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Gay Vienna

Gay Vienna

A guide to Gay Vienna

Gay Vienna Guide


The great thing about Vienna is that it has all the architectural magnificence of a former imperial capital with the friendly, manageable feel of the capital of a small central-European country.


Once the heart of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, it contains magnificent palaces, cathedrals, parks and public buildings, many built in splendid baroque style and on a huge scale. The fall of the empire after the First World War left Vienna as the capital of a much smaller Austria and the city now is home to just 1.7 million people.


Vienna is full of history and elegance. Mozart wrote and performed here. Freud learned how to look in to people’s minds. The Ringstrasse, the Ring Boulevard that encircles the historic heart of the city, contains jaw-dropingly beautiful, grand buildings including museums, the State Opera Houses, art galleries and government offices.


Vienna is consistently ranked one of the world’s best cities to live in and each year attracts over 5 million tourists. If you want elegance, grandeur, charm, convenience and a generally stylish break, then Vienna is the place for you.


Our top sightseeing tips for Vienna:

  • Schonbrunn Palace is the former summer residence of the Austrian Imperial family. With its 1,441 rooms, it’s not far from from the city centre. Famous Emperess Elisabeth “Sisi” and her husband also lived here. In the palace’s park you will find one of the world’s most modern zoos and in the summer an outdoor swimming pool very popular with local gays.
  • The Kunsthistorisches Museum hosts the former art-treasures of the Hapsburgs, including the largest Bruegel collection in the world. It houses several masterpieces of western art, such as Raffael’s “Madonna in Green”, Vermeer’s “Malkunst”, Velasquez’s “The Infants” as well as works from Rubens, Rembrandt, Duerer, Tizian and Tintoretto.
  • The Hofburg Palace was the centre of power of the Hapsburgs for centuries. From the middle ages until the beginning of the 20th century the Hofburg was enlarged and rebuilt. Today it hosts the Sisi Museum, located in the former Imperial Apartments, the Spanish Ridding School and the Treasure Chamber, with priceless crowns and other artifacts.
  • The Albertina Museum hosts the largest and most valuable collection of graphics in the world. It includes, among others, Albert Durer's famous “Young Hare”. Special exhibitions also display contemporary art.
  • The Museum Quarters is one of the largest art districts in the world. The former imperial stables today house the Leopold Museum (showing art from the 1900’s: Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and co.), the Mumok – Museum of Modern Art Foundation Ludwig Vienna – and the Art Gallery “Kunsthalle” showing contemporary art, as well as offering several restaurants. In the summer there are open air events and enough space to relax and cool down.
  • The Belvede Palace hosts the world’s largest collection of paintings by Gustav Klimt, including the famous “Kiss”. In November 2011 it opened a new gallery “21’s House” to display contemporary Austrian art.
  • Design aficionados will be in paradise at the Austrian Museum for Applied Art – MAK. As well as changing exhibitions of contemporary artists it also shows numerous exhibits on the history of design, including many gems of the world-famous Wiener-Werkstatte.
  • The Ferris Wheel located at the Prater Parc offers some of the best views of Vienna. Around 65 meters high, it is one of Vienna’s landmark.
  • At The Nashmarkt you will find next to fresh fruits and vegetables together with trendy places to eat and, every Saturday, a busy flee market. The Nashmarkt is located in the heart of Viennese Gay and Lesbian scene.
  • The Stephansdom Cathedral is the centre of the city. This gothic monument stands high in the Viennese sky.


Shopping in Vienna

Once you’ve settled in to your gay hotel in Vienna (or gay-friendly accommodation), you may want to do a spot of shopping. Head down to the old town around Kärntnerstrasse, Graben and Kohlmarkt, and you will find Vienna’s most exclusive shops, jewelers and perfumeries. Vienna’s hippest shopping area is the Mariahilferstraße and the small streets around, where hundreds of cloth and accessory shops and jewelers have their home. In a side street you will also find a shop named Tiberius (7, Lindengasse 2a), that offers an impressive range of erotic leather and latex clothing. Close by is the Spartacus XXL Store (6, Mariahilferstraße 49).


If you prefer your leather forming the cover of books, you should not miss the Loewenherz Bookshop (9th, located at Wasagasse 14). There you will find the most popular international magazines, the latest fiction and a large range of DVDs available as well as lots of picture books. And additional plus is the Café Berg, located not too far from Loewenherz.


Getting here

Vienna is located in the heart of Europe. The modern Vienna-Schwechat Airport lies around 16 km east of Vienna and offers ideal connections to the whole world. The city centre and your gay hotel in Vienna is reached quickly and easy by Train, S-Bah, bus or cab.


If you are arriving in Bratislava (by Ryanair or Danube Wings) the Brastislava Milan Rastislav Stefanik Airport is located about 54km from Vienna and is connected to the Austrian capital either by bus (Blagus Bus or Postbus) or rail.


