You know Vienna for its music and culture, for the coffee houses (yes, we did have coffee houses 300 years before Starbucks, or at least that’s what tradition tells us), for the Opera, and for the Imperial history that the city still showcases.
Vienna’s cultural appeal draws a large number of gay and lesbian travellers to the city. Both the State Opera and the Volks Opera offer some of the world’s best opera performances. The new Museums Quartier (MQ for short) is on the list of must-see destinations, and the KunstHaus Wien often showcases major gay-themed exhibits and queer artists from Mapplethorpe to Pierre & Gilles.
And while Vienna does not have a single predominantly gay and lesbian neighbourhood, the city has a quite lively and diverse gay and lesbian scene. Don’t expect a large number of “gay only” places in Vienna, but rather an abundance of “gay friendly” and mixed places throughout town. Many historic figures that have helped shape the city in centuries past are left in the historical closet, Vienna’s young gay couples can be seen walking hand-in-hand along the Ringstrasse Boulevard.
Some of the most fun gay spots in town are located around the Naschmarkt area. The Naschmarkt, a vast open-air food market, is any chef’s dream and connects the 4th with the 6th district of the city. Here one can find the LGBTQ Community centre with the popular Café Willendorf, the ornate Café Savoy, and the twenty-somethings’ hangouts like Village Bar and Mango Bar, among other hotspots.
In recent years, several queer events have taken centre stage in the cultural landscape of the city. The “Wien ist Andersrum” (Vienna is Queer) cultural festival in early June offers a smorgasbord of off-beat cultural performances with LGBTQ sensibilities. While the colourful Loveball at the innovative WUK art and culture centre takes place on the 31st of December and is a great way for gay travellers to ring in the new year. The Rainbow Parade (late June) is one of the fastest growing Pride Events worldwide. In 2019, Vienna hosted Euro Pride, which attracted thousands of visitors and epic parties to the city!