Vienna gives you the impression of an old city, bound by tradition and custom. But a closer look at the Austrian capital reveals a soul that can only be harbored by a city who partook so much in history. The city’s splendor is evident year-round, but the warm summer months gives the city a special ambiance that is way different from its colder months. If you’re visiting this magical city this summer, there are plenty of opportunities to have fun. Here are our top recommendations for the best things to do in Vienna in summer.
Summer in Vienna is pretty hot, but not hot enough to ruin any attempts for enjoyment. The temperature can range from 25°C in June to around 27°C in August, perfect for a cold beer or a visit to the beach.
Nicknamed as the City of Music or the City of Dreams, the capital of Austria is indeed musical and magical in summer with plenty of concerts and musical events scheduled from June to September. So if you’re around, be prepared for days and nights of total fun with barbecue soirees and wine parties in between.
Image Source: Wien.info
The Rathausplatz is the square directly in front of the Vienna City Hall (Rathaus) opposite the Burgtheater. Every year, starting from July to September, the whole square comes alive with colorful food stalls that pop up for the annual Film and Food Festivals. The towering old building provides a great backdrop for the series of concerts and movie events that take place during the entirety of the festival. Here, you can get lost in the mouthwatering world of gastronomy, featuring traditional cuisines from around the world. And while you´re munching, the warm summer air is occasionally filled with the melodies of the season, thanks to diverse interesting music programs that include jazz, opera, and world music, among others. There are also videos and films to watch.
To learn more about what to expect at the Rathausplatz this 2018, visit their website here.
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If you want to be able to exercise while traveling, stop wherever you want, and see the city in a more relaxed way, hiring a Citybike is a great option in Vienna. Vienna is a bicycler´s paradise with more than a thousand kilometers of bike paths all over the city. The paths are wide and there are plenty of spaces to stop by and relax in, making it a wonderful city to explore by biking.
For two (2) euros, you can purchase a Citybike Tourist Card and use it to access a bicycle from any of the city’s 120 bike stations. Convenient, isn’t it? Your first hour of use is completely free of charge and the succeeding hours cost one to four euros depending on how long you use it.
The system calls to mind Paris’s Velib bike system. To be able to register to the system, you should first do a one-time registration which you can accomplish at any of the stations or online. Enter the required information pay. Upon completion, you should be able to rent a bike at any of the stations throughout the year. To return a bike, simply dock the bike into an empty bikebox at any of the stations. Wait for the green light confirmation which certifies the successful return of the vehicle.
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The Donaukanal or the Danube Canal for non-locals is a regulated water channel within the city that is previously an vein of the Danube river - Europe’s second longest river. During summer from May to September, various establishments pop along the length of the channel to the delight of both tourists and locals.
There are plenty of things to do. You can bike around, occasionally stopping by for a cup of ice cream, chill along one of the bars people-watching with a cold beer, or simply ambling along the stalls for a relaxing afternoon stroll. Indeed relaxing by the Danube is considered one of the best things to do in Vienna in summer.
This relaxed open-air space is populated by cafes, wine bars, and restaurants made even more lively with the free concerts given during the annual Summer Stage event.
One of the easy favorite spot is the Standbar Herrmann, a large space converted into an artificial beach replete with sand, huge umbrellas, and loungers with cool drinks and great food. Sometimes, there’s music too.
The Summer Stage event is open every Monday to Saturday from 5pm to 1am and every Sunday from 3pm to 1am.
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Its central location in the European continent makes Austria a perfect location for blooming, exquisite gardens. No wonder its parks are frequently flocked. In summer, many of the locals enjoy basking in the sun in these designated locations throughout the city. If you’re having a break from touring during your Vienna excursion, a relaxing day at one of its parks is a lovely thing to do.
In Stadtpark, you’ll find Vienna’s first public park. Opened in 1862, it has the most memorials and sculptures among the parks in Vienna. Here’s you can find the famous sculpture of Vienna’s very own child, Johann Strauss, musician and composer.
The Volksgarten is an interesting mix of English and French style. The English side is landscaped with a relaxed tree population while the French side is constructed in baroque. There are numerous sculptures and even a small version of the Temple of Hephaistos called the Theseustemple.
If you’re looking for more things to do in a park than just lay around watching people pass by, the Danube Park is your best bet. This vast space of greens was originally a pistol shooting center before becoming a recreational area. Now, there are tennis courts, skate rinks, and playgrounds for more active engagements. There are also various displays of arts created by international artists.
At Lainzer Tiergarten, you have a chance to meet and interact with wildlife in this vast expanse of nature reserve that is popular among hikers and day-trippers. Then you can drop by the Hermesvilla to know more about the city via its culture and exhibition center.
For a picture-perfect landscape as your background, fewer can contend with the majesty of the Schönbrunn Palace Garden along with the neighboring Gloriette just up the hill.
And of course, if you’re at the city center, the most accessible is the Burggarten located at Ringstrasse where you can find the beautiful Palmenhaus . Nearby, there’s a small pond surrounded by sculptures of Austria’s famous children.
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There’s so much pride, finery, and culture to be experienced by dining at the “heurige,” simply translated as wine taverns. But heurigers are more than just merchandisers. The people who sell the wine at these taverns are the wine growers themselves, serving their most current vintage.
