Austria’s capital city is an amazing place to spend the summer. The beautiful baroque buildings look glorious in the sunshine, and there are plenty of parks, al fresco cafes and rooftop bars to enjoy when the weather heats up. Vienna’s special summer events, concerts and festivals will keep you busy too.
If you’re looking for things to do in Vienna over the summer holidays, here are our top picks…
Take a dip in the Danube
There’s no better place to cool off than Europe’s second longest river. On the hottest days in Vienna, you can take a break from sightseeing for a refreshing dip in the Old Danube. Take a paddle boat out onto the river, go for a swim in the fresh water, or just enjoy sitting at a bankside bar with an icy drink. This serene riverside spot is close to the city centre (just a few subway stops away) so you can combine sightseeing and relaxing with ease.
Grab a bite at the market
The Naschmarkt is Vienna’s most famous foodie spot, with over 120 food stalls and restaurants offering tasty treats from across the globe. Everything from Indian and Italian to Turkish and Lebanese cuisine is offered here, with something for every palette. The market is open all year round, but summer is the best time to go if you want to enjoy the al fresco dining options and special summer cocktails.
Blue Route, Stop: Haus des Meeres / Aqua Terra Zoo
Enjoy Vienna's music scene
Beethoven’s former home is known as the ‘city of music’ thanks to its thriving concert halls, opera houses and music history. And it lives up to its name by putting on a packed schedule of open-air concerts and live performances throughout the summer, which are mostly free to enjoy. Every year around June, the Vienna Philharmonic performs an open-air concert with free admission in the gorgeous gardens of the Schönbrunn Palace. And, from April to September the Vienna State Opera broadcasts selected performances live on 50 metre screens in the Herbert-von-Karajan Square.
Blue Route, Stop: Schönbrunn Palace
Browse the museum
Vienna’s Museum Quarter is filled with art galleries and museums, and most of them are free to enter. The opulent, gold and white exteriors of the buildings are worth seeing alone, and there are usually outdoor art installations and exhibits for you to enjoy while you stroll around. There are plenty of cafes, restaurants and bars with outdoor seating areas. So, grab a slice of strudel and ice cream and settle down for a spot of people watching.
Red Route, Stop: Museumsquartier / Mariahilfer Straße
Ride the Big Wheel
In Vienna’s second district, Leopoldstadt, you’ll find the city’s oldest amusement park - the Wurstelprater. This traditional fairground-style park is free to enter, with rides, attractions and restaurants you can pay for onsite. The most famous attraction is the Wiener Riesenrad – a Ferris Wheel from which you can see almost the entire city on a clear day. There are also rollercoasters, bumper cars and ghost trains to keep you entertained, plus two traditional Viennese restaurants where you can refuel with a schnitzel or two.
Red Route, Stop: Prater
Enjoy cocktails with a view
You can’t visit a city without getting a panoramic view, and summer is the perfect time to enjoy a tipple at one of the many rooftop bars in Vienna. Head to the Atmosphere rooftop bar at the Ritz Carlton and enjoy almost 360 degree views of the surrounding sights. Or, pick the 75-metre-high Le Loft in Hotel Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom, where you can sip cocktails, tuck into French/Asian fusion cuisine and enjoy spectacular views over the city.
There’s also Sky Bar at the top of the Steffl department store, which is a firm favourite with locals. And over summer, there are live lounge music performances on the outdoor terrace opposite Stephansdom.
Red Route, Stop: House of Music
Ready to take on Vienna? There’s so much more that this European capital city has to offer – with palaces and cathedrals to explore, and iconic dishes and drinks and tuck into. Check out our Vienna bus routes for more inspiration and start planning your trip to this theatrical city.