point for young and old alike, and it is worth a visit if only for the bustling atmosphere, especially on Saturdays.
So now that your appetite has been whetted, what do you feel like? Typical Viennese food, Indian, Italian, Vietnamese, organic, Lebanese, Israeli...? The only problem will be making up your mind.
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