It’s June, and that means, it’s almost summer! That’s why Spotted by Locals selected 10 spots together with its Spotters to enjoy the sun. This time we are taking you through Vienna. Have a Grüner Veltliner white wine near the old Donau at Zur Alten Kaisermühle, visit the Koreahaus & Donaupark by the pretty Iris Lake, or rent a bike at Reanimated Bikes to explore this beautiful city! Try grandma’s homemade cake at Vollpension or head to WUK for a truly unique music experience. More than enough sunny spots to explore in Vienna. Grab your sunglasses, put on some comfy shoes and let’s discover this beautiful city!
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WUK – Craft beer & music venue in a train factory
The WUK (Werkstätten- und Kulturhaus) in Vienna is a stellar locale for all bohemian types looking not only for a place to grab a beer but to find an entire community centre full of open-minded, creative & warm people. Situated only two tram stops from Schottentor, the WUK is a unique cross between gastropub, beer garden, cultural centre, and music venue. While just outside the normal tourist track circuit, the WUK makes for an important destination for those looking to see the community workings of Vienna and its eclectic folk.
Zur Alten Kaisermühle – Cozy spot at the old Donau
Zur Alten Kaisermühle, while not that easy to find, is one of the best spots on the old Donau, the closed off-channel of the Danube that now forms a recreational lake. In the warmer months, the restaurant primarily serves a number of tables and bar benches outside on the shore of the channel. The setting is idyllic on a long sunlit evening for a crisp beer or a Grüner Veltliner white wine.
The restaurant is a traditional Austrian Wirt and has better than average Austrian fare. While a bit more expensive, the food quality is definitely reflected and the location provides the rest of the reasons for choosing this Wirt over others. For those who want to head off the beaten inner-city district paths and onto the shimmering Danube, Zur Alte Kaisermühlen will be more than rewarding enough for a spring evening.
Koreahaus & Donaupark – The ’60s style
The Koreahaus & Donaupark is a 60’s style park in Vienna that is definitely worth visiting while roaming around the city. Especially in spring with many flowering cherry trees, Vienna received as a gift from Japan or in early summer with so many flowers in blossom!
Set up in 1964, more than 40 years ago, it all started with a big international garden exhibition. And artefacts of those days can still be found. One of them is the very special Korea Kulturhaus, beside the pretty Iris Lake. The glass and concrete house in 60’s style architecture used to be a lake restaurant, now you can dive into Korean culture – and get some traditional Korean food in the simple Café/Bistro “Arirang.
The terrace offers a nice view over the small lake, behind are the towering skyscrapers of the UNO city and from time to time a small train for children passes by. So different times, ages and worlds meet at this place.
Karlsplatz Pond – Sitting at the water
If you have yet to visit the pond on Karlsplatz, it definitely deserves to be far up on your Viennese bucket list. The oval pond was built in the 1970s and seems to fit in just perfectly with the adjacent urban jungle. Its border is made out of concrete, slightly elevated off the ground, with a few steps on either side leading up to the edge and into the water, respectively.
The pond itself is not extraordinarily spectacular, but there is an absolute beauty and a magical feeling in the surrounding square. Karlsplatz is always busy, vibrant and full of life. This is the perfect place to have a beer or a bottle of wine and sit by the border of the pond. Whether it’s for enjoying the sun during the day or relaxing in the evening after a long day of discovering the city, Karlsplatz is never empty and always cozy!
Mayer am Nussberg – Enjoy the summer
Mayer am Nussberg on the border of the 19th district, high up on Kahlenbergstrasse is the perfect place to enjoy spring and summer in Vienna! While there are countless vineyards and heurigen in the outskirts of Vienna, none are with quite the relaxed and refined vibe of Mayer am Nussberg.
This small wooden hut is situated in the middle of the vineyard and has no indoor seating. However, the grass field surrounding the hut is full of tables, benches, cots, and couches. The view of Vienna is slightly obstructed, but still jaw-dropping on a clear day. What’s more, the Kahlenberg and Leopoldsberg abbey are directly in view on the hill above (and can be reached with an intrepid and somewhat steep 20-minute walk). The wine is, of course, local and the snacks are excellent. The people here mingle with the families over a local Grüner Veltliner and charcuterie.
