When the sun finally goes down after a hard day’s sightseeing there’s still plenty to keep you occupied in Vienna. From live music to fine dining, from home-grown wines to world famous entertainment, you’ll be spoilt for choice. You can find listings of events and entertainment at the Tourist Office on the Albertinaplatz.
1) Dance till dawn
Vienna may market itself as the home of classical music, but there are plenty of other sounds to be found here. Just ask the crowd at U4, if they can hear you above the beats. This is a high-energy dance club, where people come to see, be seen and dance. From house to rock and even live bands, the music changes regularly, and you might catch a glimpse of a Viennese celeb while you’re partying.
2) Enjoy a cocktail or two
The Loos American Bar is named after Adolf Loos, the Austrian architect who designed it. It feels like an upmarket and exclusive club, but don’t let the polished wood and marble put you off. This is where Vienna’s successful in-crowd of artists and media types come to chillax. Or if you can’t quite find the drink you want, head over to Sky Bar at the Steffi Department Store. There are over 350 cocktails to choose from, and views to die for.
3) Spend a night at the opera
If you only ever see one opera in your life, this is the place to do it. The State Opera is one of the grandest and most opulent opera houses in the world, and the house band’s not bad either. We’re talking about the Vienna Philharmonic of course. There’s a rich and varied repertoire throughout the year, and many of the operas were written by the local talent. Here’s hoping you see something by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven or Schubert, all of whom lived and worked in Vienna.
4) Take a horse-drawn ride
Known as ‘fiaker’, the horse-drawn carriages run through the narrow cobbled streets at night as well as during the day. You can hire one from Stephansplatz or the Albertinaplatz. The main landmarks along the Ringstrasse and elsewhere are lit up at night, making it a magical journey after dark. Your coachman will probably tell you stories and entertain you as you go, but you can always ask him to be quiet if you’re looking for a more romantic experience.
5) Listen to jazz
What type of jazz do you like? Trad, blues, be-bop? You’ll find it all and more at Jazzland, Vienna’s oldest jazz cellar, which is located on Franz-Josefs-Kai. The joint is tiny, the atmosphere is intimate and the sounds are superb. Why not order a meal while you’re here? Or if you’re hungry for more jazz, hop over to Porgy & Bess, at Riemengasse 11. The music can be more modern and unusual than Jazzland, but the experience is just as enjoyable.
6) Sample a Riesling
Vienna is known for crisp white wines, and with 700 hectares of vineyards within the city itself there are plenty of varieties to choose from. If you’re looking for a glass of wine before a meal, head over to the old Jewish Quarter to an area the locals call the Bermuda Dreieck. Yup, that’s the Bermuda Triangle. It probably got its name because of the bewildering amount of bars here – if you’re not careful you could soon find yourself getting lost.
7) Dine the Viennese way
Schnitzel and strudel are the two Viennese staples, so why not sample both in one meal? Wiener schnitzel is veal rolled in breadcrumbs and fried, and strudel is a pastry, filled with just about whatever takes your fancy. For what some people say is the best schnitzel, head over to Schnitzelwirt on Neubaugasse. Wash everything down with a glass of Wiener Gemischter Satz, a home-grown wine that’s a favourite with the locals.
8) Take a river cruise
Before the evening truly sets sail, how about unwinding on the river? After a long day’s sightseeing it gives you the chance to relax and look out on all the landmarks you’ve seen so far. Boats depart from Schwedenplatz dock, and you’ll be able to watch the sunset from the deck. You can also book tickets for a longer dinner cruise.
9) See a show
Live music, plays, experimental theatre, it’s all happening at Brut, an events space in the Karlsplatz. While you’re here order your interval drinks at the bar, it’s a great little space to hang out and see the culture vultures of Vienna nightlife mingle and chat.