PrimeTours - be a local for a day
Would you like to get to know the real Vienna? So not what Tripadvisor & Co and the guide suggest. But the hidden places, restaurants, shops that make the city so liveable and endearing.
I chatted with Clemens of Prime Tours. Prime Tours offers you exactly that, to look behind the scenes of Vienna, to get to know new facets of this diverse city and to be a local for a day, according to its motto.
But enough of the introduction, we now let Clemens have a say.
Who are Prime Tours and what do you offer?
PrimeTours has been around for almost 4 years. A longtime friend of mine, we know each other since our childhood, and I traveled a lot together and wanted to turn our hobby into a career, so that we have something to do with traveling between our trips. So we came up with the idea to offer a wide range for travelers. It all started with the Free Walking Tour. This is a tip-based tour, which means the customer comes to the tour, ideally he reserves his place already on our website. The guest gets a highly professional tour with a licensed guide and at the end of the tour he can decide for himself what it was worth.
We then gradually specialized in alternative niche offers in Vienna. Because we believe that Vienna is simply more than just Innere Stadt, Schönbrunn and concerts.
We offer what nobody does and this is for example a kick bike tour. This is an oversized scooter and so you come very comfortable through the city. Meanwhile, there is also the possibility to rent an e-scooter.
It is always important to us to highlight the local entrepreneurs and operators. We also have a culinary tour where, for example, we visit Schnitzel Franz in Stumpergasse in 1060. Here you get an huge Schnitzel for 4 euros. Or here in the Reindorfgasse is the Rein Wein, a craft beer and wine bar. It is run by a police officer who has opened a bar as a hobby and also knows all his guests personally.
On our tours you will get to know a variety of such small shops and restaurants that do everything independently, often with little budget but with a lot of love. And that's exactly what we want to show the tourists on our tours that there are so many great parts of Vienna, away from the well-known paths.
A third pillar of our offer is the street art. We work together with a lot of street artists and want to thematize street art. Away from vandalism, towards more to legal walls and also create an awareness that this is really something beautiful and Vienna as a city does also a good work, for example, the walls on the Danube Canal.
What makes your offer so special? What is the difference to other tour operators?
What sets us apart from many others is that we are a legal company and have all the necessary approvals. We work for the alternative tours where there is no historical background only with officially approved travel companions. Everyone then has their own personal highlights, favorite topics or favorite places and also convey to the guest what it's like to live in Vienna, why we like to live in this city, what else you can do in Vienna apart from the travel guide.
We go with the visitors of Vienna in pubs and shops that you often do not find on Tripadvisor & Co. Tourism is already being digitized so much and those who are not so well versed in all the marketing tools they have lost. Then all people go to the same place, namely those who have the best ratings online. This is exactly where we start and want to bring the visitor closer to the real Vienna, away from the tourist routes, and show him what he may not find on the internet and can work on his own anyway. After our tours you should simply feel that you learnt and saw what otherwise you would have not. Anyone who tours with us is a local, at least for a few hours. And experiences the city from the perspective of a local. We really want to offer authentic tourism, not mass processing. On our Kick Bike Tour, for example, a maximum of 10 people are present.
The authenticity is also the reason why we both meet today in the 15th district where we have our office. Many people are always very surprised, 20 minutes outside the city center, and then in a small side street of Mariahilfer Strasse.
My family built the house were we are in over 120 years ago and had a butcher's business here. And every single local owner, who is connected to the area here has such great stories to tell.
The Reindorfgasse itself, in which we are here, also has a totally exciting story. The fewest know that it is the oldest shopping street in Vienna. And what has happened here in the past is also terrific. Before the First World War, this was one of the most joyous areas. There was the arena, that was a beer garden, up at the Schwendermarkt, where there was space for 3000 people. There was a theater there, it was really a lively neighborhood. With the shopping street, the Sparkassenplatz - the people have come here, beyond the Gürtel.
The Gürtel was the former customs wall and everything behind the Gürtel was tax-free. Therefore one could go shopping here much cheaper. So most of the people went to Sparkassenplatz, withdrew money and then went shopping here. Here were shoe shops, hairdressers, food, clothing and much more. The Westbahn went over the outer Mariahilfer Straße, at that time still with carriages waggon and stopped here. Here was also the Schwendermarkt. Much was destroyed in the war years and unfortunately never rebuilt. But that's the way it used to be.
What happens in Vienna is just great. There are so many things that can be found anywhere in the city, not just downtown. I myself am almost never in the city center. There are so many other places and restaurants in Vienna to explore.
3 words that describe your company ...
Be a local for a day. (ok, 5 words)
Where can I find your tours?
All our tours and many more information you find on our website www.primetours.at
Clemens‘ insider tips
My personal Vienna tip ...
You have to take at least 4 days for Vienna, especially if you have never been there.
A day is there for the classic sights like Schönbrunn. The other days you can then design depending on the season. Now in the summer, I always recommend people to go to lakes. A very nice is a bit outside, in Kaltenleutgeben, a gravel lake, also on Wienerberg there is a beautiful lake or the Old and New Danube. You can have a proper bathing day in Vienna. It's just awesome, in a city without access to the sea to make beach holiday.
And if there is still a day left, then you should go to the Vienna Woods. For example, to Wilhelminenberg or on the Kahlenberg up or then to Grinzing and then sit down at a wine tavern for a glass of wine and a Brettljause. Then you buy yourself a good bottle of Viennese wine, because there is probably not a single capital in the world with a significant wine growing, which is something special here in Vienna.
My favorite place in Vienna ...
A bit cliché, but around the 7th district you can find many nice places, with great food and hidden courtyards.
Here in Reindorfgasse I can highly recommend Gasthaus Quell. The menu has never been changed, there are always the same dishes. But that also has the advantage that you always know what you get here.
And the whole Heurigen areas are very nice.