Of course you can have a fun and memorable night out in any bar, depending on your company. Hey, we’ve had some of our best nights in a park with a few bottles of wine, cans of beer, a inflatable pool toy, and a bunch of friends. But how about those nights when you want the setting to already start a conversation, and the surroundings ensure an experience?
We’ve put some thought into selecting bars in Vienna that standalone as truly special, and that you wouldn’t find anywhere else in the world. What really sets these 14 bars apart? The feeling that the experience you’re having there, couldn’t quite be had anyplace else.
Das Loft – Unique Bars
Where: Praterstrasse 1, 1020
Unique factor: Well, to start with, the view from Das Loft is one unique thing about sipping a well made drink at this bar. For the second ‘wow’ factor, look up to the roof, which should mesmerise you for a few minutes.
Perched on the 18th floor of the Sofitel hotel, Das Loft bar is a special experience to be saved for those special occasions when you just feel like spoiling yourself. Slip into those high heels, or a tie, or both and shoot up to Das Loft where you can look over the city like you own it, while sipping on some of the quality drinks in the menu, from a great wine selection to a lengthy gin list. Meanwhile, they’re known for getting creative with their cocktails, as well.
© Photo courtesy of Das Loft
Tanzcafe Jenseits – Unique Bars
Where: Nelkengasse 3, 1060
Unique Factor: It’s a quirky place this one, the kind where people arrive late at night and stay until dawn. While the velvet and tapestry everywhere makes you want to order a cognac and a cigar (which is totally doable), the trashy music makes you want to get those hips moving to anything from Soul to Funk, retro-Pop, or local Schlagers. This brothel turned bar (wait, did we mention that already?) is where bohemian meets a sassy atmosphere.
Entering this late night bar is like entering another era: the music is from forgotten times, the design of the place hasn’t been changed in decades and some people that linger around look like they’re in their own living room. Tanzcafe Jenseits has a dim-lit, Jazz bar atmosphere where you can get a glass of wine and a cigar at a decent price, dance to a DJ most nights of the week and catch the sunrise with drunk strangers who could possibly become your friends before the night’s through.
The bar opens around 8pm but things really start happening after midnight, when the most diverse people leave other bars and parties behind and gather here to save the night.
© Photo courtesy of Tanzcafe Jenseits
Das DonauTechno – Unique Bars
Where: Karl-Schweighofer-Gasse 10 / A, 1070
MON-THU 8pm – 4am
FRI-SAT 8pm – 6am
SUN 8pm – 2am
Unique Factor: So many things make this place unique! Every night of the week there is a different underground DJ spinning records at this legendary place that prides itself on its sound system. The high walls are flooded by a special visual light installation that changes regularly. The drinks are cheap and good and the place even hosts the only indoor Würstelstand (sausage stand) in the city.
Considered a local institution for Techno music, Das Donau is a well hidden place behind the Museumsquartier, with no signs, or branding outside to draw attention to it. To find it, should just turn up at the address and walk through its thick metal door. The first impact as you walk in is truly surprising: a huge space with high ceilings and arches that remind you of a church, flooded in bold light decorations and a laid back atmosphere. There’s typically a DJ playing sets of Techno, Electronic or Dubstep, 7 nights a week. On some nights, you will find this place packed with people dancing and bouncing while on the quiet nights, you’ll find small groups of friends enjoying drinks and a chat. This is surely one of the best places for a unique experience on a weeknight, in a city that isn’t famous for “never sleeping.”
Spelunke – Unique Bars
Where: Taborstrasse 1, 1020
Unique factor: The interior design of Spelunke is certainly out there in such a way that if you drink too much, it may have you mistaking a night out for some kind of dream.
Pronouncing the name of this place after a couple of their tasty drinks is only half the fun. This place swings between being a restaurant with an interesting and eclectic menu, and a bar that serves up stellar drinks and has an interior that makes for the perfect setting for a fun night out. The walls are like a gallery of street art, with all kinds of quirky images making up the murals (no spoilers, we’ll let you see it for yourself). The staff are super nice, and the drinks menu is a quality mix.
Puff – Unique Bars
Where: Girardigasse 10, 1060
FRI & SAT: 7pm–4am
Unique factor: This weird and wonderful bar is housed in what used to be a brothel, which is called a Puff in German, hence the name. The atmosphere of the old brothel still lingers, but not in an uncomfortable kind of way. Just enough to know you’re drinking in a place that has history.
If you haven’t already, here’s your chance to visit one – a puff (translation: Brothel). However, here while a ‘puff cock’ can be ordered, STD’s and blowjobs are not on the menu, yet rather very sexy tasty cocktails (STC’s – we dubbed that!). The black booths from this location’s former days as a brothel remain, while kooky touches like the mirrored lights on the ceiling, the alto saxophone horn lampshades, and the waiters in the classic cocktail bar attire of white shirts and black vests make this place a novelty to visit. With a young team on deck, the creations being mixed up behind the bar are original and daring.
