• Summer days on the Old Danube

    Vienna’s Loveliest Sunny Spots

    Vienna’s sunny spots are as diverse as the city itself. Whether over a cool lemonade at the beach bar, with tasty street food along the Danube Canal or wrapped in a bathrobe at the Old Danube: allow us to introduce you to Vienna’s best sunny spots!

    A Midsummer Day’s Dream

    The warm sand envelops my bare feet and its grains tickle between my toes. The chilled lemonade cools me down. I am lying on one of the many deckchairs at Strandbar Herrmann in downtown Vienna with my eyes closed and sunglasses perched on my nose. The rhythmic feel-good background music blends into the chirpy voices of the people that surround me. I lay my head back and stretch the tip of my nose towards the sun, which covers my face like a soothing veil. A smile creeps across my face. But why?

    Sun: The Happy Maker

    The sun influences our wellbeing on several levels. Our sleep-wake rhythm, hormonal balance, body temperature, and performance are significantly affected by solar radiation. Those who always feel tired might be missing out on their daily dose of sunlight. But how is this linked to energy levels? When it gets dark, the body produces the sleep hormone melatonin, which makes us tired. As soon as it gets lighter outside, we break the melatonin down and our body releases serotonin. This wakes and perks us up. Since the days are longer in the summer months, our serotonin level rises automatically. The result: we feel fitter, more awake, and happier.

    Has this whet your appetite for a long sun session? Here are the best places to enjoy the sun in Vienna.

    Sunny Spots for Bar Enthusiasts

    • 1. Enjoy Cool Drinks on the Beach

      Sun, beach, and more – in the middle of the city: at Strandbar Herrmann, you are literally stranded in the city centre. Take a seat on one of the comfortable deckchairs, stretch your toes into the sand, and allow yourself to be spoilt with refreshing drinks at the two bars and pavilion. In need of a little snack? The beach canteen serves unusual creations such as super fries with truffle and parmesan or Austro burritos with “Blunzen” (blood sausage).

      Strandbar Herrmann
    • 2. Sip a Sundowner up High

      Colourful chairs and a cosy garden atmosphere with views of Vienna: The Rooftop Garden at Hotel Ruby Marie in the heart of the city is an insider tip – even amongst locals. There could hardly be a more comfortable way to enjoy the setting sun than in a Fatboy with a fruity cocktail in your hand and shades on.

      The Rooftop Garden at Hotel Ruby Marie
    • 3. Above the Sharks, Monkeys, and Turtles

      The Haus des Meeres is home to a total of 10,000 animals such as fresh and saltwater fish, insects, birds, and reptiles. If you want to let the sun shine on your stomach like the monkeys and fruit bats in the Tropical House, head up to the 50 metre high roof terrace of the former fire control tower where the 360° Ocean Sky Café-Bar is waiting for you. The name says it all, as the roof terrace offers a panoramic view of the surrounding districts. 

      360° Ocean Sky Café-Bar

    Sunny Spots for Nature Lovers

    • 4. Be a Little Closer to the Sun “Am Himmel”

      40 trees of life, each attributed to a certain period for giving birth, tell their story in Am Himmel in Vienna-Döbling. The sustainable natural setting not only provides a true place to relax in the sun, but also impresses with sweeping views of the metropolis amidst the vineyards of the Vienna Woods Biosphere Reserve.

      Heavenly views
    • 5. Southern Vibes Next to Castles and Museums

      Are you ready to catch some rays beneath exotic plants in the middle of Vienna’s third district? The Botanical Garden of the University of Vienna is not just for botanists, but for all plant fans and nature lovers. From orchids to succulents and Pannonian plants – you will find everything from native flora to unusual exotics here. A recommendation for an extra helping of culture after soaking up the sun: Belvedere Palace and the Museum of Military History are just around the corner. 

      The Botanical Garden of the University of Vienna

    Sunny Spots for Water Lovers

    • 6. Dangling Your Feet in the Cool Water From a Rowing Boat

      It’s just ten minutes by underground from St. Stephan’s Cathedral to the Old Danube. Whether by rowing boat, kayak or stand-up paddle board, the calm water of the former branch of the Danube is a real paradise for water sports. A little tip: rowing is a lot easier with a filled picnic basket and in good company.

      The Old Danube
    • 7. Amidst Protected Nature

      Part of the Donau-Auen National Park is in the east of Vienna, where the Lobau – a true sun magnet across 2,300 hectares – awaits water and nature lovers. The natural bathing areas entice with protected nature, free entry, and swans instead of lifeguards. Animal and plant protection is of great importance here, which is why bathing is only allowed in designated areas. 

      Natural bathing areas in the Lobau

    Sunny Spots for Culture Vultures

    • 8. Sun Paired With Cultural Delights

      The Museumsquartier is home to more than 60 cultural institutions, from visual and performing arts, fashion, theatre, and dance to literature and new media. Variety is not just to be found in the museums: the numerous sunny spots in the inner courtyards of the MQ invite you to relax, providing a tranquil feel-good oasis in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city.

      The inner courtyards of the MQ
    • 9. Sunshine Meets Imperial Hunting History

      A primeval part of the Vienna Woods on the outskirts of Vienna: that’s the Lainz Game Reserve. Affectionately called the “Palace of Dreams” by Empress Elisabeth, the Hermes Villa stands in the middle of the former imperial hunting area and combines cultural history with relaxation. Feeling hungry after all that fresh air? Not to worry, Restaurant Hermes will cater for you with Viennese cuisine and game specialities. 

      Lainz Game Reserve

    Sunny Spots for Gourmets

    • 10. A Place That Does Sun and Fine Cuisine Justice

      He has already cooked for Prince Charles and star tenor Placido Domingo. We are talking about Ivo Brnjic, the trendy restaurateur and passionate chef of the café at the magnificent Palace of Justice. And it’s not just judges who are welcome here, but all gourmets can enjoy Austrian delicacies such as Viennese Tafelspitz (boiled beef) on the roof of the Palace of Justice – in casual clothes if they desire. In addition to sunny panoramic views of Vienna, the fair prices do this establishment justice. Enjoy!

      On the roof of the Palace of Justice
    • 11. Summery Local Mile for Gourmets

      There could be no better place to end a mild summer evening than the Danube Canal. Cool beats, chilled drinks, and a gourmet journey from Oriental street food to tasty burgers (with or without meat) and classic Heuriger specialities await. A little tip: take a big appetite and work your way through everything.

      The Danube Canal

    Authors: Laura Elsayed and Corinna Meyer

    It’s Staying Sunny

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