While many won’t be booking their typical summer holidays at the seaside this year, here’s a few reasons why sticking around and spending your summer holidays in Vienna is an awesome alternative.
While most wouldn’t think of Vienna as a summer city, it has all the things you need for good times when it’s hot – beaches, a river, more gelaterias than Rome, and plenty more!
Check out the 17 reasons below why Vienna is an awesome summer city:
1. It has green spaces galore for picnicking
There are sooooo many green spaces in Vienna to lay your picnic blanket, lie back and look at the clouds. We’ve put together a list of the best picnic parks, check it out!
2. You get to drink on boats – which pretty much means your on some fancy holiday
3. There are dozens of public spaces made for chilling in the sun with friends – for FREE!
From the MQ to the Donaukanal, and plenty in between – there are plenty of spots in the city that become claimed by the people during the summer months as they gather with friends and use public spaces like their own living room. Here‘s a list of some of the hot summer spots to meet with friends around the city.
4. It has its own special summer vibe
We’re not claiming exclusivity to this, but the vibes that run throughout Vienna during summer are a special thing. Combining good weather with the people of Vienna’s favouring of ‘life’ over work in the work-life balance leads to a free and easy, laidback holiday feeling spreading throughout the streets of the city.
People stop to talk in the streets, they smile more, they strip down to bikinis, or get topless in parks smack bang in the middle of the city – you get the feeling that people want to make the most out of the summer months here.
5. Summer sunsets in Vienna are outrageously beautiful
6. The drinks are cheap and the Schanigärten are plentiful
Compared to other capital cities, the drinks are cheap in Vienna, and there are restaurant and cafe gardens everywhere where to enjoy summer drinks and good times. Also, a special feature of this city are the restaurant and cafe gardens hidden away in the Höfe (courtyards) of buildings.
7. Messy Döner, or Käsekrainer while sitting some random spot in the city after a night out? One of the best feelings in the world.
8. Rooftops get sexy. Well, rather the things you’re doing on those rooftops get distinctly more exciting. From chilling on a friend’s sketchy rooftop to chilled drinking at a rooftop bar, there’s nothing quite like a Vienna rooftop in summertime
9. Who needs a beach when you have the Danube river?!
There is a feeling of freedom in Vienna during summer, because of the river running through it. A lot of the river and the banks that line it have a wildness about it where you can feel like it’s just you and nature, whether you’re escaping there after work, or spending a day by the waterside. But even the places that see a merging of an urban and natural setting make for great spots to escape (and enjoy) the summer heat. The Donau is an underrated feature of Vienna that has a large part to do with what makes this such an awesome summer city. Check out our list of the best spots on the Danube for a swim!
10. It also has beaches! Dozens of landlocked beach bars!
Sinking your feet into the sand and looking up to see baroque buildings staring down at you is a bizarre scenario when you think about it, but that’s what makes it such a unique Vienna summer experience. While the ocean may be missing when sitting in one of the deck chairs of the city’s many beach bars, these sandy spots still work in giving you that holiday vibe. Here’s a list of the city’s best beach bars.
11. And you can even go surfing here too!
Who needs waves when you’ve got a kite, or a paddle (wink, wink).
12. You like to hike? The Wienerwald has got you covered.
If summer means long walks in nature for you, Vienna’s surrounded by endless possibilities to play out these adventures by foot. The Wienerwald has a wealth of walking trails suited to all kinds of hikers. We’ve also got a list of a few nature walks that we love around Vienna.
13. The open air summer events
There’s no shortage of fantastic outdoor events happening in Vienna throughout summer, from open air cinema to food festivals. While there will be less happening in the year of Corona, there’s still plenty on offer. Keep an eye on our week and weekend event guides to stay up-to-date.
14. The city could just about rival Rome with the number of gelaterias on its streets
It seriously blows our mind how many ice cream places open up in Vienna every summer. The tongues of this city’s occupants just can’t get enough of the sweet and smooth goodness of gelato which has led to Vienna becoming an ice cream lover’s paradise. Check out some of the special spots to slurp at an ice cream.
15. It hosts a mild summer climate (besides the few weeks of heat waves)
Even though most people will tell you Vienna’s summers are getting hotter, the majority of Vienna’s summertime bounces around the 20 to 30 degree range (besides a few weeks of a heat wave) which makes it just the right temperature if your not a fan of extremely high temperatures.
16. During those few weeks of heat wave, you can experience a heat like your in the tropics so with a bit of imagination…
But if you do prefer a tropical climate and you can find a palm tree, a monkey and some busker performing ‘No women, no cry’ you can try imagining yourself onto some Thailand beach.
17. The possibilities for summer weekend and day trips are plentiful!
One of the greatest things in Vienna is that you can leave it behind for a day, or a weekend within the space of 20 minutes. That’s right, the city is surrounded by great summer escapes, not to mention the dozens of swim-worthy lakes these areas host. Summer and its surrounding areas are a playground for summer lovers. Check out our guide to awesome city escapes from Vienna and our guide to the best nature escapes from Vienna – all accessible by train.
18. It’s the perfect city for you and your bike
Vienna is made for bike enthusiasts with bike lanes on streets everywhere in the city. We highly recommend on a sunny day, jumping on a bike (or hiring one of the free city bikes) and pedalling your way around the city. Perhaps pack your swimming gear and plan a pool, or a river to be at your end destination.
19. Vienna’s wine fever that explodes during the warmer months is something to experience
The Heurigen (wine taverns) culture of Vienna is at its best during the summer months. From the first wine festivals in May to the last of them in September, Vienna has a very special relationship with wine and a unique culture around consuming it in the most beautiful of settings. Escaping to the city’s very accessible wine growing areas (within the city limits!) is a summer experience like no other. Check out our guide to Vienna’s wine growing and Heuriger regions.
20. You literally have the city to yourself!
With few tourists hitting up Vienna this year, there’s a less populated calm on the streets of Vienna for those that are left over. The stores are emptier and if you drive, you’ll always find a park on the street. So you could say it’s like a Vienna Sunday every day of the week.