Wieden Bräu – Schnitzel, beer…
One of the best ways to get a sense of the spirit (and taste) of a city is through its food. So let’s have lunch in the oh-so-Austrian brewery bar Wieden Bräu. Burgers, schnitzels and beer. Well, that’s some stodgy Austrian lunch you are about to have! You can also spend your afternoon in Wieden Bräu’s beer garden, which is definitely worth your attention if you want to try some local beer or have a chit chat with the locals. Our spotter David mentions that Wieden Bräu’s location isn’t crowded with tourists. So, if you choose to have lunch here, you will definitely feel like a local!
Lainzer Tiergarten – Where the wild pigs roam
Want to leave the city and go for a walk, combined with a little thrill? Lainzer Tiergarten, a huge forest, part of the Wiener Wald, on the outskirts of Vienna, might be the right thing.
Here you can walk for hours and – depending on which gate you take to enter the park – on weekdays sometimes you won’t meet any human beings, but: wild pigs! Chances are high that when you go for a long walk in this forest you will see a few of the around 800 wild pigs living here.
But even if you don’t encounter any game, the forest is worth visiting at any time of the year. And if you are fond of the Empress “Sissi”, then you should visit the beautiful Hermes Villa, even if it’s only from the outside. Even the Empress Elisabeth of Austria quite often preferred the countryside to downtown Vienna and had a little villa out there.
Majolika House – Art Nouveau architecture
Walk around the city and discover the Art Nouveau scene of Vienna. Otto Wagner has contributed plenty of buildings to Viennese architecture, but also other prominent architects like Josef Hoffmann or Adolf Loos deserve a mention.
One of these stunning buildings is the Majolika house by Otto Wagner on Wienzeile. It’s a perfect combination of architecture and nature. Allow yourself to take a broad look at the building. It’s like a gigantic flower! Whether you turn your attention to the actual facade, made out of thousands of tiles with flower motifs printed on them, to the window lintels, which are richly decorated with blue blossoms themselves, or to the steel balcony railing, you’ll encounter the overall floral concept everywhere.
Rumour has it that the inside of the building is gorgeous as well, especially the entry and the main staircase. The houses on both sides of the Majolika house are from Otto Wagner as well and you might want to have a look at those too!
Vollpension – Oma’s cakes on parade
Vollpension is a delightful concept. The restaurant appears standard enough but employs several older Austrian ladies called the Omas (grandmas in German) to bake their favourite homemade cakes and sell them alongside the main dishes. The motivation behind the idea is to give good working conditions to these elderly, but very active, women and at the same time to allow everyone to profit from their years of experience cooking homemade cakes.
True to its word, the cakes are varied and extraordinary. The selection is different every day depending on which Oma is present and which cake she intends to make. It makes repeat visits necessary so you can try and get a taste of them all. Moreover, the main dishes are also very tasty, particularly for a brunch-time meal over the weekend. The wait staff is friendly and both indoor and outdoor seating is available. And because of its location on the lively Schleifmühlgasse, Vollpension makes a perfect start to the day of urban exploring.
It seems so obvious in retrospect: who wouldn’t want to actually have Oma’s homemade cooking available at all times?
Reanimated Bikes – Breathing life into bikes
No good bikes should be consigned to the scrapheap, according to the mantra of joint owners of Reanimated Bikes Pete and Rich. It is literally unbelievable how many bikes are given in for these guys to fix up. Bikes that have been rescued from cellars, bikes that have been left forlornly locked to poles, and bikes that are donated by those who have no space for them any longer. They get stripped down, pimped up and eventually ridden off. Much better to buy a quality bike that has been rescued from the clutches of the crusher than to waste a couple of hundred on a sports shop bargain bike. So if you’re looking for a new bike to ride around Vienna, you should definitely pass by Reanimated Bikes and check out how Pete en Rich breathe new life into bikes!
Good to know: you can also rent a bike here when visiting the city for a really fair price! So head to Reanimated Bikes, rent a bike and ride around the lovely city of Vienna on a sunny day!