If Dogs Run Free – Unique Bars
Where: Gumpendorfer Straße 10, 1060
Unique Factor: This place is more than a bar. Actually, on first impression, it’s hard to define what this place is – a cocktail bar or a dark corner of your subconscious in which hard liquor is served. But that’s the idea, according to part owner Gregorio. “The space itself is meant to invite fantasy – just like the name, the space should invoke that ambiguous question – ‘what if?’”
There are the old school classics – the Old fashion, the Margarita, the Boulevardier. While you see cocktail mixologist across the city nowadays, this place opened in 2012 when cocktails were the new hot girl/ guy at school in Vienna. The difference between ‘dogs’ and the others is that here, they’re mad scientists rather than mixologists, with a serious commitment to their booze. You can also go for the original shots – Russian cocaine, Piranha, or Pickleback. It sounds like the mad hatters tea party, doesn’t it? The ingredients combination is as odd as their names: Russian Cocaine: a vodka shot glass with a coffee-sugar-dipped lemon on top, the Piranha: vodka and Tabasco with a cherry on top, the Pickleback: Irish whiskey and pickled gherkin juice. This is the sort of place you can ask for a recommendation from the bar staff and know you’ll get something outlandish put in front of you. Cocktails change like the seasons here, so keep your eye on their Facebook site for updates on their new cocktail brews. Oh, and be sure to greet the furry mummy type figure hanging above the stairs down to the toilet.
Tür 7 – Unique Bars
Where: Buchfeldg. 7, 1080
Unique factor: Tür 7 is not on everybody’s radar, and that’s due to it being one of the city’s few speakeasy bars, hidden behind a window display that looks more like a tailors. But inside, there are smartly dressed bar staff putting together some of the finest cocktails in the city.
You wouldn’t know it’s there when walking past it. And you’ll be missing out on a special experience each time you do. Ring the bell out front and you’ll be greeted by one of the talented Tür 7 staff (a couple of whom have one awards for their skills with a cocktail shaker). Most of the furniture (including the bar) is handcrafted, while the atmosphere has bags of calm and class. Combining this with the staff that go above and beyond to make your time there special, this truly is an experience.
Cafe Europa – Unique Bars
Where: Zollergasse 8, 1070
Unique Factor: Café Europa feels like a second living room to many of Vienna’s locals, with its doors (almost) always open. This Viennese institution has been around for 33 years and has always been welcoming to all kinds of people, which is why you might end up sitting between a business man in a suit and a dreadlocked punk. It has somehow managed to stand the test of time, without losing an ounce of its cool. So it looks retro, because it is retro.
The place has a look of its own – a dark turquoise and yellow colour scheme, sweeping bars, eccentric and eclectic lighting, and scattered marble tables surrounded by handsome chairs … and people.
Nabbing a table in the enclaves in front of the huge windows facing the street, you’ll feel like you’re on display in a zoo for the city’s ‘insider crowd,’ the crowd that know that the Café Europa’s dedicated diehard’s drink is Averna with ice and lemon.
Café Europa’s roots ensure that it stands alone, untouched in another league, as trends come and go.
The Birdyard – Unique Bars
Where: Lange Gasse 74, 1080
Opening times (Bar)
Unique Factor: Craft cocktails in a dimly lit atmosphere, this bar is a visual space you’ll want to share all over your social media channels. The dark walls are the canvas for an exotic, bold, street art like painting with a glow-in-the-dark factor to it.
The Birdyard Eatery & Bar features two floors – upstairs being a fancy feeding area (also known as a restaurant), the other being a very special bar. Dark flower and animal paintings cover the walls, which act to wrap you up nicely in a surreal world, and a cosy lounge bar atmosphere. And don’t go thinking that’s just beautiful wallpaper – no, no, no – that’s a real painting, by Romanian artist, Saddo, who spent 45 days working on it.
The drinks on the menu go beyond your standard (while you can, of course, order all the cocktail bar classics, as well) with plenty of original house creations. Every guest is also treated with a special welcome shot and some homemade nuts to ease you into the night. There’s big booths to gather round with friends, or you can perch yourself up at one of the high stools and tables, but make sure to reserve your seats a few days in advance if you want to come by on the weekend – there’s no standing in the second row here. If the bar is full, it’s full.
Loos Bar – Unique Bars
Where: Kärntner Durchgang 7, 1010
Unique Factor: The uniqueness of this bar lies in its interior design. Named after the local famed architect who imagined the space, Adolf Loos, this very tiny location, where you will inevitably chat to the stranger next to you, creates the illusion of endlessness with mirrors all over the place. The cocktail list also seems endless, but the bartenders will happily improvise a creation on the spot for you, if you just describe your tastes and preferences.
Loos bar is one of Vienna’s legendary gems that have survived the test of time, because they’re simply special in what they do, and they do their thing well. So what we’re saying here is – they make damn fine cocktails. You should definitely visit this place at least once in your life, like the hundreds of other tourists that try to squeeze in here on a regular basis. You see it’s not just the drinks that draw people here, but also the guy named Loos who designed the interior. The small, well…tiny bar, hidden in a small alleyway just off of Stephansplatz, has some damn impressive interior architecture designed by the famous Austrian Adolf Loos.
