Panoramabild Landeshauptstadt St. Pölten, © Mostviertel Tourismus/ Gabriele Schwarz-König

State capital of St. Pölten: From provincial town to insider tip

St. Pölten is blossoming thanks to the art, business and night-time scenes. Here is a list of the best the Lower Austrian state capital has to offer:

Calm, curious, innovative: St. Pölten has undergone a transformation, but it hasn't abandoned its regional roots. Find out how the fringe theatre scene in the Lower Austrian state capital is booming, why a city break is worth it and what you shouldn’t miss when you visit.

For shopping and falling in love

Thirty years after being voted state capital, little remains of the quaint provincial town. St. Pölten has enhanced its profile and this is mainly due to a lively bar scene, exciting shops and a young gastro crowd. The pedestrian zone at the heart of the town is the best place to start discovering the city. When strolling along the picturesque pedestrian zone, pop into the Sonnentor Shop to sample the latest herbal tea creations from the organic Waldviertel label or slip into the famous colourful ‘Waldviertler’ shoes by GEA. Modern design teamed with wonderfully aromatic dishes and hearty soups are served in Supperiör. Nearby, enjoy the wonderful Baroque façades and the best preserved Jugendstil houses, such as the Olbrich-Haus at Kremser Gasse 41. Take a break from shopping and enjoy the delicious Felix coffee inside Emmi or the Café Pusch, home of the famous St. Pöltner ‘Prandtauerkrapfen’ doughnuts. Not far from here you will find the outdoor area of the Café Schubert, where you can sit back and relax, the excellent selection of the wine bar Café im Palais Wellenstein and in the outskirts of St. Pölten, at Ratzersdorf, the culinary highlight of the Lower Austrian capital: the long-established Gaststätte Figl with its creative and innovative regional cuisine (a must!).

The green capital of Lower Austria

The vibrant market scene is a reflection of St. Pölten's deep roots within the region. The market at Domplatz runs on Thursdays and Saturdays. The market at Josefsmarkt market is on Fridays. Farmers and producers present home-grown produce here: Stall holders sell honey, cheese and sausages, as well as fresh flowers, plants and the finest vegetables from the region. Discover greenery in the wonderful recreation park in the centre of the city around the Ratzersdorfer Lake. Here you can bathe, there is plenty of space for sport and it is well-linked to the Lower Austrian Cycle network (Traisental cycle route); St. Pölten’s locals meet at the relaxed terrace of Seedose restaurant for after-work beers or a spritzer.

Where night turns to day

Does St. Pölten know how to party? Of course! You only have to look at the amazing number of bars and music venues in the city. The fringe theatre scene is booming in the Lower Austrian state capital: Why not attend a concert or cabaret show in the Bühne im Hof? Film lovers can enjoy one of the best Austrian art house cinemas by visiting Cinema Paradiso. The Egon music café attracts visitors for its ridiculously delicious ham pasta dishes and cool gigs. Discover a perfect combination of food, drink and culture in the new Vinzenz Pauli restaurant, which has a programme of readings, concerts and exciting children’s afternoons. Last but not least: Landestheater theatre and Festspielhaus festival hall have been synonymous with high-quality entertainment for many years. If you like to party and experience life to the full, you will also need a comfy bed to catch up on your sleep. That’s why we recommend the D&C City Hotel with a wellness area, gourmet restaurant and private courtyard garden. It is only a two-minute walk from the Baroque old town.