Did you think that going on a tour is lame, something to be ashamed of and not interesting for locals? Think again! There are plenty of cool tours out there that will make you go ‘wowza, didn’t actually know this about this cool town of ours’.
You gotta check out one of those 7 awesome tours that will show you a different side of Vienna:
When by appointment only, get in contact with the organisers space and place, here.
Meeting spot? Augarten
What will you learn on this tour in a few words: about the ugly, but interesting side of Vienna’s architecture
Beautiful has become boring in our world of Instagram and in which you rarely see an ugly selfie. While Vienna’s common image resembles an elegant swan wearing a tutu while performing a symphony on a piano it plays with its little beak, on this guided tour you’ll see something like an architectural freak show of 19 buildings that will make you go – “God damn, you ugly!” Printed in the ugliest font known to humankind, Comic Sans, are the words ‘Vienna Ugly’ on paper flapping in the wind on a stick Eugene has obviously snapped off of a tree shortly before the tour’s commencement. Or perhaps it’s all staged, and the stick he picked up a while back with the preconceived idea of how it would add to the whole tour’s ‘ugly’ theme.
Eugene Quinn is a Brit’, and the face of this tour celebrating the lovely ugly of Vienna, while his cheeky wit is what will swallow your attention whole as you hop from building to ugly building in Vienna’s 2nd district, Leopoldstadt. Violent buildings, buildings that look like a mathematical puzzle given up on by a maths professor that’s grown tired of it, a building on which a guy has painted his love life, dedicating every floor to a different past lover – it features an eye on it that cries when it rains and a blue penis spitting sperm. “There’s high competition in Vienna of buildings trying to get onto the Ugly tour,” explains Eugene. This is one very entertaining tour, and also a very informative one.
Also good to know… the organisation behind this tour, space and place, a raft of other kinds of tours, and they’re always different. Keep an eye on their website for details.
What will you learn on this tour in a few words: to see the streets of Vienna through the eyes of somebody living on them
Have you ever stopped to notice those people hanging out in the doorways around the city, or asking passers-by for small change. We’re all guilty of walking on by and offering nothing but a ‘sorry,’ but what this tour challenges you to do is to stop in your tracks, and dedicate some of your time to understanding these people’s lives. It is a truly human experience, and one that will make you feel a buzz – this buzz is the feeling of being human.
These people we walk by everyday are doing it rough, and for some reason have landed on the streets. The Shades Tours Vienna offer you an insight into how some of Vienna’s homeless ended up there, and what life on the street is like. It has been opening people’s eyes for a while now – their tours are led by people from the streets themselves. In a two hour tour, a guide will offer a fascinating insight into their life, and inspire you to open your mind, as they reveal the raw reality of life on the street.
The drill is simple: Gather your friends together and book a group tour on the Shades Tours website, or keep and eye out on their Facebook page for updates about their upcoming tours.
Also good to know… This is a social project run by a lovely crowd which sees a large part of the tour participation costs go to the tour guides who are homeless themselves.
When (May–October) THU–SUN: every full hour from 10am–8pm (last tour 7pm)
Meeting spot? Karlsplatz-Girardipark, 1010
What will you learn on this tour in a few words: about the subterranean world of Vienna’s sewer system and about the film, The Third Man
Even if you don’t know the old Orson Welles film, The Third Man, that was set in Vienna, or even if you don’t give a flying frangipani about the film, this is a tour well worth doing. But you should be prepared to handle some pretty putrid smells when you sign up for it, which is pretty understandable for a tour that heads through the sewers. That’s right, the Third Man tour will give you the rare chance to venture underground and learn about the whole other world down there that was built a long while back. Of course, the main focus of the tour is of the scenes of the Third Man movie that played out down in the sewers where good ol’ Harry Lime is running from the law. We do recommend that if you haven’t seen the film, you do go catch it on the big screen (They have screenings of it regularly showing at the Burg Kino as it is an awesome film if you like the pace of the old classics. It will make the tour more worthwhile and also make it more believable when you spontaneously get into character as Harry Lime during the tour.
What will you learn on this tour in a few words: get to know Vienna from a different perspective while doing some kicking on a Kick Bike!