This classic American bar is serving the most exquisite kinds of drinks and almost anything that you can mix with alcohol (their menu has 48 pages). The barmen look so confident in what they’re doing, you might think they were born with a cocktail shaker in hand.
Kaffee Alt Wien – Unique Bars
Where: Bäckerstraße 9, 1010
Unique factor: This being an old Viennese coffee-house, you certainly won’t find such a place anywhere else in the world.The setting and the old school waiters will tell you you’re in a traditional Viennese coffeehouse, but the loud chatter, cigarette smoke and new rounds of pints being constantly ordered make you feel a grungy pub atmosphere that will have you linger for hours. That’s because a coffeehouse is also a pub, a restaurant…actually, it’s whatever you want it to be.
Kaffee Alt Wien has been the haunt of the creative type since the dawn of its own time. It’s like that aged writer that everybody wants to be around for the charisma. As the evening deepens, the crowd thickens with all breeds of people. The place is a relic of days gone by in Vienna before bar designs got the single aim to be “Instagram-friendly”. The lighting is low, and the walls are cluttered with posters of art exhibitions and concerts. Its red velvet benches that line its walls embrace the visitors.
Krypt – Unique Bars
Where: Wasagasse 17, 1090
Unique Factor: A bit of mystery surrounds this cocktail place, given that in order to be let in you have to ring a bell, pass a glass door and go down some stairs before you find yourself in front of bar that aspires to look like a crypt.
Word on the street has it that this is one of the most unique bars in town. We’re not going to confirm, or refute that claim, but rather tell you some special deets’ about it. You have to ring a bell to get into Krypt, at which point you’ll be let in by some handsome bouncer. Give him a kiss on the cheek (this part isn’t obligatory, but we tend to do it anyway) and through you go, into a glass door and down some elegant stairs. At the bottom (or in the crypt), there’s a bar that’ll make you feel like you’re anywhere but in Vienna. Most of the place is made out of marble, while dark wood and bold paintings make up the rest of the eye-catching elements that keep your eyes busy. While the cocktails are pricey, you pay for what you get – the selection is vast and the drinks are damn tasty, and they won’t be what you expect.
Café Espresso – Unique Bars
Where: Burggasse 57, 1070
Unique Factor: A classic vintage-looking spot, from way before the concept was ever considered “cool”. The design elements, the friendly but not trying-too-hard waiters and the occasional DJ who plays a set in a corner of this cafe make Cafe Espresso an original place to meet for drinks. While the name inspires coffee, Espresso Bar is the kind of place where a pint can be enjoyed at breakfast, or a tea can be drank at night, by the fireplace. Timeless and free.
Many hold a deep affection for the living legend of a cafe & bar, the Café Espresso – the kind of love that’s held for charismatic characters.
Sitting on Espresso’s scarlet red leather bench seats, taking in the details of the place: the baby blue walls, the locally famous holy antique Rainer Stadthalle chairs, the faded painting on the wall, the retro light fittings, the squeeling of the old coffee machine – it’s obvious that this place has a story behind it. And we only wish we could have met the character who gave birth to the place in the early 1900s (when the building was built) as only a character could have created such a place.
There is still an aura here that emits the feeling that stories were lived here. The place looks old, and we say this to avoid the word retro or vintage, as Espresso was all these things before the trends had new bars opening up trying to replicate the look. From the sign out front, to the odd-matching lighting and lamps – that play a major role in the look here – the place looks classy kind of old, like your grandfather smelt classy kind of old with that spicy aftershave he always wore.
The Brickmakers Pub & Kitchen – Unique Bars
Where: Zieglergasse 42, 1070
Unique Factor: So. Much. Beer! If you want to immerse yourself in the local craft beer scene, definitely start here. This proper beer pub is huge and stylish, decorated in dark wood and white tiles, there’s a laid-back atmosphere here on any night of the week, and they serve delicious Texas style, slow-cooked BBQ.
A well-known face in Vienna’s craft brew scene, Brickmakers is the bar you head to when you like choice in your life. They have 100s of beers on offer here in a menu that is thicker than the Bible.
They’ve also teamed up with one of the oldest breweries in the country, Brauerei Hofstetten, and launched their own gypsy brewery brand, Me and Uwe. By teaming up with a brewery that has been in the game for many years, and adding their own modern twist to it, they are creating some dynamic brews.
However, Brickmakers doesn’t play favourites, also offering 29 beers on tap from all over the world. Their local selection includes several beers out of Vienna breweries. In addition to this, there’s a massive selection of over 150 bottled beers, many of them from Austrian breweries.
While you’re there, the food is also worth pairing with a beer. Brickmakers is the the only place in town where you can dig into some delicious Texas-style, slow-cooked BBQ.