The Flex – even the name has a devious ring to it if you live in this city. Down the stairs off of Augartenbrücke, nestled into the stretch of promenade between the U4’s subway tracks and the Donaukanal (Danube canal), lives an old women of Vienna’s clubbing scene named Flex.
As one of Vienna’s first clubs, and a nightlife legend ever since, she hasn’t lost any of her bad-ass attitude, or taste for the party. After 20 years, the event venue/underground party location still delivers the goods, attracting international music acts, and producing severe memory lapses. And it still looks like the dark insides of a cocaine addict’s nostril.
Its beginning involved a bunch of heavily pierced punks founding its beating heart in a squat nearby one New Year’s Eve, where they hosted a bunch of hardcore punk bands. After a a couple of years, they moved to the Flex’s current location, in an underground subway shaft. It’s been in the headlines its whole life, with people claiming it has a drug problem, but most good clubs do attract such a scene. However, these days, she’s mostly clean. So you could say this place has a history.
The adjoining Flex Café opened 8 years back to give night strollers and club goers the opportunity to start on a few drinks and prep their minds before entering into the grungy dungeons of the club. Its neon lights out front act like a lighthouse for the party revellers.
What kind of night will you have?
Their outdoor sea of black chewing-gum ridden bench seats and tables is the site of vorglühen (warm-up drinks) for many. That is, until the time comes for Flex to swallow them whole into one of its sweaty parties inside. It’s not uncommon to find yourself spat out at 6am, walking home watching the sunrise after an evening at the Flex. One can’t resist this venue’s rebellious, trainspotting, cigarettes-and-beer, I-haven’t-showered-for-week aura!
Music: the Flex Café mostly plays ambient electronic music, that gets you in the mood for more, but doesn’t get in the way of a good conversation. Sometimes, their small stage features live concerts.
Inside the Flex Club, you’ll experience all kinds of electronic music blasted on the sound system (once rumoured to be Europe’s best) that will make your hair stand on end. It’s most famous for hosting small concerts from rap, indie rock, hip hop and all other kinds of music that will make you want to jump around a whole lot and get really sweaty.
We also like… their regular clubnights eg. a night of indie rock, London Calling. See their Facebook page for more details.
What the drinks menu looks like
Cup deposit = 1.50€
Beer 0.2l/0.5l = 1.70€/3.40€
Weißer Spritzer = 2.40€
Whiskey Coke = 5.90€
Gin Tonic = 4.90€
Shot = 2.80€
Food: French fries (freshly prepared in front of your eyes)!
How much money should you bring?
Three vodka shots = 9€ (including tip)
Three beers and two weißer Spritzer = 16€ (including tip)
One bottle of Smirnoff + 6 Red Bull = 100€ (including tip)
Dont’ forget to return those cups, watch out for people stealing them!
Pay with card: No!
Nearest bank: Erste Bank Ringturm just up the stairs
Where to go next, or beforehand
Clubs: Badeschiff, Das Werk, Grelle Forelle
Other bars: the various bars along the Donaukanal (eg. Adria, Tel Aviv Beach, Hafenkneipe), but these are only open in summer.
Food: Plenty of fast food stands can be found at nearby Schwedenplatz in the early hours of the morning.
How to get home
The U4 station Schottenring is just 2 minutes away, and so are the tramlines 1 and 31. You can also walk up to Schwedenplatz where you’ll find the U1 subway line. The Ring is full of taxis. If you live within the inner districts, a nice walk along the Donaukanal is also a recommended option as the sun is coming up.