With this tour offered by the Prime Tours company, you’ll be able to take a look at Vienna from a very different perspective. But only if you’re actually able to keep up with your tour guide as you’ll be cruising through parts of the city on a Kick Bike. You might be passing some parts of town that you’re actually already familiar with but your tour guide will give you fun insights of some random buildings, local customs and habits. So you’ll definitely learn some new fun facts (or also historical facts, depending on your already existing knowledge about the city) while getting some exercise in. Fear not, the tour’s speed and distance will be adapted to the group dynamic aka. stamina of the weakest member and there’ll be plenty of stops for you to catch your breath. Take a look at their promo video and you’ll get a feeling of what to expect from a Kick Bike tour at Prime Tours:
Also good to know… they offer free walking tours and pub crawls, culinary Kick Bike tours, and street art & photography tours.
Meeting spot? various locations, depending on the tour
We have all heard the classic stories of the good old Vienna – where Sisi was chilling in Schönbrunn, and Mozart was creating magical music. They are all quite nice stories… if you are a tourist. Introducing Secret Vienna, a way to move out of the repetitive historic tours and look at the city through different lenses. These lenses include: uncovering the dark side of Vienna, understanding the lasting impact of the powerful women Vienna had over the years or going through the steps of dictators in Vienna. You can even experience a tour wearing shackles all the time (trust us – not only does it makes sense but it makes for a great experience). These tours are a great plan for locals because they allow you to have the experience of being a tourist in your own city all over again, whether it is walking through streets you would normally not walk by or discovering new information about why some things in Vienna are actually just like that, you can rest assured that you will have an inner feeling of “why the hell haven’t I known this after living here for so long!?” Also, it might happen that while walking you might find out that the building you pass by every day on your way to work has actually 7 subterranean floors! Just sayin’.
We definitely recommend… doing one of their tours as a weekend plan with your partner or friends.
What will you learn on this tour in a few words: how to cruise around in a mini car in Vienna and do some sightseeing on the way
Vienna’s relaxed road rules allow for this unique two-hour tour, which combines a bit of sightseeing with the chance to live out your Grand Prix fantasy. The little go-karts of Hot Rod City Tour have grunt, capable of reaching up to 60kph. You won’t be able to resist stretching this little beasts legs when you feel and hear the rumble beneath you, and your guide says, ‘Ok, let’s ride.’ And we giggled – until the giggle became more like an evil villain’s laugh – as we bounced over the cobblestones of the 1st district and the Stephansdom steeples revealed themselves from behind a building. But that’s enough words – here’s a spoiler revealing why this awesome experience made us go ‘WEEEEEEEEE!’ on wheels:
Also good to know… they also offer Moonlight Tours and other fun themed tours (Sacher Tour, Bachelor/ette Tour). Group tours can also be arranged, all driver licences are accepted.
Meeting spot? Outside the Main Entrance of Stephansdom for the Market Tours and outside the Karlskirche for the Evening Tours.
What will you learn on this tour in a few words: You will catch a slightly different side of Vienna, a little out of your normal comfort zone.
A tour for people who have maybe found themselves in the same parts of Vienna, district-centric people or, for those who have just stepped off the boat and are ready to step out of the first district.
Wolfie and his team could take you on a number of different routes depending on who your guide is, with the aim being for them to show you their ‘Grätzel’. The second aim is to stuff you so full of food that you can barely complete the tour itself. We won’t reveal exactly where we went, because that would spoil the fun! We will tell you that you should definitely go hungry, as we ate our way through most of Vienna’s best sweet treats, switched to savoury before finishing with a Krapfen that was so light and fluffy that it was like eating an apricot stuffed cloud. And this from a district we had lived in, from a shop we had walked past, but never thought to go in. But these guys know these things.
With the recent introduction of their evening tours that follow roughly the same premise, except swapping the Coffee for Alcohol (soft drinks also available on request obviously) and the Wolfie promising more and exciting tours on the way, he mentioned something about wine… This is a site to keep an eye on as it will be a very good one for when people come to visit who have already been a few times.
Also good to know… The Australian firm is world wide, meaning that getting involved in one makes the others easier to find and, discounted, with all the tours semi connected.