Trains arriving from the east, for example from Salzburg or Germany, will arrive at the Westbanhof. Trains from the south or Budapest will arrive at the Sudbanhof. Connections to public transport are easy and safe.


Getting around

The centre of Vienna is very compact and walking is not only easy but reveals a non-stop panorama of stunning views. Alternatively you can use Vienna’s public line (Wiener Linien) to get around the city. The network of around 925km consists of 5 underground lines, 28 tram routes and 83 bus lines that criss-cross their way across the city.


An environmentally-friendly transport option for Vienna is the 'bicycle taxi'. In three-wheeled bicycle rickshaws, two people can explore the city, plus take plenty of hand luggage. A three-day tourist card (Vienna Card) will give you hundreds of discounts and unlimited free travel by underground, bus and tram.


NEXT: Gay Vienna >

Gay Vienna

Gay Vienna


Events in Vienna


Vienna has increasingly been developing as a European hotspot for gays and lesbians, with more restaurants, bars, shops and gay hotels in Vienna catering to the growing ‘pink’ tourism.


The centre of the gay and lesbian scene is the “First Viennese Gay & Lesbian Gayhome” better known as the Pink Villa, located at the Liken Wienzeile. The Villendorf Café, on its ground floor, is a great place to relax. Most of the gay places are not far from the Pink Villa, around the famous 16th century fruit and vegetable market, the Nashmarkt.


Vienna is also a club-metropolis: You will discover a new club every week, often in unusual locations, from former bank vaults to the storage room of a merchant ship. From Disco to minimal Techno, you will find every music style to dance to. The oldest gay club in town is called “Why Not”.


Historically, many famous gay people have helped shape the city: Prince Eugene von Savoya (1663-1736) was one of the Hapsburg Empire’s greatest soldiers and left his mark on Vienna with the amazing Belvedere Palace. In this baroque palace you will find the world’s largest collection of paintings from Gustav Klimt. The Emperor Charles VI (1686-1740) was not only the father of Austria’s greatest Empress Maria Theresa, but apparently the lover of Count Michael Johann III von Althann. Vienna flourished under Charles’s rule: The stunning Karlskirche Cathedral was built, The Imperial Palaces of Hofburg and Schoenbrunn were enlarged and he commissioned several magnificent baroque buildings. Also the famous Viennese State Opera House was built by two gay architects: Eduard van der Nüll and August Sicard von Sicardsburg.


The Ring Boulevard is also the stage for Vienna’s Gay Pride. Every June dozens of colourful floats with loud music and dancers parade on the Ring Boulevard in a march against intolerance, exclusion and homophobia. The parade ends with a rally at the City Hall Square, the same square where every May, thousand people gathers at Europe’s largest Aids charity event, The Life Ball.


NEXT: Gay Accommodation in Vienna >

Austria is a pretty liberal country when it comes to sexuality, so you’ll find most of the city’s hotels are very welcoming to gays and lesbians. There aren’t many exclusively-gay hotels, B&Bs or guesthouses in the centre of Vienna. Listed to the right are listings for gay-only, actively gay-friendly and ga-friendly hotels, B&Bs, guesthouses and rentals in Vienna. To search for qaccommodation in the city using an easy-to-use map, try our main Accommodation Search Page. It shows you exactly where all the gay and gay-friendly accommodation is in relation to the city’s gay area. We recommend finding a hotel that is as central as possible, so as to minimise travel time to the best bars, restaurants and shops.


NEXT: Top Vienna Links >

The best Gay Vienna links

No website can list every event, bar, restaurant, club, sauna and tourist sight - but those that do end up with incomplete and often out-of-date listings. So instead, we've listed those websites below that specialise in each of these areas - giving you the very latest information in a few clicks.


Best gay hook-up websites

Different websites are big in different countries in Europe. If you get lonely in Vienna - check out Planet Romeo's website and app - or the Grindr app.

Planet RomeoGrindr


Best tourist information sites

For general information, we’d recommend a couple of good Facebook pages that cover gay and lesbian activities in the city – such as GayCityWien and GayfriendlyVienna. Or the official Vienna Tourism website.Gay City Wein

Gay-friendly ViennaVienna Tourist Board


Best gay and non-gay events

For more top gay-related events in Vienna, check out the excellent Gay in Vienna website. Also try the What’s On listings here: and Or GayWelcome.

Gay in Vienna

Gay Net


Best gay and non-gay events

To get beyond the tourist eateries – a good start would be the About Vienna website – which has a good listing of the best places to eat in the city. Also try Trip Advisor and Lonely Planet.Trip AdvisorVienna Tourist BoardLonely Planet Vienna


Best shopping websites

For shopping tips, try the official Vienna Tourism website, the Austria website and - which lists all the shopping areas of the city.

Vienna Tourist BoardAustria TourismVienna 4U


Best local gay magazines

There are a number of gay magazines available in Vienna’s newsagents or in bars and clubs. They include Vangardist, Xtra News and Lambda Nachrichten.

Vangardist MagazineXtra News ViennaLambda Nachrichten


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