Dining by the heurige is a beautiful experience. The air is warm and the generous atmosphere of the hosts make you feel welcome. Complimenting the spectacular wine selection are various local food choices often served in buffet style.
Heuriges are mostly located at the outskirts of the city, especially in Nussberg. You can also visit the vineyards yourself.
Image Source: Volksgarten Pavillon
The extensive gardens at the Volksgarten Pavillon is where you can find Vienna’s best barbecue in summer! The 50s-style retro setup perfectly suits the laid-back vibe with a view of the Imperial Palace. This relaxed activity is perhaps one of the best things to do in Vienna in summer.
Around, there are cozy deck chairs as well. It’s the perfect go-to if you want to spend an afternoon with coffee while taking the city’s summer scene. But don’t be fooled. The vibe can completely turn flip-side come the night when the DJs take over and your otherwise wholesome excursion turns into a wild party.
The Pavillon is open from April to mid-September everyday from 11am to 2am.
Image Source: Wien.info
Vienna undoubtedly ranks among the loveliest cities in Europe. It’s not hard to see why this is so. From the ground to the top, Vienna has something to offer, like the majestic view from its infamous rooftop bars that is really quite an experience that somehow gives you a sense of peace, especially if you’re frequently on the move.
Some of Vienna’s best rooftop locations include the Justizplast or the Palace of Justice which can be found near the Ringstrasse and the Austrian Parliament. Upon entrance, you will be greeted by an incredible foyer and from its topmost floor, you can enjoy a splendid view of the city center.
Just close by is 25 Hours Hotel, a bar with a rooftop terrace. From here, you can see the Rathaus and other famous buildings in the city. It’s perfect during the night when the ambience of the place is complemented by the city lights.
If you want to chance upon a breathtaking sunset, the rooftop bar of Cafe Bar Bloom, located just a short walk from the Stephansplatz and the top of hotel Sofitel just across the Danube Canal should be your destination.
At Haus des Meeres, you will not only find a place to chill with a view. The whole venue is actually an aquarium displaying a diverse variety of sea life.
Other notable mentions include the rooftop patio of the luxury hotel Ritz Carlton, the Gerngross along the Mariahilferstrasse, and the skybar at Steffl Department Store.
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Hiking has a long history in Vienna and is well-known among its natives. Its trails encompass over 240km in distance, spread through a total of 292 hiking trails, 8 long distance hiking trails, 18 pilgrim trails, and 4 unexplored trails. There’s something for all level of expertise, whether you just want a mellow and relaxed hike with regular stopovers at heuriges or a more challenging trek passing through steep hills and huge boulders.
The trails are open to adventurers and explorers all year round, although summertime is mostly favored due to the beautiful scenery that accompanies your ascent.
City Hiking Trails are most popular such as the 11-kilometer long City Hiking Trail 1 that starts at the terminus of tram line D in Nussdorf taking you through the Vienna Woods and the Danube, all the way to Kahlenberg.
To properly visit the Green Pater, you must take the 13-kilometer long City Hiking Trail 9 that takes you from Praterstern to Freudenau.
The hiking routes of Bisamberg takes you through the vineyards and the oak woods while if you’re in for the more demanding route, the 120-km Rundumadum Hiking Trail is the way to go.
Visit Vienna’s official website to learn more about its hiking paths.
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You don’t have to pretend to be kid to have fun at the Wurstelprater or the Prater Amusement Park. One of Vienna’s famous landmarks, the park is considered one of oldest in the world and is flocked with locals and tourists during its season from March to October. It’s most famous symbol is the Giant Ferris Wheel, which has also come to symbolize the city as well, much like how the Eiffel came to be the emblem of Paris.
In this famous park, you can have fun to your heart’s content with rides for all ages. For more specific information about the park’s events, visit their official website.
The Prater is not just the amusement park itself. The vast green expanse includes hiking trails, cycling routes, and many spots to simply relax. The Ferris wheel and a few other attractions are open year-round.
Image Source: Wien.info
Nothing like a good splash to fight off the heat and in Vienna, you are thankfully in the cradle of the best outdoor, open-air pools in summer! Set a day to go to one of its pools or find a good spot in the nearby beach! Our top picks include:
The Döblinger, Schafberg , and Krapfenwald pools which, aside from its refreshing setups, also give you great views of the city. For a pool party in the middle of Vienna, the trendy Badeschiff is a champion which is a boat with a restaurant and a bar on top, perfect for crazy wild nights with your new-found Viennese friends.
An idyllic pool set in a 1920s style, the Neuwaldegger is a charming setup with a buffet which the owner cooks herself.
And of course, this list wouldn’t be complete with the Schönbrunner, undoubtedly one of the loveliest in the city. The whole space is composed of a pool, relaxing areas and a fitness and wellness center.
If you want a beach setup, head to the old Danube or the Danube Island for a sandy Viennese summer affair.
Vienna is a lovely city with “attractions” that focus on experience rather than mere sight or vision. Indeed, most of those who visit go back home with fond stories that speak of the unforgettable. Make your own too and come to understand why this city is named after dreams.