Summer in Vienna I hear you say, but isn’t it a winter destination? There is much to be said about Vienna and all of Austria for that matter as being the winter destination of Europe. To say Vienna is just for winter however is to sell the city short as it sports a pretty rocking summer lineup that shouldn’t be missed by anyone.
I have to admit that Vienna had never been on my list of must do summer destinations. I’d looked to Spain the year before and had eyed up southern Europe again for this year. That was until an invitation from the Vienna Tourism Board landed in my inbox asking me if I’d want to come and sample summer in Vienna.
So what does summer look like in Vienna then? How does 40+ degree days of sweltering heat start you off? I was stunned to see the mercury rise so high, the heat just radiated off the Opera House and every other building we passed throughout the city.
When the city heats up the locals make for the Old Danube. Here you can swim, paddle boat or motor boat your way around the waters enjoying the sun and fun atmosphere. The motor boat was my toy of choice and even though its speed won’t break any records you will certainly have plenty of time to just chill out.
If water isn’t your thing then maybe spending the afternoon at Prater, Vienna’s very own amusement park is. Especially when its star attraction is a giant ferris wheel (Wiener Riesenrad) at the entrance to the park. While you will find many attractions to entertain yourself the ferris wheel has a lovely bit of old world charm and a beautiful view about it that makes the ride with it.
All of this sun and fun does require an investment in food and no other does it better than a good old Wiener Schnitzel. The best place in town (so I’ve been told) is Plachutta’s Gasthaus zur Oper and after enjoying a schnitzel there I’d have to agree.
With pamphlets on the table detailing how to cook the perfect schnitzel at home and a good choice of beer to wash it down I don’t think you can go wrong here.
And then as night falls an evening spent in the Museum Quarter is a must. Surrounded by museums you will find a thriving nightlife as people socialise by dipping their feet into the water feature, relaxing on the mass of seating all while enjoying a cold beer under the night sky.
I’ve got to admit it felt just like a nightclub under the stars and when its hot in Vienna you want to be outside at night enjoying the evening air. It’s also the most people I’ve ever seen having this much fun near a museum so if you’d like to travel Europe and have stories of how much fun you had near a museum to keep the family happy this is the place to be.
Finally everybody needs a place to sleep when visiting Vienna and for that I’d recommend the 25 Hours Hotel. Themed in a unique circus style through out and located at the top of the building instead of the bottom it provides a great viewpoint to see the city and relax.
The rooms are to put it simply… huge. So big that even thought I’d managed to spread my belongings from one side to the other you could hardly tell I’d was there. You can even find a kitchenette if you fancy staying in for the night and cooking but when your located some 5 minutes walk from the Museum Quarter I’d suggest staying outside.
I’d always thought of Vienna as a destination to get me into the land of snow, now I’m thinking it might just be my next summer weekend escape. What’s your take on Vienna, do you prefer it during the summer or winter. I’d love to know what your take was on this amazingly versatile city is in the comments below.
A small side note that while all views are entirely mine, my trip to Vienna was sponsored by the Vienna Tourism Board.