Here are our 18 wonderful things that happened in Vienna last year that we’re thankful for.
1. We got to know our neighbours better
With everyone staying home for longer periods of time this year, meeting neighbours in the hallway, sharing a few conversations here and there made our days brighter. Some neighbours even went as far to go shopping for people in the so-called “Covid-19 high risk group”.
2. Toilet paper
It may have divided the entire country, but we all appreciated toilet paper. Especially when we were able to snatch the last pack in the supermarket. Well, we atleast expressed our appreciation for the stuff when lockdowns were announced.
3. The beautiful architecture and nature to be found in Vienna and its surroundings (along our many Lockdown walks)
4. The food and drink scene in Vienna only got better
Despite gastronomy having to close down, or having to find delivery solutions to keep their doors open, with the likes of Café Habakuk, Fritz von Stuwer, Chop Chop, Vevi, Everybody’s Darling opening up in Vienna (along with countless other awesome additions), this city’s drinking and dining scene upped its game in 2020 and become a lot more varied in what it has to offer.
5. People got creative with streaming, like Vienna Würstelstand hosting one hell of a party live stream, Isolation Nation
On one night in March, in the empty Viennese club, The Loft, some of the city’s best DJs played to a crowd of tens of thousands. A crowd of thousands that streamed the party into their living rooms. It was one hell of a great party. Similarly, there were many people that creative by streaming all kinds of cool events throughout the lockdown periods.
6. The medical staff (and the many other essential workers)
While we all retreated to our homes, Vienna’s medical staff were on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19.
7. For the cafés that offered coffee-to-go or delivered specialty coffee beans to your house during the lockdowns
Without them, we would have found it even more difficult to survive.
With all the great cafes being closed and everyone doing home office, we really appreciated the cafes that kept going and offered take away options. We truly needed our daily intake of high quality coffee to power through these exhausting times.
8. That we could celebrate Global Pride in Vienna even during a pandemic
This year was the first Global Pride festivities at the end of June to take place in the virtual world.
In addition, there was a rainbow parade that made its way around the Ringstraße, where people joined in their cars, or on bikes.
Plus, in a sign of solidarity of the LGBTQI+ rights movement, people joined in at home by participating in the “Fensterl Parade” which saw people celebrating pride by decorating their windows and partying inside their apartments.
During difficult times, we find it to be even more important to come together, somehow, and express unity and love.
9. People in Vienna stood up for things they believe in and for something that is bigger than themselves
Thousands of people took to the streets during summer, protesting in support of the worldwide movement, Black Lives Matter. It was uplifting to see the number of people supporting these causes and speaking out against them during a time when all of these people are probably also individually facing challenges of their own.
10. The U6 is finally air-conditioned!
We’ve all been waiting for this for far to too long. Rides to the river will be much more enjoyable now – thanks Wiener Linien!
11. Swimming in the Donaukanal became a thing. Kinda’.
No, we’re not talking about the pool on the Badeschiff. The “Schwimmverein Donaukanal” attempted this year to revive the once popular past-time of swimming in the canal, and the Kunst Haus Vienna provided lockers and changing cabins for keen swimmers.
When we first heard about this, we thought it was a prime example of fake news, however, there really was a pop-up pool set up right in the middle of a junction close to the Westbahnhof train station, right on the Gürtel. Open throughout August, it was big enough for six people to bob about in it and enjoy the cool water amongst the urban setting. Rumour has it that the pool will see a come back next year.
13. The water mist machines that were installed around the city during this summer
Thanks to these mist machines, we never had to shower at home throughout summer in Vienna. HAHA – just joking…or are we?!
14. That Neubaugasse got an upgrade and is now so many different kinds of awesome thanks to it becoming pedestrian street!
The beloved street of the 7th district, Neubaugasse, was given a face lift this year and it’s taken on so many new kinds of awesome because of it. Paved over with nice, fancy new bright pavement, it’s now a pedestrian zone (well, a so-caled shared zone) like Mahü. This allows restaurants and cafes a long the street to breath with their Schanigärten, and a shopping stroll is so much nicer nowadays.
15. Vienna has become even more of a cyclists heaven
More bike paths were added and more bikers hit the streets as they tried to avoid public transport with the whole COVID thing going down. Each year, Vienna’s becoming more and more like a bike-lovers dream city (watch out you Dutchies! Here we come!).
Ponting out that it wasn’t an easy year for the city’s nightclubs is an understatement. The clubbing scene is sure to look a whole lot different after a year of closures due to Covid. However, with all the clubs being closed, an outpouring of support and appreciation has been flowing throughout the year. Without them in our lives, we feel a whole lot more appreciative for them and we can wait to go nuts in one once things open up again. Until then – Vienna’s clubs – we love you and hang in there. Oh, and to the clubs that got creative and moved outdoors during summer (we’re particularly looking at you Das Werk) – well played…well played indeed.
17. How Austria has a lot to offer as a holiday destination, even for people living in Vienna – one word: Hallstatt
Wasn’t it nice to see everyone in Hallstatt this year?! Instagram was flooded with people’s vacay snaps in this lakeside town. Meanwhile, Austria became the setting for many people’s holidays this year with the numerous difficulties faced when traveling abroad. This led to many people discovering how damn beautiful the different regions of Austria are.
18. Vienna made international news, and was voted most liveable forest city in the world. Wait, what?!
Remember when Trump put Austria, and Vienna, on the map by talking about our fine home city as a forest city?! Good times. The spin-off benefit of this was the countless memes we could have a good laugh at after Trump-meister let this well-kept secret out of the bag (wink).
19. Living in a city that offers such a great variety when it comes to food delivery
The people of Vienna did a fair bit of ordering in this year (for obvious reasons), meaning they city’s restaurant noticeably upped their food delivery game.
20. How restaurants have gotten creative and are offering unique food delivery & take away experiences
Some local restaurants have taken their delivery service up a notch, and have cleverly adapted to the restrictions by offering something special, uniquely designed for delivery or take away. From a speakeasy taqueria selling tacos from the window, to a Gasthaus delivering gourmet meals and a wine bar serving up gourmet Döner – be sure to check out our guide!
21. Vienna Würstelstand is throwing another party live stream – Club Social Dis-Dance New Year’s Eve Party!