The first days of sunshine have just arrived in Vienna. Do what the Viennese do. Here are 10 things Viennese people do when the sun starts to shine in spring.
1. Sit on a park bench, close eyes and face towards the sun
This zombie-like pose can be disturbing to those with their eyes open, however the smile on the sun-kissed person’s face ensures everything is fine and that the sun soaker has not turned into some Dawn of the Dead extra. The closing of the eyes ensures maximum surface area is being hit by the sun.
2. Swap the discussions of that horrible case of the Grippe going around for discussions about what pollen you’re allergic to
They have been telling us since day 1 of spring – you should get the allergy shot, or visit a doctor and get diagnosed for what pollen you’re allergic to. And they tell me with a concerned expression and tone as if I should visit a dying grandmother in hospital, who only has days to live.
3. Drink in the daytime in a Schanigarten – because you can
No matter if it’s still cold outside and the sun is just out to mess with your head, find a seat at a Schanigarten in protest until the sun gets the message and the warmer temperatures arrive. Oh, and good weather also encourages drinking from midday onwards.
4. Empty out their office and stop working
You’ll notice that email response time tends to becomes longer as the days do. The work life balancing act tends to lean more towards ‘life’ in Vienna when the sun turns up. And that’s why we love this city.
5. Line up for their favourite ice cream
The lines that snake out of the cities favourite ice cream spots return as soon as the sun says, ready… set… go!
6. The legs come out and the topless and bikini sun baking in Burggarten begins
There’s nothing like the sight of topless men (sun’s out, gun’s out!) and bikini wearing girls (or the other way around) in the royal gardens of the Burggarten as soon as the weather man announces (in dramatic slow motion, it seems) a temperature above 20 degrees. You may still be able to pitch a tent on these people’s nipple, but it’s the statement that counts. You’ll also see the hardcore (or hairy) amongst us already wearing shorts in the next couple of days.
7. Getting dressed becomes confusing
We swear the weather Gods have their own reality TV show in which they confuse the hell out of the people of this city with their up and down temperatures, and get a good laugh out of how confused we are in the morning when getting dressed. Jacket or no jacket, shorts or pants?!
8. Get excited about grilling stuff & fire up the 1st grill party
Everybody loves a good grill, and there’s nothing that says, ‘we’ve missed you sun’ like sacrificing some poor animals on the grill. If you visit the Donauinsel this weekend, you’ll see the plumes of smoke from the various grills that have returned – the smoke signals communicating to planes above that summer has begun in Vienna.
9. Feel kinda’ guilty if they’re not outside making the most out of every single sunny day
What happens if it rains tomorrow?! This is enough to inspire a nervous twitch in anybody just wanting to stay in on their couch watching their favourite series. As sunny days are for a limited time only, many feel that nagging guilt which has some small voice in their ear whispering – get outside you pale ass bastard! How dare you stay inside and waste such a sunny day!
10. Tell you how much they love spring
The people of Vienna appreciate the spring so much. They embrace it like they’ve cheated death during the winter, survived, and therefore have a new love for life.
11. Smile more, and do the odd cart wheels or flip and dance on the street – generally, everybody is a lot happier and friendlier
Especially after such a cold and long winter this year, don’t be surprised if you see random people spontaneously breaking out in dance or cart wheels on the street and in parks. You’ll definitely see more smiles on people’s faces, even perhaps on your local supermarket cashiers face if you’re really lucky.
12. They say the word herrlich a lot
This lovely word translates to ‘Glorious’ and reports show (these reports may or may not be real and may or may not be something we made up just now while cleaning out our ears) that the use of this word booms as the flowers bloom and the sky goes blue. You’re hear it coming from a lot of older Austrians to describe the weather.
13. Flock in large numbers to the Donaukanal and the MQ
If somebody could see Vienna from above on the first sunny days after winter, they’d see two rivers of people flowing to the opposite sides of the city – one flowing into the MQ and the other towards the beloved Donaukanal. Without a doubt, you’ll find hundreds of people lounging around on the lego-like plastic couches in the Museumsquartier as soon as the sun pops up. Likewise, you’ll see people lying back in the beach deck chairs of the bars lining the Donaukanal or dangling their legs over the water at the Donaukanal. It’s like these two summer hot spots make a siren calling to one and all when spring breaks. It’s a special communal moment that makes for good vibes to be part of this crowd. It’s like everybody is waking up to spring together!
14. Bike madness as amateurs return to the road
The U-Bahn empties as people get back on their beloved two-wheeled stallion, and more honking is heard from the street as car driver’s and bikers get used to each other again. People in Vienna love their bikes, and the number of bikes on the road doubles in spring and summer. However, most are riding like they’ve been indulging in number 3 of this list with most still a bit wonky on their wheels, as they get used to riding a bike again.
15. Complain about the weather… still
When you hear for the first time one of your friends say, ‘Oh man, it’s too hot!’ you know that summer has truly begun. Winter is too cold, summer is too hot – you gotta’ love our consistency to complain.