Martin Kuen, left, with Austria’s Eurovision 2018 contestant Cesár Sampson (right) at City Bar in Vienna
Martin Kuen is the friendly owner of the friendliest bar in Vienna, City Bar, located in the central district of Vienna.
With EuroPride coming to Vienna in 2019, the city will possibly welcome over a million visitors for the various celebrations, including the world famous Life Ball that kicks off the festivities. Wanderlust chatted with Kuen about where to go during EuroPride, and what makes Vienna a great city to visit all year.
It’s both international and multi-cultural, as well as having famous traditional and historic sights. It is large enough to live your life as you wish and small enough to not get lost in anonymity. Vienna has many restaurants, bars, and clubs where you can meet your friends, and it is also a very clean city.
Vienna Pride takes place on “The Ring,” the street which circles the center of the Capital. The many party trucks with music ranging from folk-style to deep house or trance music, and the many flamboyantly and sometimes outrageously dressed participants, as well as the many places one can get refreshments along the way, make it a true spectacle worth seeing.
The Riesenrad (the big wheel), in the Wiener Prater in the 2nd district, is a must. Yes, it is a bit touristy, but if you are visiting you are a tourist, so why fight it? From the top of the wheel you will have a wonderful view of the city. Beautiful.
Well, obviously it is always good on weekends to have a sweet “Sex and the City Bar” cocktail at City Bar. A little outside of the center, the 6th district offers some good bars to visit. I really enjoy Village, Felixx, Mango, Red Carpet and the Kiss bar. For a relaxing sauna experience, you should check out Sport Sauna and Römersauna all weekend long. And across the street from my bar, you will find Vienna’s best gay disco, Why Not, definitely one of Vienna’s hotspots of the gay scene.
Luckily Vienna is blessed with a great range of places to wine and dine. One place you should not miss is Sixta in the 5th district—the traditional Austrian food there is amazing, as well as the many international dishes, and the friendly gay couple running the place really make it a must to visit.
I must admit I am not a big coffee drinker. But I do enjoy going to cafes with friends, especially for the awesome Viennese pastries. The places you should check out are Cafe Landtmann, which is a 1-minute walk from the Pride Village, and during the day and especially in summer, the Cafe Savoy is also a nice place to sit outside. Also Cafe Central, although there may be a queue to get in.
Brunching on Sunday is not as widespread here as it may be is in the United States, at least not to my knowledge. But we do love our “Frühschoppen,” which has nothing to do with its loose translation of “early shopping.” It is more of an early afternoon lunch with sometimes live music and, if you like, beer at one of our many microbreweries. My tip would be Fischer Bräu in the 19th district. I love their beer as well as their slightly spicy “beer-spread-bread” (Bieraufstrich Brot).
Bieraufstrich Brot photo by twitter.com/@AndersHusa
Vienna has many nice hotels and hostels. Most of the big hotel chains are here, with their well-known high international standards. I guess they are all good. But if you like it a little more personal, then the Pension Wild, the hotel where the Sport Sauna is, could be a good tip. For the smaller hotels it’s wise to book early, especially if you are planning to come to the EuroPride. One secret tip that I can tell you now is Gabriel’s apartments in Turmburggasse, in the 6th district, just opened in March. I have seen 4 apartments, which can host from 2 up to 6 people, and they are state of the art. So if you are planning to come in a small group this would be an alternative to spending a lot of money on multiple hotel rooms.
I think the Pride Village will be a fun place for all to start their evenings and get into party mode. Pride itself will be epic since it will be the EuroPride and I am certain that all the bars and clubs will be doing their best to make it a week of partying to remember for all that come to Vienna. I am sure every event will be fun.
The City Bar of course! Haha, but seriously, that is the million dollar question. I guess it all depends on who and what you are into. Luckily Vienna has bars for most palettes, twinks and daddies, bears and cubs, leather or lace. Austrians are generally cute so your odds are high to meet at least one on your visit here.