Unlike its German-speaking cousin, Berlin—a capital famous for its hedonistic 24/7 party lifestyle—Vienna has a more timid, cleaner image. However, Austria’s capital city has a surprisingly lively nightlife within the city’s subcultures—here are a few of the best places to check out for a memorable evening.
Founded in the 1980s—an infamous decade for after-hours partying—this old-school discotheque hosts nostalgic club nights that will carry patrons through until sunrise and beyond. Located in the up-and-coming neighborhood of the 6th District, TITANIC attracts young crowds and raucous revelers who go hard. A little on the snug side, this club encourages some intimacy on the dance floor.
TITANIC, Theobaldgasse 11, 1060 Wien
Once an oasis for calm and relaxation, this venue was converted from a spa into a nightclub in the 1970s. Much of the sauna’s original structure still exists today, cleverly intertwined with the new architecture of the bar and dance floor.
Pratersauna, Waldsteingartenstraße 135, 1020 Wien, +43 0664/2502022
Discreetly tucked away down Mariahilfastrasse’s backstreet of the mainstream-shop infested high street, this inconspicuous bar is full of hidden corners and vibrant street-style artwork on the walls. Open from Monday-Wednesday until 2 am and Thursday to Saturday until 4 am, Elektro Gönner has been serving Vienna’s bustling nightlife for over 12 years. Regular DJ nights take place throughout the year, and a summer garden opens up in the warmer months.
Elektro Gönner, Mariahilfer Str. 101, 1060 Wien, +43 1 208 6679
Donau Kanal provides an unofficial meeting place for Vienna’s 20-somethings. During the summer months, the promenades lining the canal—a former arm of the River Danube—and always bustle with activity. Simply hanging out, swinging your legs over the edge with a few cans, and watching the sunset over the water is a perfectly good way to spend the evening in Vienna. There are also a few exciting festivals and free music events to check out. If the weather allows, take a nighttime dip around the Danube Island as well.
Primarily a gallery specialising in art inspired by the German Fluxus movement, Fluc is also one of the best places in Vienna to discover new musical acts. With a particular focus on homegrown bands, avant-garde artists and American indie-bands, this long-established club is a pivotal driving force of the city’s music scene. The concerts upstairs are usually priced at €5–15, and the fee to access downstairs is minimal.
Fluc, Praterstern 5, 1020 Wien, +43 1 9254634
Wonderfully garish, the centrally-located Club-U attracts a mixed crowd. Otto Wagner, the Austrian architect behind the Secession Building, designed the art-nouveau style pavilion where the bar now stands—making for an odd combination of classy exterior and swarms of patrons inside. The downstairs has a nostalgic, 80s vibe complete with palm trees, neon light, and quintessential-sticky floors. The outdoor smoking area provides a platform for some late-night chats over beers—a fine place to watch daylight creep in over the city’s central landmarks.
Club-U, Karlsplatz, 1010 Wien, +43 01 5059904
Similar to Berlin in its tastes, many Viennese prefer electronic music and possess a particular fondness for techno. Grelle Forelle, located in the 9th District on the banks of the Donau Kanal, is one of the best places to catch electronic music that showcases new artists every weekend. The programme often features fresh and exciting acts, with hip-hop and house artists among the torrent of techno.
Grelle Forelle, Spittelauer Lände 12, 1090 Wien
An intriguingly-named techno night taking place numerous times a year in the 1st District.
Check their Facebook page for details of upcoming events.
Once a year, the Akademie of Fine Arts hosts its end-of-semester show. Presenting the public with the opportunity to see some fresh-faced work, the exhibit showcases work created by students of one of the Europe’s finest art schools. The main venue, the Semper Depot, is a beautifully striking and vast space lined with wooden balconies around the edges and gigantic, high-reaching windows. When the exhibition winds down, the after parties start stirring, promising some unforgettable-evening antics.
Semperdepot, Lehargasse, Vienna, Austria, +43 1 588160
Karaoke nights—taking place every Wednesday under the name ‘No More Wonderwall’—are a highlight of this kitsch club in the 5th District. Boasting an inclusive vibe and friendly bar staff, check out their website for details about the latest upcoming events and club nights.
Smoky, smug, and with a slightly sleazy edge, Café Einhorn’s low-lit basement encourages some serious, undisturbed drinking sessions from tankards of tipple, Austrians’ beer of choice. The cigarette clouds tend to be pretty thick, so consider avoiding until the 2018 smoking ban if this is an issue.
Café Einhorn, Joanelligasse 7, 1060 Wien, +43 01 5863212